Young star Tadej Pogačar bests world class climbers on stage two of Volta ao Algarve 2019

The Tour de l’Avenir winner starts his WorldTour career with a bang

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Tadej Pogačar lived up to the hype and bested world class climbers on stage two of the Volta ao Algarve.

The 20-year-old held his own on the testing final climb to Fóia against the likes of Wout Poels (Team Sky) and Enric Mas (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) to take his first win for a WorldTour team.

Pogačar, winner of the 2019 Tour de l’Avenir, takes control of the general classification in Portugal.

How it happened

Stage two of the Volta ao Algarve was one for the climbers, with an undulating parcours leading into to tough final ascent of 7.8km at 6.1 per cent.

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The 187.4km run from Almodôvar to Fóia was likely to be the first shake up on general classification after the opening sprint on stage one.

An early breakaway formed in the first 10k, made up of Brian van Goethem (Lotto-Soudal), Olivier le Gac (Groupama-FDJ), Rafael Reis (W52-FC Porto), Bruno Silva (Efapel) and Jesús Nanclares (Miranda-Mortágua), who were allowed a two-minute advantage.

The break were caught on a climb with 50km to ride, as the CCC Team duo of Amaro Atunes and Riccardo Zoidl went clear in a bid for the stage.



Zoidl was able to to pull out a 1-10 gap while working for his team-mate, as a four-man chasing group from the smaller teams tried and failed to bridge across.

With 20km to the line, the CCC pairing held a gap of 30 seconds.

Team Sky and Quick-Step controlled the chase to prevent the escapees making it to the foot of the climb, and they were caught 15km from the finish.

At the foot of the climb, Quick-Step set the pace to set up their Spanish revelation Mas, with Lotto-Soudal, Sky and UAE Team Emirates riding just behind.

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Sky took over with their trademark blistering climbing pace to set up Wout Poels.

Brit Tao Geoghegan Hart took over with 6km and increased the pressure further, putting in an outstanding turn for Sky over the next 4km.

Geoghegan Hart’s turn put the hurt on Pogačar’s team-mate Fabio Aru who was dropped, but the young Slovenian kept himself tucked in the front group.

The first big attack came from Amaro Antunes (CCC Team) with just a smattering of riders left in contention in the final kilometre.

Poels put in a huge surge and caught the Portuguese rider before the line, but it was the young star Pogačar who was the strongest man as he passed the Dutchman to take the win.

Enric Mas tried to down the attacks but fell short, finishing third behind Poels.

Results

Volta ao Algarve 2019, stage two: Almodôvar to Alto da Fóia (187.4km)

1. Tadej Pogačar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates, in 4-58-25
2. Wout Poels (Ned) Team Sky, at 1 sec
3. Enric Mas (Esp) Deceuninck – Quick-Step, at 3s
4. Sam Oomen (Ned) Sunweb, at 5s
5. Amaro Antunes (Por) CCC Team, at 7s
6.David de la Cruz (Esp) Team Sky, at 21s
7. João Rodrigues (Por) W52/FC Porto, at 24s
8. Simone Petilli (Ita) UAE Team Emirates, at 27s
9. José Herrada (Esp) Cofidis, at 28s
10. Michael Valgren (Den) Dimension Data, at 49s

General classification after stage two

1. Tadej Pogačar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates, in 9-51-23
2. Wout Poels (Ned) Team Sky, at 1 second
3. Enric Mas (Esp) Deceuninck – Quick-Step, at 3s
4. Sam Oomen (Ned) Sunweb, at 5s
5. David de la Cruz (Esp) Team Sky, at 21s
6. Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Sunweb, at 51s
7. João Rodriges (Por) W52/FC Porto, at 1-29
8. Amaro Antunes (Por) CCC Team, at 1-42
9. Neilson Powless (USA) Jumbo-Visma, at 1-46
10. Marc Hirschi (Sui) Sunweb, at same time