The Volta ao Algarve was postponed from its normal February slot to May because of the COVID-19 pandemic and now, rather than providing early-season form, the Portuguese race is the first race in an alternative race programme to the Giro d'Italia attracting a start list full of talent, beginning with the number one dossard, local Rui Costa (UAE Team Emirates), and his Portuguese teammates Rui and Ivo Oliveira.
Last year's winner Remco Evenepoel is leading Deceuninck-Quickstep at the Giro d'Italia but in his place is Tour de France green jersey winner Sam Bennett and Fabio Jakobsen, who is continuing his return to form after a long rehabilitation from last year's Tour de Pologne crash.
Ineos Grenadiers made a last-minute swap in their Giro roster, putting Colombian climber Ivan Sosa in the Algarve team.
Unlike past years, where ten or more WorldTour teams would be following up their training camps and first races in Algarve there are just seven on the line for the five stages, giving Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux a better shot at taking their first win of the season.
Cyclingnews will be bringing you full reports, results, news, interviews, and analysis throughout the race. Read on to find out how to watch the Volta ao Algarve via live stream, no matter your location, with ExpressVPN.
The Volta ao Algarve offers up an appealing mix across the five stages, providing stages that suit sprinters, rouleurs, climbers and time trialists.
The opening day from Lagos to Portimão is a hilly 189.5 kilometres and reverse of what has been contested in the past few years. In 2020, Jakobsen won the opener in Lagos and now with a flatter finale into Portimão the stage will suit the sprinters.
Stage 2 is for the climbers and heads inland from the coast to the highest point in Algarve, the Alto da Fóia, a 7.7 kilometre climb that comes after two shorter but steeper ascents, the Alferce and Pomba, in the last 30 kilometres.
The third stage should suit the sprinters with only a few smaller climbs early in 203km of racing before the stage 4 individual time trial in Lagoa which, at 20.3 kilometres, is a solid test. This is where Remco Evenepoel sealed last year's overall win after coming into the stage tied on time with Dan Martin and Max Schachmann.
This year, the time trial swaps places with the 170.1 kilometre stage from Albufeira to another summit finale on the Alto do Malhão, a short climb at just 2.6 kilometres. Last year the stage was won by Miguel Angel López but the time gaps were in the single digits. If the general classification is close after the time trial, there could be more fireworks on this final day.
Volta ao Algarve live stream
The Volta ao Algarve will be broadcast around Europe on Eurosport. A subscription to Eurosport Player costs £6.99 for a single month, £4.99 for a year-long monthly pass, or £39.99 for a 12-month pass.
If you live outside a broadcast zone or are on holiday outside your country and find that the live streams to be geo-restricted, you can get around this by getting access to them by simulating being back in your home country via a 'virtual private network', or VPN, for your laptop, tablet or mobile.
Our sister site TechRadar tested hundreds of VPNs and recommends the number-one VPN currently available as Express VPN. With ExpressVPN, you can watch on many devices at once including Smart TVs, Fire TV Stick, PC, Mac, iPhone, Android phone, iPads, tablets, etc.
Volta ao Algarve schedule
|Stage 1||Wednesday, May 5||Lagos - Portimão, 189.5km||13:30 CEDT||18:34 CEDT|
|Stage 2||Thursday, May 6||Sagres - Fóia, 182.8km||13:35 CEDT||18:29 CEDT|
|Stage 3||Friday, May 7||Faro - Tavira, 203.1km||13:10 CEDT||18:50 CEDT|
|Stage 4||Saturday, May 8||Lagoa - Lagoa (ITT) 20.3km||15:45 CEDT||18:47 CEDT|
|Stage 5||Sunday, May 9||Albufeira - Malhão, 170.1km||13:50 CEDT||18:43 CEDT|
Thank you for signing up to Cycling News. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.