The 38th Tour of the Algarve hit the road in Albufeira on Wednesday.
The five stages, taking in Castro Marim, Tavira, Faro and Vilamoura before reaching its climax on the Portimão riverfront on Sunday, see some of the world’s best cyclists competing over a total of 744 kilometres in this eagerly anticipated European mainland season-opener.
In the absence of the suspended Alberto Contador, the likes of German title holder Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), countryman Andreas Kloden (RadioShack) or Britain’s Bradley Wiggins (Sky), are the likely favourites to battle it out over the five days.
Local hopes rest mainly with the Carmin-Prio-Tavira team which enjoyed a successful pipe-opener last weekend when Samuel Caldeira took the 2nd City of Loule Trophy. Along with Alejandro Marque, Ricardo Mestre and Nelson Vitorio the East Algarveans have a great chance of a podium finish.
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