Skip to main content
Live coverage

Volta ao Algarve stage 2 - Live coverage


Hello there and welcome along for stage 2 of the Volta ao Algarve. After yesterday's bunch sprint intro, things heat up now with the first uphill finish on the Alto da Fóia, which has become a staple of the race. The stage 4 time trial might see the biggest time gaps but this is where the GC battle will start to take shape.

As we pick up the action, with 75km still to race, we have a breakaway of five riders with a small lead over the peloton. 

The break have just gone over the top of the third-category Pomba climb with a lead of 1:50 over the peloton.

The riders in the break are:

QuickStep-AlphaVinyl, who have the leader's jersey on the shoulders of Fabio Jakobsen but will want to try and transfer it to Remco Evenepoel, are pulling the peloton, despite being down a Tim Declercq, who has abandoned through illness. 

The past two winners on the Alto de Foia are both here: Ethan Hayter (Ineos Grenadiers) and Remco Evenepoel (QuickStep-AlphaVinyl). Evenepoel will certainly be to the fore once again today, while there's more of a question mark over Hayter, who's more of a fast finisher who can climb but who is in a team where Daniel Martínez has been earmarked as the GC leader.

57km remaining and we're on a rolling section beyond the top of the Pomba climb. Shortly we'll be descending down towards sea level before our final climbs.

It's not just the Foia - there's also the Picota, a cat-2 climb that's only separated from the Foia by a short descent. It's a slightly trickier route to the famous final climb, compared to previous editions.

A busy day of racing today. This one's a little later than the rest but we've already got stage winners at the Ruta del Sol and Setmana Ciclista Valenciana. Reports, results, photos for both at the links below. 

Crash. Riders down on a right-hand bend. Pidcock has gone down but an FDJ rider is looking worst affected.

Bryan Coquard is waiting for a bike change as the FDJ rider gets medical treatment as he lies in the grass down the verge. It's Lars van den Berg.

50km to go

The TV cameras cut to Cyclingnews' Barry Ryan speaking to Geraint Thomas at the start. You'll be able to read that story very shortly. 

The descent was interrupted by a short plateau but it's downhill again now, and that means the gaps are holding. 1:10 now between break and bunch. 

A couple of mini splits in the peloton as QuickStep set a strong tempo.

The road starts to flatten out and the peloton starts to bunch back up. Teams are getting organised, though, and Jumbo-Visma have formed a train on the right-hand side of the road.

The increased urgency in the bunch has slashed the break's lead to 40 seconds

The road kicks up and Cesar Martingil is dropped from the break. 

We've still got several kilometres to go before the final climbs but this is a nasty little drag and the break are down to 20 seconds. 

Things have bunched back up in the peloton

Jakobsen has dropped off the back of that bunch, after some deliberation with his team car. He and Bert Van Lerberghe have dropped, and Tim Declercq has gone home, leaving Kasper Asgreen, Yves Lampaert, and Louis Vervaeke to support Evenepoel.

As promised, here's our chat with Geraint Thomas. He talks about his ambitions here, his path to the Tour de France, and proving 'the doubters' wrong. 

Into the final 30km and the breakaway are almost done. They look around almost in unison and see the advancing peloton rounding the bend behind them. 

28.5km to go

Alpecin-Fenix take it up. They could be working for Jay Vine here - the Australian who won the Zwift thing a couple of years ago.

Groupama-FDJ and Arkea-Samsic are also prominent. They'll be working for David Gaudu and Warren Barguil, respectively. 

Pidcock is safely in this bunch by the way, and doesn't look to have been affected by his crash a little earlier.

UAE appear towards the front now. Their leader is Brandon McNulty, who has started the season in great form and is a big contender in a race with such a long time trial. 

23.5km to go

Alpecin-Fenix take control on the gentle early gradients.

Attack! A Euskaltel-Euskadi rider pings off the front. The lads in orange (and what a kit that is by the way) have been a welcome attacking presence in this early season so far. 

It's Unai Iribar for the Basque squad.

More attacks behind now. Barguil is on the move!

Speaking of fashion, Barguil's favourite blue shoes are class. He's joined by a rider from the local Atum Tavira team.

They reach Iribar but don't seem to be getting organised.

Weird. Barguil sits up, as does Iribar, who was in the day's breakaway earlier.

The Atum-Tavira rider decides to press on with it, and he's just dangling out there at the moment.

It's a pretty sedate pace in the bunch at the moment. Sprinters like Coquard and Kristoff are dropped but it's still a very big group. 

It's Delio Fernandez for Atum General-Tavira-Maria Nova Hotel team - to give them their full name.  The 36-year-old Spaniard used to ride for Delko and also the W52 team and has enjoyed success on Portuguese soil before.

