Volta ao Algarve em Bicicleta 2018

February 14-18, Albufeira, Algarve, Road - 2.HC

Complete Live Report

Live commentary by:
susan westemeyer

Volta ao Algarve main page

Volta ao Algarve race preview

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Roglic wins 2017 title

  1. 13:42:53 WET

    Welcome to Portugal! The Volta ao Algarve kicks off today with one for the sprinters. Join us for 192.6km from Albufeira to Lagos, with two small climbs along the way.

  2. 13:44:55 WET

    Our break group of the day is: Josu Zabala (Caja Rural), Nuno Almeida (L.A. Aluminios), David Livramento (Sporting Travira), Luis Afonso (Vito-Feirense) and Joao Rodrigues (W52-FC Porto). They got away early and after 45 km they have built up a gap of 3:34.

  3. 13:51:39 WET

    What can we expect today? Although there are two small categorized climbs, they come in the opening half of the stage. The final 90km are on rolling roads, but with terrain that the sprinters’ teams should be able to contend with. The last three kilometres contain a kick with just over 2 km to go before a downhill run-in towards a pancake-flat last kilometre.

  4. 13:55:46 WET

  5. 14:01:26 WET

    You can't tell the players without a program! Take a peek at the start list. 


  6. 14:07:02 WET

    Here the top ten from the 2017 edition:

    1 Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo)

    2 Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky)

    3 Jonathan Castroviejo (Movistar)

    4 Tony Gallopin (Lotto Soudal)

    5 Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana)

    6 Daniel Martin (Quick Step Floors)

    7 Tony Martin (Katusha-Alpecin)

    8 Tiesj Benoot (Lotto Soudal)

    9 Amaro Antunes (W52/FC Porto)

    10 Rinaldo Nocentini (Sporting/Tavira)

    Only four of them are here again this year: Kwiatkowski, D. Martin, T. Martin, Nocentini

  7. 14:14:28 WET

    We have 13 WorldTour teams here: BMC Racing, Bora-Hansgrohe, FDJ, Lotto Soudal, Movistar, Quick-Step Floors, Dimension Data, Katusha-Alpecin, LottoNL-Jumbo, Team Sky, Sunweb, Trek-Segafredo and UAE Team Emirates.

  8. 14:17:53 WET

    We just had the intermediate sprint at km 69.9 and the results are: 

    1.Josu Zabala (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA)

    2.David Livramento (Sporting-Tavira)

    3.Luís Afonso (Vito-Feirense-BlackJack)

  9. 14:20:15 WET

    There was a cat. 4 climb at 43.9 km, and that went this way:  1. João Rodrigues (W52-FC Porto), 2. Luís Afonso (Vito-Feirense-BlackJack), 3. Josu Zabala (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA)

  10. 122km remaining from 192.6km

    14:22:56 WET

    With 122 km to go, the gap has dropped to 2:26.


  11. 14:27:28 WET

    And as to who might be going for that sprint win, here is who we have on offer: Arnaud Démare (FDJ), Jurgen Roelandts (BMC Racing), Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data), Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNl-Jumbo), John Degenkolb (Trek Segafredo) and Ben Swift (UAE Team Emirates).

  12. 14:36:22 WET

    Nice to see Edvald Boasson Hagen racing. You will remember he had his gallbladder removed last month.



  13. 14:39:32 WET

    This isn't the only race going on at the moment. There is a lot of climbing today at the Ruta del Sol, and our live report on that race is a good read.


  14. 14:44:10 WET

    Richie Porte is at this race, and it turns out he has more on his mind than just racing. The team is looking for a new sponsor, and he is giving them a time limit before he starts looking for a new team. Read about our exclusive interview here. 


  15. 14:52:32 WET

    Nathan Haas was the surprise winner in the Tour of Oman today, bringing in Katusha-Alpecin's first win of the 2018 season. He did it by "channeling his inner Cancellara", which sounds reasonable to us. 


  16. 14:57:28 WET

    French champion Arnaud Demare (FDJ) is opening his season here today. He is on his way to the Classics and of course the Tour de France.


  17. 15:06:43 WET

    Team Sunweb is still looking for its first win this year. It has sent a young team here to Portugal, with Sam Oomen heading things up.


  18. 92.6km remaining from 192.6km

    15:09:43 WET

    With just about 100 km behind them, the peloton has brought the gap down to 1:47.


  19. 15:15:50 WET

    Dan Martin is making his debut for his new team, UAE Team Emirates, here today, with "a mixture of nerves and excitement."


  20. 75km remaining from 192.6km

    15:20:26 WET

    WIth 75 km left to go, the gap is 1:45.


  21. 80km remaining from 192.6km

    15:33:04 WET

    The gap continues to drop. With 80 km to go, it is down to 1:25.


  22. 15:38:24 WET

    Quick Step has had a lot of success at this race, and this year is being led by Bob Jungels and Philippe Gilbert. We think that sounds like two good reasons to expect more success.


  23. 15:48:08 WET

    Dan Benson is at the race for us, and he had a chat with Bauke Mollema. The Trek-Segafredo rider said, "The start of the year was really good for the team with a few sprint wins and the time trial win in Argentina. When I saw the team in training camp everyone was really motivated.

    Alberto was only with us for one year. I think everyone speaks as if the team has really changed with him stopping. Of course it was a big change but he was only there for one year. It wasn’t like he was there for years and years.

    For sure, for the younger riders and other riders, this is a chance for more freedom in other races."


