The 48th edition of the Volta ao Algarve, one of the races of the UCI ProSeries circuit with the highest quality of participants will be on the road between February 16 and 20, to fulfill five stages.
After a year in which the Volta ao Algarve had to be postponed to the month of May due to the pandemic, this year it will return to its traditional date and will have, as we have become used to, a luxury squad. There will be 25 teams in the race, among them ten WorldTeams, five ProTeams and the ten continental Portuguese teams.
The pre-entry list has been suffering several last minute changes and only at the end of this afternoon the official list with the names of the riders that will be present in the race was released. One of the main absences is the 2021 winner, João Rodrigues (W52-FC Porto). However, the riders who joined the Algarve rider on the podium last year will be present, namely the British Ethan Hayter (INEOS Grenadiers) and the Danish Kasper Asgreen (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team). They will also be joined by the winners of the 2020 editions, Remco Evenepoel (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team), 2015 and 2016, Geraint Thomas (INEOS Grenadiers), among many other big names in world cycling.
In this 48th edition of the Volta ao Algarve, which is expected to be very competitive, there will be riders who have already triumphed in UCI races this season, which shows their good physical condition. This is the case of the recent Colombian road champion, Sergio Higuita (Bora-hansgrohe), and time trial champion, Daniel Martinez (INEOS Grenadiers), but also Fabio Jakobsen (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team), Bryan Coquard (Cofidis), Alexander Kristoff (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux) and Brandon McNulty (UAE Team Emirates).
The list of international stars able to fight for the overall also includes the two-time European time trial champion Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ) and team mate David Gaudu, Joseph Dombrowski (Astana Qazaqstan Team), Ion Izaguirre (Cofidis), Tobias Foss (Jumbo-Visma) and Warren Barguil (Team Arkéa-Samsic). Besides the sprinters who have already won races in 2022, Jordi Meeus (Bora-hansgrohe), Tim Merlier (Alpecin Fenix) and Hugo Hofstetter (Team Arkéa-Samsic) are also among the riders in competition.
In this edition of the race we can also count on the presence of riders who are not only good on the road. Among them is the British Thomas Pidcock (INEOS Grenadiers), Olympic champion in XCO (BTT) and world champion in cyclocross, but also the Portuguese Rui Oliveira (UAE Team Emirates), current European elite champion in Scratch (track cycling). Oliveira will be one of the four Portuguese representing foreign teams that will be competing in the Algarve, joining Ivo Oliveira (UAE Team Emirates), Iúri Leitão (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) and André Carvalho (Cofidis).
Given the quality of this peloton, the Portuguese continental teams will not have their job made easy. They will have to use their best assets to overcome their opponents and be protagonists in an event with strong national and international media coverage. The Volta ao Algarve will be broadcast live on CMTV and Eurosport 2 between 4 pm and 5 pm, it will be broadcasted in over 190 countries (via Eurosport and the GCN platform) and will be followed on the ground by over 80 media professionals.
Every year, the organisation of the Volta ao Algarve gives the Prestige Award to a figure who, due to their curriculum, lends prestige to the race with their presence. In 2022, for the first time, the award will not be given to a cyclist. This time we are honouring a sports director, Hilaire van der Schueren, from the Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert team, who has had a professional career in cycling for over 30 years and who has always recognised the importance of the Volta ao Algarve in the international context, helping us to project the race internationally.
The Prestige Award was first granted in 2016, with the organisation deciding to share the award between the Swiss Fabian Cancellara, the Spaniard Alberto Contador and the Belgian Tom Boonen. The following year, the award went to German Tony Martin, in 2018 to Belgian Philippe Gilbert, and in 2019 there was no award given. In 2020 the award went to Vincenzo Nibali and last year it was Sérgio Paulinho, the only Portuguese cylcist to win an Olympic medal (silver in the Athens 2004 road race), who received the recognition from the organisation.
16th February: Portimão (12h15) – Lagos (17h10), 199,1 km
February 17: Albufeira (12h50) – Fóia (17h20), 182.4 km
18th February: Almodôvar (12h05) – Faro (17h15), 211.4 km
19th February: Vila Real de Santo António – Tavira, 32,2 km time trial. First cyclist starts in Vila Real de Santo António at 2pm. The last (yellow jersey) arrives in Tavira at 17h30.
Feb 20th: Lagoa (1 p.m.) – Alto do Malhão (5.15 p.m.), 173 km