Not the best of days for BORA - hansgrohe in the queen stage of the Volta ao Algarve.
Today´s second stage profile favoured the climbers in the peloton. The race featured nearly 190 kilometers with an uphill finish. The finish climb was marked by ca. 9% on the last 10 kilometers, therefore it was the queen stage of this year´s Volta ao Algarve. But before the peloton came to the final climb they had to pass 2 intermediate sprints and 2 KOM´s.
Like yesterday, a breakaway group was formed directly after the start. A group of 8 riders pulled away from the peloton and was gone for most of the stage. This group built an advantage to the peloton of about 2 minutes. BORA – hansgrohe tried to save energy for the final climb and to work for José Mendes. The pace was very high the whole day and like expected, the breakaway group was caught from the peloton with 25 kilometers to go.
In the end the whole peloton came together into the final climb. Team Quick-Step Floors set the pace and took control at the head of the peloton. In the final kilometers, many attacks were started but only two riders were able to pull away and build an advantage of some seconds - Dan Martin (Quick-Step Floors) and Primoz Roglic (Team LottoNL-Jumbo). Two BORA – hansgrohe riders, Silvio Herklotz and Jan Barta, tried to follow but lost on the 10-kilometer final climb some minutes to the later winner Dan Martin (Quick-Step Floors).
As best BORA – hansgrohe rider it was Jan Barta who finished in 31st place. Silvio Herklotz finished directly behind Jan. The rest of the BORA – hansgrohe squad finished safely in the peloton.
The focus of the team is already on tomorrow´s ITT. With Jan Barta, BORA – hansgrohe has a rider with the potential to finish in the top ten.
“It wasn’t our day today. Christoph, who was second in the overall, had a puncture shortly before the final climb. Therefore, he lost the connection to the group. Jan was a long time in a good position but had to quit also in the final climb. But we are looking forward to the ITT tomorrow.” – Jens Zemke, Sports director