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Ineos Grenadiers has announced its full team for the Volta ao Algarve with Tom Pidcock, Geraint Thomas, Dani Martínez, and Ethan Hayter all set to take part in the six-day stage race. The British squad is sending a stacked team to the race as they look to challenge a host of GC stars, including pre-race favorite Remco Evenepoel (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl).
Ineos has won the race five times, but their last overall crown came in 2018, when they raced under the Team Sky banner. Their line-up for this week’s event is stacked with talent, with two-time winner Geraint Thomas making his season debut. The Welshman limped through the second half of last season due to injury but his week-long stage racing form in the first half of the campaign was impressive.
Thomas won the Tour de Romandie and finished third in both Catalunya and the Critérium du Dauphiné. His form over the coming weeks and months will be the focus of much debate after Egan Bernal’s life-threatening training crash in January.
The Colombian’s condition is improving but it’s far from clear if he will be racing this season, let alone lining up at the Tour de France. That would create a possible opportunity for Thomas to lead the line in July. Dani Martínez, who has indicated that he will target the Giro d’Italia – despite Bernal’s condition – is also set to start the Volta ao Algarve.
Tom Pidcock’s role at the Volta ao Algarve is unclear. The cyclocross world champion hasn’t raced on the road since last year and his primary focus over the winter was always the rainbow jersey. His long-term aims are to peak for the spring classics but the two uphill finishes and the sprints in Algarve do represent opportunities for the 22-year-old.
Ethan Hayter also lines up for the team having finished second overall in last year’s edition. The British rider had a breakthrough 2021 with a string of wins and race highlights. According to his team, he was sick in early January but if he has managed to regain his form then he could make another tilt for the overall. The outstanding favorite for the win is Remco Evenepoel but Ineos Grenadiers arguably have the strongest squad in the race.
Ineos Grenadiers for the 48th Volta ao Algarve: Jonathan Castroviejo, Ethan Hayter, Daniel Martínez, Tom Pidcock, Geraint Thomas, Ben Tullett, and Dylan van Baarle.