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Phil Bauhaus won a first stage of the Volta a Portugal in a commanding style ahead of Manueal Cardoso and Davide Vigano, while Victor de la Parte maintained his lead in the general classification.

Photo: Sirotti












31.07.2014 @ 19:22 Posted by Aleksandra Górska

Just as if it was written in the script, the first lumpy stage of the Volta a Portugal was decided in a bunch sprint with Phil Bauhaus of Team Stolting emerging as definitely the fastest rider of the peloton, while Victor de la Parte (Efapel-Glassdrive) maintained his four second lead in the general classification following his impressive victory in yesterday’s prologue.


As it was expected, four-rider breakaway of the day decided the first KOM sprint with Pablo Torres becoming the first leader of mountains classification, as well as all intermediate sprints, with the Burgos-BH rider again emerging as the fastest in two out of three occasions. Everything went together with fifteen kilometers to go as the last escapee rightly rewarded with the combativity award, Luis Afonso, was reeled in, and despite several attack on twisty roads in Maia everything came down to a bunch sprint.


The lumpy, 183,5 kilometer long first stage of the Volta a Portugal kicked off under a perfect summer sky and right from a start the four-rider breakaway was formed, consisting of Luis Afonso (LA Aluminios- Antarte), Pablo Torres (Burgos-BH), Samuel Magalhaes (Selecao Portuguesa) and Kazushige Kuboki (Team Ukyo).


Four escapees quickly built a two minute gap over the peloton where Efapel-Glassdrive dictated the pace for the yellow jersey Victor de la Parte, and as expected the breakaway decided the first KOM sprint on the 4th Category climb Marco de Canevas, with Torres emerging as e first leader of mountains classification right after their advantage has grown for an additional minute. Magalhaes came second and Afonso third, while their Japanese companion didn’t show any interest in competing for KOM points.


Even though all escapees cooperated well in the day’s breakaway, the riders never reached a bigger advantage over the peloton than 3:06 with a gap oscillating between 2 – 3 minutes as leader’s team kept on controlling the pace at the front of the peloton after de la Parte won yesterday’s prologue in a commanding style.


The front quartet decided two intermediate sprints, with KOM classification virtual leader Torrest taking the first one ahead of Kuboki and Afonso, while the Team Ukyo rider took the second sprint with Afonso coming second and Torres third. By this time, a gap over the peloton came down to 2 minutes.


As the advantage over the peloton came down to less than 2 minutes with about thirty kilometers to go, Afonso and Torres decided to took off on their own. After two more kilometers Kuboki managed to bridge the gap, while already fading Magalhaes unsurprisingly was forced to call it a day and was left behind by his former companions.


The gap was decreasing very quickly inside the final thirty kilometers and came down to only fourty seconds as the front trio have reached the final intermediate sprint of the day in Alfena, with mountains classification virtual leader Torres coming first again ahead of Kuboki and Afonso.


The latter duo seemed to be content after competing for the last points available from iintermediate sprints and was quickly reeled in by the peloton, while Afonso continued on his own, securing himself a red number for the most aggressive rider of the day.


Just as if it was written in the script, everything came together with 15 kilometers to go, with Efapel-Glassdrive, Banco BIC- Carmim, Christina Watches-Kuma and Caja Rural all visible near the front. Several aggressive riders tried to go clear and take advantage of very technical, twisty final kilometers in Maia, but just as it was expected everything came down to a bunch sprint in which Phil Bauhaus (Team Stolting) emerged as the fastest ahead of Manuel Cardoso (Banco BIC – Carmim) and Davide Vigano (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), while de la Parte maintained his lead in the general classification ahead of Gustavo Cesar (OFM – Quinta da Lixa) and Luis Leon Sanchez (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA).



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