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Vigano ended a long run of podiums when he powered clear on the uphill drag to win satge three of the Volta a Portugal. Race leader Veloso was second so extends his lead in the GC thanks to bonuses.

Photo: Team Leopard-Trek




01.08.2015 @ 19:10 Posted by Joseph Doherty

Davide Vigano of Team Idea has always been a fast finisher, but despite riding in the WorldTour from 2005 to 2013, he never managed to win but had podiums in Romandie and the Vuelta. He dropped down to Caja Rural last year and despite winning a Volta a Portugal stage, the Italian had to drop down once more to the continental level. This year he has competed well in every sprint he has taken part in but the win has eluded him.


But today, after attacker Alberto Gallego (Radio Popular) was brought back at 4km to go, Vigano made up for his mistake on stage one when he powered clear to beat race leader Gustavo Veloso and Manuel Cardoso to take a relieving win for the Italian and his team.


Today’s stage of the Volta a Portugal was a 172.2km trip from Boticas to Fafe and most of the climbing was done early on, with a fourth cat climb, intermediate sprint and third cat climb all coming within the first 35km of the race. it was lumpy afterwards but a bunch sprint was expected.


The peloton stayed together over the first climb where mountains leader Burno Silva (LA Aluminios) came forward to take the points ahead of Antonio Molina of Caja Rural and Silva’s teammate Hugo Sancho.


At the intermediate sprint it was still all together and Kota-Lotto’s Fred Dombrowski beat Jani Verstraeten of Verandas Willems and Silva to the points. Louletano’s Victor Valinho called time on his race as they approached the day’s only third cat climb.

On the third cat climb, Caja Rural’s Fabricio Ferrari beat Higinio Fernandez (Ecuador), Luis Alfonso (LA Aluminios) and Alberto Gallego (Radio Popular) to the points. 


Eventually after 50km, seven riders broke clear with two more chasing them. The seven out front were Filipe Cardoso (EFAPEL), Michael Isidoro (Louletano), Maurizio Damiano (Idea), Fernandez (Ecuador), Matthijs Eversdijk and Robbert De Greef (De Rijke) and Kai Reus (Verandas). Fabricio Ferrari (Caja Rural) and Joeri Calleeuw (Verandas) were 12 seconds behind while the bunch was at 45 seconds.


8km later, the chasing duo joined the front group and the peloton had now sat up, meaning there was a gap of 2:14 56km into the race.  But they didn’t ease off for long and by 70km into the stage, the break had just 30 seconds. Just 6km later they were caught.

Gallego, Domingos Goncalves (Efapel), Fernandez, Jetse Bol (De Rijke) and Dimitri Claeys (Verandas) launched themselves off the front after 80km of racing and gained a gap of 23 seconds. The gap continued to grow and it was soon over 1 minute.


By the 100km mark, the break’s lead was 2:45 and at the second intermediate sprint, Gallego led Claeys and Goncalves home. They still had a lead of 2:45 with less than 70km to go.


Team Tavira came to the front of the bunch and began to knock the pace up and at 120km in, the gap was down to 1:40. At this point Bol had a puncture in the break and he soon found himself back in the bunch. Claeys was also dropped by his breakmates as their gap continued to drop with less than 40km to go.


Louletano came to the front with Tavira but the pace wasn’t high enough as the break’s gap moved up to 2:32 with 30km to go. Gallego and Goncalves went solo out front and on the last fourth cat climb, Gallego beat Goncalves and Silva led the pack home 2:10 later.


4km later it was the same order in the break for the final intermediate sprint and Tavira’s David Livramento led the bunch across. The bunch kept the pace up and at 10km to go, the break had just 40 seconds. Rusvelo’s Sergey Vdovin attacked as Gallego dropped his companion.


Radio Popular’s Cesar Fonte and Stef Van Gucht (Verandas) attacked to join Vdovin but they were soon brought back and at 4km to go, Gallego was also caught by the bunch.


After that, the leadouts kicked in on the punchy uphill drag, Idea’s Davide Vigano beat race leader Gustavo Veloso and Tavira’s Manuel Cardoso in the sprint. All of the other GC contenders were awarded the same time.


Tomorrow’s stage is hard, featuring two third cat and two first cat climbs, with the last three climbs all coming within 55km of each other. The race finishes at the first cat summit of Serra de Graca and once more the GC men will come out to play.




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