1st Volta João Algarve
Ooh I heard it through the sour grapes, Vine!
|Date: 2023-02-15 - 2023-02-19|
Race class: 2.Pro
Race category: Men Elite
UCI-Tour: UCI ProSeries
Top competitors PCS
Top GC riders PCS
A classic Algarve week. Uphill finishes on Alto do Malhão and Alto da Fóia, and a 25k TT.
It will be an interesting edition for sure. There is no clear favourite unlike last year. There are still some heavyweight and worldclass TT'ers in Algarve, but they are not the lightweight climbers. However, both Küng and Ganna have shown that they can get over some medium mountains, and with a 25k TT, it will be interesting to see if they can take enough of an advantage over their lighter competitors to make up for lost time uphill. If Ganna climbs like in San Juan, if Küng can improve ever so slightly on last year's performance, they could be seen as two major GC competitors. But will they ride for GC? Ineos is bringing a powerful team, also including
But what about Foss, Almeida,
Soudal Quickstep brings Van Wilder as their GC guy. Lest people forget, this guy, still only 22, already showed the world he could TT two years ago, with a 5th place in the Dauphiné TT and a 4th place in the Romandie TT, ahead of worldclass TT'ers. Lots of potential, but we're still waiting for that breakthrough win. What can an excellent allrounder like Madouas do on these profiles? Johannessen appears to be struggling with physical problems, Hindley will not like the 25k TT. Higuita can pump out a decent TT and is one of guys to look out for on the climbs, but there are no boniseconds, so can he fight off the better TT'ers? Mollema has been added to the roster. If he can find his magical TT legs of late, beating Dumoulin in the NC TT 2022, he is also a rider that can finish on the podium.
Without a super favourite like Evenepoel or Pogacar, this edition seems to be wide open, and a wide range of riders and rider types could take the win. An allrounder, a super TT'er, or a climber/puncher?
For stage wins there are the obvious sprinters such as Démare, Kristoff, Jakobsen, Meeus, but also the aforementioned TT'ers still have to deal with Cavagna, Asgreen, Bissegger... so even in that department nothing is set in stone. Other interesting names include Hermans, Costa, Cort, Trentin, Goossens, Leemreize, Padun, Wærenskjold, Tesfatsion...
Looks like the race will be on Eurosport.