Volta ao Algarve 2017 (2.HC)

The premier race of Portugal is a great test for climbers in the early season, with a time trial thrown in as well.

Stage one showed a messy sprint finish, with Quickstep Floor’s Fernando Gaviria taking a decisive victory ahead of Andre Griepel (Lotto Soudal). Stage two showed a phenomenal climb through the Algarve, with Quickstep’s Dan Martin taking the win ahead of Primož Roglič (LottoNL-Jumbo).

The stage three time trial is the second of the year, albeit the Vuelta a Andalusia’s time trial took place only an hour beforehand in Spain. European TT Champ Jonathan Castroviejo took the win ahead of World TT Champ Tony Martin (Katusha Alpecin) and Primož Roglič. 

Stage four showed one of the best leadouts of the year, with Trek putting their sprinter John Degenkolb in the perfect position to win. However, Andre Greipel powered his way in the sprint to win by mere millimeters in a photo-finish ahead of Degenkolb and Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL).

Photo: @  Bettiniphoto

Photo: @Bettiniphoto

The final stage featured an uphill climb through the Algarve, with W52/FC Porto’s Amaro Manuel Antunes, a Portuguese continental rider taking the win. Roglič took the overall win, with Sky’s Michal Kwiatkowski finishing second and Lotto-Soudal’s Tony Gallopin finishing third.

The Tour de Langkawi starts next week, as does the Abu Dhabi Tour, a World Tour event. The Opening Weekend of the European Classic season is next weekend, with the now World Tour event Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, and the Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne race.