Volta ao Algarve

Where: Algarve, Portugal

When: February

Rank: UCI 2.HC

The Volta ao Algarve is a five-day stage race that takes place every year in the early racing season, generally appearing on the calendar in February.

The race, which has run since 1960 and is now part of the UCI Europe Tour, has become popular with climbers, sprinters and time triallists because of it's varied stages. It also offers an alternative to the Ruta del Sol stage race in Spain, which is heavily geared towards the lightweight men of peloton.

Still, the race isn't usually without it's climbing tests, however the time trial has often proven just as decisive as any hills that appear on the route.

The first three decades of the Volta ao Algarve's existence were dominated by wins for home Portuguese riders, but in recent years big names like Alberto Contador, Tony Martin and Geraint Thomas have all taken multiple victories.

The most recent winner of the race, Slovenia's Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) took his GC advantage after an impressive time trial performance, like many of the riders who have won in recent years.

Volta ao Algarve recent winners

2007 Alessandro Petacchi (ITA) Team Milram

2008 Stijn Devolder (BEL) Quick-Step

2009 Alberto Contador (ESP) Astana

2010 Alberto Contador (ESP) Astana

2011 Tony Martin (GER) HTC–Highroad

2012 Richie Porte (AUS) Team Sky

2013 Tony Martin (GER) Omega Pharma–Quick-Step

2014 Michał Kwiatkowski (POL) Omega Pharma–Quick-Step

2015 Geraint Thomas (GBR) Team Sky

2016 Geraint Thomas (GBR) Team Sky

2017 Primož Roglič (SLO) LottoNL–Jumbo