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Bol looks ahead to Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne after Algarve stage victory

TAVIRA PORTUGAL FEBRUARY 21 Arrival Sprint Cees Bol of The Netherlands and Team Sunweb Sacha Modolo of Italy and Team AlpecinFenix Fabio Jakobsen of The Netherlands and Team Deceuninck Quick Step Red Points Jersey during the 46th Volta ao Algarve 2020 Stage 3 a 2019Km stage from Faro to Tavira VAlgarve2020 on February 21 2020 in Tavira Portugal Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images
Cees Bol (Sunweb) (Image credit: Getty Images)

Cees Bol (Team Sunweb) took his fourth career victory, and first of 2020 in Tavira at the Volta ao Algarve on Friday, overcoming rivals such as Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-QuickStep), Elia Viviani (Cofidis) and Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates).

 The 24-year-old triumphed on the 202km stage 3, emerging the best on the uphill finish in the 'town of churches' 25km west of the Spanish border. Bol adds the win to a burgeoning collection which includes Nokere Koerse, the final stage of the Tour of California and stage 1 of the Tour of Norway, all coming last season.

 "It's a good way to start the season like this," Bol said after the finish of his third race day of the season. "With the team in the first sprint we made some mistakes, but today we nailed it. I was happy that I could finish it off."

After his team featured prominently at the head of the peloton in the final 10km, Bol was third wheel in the finale, sticking to teammate Casper Pedersen on the road into Tavira. The final kilometre saw Florian Sénèchal (Deceuninck-QuickStep) take over from Mads Würtz Schmidt (Israel Start-Up Nation) before peeling off after the final corner.

Pedersen hit the front with 400 metres to run, putting in a big push before letting go 200 metres out. Then it was Bol's time to shine, hitting the front ahead of his sprint rivals and not letting go of that spot. Points classification leader Jakobsen and Sacha Modolo (Alpecin-Fenix) jumped out on either side of Bol, but neither could close the gap to overhaul the Dutchman.

"I just followed my lead out, Casper, and when I saw the 200-metre sign, I just went full and I was first across the line. We have really more focus on the sprint this year," he added. "The guys were so strong today."

With a hilltop finish and time trial at the weekend, the Volta's sprint opportunities are over, but Bol is looking forward to next weekend and Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne. The race is won by sprinters with semi-regularity, and the Sunweb man will hope to add his name to an honour roll which includes Tom Boonen, Mark Cavendish and Dylan Groenewegen.

"Next week in Kuurne it's a different race, but for sure we will try and do our best in the race again.

"[The win is] a sign that I did a good winter. In the winter you always hope that what you're doing is good, and when it pays off then it's really nice of course."

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Daniel Ostanek

Daniel Ostanek has been a staff writer at Cyclingnews since August 2019, having joined in 2017 as a freelance contributor and later part-time production editor. Before Cyclingnews, he was published in numerous publications around the cycling world, including Procycling, CyclingWeekly, CyclingTips, Cyclist, and Rouleur, among others. As well as reporting and writing news and features, Daniel runs the 'How to watch' content throughout the season.

Daniel has reported from the world's top races, including the Tour de France, and has interviewed a number of the sport's biggest stars, including Egan Bernal, Wout van Aert, Remco Evenepoel, Mark Cavendish, and Anna van der Breggen. Daniel rides a 2002 Landbouwkrediet Colnago C40 and his favourite races are Strade Bianche and the Vuelta a España.