Søren Kragh Andersen (Sunweb) unclipped from his bike and sat in the ditch, exhausted, on crossing the finish line atop the Alto do Malhão. He had just been pipped to the stage win by Zdenek Stybar (Deceuninck-QuickStep) and now the sight of a television crew mobbing yellow jersey Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) confirmed that he had just missed out on overall victory at the Volta ao Algarve to boot.
A brace of second places felt a scant reward for his efforts in a breathless final 20 kilometres through the rippling hills of the Serra do Caldeirão.
The Dane had begun the stage 29 seconds off Pogačar’s overall lead but, rather than try to out-strip the Slovenian on the short but sharp final climb, he opted to go on the attack from distance, responding to an initial acceleration from David de la Cruz (Team Sky) on the ascent of Vermelhos.
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