Volta a Portugal 2022 (August 4-15)

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Robin Carpenter, Xavi Cañellas, Pelayo Sánchez, Antônio Barbio and Asier Etxebarria are your doomed break. They only have 2 minutes' advantage and it's Unipuerto today so we shall see if the climbers try to break their power meters or if the pre-race raids have scared anybody today. Burgos-BH are leading the bunch, presumably to stop too much pace being added in what with Pelayo in the break. Glassdrive have the whole team massed ready for the climb, as do Efapel and Caja Rural.

Going through Covilhã, Glassdrive stick 5 men on the front and the pain is about to be brought it would appear.

García de Mateos out the back already!

Two of Glassdrive's men already peeled off?!

André Cardoso initiates the first hostilities, Fred Figueiredo covers it pretty effortlessly but only another couple of riders go with him, someone for Rádio Popular, didn't catch who. Mauri Moreira launches a counterattack to join the group.
 
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7 riders in the Heads of State group, Marque trying to work across to them, Figueiredo attacking his breakmates. Including him, there are three for Glassdrive. Délio Fernández is there, as is Cardoso, and Jokin Murguialday for Caja Rural.

The RP rider is Luís Fernandes.

OK, Fred is now clearly away, has dropped Gomes from the earlier break, and the show has begun in earnest.

Moreira is leading the chase. I thought Glassdrive would at least go a few minutes before this to allow the gap to get a bit bigger, but it has worked to dispatch a few of the riders in the group and split the chasing six into two trios. Moreira now has got rid of Murguialday and so it's just him and Fernandes together and there are now riders all over the road.
 
Three Taviras in the second chase now, so it's Fred, then Fernandes/Moreira, then a group of six with three Taviras. André Carvalho possibly somewhere in the gap. Mauri is pacing Fernandes back to Figueiredo which looks like Glassdrive doing Glassdrive things, but now it seems like they're going to try to do a Vino/Kash or a Balarcón/Amaro and break Fernandes together, which they certainly have the firepower to do.

Fernandes has never top 10ed the Volta, but he has been 11th twice and 12th once.
 
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Luís Fernandes, hitting his prime at 34, the only one that can withstand the Glassdrive onslaught.
An espoir at the Volta, at least in normal circumstances. Glassdrive have found the secret of youth that enables riders to compete super young. It's just that while at the World Tour that means people like Remco Evenepoel, Carlos Rodríguez and the likes, at the Volta that means Moreira at 27.

Holy crap, Figueiredo somehow while I wasn't looking became 31 years old.

For non-regulars on Portuguese races: this is Vingegaard and van Aert doing Vingegaard and van Aert things - with 2021 Giro Damiano Caruso in tow. Fernandes is a good enough climber, but has never been this good before and has always been a second, or more usually third, in command.
 
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Jokin is hanging in there good, he's a 22yo genuine espoir. If he can hang on for a GC along similar lines to Abner González and José Félix Parra I'll take it. I thought it would be the two Colombians who would be most likely to do something for Caja Rural here, especially since they don't have a Vuelta invite.
 
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Emanuel Duarte is having a really good race as well, he was 17th back in 2019 and is 25 years old, this is better than he's been before, sadly he's kind of being sacrificed for 36yo Délio Fernández and 40yo Alejandro Marque. Reaching Piornos now, so a bit of respite for a couple of kilometres.
 
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Del Pino easily the best for Loulé. +3'20 for Murguialday as best rider for an estrangeiro team, which really needs its own jersey in this race.

Luís Gomes +5'14 from the break, kudos. That looked like it hurt. He was caught and spat out like used gum by Figueiredo right near the bottom of the climb.
 
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