Volta ao Algarve (st. 3)
Italian TT specialist from Movistar Team (2nd) beats World champion Tony Martin (OPQ), surrenders to GC leader Kwiatkowski. 5th place for Dowsett as Castroviejo suffers costly puncture
The afternoon started off well for the Movistar Team with Alejandro Valverde’s third consecutive stage win in the Vuelta a Andalucía… and could have well become unforgettable thanks to Adriano Malori. Winner of the Tour de San Luis TT and a great performer in the Dubai Tour, the Italian has made an impressive debut to his Movistar Team career, as shown again in Sagres during the 40th Volta ao Algarve’s individual time trial.
The Italian specialist took the baton of his team-mate Alex Dowsett (5th), who clocked the best provisional time at the finish and spent a long stretch of the TT on the hotseat. Malori became the provisional leader by beating World champion Tony Martin (OPQ) by two seconds, recovering from the same deficit on the intermediate split, and his 14.14 at the finish was the reference right until the end. The bigger strength from overall race leader Michael Kwiatkowski (OPQ) would eventually see him dropping to 2nd place by eleven seconds.
Adriano’s magnificent effort over the Canyon Speedmax TT bike was the up of a day whose down came from an unfortunate puncture by Jonathan Castroviejo. The Basque powerhouse, who had clocked the 9th best time in the intermediate, lost more than a minute on the leaders and saw his GC chances ruined. With Malori in 12th, the race will head into its decider on Saturday with the slopes of the Alto do Malhao (Cat-2), after 165km starting at Almodovar.