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Spaniard overtakes teammate Marque just before the line in the uphill sprint at the end of the third stage of the Volta a Portugal to make it a 1-2 for OFM on home soil

Photo: IAM Cycling






10.08.2013 @ 19:05 Posted by Daniel Quistgaard

Delio Fernandez (OFM) made a late kick in the uphill sprint at the end of the third stage of the Volta a Portugal and just managed to catch teammate Alejandro Marque who had made a late attack inside the final kilometre. No one managed to overtake Marque and so it was a 1-2 for OFM in their big home race while Marcel Wyss (IAM) defended his leader's jersey on the eve of the first big mountain stage.


With teammate Alejandro Marque fading on the uphill finishing straight, Delio Fernandez felt it necessary to open up his sprint in an attempt to make sure that it would be a win for his OFM team in the third stage of the Volta a Portugal. Paradoxically, the Spaniard was the only rider who was strong enough to catch Marque and so it ended up being a 1-2 for the Portuguese team on a hilly and hot day in Portugal.


The Efapel team of race favourite and yesterday's stage winner Rui Sousa had controlled the peloton on the final hilly finishing circuit but as the attacks started to fire near the finish, the race became more difficult to control. Marque appeared to be the rider with most success and seemed to be destined to take the win until his teammate Fernandez produced his devastating sprint.


Race leader Marcel Wyss (IAM) had seen his teammates work hard to reel in an early escape but it was mission accomplished when the Swiss managed to safely finish in the peloton and so defend his overall lead. He will come significantly more under threat in tomorrow's fourth stage which takes the riders into more mountainous terrain and has a the race's first real summit finish.


2 riders form the early escape

The 3rd stage of the Portuguese national Tour was not an easy one as a flat start gave way for two tough climbs in the middle while the stage finished with a very tough finishing circuit in Fafe that contained several small, nasty hills and an uphill finish.


The start was extremely fast as many riders wanted to get into today's early break and it took a long time for the elastic to finally snap. Marcio Barbosa (LA Aluminios) and Helder Oliveira (OFM) were the two riders that were finally allowed to go up the road.


IAM control the pace

Behind, the IAM team of race leader Wyss started to control the pace and they did not allow the escapees much leeway. With 80km to go, the gap was only 3.56 and the escapees did not even seem to believe in their chances themselves.


They crested the summit of the first climb with a 3-minute gap but on the second one, they started to lose ground. That prompted Sebastien Duret (Bretagne) to launch an offensive and the Frenchman made it across to the two leader who decided to wait for their chaser.


De Maar makes it across

Marc De Maar (UnitedHealthCare) decided to make a similar move and he also joined the leaders before the top of the climb to make it a front quartet. Ronan Van Zandbeek (Cycling Team De Rijke) was the third rider to try to make it across but the Dutchman never made it and fell back into the peloton.


With 38km to go, the gap had come down to less than a minute and so De Maar decided to go off on his own while his three companions were absorbed by the peloton. 3km further up the road, Efapel decided to toughen up the race on the many small hills and so they joined IAM on the front.


All back together

De Maar did a very good job to keep a stable 50-second gap for some time but as the peloton got a little closer with 24km to go, Raul Alarcon (Louletano) launched an attack. He was joined by Celio Sousa (Radio Popular) and Joni Brandao (Efapel) and those three riders made it across to De Maar.


That was more than IAM would accept and so the Swiss team accelerate to bring everything back together with 20km to go. However, Alarcon refused to give up and he launched another attack when the peloton almost came to a standstill a little later.


Efapel put down the hammer

The Spaniard did a good job to keep a 30-second gap for a long time but behind Efapel had now decided to put down the hammer. Their hard pace saw many riders drop off on the many nasty climbs while Alarcon was brought back with 10km to go.


From there Efapel remained in control for most of the rest of the stage until Radio Popular finally took over with 2km to go. That tea launched Daniel Silva up the road and the Portuguese passed the flamme rouge as the lone leader of the stage.


Matteo Fedi (Ceramica Flaminia) kicked with Marque in his wheel and those two made it across to Silva with less than 500m to go. From there, Marque went off on his own and appeared to have the win safely locked up when his teammate Fernandez opened up his sprint, narrowly denying his teammate with the narrowest of margins.



1. Delio Fernandez 4.25.44

2. Alejandro Marque

3. Fabien Schmidt

4. Manuel Cardoso

5. Edgar Pinto

6. Vladislav Gorbunov

7. Matteo Fedi

8. Gustavo Cesar Veloso

9. Micael Isidoro

10. Hugo Sabido


General classification

1. Marcel Wyss 15.12.11

2. Cesar Fonte +0.04

3. Rui Sousa

4. Gustavo Cesar Veloso +0.06

5. Delio Fernandez

6. Alejandro Marque

7. Matteo Fedi

8. Vladislav Gorbunov +0.09

9. Hernani Broco +0.10

10. Nuno Ribeiro


Points classification:

1. Manuel Cardoso 32

2. Matteo Fedi 26

3. Rui Sousa 25

4. Delio Fernandez 25

5. Alejandro Marque 20


Mountains classification:

1. Helder Oliveira 10

2. Rui Sousa 7

3. Marcio Barbosa 6


Youth classification:

1. Vladislav Gorbunov

2. Rafael Silva

3. Nuno Matos


Teams classification:

1. Efapel 45.23.05

2. OFM +0.02

3. LA Aluminios +0.36

4. Ceramica Flaminia +1.13

5. Sojasun +1.18



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