(Credit Images: volta-portugal.com PODIUM EVENTS S.A. © 2018). Startlist at the end of the article

Stage 10 – Sun 15Aug – VISEU – VISEU (20,3 km, ITT)

AMARO ANTUNES HOLDS THE YELLOW AND WINS THE VOLTA A PORTUGAL


The W52-FC Porto rider won today his second consecutive Tour of Portugal. Maurício Moreira (Efapel) was close to catch Amaro Antunes, but a fall made him lose precious time. Today’s time trial in Viseu was won by Rafael Reis (Efapel).

Viseu closed this edition of the Volta a Portugal with a time trial of 20.3 kilometres, in which Amaro Antunes started with the yellow jersey. The last winner of this time trial, in 2017, when the Volta a Portugal also ended in Viseu, was Gustavo Veloso (Atum General-Tavira-Maria Nova Hotel). At the first intermediate point, at 5,7 kilometres, Maurício Moreira (Efapel) was ahead of his teammate Rafael Reis by ten seconds. However, the Uruguayan was a victim of a fall exiting a curve. The Efapel rider restarted at full speed taking the second place in the stage, 12 seconds behind Rafael Reis, but it wasn’t enough to steal the yellow jersey from Amaro Antunes (W52-FC Porto), and in the overall classification he ended 10 seconds behind the winner. Amaro Antunes was fourth in the time trial, 44 seconds behind the winner, enough to keep the leadership and win the Volta a Portugal. Third overall was Alejandro Marque (Atum General-Tavira Maria Nova Hotel), 1m23s from Amaro Antunes. Full results @ procyclingstats.com. Efapel won the team classification and six stages won during this edition of the Volta a Portugal. Rafael Reis won the points’ jersey, Bruno Silva (Antarte-Feirense) the mountain jersey, and Abner González (Movistar) the youth jersey.

This 20,3 km long time-trial in Viseu will be perfect for time-trial specialists, will give the final adjustment to the GC and crown the winner of the 82 Volta a Portugal.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

The Lusitanian race, “La Grandissíma”, which last year was organised by the Portuguese federation, returns to the historic organisers this year. The race also returns to its classic location on the calendar and the peloton will be made up of 19 teams. The Portuguese continental teams will be joined by two foreign teams of the same level, seven ProTeams, including the Spanish Kern Pharma, Caja Rural, Burgos and Euskaltel and by the WorldTeam Movistar .

Who will be crowned and heir to last year’s winner Amaro Antunes?

Prologue – Wed 4Aug – LISBOA – LISBOA (5.4 km, ITT)

Rafael Reis win the prologue. Rafael Reis (Efapel) won the 5,4 Km time trial. He is the first yellow jersey in the Tour to Portugal!

The Volta opens with a 5.4-kilometre time trial in Lisbon completely flat and for prologue specialists, in the Belém area.

Stage 1 – Thu 5Aug – TORRES VEDRAS – SETÚBAL (175.8 km)

The Yellow Jersey, Rafael Reis attacked and won solo stage 1

For full results procyclingstats.com

The first stage begins with a symbolic moment, the inauguration of the Museu do Ciclismo Joaquim Agostinho. From there, the caravan will set off for Setúbal, where it will arrive after 175.8 kilometres. The second category Arrábida mountain climb, 13.6 kilometres from the finish line, will offer the perfect opportunity for those wanting to avoid a sprint finish.

Stage 2 – Fri 6Aug – PONTE DE SÔR – CASTELO BRANCO (162,1 km)

BREAKAWAY GIVES VICTORY TO KYLE MURPHY IN CASTELO BRANCO

🇵🇹 FUGA DÁ VITÓRIA A KYLE MURPHY EM CASTELO BRANCO. Full article and results @ fpciclismo.pt

The 162.1 km of this stage from Ponte Sor to Castelo Branco are undulated with three 3rd category GPM, in Monte Paleiros, Serra de Ródão and Retaxo but without any major difficulties. It will be one of the best opportunities for the sprinters, who will, however, have to overcome the technical finish, beginning with the 3rd Cat climb of Retaxo, a very easy climb at long but at 2.3%, 13.1 kilometres from the finish. The arrival will take place on the cobbled Avenida Nuno Álvares, in the centre of the capital of Beira Baixa, Castelo Branco, after the last 700m at 5.9%.

