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Volta ao Algarve stage 2: David Gaudu wins on Fóia

The French climber wins as Sergio Higuita and Tobias Foss crash in the final sprint.

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David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) took victory on the first summit finish on stage 2 of the Volta ao Algarve in Fóia.

A group of around 20 riders made it to the top of the climb to contest the finish with the French climber picking the perfect line to avoid a late crash and cross the line first.

Gaudu went up the inside of the final bend and was just clear as Sergio Higuita (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Tobias Foss (Jumbo-Visma) touched bikes and crashed.

Samuele Battistella (Astana-Qazaqstan) and Ethan Hayter (Ineos Grenadiers) crossed the line in second and third, respectively, two seconds behind Gaudu, with Brandon McNulty (UAE Team Emirates) in fourth.

Gaudu takes over the race lead from stage 1 winner Fabio Jakobsen (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl), who was dropped over the final climbs, and has a two-second advantage over McNulty in second.

After a sprint day to open the race, the Volta ao Algarve turned to the mountains for stage 2. The 182.4km route from Albufeira to Fóia took the riders over three classified climbs, including the second category Picota and the summit finish on the first category ascent to Fóia.

With a time trial and another summit finish to come, the Fóia was unlikely to decide the overall standings but it would have a big impact on who duked it out for the overall win. There were two non-starters as the peloton rolled out from Albufeira, with Tim Declercq (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) coming down with a stomach bug, and Nils Politt also pulling out.

A five-rider group formed the breakaway in the opening kilometers and while it was a far calmer day in the bunch than on stage one, there were still some crashes. One heavy spill on a bend with 53 kilometers to go saw Cofidis’ Ion Izagirre abandon the race. Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) was also caught up in the incident but remounted and got back to the bunch.

The group of five was allowed a maximum gap of nearly four minutes before being reeled in with just under 30km to go when the peloton approached the first of the final two climbs.

Several speculative attacks on the Picota were quickly eliminated and a mass of Ineos Grenadiers riders set a hard tempo over the top and onto the descent. The pace did some damage, stringing what was left of the bunch out and shedding riders all the way. However, the penultimate ascent was not difficult enough to put any of the big GC riders in trouble.

The team moved off the front with just over five kilometers to go following a sharp acceleration from Dylan van Baarle. Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl was forced to scramble to bring back the Dutchman and took up the pace-setting once he was brought back.

Despite the push by Quick-Step, there were no major attacks as the 3k to go sign flashed by and about 25 riders remained in the group. The first real stinging moves didn’t come until the flamme rouge was in sight, but it was reeled back in, and a 20-rider group contested a small bunch sprint to the line.

Tobias Foss went early and, as Sergio Higuita tried to go around the outside of the Jumbo-Visma rider, Gaudu surged up the inside of the final bend. Foss and Higuita came together on the turn and hit the ground, leaving Gaudu with a clear run to take the win and move into the race lead.

Volta ao Algarve stage 2 results

  1. David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) 04:50:51
  2. Samuele Battistella (Astana Qazaqstan), at :02
  3. Ethan Hayter (Ineos Grenadiers), at s.t.
  4. Brandon McNulty (UAE Team Emirates), at s.t.
  5. Daniel Martinez (Ineos Grenadiers), at s.t.
  6. Remco Evenepoel (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl), at s.t.
  7. Julien Bernard (Trek-Segafredo), at s.t.
  8. Georg Zimmermann (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert), at s.t.
  9. Tony Gallopin (Trek-Segafredo), at s.t.
  10. Sven Erik Bystrom (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert), at s.t.

General classification

  1. David Gaudu (Groupoama-FDJ) 09:47:20
  2. Brandon McNulty (UAE Team Emirates), at :02
  3. Remco Evenepoel (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl), at s.t.
  4. Ethan Hayter (Ineos Grenadiers), at s.t.
  5. Daniel Martinez (Ineos Grenadiers), at s.t.
  6. Julien Bernard (Trek-Segafredo), at s.t.
  7. Sven Erik Bystrom (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert), at s.t.
  8. Tony Gallopin (Trek-Segafredo), at :09
  9. Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers), at :17
  10. Dylan van Baarle (Ineos Grenadiers), at :18