Martínez said victory came as “something of a surprise”
Colombian rider Daniel Martínez (INEOS Grenadiers) was crowned the winner of the 49th Volta ao Algarve, which came to an end with a time trial in Lagoa on Sunday.
Martínez was the first to admit that this victory came as a surprise, as just two seconds separated him from his teammate Filippo Ganna.
“This morning, everyone in the team knew that Filippo (Ganna) was the number one favourite to win the GC (general classification). It is true that in the Algarve, day after day, I felt better, but this victory was something of a surprise for me,” said Martínez, who won the coveted Turismo do Algarve Yellow Jersey.
“Normally, our strategy, in a race with these characteristics, is to race for Filippo, a time trial specialist. Today was different, my legs were strong too. And we managed to win”, he added.
Martínez was fourth in the last stage, completing the 24.4 kilometer time trial in Lagoa 16 seconds behind Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ), who secured victory in the time trial with a 29m34s performance. Küng had already won in Lagoa in 2019 in a similar route which was around four kilometers shorter than on Sunday.
“I really like this race,” said Küng. “The Volta ao Algarve is the perfect race to start the season. I have excellent memories of this time trial, I knew from the start that it was in my favour and I am happy to take this victory, which is also the first of this season for the Groupama-FDJ,” he added.
Filippo Ganna was third in the time trial, 10 seconds behind Küng, moving up to second place overall, just two seconds behind his teammate, Daniel Martínez. Closing the GC podium was Ilan van Wilder, 15 seconds behind the winner.
Two Portuguese riders finished among the 10 best, with João Almeida (UAE Emirates) placing sixth and Rui Costa (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty) taking the 10th spot.
The overall top-10 was as follows, while the full standings can be found on the Portuguese Cycling Federation’s website:
- Daniel Martínez (INEOS Grenadiers) 20:00:26
- Filippo Ganna (INEOS Grenadiers) +02
- Ilan van Wilder (Soudal Quick-Step) +15
- Tobias Foss (Jumbo-Visma) +22
- Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ) +26
- João Almeida (UAE Emirates) +40
- Tom Pidcock (INEOS Grenadiers) +48
- Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) +49
- Magnus Cort (EF Education-Easypost) +55
- Rui Costa (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty) +1:06