Simon Carr wins the Trofeo Calvià

EF Education-EasyPost opens the European racing season with a victory

January 24, 2024

Simon Carr opened the men’s European racing season with a win today at the Trofeo Calvià.

Inspired by the two wins EF Education-Cannondale earned in their first two days of racing, Carr took off soon after the commissaire dropped his flag and spent the day out front, driving the break around a mountainous circuit in Mallorca’s southwest corner. As the front group shed riders, Simon stayed strong, matching attacks until it was only him and Bora’s Aleksandr Vlasov left, ready for a two-up dash to the line. Under the red kite, marking one kilometer to go, no one was going to stop Simon. He launched a long sprint up the drag to the finish and rode Vlasov off his wheel.

“It was just instinct,” Simon said after the finish. “Our DS Tejay was telling me to let off the wheel a little bit and surprise him, so I was just focused on him and when he was going to launch his sprint and just timing that right. I think in the end I had the jump on him anyway. I was just super focused on what he was doing and not looking back at all. I let him do that. It’s great to win this race, especially coming off winning Langkawi last year. This winter has been smoother than any other winter I have had as a pro, so now I can really show what I can do, instead of just catching up all the time. I am very happy.”

This is Simon’s sixth professional win and EF Pro Cycling’s third of the year, after Noemi Rüegg’s and Magdeleine Vallieres’s victories last week in Mallorca. The teams have been training together on the island and built up a great rapport. The hard work they put in and optimism they built there laid the foundation for these wins and set the tone for 2024. Alberto Bettiol proved he is in great shape today too. He came in fifth in the next group behind Simon’s.

“​​It was really motivating to have the women win two races this week,” said Tejay van Gaarderen, who shared DS duties today with Carmen Small. “We placed Simon in the early break and we knew that the race was going to split up over the descent of the Sóller, so we wanted to have him up there to have him out of the fight, as we had good riders behind like Alberto and Valgren and Costa. We had them fighting over the Sóller, but we missed one move with the Vlasov and McNulty, who bridged across to Simon. Simon had been out front all day. We told him to sit on. We had some strong guys behind, so he kind of had a free ride. And then it became clear that his move was going to make it to the line. Simon had a bit of luck, but played it very well. McNulty had a cramp. Vlasov attacked. Simon chased him down, so Vlasov led him out in the sprint and Simon just took it. This win bodes really well for 2024. After our camp In Mallorca, everything just has a positive flow, with positive momentum. Everyone seems happy and healthy and motivated and fit and ready to rock.”

Next up is the Trofeo Andratx - Mirador des Colomer, another hilly race that forms part of the Mallorca Challenge. EF Education-Cannondale went two for two in their first two races on the island. Now, EF Education-EasyPost is going to try to match them.

“After their wins, we had a bit of pressure,” Simon said after his victory. “There is a bit of friendly competition between us and they wanted to outdo us. They started off real strong, so we were really motivated to do the same and show that we can also win races. It’s a big motivation!”

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