Welcome to the CN live coverage of the final stage of the Volta ao Algarve.
Remco Evenepeol (Deceuninck-QuickStep) starts last and is on the same time as Dan Martin and Max Schachmann but is the big favourite to win the overall classification.
Jasha Sutterlin (Team Sunweb) set the early fastest time of 25:02.
However Mikkel Berg (UAE) set a time of 24:59.
Warming up for the #VAlgarve2020 time trial with @yveslampaert and @flosenech. pic.twitter.com/Lq3SBMR7RSFebruary 23, 2020
It's a busy day of racing, with the Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista Del Sol, the UAE Tour and the Tour des Alpes Maritimes et du Var all today.
TT World Champion Rohan Dennis is also warming up. He's surely the rider to beat today.
The world champ getting warmed up for TT action with @TeamINEOS #VAlgarve2020 pic.twitter.com/pDn73FNZX0February 23, 2020
We will soon see how well Dennis performs. He is due off in just over an hour.
Evenepoel was pushed to the limit by Lopez's Volta ao Algarve attack and collapsed on the floor.
Click here to read more about Evenepoel's ride.
"It was very tough, and I had to fight," he told the assembled media before the podium ceremony. "In the final kilometre I looked at my power meter, and at a certain point, I was pushing 1100 watts," Evenepoel said.
"I think the image after the finish was enough. I was totally empty in the end, but you have to be to defend the jersey."
Here is the moment Berg finished.
Great work from @mikkelbbjerg 🇩🇰 to set fastest time of 24‘59” so far in the @VAlgarve2020 🇵🇹. #UAETeamEmirates #RideTogether #VAlgarve2020 pic.twitter.com/dMurLpNBGjFebruary 23, 2020
We won't spoil the results of the other races but if you want to know more, check out Cyclingnews.
These are the start times of the final riders and GC contenders. The times are local time in Portugal.
⏱️Top10 de la #VAlgarve202016h42 🇵🇹 Frederico Figueiredo16h44 🇩🇪 Simon Geschke16h46 🇧🇪 Tim Wellens16h48 🇳🇱 Bauke Mollema16h50 🇵🇹 Amaro Antunes16h52 🇵🇹 Rui Costa16h54 🇨🇴 Miguel Angel Lopez16h56 🇩🇪 Maximilian Schachmann16h58 🇮🇪 Daniel Martin17h00 🇧🇪 Remco Evenepoel#LesRPFebruary 23, 2020
We have a new fastest time!
New best provisional time at the finish set by @yveslampaert, who stopped the clock in 24:53!#WayToRide #VAlgarve2020 pic.twitter.com/TAdWDPmNQRFebruary 23, 2020
This is the top five best times:
Yves Lampaert (Deucenink-Quick Step) 24:53
Mikkel Bjerg (UAE Team Emirates) 24:59
Jasha Sutterlin (Team Sunweb) 25:02
Cees Bol (Team Sunweb) 25:03
Felix Grossschartner (Bora-hansgrohe) 25:16.
Dennis is out on the course now. His flat back aero position and power are a clear sign of his TT skills.
Mathieu van der Poel is also off. He's one of the new stars of the sport but has enjoyed a quiet week in Portugal, getting in the racing kms after as winter of cyclo-cross.
This is perhaps Dennis' biggest rival. Stefan Kung, who won last year.
Ce sera désormais bientôt à @stefankueng de s'élancer. Le vainqueur sortant du chrono de la #VAlgarve sera sur la rampe à 16h11. pic.twitter.com/FUlHoujlpUFebruary 23, 2020
Dennis is about to finish.
Kung is off, wearing the Swiss TT champion's red colours.
Dennis is fast! He sets a time of 24:17. New fastest time!
That is just a few seconds slower than the winning time of 24:09 by Geraint Thomas in 2018.
Kung hits the short but steep climb on the seafront overlooking the cliffs of Lagoa.
Evenepoel is doing his warm-up.
Last two Deceuninck - Quick-Step riders to start the #VAlgarve2020 ITT, @EvenepoelRemco and @JooAlmeida98 are warming up outside the team bus. pic.twitter.com/v4h7Y4c2iXFebruary 23, 2020
Geraint Thomas is underway.
He's not at his best but it will be a test of his form as he builds for the spring and the Tour de France.
Kung is currently fastest at the early intermediate time split.
Kung will soon reach the 13.6km point, so we will know more about his performance.
Mads Wirtz of Israel Start-Up Nation is flying to the finish., touching 80km/h on the descent to the finish. Wow!
He sets a time of 24:55. 5th fastest so far.
Most riders are pushing 56x11 for the TT. Some have even opted for a massive 58x11.
Kung is fastest but not fastest enough.
Stefan Küng signe le meilleur temps provisoire au passage intermédiaire ! #VAlgarve2020 pic.twitter.com/0KtuZEsLDQFebruary 23, 2020
At the finish Kung stops the clock in a time of 24:26.
That is 9 seconds slower than Dennis.