Stage 3 – Sat 7Aug – SERTÃ – COVILHÃ, TORRE (170,3 km)

Tour of Portugal – Alejandro Marque wins stage 4 and takes the General Classification leadership.

Spanish rider Alejandro Manuel Marque (Atum general / Tavira / Maria Nova Hotel) gave a great display of power on the 3rd stage of the Tour of Portugal. The 40 year-old rider has won the stage arriving at Covilha-Torre, after a climb of more than 20 kilometres. He was more than a minute ahead of Uruguayan Mauricio Moreira (Efapel) and Puerto Rican Abner Gonzalez (Movistar) and took the lead in the overall classification ahead of these two riders. Disappointing performances from the Portuguese riders. Full results @ procyclingstats.com

The race – ALEJANDRO MARQUE SHINES IN ALTO DA TORRE
On a day that could be decisive for the general classification of the Tour of Portugal, Alejandro Marque (Atum General-Tavira-Maria Nova Hotel) won alone at Alto da Torre. Maurício Moreira (Efapel) was second and Abner González (Movistar) closed the third stage in third. The third stage started in Sertã, heading to Alto da Torre, in Serra da Estrela, in a 170,3 kilometres course. Bad news came right at the start of the stage, with the abandonment of the Caja Rural-Seguros RGA team, due to two positive cases for Covid-19. A group of 11 runners formed the day’s escape, with Iker Ballarin (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Juan Lopez-Cozar (Burgos-BH), Bruno Silva and Rafael Silva (Antarte-Feirense), César Fonte and Luís Gomes (Kelly/Simoldes/UDO), Hugo Nunes (Rádio Popular-Boavista) and Marcelo Salvador (LA Alumínios-LA Sport), Edo Goldstein (Israel Cycling Academy), Pedro Paulinho (Tavfer-Measindot-Mortágua) and Rui Rodrigues (Louletano-Loulé Concelho). The escape even had a lead of more than six minutes, with Luís Mendonça (Efapel) giving the bullets for the team and leading the chase, along with Israel Cycling Academy. With 41 kilometres to the end, the front group started to lose units, when Bruno Silva (Antarte-Feirense) tried to distance himself, gaining about 15 seconds of advantage. At the entrance of Covilhã, W52-FC Porto took the reins of the race, at a time when Luís Gomes (Kelly-Simoldes-UDO) and Juan López (Burgos-BH) were chasing Bruno Silva. The two riders managed to catch the Antarte-Feirense man who would end up behind. At the beginning of the climb, Luís Gomes started to gain advantage to the Burgos-BH runner, placing himself in the lead of the race, isolated, 20 kilometres from the end. At this point, he kept a 3m50s difference to the peloton, with the remaining members of the day’s escape being progressively caught by the peloton.

In the final 16 kilometres and with the climb becoming more and more difficult, the peloton started to break up, giving birth to a small group in front. By this time, the yellow jersey, Rafael Reis (Efapel) had already lost contact. In this same group were Amaro Antunes (W52-FC Porto) and Frederico Figueiredo (Efapel) who started a succession of attacks that lasted until the last kilometres of the stage. At this point, the group chasing Luís Gomes, who was still alone at the front, about 1m30 behind, was composed of eight riders, mainly from Efapel and W52-FC Porto. Nine kilometres from the end of the stage, Alejandro Marque (Atum General-Tavira-Maria Nova Hotel) launched himself into the attack and, with no response from his opponents who were following in the group, he eventually reached Luís Gomes. The Portuguese runner couldn’t hold the pace, leaving Marque isolated and with his eyes set on winning. In the chasing group, the W52-FC Porto attacks seemed endless, but Maurício Moreira was able to neutralize them all. At this point, the advantage that he managed to gain in relation to the chasing group, allowed Alejandro Marque to reach the summit of the Tower alone, to win the stage and wear the yellow jersey. Maurício Moreira still found the energy to break away from the group, along with Abner González (Movistar) to close the stage in second position. González finished third, also securing the youth jersey. The two riders are seventh and fifth overall, respectively, after being penalised for irregular feeding. In the general classification, after the penalties, Gustavo Veloso (Atum General-Tavira-Maria Nova Hotel) is second, 1m09s behind his team mate Alejandro Marque, and Jóni Brandão is third, 1m26s behind. After a great performance today, Luís Gomes is the leader of the points classification and Efapel leads the overall team classification. Tomorrow the riders will set off from Belmonte for a 181.6-kilometre route that will take them to Guarda.

