Ben King was in the action today for Team Dimension Data, as he claimed the King of the Mountains jersey in an eventful stage.
Stage 2 of the Volta ao Algarve started from Sagres and ended in Fóia. The 187.9km stage included a 4th category climb, followed by three 3rd category climbs, after which the riders had to tackle a category one summit finish.
The race started with a numerous attacks, but a group was only successful 10km into racing. Ben King from our African Team made the breakaway with Lukas Pöstlberger (Bora-hansgrohe), Yves Lampaert (Quick-Step Floors), John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo), Marcos Jurado (Efapel), Oscar Pelegri (Rádio Popular-Boavista), Ricardo Mestre (W52/FC Porto).
King was on the attack today and picked up maximum KOM points at the first climb of the day, through Monte Ruivo. That was followed by the sprint in Aljezur, which he was first in as well. With three more category climbs to follow, our American climber ensured he picked up all the points on offer. By passing through Sapeira’s climb first, Ben moved into the virtual lead for the King of the Mountains jersey.
King and Lukas Postlberger (Bora) dropped the other riders with 18km to go and started the final climb of the day. Team Sky worked hard at the front of the peloton to ensure that they were brought back. They were caught with 9km to go.
With 6kms till the end, Kiryienka (Sky), made an escape, which Louis Meintjes and a few other riders tried to counter. They were brought back and Kiryienka was caught in the final 2kms. The summit finish was contested by a group of riders, and Michal Kwiatkowski won the stage. Our GC contender for the race, Louis Meintjes was in the mix, picking up a strong 11th place, which moves him into 10th in the GC battle.
Through his aggressive work in break, Ben King donned the KOM jersey at the end of the stage and will start tomorrow in the blue jersey.
Louis Meintjes- Rider
“It was a pretty good day, the peloton let the breakaway get a bit of time, so they had to keep the pace pretty high throughout the whole stage. We had a really good position the whole day, and the guys really looked after me. I felt pretty good so I tried my luck a little earlier on the climb, but they brought it back and I just tried to hold on with all the other favourites.”