Volta ao Algarve 2015 – Stage 3 Preview – Ciclismo Internacional

Volta ao Algarve 2015 – Stage 3 Preview

By David Hunter

Vila do Bispo – Cabo de Sao Vicente 19km

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The stage is set for a very important GC day. At 19km, the TT is long enough to only suit true specialists. The route seems fairly straightforward, descend for 10km, then climb for 9km. Everything is under 100metres of altitude, so the climbing and descending isn’t very steep.

We have a couple of the best TT racers in the world here in Tony Martin and Adriano Malori. At this point in the season, it’s going to be a close fight between these two riders. Malori has already won a TT in 2015, beating Kwiatkowski by just 4 seconds in San Luis. That day they raced over 17.4km, today 19km.

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The route is perfect for the big engines, long straight roads. Yes, there is a technical section in the middle but it’s very small. Put the bike in the biggest gear you can manage and go!

The wind is coming from the North, so it’ll be a tailwind for the first half of the race. Considering they’re going downhill with a tailwind, that first section will be completed very quickly.

In my eyes, there are only a few men capable of winning the stage: Malori, Martin, Kwiatkowski, Porte and Thomas.

Tony Martin is a regular winner of the Algarve TT. Last year he missed out and finished 3rd. That day Kwiatkowski won and Malori was 2nd. Sometimes it takes the German a while to get into the season, or sometimes he wins straight away. It’s hard to tell with him. Having already competed in Dubai, he should have enough racing in the legs to compete here.

Michal Kwiatkowski won here in 2014. Despite being a small man, he is very powerful. He pushed Malori all the way in San Luis, where he wasn’t feeling confident about his condition. The course looks good for him as he is capable of a very high top speed.

Richie Porte surprised a few with his TT win the Aussie Nationals. That course was very demanding, with a lot of hills. This route is much easier and I think it’s not brilliantly suited to the Australian.

Teammate Geraint Thomas is another strong TT rider. Every year he makes an improvement in this discipline and he won the TT in Bayern-Rundfahrt last year. Thomas is capable of challenging for the podium but up against some elite riders, I doubt he can win. Thomas is a very capable TT rider but to stay close to the elite riders is a big ask.

Adriano Malori is another who continues to improve as a TT rider. In 2014 he won TTs in San Luis, Tirreno and the Vuelta. It was his year to make the jump into the elite group of TT riders. Having already won in San Luis, he’ll be feeling confident, especially as he beat Tony Martin here last year.

Prediction Time

The route seems custom made for Tony Martin, but it’s going to be very close between him, Malori and Kwiatkowski.

David Hunter

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