Half an hour before yellow jersey @EvenepoelRemco starts the final stage of the #VAlgarve2020. pic.twitter.com/X7oAsSvoMlFebruary 23, 2020
Vincenzo Nibali is next off.
Nibali has a new TT position after switching to a Trek bike. He seems longer and slightly higher but more aero and more comfortable.
Michel Kwiatkowski is riding well and is only six seconds slower than Kung at the first time split.
Nibali is even faster!
He sets 6:37 after 5.7km. One second faster than Kung.
Here comes Thomas. He sets a time of 25:00. 8th fastest so far.
Lopez is off but makes a mess of the first corner.
And @SupermanlopezN is on the distance! Good luck! #VAlgarve2020 #AstanaProTeam pic.twitter.com/JsN0XjjxojFebruary 23, 2020
Here we go. Evenepoel is off!
The 20-year-old Belgian could win the stage as well as the overall classification. He will no doubt be happy just with the second.
Here's Remco's roll out.
.@EvenepoelRemco has started!Full gas, young wolf!#VAlgarve2020 pic.twitter.com/VZxxUkWY5FFebruary 23, 2020
A great effort from @kwiato sees him go third fastest at #VAlgarve2020 with a 24:46.It's down to the last 15 riders out on course, with Dennis still fastest. pic.twitter.com/56wCzlwXGwFebruary 23, 2020
Nibali fades in the second half of the 20.3km course, setting a time of 25:13.
Evenepoel is fast! He sets 6:22 at the 5.7km time split, that's 15 seconds better than Kung.
Evenepoel has already distanced his GC rivals and is on his way to overall victory.
Evenepoel tucks low over his TT bike in search for every bit of speed.
Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow!@EvenepoelRemco went through the intermediate checkpoint 15 seconds faster than the rider who up until then had the best provisional time!#WayToRide #VAlgarve2020February 23, 2020
Can Evenepoel beat Dennis' time of 24:17? Will he take the risk needed to better the Australian?
Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) set a time of 24:45. Good for him but not fastest.
Max Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) finishes strong and sets 24:45. That's pretty good and should help him finish on the final podium.
Evenepoel is two minutes from the finish.
Evenepoel can see Dan Martin.
He almost catches him on the line and sets 24:08.
There is confusion about who exactly won the stage but for sure Evenepoel won the GC.
The little Cannibal has struck again.
Evenepoel has a superb time trial position and used it to set a superb time of 24:08.
This is the provisional GC.
|Pos.||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Deceuninck-Quickstep||0:24:08|
|1||Rohan Dennis (Aus) Team Ineos||0:24:17|
|2||Stefan Küng (Swi) Groupama-FDJ||0:00:09|
|3||Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe||0:00:28|
|4||Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno (Col) Astana Pro Team||0:00:28|
|5||Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Ineos||0:00:28|
|6||Patrick Bevin (NZl) CCC Team||0:00:28|
|7||Yves Lampaert (Bel) Deceuninck-Quickstep||0:00:36|
|8||Nils Politt (Ger) Israel Start-Up Nation||0:00:37|
|9||Mads Schmidt Würtz (Den) Israel Start-Up Nation||0:00:38|
This is the final top ten, confirming Evenepoel's dominance and victory.
#VAlgarve2020 - Final GC pic.twitter.com/FogGULjfrEFebruary 23, 2020
And the winner is... REMCO EVENEPOEL. Stage and Volta ao Algarve Cofidis! pic.twitter.com/7v0gylGNXoFebruary 23, 2020
Evenepoel spoke before the podium ceremony.
"I’m really happy, I knew it was just 20km full gas and I started quite fast and then I knew that in the hilly sections, on the down hills, that I had to recover well, so that’s what I did. I just went all out. The communication with the car was perfect, I knew every corner, every hole in the road. I’m very happy,"he said.
He dismissed a suggestion that he was already sending a message to his Giro d'Italia rivals.
"No, no, that’s not my goal. I’m only working hard for my own goals," he said.
"I’m working hard for a goal in two months time, I’m not in the best shape yet but I still have time, there's still a long way to go but I’m already happy with where I’m at now."
Evenepoel also brushed off a question about the Tokyo Olympic Games where he will target the time trial and also be part of the Belgian team in the road race.
"Tokyo is a long way to go. I said I wanted to come the Algarve. I did my very best and performed as well as possible. Next up is Tirreno-Adriatico and we'll see how we go there. It's about going step by step, race by race, then we'll see in the end what the seasons brings," he said.
To see our growing photo gallery, full report and results, click here.
#VAlgarve2020 has ended, but @EvenepoelRemco is still a busy man. pic.twitter.com/QDuXrT4fvXFebruary 23, 2020
To read our full stage report and see the growing photo gallery, click here.
We'll have more news and interviews from Daniel Ostanek at the Volta ao Algarve later today.
Fro news and interviews from the UAE Tour, the Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista Del Sol and theVuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista Del Sol on France, check out the Cyclingnews hompage.
We'll be back with more live coverage on Monday from the UAE Tour. Next week also sees the start of the Track World Championships, with Omloop Het Nieuwsblad Elite just six days away!
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