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Volta ao Algarve stage 1 - Live coverage

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Hello and welcome to the Cyclingnews live coverage of stage 1 of the Volta ao Algarve. 

As the Cyclingnews blimp takes height over the Algarve, the stage is nearing the mid-way hills. 

The stage goes from Portimão to Lagos for a total of 199.1km of racing.

This is the map of this year's race.

110km remain. There is an early break of four riders but the sprinters' teams are keeping them under control.

The Belgian tractor Tim Declercq (QuickStep AlphaVinyl) is on the front, with compatriot Aimé De Gendt (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux) also helping with the chase.

The 4 lead by 1:40. They are being kept under control, to ensure the stage finishes in a sprint. 

The riders are starting the climbs, the Nave climb is the only categorised climb of the stage but there is a hilly 30km section.  

Barry Ryan is in the Algarve for Cyclingnews and set this shot of the start. 

The riders were happy to ride in the sun

(Image credit: Barry Ryan)

The break has extended their lead to 2:25 on the climb. 

Hugo Nunes of Rádio Popular-Paredes-Boavista has attacked from the break, no doubt to go for the mountain points and jersey. 

Alpecin-Fenix are also helping Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team and Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux in the chase of the break.

This is the early attack.

Despite Nunes' attack, it is João Matias (Tavfer-Mortágua-Ovos Matinados) who is first to the Naves climb. 

These are the four riders in the break: 

As the attackers fight for the KOM points, the peloton has let the gap grow to 3:30. 

It's good to see Kasper Asgreen back racing after being out of action with COVID-19. 

90km to go

Our photographers are in Algarve and have sent over some of their early shots. 

Tadej Pogačar and Remco Evenepoel have both left calling cards atop the Alto da Fóia on recent editions of the Volta ao Algarve, but only Remco Evenepoel had his victory immortalised in stone. 

“We went to climb to train and we went to the top,” Evenepoel said in a video released by his QuickStep-AlpaVinyl team on the eve of the Volta ao Algarve. 

To read Barry Ryan's full story on Remco Evenepoel, click below. 

The peloton is lead by the sprinter's team on the descent to the coast.  

The peloton is closing the gap. It's down to 1:50 now.

The final 70km will be a pursuit match, with the tension rising as the kilometres count down. 

There are some big-name riders in this year's race, including Tobias Foss of Jumbo-Visma. 

70km to go

Hugo Nunes (Rádio Popular-Paredes-Boavista) wins the intermediate sprint, as the riders in the break fight for the different jerseys that are up for grabs.

It's a real game of cat and mouse out on the roads of Algarve. 

These are the last winner in Lagos

As Barry Ryan pointed out in his full race preview, the Volta ao Algarve offers something for everything, and there are two clear opportunities for the sprinters. 

Bryan Coquard (Cofidis) and Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) have also both started 2022 with two wins and a sparkling run of form, and they will inevitably be in the mix this week. 

The breakaways are taking on a last bidon and last tactical advice. 

Here's Geraint Thomas on his season debut in Algarve.

This is the view of the peloton.

To read Barry Ryan's full Volta ao Algarve preview, click below. 

As the gap to the peloton falls below a minute, the QuickStep team are massing on the front. 

However Kristoff clearly fancies his chances.

50km to go

The riders are near Vila do Bispo, at the southern point of Portugal. 

In other news, Egan Bernal has spin his legs for the first time since his terrible accident. Click below for our full story. 

Crash! 

A touch of wheels in the peloton has sparked a big crash. 

Several riders went over the guardrail. 

The tension is high now as the winds blow from the right and teams form for the fast finish.

The acceleration in the peloton means the break is about to be caught.

Wow. Alpecin is driving the peloton, have they sensed there's a cross wind? There is some wind and the peloton has split after the crash but it's race on!  

35km to go

The big teams are trying to protect their leaders. 

Where are Ineos? Pidcock, Thomas and the others. 

Final de fuga. Pelotão compato! As they say in Portugal. 

QuickStep are up front to protect Jakobsen and Evenepoel. 

There are only 60 or so riders in the front group after the crash and split. 

30km to go

From the CN blimp we can see 3 Ineos riders.

