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by Shane Stokes
February 17, 2018
Cort wins stage 4 of the Tour of Oman; Modolo wins stage 3 of the Vuelta a Andalucia/Ruta del Sol; Thomas wins stage three TT at Volta ao Algarve; Dennis eyeing TT victory in upcoming Abu Dhabi Tour; Tour de Suisse and Strade Bianche name wild cards for 2018 events; OVO Energy announces two year backing of the Women’s Tour, Tour of Britain and the Tour Series; Craven leaving Israel Cycling Academy, announces next team; Western Australian Road Safety Commission’s safety campaign dropped after cyclists’ criticism; Factor updates the ONE: Faster, stiffer and with brake options; Video: Sa Calobra (Coll dels Reis) with Fränk Schleck – Cycling Inspiration & Education; Video: Best landscapes – Stage 4 – Tour of Oman 2018; Photo: Keeping it in the family…
Overnight race leader Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) solidified his grip on the Volta ao Algarve on Friday, winning the 20.3 kilometre Lagoa time trial. The Briton dethroned Victor Campenaerts (Lotto-Soudal) after the Belgian spent considerable time on the hot seat of provisional leader, beating him by 11 seconds.
Stefan Küng (BMC Racing Team) was third, 19 seconds back, while Thomas’ teammate and Thursday’s stage winner Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) was a further three seconds back in fourth. Team Sky had two other riders in the top ten, namely Vasil Kiryienka in ninth and Lukasz Wisniowski in tenth.
The TT was on rolling terrain, beginning with a slight uphill and then becoming hilly again later on. Thomas was able to take advantage of this course to grab the win and pad his lead. “It was nice to get a win and like I said yesterday I didn’t expect it,” he said. “With the first race of the year you’re always a bit unsure but I’ve done some decent work and it’s all seemed to come together today. I tried to start strong and hold on and luckily I was able to.”
He now holds a 22 seconds advantage over Kwiatkowski, with Nelson Oliveira (Movistar Team) third, ten seconds further back. Bob Jungels (QuickStep Floors), Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing Team) and Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) are fourth, fifth and sixth.
The race continues on Saturday with a mainly flat stage to Tavira.