Rally Cycling continued its strong start to the 2017 season today with Adam de Vos claiming the blue leader’s jersey of the Mountain Classification at the Volta ao Algarve in Portugal. De Vos infiltrated the day’s breakaway before making his move on the only climb of the day - the category three Sitio da Picota. He grabbed maximum points, just of ahead of Christoph Pfingsten (Bora-Hansgrohe) with João Benta (RP - Boavista) in third. In addition to de Vos’s blue jersey, the team rode aggressively in the closing kilometers to set up Eric Young for the sprint finale. Young crossed the line in 21st place – not the result the team wanted, but respectable against the fastest sprinters in the world.
Adam de Vos drifts back to the peloton after scoring maximum points in the Mountains Classification
“I’m happy to start the Volta ao Algarve off in such an excellent manner and claim the KOM jersey on the first stage,” said de Vos. “It was one of the objectives today to get in the break and take the KOM points. Once I made the breakaway, it was just a matter of making sure to seal the deal. It was a hard battle on the climb with multiple attacks within the last kilometer. I managed to time my effort well, and come around Pfingsten in the last 75 meters.”
With the blue jersey secure, the team pulled de Vos back from the breakaway and focused on setting up Young and Colin Joyce for the finale. With 10 kilometers to go, the team moved to the front with Matteo Dal-Cin and Danny Pate stringing out the peloton. With the finish line closing in, the squads of Trek-Segafredo and Katusha drove the pace. In the closing kilometers, Young was near the front of the peloton. A few tight turns and roundabouts in the closing meters saw him drop back slightly as the sprint started. Despite not getting a clean run at the line, Young showed he has good form and has his sights set on the stage four finale into Tavira.
Colin Joyce was instrumental in keeping team sprinter Eric Young near the front during the final kilometers
“I was very proud of the guys today as we landed on the podium only two races into our Spring European campaign,” said Team Director Eric Wohlberg. “The commitment the team showed to each other is what Rally Cycling is all about. After the effort they put in today, we can sleep well no matter what the paper result might be.”
The Volta ao Algarve continues tomorrow with an 189-kilometer stage from Lagoa to Alto Da Fóia. With an uphill finish, it will be a critical stage for general classification riders Rob Britton, Matteo Dal-Cin, and Sepp Kuss. The trio will again have to be on form in stage three, an 18-kilometer time trial. The fourth stage provides an opportunity for the all around riders, or Young to again show his speed. The final stage ends with a brutal 2.8-kilometer ascent to Alto do Malháo. The final climb features an average gradient of over 8% and will be the perfect launch pad for Britton and Kuss to make a final assault on the general classification.
Volta ao Algarve Mountains Classification
1. Adam de Vos (Rally Cycling)
2. Christoph Pfingsten (Bora-Hansgrohe)
3. João Benta (RP - Boavista)