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Volta ao Algarve em Bicicleta 2018: Stage 3

Today we have a rolling 20.3km individual time trial on offer. Times are all so close on GC that we may well see a change today.

Here is where we stand at the moment, our top five:

Finish line - 20,3 km

1 Victor Campenaerts (Lotto Soudal), 24m20s

2 Chad Haga (Team Sunweb), 25m00s

3 Ryan Mullen (Trek-Segafredo), 25m30s 

4 Jan Polanc (UAE Team Emirates), 25m50s

5 Mathias Brändle (Trek-Segafredo), 26m05s

Stefan Kung (BMC) has now put in a new second-best time, of 20:28. 

 

Campanaerts' good performance is of course no surprise. He is the current European ITT champion. 

 

Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) finished second yesterday at the mountain finish. And he is satisfied with that. 

 

#VAlgarve2018 Word from the ground is that @ryanmullen9 punctured 1.5kms into his TT and he still managed a decen… https://t.co/OAtvzld7zJ

@TrekSegafredo Fri, 16th Feb 2018 15:22:14

As it stands now:

Finish line - 20,3 km

1 Victor Campenaerts (Lotto Soudal), 24m20s

2 Stefan Küng (BMC Racing Team), 24m28s

3 Chad Haga (Team Sunweb), 25m00s

4 Yves Lampaert (Quick-Step Floors), 25m28s

5 Ryan Mullen (Trek-Segafredo), 25m30s

Our top five in GCj coming into this stage are all on the same time:

1 Geraint Thomas (Sky)

2 Jaime Roson (Movistar)

3 Michal Kwiatkowski (Sky)

4 Daniel Martin (UAE Team Emirates)

5 Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo)

Did we say this is a rolling course There are some pretty steep (but short) climbs along the way.

 

Our race preview says: Stage 3 will see the time trial specialists come to the fore with a 20.3-kilometre test starting and finishing in Lagoa. The parcours is rarely flat and will suit powerful riders who can turn heavy gears. Last year Jonathan Castroviejo surged to victory, and although the Spaniard is missing this year, there are plenty of riders capable of filling his shoes. Tony Martin and Kwiatkowski both finished within five seconds of the stage winner in 2017, while Porte, Jungels, Ryan Mullen, Victor Campenaerts (Lotto Soudal), and former race winner Thomas will all be in the hunt.

You can read the whole preview here. 

Lukasz Wizniowski (Sky) has now put in the third best time, 25:00.

 

And now Jose Concalves (Katusha -Alpecin) has moved into fifth place with a time of 25:18.

 

Over in the Ruta del Sol, Sascha Modolo won the sprint today.  Unlike Stage 1, when he thought he had won.

 

Tony Martin (Katusha-Alpecin) is on the course now. The four-time world ITT champion has had a hard time of it lately. Last year his only win was the German national title.

 

Good times and top finishes for Arnaud Demare (FDJ) and Simon Geschke (Sunweb), but we need to doublecheck those times.....

 

Martin has caught and passed the man who started before him. 

 

The usual incredibly scenery here. The cliffs down to the sea are breathtaking.

 

An updated ranking:

Finish line - 20,3 km

1 Victor Campenaerts (Lotto Soudal), 24m20s

2 Stefan Küng (BMC Racing Team), 24m28s

3Lukasz Wisniowski (Team Sky), 25m00s

4 Chad Haga (Team Sunweb), 25m00s

5 Simon Geschke (Team Sunweb), 25m08s

6 Arnaud Démare (FDJ), 25m11s

7 José Gonçalves (Team Katusha Alpecin), 25m18s

8 Jasha Sutterlin (Movistar Team), 25m21s

9 Owain Doull (Team Sky), 25m26s

10 Yves Lampaert (Quick-Step Floors), 25m28s

Martin will be approaching the finish line soon.

 

Martin and a race moto just came a bit closer to one another than anyone would have liked..... fortunately nothing happened.

 

Martin now catches and passes yet another rider, within the final km.

 

Only the third place for Martin.

Sky's Kiryienka is on the road now.

