Bora-Hansgrohe, UAE Team Emirates and Caja Rural-Seguros RGA have submitted their respective rosters for the Volta ao Algarve, according to the organisers of the 2.HC race scheduled for February 20-24 in Portugal.
The early season tune-up race is known for its full-gas pace and tough competition, making it a top draw for tier-one teams and lower-rung outfits with big ambition.
In 2019, the race will host 12 WorldTour teams, including Bora-Hansgrohe, CCC Team, Deceuninck-QuickStep, Groupama-FDJ, Lotto Soudal, Dimension Data, Jumbo-Visma, Katusha-Alpecin, Team Sky, Team Sunweb, Trek-Segafredo and UAE Team Emirates. Pro Continental teams Caja Rural-Seguros RGA, Cofidis, W52-FC Porto and Wanty-Groupe Gobert will join eight Continental teams to fill out the 24-team field.
German champion Pascal Ackermann, one of the most prolific riders of 2018, will lead Bora-Hansgrohe in the sprint finishes, while Polish time trial champion Maciej Bodnar is one of the candidates to win the stage 3 individual time trial. Patrik Konrad is the best overall option for the team. Andreas Schillinger, Michael Schwarzmann, Rüdiger Selig and Jean-Pierre Drucker will complete the roster.
Fabio Aru will lead the UAE Team Emirates, which will also field Simone Consonni and Jasper Philipsen, two young riders with aspirations in the stages for sprints, Alexandr Riabushenko, Kristijan Đurasek, Valerio Conti and Roberto Ferrari are also on the team's provisional roster.
Spanish Pro Continental team Caja Rural-Seguros RGA will bring some of their best 2019 signings in Portuguese road race and time trial champion Domingos Gonçalves, Russian Sergei Chernetskii - seventh in the 2015 Volta ao Algarve - and Italian Matteo Malucceli, another rider looking to do well in the bunch sprints. The team's provisional roster also includes Mauricio Moreira, Jon Aberasturi, Antonio Molina and Gonzalo Serrano.
Team Sky's Michal Kwiatkowski won the race in 2018 ahead of teammate and eventual Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas. Tejay van Garderen, who was racing for BMC at the time but has since moved to EF Education First, was third.
2019 Volta ao Algarve teams
UAE Team Emirates
Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
LA Alumínios-LA Sport
2019 Volta ao Algarve stages
February 20 – Stage 1: Portimão - Lagos, 199,1 km
February 21 – Stage 2: Almodôvar - Fóia, 187,4 km
February 22 – Stage 3: Lagoa - Lagoa, 20,3 km (ITT)
February 23 – Stage 4: Albufeira - Tavira, 198,3 km
February 24 – Stage 5: Faro - Malhão, 173,5 km