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41st “Tour of Algarve” Cycle Race - 18 to 22 February!

41st “Tour of Algarve” Cycle Race - 18 to 22 February!

A peloton of 175 cyclists, coming from 21 countries and representing 22 teams, starts on Wednesday the 41st Volta ao Algarve. The competition, on the road until Sunday, will have a total of five stages and 786.1 kilometers.

The first stage takes the peloton from Lagos to Albufeira, on a 166.7 kilometer trip, starting in Lagos (Parque das Feiras), at 10:50 am, and arrival at the Municipal Council of Albufeira scheduled for 3:00 pm, about 30 minutes after the first pass on the finish line. A third category mountain, (km 110.7) should not be an obstacle to the sprinters.

Among the favorites in the first stage are German road champion and rider with most wins in 2014, André Greipel (Lotto Soudal), who has confessed to feeling hungry for victories, the Russian road champion, Alexander Porsev (Katusha), the Belgian Gianni Meersman (Etixx-QuickStep), winner in Albufeira in 2012, Tom van Asbroeck (Lotto NL-Jumbo), Roy Jans (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Ben Swift (Sky) and Phil Bauhaus (Bora- Argon 18).

Candidates for the final victory in the Tour of the Algarve will have to show their shape in the second stage, 197.2 kilometers between Lagoa and Monchique, whose final carousel, in the hills of Monchique, will make the first screening values. It will be the time to assess the state of form of the best of the last four editions: the road world champion and winner of Volta ao Algarve in 2014, Michal Kwiatkowski (Etixx-QuickStep) the winner of the Algarve in 2011 and in 2013, Tony Martin (Etixx-QuickStep) and the winner of the race in 2012, Richie Porte (Sky).

In addition to those, men as Tiago Machado (Katusha), Luis León Sánchez (Astana), Robert Gesink (Lotto NL-Jumbo), Tony Gallopin (Lotto Soudal), Ion Izaguirre and Rubén Fernández (Movistar) and Geraint Thomas (Sky) have to prove their favoritism.

The third stage is called the “proof of the truth”, an individual time trial of 19 kilometers between Vila do Bispo and Cabo S. Vicente. Besides the favorites for the final triumph, pure time trialists will have a word to say. This is the case of Adriano Malori and Jonathan Castroviejo (Movistar), Ramunas Navardauskas and Sebastian Langeveld (Cannondale-Garmin) or Rafael Reis (Tavira).

The queen stage is the fourth to be played on Saturday, over 218.3 kilometers, departing from Tavira and arrival at the top of Malhão, Loulé. The arrival coincides with a second category mountain and in addition to the main candidates for yellow jersey, we must follow carefully the moves of climbers like Michele Scarponi (Astana), Andre Cardoso and Davide Formolo (Cannondale-Garmin), Igor Antón (Movistar), Ricardo Vilela (Rural-Seguros RGA Caja), Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Argon 18) and Joaquim Silva (W52-Quinta da Lixa).

For the last day, it is expected the consecration of winners and new arrival to the way of the sprinters, after 194.9 kilometers between Almodovar and Vilamoura.

 

Teams

 

  • WorldTour: Astana (KAZ), Cannondale-Garmin (USA), Ettix-QuickStep (BEL), Katusha (RUS), Lotto NL-Jumbo (NED), Soudal Lotto (BEL), Movistar (ESP) and Sky (GBR).
  • Continental Professionals: Bora-Argon 18 (GER), Caja Rural-Seguros RGA (ESP), RusVelo (RUS), Team Roompot (NED) and Wanty-Groupe Gobert (BEL).
  • Continental: Efapel (POR), LA Alumínios-Antarte (POR), Louletano-Ray Just Energy (POR), Rádio Popular-Boavista (POR), Tavira (POR), W52-Quinta da Lixa (POR), ActiveJet (POL) , Murias Taldea (ESP) and Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies (USA).

 

Source: Volta ao Algarve

 

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