The Algarve is back with the best in the world and many tourists in tow

On the roads of the whole Algarve, one of the best pelotons in the world will pass, delighting Portuguese and foreign fans

Photos: Elisabete Rodrigues | Sul Informação

«There are more and more people who are dedicated or interested in cycling, for leisure and beyond, and who have economic power», guaranteed today João Fernandes, president of the Algarve Tourism Region (RTA), at the presentation of this year's edition of Return to the Algarve.

In addition to the sporting aspects – the algarvia will bring to the region, from the 15th to the 19th of February, some of the biggest names in the sport in the world -, the director of the RTA underlined the importance of this competition to encourage sports tourism, especially in the low season.

A Granfondo race, which accompanies the main competition and is aimed at tourists, visitors and local practitioners of the sport, already has «750 registrations, but we are going to reach 1000», guaranteed João Fernandes.

And there are more and more tourists visiting the region at this time of year because of the algarvia, there are even «travel agencies making packages that include the Volta».

«Sports tourism must be boosted [in the Algarve], because sun and beach tourism has already given what it had to give», considered, in turn, Isilda Gomes, mayor of Portimão.

She was the hostess of the official presentation of the Volta ao Algarve, which took place this Thursday morning in the renovated building of Antiga Lota de Portimão, on the riverside, and ended up being the target of a good-humored joke by her peers. Isilda Gomes was wearing a pink jacket, the color of the Giro de Italia winner's jersey, which will actually be in the Algarve race.


Photos: Elisabete Rodrigues | Sul Informação


Delmino Pereira, president of the Cycling Federation of Portugal, which organizes the race, stressed that «cycling is the modality that most promotes the territory», meeting current issues, because it has «ecological and sustainability concerns».

«The Algarve has to be discovered as a sports tourism destination. The Volta ao Algarve already makes its contribution, but then the business has to be organized», added Delmino Pereira.

Moreover, because lovers of the sport prefer the low season: «a tourist, with 40 degrees, will not ride a bike, but with 10, 15 degrees, he loves it!», he guaranteed.

One of the ways of «activating the sports tourism business» is to promote the Granfondo race, which, in the opinion of the President of the Federation, is capable of attracting «2000, 3000 participants».

And from a sporting point of view, what is, after all, the raison d'être of this Volta ao Algarve? Delmino Pereira considers that João Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) and Rui Costa (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty), the two most successful Portuguese cyclists of the last decade, are «the greatest national hope».

In a competition where many of the world's great names participate, but also many young values ​​that later assert themselves, Custódio Moreno, regional director of the Portuguese Institute of Youth and Sports, the entity that sponsors the White Youth Jersey, said: «who wins this Volta risks becoming a great champion».


Photos: Elisabete Rodrigues | Sul Informação


At the presentation, in Portimão, of what is the only Portuguese race on the UCI ProSeries circuit, the names of the 174 pre-registered cyclists became known.

In this Tour, in which 12 of the 18 WorldTour teams participate, including the top seven in the 2022 international ranking, the composition of each team only confirmed the quality of the peloton.

There will be 20 riders from the world's top 100, winners of big rounds and monuments of cycling, world, European and Olympic champions in title.

It will therefore be a golden opportunity for Portuguese fans – and for all those who come to the Algarve, on purpose, at this time of year – to see some planetary stars up close. But it will also be an opportunity for Portuguese teams to compete at the highest level.

João Almeida and Rui Costa are named as the two Portuguese with the best conditions to fight for the final yellow jersey. But Delmino Pereira, speaking to journalists, stressed that the Portuguese teams that also participate have been «preparing to race with the best», in order to repeat last year's brilliance.

The pair of Portuguese cyclists will have strong competition. First of all, two riders who climbed to the podium of great laps in 2022, such as the Australian Jai Hindley (BORA-hansgrohe), winner of the Giro d'Italia, and Geraint Thomas (INEOS Grenadiers), third in the Tour de France.


Remco Evenepoel, on the Volta ao Algarve 2022 – Photo: Nelson Inácio | Sul Informação


Among other legitimate candidates to succeed Remco Evenepoel (winner of the algarvia last year), are Michal Kwiatkowski (INEOS Grenadiers), winner of the Volta ao Algarve in his last participation, in 2018, or his teammates Daniel Martínez, third in the Algarve in 2022, and Thymen Arensman, sixth in the Vuelta of the year past.

