Challenge Mallorca releases details of new women’s races and live coverage

Mavi Garcia

The Challenge Ciclista a Mallorca Garden Hotels Luxcom, set to be held in January 2024, is undergoing significant changes, as revealed by race director Manuel Hernández. For the first time, the event will feature a three-day women’s race alongside the traditional five-day men’s event. This addition marks a major evolution for the 33rd edition of the race, organised by Unisport Consulting.

Hernández, alongside tourism officials Jaume Bauzá and José Marcial Rodríguez, Garden Group’s executive vice president and CEO Gabriel Llobera, and other key figures, announced the routes and updates for the 2024 Challenge. The women’s Challenge Ciclista a Mallorca Femenina, scheduled for 20-22 January, will host 21 teams, including six from the UCI Women World Tour. Spanish star Mavi García will compete with the national team, as her new team, Jayco AluLa, will be in Australia.

The women’s race features stages from Felanitx-Colònia de Sant Jordi, Palma, and Binissalem-Andratx. After the women’s event, the 33rd edition of the men’s Garden Hotels Luxcom Challenge Ciclista a Mallorca begins, with 23 teams, including eight from the UCI World Tour and local team UCI Continental Illes Balears Arabay Cycling Team. Notable teams like Movistar, UAE, Bora Hansgrohe, Lidl Trek, Soudal Quick Step with Julian Alaphilippe, and potentially DSM, will enhance the race’s prestige.

The event will be broadcast live on Teledeporte and Eurosport, reaching millions of homes in over 50 countries. The extensive live coverage, spanning twelve hours each day, involves a sophisticated logistics setup, including a plane, a helicopter, and four motorcycles.

The sponsorship agreement between Garden Hotels Luxcom and the Challenge extends to 2027, providing 3,000 bed nights and two hotel establishments fully operational in January. Llobera highlighted the importance of cycle tourism in keeping hotels open for ten months, aligning with the UCI’s sustainability requirements.

The men’s race, from 24-28 January 2024, features stages in Calvià, Ses Salines-Felanitx, Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana with a finish in Lluc, Pollença-Port d’Andratx, and concludes in Palma on the Paseo Marítimo.

Tourism councillor Jaume Bauzá emphasised the Challenge’s role in enhancing Mallorca’s reputation as a tourist destination, while José Marcial Rodríguez acknowledged the event’s significant media impact.

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