Volta ao Algarve, 15-19/02 (2.HC)

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Max Rockatansky said:
Okay Joaquim Silva create the most mountainous Volta of all time so that Amaro can challenge Veloso. :cool:
The only way W52 will lose the Volta is if there is some internal beef due to too many riders capable of winning. Gustavo won't be two years without winning it and he'll attack Vinhas and Antunes if needed.

Inquitus said:
Generally these fairytales fall apart pretty quickly, hope that's not the case here.
Here's what I wrote when Amaro Antunes had a great showing at the Volta ao Algarve last year:

Libertine Seguros said:
JRanton said:
TMobile41 said:
Amaro Antunes = Aru :D :eek: :D
A new favourite for Jens I imagine. Rocket fuelled.
Amaro Antunes is a pure climber and fans of Portuguese cycling have been waiting for him to back up his junior performances for a while. They included the mighty Alto de São Macário in the Volta do Futuro a few years ago, about 30-40km from the line, and Amaro just took the field to pieces, but hasn't been able to replicate that to date as an elite. LA-Antarte is one of the less suspicious Portuguese teams (although I am fully aware that's a relative measure) as well.

It's quite pleasing to see a Portuguese from a domestic team getting into the top 10 of this race, as the domestic pros never seem to be on form for it despite it being one of their few opportunities (if not their only opportunity) to compete in a field of this calibre all year. Antunes is 10th overall, which matches what Edgar Pinto managed two years ago (for the same team) and what he managed in the Volta a Portugal last year. It is very interesting (and probably a matter for another part of the forum if I'm honest) that LA-Antarte tend to get swamped by the likes of W52 and Efapel in August, but are the only national team to have success at the Volta ao Algarve since Liberty Seguros Continental went under back in 2009.
Sure, now he's not with LA, he's with one of the more dubious Portuguese teams and they have a pretty shady history and are rightly treated with suspicion.

Sure, he didn't just compete with the best but won the final stage.

Sure, his attack was pretty massive and opened up a big gap very quickly.

But he lost nearly 2 minutes on GC because of a toxic time trial. Nobody marked him because he was down the GC enough. The pace he got away from was made by Gianni Moscon, not one of Sky's leading mountain train experts who'll be carrying Froome around in July, so the pace he escaped wasn't that high. Roglič didn't give a flying one about chasing him because he's 2 minutes down and, with no helpers, he's not going to burn himself out chasing people he doesn't have to. Kwiatkowski is not exactly the next coming of Pantani either, and the racing today was pretty tame, with nobody even really chasing Antunes.

Also, Amaro was born in Vila Real de Santo António. Right around the corner from here. This will be one of his main training grounds. Hence why you saw his name painted all over the roads. Local knowledge. And also, the desire to peak in front of what is both the largest home audience and the biggest shop window for Portuguese riders against the international péloton. Also, it's February. None of the big guns are going to be peaking. Amaro probably now has about five months before building up to his next real peak.

I honestly think Amaro deserves to have got out of the insular Portuguese scene by now. He had the talent as a grimpeur since his espoir days. He might not be a star, but he'd make a very useful mountain helper or stagehunter at a higher level.
Re: Re:

LaFlorecita said:
Sky tactics... if you want to take 22 seconds on Malhão, you can't leave it till 1k to go.

Great win for Antunes and well deserved victory for the ski jumper
Or attack like Kwiatek did. He lacked a lot of punch to bring Rogla in trouble.

Mayomaniac said:
Alexandre B. said:
First honest showing of Gaudu in the pro ranks. He attacked but it fell flat.
Yes, and Hernan Aguirre finished just behind him.
So only a few days until Volta ao Alentejo (2.1) will start. Manzana brings Aguirre and as captain Vilela. The first stage has a hilltop finish in Castelo de Vide so maybe he can do something there. Movistar will start there as well with Oliveira. Plus the whole portuguese peloton. So it might be another one for Antunes.

If you want to take a look at the stages -> https://www.voltaaoalentejo2017.com/etapa1
That's quite unfortunate for Castro

Pleased with Rogla's win !

Also good to see youngsters Gaudu and Aguirre doing reasonably well.

Benoot seams to be in very good shape though. Will he shift to the Ardennes as he grows older?

Both him and Moscon seem to be good in most types of terrains.
Yeah I had a small hope after Valencia that Amaro might get something out of Algarve considering the lower level field (compared to previous years) and the fact that he would have some freedom after the TT. Also it was a massive help that the racing was pretty lame with Moscon making the pace for most of the climb. Of course it was good that there was no Quintana there to smash wannabes :D

Now about the reputation and the fairytales, I won't put my hands in the fire for anyone in the portuguese peloton but I like the fact that he's been good in Algarve before and he usually gets trashed in the Volta. I hope that's the case again this year, a strong showing in the Volta is never a good indicator, winning there is for wonder peaks like Veloso and so on.

Regarding his career, I think he's good enough to be on a bigger team, probably as a domestique but he's probably better than some more hyped riders in the WT peloton.