There is also Sergio Higuita (BORA-hansgrohe), winner of Malhão in 2022, Gijs Leemreize and Sam Oomen (Jumbo-Visma), Mark Padun (EF Education Easy Post) or Jay Vine (UAE Team Emirates), who started this very strong season, becoming Australian time trial champion and winning the Tour Down Under overall.

The arrivals to the sprint – in Lagos and Tavira – should be the scene of exciting disputes between the European long-distance champion, Fabio Jakobsen (Soudal Quick-Step), Alexander Krsitoff (UNO-S Pro Cycling Team), Jordi Meeus (BORA-hansgrohe ), Hugo Hofstetter (Team Arkéa-Samsic), Jake Stewart (Groupama-FDJ), Mike Teunissen (Jumbo-Visma), John Degenkolb (Team DSM), Iúri Leitão (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) or Rui Oliveira (UAE Team Emirates ).

The race ends with an individual time trial of 24,4 kilometers, in Lagoa, longer than usual. José Carlos Gomes explained, in the presentation, that this year the winners of the stages will be rewarded with 10 seconds and those of the flying targets with 8 seconds. Everything to "make the race more uncertain and more exciting". Now, to compensate for this, the CRI becomes longer. At the bottom, he added, there are stages for all types of cyclists: sprinters, climbers and time trialists.

For CRI, the best in the world will be in the Algarve. Firstly, the reigning world champion and European champion, Tobias Foss (Jumbo-Visma) and Stefan Bissegger (EF Education Easy Post), respectively, but also the world and European runner-up Stefan Küng (Goupama-FDJ), who was champion of Europe in 2020 and 2021, as well as the 20 and 21 world champion and current hour world record holder, Filippo Ganna (INEOS Grenadiers).

In addition to the renowned names, this year's Volta ao Algarve edition has a very interesting group of young runners, looking to assert themselves in the elite, after having already left their mark in the youth categories and in smaller events.

Riders such as Dries de Pooter and Madis Mihkels (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty), Mick van Dijke and Tim van Dijke (Jumbo-Visma), Ilan van Wilder (Soudal Quick Step), Casper van Uden, Oscar Onley and Kevin Vermaerke (Team DSM), Filippo Baroncini, Natnael Tesfatsion and Mathias Vacek (Trek-Segafredo), Soren Waerenskjold and Tobias Halland Johannessen (UNO-X Pro Cycling Team).

It will also be interesting to follow the performance of the Portuguese teams that, in 2022, were protagonists. João Matias (Tavfer-Ovos Matinados-Mortágua) surprised the climbers and won the mountain classification. Frederico Figueiredo (Glassdrive-Q8-Anicolor) was with the best in the two finishes at the top, and Vicente García de Mateos (Aviludo-Louletano-Loulé Concelho) was the best of the Portuguese teams in the general final, in 19th place.

What will be the performance this year of cyclists from Portuguese teams in general and from the Algarve in particular? It is something that will be seen from the 15th to the 19th of February.


Photos: Elisabete Rodrigues | Sul Informação




15th of February – 1st Stage: Portimão – Lagos, 200,2 km

February 16 – 2nd Stage: Sagres – Alto da Fóia, 189,4 km

February 17th – 3th Stage: Faro – Tavira, 203,1 km

February 18 – 4th Stage: Albufeira – Alto do Malhão, 177,9 km

19 February – 5th Stage: Lagoa – Lagoa, 24,4 km (individual time trial)


Participating Teams


Alpecin Deceuninck (BEL)

BORA-hansgrohe (GER)

EF Education-EasyPost (US)

Groupama-FDJ (FRA)

INEOS Grenadiers (GBR)

Intermarché-Circus-Wanty (BEL)

Jumbo-Visma (NED)

Soudal Quick-Step (BEL)

Team Arkéa-Samsic (FRA)

Team DSM (NED)

Trek-Segafredo (USA)

UAE Team Emirates (UAE)


Caja Rural-Seguros RGA (ESP)

Human Powered Health (USA)

Tudor Pro Cycling Team (SUI)

Uno-X Pro Cycling Team (NOR)


ABTF Betão-Feirense (POR)

AP Hotels & Resorts-Tavira-SC Farense (POR)

Aviludo-Louletano-Loulé Municipality (POR)

Credibom-LA Alumínios-Marcos Car (POR)

Efapel Cycling (POR)

Glassdrive-Q8-Anicolor (ENG)

Kelly-Simoldes-UDO (POR)

Popular Radio-Paredes-Boavista (POR)

Tavfer-Ovos Matinados-Mortágua (POR)



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