The 3rd stage of the Volta ao Algarve was one for the time trial specialists and Jonothan Castroviejo (Movistar) would capitalize on the opportunity, taking the win ahead of Tony Martin (Katusha-Alpecin) and Primoz Roglic (Lotto-Soudal).
The 18km race against the clock was not the longest of efforts, but definitely one the purists would relish as they aimed to average over 50km/h for the duration of the course. Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka were intially hoping Steve Cummings could target today’s stage but after the Brit had to pull out with illness yesterday, it was a day of taking what we could.
Edvald Boasson Hagen was rightly keen on giving the course a good crack and he was able to benefit from decent markers set by Johann van Zyl and Omar Fraile. When Boasson Hagen crossed the line, he had the 2nd fastest time of the day. It was then a fairly long wait to see where our Norwegian Champion would place as the GC favourites finished their efforts.
In the end Boasson Hagen would slot into 8th place behind some accomplished time trial specialists. A decent result for the first time trial of the year by Boasson Hagen. Tomorrow should be another chance for the sprinters and our African Team will be hoping to launch our Manx missile to victory.
Alex Sans Vega – Sport Director
Obviously we didn’t have Steve today and this is a stage that could’ve suited him. The guys were still focused and it was good to go through the rhythm of a time trial early in the season. Omar did a good effort on a very flat course and Johann was looking good too. Edvald was always in with a shout on this type of course, and his strength got him to a nice top 10 result. We are still aiming for our stage win and tomorrow will be a good opportunity.