Daniel Martínez surprises and wins the 49th Volta ao Algarve

Daniel Martínez (INEOS Grenadiers) won the 49th Volta ao Algarve after an excellent time trial in Lagoa, won by a two-time European champion in the specialty: Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ). The Colombian was the first to admit that his GC victory came as a surprise. Two seconds separated him from his teammate and one of the best time trialists in the world, Filippo Ganna.

With the british team having Thomas Pidcock with the Yellow Jersey Turismo do Algarve and betting heavily on Filippo Ganna – two-time world champion in the specialty (2020 and 2021) – to win the stage and even “jump” to first place, it turned out to be the colombian Daniel Martínez to hand the victory to INEOS Grenadiers.

“This morning, everyone in the team knew that Filippo [Ganna] was the number one favorite to win the GC. It is true that in the Algarve, day after day, I felt better, but this victory was something of a surprise for me”, he admited the colombian, who won the Yellow Jersey Turismo do Algarve.

“Normally, our strategy, in a race with these characteristics, is to race for Filippo, a time trial specialist. Today was different, my legs were strong too. And we managed to win”, he added.

Martínez was fourth in the last stage, completing the 24.4 kilometers in Lagoa 16 seconds behind Küng. The Swiss – european champion in 2020 and 2021 – secured victory in the time trial with 29m34s. He had already won in Lagoa in 2019, on an identical route, but about four kilometers shorter than this Sunday.

“I really like this race. The Volta ao Algarve is the perfect race to start the season. I have excellent memories of this time trial, I knew from the start that it was in my favor and I am happy to take this victory, which is also the first of this season for the Groupama-FDJ,” said Küng

The italian Filippo Ganna was third, 10 seconds behind the winner, moving up to second place overall, just two seconds behind his teammate, Daniel Martínez. Closing the podium was Ilan van Wilder, 15 seconds behind the winner.

The belgian from Soudal Quick-Step was the only one to hold his place in the top three, because Pidcock dropped to seventh, being just 19th in the time trial (at 1m27s). João Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) also did not have a good day, losing second place. He was 13th, 1m12s behind Küng, dropping to sixth overall.

26 years old Martínez adds Volta ao Algarve to his victory sheet, that includes a Critérium du Dauphiné, a Itzulia Basque Country and a stage in the Tour de France. As main references in the time trial, he has three national titles.

INEOS Grenadiers once again showed how Volta ao Algarve is always a race the team wants to fight for. Martínez is the fourth cyclist of the british formation (counting the time has Sky) to win. The last one was Michal Kwiatkowski (2018) and before that, Geraint Thomas (2015 and 2016) and Richie Porte (2013) also won.

DSM british rider Oscar Onley held on to the White Jersey IPDJ , finishing the race as the winner of the youth classification. Kasper Asgreen (Soudal Quick-Step) won the Blue Jersey Cyclin’Portugal (mountain) and Magnus Cort Nielsen (EF Education-EasyPost) won the Green Jersey Crédito Agrícola (points).