Volta ao Algarve – Stage 2


Geraint Thomas second on stage 2 and also second overall after a determined ride in the Volta ao Algarve

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Volta ao Algarve – Stage 2

Geraint Thomas battled back from an early fall to finish second on a brutal second stage of the Volta ao Algarve.

Thomas hit the deck with Salvatore Puccio during the first hour of the 198.6km trek from Lagoa, but dusted himself down and then let rip on the Alto da Fóia as the main contenders worked their way to the fore.

The Welshman battled all the way to the summit of the first-category climb, ending the day just one second behind the triumphant Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana). Those results mean Thomas now trails Sanchez by five seconds at the top of the overall standings, with the opportunity to make time back on the Spaniard in Friday’s 18km time trial. LottoNL-Jumbo rider Primoz Roglic meanwhile, sits four seconds further back in third place after taking the same position on the stage.
Queen stage

The hardest day of this year’s race featured four categorised climbs in the last 60km and seven riders forged ahead before the road ramped upwards. As Tinkoff began to keep the breakaway in check, Team Sky were dealt a series of blows with Thomas and Puccio both taking early tumbles before David Lopez was forced to abandon after crashing shortly before the second intermediate sprint.

The race came back together with 30km to go, and once Dries Devenyns’ (IAM Cycling) solo attack had been snuffed out, four riders moved clear as they began the final, toughest climb of the day.

High winds and a determined chase saw them brought back into the fold 2km from the summit, and by then Thomas had ridden his way firmly into contention. Although the 29 year old couldn’t repeat his stage success of last season, he is now brilliantly positioned heading into Friday’s potentially-pivotal race against the clock.

Stage Winner Luis Leon Sanchez
“I’m super happy for today victory in front of so many super strong rivals!” said Luis Leon Sanchez before the podium.

“I knew my condition was good but I didn’t know how I could perform on an uphill finish like this. When Thomas attacked, I was looking at Contador waiting for his reply. The wind was so strong on our left but I had good legs. Then I decided to reply myself and I had been able to overtake Thomas and win this difficult stage”.

“I want to thank all my teammates who really helped my today. Also, a special dedication is for my family who is doing many sacrifice with me so many days away from home… this win is a way to say thanks” continued Sanchez. Tomorrow there is the individual time trial where normally I’m quite good… let’s see what will happen” concluded the Spaniard.

Tomorrow the third stage of the Volta ao Algarve is an 18 km individual time trial with start and finish in Sagres.


1 Luis Leon Sanchez, Astana Pro Team 5:08:26
2 Geraint Thomas, Team Sky 0:00:01
3 Primoz Roglic, Team LottoNl-Jumbo 0:00:02
4 Jon Izaguirre, Movistar Team 0:00:02
5 Tiago Machado, Team Katusha 0:00:05
6 Thibaut Pinot, FDJ 0:00:06
7 Amaro Antunes, La Aluminios/Antarte 0:00:09
8 Hector Saez, Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 0:00:13
9 Tiesj Benoot, Lotto Soudal 0:00:13
10 Fabio Aru , Astana Pro Team 0:00:15
12 Robert Gesink,Team LottoNl-Jumbo 0:00:16
13 Tony Gallopin, Lotto Soudal 0:00:16
14 Frank Schleck, Trek-Segafredo 0:00:17
17 Tony Martin, Etixx – Quick-Step 0:00:17
20 Zdenek Stybar, Etixx – Quick-Step 0:00:22
21 Alberto Contador, Tinkoff Team 0:00:24
24 Dylan Van Baarle , Cannondale Pro Cycling 0:01:08
39 Fabian Cancellara, Trek-Segafredo 0:07:49
75 Tom Boonen, Etixx – Quick-Step 0:09:07
77 Ian Stannard, Team Sky 0:09:08
96 Niki Terpstra, Etixx – Quick-Step 0:18:07
105 Alex Dowsett, Movistar Team 0:20:37
109 Zakkari Dempster, Bora-Argon 18 0:20:38

1. Luis Leon Sanchez , Astana
2. Geraint Thomas, Team Sky @ 5 secs
3. Primoz Roglic, LottoNL-Jumbo @9 secs

6. Thibaut Pinot FDJ @ 15
12. Tony Martin, Etixx Quickstep @25



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