Gaviria places 7th in Tavira
With the last sprinter-friendly stage behind now, the GC is set to be played out on Alto do Malhão.
Stage 4 of Volta ao Algarve took the riders to Tavira, a small town on the south coast of Portugal very much to Quick-Step Floors' liking, as the team won at the three previous visits, each time with a different rider. Unfortunately, it wasn't meant to be four out of four for our squad, as what should have been a quiet stage on paper turned into a hectic one due to the fact the day's breakaway was brought back only with two kilometers to go.
Up until that point, Ryan Mullen (Cannondale-Drapac), Joao Matias (LA Aluminios), Dion Smith (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) and Taco van der Hoorn (Roompot) established a huge lead, which at times exceeded eight minutes, but that began to drop once Quick-Step Floors took over the reins in the peloton and started the chase. Our team put in an incredible amount of work, leaving their all on the road and pegging back the quartet on the outskirts of Tavira, before bringing Fernando Gaviria at the front.
The finale became a chaotic one, and Gaviria ended the stage won by André Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) in seventh place, a result which yet again underlines his good condition early in the season. Daniel Martin (6th in the overall standings) came with the pack and kept the blue jersey which rewards the leader of the mountain classification.
Volta ao Algarve will conclude Sunday with the mountain stage to Alto do Malhão (2.5 kilometers, 9.4% average gradient).
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele