What's Cool In Road Cycling

OPQS to Volta ao Algarve

Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team has announced the selection that will take part in Volta ao Algarve, a five-stage race from Feb. 19th until Feb. 23rd. OPQS hopes to repeat similar success as 2013, when Tony Martin and Michal Kwiatkowski went 1-2 in both the individual time trial, as well as the overall. This year the ITT is a distance of 13.6km, and is an undulating parcours. There are also stages for the sprinters, as well as a stage for the climbers: 164.4km Stage 4, which includes a summit finish on Category 2 Alto do Malhão.

“Last year we won the race with Tony Martin,” Sport Director Tom Steels said. “We also had a great performance of Kwiatkowski. This year will be more difficult for us because the first stage and the last stage will be stages for sprinters. We will be present with Mark Cavendish for these stages, with two riders to work with him. Mark Renshaw and Alessandro Petacchi will be there to work with him to practice the leadouts and try to win a stage. Tony and Kwiatko will still be the guys for the general classification. But, the time trial is not so long as it has been in the past. It will be a closer battle for the GC as between sprint stages and a short distance TT, there is less of a possibility for a large time gap, but also a chance for one situation to make the difference in the entire race. This means the team must work harder in terms of staying focused in case of any surprises. It will be important to try and win stages and then try and go for the GC without any mistakes. That could make the difference in this year’s edition of the race.”

19.02–23.02 Volta ao Algarve (POR) 2.1

Riders Mark Cavendish (GBR)
Thomas De Gendt (BEL)
Michal Golas (POL)
Michal Kwiatkowski (POL)
Tony Martin (GER)
Alessandro Petacchi (ITA)
Mark Renshaw (AUS)
Julien Vermote (BEL)

Sports Director Jan Schaffrath (GER)
Tom Steels (BEL)

19.02.14 Stage 1 Faro – Albufeira 160.0 km
20.02.14 Stage 2 Lagoa – Monchique 196.0 km
21.02.14 Stage 3 Vila do Bispo – Sagres 13.6 km (ITT)
22.02.14 Stage 4 Almodovar – Loulé 164.5 km
23.02.14 Stage 5 Tavira – Vilamoura 155.8 km

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