The team’s breakthrough success at the Volta a Portugal continued on Wednesday with Ben King claiming a solo victory on stage 6. As part of an 11-rider breakaway that gained nearly 10 minutes on the peloton, King launched his bid for victory inside the final 20km of racing, narrowly holding off Alastair Mackellar (Israel Cycling Academy) and Tom Wirtgen ( Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB).
“Winning today validates what I’m doing,” said King. “The only thing I was thinking about was my wife, Jenna, and baby Luca who just arrived in Europe. I wanted my boy to see daddy win.”
King recorded his first win since doubling up at the 2018 Vuelta a España, building on the momentum of Kyle Murphy’s stage 2 win in Portugal earlier in the week.
“The vibes within the team have been excellent,” added King. “We have the talent and we have the work ethic but we had to grind through the early season to get to this point. Since nationals, you can feel that things are beginning to click. It feels good and winning is infectious.”
With the stage win on the line, the breakaway became disorganized in the final hour of racing. King threw out a few attacks to test his rvials but finally broke clear.
“I never wanted to be on the back foot and attacked four times in the last 40 kilometers. I think it helped soften up some of the riders. Attacks kept flying and I countered one and got a gap. They chased hard which meant I had to suffer all the way to the line. Man, our ARs from Felt are so fast.”
The peloton heads into the big mountains on Thursday but with tame gradients and an expected gridlock on GC, expect the breakaway to have its day yet again. Watch all the remaining stages live on RTP.
Stage 6 results
1 KING Ben Rally Cycling 4:22:00
2 MACKELLAR Alastair Israel Cycling Academy 0:09
3 WIRTGEN Tom Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB 0:15
4 ALBA Juan Diego Movistar Team 0:20
5 SILVA Bruno Antarte – Feirense 0:24
6 CAMPOS Roniel Louletano – Loulé Concelho 0:45
7 HOLLYMAN Mason Israel Cycling Academy 1:19
8 PAULINHO Pedro Tavfer-Measindot-Mortágua 1 1:26
9 GONÇALVES Hélder Kelly / Simoldes / UDO 1:27
10 SCHEULEN Marvin L.A. Aluminios / L.A. Sport 1:45