173 riders from 25 teams will race the 44th edition of the Volta ao Algarve. The 2.HC class event has five stages and will be TV broadcast to 120 countries. There are 19 riders from the top 100 of the UCI World Ranking and national champions from 15 countries.
The fight for the yellow jersey in the Volta ao Algarve is predicted to be hard, with several teams lining up with their main leaders. Tony Martin (Team Katusha Alpecin), Richie Porte (BMC Racinf Team), Geraint Thomas and Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) will start in Albufeira as former winners but there aren’t the only stars in the portuguese race. Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing Team), Bob Jungels (Quick-Step Floors), Louis Meintjes (Team Dimension Data), Bauke Mollema (Trek Segafredo) and Daniel Martin (UAE Team Emirates) will contest, as expected, the first positions in the race for the general classification.
Team Presentation in Albufeira
The 25 teams will be presented before the start of the first stage in Albufeira, an important moment in which the fans, as usual, contact closely with their idols, getting to know those who will be the protagonists of the next five days.
Sprinters ready for the first stage
The 44th Volta ao Algarve starts with a 192.6 km stage, starting in Albufeira (at 12:05) and ending at approximately 17:00, in Lagos. The stage is essentially flat, including only two categorised climbs, in Aldeia dos Matos (4th category, km 43.9) and Eira (3rd category, km 84.6), and two intermediate sprints in Loulé (km 69.6) and Odiáxere (km 176.8).
As a sprint finale is expected, the favourites of the first day are Arnaud Démare (FDJ), Ben Swift (UAE Team Emirates), Dylan Groenewegen (Team LottoNL-Jumbo), Jens Debusschere (Lotto Soudal), John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) and Jurgen Roelandts Racing Team).
Live TV broadcast
The 44th Tour of the Algarve will be broadcast live from 4 pm (Portuguese time) on portuguese TVI24 and on Eurosport 2. The race will reach televisions in 120 countries on five continents.
The Prestige Prize of this edition will be awarded to the Belgian Philippe Gilbert (Quick-Step Floors). Philippe Gilbert succeeds Tony Martin, Tom Boonen, Alberto Contador and Fabian Cancellara, riders who received the Prestige Prize in previous years.
The presentation of the Prestige Award 2018 is scheduled for the start of the second stage on Thursday in Sagres.
14 de fevereiro: 1.ª Etapa: Albufeira – Lagos, 192,6 km
15 de fevereiro: 2.ª Etapa: Sagres – Fóia (Monchique), 187,9 km
16 de fevereiro: 3.ª Etapa: Lagoa – Lagoa, 20,3 km (CRI)
17 de fevereiro: 4.ª Etapa: Almodôvar – Tavira, 199,2 km
18 de fevereiro: 5.ª Etapa: Faro – Malhão (Loulé), 173,5 km