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by Mark Zalewski
February 17, 2017
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Dan Martin wins Volta ao Algarve stage, takes over lead; Pinot wins Ruta del Sol queen stage, Contador assumes lead; Anderson wins Tour of Oman, stage 3; Not above bottle duty: Amalie Dideriksen’s year ahead in the rainbow stripes; Dunbar poised to seize chances heading into year two with Axeon Hagens Berman team; Jens Keukeleire hit by car while training in Spain; Mitchelton-Scott signs young Australian talents; Two climbs planned for Tokyo 2020 road race circuit; Reports: Meeusen to join van der Poel on Beobank-Corendon; Klaas Vantornout remains with Marlux-Napoleon Games; Too early for Pidcock at WorldTour level; Paolini signs with pro mountain bike team; Erkki Punttila – Not Far From Home.
Dan Martin (Quick Step Floors) took the win and the overall race lead on the queen stage of the Volta ao Algarve, just beating Primoz Roglic (LottoNL Jumbo) atop the Alto da Fóia.
“It’s always difficult to win when people say you are the favorite,” said Martin. “It was incredible teamwork all day — Fernando [Gavaria] riding the front in the [leader’s] jersey.”
The Quick Step Floors team had all the cards heading into the finale with multiple riders driving the front inside of 10km to go, trying to set the table for Martin. At 6km to go the first move to counter Quick Step came from Roglic. That acceleration was marked and even slightly countered by Martin, before settling back into a steady tempo. Roglic again attacked at 4km to go, this time with more emphasis, and only Martin could cover with the rest of the group blowing apart. Eventually the pair seemed to call a truce and work together, trading pulls. But at 3km to go Martin made his own move, with Roglic forced to now cover. Another attack from Roglic came approaching 1km to go but Martin again covered, with the pair equally matched.
Inside the final kilometre Roglic led Martin, with the Irishman riding out of the saddle, poised to make a move. At 300m Martin accelerated and Roglic followed close behind. But Martin clearly knew the twisting finale curved up to the finish line and he held the right side, forcing Roglic to take a longer line, which left him just short as Martin raised an arm in victory.
Looking ahead to Friday’s time trial Martin is realistic about his chances to retain the leader’s jersey. “I’ll do my best and see the results. For me it was important to win a stage this week. I’ve worked a lot on my position but of course there are a lot of guys who are better than me so we’ll see. I’m feeling good already. It’s a bit of a surprise as I am looking towards the Spring Classics.”