Volta ao Algarve Stage 4: Roelandts Fifth in Bunch Sprint17. February 2018, Tavira (POR) — Road Team
Jürgen Roelandts sprinted to fifth place on stage 4 of the Volta ao Algarve after a late attack from Dylan Teuns was brought back ahead of the bunch sprint.
Roelandts was followed closely by Loïc Vliegen who finished ninth in the sprint in Tavira, on the last stage for the sprinters before the final summit finish on stage 5.
Six riders formed the day’s breakaway after 7km and quickly gained an advantage of four minutes. With 199km on the cards, the peloton was happy for the breakaway to maintain the advantage for the first half of the race.
As the race entered the last 50km, the gap had been halved and the sprinters’ teams picked up the pace again which saw the advantage fall below the one minute mark for the first time as the peloton reached 30km to go.
10km later, Dylan Teuns was one of three riders to go on the attack in an attempt to bridge to the breakaway and shake up the predicted bunch sprint.
Teuns, Philippe Gilbert (Quickstep-Floors) and Jasha Sutterlin (Movistar) forged on ahead and caught the breakaway to form a 10-rider group inside the last 10km.
The newly formed group had a 20” advantage but it wasn’t enough to hold off the charging peloton and the race came back with 3km to go.
Despite needing a bike change with 7km to go, Roelandts was able to make his way back to the front with the help of Richie Porte and was well positioned in the final run into Tavira to cross the line in fifth place behind stage winner Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo).
Tejay van Garderen, who sits in fifth place overall, crossed the line safely in the peloton with race leader Gearing Thomas (Team Sky) ahead of the final General Classification battle on stage 5 which concludes with a steep climb to Malhão.
Quotes from the Finish Line
“It was not the hardest stage today and I felt quite fine today after the crash yesterday. With 7km to go I had to change my bike so it was a good moment because it was close to the finish. Luckily, it was a big road to come back on and I came back to the end of the bunch and Richie Porte brought me back to the front. I was in the wheel of Degenkolb because he was second here last year and I think I was just a few spots too far back on the last turn because we all stayed in the same position and I finished in fifth place. I go to Omloop Het Nieuwsblad next and Greg Van Avermaet shows really good form so I want to be in the final and do my best for him there. Maybe a second chance comes with Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne because it’s normally a sprint from a big bunch and maybe I can take a chance there.”
“I saw Gilbert on the other side of the road, on the right hand side. My instinct said he would attack and I just followed. We found each other with another rider and we could make the final a bit harder and I could test myself at the end of a 200km stage. When we had a 20-second advantage I thought maybe if we could make it 30-40 seconds it would be better. It didn’t happen and afterwards it came down quickly, so I knew it would be hard to stay away.”
“My sensations are good. Dubai Tour was not really a hard race so it was good to have the speed in the legs and I’m happy to race here ahead of Paris-Nice. I feel my shape is growing here so that’s a good sign.”
Volta ao Algarve
Stage 4 Almodovar > Tavira (199km)
Top 3: 1. Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL Jumbo), 2. Matteo Penuchi (BORA -hansgrohe), 3. John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo).
BMC Racing Team top 3: 5. Jürgen Roelandts, 9. Loïc Vliegen, 53. Tejay van Garderen.
BMC Racing Team Flickr Gallery
See photos from the race.