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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
View attachment 275573

This year's Volta kicks off on Valentine's Day.

198 riders will start out from Faro and hope to make the finish in Tavira on the fourth and final stage.

Among these teams, two stand out as prohibitive favorites:
Omega Pharma Quickstep and Vacansoleil-DCM.

OMQ sends Tony Martin, Sylvain Chavanel and Mark Cavendish while Vacans counters with Lieuwe Westra and Thomas De Gendt.

There is a great deal of time-trialing talent here which might lead one to believe that these teams believe that the fourth and final stage, an individual time trial, will decide the winner. Stage Two from Lagoa and back features the only real climbing of this contest and the only chance for someone like De Gendt to get away from the field and build a time cushion so he has something to give away when the TTers come out to play in Stage Four.

View attachment 275574
Profile of Stage Two


Stage: 1 - 14 February : Faro - Albufeira, 198.80 km

Stage: 2 - 15 February : Lagoa - Lagoa, 195.00 km

Stage: 3 - 16 February : Portimão - Alto do Malhão (Loulé), 193.00 km

Stage: 4 - 17 February : Castro Marim - Tavira ITT, 34.80 km

After his win in Qatar, Cav is definetly a hot prospect for this race, but should he seriously falter in the TT, Tony Martin is not a shabby back-up!

I tip 2011 winner Tony Martin to win again this year.

39ª VOLTA AO ALGARVE | 14 a 17 fevereiro 2013

2013 Volta ao Algarve Live Video, Route, Teams, Results, Photos, TV

Cavendish To Volta Ao Algarve With Winning Opportunities | Cyclingnews.com

Mark Cavendish to lead Omega Pharma-Quick Step in Volta ao Algarve
 

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Where's that GPS?
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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Stage One

Faro - Albufeira

Martens (Blanco) takes the first stage! Martens latched on to a surprize attack by Tiago Machado (RadioShack Leopard Trek) and then slingshot past him to win the bunchsprint with most of the peloton - including alll of the race luminaries - recieving the same time.

1) Paul Martens (Blanco Pro Cycling Team) 5:07:29

2) Tiago Machado (RadioShack Leopard Trek)

3) Theo Bos (Blanco Pro Cycling Team)

4) Giacomo Nizzolo (RadioShack Leopard Trek)

5) Thomas Sprengers (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise)

6) Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quick Step)

7) Tom Van Asbroeck (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise)

8) Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Movistar Team)

9) Alessandro Bazzana (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team)

10) Samuel José Rodrigues Caldeira (OFM-Quinta Da Lixa)

Just looking at the top-ten, Cavendish seems well placed at the moment. But riders like Machado, Bos and Costa are not to be taken lightly - especially with only three more stages to go. However, most of the peloton is in reality within striking distance of the leader's jersey and it is highly unlikely that Martens will be the man wearing it at the end of the second stage. While Cavendish's position looks favorable on paper, in reality this race is still wide-open.

Volta Ao Algarve 2013: Stage 1 Results | Cyclingnews.com
 

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It's good to see Theo Bos in the top five. The guy was a real talent on the velodrome. So long as he gets it together and can ride without ragdolling any competitors into barricades, he has potential to win some stages.
 

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Where's that GPS?
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It's good to see Theo Bos in the top five. The guy was a real talent on the velodrome. So long as he gets it together and can ride without ragdolling any competitors into barricades, he has potential to win some stages.
Agreed, Bos has potential - I don't think we have yet seen what he is capable of.
 

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Where's that GPS?
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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Stage Two

Lagoa to Lagoa

Speak of the Devil! Theo Bos (Blanco Pro Cycling Team) won Stage Two in a bunch sprint and takes over the lead by 4 seconds.

So this is your new top ten:

1) Theo Bos (Blanco Pro Cycling Team) 9:57:30

2) Paul Martens (Blanco Pro Cycling Team) 0:00:04

3) Giacomo Nizzolo (RadioShack Leopard Trek) 0:00:08

4) Tiago Machado (RadioShack Leopard Trek)

5) Hugo Sabido (La Aluminios-Antarte) 0:00:09

6) Eduard Vorganov (Katusha)

7) Bruno Matos Sancho (Carmim-Tavira) 0:00:10

8) Amets Txurruka (Caja Rural) 0:00:11

9) Sergio Miguel Moreira Paulinho (Team Saxo-Tinkoff) 0:00:12

10) Bertjan Lindeman (Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team)

But the time differences are miniscule to not say razor thin
- the men who make up the final podium may very well not be on the list above.
It is looking more and more like the final stage's time trial will decide this race.

Volta Ao Algarve 2013: Stage 2 Results | Cyclingnews.com

Danger Man: Amets Txurruka - I suspect he might have a little chip on his shoulder and feel like he has something to prove...
 

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Where's that GPS?
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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Stage Three - Results

Portimão - Alto do Malhão (Loulé)

1) Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Sky Procycling) 14:50:49
2) Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Movistar Team) 0:00:07
3) Tiago Machado (RadioShack Leopard Trek) 0:00:11
4) Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team)
5) Andreas Klöden (RadioShack Leopard Trek) 0:00:17

Volta Ao Algarve 2013: Stage 3 Results | Cyclingnews.com

Stage Four - the Time Trial - and probably the final podium reveal - awaits.

I'm tipping Lieuwe Westra to win the ITT and thus the race.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Stage Four - Final Results

Westra did well - finishing in third - but I obviously should have stuck to my initial tip for a winner.

Tony Martin (Omega Pharma - Quickstep) won the final stage and thus the Volta proving again that in a race that favors a Time Trailist, only a fool would bet against the World Champion and the WC Time Trail Team. Martin arrived in the finish almost a full minute ahead of Westra - leaving no doubt that Martin remains King of the TT.
 
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