photo credit @ Lotto Soudal
André Greipel (Lotto Soudal) claimed the fifth and final stage of this year’s Volta ao Algarve today, after winning a five-man sprint in Vilamoura ahead of Tom van Asbroeck (Lotto NL-Jumbo) and Rudiger Selig (Katusha), who moved up into third place after race officials relegated Raymond Kreder (Team Roompot).
Meanwhile, Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) finished safety in the main peloton to secure the overall victory by 27 seconds over world champion Michal Kwiatkowski (Etixx-QuickStep), and 1:11 over third place finisher – Tiago Machado (Team Katusha).
Today’s 178 kilometer stage from Almodovar to Vilamoura, saw a breakaway group containing Pawel Bernas (ActiveJet), Diego Rubio (Efapel) and Imanol Estevez (Murias Taldea), followed by Heiner Parra (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), get underway within the first 6 kilometers of racing.
From there, Bernas succeeded in grabbing all of the intermediate sprint points in Almodovar ahead of Estevez and Rubio.
The quartet subsequently made their way over the day’s primary climb, with Estevez picking up the mountain points.
However, at that point their advantage over the peloton had been greatly reduced. And,, as the field made its way over the climb, followed by a fierce effort along the descent, the race was brought back together.
From there, another breakaway group consisting of Bernas, Luis Mas (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) and Beñat Txoperena (Murias Taldea) emerged, with Bernas picking up his second set of intermediate sprint points in Ferreiras.
The escapees were soon joined by Micael Isidoro (Louletano-Ray Just Energy), David de la Fuente (Efapel), and later, Adriano Malori and Jonathan Castroviejo (Movistar), who managed to bridge themselves across the slight 48 second gap.
However, given their modest advantage over the peloton, it was just a matter of time before they were reeled in – as the race reached Vilamoura.
From there, Greipel capitalized on the efforts of his Lotto Soudal teammates during the final kilometers to take his first win of the season.
photo credit @ Volta ao Algarve
1.º André Greipel (Lotto Soudal), 4h15m40s (Média: 43,392 km/h)
2.º Tom van Asbroeck (Lotto NL-Jumbo), mt
3.º Rudiger Selig (Katusha), mt
4.º Gianni Meersman (Etixx-QuickStep), mt
5.º Phil Bauhaus (Bora-Argon 18), mt
6.º Roy Jans (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), mt
7.º Jurgen Roelandts (Lotto Soudal), mt
8.º Alexander Porsev (Katusha), mt
9.º Ben Swift (Sky), mt
10.º Filipe Cardoso (Efapel), mt
1.º Geraint Thomas (Sky), 19h46m13s
2.º Michal Kwiatkowski (Etixx-QuickStep), a 27s
3.º Tiago Machado (Katusha), a 1m11s
4.º Richie Porte (Sky), a 1m14s
5.º Luis León Sánchez (Astana), a 1m18s
6.º Rein Taaramae (Astana), a 1m19s
7.º Sergei Chernetski (Katusha), a 1m32s
8.º Alberto Losada (Katusha), a 1m55s
9.º Rubén Fernández (Movistar), a 2m04s
10.º Ion Izaguirre (Movistar), a 2m21s
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