Volta ao Algarve

Double joy in Algarve

Team dominate in Portugal

Last updated: 26th February 2012

Richie Porte claimed the overall and Bradley Wiggins took victory on the final stage as the Volta ao Algarve came to a sensational finish for Team Sky.

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Porte went into the final stage time trial holding a 12 second lead but used his skill against the clock to extend that margin to a comfortable win by 37 seconds after five days of racing.

With the yellow jersey secure there was even more reason to celebrate as Wiggins rocketed around the 25.8-kilometre course in a winning time of 32 minutes and 48 seconds.

That time held firm despite the close attentions of world time trial champion Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-Quickstep), handing Wiggins the stage win to mark a memorable day for the team.

Wiggins moved up to third overall courtesy of his efforts while Porte made the stage and GC a nice mirror image by clocking the third fastest time into Portimao, 13 seconds back.

Edvald Boasson Hagen set a strong time in the mid-order which proved good enough for ninth overall, a position that allowed the Norwegian to secure victory in the points classification.

Double victory

After the race Porte admitted he was pleased to get his career with Team Sky off to a winning start.

The Tasmanian said: “I knew I had good form and I raced here as preparation for Paris-Nice. So to come away with the stage win and the overall I’m really happy. Of course to win the mountain-top finish on the third stage was great.

“I thought I had good enough form to do a good time trial and I was able to finish it off. It’s a nice way to start my time with a new team.”

Sports Director Sean Yates offered glowing praise for a team performance during the week which has given the team some great momentum going forward.

He said: "You couldn’t have asked for more to be honest. We’ve dominated the race. The boys rode fantastic and it is a massive display from the team. It is only early in the season but we've beaten some really strong riders here.

"The plan coming into the race was to build on our form. But our form was so good here anyway with the quality athletes we have here we thought we might as well go for the win!

"We’ve got to keep our feet on the ground but the boys rode relaxed, in control, communicated and dominated. End of story."

Yates was also happy to see Porte capitalise on a superb team performance on stage three on the Alto do Malhao to clinch yellow.

He added: Obviously it’s great for Richie to pull off the GC. Bradley did a great ride today. He’s building his form for goals later on. We have Paris-Nice coming up so it’s fantastic for his confidence, especially beating Tony Martin. All in all they couldn’t have ridden any better - I’m really proud of the guys. This is not an easy race. The team have definitely laid down the law and got the respect."

Against the clock

Jesse Sergent (RadioShack-Nissan) set a strong early benchmark time of 33 minutes and two seconds on a course which featured a mix of flat and technical sections.

Wiggins rolled down the ramp and instantly looked dialled in, second fastest at the intermediate, just half a second behind Martin.

The Brit crossed the line in first and saw off Martin in a performance which clearly demonstrates his form heading towards Paris-Nice.

Boasson Hagen also put in a strong early effort of 33’ 42” which was good enough for second for a long period of time.

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