After a demanding but impeccable time trial by Remco Evenepoel (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl), Malhão will receive the final showdown in the fight for the Turismo do Algarve Yellow Jersey. In 2022, the double pass returns up the Malhão, with the last one coinciding with the finish line. Short stage (173 kilometres), starting in Lagoa and expected to be an explosive one, as is traditional in this finale.
The 48th Volta ao Algarve remains open, although the Belgian has an advantage that will make it difficult for the rivals who still aspire to win the yellow jersey. However, it is a stage that calls for attacks and it could be a difficult day for Evenepoel’s team, who is looking to win the race for the second time, after the triumph in 2020.
Before Malhão (second category) – the first pass will be at 149 kilometers -, the peloton starts to “warm up” in Picota (at 43.6 kilometers), followed by Vermelhos (106.2) and Alte (135.5). All third-rate climbs. The intermediate sprints are in Paderne (34) and Loulé (52.9).
However, it will not be only the categorized climbs that will create difficulties. There will be more ups and downs that will test the stamina of those looking for a good result. In recent editions, the winners in Malhão are not necessarily the champions of the Volta ao Algarve. Richie Porte and Michal Kwiatkowski, both from then-Sky, were exceptions in the last decade. However, those who fight for the GC cannot fail for even a meter.
Élie Gesbert (Arkéa-Samsic), Miguel Ángel López (Astana) and Zdenek Stybar (Deceuninck-QuickStep) were the last three winners, with only one rider in the race that has already won in Malhão: Amaro Antunes (W52-FC Porto).
Only Richie Porte and Alberto Contador won on more than one occasion in this mythical ascent of the Volta ao Algarve. The Spaniard is the record holder: three (2010, 2014 and 2016). Remember that we are facing a short climb, less than three kilometers, but with an average slope of 9.2%.
Fabio Jakobsen (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) is well on his way to conquer the points classification, wearing the Crédito Agrícola Green Jersey, Remco Evenepoel still fights for the GC, but he is comfortable in the youth lead, wearing the IPDJ White Jersey since the first day of race. João Matias (Tavfer-Mortágua-Ovos Matinados) aims to keep the Lusíadas Blue Jersey, from the mountain classification. It won’t be easy for a cyclist who is far from being a natural climber, but who has been very active in the Algarve precisely in the fight for this jersey.