The first major difficulties of the Volta start today with the uphill finish on the HC Cat Alto da Torre in Covilhã, the hardest climb of this Volta edition and the highest point in mainland Portugal, with almost two thousand metres of altitude.

Stage 4 – Sun 8Aug – BELMONTE – GUARDA (181,6 km)

FREDERICO FIGUEIREDO WINS, MARQUE RESISTS AND AMARO GAINS PRECIOUS POSITIONS

Frederico Figueiredo (Efapel) won stage 5 of Volta a Portugal in a battled medium mountain stage with a clashes between Efapel and W52. Second last year winner Amaro Antunes (W52), today the strongest in the field. Helped by his teammate, a generous Gustavo César Veloso (that put aside his personal ambitious, Alejandro Marque (Atum General-Tavira-Maria Nova Hotel) keeps the Yellow Jersey for just 5 seconds.

The stage was fast and intense from the start. The moves promoted by W52-FC Porto accelerated the race and broke the peloton. Six men were installed at the head of the race, Daniel Mestre, Ricardo Mestre and Ricardo Vilela (W52-FC Porto), Rafael Reis and Javier Moreno (Efapel) and Roniel Campos (Louletano-Loulé Concelho). Not all the riders could handle the 44,3 km/h average registered in the first two hours of the race. As a result, the peloton split, although the strongest riders aiming to the overall classification managed to stay in the main group, chasing the sextet of fugitives. The Atum General-Tavira-Maria Nova Hotel kept the front six in their sights – difference around 30 seconds – until the last 50 kilometres, marked by a terrain with continuous up and down. 37 kilometres from the finish line, on the second category climb to Videmonte, Amaro Antunes (W52-FC Porto) decided to attack, taking Frederico Figueiredo (Efapel) on his wheel. These moves had the effect of reducing the peloton numbers and most of the Tavira riders went into difficulties and unable to protect their yellow jersey, with Alejandro Marque being left only with the company of Gustavo César Veloso. The original breakaway ended and in the front Amaro Antunes and Frederico Figueiredo carried on their effort. The difference between the two and the yellow jersey group, was around one minute, and it was up to Gustavo César Veloso to do the chasing work. With the situation already complicated for the Galician from Tavira, everything got even worse when, within the final 30 kilometres, Alejandro Marque had a technical problem and was force to change the his bike. Without only teammate left, once again it was Gustavo César Veloso to work hard to minimise the gap with the chasing group.. That was the moment when the advantage of Amaro Antunes and Frederico Figueiredo grew to almost two minutes. In front, it was Antunes doing all the work. He led over 30km, with Figueredo constantly on his wheel, without offering a single change. Ten kilometres away from the finish line, when it was clear that Amaro Antunes and Frederico Figueiredo would arrive to Guarda alone, Gustavo César Veloso gave in the last effort before he was left without energy. Only now and with just few kilometers from the finish line, Frederico Figueiredo gave some help to Amaro Antunes, allowing the 2020 Volta a Portugal winner to take a breather before attacking in the final kilometres. But Frederico Figueiredo was fresher and arrived with more reserves to the hard ramps of Guarda and crossed the finish line in front, after 4h28m25s. Amaro Antunes came in second, with the same time. Third, at 59 seconds, was Mauricio Moreira (Efapel), who was again the strongest of the peloton, after the show of strength they had already done yesterday in Serra da Estrela. For the first time in six years, since the team was created, the W52-FC Porto team completed the first five days of competition in the Volta without any win. Despite this, today’s stage placed Amaro Antunes as the strongest candidate to win the Tour. Alejandro Marque remains at the top of the general classification, but today it was clear the fragility of the Tavirense team in the face of the power of its rivals. Amaro Antunes climbed to the second place, 5 seconds behind. Frederico Figueiredo, who is a worse time trial rider than the winner of last year’s Volta, is 20 seconds behind and 25 seconds behind Marque. Luís Gomes (Kelly-Simoldes-UDO) continues to lead the points classification and Abner Gonzalez (Movistar Team) remains the best young rider. Amaro Antunes took the jersey of King of Mountain and Efapel remains on the top of the overall Team classification. After the visit to the Serra da Estrela and the mountainous region, a resting Monday follows. The return to the road will happen on Tuesday. It will be the third consecutive stage with a finish coinciding with a GPM, this time of second category, at the top of Senhora da Assunção, Santo Tirso. The start will be in Águeda and this hilly stage will be 171.3 kilometres long.

