Irishman picks up Quick-Step Floors' tenth win of the season as he out-sprints Primoz Roglic in uphill finish

Dan Martin (Quick-Step Floors) opened his account for the 2017 season by winning the summit finish of stage two of the Volta ao Algarve.

The Irishman rode clear with LottoNL-Jumbo‘s Primoz Roglic, before out-sprinting the Slovenian in the final few hundred metres to win the stage by half a bike length.

Rather impressively, the win was Quick-Step‘s tenth of the season, and Martin’s victory was built on strong teamwork as he was put in a perfect position at the base of the finishing climb by Zdenek Stybar and Enric Mas.

Martin then followed a counter-attack with Roglic, with formed a front group of four with Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) and Amaro Manuel Antunes (W52-FC Porto-Porto Canal), before a Martin attack separated the front two who would contest the stage win.

Martin’s win also gave him the overall lead in the race, although with a time trial on the cards tomorrow, and Roglic in second overall and having won the time trial at the 2016 Giro d’Italia, Martin could struggle to lead for more than a day.

Sunny skies greeted the riders of stage two of the Volta ao Algarve, and with a flat first two third of the stage, plenty of riders seemed keen to get into the day’s break.

When the break eventually formed it consisted of eight riders: Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo), Kenneth Vanbilsen (Cofidis), Igor Boev (Gazprom), Brian Van Goethem (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij), Adam De Vos (Rally), Joao Matias (LA Alumínios-Metalusa), and Luis Gomes and Daniel Sánchez (Rádio Popular Boavista).

With a tought finale to the race culminating in a summit finish, then break was never likely to succeed, and so it proved as Quick-Step Floors led on to the final climb with so much speed that three of the Belgian team’s riders, Stybar, Mas, and Martin, managed to open a slender gap.

A small group was able to quickly regain contact, one of whom was Roglic who counter-attacked with Martin, Kwiatkowski, and Antunes.

The foursome briefly worked together before an attack from Martin was only followed by Roglic to leave the two riders out-front with a gap of around 15 seconds. Martin tried a couple of unsuccessful moves, before settling in to cooperate in extending the gap to Kwiatkowski chasing solo behind.

Their collaboration lasted until the 250m to go, when Martin opened up the sprint, and while Roglic was able to stay on Martin’s wheel he wasn’t able to come around, with the Irishman winning the stage by half a bike length.

Results

Volta ao Algarve 2017, stage two: Lagoa to Alto da Fóia, 189.3km

1. Daniel Martin (Irl) Quick-Step Floors, in 4-46-35
2. Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team LottoNL-Jumbo, at same time
3. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky, at 20 secs
4. Amaro Manuel Antunes (Por) W52-FC Porto-Porto Canal, at 33 secs
5. Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) Sporting Club de Portugal/Tavira
6. Luis Leon Sanchez (Esp) Astana
7. Jonathan Castroviejo (Esp) Movistar
8. Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto-Soudal
9. Edgar Pinto (Por) LA Alumínios-Metalusa, all at same time
10. Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto-Soudal