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Race leader Veloso virtually sealed the overall win in the Volta a Portugal by taking a dominant victory in the time trial on the penultimate day, beating prologue winner De La Parte by 55 seconds






09.08.2014 @ 19:29 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Gustavo Cesar Veloso (OFM) left no doubt about his superiority in the Volta a Portugal when he crushed the opposition in the time trial on the penultimate day of the race. The Spaniard beat prologue winner Victor De La Parte (Efapel) by a 55 seconds and increased his overall lead over Rui Sousa (Radio Popular) massively in the process.


A few days ago, Gustavo Cesar Veloso expressed slight concern that he would be unable to hold off Luis Leon Sanchez (Caja Rural) in the final time trial if he didn’t increase his lead in the queen stage. He managed to do so but based on his performance in today’s TT he had no reason to be worried.


Veloso used a great performance in the time trial to underline his status as the strongest rider in the race as he beat his nearest rival Victor De La Parte by a massive 55 seconds to take the stage win and increase his overall lead significantly. Stefan Schumacher (Christina Watches) was a distant third, 1.18 off the mark.


The Volta a Portugal GC was set to be shaped in the 9th stage which was a 28.9km time trial from Oleiras to Serta. With the course being mostly downhill, it was expected to be one for the really powerful riders.


The first rider down the ramp was Alvaro Robredo (Burgos) but it was by Jimmi Sørensen (Christina Watches) who enjoyed a short stint in the hot seat. The first rider to beat him was Rafal Reis (Banco BIC) who held off the expected challenge from Carlos Oyarzun (Efapel) but saw himself being relegated into second by a strong Andre Mourato (LA Aluminios).


Mario Costa (OFM) slotted into third and Dmitrii Sokolov into fourth but for some time no one was able to get close to the mark set by Mourato. Eugeni Shalunov (Lokoshinx) got close but his time was only food enough for third.


It was another Lokosphinx rider who finally knocked Mourato out of the hot seat as yesterday’s winner Sergey Shilov was the first rider to go below the 37-minute mark. Daniel Silva (Radop Popular) made it into fourth and Arkaitz Duran (OFM) also cracked the top 10.


However, all eyes now were on Sanchez who had been the fastest at all time checks. The Caja Rural leader lived up to expectations by positing a time that was 23 seconds faster than Shilov’s.


Sanchez didn’t lead the race for long as Schumacher had started just a few minutes later and the German went 5 seconds faster than the Spanish star. Juan Jose OrOZ (Burgos) and Antonio Carvalho (LA) both cracked the top 10 while Hugo Sabido (LA) got close to the podium by moving into fourth.


Hernani Broco (Louletano) and Amaro Antunes (Banco BIC) were the next riders to crack the top 10 but the focus was now on De La Parte who had set the best time at all time checks. The Efapel rider powered across the line in a time that was 23 seconds faster than Sanchez.


He now faced a nervous wait in the hot seat while the GC riders finished their rides. Ricardo Vilela (OFM) did well to move into fourth while Delio Fernandez (OFM) set the sixth best time.


Rui Sousa (Radio Popular) did surprisingly well to take fourth but at this point it was already clear that Veloso was in a class of his own. The Spaniard had beaten everybody at both time checks and rolled across the line to take a dominant stage victory.


With the win, he extended his lead over Sousa to 2.01 and he now just needs to get safely through tomorrow’s mostly ceremonial final stage. Being mostly flat, the stage ends on a circuit in Lisbon where the sprinters are expected to battle it out for the stage win.



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