Volta ao Algarve (st. 3)
Movistar Team’s big local specialist jumps onto 3rd overall after great performance against the world’s best. Rosón now 7th in GC.
Welshman Geraint Thomas (SKY) reinforced his lead in the 2018 Volta ao Algarve with a convincing win on Friday’s 20km individual time trial in and around Lagoa. The Movistar Team, in turn, swapped its first chance for a good overall finish -a solid Jaime Rosón, still in 7th place– for an impressive Nelson Oliveira, who showed his world-class quality on TTs.
The Aveiro native, a fourth-place finisher in last year’s World Championships, clocked the 5th quickest time of the afternoon, 22″ behind the winner, after a good start that soon saw him riding near the best -he was just 2″ off Stefan Küng (BMC), eventually 3rd at the finish, through the first intermediate check, 6km in-. His performance boosted by overtakes on two-minute man César Fonte (W52) and nearly also one-minute Simon Spilak (KAT), the Portuguese rider gets to the third place in the provisional GC podium, 32″ behind Thomas and 10″ in arrears of 2nd-placed Michal Kwiatkowski (SKY).
The Volta ao Algarve will cover stage four on Saturday -a day for sprinters with a slightly uphill finish in Tavira (199km)- before tackling its Queen stage over 2x the grueling Alto do Malhão. There, Nelson will aim to conserve a podium place he already worked hard for at Fóia’s ascent on Thursday.
Picture (c): Roberto Bettini / BettiniPhoto.net