Race report

Cees Bol produces powerful kick to win sprint finish in Tavira

Volta ao Algarve

After the climbers got their chance on yesterday’s finish, today’s stage at the Volta ao Algarve was one that suited the sprinters. A break of three riders established itself almost from the flag drop and with the peloton happy with the situation, they extended their advantage to almost four minutes.

Throughout the 200 kilometre long stage the gap slowly dwindled and the race was back together with 15 kilometres to go. The team worked well to protect Cees Bol throughout the afternoon and once the break was caught, they began to move up towards the front of the peloton as the nervous fight for position began.

With five kilometres remaining the Team Sunweb train came to the fore and took a strong position at the front of the bunch. As the kilometres ticked down and riders peeled off, Bol was left with Nikias Arndt and Casper Pedersen in front of him in the closing stages.

Pedersen produced a fantastic lead out on the uphill drag, delivering Bol into a perfect position with just 200 metres to go. Bol rewarded the team’s great work with a powerful kick to the line, taking a fantastic stage win in Tavira.

“It’s a good way to start the season,” beamed Bol at the finish. “We made some mistakes on the opening stage but today we really nailed it and I’m happy I could finish it off. We’re focusing more on the sprints this year and the guys were really strong today. I followed my lead out, Casper, and when I saw the sign at 200 metres I just went full gas; and I managed to be first at the line. It’s a sign that I did a good winter and it’s really nice that it paid off today.”

Team Sunweb coach Matt Winston added: “It was really, really good from the guys today. We spent a lot of time talking after the sprint on stage one where we were sixth. We weren’t happy with how that went and how we did the lead out so we spent a lot of time watching the video and talking about what we would do differently today. I think you could see that from the coverage on the TV. The guys picked their side of the road and held it well, they didn’t panic. The idea was to come round that last corner with Casper still in front of Cees and in a position where they could sprint. Once Cees unleashed is sprint it was a drag race to the line and he was the strongest guy there. It was a really good job from the guys. We’ll look at it again and look at the finer details again but overall we’re very happy with the result today.”

Results

Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 BOL Cees Team Sunweb 5:00:51 20
2 MODOLO Sacha Alpecin-Fenix ,, 10
3 JAKOBSEN Fabio Deceuninck - Quick Step ,, 5
25 PEDERSEN Casper Team Sunweb ,, -
59 VAN WILDER Ilan Team Sunweb ,, -
108 SÜTTERLIN Jasha Team Sunweb ,, -
109 ARNDT Nikias Team Sunweb ,, -
151 EEKHOFF Nils Team Sunweb 0:38 -
153 DENZ Nico Team Sunweb ,, -