19.5km to go

Ineos put six on the front and now they're taking it up.

It's Thomas who's doing the pace-setting for Ineos here.

Thomas, Tulett, Martinez, Van Baarle, Hayter, Pidcock - that's the Ineos order at the moment. 

Jumbo-Visma have also moved up, with Robert Gesink piloting Tobias Foss.

Ineos crest a mini lip but it's a false summit, and there are still a few kilometres of the Picota climb to come. 

Thomas pulls off and now 20-year-old Tulett takes it up for Ineos 

Castroviejo has moved up and slotted in towards the back of the Ineos train, so they still have six riders on the front.

2km from the top of the Picota now. Still a large bunch but Ineos have started to thin it out. 

Stefan Kung muscles his way to the front and takes over from Tulett.

Tulett pulls aside with a kilometre still to go to the top of the Picota. And now Castroviejo takes it up for Ineos. 

14.5km to go

We still have around 40 riders in the peloton as they take on a short twisting descent before the Alto da Foia.

This is what our final climb looks like. It's 7.5km at an average gradient of 6.2 per cent.

Castroviejo continues to lead on a plateau-pedalling section of this descent before the final dip down onto the road that leads up to the Alto da Foia. 

The riders enter the town of Monchique and it's about to kick off!

7.5km to go

Castroviejo leads the way, with Hayter and Van Baarle in the wheel, Martinez and Pidcock still tucked in. 

It's splitting already on these early gradients, which are the stiffest of the whole climb. 10 riders are chopped off the back!

Pidcock is looking really fresh. Martinez has been named as a leader for Ineos but can the cyclo-cross world champion pull something off today?

A big whittling down process here. 

Evenepoel has one teammate left -  Vervaeke - and they're tucked in behind Ineos.

Castroviejo swings aside and that leaves Hayter on the front.

Hang on. A brief plateau and Castroviejo nips forward again.

Van Baarle attacks!

An odd one as Ineos sort of let the wheel go and slip the big Dutchman away by stealth. A good move, as Vervaeke has to close it for Evenepoel.

Vervaeke takes it up now, followed by Foss. 

Gaudu moves up and he still has the big rouleur King by his side.

Vervaeke continues his charge, and Hayter has now slipped down the group.

Martinez pulls out of the line! The Colombian was supposed to be an Ineos leader but looks in trouble. Van Baarle and Pidcock still up towards the front.

Martinez might not be in trouble after all. He slots back in the line behind Evenepoel. 

Still 25 in this group and a few rouleurs, too. It hasn't thinned out for a while so this is a strong but not infernal pace from Vervaeke.

Higuita is poised mid-pack for Bora.

3km to go

Trek moves up with three riders on the right. 

Vervaeke pulls aside!

A moment of hesitation as they look around to see who'll take it up in the QuickStep rider's absence. Trek come to the fore.

2km to go

This is now looking more like an uphill sprint from a sizeable group... Will anyone attack early?

Kung has Gaudu in his wheel and they're climbing into the mist.

No one has been dropped from this group for a long time. Connor Swift is still on the back.

McNulty looks super comfortable behind Evenepoel, who also looks super comfortable.

1km to go

The local team rider is away and has a gap!

Ineos are forced to take it up again

Van Baarle setting pace now. Pidcock and Hayter behind him. Either could win this.

Van Baarle ramps it up and the attacker is about to be caught.

Here we go! This is the leadout. Martinez takes it up

300 metres to go and an Astana rider punches through.

But there's Foss coming around


Foss and Higuita crash. Gaudu wins

Wow. A strange climb and a bizarre final 100 metres. Higuita was going around on the left and bumped shoulders with Foss. It looked like they held it upright but both came down hard on their shoulders. They walk across the line and talk it over.

Meanwhile, Gaudu takes his first win of 2022

It was Battistella who went early for Astana. Foss went after him as Hayer faded. Then Higuita goes up with speed on the left but collides with Foss. Gaudu was behind Foss and sails through to claim the win, although to give him his due, he looked to be moving up with considerable speed and won by a distance.

MONCHIQUE PORTUGAL FEBRUARY 17 David Gaudu of France and Team Groupama FDJ celebrates at finish line as stage winner during the 48th Volta Ao Algarve 2022 Stage 2 a 1824km stage from Albufeira to Alto Da Foia Monchique 890m VAlgarve2022 on February 17 2022 in Monchique Portugal Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Thank you for reading 5 articles in the past 30 days*

Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read any 5 articles for free in each 30-day period, this automatically resets

After your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59

Join now for unlimited access

Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Latest on Cyclingnews