The route of the 2019 Volta ao Algarve has been unveiled with a parcours destined to provide opportunities for everyone. The winner of the five-day race will have to be a strong all-rounder with a mixture of mountains and a time trial set to decide the overall classification.
Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) won the Volta ao Algarve for the second time this year after claiming victory on both mountain stages. The 778.6-kilometre route follows a similar pattern to previous seasons and takes the riders over more than 12,000 metres of climbing.
The opening stage will be an opportunity for the sprinters to get a win on the board early on. For the stage start, the race will visit the city of Portimão for the first time since 2012. From there, the riders will ride 199.1 kilometres to Lagos, where Dylan Groenewegen opened his European account this season.
The race returns to Almodôvar for the sixth year running for the start of stage 2, the first of two mountain tests. The 187.4-kilometre stage includes some 3,600 metres of elevation gain and finishes on the Algarve’s highest point the Alto da Foía. The eight-kilometre climb averages 6.3 per cent and has been a repeat feature of the race since 2016. It was here that Kwiatkowski began his path towards overall success with victory ahead of Bauke Mollema.
The halfway point of the race is marked by an individual time trial on stage 3. The 20.3km rolling route in Lagoa is exactly the same one that was used this year. After the chrono, the sprinters will have a second opportunity for victory with a 198.3-kilometre ride from Albufeira and Tavira.
Last on the menu for the peloton will be the traditional mountain jaunt to the Alto do Malhão, which will ensure the GC battle is carried into the final day of racing. Beginning in Faro, the riders will travel 173.5 kilometres to the finish line in Malhão. The final ascent is short at just 2.5 kilometres but packs a punch with an average gradient of 9.9 per cent. This year, Kwiatkowski was victorious for the second time that week, beating home rider Ruben Guerreiro by four seconds.
The 2019 Volta ao Algarve will take place from February 20 to 24.
2019 Volta ao Algarve
Stage 1: February 20 - Portimão - Lagos, 199.1 km
Stage 2: February 21 - Almodôvar - Fóia, 187.4 km
Stage 3: February 22 - Lagoa - Lagoa, 30.3 km (ITT)
Stage 4: February 23 - Albufeira - Tavira, 198.3 km
Stage 5: February 24 - Faro - Malhão, 173.5 km