82nd Volta a Portugal em Bicicleta Santander (August 4-15)

It's time, on th 4th of August La Grandissima returns in the usual August heat with the usual format, 11 stages (including the pologue) and a rest day (after stage 5).
The stages:













A bit of an uphill finish fest (we're reaching 2012 Vuelta levels), but we should get huge watts on the final climbs.
A provisional startlist: https://www.procyclingstats.com/race/volta-a-portugal/2021/gc/startlist

W52 bring one hell of a team, Brandao (who has joined the dark side), Rodrigues, Ricardo Mestre and Antunes are all previous winners* of the race (at least on the recordbooks), even if Dani Mestre's time as a gc rider has passed.
This year Efapel also have a strong team, they have signed Figueiredo to replace Brandao and also have Antonio Carvalho and a returning Andé Cardoso as potential gc riders. They also have Rafael Reis and a strong rouleur like Moreira (who recently won the Volta ao Alentejo). Figueiredo recently won the GP Internacional Torres Vedras when he crused all life of the Serra do Socorro climb on stage 1 (around 7.5 w/kg or a bit more for just under 6min).
Atum General/Tavira have replaced Figueiredo with Veloso, who has left W52, him and Marque will be their gc weapons.
Kelly/Simoldes are bringing Luis Gomes as their main stagehunter, Radio Popular have Luis Gomez for the gc (Tuago Machado seems to be clearl past his prime) and Louletano are bringing the dark horse Roniel Campos, who destroyed everyone (includinf Oscar Sevilla) at the Vuelta a Tachira, where he won 3 mountain stages, the points classification and the gc.
Movistar will probably just be fighting for stages, I can't see Abner Gonzalez and Matteo Jorgensen keeping up with the Volta climbing speeds.

No idea who the PCT teams will bring, Vini-Zabù have confirmed that Jakub isn't riding this one (with maybe one bunch sprint it would be a bit sadistic to send him to the Volta, but I wouldn't put it past Scinto), he's ride the Tour of Denmark as his next race.
Sadly there isn't a Russian NT with various Russian CT Sputniks like Igor Frolov, that would have been a great addition to the race.

Anyway, let's hope for a big show and lots of watts.
 
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It's time, on th 4th of August La Grandissima retuns in the usual August heat
I wish. This has been one of the weirdest summers I remember in Portugal. Usually by this time of the year I would be sweating like a pig with a fan directed towards me. Right now I'm thinking if a need to put a jacket on and it's starting to rain soon.

And more often than not we've been having cloudy mornings and afternoons for the past weeks, at least in the center-north part of the country.
 
I wish. This has been one of the weirdest summers I remember in Portugal. Usually by this time of the year I would be sweating like a pig with a fan directed towards me. Right now I'm thinking if a need to put a jacket on and it's starting to rain soon.

And more often than not we've been having cloudy mornings and afternoons for the past weeks, at least in the center-north part of the country.
Yeah, the last 1-2 weeks have been pretty rainy in the Alpes too.

Anyone knows if W52 are bringing José Neves Fernandes?
He won the NC RR and finished 2nd on the gc in both the Volta Volta ao Alentejo and the GP Torres. It would really surprise me if they wouldn't bring the NC to the Volta, he could be another potential gc rider on that team, but I guess he won't be near the top of their internal foodchain.
 
I was told it was not in his contract. He was never suposed to ride the Volta this year.
Thanks for the info. A bit surprising that they won't bring the NC to the Volta, but with them already having 3 potential leaders on the team it makes sense.
It's gonna be interesting to see if Veloso is still the same after leaving W52 and Efapel seem to have a strong enough team to give W52 a run for their money, but I don't trust their team tactics. Still, i'll be cheering for FF.
 
Reactions: Sandisfan
Beneath the ground of Nossa Senhora da Graca lies nuclear waste, so I expect, as always, great performances. Wish remco would come so that he could be confirmed as a gc candidate for next year.
Remco wouldn't survive in this crazy world called "riding in volta a Portugal".
Beneath the groung of senhor da graca lies a nuclear waste called " riding at 6.5 w/kg".
 
Tomorrow's Prologue:


No corners besides a single U turn.

Reis is my main favourite. Other than him I'd keep an eye on the big engines at W52 like Caldeira or the Mestre's, Efapel's Antonio Carvalho and Mauricio Moreira (Efapel have Giant TT-bikes, so those 2 and Reis could have an advantage) and Veloso, if he hasn't lost his watts since leaving W52 (he always looked great on a TT bike, I give him that). Radio Popular have Cervelo bikes, a company that has been know to produce great TT bikes for years, but I don't think that they have many great TTers on that team...
Edit: I actually forgot that Norsgaard is riding, he should be one of the favourites, but with Reis almost beating Asgreen (and beating Benjamin Thomas) in a TT in a mere prep race it won't be easy.

PS: I've changed my AV for the Volta.;)
 
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I will probably try to follow this race this year. My question is if this race is ridden in similar fashion like in the dark ages or things have changed a bit? just curious.
Similar fashion like in the dark ages.
Senhora da graca is a climb similar with verbier.
Verbier 8.5 km at 7.6%
Senhora da Graca 8.5 km at 7.5%.
Contador did verbier in 20 min and 35 seconds, here in Portugal every year the best climbers do senhora da graca in 21 min/21 min and 10 s.
 
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