Stage four, which precedes the rest day, is undulated from the start offering the perfect terrain for a breakaway. The stage, starting in Belmonte and finishing in Guarda, after 181.6 kilometres of continuous climbs and descents, in the last 40 km feature three categorised GPM, several steep ramps, no flat terrains and a finale open to several solutions. The finish line on Guarda is on top of a 3rd Cat GPM.

This 170.3 kilometres stage, between Sertã and the top of the Alto da Torre, will have 4 GPM and the long and difficult final climb, in the Serra da Estrela, will go up from Covilhã, through Penhas da Saúde. Today, the first significant gaps on the GC will be created and we will know names of who will not be able to win the Volta.

Mon 9Aug – Restday

Stage 5 – Tue 10Aug – ÁGUEDA – STO. TIRSO, N.SRª.ASSUNÇÃO (171,3 km)

HOLLYMAN IS THE WINNER AMONG AN EARLY BREAKAWAY IN A MID-MOUNTAIN STAGE, FREITAS, AS THE NEW LEADER, GETS THE CAMISOLA AMARELA.

Mason Hollyman is the surprisingly winner of the fifth stage of the Volta a Portugal. The 21-year-old Briton, who rides for the Israel Start-Up Nation training team, was the best rider from a large breakaway group in the mid-mountain stage to Santo Tirso. The Portuguese Daniel Freitas is the new leader. A breakaway of no less than seventeen riders was formed, including Lluis Mas (Movistar), Juri Hollmann (Movistar), Kenny Molly (Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB) and Keegan Swirbul (Rally). W52-FC Porto and Efapel also had two men in the front and the best placed rider was Daniel Freitas (Radio Popular Boavista) at three minutes from the leader. The breakaway got more than ten minutes lead from the peloton. However, the cooperation was not ideal at the front. The Argentinean Tomas Contte (Louletano) went solo in the last forty kilometres and he got the British Mason Hollyman (Israel Cycling Academy) behind him. At ten kilometres from the end they had two minutes advantage on the chasers and eight minutes on the peloton. The final climb to Santo Tirso, seven kilometres long at 5.7%, was still to come. On the climb, 21-year-old Hollyman was able to drop Contte. Despite pressure from the chasing group, the talented Briton was able to hold on and take the stage win.

Ricardo Mestre (W52-FC Porto) managed to catch Contte, but the Portuguese rider finished 35 seconds behind Hollyman. Contte still managed to finish third. The best-placed in the General Classification (GC), Freitas fought his way back to sixth place, which was enough to take over the lead in the GC from Alejandro Marque. The favourite group finished around four minutes behind Freitas. He now leads by 42 seconds over number the now swconf Marque. Full Results procyclingstats.com

Euskaltel Euskadi leaves the Volta a Portugal after two cases of Covid positives. The decision was taken by the team in agreement with the race organisers. It is the second team to leave the Volta after Caja Rural RGA.

As for the previous stage the terrain will be hilly and perfect for an early breakaway. The fifth stage will link Águeda with Santo Tirso, in a 171.3 kilometre section finishing at the top of Senhora da Assunção, a 2nd Cat final climb offering the perfect opportunity for a climber or a puncher to win the stage.

Stage 6 – Wed 11Aug –  VIANA DO CASTELO – FAFE (182,4 km)

Benjamin King (Rally Cycling) is the winner of the 6th stage of the Volta a Portugal Santander!

American Benjamin King (Rally Cycling) took his second victory in the Santander Volta a Portugal today, winning the sixth stage, 182.4-kilometre between Viana do Castelo and Fafe. Alejandro Marque is the leader of the general classification. He is 5 seconds ahead of Amaro Antunes and 25 seconds ahead Frederico Figueiredo (Efapel). Maurício Moreira is fourth, at 1m01s. Luís Gomes (Kelly-Simoldes-UDO) continues to lead the point classification and Abner Gonzalez (Movistar Team), fifth overall, is on the top of the youth classification. Bruno Silva and Amaro Antunes are share leaders of the King of Mountain. Efapel leads the team classification.

