Paul Martens wins the openings stage in the Volta Algarve. He countered an attack of Tiago Machado (RadioShack Leopard), who jumped on one kilometer from the finishline. Both stayed clear from the bunch in the last 500 meters descent. The peloton sprint was dominated by Theo Bos. With Bos finishing on a 3rd place it’s a great start of this race for the Blanco Pro Cycling Team.
“We came to Portugal for a stage win” explains sports director Frans Maassen. “We are here to perform as a team, and it’s great to start with an early victory. The first twenty kilometers where hard on the guys. Until the last kilometers everybody could stay in the front of the bunch to work for Theo Bos. That explains winning the sprint of the bunch. Steven Kruijswijk is less fortunate. He has wounds on his knee and elbow. Let’s hope he will have a good rest tonight. Tomorrow we will definitely defend the leader’s jersey. There is a climb in the middle of the stage, but we should be able to control the bunch.”
“I am not a guy who wins a lot of races” says Paul Martens with a big smile, still enjoying the moment. “We have done great as a team. I was in front of the bunch when Machado jumped. Tom Leezer with Theo Bos in his wheel where behind me to leave the gap. I knew the final 500 meters where all downhill, so I kept his wheel for my final jump.
“Omega Pharma-Quick Step controlled the race today, explains Theo Bos. We knew that we had to stay in the front the last 10 kilometers. After the jump from Paul, Tom’s effort to keep me in position was great. It’s awsome to complete the podium with a 3rd place next to my teammate Martens.”