This year Alto do Malhão will not decide the winner of the 49th Volta ao Algarve. However, the importance of the fourth stage is extreme, in the eve of the Lagoa time trial.
The specialists will do everything to stay in the fight for the GC, while those who are less strong in the time trial will have to try and increase their advantage. A plan that the Yellow Jersey Turismo do Algarve, Magnus Cort Nielsen (EF Education-EasyPost) might consider.
The fourth stage will start in Albufeira (11:20 am): 177.9 kilometres until Alto do Malhão. But it promises to be very intense. The double climb in Malhão never disappoints.
It will be a day with a lot of ups and downs, with five categorized climbs. The two in Malhão (153.9 kilometers and finish line) are second category, with Picota (47.1), Vermelhos (111.1) and Alte (140.4) – all third – being important in the fight for the mountain classification, but also in preparation for the fight for the GC. The ascent to Malhão is short (2.6 kilometres), but has an average slope of 9.2%.
São Brás de Alportel will receive the only intermediate sprint of the day, at 70 kilometers.
As for winners in Malhão, the last two are present: Sergio Higuita (BORA-hansgrohe) and Élie Gesbert (Arkéa Samsic). Michal Kwiatkowski (INEOS Grenadiers) triumphed in 2018.