Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Volta ao Alentejo

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Volta ao Alentejo

At the Volta ao Alentejo I spent the majority of every single stage on the front of the bunch controlling the race. All four days.

Our sprinter was quite well placed to win the race, so I was quite happy to do this.

Stage One

On stage one we controlled the race at high speed along with Efapel, our rivals, with whom we called a rare truce and pulled together to control the race.

I actually really enjoyed this stage, as David Blanco was the “rival” it was really nice to catch up with David and I enjoyed working with him.

I wasn’t capable of passing the last mountain in the front, since I got caught up behind a massive crash, nor did I feel obliged to since I had already done so much to shape the race.

I came home in the grupetto which is always fun. Caldeira, the sprinter came second in this stage, which was a great start to the race!

Volta ao Alentejo
My Tavira team.

Stage Two

Stage two was more of the same, we weren’t in the lead, but the boss thought we’d control the race anyway. We did, but this time it was a bit tougher -we averaged 48kph for the first two fours.

Volta ao Alentejo

I was feeling good though. At one point the wind changed and teams were trying to form echelons I kept getting in first one, these attempts at breaking the race up meant the break me and my team mate Nelson Victorino worked so hard to keep at 1:30 min for over 100km got reabsorbed and we were handed the less fun task of controlling the race without a breakaway to acts as a hare.

I dropped off on the last lump before the finish line as the next day more of the same awaited. Unfortunately Caldeira only got 4th on this stage, but he was in yellow thanks to bonifications on some intermediate sprints.

By wearing yellow, the responsibility to control the race fell upon our rivals.

We only had to make sure none of them got in the break! I felt pretty awful at the start of the race, it was chaotic and disorganized.

About 75km into the race I’m told to go set the pace… So I did, but felt pretty fragile. I and a young team mate, Diogo Nunes set the pace till the final 20km where CCC Polsat went hit the front!

It was beautiful watching the race split into echelons, it’s cycling at it’s best!

Stage Three

On the final day we had to a race to win, we only needed Caldeira to finish in the top three.

I, Nelson and Diogo hit the front and controlled the race all the way to a mountain just before the finish. Caldeira had a bit of an incident near the finish where someone smashed his rear wheel.

He came fourth.

We lost the race.

You can watch a video of the sprint here.

National events coming up:

Volta a Santa Maria, Taça de Portugal, Round 1.

These national races are tough… The amateur teams are invited, fewer police to close the road, and a couple of hundred euros prize money.

They’re raced with the same or more vigour than the bigger races! They are very dangerous compared with the 2.1, 2.2 races, so you have to have your wits about you.

We’ve won a couple of these, which is great. It’s fun to rock up to a race with no pressure and have a blast racing a bike.

This weekend I’m back in the north of Portugal to race G. P. Liberty Seguros. It’s raining and we’ve got a tough little race ahead, with lots of hills and cobbles!