The race: The start of the stage was preceded by the abandonment of Rádio Popular-Boavista, the team of the yellow jersey, Daniel Freitas, which gave the lead back to Alejandro Marque (Atum General-Tavira-Maria Nova Hotel). Luís Fernandes tested positive for covid-19, which, being the third Rádio Popular-Boavista rider with confirmed contamination, led to the abandonment of the boavisteiros, who didn’t line up at the start.

After the start, the peloton didn’t fight back when the day’s escape was formed and after four kilometres an eleven men breakaway was formed: Juan Diego Alba (Movistar Team), Tom Wirtgen (Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB), Isaac Canton (Burgo-BH), Benjamin King (Rally Cycling), Mason Hollyman and Alastair Mackellar (Israel Cycling Academy), Pedro Paulinho (Tavfer-Measindot-Mortágua), Roniel Campos (Louletano-Loulé Concelho), Bruno Silva (Antarte-Feirense), Hélder Gonçalves (Kelly-Simoldes-UDO) and Marvin Scheulen (LA Alumínios-LA Sport). The Atum General-Tavira-Maria Nova Hotel, which had already shown yesterday that they didn’t have much concern in defending the yellow jersey against fugitives were distant from the top position of the GC, allowed a significant advantage to the escapers. The difference was close to ten minutes and, quickly, it was clear that the dispute of the stage would be between the cyclists who attacked early in the day. Most of the eleven riders were aiming to the possibility of victory in Fafe, but Bruno Silva and Marvin Schuelen were also battling for the mountain classification. The climb to Geraz do Minho, at the final 35 kilometres, divided the group. The LA Alumínios-LA Sport cyclist fell behind and the Antarte Feirense man gained ground in the conquest of the KoM’s jersey. Benjamin King was the strongest of the escapees. He attacked 17 kilometres from the finish and from then on pedalled solo to the finish line, after 4m22m00s. Alastair Mackellar arrived at 9 seconds and Tom Wirtgen closed the stage podium, at 15 seconds.The peloton arrived more than 8 minutes behind the winner. And, among the GC favourites, Maurício Moreira (Efapel) proved once again to be the strongest, but he only gained 2 seconds to the competition. For full results procyclingstats.com

There are also some difficult climbs on the 182.4 kilometres from Viana do Castelo to Fafe on stage six. A sprint finish seems more likely here, but the short and explosive climbs disseminated on the route may create some problem to them. The short but steep Golães climb, 4.6 kilometres from the finish, partly on cobblestones, will take the riders to the technical finale in Praça 25 de Abril.

Stage 7 – Thu 12Aug – FELGUEIRAS – BRAGANÇA (193,2 km)

RAFAEL REIS TRIUMPHS IN BRAGANÇA AND WEARS THE YELLOW

Rafael Reis (Efapel) won also in Bragança and he is again the elder at Volta a Portugal. Benjamin King (Rally Cycling) sprinted to second and Diego López (Kern Pharma) closed in third position.

The race: At the start of the seventh stage of the Volta a Portugal, in Felgueiras, the riders had the longest day of the race ahead of them, with 193.2 kilometres to go until Bragança. The movements in the peloton started in the first kilometres, with several attempts of breakaway, always controlled by the group. It was only after the 35th kilometre that the attacks started to bear fruit, with a serious attempt from a group of 27 riders included riders from W52 FC-Porto and Efapel, the leading team of the fight for the overall GC. Pedro Miguel Lopes (Kelly-Simoldes-UDO) was also in this group, possibly looking to climb the youth general classification, in which he occupies the second position. The breakaway remained with around five-minute of advantage for much of the stage, with Movistar and the team of the yellow jersey, Alejandro Marque (Atum General-Tavira-Maria Nova Hotel), taking control of the peloton but without spending enough energy to reduce the gap sensibly. At the front, with 13 kilometres to go, Luís Mendonça (Efapel) attacked, gaining some advantage over his pursuers. Shortly after, his teammate, Rafael Reis, jumped out of the group to reach Mendonça. The two went on together until the final five kilometres, when Mendonça opened the way for what would be Rafael Reis’ third victory in this edition of the Volta. The Efapel rider went all the way to the finish line, without giving any chance to the chasing group. Rafael Reis won in a solo display of power, gaining enough time to Alejandro Marque to also wear the yellow jersey. Benjamin King (Rally Cycling) sprinted to second and Diego López (Kern Pharma) closed the seventh stage in third position. Alejandro Marque lost the lead of the race, and now stands 28 seconds behind from the first place. Amaro Antunes (W52-FC Porto) is third, 33 seconds behind. The Efapel rider still leads the general classification by points, Bruno Silva is the leader of the King of Mountain classification and Abner Gonzalez still leads as the best youth rider. Efapel remains the leader of the overall team classification. Full results @ procyclingstats.com

