Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.
Rally Cycling is making the most of its trip to Europe.
Two stage victories Friday have left the American squad with four wins and a second-place in the space of the last seven days in its two-pronged European campaign.
Kyle Murphy blazed to the line solo on the Montalegre summit on stage 8 of the Volta a Portugal on Friday, just an hour after Colin Joyce had unseated the sprinters with his daring breakaway win at the Tour of Denmark.
Murphy’s victory sealed Rally Cycling’s most successful European stage-race in franchise history after the 29-year-old also won stage 2 of the Portuguese tour and Ben King notched a victory and second-place through the middle of the race.
The Vermont resident Murphy punched out of a 17-strong lead group on the grinding summit in Portugal on Friday to win by a clear 13 seconds, echoing his solo dash to stage 2 victory last week.
“Two is amazing, shocking, I’m over the moon,” he said. “I love racing in Portugal. It’s a gigantic race, the fans are incredible, and there’s good weather.”
As if three stage wins in the space of seven days wasn’t enough, the Portuguese hat-trick was completed just an hour after Joyce had sprinted from the breakaway group to win stage 4 of the Tour of Denmark, disappointing WorldTour sprint squads from Deceuninck-Quick-Step, Jumbo-Visma and Trek-Segafredo.
“This win is huge! They don’t come often in this sport, so definitely need to enjoy it. I’m really happy,” Joyce said after outkicking his rivals in Denmark.
Joyce’s victory was a solo sprint made from team collaboration after he and Nickolas Zukowsky had stolen into the day’s early break.
“This one definitely wouldn’t have happened without Zuke,” said the Idahoan racer Joyce. “He was absolutely ripping. I hope he realizes how crucial he was for this one. Break wouldn’t have stuck without his strong pulls near the end.”
Three stage wins and a second place in Portugal along with victory in Denmark sees Rally’s split-squad blazing a trail through Europe.
“The whole team has been killing it and it’s nice to get a win for everyone,” Joyce said. “We have such a great atmosphere and they’re all stand-up dudes, which makes it less difficult to be away from our loved ones back home.”
Two stages remain at the Volta a Portugal, while the Danish tour wraps up with a time trial Saturday. How many more wins can Rally Cycling amass before returning Stateside, and can Murphy complete his hat-trick?
For now, Murphy’s firstly thinking of a holiday.
“I think it’s time to relax. I’m so tired,” he said. “I just hope we can come back next year with the family to enjoy some food and chase another stage win.”