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Evenepoel’s second victory of the season earns him Volta ao Algarve lead

Evenepoel's second victory of the season earns him Volta ao Algarve lead

Remco Evenepoel claimed his second victory of the young season, winning Saturday’s time trial at the 2.Pro-rated Volta ao Algarve in Portugal and beating riders like Filippo Ganna, Stefan Bissegger and Stefan Küng. More importantly, the world chrono champion was faster than yellow jersey-clad Dani Martinez, and took over the race lead with one stage to go.

Evenepoel had triumphed in his first race of the season, Figueira Champions Classic, also in Portugal. On Thursday the 2022 Volta ao Algarve champion found himself stymied by reigning champion Dani Martinez atop the Cat. 1 Alto da Fóia. In Friday’s bunch sprint, Wout van Aert grabbed his first win of the season. Evenepoel was four seconds back of Martinez at the top of the GC.

The Course

Starting and ending in Albufeira, the time trial was 22 km long and featured a few lumps along the way. Intermediate times were taken at the 7 km and 17 km marks.

Riders such as Julien Vermote and Edward Theuns recorded the fastest times before Matteo Trentin and Bissegger got under way. Trentin posted 28:36, with Bissegger three seconds slower. But they would both be eclipsed by Luxembourger Arthur Kluckers, who stopped the clock at 28:18 just as Geraint Thomas got under way.

Luxembourger Kluckers led with 28:18.

Thomas, Ganna and early-2024 Mexican revelation Isaac del Toro were all on the road at the same time. Del Toro set the best intermediate time at Checkpoint 1, but Ganna beat it by 12 seconds.

Ganna passes his minute man Enzo Paleni.

Del Toro dislodged Kluckers from the hot seat with 27:46. Ganna continued to overtake riders as he headed to the finish line. Thomas, building his form for the Giro, could only muster 29:02. Incredibly, Ganna, 12 seconds faster than del Toro at the first time check, came in 10 seconds slower.

Evenepoel, Martinez, Mikel Landa, Wout van Aert, Sepp Kuss, Tao Geoghegan Hart and Tom Pidcock were in the part of the start order with 2:00 between the riders.

Ineos’ American Magnus Sheffield was going great guns, five seconds quicker than Ganna at Checkpoint 1 and then continuing to slam it until he clipped del…

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