Nelson Oliveira (Movistar) put in a respectable ride in Friday's 20.3km time trial to enhance his chances of a podium spot at the Volta ao Algarve. The four-time Portuguese time trial champion finished fifth in the individual test, finished safely in the peloton on Saturday and so sits third overall ahead of Sunday's final stage to the summit of Malhao.
Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) leads the race with his teammate, Michal Kwiatkowski, second at 22 seconds. Oliveira lies third at 32 seconds, with Bob Jungels, Tejay van Garderen, Bauke Mollema all within 30 seconds of Oliveira's third place. Sunday's final stage is unlikely to see Thomas dislodged from the leader's jersey, but Movistar will be looking to Oliveira to hold his own on the final climb.
"We'll aim for the podium tomorrow," the Movistar rider told Cyclingnews ahead of stage 4. "Sunday's final climb is really steep and really hard. We'll have to say how it plays out.
"The time trial was good for me. The result was unexpected because last week I didn't train as much as I wanted to. I'm going to try and keep in the top 10, that has to be the first main goal."
With Team Sky in control of the race, the likelihood is that the British team revert to type and set the pace on the final climb in a bid to unsettle any potential attacks.
With first and second locked down, it looks as though the only question is over the final place on the podium. For Oliveira, that will mean marking the likes of Mollema and Jungels, should they try to wrestle third place from him.
"I'll do my race, and I'll do my own climb. In the end we'll see what happens but I'll make sure that I suffer until the end," he said.
Oliveira isn't the only Movistar rider well placed on GC, with new signing Jamie Roson also impressing. The Spaniard is seventh overall and has a string of top-10 GC places from last season.
"We have Jamie in the top 10. He's a good climber, and better than me," Oliveira modestly said, playing down his own results that include a Vuelta a Espana stage win and fourth in last year's time trial at the World Championships.
As Portugal's best hope for a top 10 in the race, Oliveira is aware of the support he has received from the home fans.
"This is the only real chance in the year when we can come to my country and race with the top teams. The fans come out, and a big thanks to them for cheering me on."
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