A couple of weeks after making his comeback to racing at the Tour of Turkey, Fabio Jakobsen will line up at the Volta ao Algarve, as the sprinter begins to reacquaint himself with the peloton.
The Dutchman not only completed the eight-stage race in Turkey, but was often present in the final kilometres to aid Mark Cavendish, the Manxman taking four stage victories in his own comeback to winning form.
Now, having been out for months after his terrible crash at the Tour of Poland, Jakobsen will head to Portugal for the delayed Volta ao Algarve, the five-stage event originally scheduled for February 17-21 but pushed back due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Jakobsen was present at both of the last two editions, winning the opening stage in both 2019 and 2020. This time, he will likely be helping Deceuninck - Quick-Step team-mate Sam Bennett as the Irishman looks to continue his strong form in 2021.
Michael Mørkøv and Shane Archbold will also be on hand for lead-out duties, while Davide Ballerini is another option to compete for stages.
Tour of Flanders victor Kasper Asgreen will also be present, his first race since taking his maiden Monument. Bert Van Lerberghe rounds out the squad.
Sports director Tom Steels says the Portuguese race will provide another indicator of where Jakobsen is at in his recovery from serious injury.
"It's the course we know, a little bit of everything," Steels said of the upcoming race. "We want to achieve good results with Sam in the sprints. They are technical, but we have faith in him and his lead-out. We are curious as to what Kasper can do in the time trial, we also want to see where Fabio is. After Turkey, this course is another important step in the right direction."
The Volta ao Algarve begins on Wednesday May 5 and concludes on Sunday May 9.
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Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races.
Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab and I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).
I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.
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