Reigning European time trial champion Jonathan Castroviejo (Movistar) proved fastest on stage three of the Volta ao Algarve today, an 18-kilometre individual time trial in and around Sagres
The Basque rider beat World champion Tony Martin (Katusha-Alpecin) by four seconds with new race leader Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) in third five seconds behind.
‘Castro’ now sits in 3rd overall, 36″ down on the Slovenian and 14″ in arrears of Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky), who climbed into second. Previous race leader Dan Marin (Quick Step Floors) finished in 74th place, 1’40” down on Castroviejo and now sits in 6th place, 1’31” down on Roglic.
Castroviejo, fourth quickest through the first intermediate point (5km), maintained a constant pace over the parcours that held off the final charge by Martin, the strongest through the second half of the course. It’s Castroviejo’s first win of the season and the ninth of his pro career.
The Volta ao Algarve will now tackle its longest stage tomorrow, 203km to Tavira with the sprinters chasing another success, before the race decider up the Alto do Malhao on Sunday.
Jonathan Castroviejo: “It’s so special for me to come back to this race, after everything that happened for me last season, and be a protagonist again. As well yesterday as today I could be up there with the top guns, and claiming this victory is a marvellous feeling for me. I couldn’t be more proud of what I achieved on this TT.
“It’s been so rewarding, beating the rivals I managed to leave behind today. I was within the top four at all time trials I took part last season, claimed the European title, a medal in the Worlds… but winning here in the beginning of the season, against such big names, is even a step above for me. Also, my performance yesterday on a mountain finish was quite good, which gives me lots of motivation to keep chasing these one-week stageraces.
“The GC might not be decided yet, I think. Sunday’s finish will see some fireworks for sure. Malhao is a short climb, one you take only eight minutes to complete, but I think it will create more gaps than Fóia. It’s a very explosive one, and with the race finishing there, everyone will do their best and the bunch will split completely, even before the final ascent.”