Freire returns in Palma

Oscar Freire returns to race action in Majorca after the best part of a year out, Kirsipuu takes fin

Oscar Freire returns to race action in Majorca after the best part of a year out, Kirsipuu takes fin

PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM

While Illes Balears' Isaac Galvez was winning the opening race of the Spanish season on Sunday, the Palma criterium at the start of the Majorca Challenge, more attention focused on the return to competition of three-time world champion Oscar Freire. The Rabobank rider won the Palma race last year, but, apart from a couple of days in June, had not competed since last April because of a stubborn cyst on his 'sit bone'.

Freire admitted he is still having problems finding a comfortable position on the saddle, and commented: "I've learned to ride with the discomfort, but I am taking the start of the season very cautiously, because I really don't know how I am going to be on the bike."

Palma criterium result

1 Isaac Galvez (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears 100km in 2.09.17 (46.41kph)
2 Martin Elmiger (Swi) Phonak
3 Heinrich Haussler (Ger) Gerolsteiner
4 Javier Benitez (Spa) Nicolas Mateo
5 Koldo Fernandez (Spa) Euskaltel
6 Bram de Groot (Hol) Rabobank
7 Henk Vogels (Aus) Davitamon-Lotto
8 Francesco Chicchi (Ita) Quick Step
9 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Quick Step
10 Luca Paolini (Ita) Liquigas

- Jaan Kirsipuu took his second stage win of the race as the Etoile de Besseges concluded on Sunday. Showing typically strong early-season form, the Estonian led in the bunch as Chocolade Jacques' Frederik Willems, who won the opening stage, was confirmed as the overall victor.

Stage 5, Gagnires-Bessges

1 Jaan Kirsipuu (Est) Crdit Agricole 148km in 3.17.48 (44.89kph)
2 Stphane Bonsergent (Fra) Bretagne-Jean Floc'h
3 Jimmy Casper (Fra) Cofidis
4 Alexandre Usov (Blr) Ag2r
5 Mattia Gavazzi (Ita) LPR
6 Olaf Pollack (Ger) T-Mobile
7 Arnaud Coyot (Fra) Cofidis
8 Anthony Geslin (Fra) Bouygues Telecom
9 Tomas Vaitkus (Lit) Ag2r
10 James Vanlandschoot (Bel) Landbouwkrediet

Final overall

1 Frederik Willems (Bel) Chocolade Jacques-Topsport 17.46.12
2 Preben van Hecke (Bel) Davitamon-Lotto 0.26
3 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Bouygues Telecom
4 Michael Blaudzun (Den) CSC 0.32
5 Ludovic Turpin (Fra) Ag2r 0.36
6 Mads Kaggestad (Nor) Crdit Agricole
7 Brian Vandborg (Den) CSC 0.43
8 Maxime Mdrel (Fra) Auber 93 2.30
9 Kilian Patour (Fra) Crdit Agricole 4.06
10 Antoine Dalibard (Fra) Bratagne-Jean Floc'h 4.11

- There was more success for Crdit Agricole at the Tour of Langkawi on Sunday as American Saul Raisin won the first stage in the mountains in the Malaysian stage race. Raisin outsprinted South African David George at the line. George, though, had the consolation of taking the overall lead and maintained in Monday's stage, which was won by Selle Italia's Jos Serpa, who broke clear of a group containing Britain's Evan Oliphant 10km from the finish.

Stage 3, Lumut-Cameron Highlands

1 Saul Raisin (USA) Crdit Agricole 150.3km in 4.03.55 (36.97kph)
2 David George (SA) South Africa
3 Darren Lill (SA) South Africa 0.17
4 David McCann (Ire) Giant-Asia 0.32
5 Gabriele Missaglia (Ita) Selle Italia 0.37
6 Laurent Lefvre (Fra) Bouygues Telecom 2.16
7 Francesco Bellotti (Ita) Crdit Agricole
8 Jos Serpa (Col) Selle Italia
9 Cesar Grajales (Col) Navigators
10 Walter Pedraza (Col) Selle Italia

14 Robin Sharman (GB) Recyling.co.uk 2.22
16 Mark Walters (Can) Navigators 3.22
18 Ed Clancy (GB) Great Britain 3.35
24 Kristian House (GB) Recyling.co.uk 5.44
25 Ryan Cox (SA) South Africa 5.51
28 Ben Greenwood (GB) Recyling.co.uk 9.54

Stage 4, Tapah-Kuala Selangor

1 Jos Serpa (Col) Selle Italia-Diquigiovanni 144.5km in 3.17.46 (43.84kph)
2 Evan Oliphant (GB) Recyling.co.uk 0.15
3 Christophe Riblon (Fra) Ag2r 0.17
4 Stef Clement (Hol) Bouygues Telecom 0.18
5 Xavier Tondi (Spa) Relax 0.31
6 Kazuhiro Mori (Jpn) Japan 1.06
7 Johan Verstrepen (Bel) Landbouwkrediet
8 Mirko Allegrini (Ita) Panaria 1.08
9 Steffen Radochla (Ger) Wiesenhof 3.00
10 Sbastien Hinault (Fra) Crdit Agricole
14 Mark Cavendish (GB) Great Britain

Overall

1 David George (SA) South Africa 13.07.52
2 Missaglia 0.40
3 Grajales 2.22
4 Bellotti
5 Pedraza
6 Lefvre
7 Benoit Poilvet (Fra) Crdit Agricole 2.27
8 Sharman 2.28
9 Walters 3.27
10 Jos Miguel Elias (Spa) Relax 4.59

12 Cox 5.57
15 Raisin 7.22
18 McCann 8.04
22 Clancy 11.07

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