Fernando Gaviria won the sprint in Lagos

Colombian Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors) won the first stage of the 43rd Volta ao Algarve, a 182.9 kilometer flat stage that started in Albufeira and ended in a thrilling sprint in Lagos.

Fernando Gaviria’s third victory of the season was built on the Colombian’s physical power and with the collective work of his team, QuickStep Floors. Already in the last hundred meters, Matteo Trentin, attacked destabilizing the work of the remaining formations. With this move, Gaviria only had to concentrate on the more direct rivals, firing it into the last 100 meters.

Fernando Gaviria took his place in front of two other great sprinters German André Greipel (Lotto Soudal) and French Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis).

The win in Lagos, before an enthusiastic crowd, left Fernando Gaviria in possession of the Camisola Amarela (Yellow Jersey) Turismo do Algarve. He will start on Thursday with a 1 second advantage in the General Classification over German Christoph Pfingsten (Bora-Hansgrohe) and 4 seconds ahead of another German, André Greipel.

The stage began in Albufeira and five men did not wait long to attack. Christoph Pfingsten (Bora-hansgrohe), Justin Oien (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Brian van Goethem (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij), Adam de Vos (Rally Cycling) and João Benta (RP- Boavista) went to the front within the first kilometers.

Adam de Vos was the first to pass on the only mountain of the day, at Picota, at kilometer 22. He thus secured the Liberty Seguros Blue Jersey, which rewards the best climber.

Twenty-five kilometers from the finish, the escapees were reunited in the peloton again. The first place of Fernando Gaviria assured the Colombian three leaderships. In addition to the “camisola amarela” (Yellow Jersey), he also tooks the Red Jersey Cofidis (Points classification) and the White Sicasal Jersey (Best young rider). Quick-Step Floors is leading the Team General Classification.

The second stage, to be disputed on Thursday, should change the general classification. The peloton will ride 189.3 kilometers between Lagoa and Alto de Fóia in Monchique, with the finish line to coincide with a first category climb. It will be the first test between the favourites of the GC.

“It’s my third win of the year, the first of this season in Europe. It’s important to start earning early in the year, that give us confidence for the next races. It was a long sprint before prominent experts like Greipel, Bouhanni or Degenkolb. I am happy to give another victory to my team and wear the yellow jersey in the Volta ao Algarve. After Algarve, my next objetive is the National Championships in Colombia. But here I still hope to take a victory in the fourth stage.”

– Fernando Gaviria

“My main goal for the stage was to fight for the mountains classification and the sprints. It’s only my second race of the year, but the sensations were good and the break was successful. I’ll try to defend this jersey for another day, but it will be very difficult considering the level of this peloton.”

– Adam De Vos

1.ª Etapa/1st Stage: Albufeira – Lagos, 182,9 km
1.º Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors), 4h28m31s (40,869 km/h)
2.º André Greipel (Lotto Soudal), mt
3.º Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis), mt
4.º Dylan Groenewegen (Team Lotto NL-Jumbo), mt
5.º John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo), mt
6.º Baptiste Planckaert (Team Katusha Alpecin), mt
7.º Matteo Trentin (Quick-Step Floors), mt
8.º Andrea Pasqualon (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), mt
9.º Lukasz Wisniowski (Team Sky), mt
10.º Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Dimension Data), mt

1.º Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors), 4h28m21s
2.º Christoph Pfingsten (Bora-hansgrohe), a 1s
3.º André Greipel (Lotto Soudal), a 4s
4.º Justin Oien (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), mt
5.º Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis), a 6s
6.º João Benta (RP-Boavista), a 8s
7.º Dylan Groenewegen (Team Lotto NL-Jumbo), a 10s
8.º John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo), mt
9.º Baptiste Planckaert (Team Katusha Alpecin), mt
10.º Matteo Trentin (Quick-Step Floors), mt