The old adage “success breeds success” continues to hold up at the Volta a Portugal, as Ben King sprinted to second place on stage 7, only one day removed from his first win in Rally Cycling colors. As part of the day’s breakaway alongside teammate Gavin Mannion, King won the final sprint behind solo stage winner and new race leader Rafael Reis (Efapel).
“Back-to-back stage wins would have been amazing but I’m happy with second,” said King. “After the effort I put in yesterday, I thought I might just be surviving today. I suffered a lot early but I got better as the pace settled down and the temperatures rose.”
Reis attacked late in the stage and built his advantage through the small roads and descents, staying clear by 16 seconds. With Reis away, King gambled that the other teams with numbers would get organized.
“I was counting on the other guys with teammates to bring it back,” added King. “It was frustrating but at the same time I played my hand and was happy with my sprint for second.”
Early in the stage, the team was hit with some bad luck as Keegan Swirbul crashed and was forced to withdraw. Swirbul battled through illness earlier this season and was beginning to see progress with a well-earned 12th place on stage 5 from the breakaway.
— Keegan Swirbul (@KeggaG) August 12, 2021
The peloton now heads to the mountaintop finish in Montalegre on Thursday for stage 8. After numerous breakaways have seen success in this year’s race, expect the overall GC riders to take control and fight it out for top honors. Watch all the action from the remaining stages live on RTP.
Stage 7 results
1 REIS Rafael Efapel 4:35:30
2 KING Ben Rally Cycling 0:16
3 LOPEZ Diego Equipo Kern Pharma ”
4 SILVA Joaquim Tavfer-Measindot-Mortágua ”
5 MORENO Adrià Burgos-BH ”
6 BUSTAMANTE Adrián Kelly / Simoldes / UDO ”
7 LOPES Pedro Miguel Kelly / Simoldes / UDO ”
8 MORENO Javier Efapel ”
9 MEIRELES Nuno Louletano – Loulé Concelho ”
10 GARCÍA DE MATEOS Vicente Antarte – Feirense ”
Current points standings
1 REIS Rafael Efapel 118
2 KING Ben Rally Cycling 78
3 GOMES Luis Kelly / Simoldes / UDO 74
4 MURPHY Kyle Rally Cycling 45
5 BRANDÃO Joni W52 / FC Porto 45