Volta ao Algarve (st. 4)
Rui Costa takes top-5 overall place in the Portuguese stagerace, just like in 2012 – Martin (OPQ) conquers stage & GC as Castroviejo claims 5th following several mechanical problems
Just as it happened twelve months ago, Rui Costa and Movistar Team leave the Volta ao Algarve just seconds behind the podium after a race full of good conclusiones. The Portuguese rider fought to hold into the overall podium in his home race, whose final standings were dynamited by the performance from OPQ’s Tony Martin and Michal Kwiatkowski, true dominators of a decisive ITT -35km between Castro Marim and Tavira- that kicked off under the rain but ended in good conditions for the GC riders. Costa took 8th on the stage, less than 2 minutes behind the World champion, and closed the race as best local rider and only 27 seconds behind the final podium, his performance completing a great day from the riders directed by José Luis Jaimerena.
Jonathan Castroviejo was the top Blue over the finish: it was a sour-sweet 5th place for the Basque rider, who suffered several mechanical troubles forcing him out of the second place and led him into 8th overall, making a top-10 come close for Jesús Herrada. The youngest of the two Cuenca brothers was 12th against world-class riders and leaves Portugal in 11th overall after a ITT not contested by Alex Dowsett, with a stomach bug and the side-effects of a flu combined with a mistimed mechanical that left him out of the race en route to Malhao on Saturday.