«Best Tour to the Algarve ever» has Nibali, Rui Costa, Kwiatkowski and Thomas

Race was presented this Tuesday, February 4th, at the building of the Algarve Tourism Region, in Faro

The 46th Volta ao Algarve will be on the road from the 19th to the 23rd of February with «the best peloton ever». Cyclists such as Vicenzo Nibali, Rui Costa, Michal Kwiatkowski, Geraint Thomas and André Greipel are already confirmed at an event that will, for the first time, be broadcast on television in Latin America. 

The race, presented this Tuesday, February 4th, at the building of the Algarve Tourism Region, in Faro, was promoted to the UCI ProSeries category and will feature 175 runners, from 25 teams, 12 of them from WorldTour: the league of world cycling champions.

Five sets are ProTeam (Alpecin-Fenix, Caja Rural-Seguros, Circus-Wanty Gobert, Fundación-Orbea and Uno-X Norwegian Development Team), while eight places are also reserved for Portuguese continental teams (Tuna General-Tavira-Maria Nova Hotel, Aviludo-Louletano, Efapel, Kelly-InOut-Build, LA Alumínios-LA Sport, Miranda-Mortágua, Rádio Popular-Boavista and W52-FC Porto).

In the year of the Olympic Games, the following Olympic road champions will be in the race: Greg van Avermaet (CCC Team), Elia Viviana (Cofidis).

Also present will be Rohan Dennis (Team INEOS), time trial world champion, Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix), cyclocross world champion, Mikkel Bjerg (UAE Team Emirates), three-time under-23 time trial world champion, and Roger Kluge (Trek-Segafredo), Madison World Champion – Track Cycling.

The big names, this year, are a real constant in the Algarve squad.

 

Michal Kwiatkowski celebrating his victory in the stage and in the Tour – photo: Nelson Inácio|Sul Informação

 

Cyclists such as Vicenzo Nibali, who has already won the Tour de France, Vuelta (Spain) and Giro (Italy), Michal Kwiatkowski (Team INEOS), who has already been world champion and winner of the Tour de France, and the Portuguese Rui Costa (Team Emirates) world champion and winner of events such as the Tour to Switzerland and stages in the Tour, will also be present.

These are joined by Geraint Thomas (INEOS), former Tour de France winner, Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo), Daniel Martin (Israel Start-up Nation), sprinter André Greipel, from the same team as Martin, and Philippe Gilbert (Lotto Soudal).

This year, the Algarvian route will be a little different. The traditional arrival at Malhão will not end the race, which will end, instead, with a time trial in Lagoa.

To the journalists, Delmino Pereira, president of the Portuguese Cycling Federation, explained that this «was an option of a sporting nature, but it is also related to the fact that it is Carnival Sunday, in a city like Loulé, we had to make a deal».

“The race, in general terms, has changed so that the event remains interesting. This is a very balanced sporting event that allows any athlete to see it as an opportunity. Associating its name with the history of Volta ao Algarve also brings prestige», he defended.

 

 

For the president of the Portuguese Cycling Federation, «this is no longer a test for training and has become a race to win», he also guaranteed.

«We have here a group of young athletes who are the great figures in the world today, with others with immense status. We have runners to win stages, to sprint, to win time trials. I would say that it will really be the platoon of all times», he added.

The 46th Volta ao Algarve will have five stages and a total of 771,4 kilometres. It starts with a connection of 195,6 kilometers, between Portimão and Lagos, with an expected arrival to the sprint. The second draw links Sagres to the top of Fóia, in Monchique, over 183,9 kilometers, and it is expected that this will be the first confrontation between the candidates for the final yellow jersey.

Sprinters have another opportunity in the third stage, the longest in the competition, 201,9 kilometers, between Faro and Tavira.

On the fourth day, the platoon leaves Albufeira to reach the top of Malhão, in Loulé, after covering 169,7 kilometers. The race ends with the call proof of the truth, an individual time trial of 20,3 kilometers, starting and ending in Lagoa.

Volta ao Algarve is once again broadcast on television, something seen as essential for João Fernandes, president of the Tourism Region.

 

 

«This is a proof of promotion of the region with a visibility that makes us continue this bet. Last year, we reached more than 100 countries and 150 million homes, showing our fabulous destiny. In structuring tourism promotion, the cycling it has an important role and has been a factor in the diversification of the offer», he defended.

This year, the event will be broadcast live to 83 countries. All of Europe will be covered by the Eurosport broadcast, but this time, there is the news that Norway will also be able to see the race on open channel, through TV2.

A algarvia it will also be shown in Australia, Asia and, for the first time, in Latin America, through Claro Sports.

In terms of side events, there will be the “Cycling Goes to School”. The activities will take place at the start of the first three stages, in Portimão, Sagres and Faro. Albufeira, where the fourth stage will start, will host the Family Walk.

Lagoa, in turn, will receive the Algarve Granfondo Cofidis. Registration is still open and there are two routes available to participants, one with 121 and the other with 78,7 kilometers.

 

Photos: Pedro Lemos | Sul Informação

 

 

Route:

19th of February – 1st Stage: Portimão – Lagos, 195,6 km

February 20th: – 2nd Stage: Sagres – Fóia (Monchique), 183,9 km

February 21st – 3rd Stage: Faro – Tavira, 201,9 km

22nd February – 4th Stage: Albufeira – Malhão (Loulé), 169,7 km

February 23 – 5th Stage: Lagoa – Lagoa, 20,3 km (CRI)

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