Stage seven will be the longest of the race at 193.2 kilometres from Felgueiras to Bragança, where the riders will finish on a descent of over 10 kilometres after passing the third category Serra da Nogueira GPM at 13 km from the finish line. The stage is ideal for a sprinter who manages to overcome the mid-mountain difficulties disseminated during the route.

Stage 8 – Fri 13Aug – BRAGANÇA – MONTALEGRE, SERRA DO LAROUCO (160,7 km)

KYLE MURPHY WINS A TWO PARALLEL STAGE THAT LEADS AMARO ANTUNES TO THE YELLOW


The american Kyle Murphy (Rally Cycling) won today the eighth stage of the Volta a Portugal Santander, imposing himself on the top of the mountain of Larouco, Montalegre, after 160,7 kilometres, from Bragança. Amaro Antunes (W52-FC Porto) is the new yellow jersey, despite having lost six seconds to Mauricio Moreira (Efapel). The stage was disputed as a two races in one. The fight for the stage was down to the breakaway, the one for the race leadership was further back, and all of this in an extremely hot day.

The Race – The breakaway succeeded after 24 km from the start reaching 18 units. Among the escapers four riders were from the top 20 of the general classification, Henrique Casimiro (Kelly-Simoldes-UDO), Tiago Antunes (Tavfer-Measindot-Mortágua), José Félix Parra (Equipo Kern Pharma) and Adriá Moreno (Burgos-BH). The peloton, led by Efapel, left the fugitives gaining close to five minutes. The ascent of Torneiros, about 45 kilometres from the finish line, changed the configuration of the race. W52-FC Porto moved to the front of the peloton, hardening the pace. The advantage of the fugitives was falling and the peloton was completely broken up. All the W52-FC Porto riders gave their contribution except Amaro Antunes. The Algarvian was protected by his teammates, making it clear that, two days before the end of the Tour, he is the team’s leader. The Torneiros climb left the favourite group with Amaro Antunes, Joni Brandão and João Rodrigues (W52-FC Porto), Frederico Figueiredo, Maurico Moreira and António Carvalho (Efapel), Abner González (Movistar Team), Alejandro Marque and Álvaro Trueba (Atum General-Tavira-Maria Nova Hotel). While the fight for the general classification showed, once again, the superiority of the team from Porto and Efapel, among the escapers Miguel Salgueiro (LA Alumínios-LA Sport) went on for a solo attack but was re-taken by the first group with 29 kilometres from the finish line. On the final climb, the American Kyle Murphy attacked in the last 4 kilometres and won alone in 4h12m06s. Before the Volta he had never won in his careered now this is his second success in the 2021 Volta a Portugal. José Félix Parra was second, 13 seconds behind, and Henrique Casimiro was third, 25 seconds behind. For the fight for the GC, after the work of João Rodrigues on the previous ascent, Joni Brandão made several accelerations in the last two kilometres of the race managing to leave Alejandro Marque and António Carvalho behind, but Frederico Figueiredo and Maurício Moreira took Brandão and Amaro Antunes’ wheel without difficulty. In the final hundreds of metres, Maurício Moreira shot up and gained four seconds to Brandão and six to Antunes.

The yellow jersey was transferred from Rafael Reis to Amaro Antunes. But everything remains open. Alejandro Marque is second at 14 seconds. Frederico Figueiredo is at 18 and Maurício Moreira at 50. Henrique Casimiro took advantage of the escape to climb to fifth place, at 57 seconds.

The remaining classifications kept all the same leaders, Rafael Reis, in Points, Bruno Silva, in Mountain, Abner Gonzalez, in Youth and Efapel leads the teams. Full results procyclingstats.com

The ninth stage, scheduled for this Saturday, will be even hared than today and important for the general classification. It will take the peloton from Boticas to the top of Monte Farinha, in Mondim de Basto. The 145,5 kilometres stage will encounter two Cat 2, one CAT 3 and two CAT 1 GPM.