  24. 15:49:56 WET

    Mollema continued, "For me this feels like the first real race and it’s my first time here in Algarve. This isn’t the biggest objective, of course. I think everybody knows that the biggest objectives are the WorldTour races but this race has a nice course and it’s a good test ahead of Paris-Nice. That’s my first really big goal of the season.

    My form is good though, and in Mallorca I was feeling okay. I think I’ve made another step and the feelings I had in training were also good. I’ll be okay."

  25. 54.6km remaining from 192.6km

    15:54:45 WET

    The gap is now nearing the one minute mark.


  26. 16:03:49 WET

    A close finish over there in the Ruta del Sol, and we are still awaiting the official announcement of the winner.

    And now we have it, after quite a delay: Thomas Boudat of Direct Energie takes the sprint.


  27. 42km remaining from 192.6km

    16:08:09 WET

    With 42 km left to go, the gap is at 1:16. Looks like a nice sunny day!


  28. 16:12:35 WET

    We sill have another intermediate sprint before the finish


  29. 16:15:11 WET

    Of course we expect a bunch sprint here today, as well. But not necessarily a photo finish!


  30. 16:17:25 WET

    BMC en masse near the front of the peloton. The field isn't putting any pressure on, the gap is a comfortable minute with plenty of kilometers left to catch the break group.


  31. 31km remaining from 192.6km

    16:24:56 WET

    The break group won't be away much longer. The gap is at 19 seconds now.


  32. 16:25:56 WET

    The road is quite rolling on this section, with constant mild ups and downs, and curves. The lead group is starting to nervously look back over their shoulders.


  33. 16:27:42 WET

    We only have four riders in the break now.


  34. 16:29:12 WET

    Afonso and ZAbala are now alone up front. The gap has allegedly shot back up to 59 seconds.


  35. 16:32:48 WET

    Trek-Segafredo has a rider at the head of the field. They would like to see John Degenkolb win here.

    Now the peloton is catching the riders from the former lead group.


  36. 16:33:32 WET

    Zabala pushes it up a notch and pulls away from Afonso.


  37. 24km remaining from 192.6km

    16:34:01 WET

    But now they are together again.


  38. 16:37:10 WET

    The two leaders have a little chat. "Can you believe we are still up here?" "Yeah, think we can win this thing???"


  39. 16:42:27 WET

    The gap has dropped dramatically, now at 10 seconds, and it looks like our daring duo will be swept up momentarily, with 18 km to go.


  40. 16km remaining from 192.6km

    16:46:32 WET

    With 16 km the final two are finally caught. And so of course immediately others jump and try to get away.


  41. 16:47:11 WET

    Five riders with a small lead, including Stefan Kung and the dangerous Tony Martin.


  42. 16:48:33 WET

    Needless to say, the peloton was not happy with that situation and has hauled them back. 


  43. 16:49:18 WET

    Two moer riders trying their luck, one of them being another Katusha.


  44. 16:51:31 WET

    We have Tom Devriendt (Wanty) and Jose Goncalves (Katusha), they have a small lead with 11 km to go.


  45. 16:52:31 WET

    18 seconds already for these two.


  46. 16:53:47 WET

    The road narrows and there is a crash in the field.  A crash in the field but everyone looks to be ok.


  47. 16:54:48 WET

    Tiago Machado (Katusha) had to pull his shoe off the pedal and put it back on his foot. The medics took advantage of that to test him and see if he had taken a knock on the head. Apparently he hadn't.


  48. 8km remaining from 192.6km

    16:55:39 WET

    That crash split the field, but it should be back together again soon. And it looks as if the two escapees will be caught again soon too.


  49. 16:59:45 WET

    Four km and only a handful of seconds.


  50. 17:00:20 WET

    And just like that they are caught and everyone is together..


  51. 17:00:58 WET

    A Sky rider, Elissonde has a one-man crash, but is ok. 


  52. 17:01:50 WET

    FDJ leads the peloton.


  53. 17:02:45 WET

    The field flies into the final 2 km.


  54. 17:02:58 WET

    Last kilometer!


  55. 17:03:14 WET

    All the usual suspects are near the front. 


  56. 17:04:42 WET

    Demare is careffully delivered to the front by his team, but Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo) has the lead. Demare comes up to him but it looks like the Dutchman has taken the win.


  57. 17:07:00 WET

    It was a close one, but Groenewegen indeed takes the win ahead of Demare. Third is Hugo Hofstetter of Cofidis.


  58. 17:08:27 WET

    That is Groenewegen's second win this year, as he also won the first stage of the Dubai Tour. That means he also takes on his second leader's jersey of the season. Plus he leads in the points ranking. 


  59. 17:12:43 WET

    The stage results: 

    1 Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo 4:47:58

    2 Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ

    3 Hugo Hofstetter (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits

    4 Timothy Dupont (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert

    5 Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) BMC Racing Team

    6 John Degenkolb (Ger) Trek-Segafredo

    7 Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Lotto Soudal

    8 Matteo Pelucchi (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe

    9 Yves Lampaert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors

    10 Luis Mendonça (Por) LA Aluminios

  60. 17:14:35 WET

    GC after stage one:

    1 Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo 4:47:58

    2 Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ

    3 Hugo Hofstetter (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits

    4 Timothy Dupont (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert

    5 Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) BMC Racing Team

    6 John Degenkolb (Ger) Trek-Segafredo

    7 Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Lotto Soudal

    8 Matteo Pelucchi (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe

    9 Yves Lampaert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors

    10 Luis Mendonça (Por) LA Aluminios 

  61. 17:30:36 WET

    Full results and a complete report will be available here soon. Not to mention lots of photos!


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