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Sam Bennett sprints to stage one victory at Volta ao Algarve 2021 after yet another perfect lead-out

Sam Bennett took the opening stage of the Volta ao Algarve 2021 after his team nailed the timing of the lead-out yet again for their star fast man beating Danny Van Poppel and Jon Aberasturi.

Bennett (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) had Davide Ballerini and Michael Mørkøv in front of him as they brought him to the front with around 500 metres to go. Van Poppel (Intermarché) and Aberasturi (Caja Rural) completed the podium on the day.

The day started in Lagos and took on a relatively lumpy profile of 189.5km to Portimao. Five riders originally went away into the early break before César Nicolas Paredes (Louletano-Loulé) decided to drop back to the peloton.

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This left Carlos Canal (Burgos-BH), Jon Irisarri (Caja Rural), Gustavo César (Atum General-Tavira-Maria Nova Hotel) and Hugo Nunes (Radio Popular-Boavista). They managed a maximum gap of around three minutes before being dragged back.

They were caught with 19km to go as counter-attacks went away on a small rise straight after the catch but Tour of Flanders winner Kasper Asgreen (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) marked it out meaning it didn’t get far.

Various teams then hit the front to control the pace towards the line for their names for the sprint finish as well as for riders going for the overall win. Ineos Grenadiers, who are going for both, had complete control into the last 10km.

Euskaltel-Euskadi sent Peio Goikoetxea up the road on a solo attack with 9km to go but he was easily brought back a kilometre later.

The bunch split in the final 5km due to the tight roads and roundabouts but it was dragged back with 4km to go as Fabio Jakobsen and Shane Archbold (both Deceuninck – Quick-Step) hit the deck.

A motorbike chose the wrong side of the road and caused a small slit again at the front but it was again dragged back together with W52-FC Porto and Caja Rural led into the final two kilometres.

But Deceuninck – Quick-Step set up Bennett perfectly into the final few hundred metres with another stage favourite Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) nowhere to be seen.

Results

Volta ao Algarve 2021 stage one, Lagos to Portimão (189.5km)

1. Sam Bennett (Irl) Deceuninck – Quick-Step, in 4-37-41
2. Danny Van Poppel (Ned) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
3. Jon Aberasturi (Esp) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA, all same time

General classification after stage one

1. Sam Bennett (Irl) Deceuninck – Quick-Step, in 4-37-41
2. Danny Van Poppel (Ned) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
3. Jon Aberasturi (Esp) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA, all same time

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