Robert Förster (Gerolsteiner) won the first stage of the Volta ao Algarve, in Portugal. The race is known for not having too many hills and last year Italian Alessandro Petacchi (Team Milram) even won the overall classification. The only difficulty for the non specialists will be the time trial on stage
Förster won on the slightly uphill finishing straight in convincing style. There was enough space between him and second-placed Tomas Vaitkus (Astana) that a one-second difference was awarded between Förster and the rest of the field. Erik Zabel, Petacchi's team-mate, finished third. This year, Petacchi is racing in the Vuelta a Andalucía in neighbouring Spain, so he won't be able to defend his title in Portugal.