The first of the final three days, that will decide the winner of the race. The 160.7 kilometres long Bragança-Montalegre will features a 1st Cat uphill finish over the Serra do Larouco, the second of two first-category climbs in the final 40 kilometres. Before the last climb, first category, the riders will still climb Bolideira (second category, km 74.3) and Torneiros (first category, km 119.3).

Stage 9 – Sat 14Aug –  BOTICAS – MONDIM DE BASTO, SRª DA GRAÇA (145,5 km)

URUGUAYAN MOREIRA WINS STAGE 9

The Uruguayan Mauricio Moreira of Efapel won the ninth stage of the Volta a Portugal, the 145.5 Boticas-Mondim de Basto. Second place for the Portuguese Amaro Antunes who keeps the jersey of race leader just in front of Moreira. Full results procyclingstats.com

The race – In this stage, known to be decisive, the attacks started practically from the start, forming a group of eight fugitives: Rafael Reis (Efapel), Joaquim Silva and Pedro Pinto (Tavfer-Measindot-Mortágua), Roniel Campos (Louletano-Loulé Concelho), Vicente García de Mateos and Bruno Silva (Antarte-Feirense), Aleksandr Grigorev (Atum General-Tavira-Maria Nova Hotel) and Juan Diego Alba (Movistar Team). Two of these men had a double mission. Rafael Reis was looking to consolidate the first position in the points classification and to gain positions o=in the GC. Bruno Silva was aiming for the king of mountain classification, but also to help the leader of the Feirense team, Vicente García de Mateos. Rafael Reis won the first two sprints to mathematically guaranteed the green jersey. Bruno Silva, despite the opposition of Roniel Campos, was ahead in the first three mountain GPM of the day and took a giant step towards being the winner of the KOM again ( he won the jersey in 2015). Meanwhile, in the peloton, Movistar Team had taken up seriously the chase and at the beginning of Cat. 1 climb to Barreiro, W52-FC Porto imposed the pace bringing to the end the breackaway and to reduce the peloton to a little more than ten riders.

Once the leading group was recompacted and after a chaotic intermediate phase, a the beginning of the final climb, the Senhora da Graça, Joni Brandão, João Rodrigues and Alejandro Marque started in front with an advantage 35 seconds over the yellow jersey group, with behind Efapel men working to reduce the gap. In the first kilometre of the climb, João Rodrigues lost the heels of Joni Brandão and Alejandro Marque and with 6 kilometres to go, Joni Brandão went solo. Behind the effort by Efapel, lead by Frederico Figueiredo, António Carvalho, and Mauricio Moreira. paid and Brandão was overcome. However Amaro Antunes hold is position and stayed in this group defending his yellow jersey. Already within the last kilometre, Amaro Antunes jumped a foot from the pedal. The mishap happened at the moment when Mauricio Moreira launched the attack for the stage victory. Moreira won, gaining eight seconds on Amaro Antunes, and kept is hopes alive, being strong on time-trial.

Thanks to this victory, he moved in the second overall position, 42 seconds away from Antunes’ Santander Yellow jersey. Frederico Figueiredo is third, 55 seconds behind. Joni Brandão is fourth, 1m04s away, and the time trial specialist Alejandro Marque has dropped to fifth and is now 1m18s away from the yellow jersey, a difference that will be difficult to overcome in the final time trial. The Points Classification has been won by Rafael Reis and the King of Mountain to Bruno Silva, Abner Gonzalez (Movistar Team) is the youth classification leader and Efapel leads by teams.

In Viseu the Volta will conclude this tomorrow. The 20-kilometre time trial is flat and ideal for specialists. The first cyclist will start at 3:23 pm and the last rider on the road will be the race leader Amaro Antunes, who will try to reach his second consecutive victory in the Tour.

Stage nine is very similar to the previous one and without any flat ground. The early breakaway is certain but all GC favourites will came into action with 50km to go with two 1st Cat GPM divided by a long descent. The final ascent, preceded by four GPM (including the difficult Barreiro), the Alto da Senhora da Graça, is the last chance for the climbers to overturn the General Classification.

Stage 10 – Sun 15Aug – VISEU – VISEU (20,3 km, ITT)

This 20,3 km long time-trial in Viseu will be perfect for time-trial specialists, will give the final adjustment to the GC and crown the winner of the 82 Volta a Portugal.

(All pictures and articles, copyright © by the author, we use, are for editorial and non-commercial usages only)