Volta ao Algarve em Bicicleta 2020, Portugal, February 19 - February 23

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I'm interested to see how Kamnas climbing level stacks up against a stronger field. He could go on the attack with Valverde in Murcia which shows a level he never reached this early. And then how his ITT develops while he is improving his climbing. Being coached by Lorang could be really fruitful for him.
Kämna really has a lot of potential. He showed that he has the ability to regenerate well from day to day at last years Tour and he already showed that he can be a good time trial rider. He was a bit in a hole mentally and physical at Sunweb in 2018, but now he seems to have fun again and the Team backs him up really good. He gets his chances to race for resuts now early and at the others races he will try to help Buchmann, especially at the Tour de France. So he doesn't have the big pressure and he can get better slowly. He is a really aggressive rider. He was 4 times in the break in the last 4 hilly races at Mallora and in Murcia. He attacked a lot at the Tour. I think the Sunweb tactic (riding for only one rider) was holding him back a lot. As far as a I know the riders were not allowed to get in breaks very often. Bora is trying to copy the Quick Sep tactic a bit. One time Buchmann attacks, then Kämna, then Mühlberger, Schachmann and so on.
 
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Two previews:


 
I have no idea what to expect from Van der Poel here, if anything. I know he pretty much never rides anonymously but cross season just ended and hasn't he been mostly skiing and off the bike since then? Still, I never put anything past him.

Also, I know he's only ridden 1 non-prologue TT since he was a junior and likely hasn't ever trained too much on a TT bike but I wonder what his aptitude is there and if he'll go for it on that final stage.
 
I have no idea what to expect from Van der Poel here, if anything. I know he pretty much never rides anonymously but cross season just ended and hasn't he been mostly skiing and off the bike since then? Still, I never put anything past him.

Also, I know he's only ridden 1 non-prologue TT since he was a junior and likely hasn't ever trained too much on a TT bike but I wonder what his aptitude is there and if he'll go for it on that final stage.
He was 6th in the Tour of Britain TT last year. Defending his leader jersey.

Tbh seen the the course, the sprint stages are too easy for him and the other stages too hard. So not sure if he's doing anything here other than warming up.
 
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He was 6th in the Tour of Britain TT last year. Defending his leader jersey.

Tbh seen the the course, the sprint stages are too easy for him and the other stages too hard. So not sure if he's doing anything here other than warming up.
Give it a spin on Malhao as in give any sort of indication on how his climbing is. Obviously not talking about being there with GC guys but just going for it, maybe get top 20 on an 8 minute climb or something.
 
So first ITT clash of 2020 between Dennis and Evenepoel. Who will come out on top? Or will there be a third party involved?
Because the ITT is with 20 km relatively long, the other riders have to gain some time on stage 2 and stage 4 on these two riders. From a pure profile perspective this race would be perfect for a rider like Thomas. But I don´t think that he is in form yet. The profile of this race is also good for Maximilian Schachmann. But it´s also his first race this season...
 
Because the ITT is with 20 km relatively long, the other riders have to gain some time on stage 2 and stage 4 on these two riders. From a pure profile perspective this race would be perfect for a rider like Thomas. But I don´t think that he is in form yet. The profile of this race is also good for Maximilian Schachmann. But it´s also his first race this season...
Climbers will need at least 2 minutes advantage on Remco and Dennis before the last stage to feel safe. Others like Kwiat, Thomas etc might only need about 1 maybe.

Looking at last year though. The difference wasnt that big between specialists and the others on the same route. This year the ITT comes at the end also, so if you have done well on the other stages and is in form you might not lose that much.
 
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I have been looking forward to this race. Really hoping for Van der Poel to do well, as in win a stage and be in contention. I expect Evenepoel to win this overall with a time trial victory. Also hoping for Jakobsen to confirm his tier 1 sprinter status.
 
Because the ITT is with 20 km relatively long, the other riders have to gain some time on stage 2 and stage 4 on these two riders. From a pure profile perspective this race would be perfect for a rider like Thomas. But I don´t think that he is in form yet. The profile of this race is also good for Maximilian Schachmann. But it´s also his first race this season...
Thomas finished 2nd 2 years ago when he won the Tour later that year. Also won it twice before, but that was when he was focusing more on the spring classics. I don't get why people think he won't be in decent form yet. He's usually in pretty alright shape already this time of year.

Considering the time trial I'd say the 3 Ineos guys and Evenepoel are the main contenders for gc.

Also interested to see how and if MvdP can match up in the sprints with Jakobsen and Viviani. I hope he won't be just the lead-out for Modolo.
 
Thomas finished 2nd 2 years ago when he won the Tour later that year. Also won it twice before, but that was when he was focusing more on the spring classics. I don't get why people think he won't be in decent form yet. He's usually in pretty alright shape already this time of year.
Well, one can say he always had been in decent form this time of the year until his tour de france win.. last year the first time he had been competitive was at the tour de romandie..
But we will see the next days..
 
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Well, one can say he always had been in decent form this time of the year until his tour de france win.. last year the first time he had been competitive was at the tour de romandie..
But we will see the next days..
I think it would be fair to say last year's early season form was an outlier for Thomas - he normally hits the ground running, with the exception of 2019 which was mainly due to heavily celebrating 2018's successes. He certainly looks a lot leaner than 2019 although that's probably not too difficult! :D

Will be interesting to see how Ineos play this. Depending on the win Foia has been a fairly large group/small gaps on some occasions, so they may be able to keep at least two cards in play for Malhao and the ITT. If Dennis can stay close enough on Foia it might force other teams to open the race up earlier on Malhao like 2018.
 
He was 6th in the Tour of Britain TT last year. Defending his leader jersey.

Tbh seen the the course, the sprint stages are too easy for him and the other stages too hard. So not sure if he's doing anything here other than warming up.
That ITT (or at least his placement in the ranking) was obviously against a weaker field. Thomas, Evenepoel, Küng & Dennis are all better ITT'ers compared to the top in Tour of Britain. But more importantly, is that he finished ahead of Van Emden, Politt, Frison, Haga, Sivakov, Van Moer & Dowsett. All good to great ITT'ers. It was a bit shorter though, so it might have suited him just a bit better. The big unknown factor is, how much he had been practicing back then, and if he's been practicing since. The course in Algarve has plenty of twisting and turning, which should suit him as well. I expect him to do well, top 10 in the ITT is certainly possible if he goes for it, but i can't see him on the podium. Form should be good in between CX and spring.

As for Evenepoel, i'm not sure he's finding an ITT course tailored for him. He's good at cornering manageable corners, but he's not the best at twisting and turning and getting going again imho. Also, the "hilly/mountainous" stages might not be enough to make a difference. I can't really see him grinding away from others here, i expect many would be able to drop him in the final k of the climb with a simple acceleration. For me, he isn't the favorite on this course against these competitors.
 

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