Proof of strength on Malhao showdown
21 February 2015

Volta ao Algarve (st. 4)

Ion Izagirre 3rd in Algarve's queen stage, behind Porte (SKY) and Kwiatkowski (EQS). Malori spends almost 200km into the break; Rubén Fernández up to 9th overall

The Movistar Team offered today during the Queen stage of the 2015 Volta ao Algarve -218.3km between Tavira and the Alto do Malhao- one its usual, top group performance, with almost every of its members having a relevant role into a race that never missed the Blues up-front. Adriano Malori took sort of a drudge off after coming second yesterday on the Cabo Sao Vicente TT by less than one second, and spent almost two hundred kilometers into the day's early, seven-man breakaway. The group was caught into the flat between both passages through the infamous (2km above 10%), decisive climb, but the 30-man group led by Etixx had already seen one of his team-mates going across.

Jesús Herrada tried to destabilize the field and spent some kilometers together with the Italian, while Soler, Castroviejo, Rubén Fernández, Ion Izagirre and Dayer Quintana kept the pace behind. The Colombian also tried unsuccessfully to counter before the last climb, with the two Spaniards on GC duties saved energy for the end. Both reached the final kilometer on front, with Richie Porte (SKY)'s unstoppable rush awarding him the victory in front of Kwiatkowski (EQS) and Izagirre himself, 3rd at just six seconds. In turn, Fernández finished in 11th spot and keeps his top-ten GC position -9th, 2'04" back-, while Ion sits in 10th at 2'21". Castroviejo (17th), Soler (23rd, already 18th overall in his second pro stagerace ever) and Dayer (26th) didn't finish far from the leaders, either.

Geraint Thomas (SKY) holds a comfortable, half-a-minute lead before a flat final stage from Almodovar to Vilamoura (185km), where things should stand as they ended on Saturday.