A little bit of history in Alto do Malhão?

Alto do Malhão. A traditional finish, but every year with its own story. It’s climbed twice – the second coincides with the finish line – and it can decide the Volta ao Algarve. With a 47 second lead, Remco Evenepoel (Soudal Quick-Step), who got the Yellow Jersey Turismo do Algarve after the time trial, has a good lead. But will it be enough?

The climb is short, less than three kilometers, but has an average gradient of 9.3%. There are no easy points and it requires cyclists with the ability to accelerate in these types of difficulties. Like Thomas Pidcock (INEOS Grenadiers) or Sergio Higuita (BORA-hansgrohe), the last two winners in Malhão and who could repeat the feat this Sunday.

However, it is also possible for cyclists less known for their “climbing” abilities to win. The biggest surprise, recently, was Zdenek Stybar (Deceuninck-Quick Step), in 2019, a man of classics, who took advantage of the day’s escape. Big names are on the list of winners, such as Alberto Contador (2014 and 2016), Richie Porte (2012 and 2015) and Michal Kwiatkowski (2018).

The final stage of the 50th Tour of the Algarve (165.8 kilometers) begins in Faro (11:25), with the climbs of Picota (43.8 kilometers), Vermelhos (99) and Alte (128.3) – all third category – helping the “warm up” to the exciting finale that awaits in Malhão (second category), without forgetting the points at stake for the Blue Jersey Água é Vida, symbol of the best climber, now Daniel Martínez (BORA-hansgrohe).

The intermediate sprint will be at 28,6 kilometers in Loulé, in this case for the fight of Green Jersey Crédito Agrícola (points classification). Gerben Thijssen (Intermarché-Wanty) has worn it since his victory in Lagos, in the first stage.

Remco Evenepoel was fifth and third in the two editions of the race, which he would eventually win (2020 and 2022) and will start the fifth stage with 47 seconds over Daniel Martínez and 1:12 minutes over Jan Tratnik (Team Visma | Lease a Bike). If he wins the overall, he will be the second cyclist to do it three times, after the Portuguese Belmiro Silva (1977, 1981 and 1984).

Another point of interest is the youth classification. Magnus Sheffield (INEOS Grenadiers) regained the White Jersey IPDJ in the Albufeira time trial, this Saturday, but Portuguese António Morgado (UAE Team Emirates) is just five seconds behind the American.

It’s a stage of constant ups and downs, a lot of wear and tear, even more so after four intense days of yet another excellent edition of the Volta ao Algarve. Will Remco Evenepoel make some more history?

Stage 5 route.

Fourth stage results.