A huge roundabout split the group and then puts them back together. 

The USA's Brandon McNulty is up there for UAE. 

In a second crash, Ben Tulett of Ineos goes down. 

The riders are on a rolling main road at the moment, sparking some surges and less control. 

25km to go

Nils Politt is trying to spark a split in the group but the other teams are just sitting on his wheel. 

We can see Tom Pidcock of Ineos in the front group. 

QuickStep have numerous riders up front, Bora and Trek too. 

The riders take a full turn, avoiding a parked car on the exit of the curve. 

Volta ao Algarve 2022 - 48th Edition - 1st stage Portimao - Lagos 199,1 km - 16/02/2022 - Scenery - Peloton - photo Peter De Voecht/PN/SprintCyclingAgency©2022

(Image credit: Roberto Bettini/SprintCyclingAgency)

Here's Tom Pidcock on his 2022 road race debut.   

The riders face a headwind as they climb through some vineyards.

There is also a gradual gradient. 

As the climb eases, the Wanty and Alpecin teams move up.  

The rolling roads have allowed some riders to get back to the front group. 

There's a final late climb with 2km to go. Will it be enough to some of the sprinters? 

One sprinter to watch could be Bryan Coquard of Cofidis. He has already won two hard sprint finishes. 

Barry Ryan spoke to Tom Pidcock before the stage to understand his early goals. 

Another big crash! 

Several riders went down and need mechanical help. 

10km to 

Indeed, QuickStep have taken over on the front. 

Evenepoel, Thomas and Pidcock are there. 

So are Gaudu, Intermarche for Kristoff and Alpecin for Merlier.

5km to go

Van Baarle and Martinez are there for Ineos.

QuickStep ease off the pace a little, knowing there is still 4km to go. 

But here come the other teams, so Evenepoel takes over with 2.5km to go. 

Remco lines them out and makes everyone hurt. 

There are even gaps in the line.

The speed must be up to 70km/h. Ouch. 

Trek's Baroncini tries a late attack!

Last Km!

Lampaert splits it even more. 

Jakobsen wins it!

He got a superb lead out from QuickStep and then he held off the other sprinters.

Kristoff got up there but then got squeezed along the barriers. 

While Kristoff clashed with Jordi Meeus of Bora but it cost both of them.
 

This is the stage result

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Fabio Jakobsen (Ned) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team 4:56:29
2Jordi Meeus (Bel) Bora-Hansgrohe
3Bryan Coquard (Fra) Cofidis
4Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
5Michele Gazzoli (Ita) Astana Qazaqstan Team
6Rui Oliveira (Por) UAE Team Emirates
7Bert Van Lerberghe (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team
8Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team
9Nils Politt (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
10Brandon McNulty (USA) UAE Team Emirates

Jakobsen has won 3 of the 6 races he has ridden in 2022. That's a great strike rate even for a world class sprinter.  

Jordi Meeus (Bora-Hansgrohe) took second, with Bryan Coquard (Cofidis) pipping Alexander Kristoff (Intermarché-Wanty Gobert) for third place.

This is the view from one of the late climbs. 

The crashes meant only 30 riders finished in the front group. 

Remco Evenepoel warmed-down on his TT bike after the race

(Image credit: Barry Ryan)

This is the first shot of Fabio Jakobsen's win in the Algarve.

"It's perfect. I think we controlled the race all day and I have to thank my teammates," Jakobsen said after his win. 

"I know this finish quite well, we did a training camp here and I won here twice before. 

The UCI are clamping down on bad behaviour in the sprint. They have quickly relegated  Jordi Meeus (Bora-Hansgrohe) from second place to  last in his group after he shoulder charged Kristoff in the final 100 metres.

 Meeus' relegation means Coquard is second on the stage, with Kristoff moving up to third. 

Alexander Kristoff spoke to Cyclingnews about how Meeus blocked his sprint. He wasn't happy. 

This shot captures Kristoff's anger at Meeus. 

Unfortunately the USA Joe Dombrowski crashed during the stage. He made it to the finish but climbed into an ambulance. 

Fabio Jakobsen was a lot happier. 

Thanks for joining our live coverage from the Volta ao Algarve. 

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