Result - Volta ao Alentejo 2012

Overall Classification

1 164 RUS19871029 A0099 Alexey KUNSHIN Elite Lokosphinx 16:16:32 89 -14
2 1 POR19840515 12436 Filipe CARDOSO Elite EFAPEL/GLASSDRIVE m.t. 137 -15
3 21 POR19851130 21072 Samuel CALDEIRA Elite CARMIM/PRIO a 0:00:01 14 -14
4 171 ESP19890328 72745557 Jon ABERASTURI Elite Orbea Continental a 0:00:08 21 -7
5 64 POR19870228 20675 Marco CUNHA Elite Liberty Seguros/Feira a 0:00:09 30 -6
6 12 POR19890213 21986 José GONÇALVES Elite ONDA m.t. 37 -6
7 88 POR19891025 19961 Antonio CARVALHO Elite Mortágua m.t. 40 -6
8 33 POR19791214 6062 Hugo SABIDO Elite LA/ANTARTE m.t. 84 -6
9 135 NED19901130 96003845 Marc GOOS Sub-23 Rabobank Continental Team a 0:00:10 78 -5
10 134 NED19921124 96030597 Daan OLIVIER Sub-23 Rabobank Continental Team a 0:00:11 72 -4
11 123 RUS19900717 A0124 Sergey POMOSHNIKOV Sub-23 Itera/Katusha a 0:00:13 67 -2
12 133 NED19890411 96001930 Marco MINNAARD Elite Rabobank Continental Team a 0:00:15 45 0
13 63 POR19901114 20842 Rafael SILVA Sub-23 Liberty Seguros/Feira m.t. 62 0
14 145 POL19840911 PL204 Bartlomiej MATYSIAK Elite CCC Polsat/Polkowice m.t. 65 0
15 18 POR19830220 12293 Hélder OLIVEIRA Elite ONDA m.t. 66 0
16 143 POL19890324 PL199 Grzegorz STEPNIAK Elite CCC Polsat/Polkowice a 0:00:16 72 -7
17 66 POR19900114 22283 Luís AFONSO Sub-23 Liberty Seguros/Feira a 0:00:24 106 0
18 65 POR19910525 29040 Frederico FIGUEIREDO Sub-23 Liberty Seguros/Feira m.t. 119 0
19 185 ESP19921104 53764659 Carlos VERONA Sub-23 Burgos BH/ Castilla e Leon a 0:00:30 177 0
20 138 GER19930129 KT605182 Ruben ZEPUNTKE Sub-23 Rabobank Continental Team a 0:00:31 119 0
21 82 POR19931216 27381 António BARBIO Sub-23 Mortágua m.t. 119 0
22 22 POR19830911 18581 Ricardo MESTRE Elite CARMIM/PRIO m.t. 143 0
23 147 POL19880227 PL207 Adrian HONKISZ Elite CCC Polsat/Polkowice m.t. 144 0
24 3 POR19801128 9962 Sérgio RIBEIRO Elite EFAPEL/GLASSDRIVE m.t. 151 -1
25 167 RUS19880319 A0100 Dmitry SOKOLOV Elite Lokosphinx m.t. 160 0
26 142 POL19900224 PL202 Lukasz OWSIAN Sub-23 CCC Polsat/Polkowice a 0:00:39 171 0
27 141 POL19810508 PL200 Marek RUTKIEWICZ Elite CCC Polsat/Polkowice a 0:00:41 154 -2
28 165 RUS19920108 A0102 Evgeny SHALUNOV Sub-23 Lokosphinx a 0:00:57 125 0
29 176 ESP19910429 71300528 Carlos BARBERO Sub-23 Orbea Continental a 0:01:21 196 0
30 181 FRA19860729 0264330309 Damien BRANAA Elite Burgos BH/ Castilla e Leon a 0:01:29 218 -2
31 43 ARG19830705 — Jorge MONTENEGRO Elite Louletano/Dunas Douradas a 0:01:36 122 -10
32 77 POR19920921 20908 Ricardo FERREIRA Sub-23 Maia a 0:01:37 127 0
33 146 POL19840619 PL198 Mateusz TACIAK Elite CCC Polsat/Polkowice a 0:01:41 229 0
34 126 RUS19900123 A0131 Igor FROLOV Sub-23 Itera/Katusha a 0:01:47 152 -8
35 191 GER19810909 KT170081 Markus FOTHEN Elite Team NSP/ Ghost m.t. 190 0
36 154 RSA19850828 17632 Hanco KACHELHOFFER Elite Team Bonitas a 0:01:53 170 0
37 132 NED19900126 96037469 Brian MEGENS Sub-23 Rabobank Continental Team m.t. 172 0
38 148 POL19881014 PL209 Pawel CHARUCKI Elite CCC Polsat/Polkowice m.t. 226 0
39 182 ESP19881105 45835035 Manuel ANTON Elite Burgos BH/ Castilla e Leon a 0:01:54 97 0
40 161 RUS19860104 A0098 Mikhail ANTONOV Elite Lokosphinx a 0:01:55 157 0
41 136 NED19930909 96028724 Martijn TUSVELD Sub-23 Rabobank Continental Team a 0:02:00 152 0
42 192 GER19781019 KT190145 Steffen RADOCHLA Elite Team NSP/ Ghost a 0:02:01 102 0
43 156 RSA19820820 67480 Darren LILL Elite Team Bonitas a 0:02:08 200 -9
44 173 ESP19890819 72511690 Aritz BAGÜES Elite Orbea Continental a 0:02:09 229 -1
45 14 ESP19860217 78738666 Delio FERNANDEZ Elite ONDA a 0:02:14 118 0
46 2 POR19831011 20600 Sérgio SOUSA Elite EFAPEL/GLASSDRIVE a 0:02:54 241 0
47 27 POR19841022 19448 Luís SILVA Elite CARMIM/PRIO a 0:02:58 253 0
48 183 POR19891120 X13494205X Joni BRANDÃO Elite Burgos BH/ Castilla e Leon a 0:03:12 235 0
49 44 POR19840102 19503 Celestino PINHO Elite Louletano/Dunas Douradas m.t. 275 0
50 61 POR19900501 19978 André MOURATO Sub-23 Liberty Seguros/Feira a 0:03:22 177 -3
51 162 RUS19900304 A0101 Sergey BELYKH Sub-23 Lokosphinx a 0:03:40 222 0
52 8 POR19770909 6583 Nuno RIBEIRO Elite EFAPEL/GLASSDRIVE a 0:03:45 289 0
53 187 ESP19891015 41523784 Luis MAS Elite Burgos BH/ Castilla e Leon a 0:04:00 169 0
54 125 RUS19920308 A0133 Alexander FOLIFOROV Sub-23 Itera/Katusha m.t. 242 0
55 62 POR19900527 24002 Pedro PAULINHO Sub-23 Liberty Seguros/Feira a 0:04:04 181 0
56 137 GER19931207 KT603234 Rick ZABEL Sub-23 Rabobank Continental Team a 0:04:07 151 0
57 7 POR19861210 21015 César FONTE Elite EFAPEL/GLASSDRIVE a 0:04:22 239 0
58 131 NED19901030 95905429 Melvin BOSKAMP Sub-23 Rabobank Continental Team a 0:05:04 230 0
59 68 POR19900323 29015 João CORREIA Sub-23 Liberty Seguros/Feira a 0:05:21 247 0
60 102 POR19871202 22501 Luis FERNANDES Elite OFM/Valongo a 0:05:37 245 0
61 151 RSA19891211 8689 Jason BAKKE Elite Team Bonitas a 0:06:02 248 0
62 34 POR19820204 25188 Hugo SANCHO Elite LA/ANTARTE a 0:06:51 219 0
63 36 POR19850424 17756 José MENDES Elite LA/ANTARTE a 0:06:52 205 0
64 153 RSA19870330 72780 Herman FOUCHE Elite Team Bonitas a 0:07:23 234 0
65 122 RUS19900409 A0137 Sergey CHERNETCKII Sub-23 Itera/Katusha a