Fabio Jakobsen won a sprint finish to claim the first stage of the Volta ao Algarve for the third time in four years on Wednesday.
The Quick-Step rider, winner of the opening stage in 2019 and 2020, finished just ahead of Bryan Coquard (Cofidis) and Alexander Kristoff (Intermarche-Wanty Gobert).
The 199.1km stage from Portimao to Lagos ended with a sprint for a reduced part of the peloton following a group crash 12km from the finish line.
“It’s perfect. I think we controlled the race all day and I have to thank my teammates,” Jakobsen said. “I cannot win the sprint without them. This is their victory, and I’m just happy that I again got the victory in Lagos.
“I know this finish quite well, obviously, we did a training camp here and I won here twice before.”
Thursday’s second stage will suit the climbers between Albufeira and Mount Foia, the highest point in the Algarve at 902 metres.
This summit finish should give rise to a first between the favourites including Remco Evenepoel, David Gaudu and Ineos riders Tom Pidcock, Daniel Martinez and Geraint Thomas.
🇳🇱@FabioJakobsen of 🇧🇪@qst_alphavinyl wins stage 1 of 🇵🇹@VoltAlgarve #VAlgarve2022 via @MatMitchell30 pic.twitter.com/oJUUkJIrld
— World Cycling Stats (@wcsbike) February 16, 2022