 

Best times so far: 

Finish line - 20,3 km

1 Victor Campenaerts (Lotto Soudal), 24m20s

2 Stefan Küng (BMC Racing Team), 24m28s

3 Tony Martin (Team Katusha Alpecin), 24m36s

4 Lukasz Wisniowski (Team Sky), 25m00s

5 Chad Haga (Team Sunweb), 25m00s  

6 Simon Geschke (Team Sunweb), 25m08s

7 Arnaud Démare (FDJ), 25m11s

8 Lennard Kämna (Team Sunweb), 25m16s

9 José Gonçalves (Team Katusha Alpecin), 25m18s

10 Jasha Sutterlin (Movistar Team), 25m21s

#VAlgarve2018 @BaukeMollema goes through his TT warmup routine on the @CycleOps Hammer. He's the 2nd to last… https://t.co/SpMq50Oaw0

@TrekSegafredo Fri, 16th Feb 2018 16:17:41

Kiryienka only sixth at the first intermediate time check at 7.2km 

 

First ITT of the season for former U23 Worlds runner-up @MaxSchachmann. Can't tell you how glad we are to have this… https://t.co/fHjeMItCEc

@quickstepteam Fri, 16th Feb 2018 16:22:37

Kiryienka overtakes another rider.

 

Tejay van Garderen has started, and now Richie Porte takes to the road. 

 

Dan Martin is now underway. Only three more riders to go!

 

Fifth best time for Kiryienka. 

 

A good second intermediate time for Nelson Oliveira, who passes the rider who started before him.

 

Third best time at the finish for Oliveira.

 

Best time by one second at the first intermediate time check for Geraint Thomas!

 

So far he's rippin' up the course! ⏱ 3rd fastest time at the first intermediate split. Gooooo Bauke!!!!

Van Garderen with the fifth best time at the finish.

 

Kwiatkowski passes Dan Martin! 

 

Best young rider Sam Oomen (Sunweb) finishes 29th. Not bad considering he is having knee problems. 

 

Not the best TT from Porte, who finishes a good minute down.

 

Sixth place at the finish for Bob Jungels. 

 

Thomas is really put in a fast and steady performance here, and we expect him to take the win.

 

Mollema finishes as 11th, with several top riders still to come.

 

A good finish for Kwiatkowski, currently third.

 

Deinitely not good for Dan Martin, who is 45th.

 

Campanaerts has held the lead for nearly three hours -- but looks like he will olny be second.

 

24:09.14 -- that is the winning time put in by Geraint Thomas, who successfully defends his overall lead.

 

Quite the performance by Sky today, with four riders in the top ten!

 

The top ten in today's stage: 

1 Geraint Thomas 0:24:09

2 Victor Campenaerts (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:24:20

3 Stefan Küng (Swi) BMC Racing Team 0:24:28

4 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky 0:24:31

5 Nelson Oliveira (Por) Movistar Team 0:24:32

6 Tony Martin (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin 0:24:36

7 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:24:57

8 Bob Jungels 0:24:58

9 Vasil Kiryienka (Blr) Team Sky 0:24:59

10 Lukasz Wisniowski (Pol) Team Sky 0:25:00

A long afternoon in the hot seat for Campanaerts, only to see the win snatched away at the last second. That is tough!

 

TT WIN! @GeraintThomas86 wins Stage 3 of the #VAlgarve18 by 11 seconds! https://t.co/uhsuvSTDV6

@TeamSky Fri, 16th Feb 2018 17:09:08

Thomas has come close to the win here before, "so it’s nice to get a win. Like I said yesterday, I just didn’t expect it. First race of the year you’re never quite sure, but I’ve done some decent work. It all seemed to click today, I tried to start strong and hold on and luckily I did."

How does Thomas see the rest of the race? "It’s tough and like I say, five hard days of racing in the early season, you never know. Your body can react in strange ways, I’m going to take nothing for granted but for sure we’ll try and keep it now. I’ll have to have a look to see what the time gaps are there are a lot of strong climbers here so as I said, we can’t take anything for granted."

General classification after stage 3 1

Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 10:01:58

2 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky 0:00:22

3 Nelson Oliveira (Por) Movistar Team 0:00:32

4 Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors 0:00:52

5 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:00:53

6 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo 0:01:01

7 Jaime Roson (Spa) Movistar Team 0:01:18

8 Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) Quick-Step Floors 0:01:19

9 Felix Grossschartner (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:01:20

10 Vasil Kiryienka (Blr) Team Sky 0:01:24

As expected, a number of changes in the GC after this ITT, which seems to have proved more difficult than expected. Tomorrow we have a sprint stage and then things end up Sunday with more climbing.

 

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