Daniel Martin (Quick-Step Floors) opened his account for the 2017 season by winning the second stage of the Volta ao Algarve to the summit finish of Alto da Fóia.
Stage 2 of Volta ao Algarve started with Fernando Gaviria in the yellow jersey but that didn’t stop the Colombian prodigy from pulling hard at the front and helping his teammates control the seven-man breakaway which at one point had five minutes over the pack before succumbing on the penultimate ascent of the stage.
With the peloton strung out after Alto da Pomba, Quick-Step Floors picked up the pace at the foot of Alto da Foia, where Daniel Martin, Enric Mas and Zdenek Stybar split the field and distanced all riders bar two, Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) and Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo). Amaro Antunes (FC Porto) soon joined, but not for too long, as on the steepest part of the climb Martin put in a powerful surge, to which only the Slovenian could respond.
For his part, Roglic tested the waters and tried twice to dislodge the Irish rider, but Martin proved too strong and each time his opponent accelerated, he responded. Soon, it became obvious the victor will emerge following a two-up sprint at the top of Alto da Foia, and Martin chose to start his acceleration just as they came out of a bend, with 200 meters left. His rival tried to come around on the right side of the road, but the Irishman held him off and won the stage.
“It’s always difficult to win a race when people say you are the favourite, but I was lucky to have an incredible team around me. That was a fantastic teamwork, you could see that even Fernando, who was in yellow, rode in the wind for me. I arrived here on Sunday and went for a recon on Monday, so I knew the last climb and that it suited me. It was important to be at the front just as we started it, and the team delivered me in an excellent position.”, said Daniel Martin.
“Tomorrow we’ll have an individual time trial, and I know that other riders are stronger in this discipline, but we will just see what happens”.
Volta ao Algarve 2017 – stage 2 results (Lagoa – Alto da Foia):
|1||Daniel Martin (Quick-Step Floors)|
|2||Primoz Roglic (LottoNl-Jumbo)|
|3||Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky)|
|4||Amaro Antunes (W52/FC Porto)|
|5||Rinaldo Nocentini (Sporting / Tavira)|
|6||Luis León Sanchez (Astana)|
|7||Jonathan Castroviejo (Movistar)|
|8||Tony Gallopin (Lotto Soudal)|
|9||Edgar Pinto (LA / Metalusa Blackjack)|
|10||Tiesj Benoot (Lotto Soudal)|