Volta a Portugal 2019 (31.7 - 11.8.)

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I think it's more the fact that it's literally his second racing day back, it's like when Pourseyedi and Emami started smashing the Qinghai Lake Tour in their first race back a few years ago.

First little GC hints today, with a nice finish from Mendonça and Aristi to come in a few seconds up on the 'bigs'. Gustavo César is here with all intent it does seem, picking up bonus seconds and the camisola amarela and again, four W52s in the top 10. But Joni and García de Mateos are both looking strong too. Sevilla lost a few seconds on a finish which ought to suit him so I suspect the backing up of several long races into one another may play a role for him.

Going to be interesting to see how W52 play this now. GCV is in the lead of the race, but the last couple of years he's fallen away in the mountains and with the form that Joni is showing, will they trust him as the main leader or will they decide to hedge their bets with someone else, and if so, who? Edgar Pinto is perhaps the most decorated, but like his former LA-Antarte predecessor Hernâni Brôco seems to stall just outside the podium in the Volta, having been 4th twice and 5th once.
 
Before the race I would have said that Pinto and Rodrigues will be the main gc riders for W52, but Veloso seems to be in great shape. I guess we'll know the answer after the Torre stage.
 
Oct 26, 2018
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Libertine Seguros said:
First little GC hints today, with a nice finish from Mendonça and Aristi to come in a few seconds up on the 'bigs'. Gustavo César is here with all intent it does seem, picking up bonus seconds and the camisola amarela and again, four W52s in the top 10.
This year, the Volta has no bonus seconds.



Sevilla crashed on stage 1 and spent most of the day at the back of the peloton, struggling. Yesterday, in an interview, he said he slept well and was feeling much better.

Also, something foreign viewers might have missed: on the official startlist, they listed Appollonio as being born in 1999, instead of 1989. So for a bit he was on the Youth Classification and when he won the commentators referred to him as "under 23" and "just 20 years old" :lol:
They've corrected it now.
 
What a waste. Gustavo and Brandão were ready to be slain from the foot of Torre, but João wanted no part of it and was constantly looking back. A real patron like Balarcón would never.
 
Considering this is a harder side of Torre, in theory (I think Seia side is better for racing with the toughest gradients early and the whole second section, but this is the on-paper hardest side with less respite and the flattish section around Lagoa Comprida hurts the Seia side), the time gaps are among the lowest ever seen in the Torre stage. A total Unipuerto with the clear best climber looking back for his teammates more than Andy dropping Fränk in 2010-11, a bit of a shame really.

Though I understand João's motivations: at 24 years of age, he has at least 10 years to wait before he can reasonably be considered a leader in A Grandíssima.
 
João Rodrigues is one of the guys who could probably get a contract on a pct outside of Portugal after his performance in Algarve, but you also have to say that a big team in Portugal is probably willing to pay him more money, according to Nocentini they are willing to pay you a decent wage, probably more than many PCT teams.
To me it looked like the tempo went really down after a hard start of the climb and then W52 played it save until the end.
 
Also, they may be reliant on whether or not Burgos-BH would chance it, seeing as Caja Rural used to be the logical route out for youngsters on Portuguese teams, but after the Alberto Gallego débacle they've stopped shopping in Portugal too.
 
Re:

Mayomaniac said:
João Rodrigues is one of the guys who could probably get a contract on a pct outside of Portugal after his performance in Algarve, but you also have to say that a big team in Portugal is probably willing to pay him more money, according to Nocentini they are willing to pay you a decent wage, probably more than many PCT teams.
To me it looked like the tempo went really down after a hard start of the climb and then W52 played it save until the end.
There’s no probably about it. I’m absolutely certain that the Portuguese teams pay more than PCT teams abroad would offer these guys unless we are talking about Cofidis or Direct Energie. Even at most of the stronger PCT teams, minimum wage or close to minimum wage is common for all but team leaders or established key domestiques.
 
Yes, Nocentini has pretty much confirmed that they offered him more money than the pct teams.
One also has to consider that they usually only have 30-35 days of racing per season, so it's less days of racing and less traveling for more money.
 
Re:

Libertine Seguros said:
Not really, since Sevilla sat up on the way to Torre at least. Joni gained a couple of seconds for GC though.
I hope W52's arrogance to drag Gustavo all the way to the line will be their downfall. Joni looked awful on Torre and was ready to be killed once and for all. Now Joni gets a chance to recover day by day, with Serra do Larouco and Santa Quitéria looming in the distance. And, of course, going all out on Senhora da Graca. A new record is coming, Joni will break the 7 w/kg limit.
 
both Veloso and Joao Rodrigues crashed at a roundabout inside 3km to go, neither of them looked too good coming back to the line.
They both managed to perform podium duties and TV interviews so they may be just OK. Rodrigues mentioned going to hospital but that probably only has some bruises. Let's see how they fare tomorrow in Serra do Larouco.
 

Tomorrow's stage: not the hardest MTF but might lead to some creative racing.
I would like to see David Rodrigues getting the stage win for his great attacking spirit in the Torre stage.
Probably Veloso, De Mateos or Brandão in the sprint though...
 
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