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While Cardoso beat Vigano and Shilov in the traditional bunch sprint in Lisbon, Veloso finished safely in the bunch to win the race overall












10.08.2014 @ 20:23 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Manuel Cardoso (Banco BIC) finally took his elusive stage victory when he won the final stage of the Volta a Portugal that finished with its traditional bunch sprint in Lisbon. Gustavo Cesar Veloso (OFM) finished safely in the bunch to win the overall race ahead of Rui Sousa (Radio Popular) and his teammate Delio Fernandez.


Throughout the entire race, Manuel Cardoso has desperately trying to take a stage win in one of the sprints but going into the final stage, he was still empty-handed. However, he salvaged his campaign in his season highlight on the final day when he won the prestigious bunch kick in Lisbon that brought the race to a close.


All day his Banco BIC team helped control the race before delivering their sprinter perfectly for the sprint finish. He easily held off points leader Davide Vigano (Caja Rural) and stage 8 winner Sergey Shilov (Lokosphinx) to take both his and his team’s only win in the race.


The 10-stage race ended with a 167.1km stage from Burinhosa to Lisbon and it was an almost completely flat affair. The stage finished with two laps of the traditional 6.6km circuit in the capital whose small climb has rarely been enough to prevent a bunch sprint.


One of the protagonists of the race, previous winner Ricardo Mestre (Efapel), was the only rider not to take the start and the remaining riders got their race off to a fast beginning. With OFM controlling the race, things were still together after 30km of racing when the first significant 5-rider group took off.


They didn’t have much success though and at the 35km mark, it was still a compact peloton. A duo and a 6-rider group were both brought back and as things were still together as the riders approached the first intermediate sprint, Caja Rural decided to keep things under control for Vigano.


The Italian beat the OFM pair of Nuno Ribeiro and Ricardo Vilela to extend his lead in the points competition and now the peloton finally decided to take a small breather. This allowed Cesar Fonte (Radio Popular) and Segundo Navarrete (Ecuador) to take off while Carlos Ribeiro (Portugal) took off in pursuit.


The chaser joined the front duo to form a trio that was 3.05 ahead after 80km of racing. At this point, Banck BIC had started to control the situation and for a long time they kept the gap stable between the 3- and 4-minute marks.


Navarrete beat Fonte and Ribeiro in the only KOM sprint of the day and now the peloton started to slightly accelerate. When Ribeiro beat Fonte and Navarrete in the second intermediate sprint, the gap had come down to 2 minutes


With 25km to go, Fonte attacked and he started to open a gap over his former companions. Ribeiro was the first to drop back to the peloton and later Navarrete was also swallowed up.


Fonte won the final intermediate sprint in Lisbon ahead of Ruben Fernandez (Caja Rural) and Helder Oliveira (OFM) but with 14km to go, he was brought back. Juan Jose Oroz (Burgos) tried a final attack but as Efapel and OFM had now taken control, he was brought back with 5km to go. From there the sprint teams kept the pace high all the way to the line where Cardoso took his first win in the race.


Race leader Gustavo Cesar Veloso finished safely with the bunch and so won the race overall ahead of Rui Sousa and his teammate Delio Fernandez. Vigano won the points competition while Antonio Carvalho (LA) took the mountains jersey. David Rodiguez (Portugal) was the best young rider while OFM crowned an impressive performance by topping the teams classification.



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