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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

 UCI codes explained

34th Volta ao Algarve - 2.1

Portugal, February 20-24, 2008

2007 results     Schedule     Preview    Start List     Past winners

The Stages

  • Stage 1 - February 20: Albufeira - Faro, 164.4 km
  • Stage 2 - February 21: Lagoa - Lagos, 189.5 km
  • Stage 3 - February 22: Vila Rel S. Antonio - Loule, 207.7 km
  • Stage 4 - February 23: Castro Marin - Tavira, 34 km
  • Stage 5 - February 24: Vila do Bispo - Portimăo, 193.5 km

Sprinters' dreams

Erik Zabel looking to do like team-mate Petacchi did last year.
Photo ©: Régis Garnier
(Click for larger image)

Last year's winner, Alessandro Petacchi (Milram) will not defend his title at the Volta ao Algarve, as he is currently racing in the Vuelta a Andalucía. Instead, it is his team-mate Erik Zabel, who will wear number 1. Zabel is unlikely to go for the overall title, though, trying for individual stage wins instead. He will have support from a team that is comprised entirely of Germans and there should be no problem exchanging tactics and tips.

Astana will take the start, following its recent exclusion of races by organisers ASO (Tour de France and other French races) and RCS Sport (Milano-Sanremo, among others). The team, which has a very different organisation than last year and is also following an anti-doping programme internal to the team, will be highly motivated to show everyone what they are capable of.

The Chavanel brothers will again do a family battle, with Sylvain heading up the Cofidis squad and Sébastien leading his Française des Jeux team-mates. The two rarely get it into each other's way, though, as Sébastien is a sprinter and Sylvain a rouleur. So Sébastien is more likely to battle it out with the likes of Robert Förster (Gerolsteiner), Bernhard Eisel (High Road), Robert Hunter and Baden Cooke (Barloworld) and Robbie McEwen (Silence-Lotto) in the sprint finishes.

Portuguese rider José Azevedo will try to close out his season as well as his career in style, as he just announced his retirement. He is heading the Benfica team on home rodes. High Road with Marcus Burghardt and 0Roger Hammond has a team that is looking for the breakaways, should a sprint for Eisel not pan out.

McEwen will like the sprint finishes.
Photo ©: Sirotti
(Click for larger image)

The second German team, Gerolsteiner, has world championship bronze medalist Stefan Schumacher in the line-up. Quick Step will bank on Stijn Devolder to light up the race. The Mitsubishi-Jartazi team will also attract some attention, for Frank Vandenbroucke is back in the mix. After getting back on track towards the end of last season and doing an active Paris-Brussels race in October, he will try to continue to show what he is capable of.

Several Pro Continental teams and the development team Rabobank Continental round out the field.

The route

The race starts at the coast, in Albufeira, and heads east to Faro, with only one categorised climb, the Col de Picota, after 133 kilometres. There will be a likely sprint finish. The second stage is from Lagoa to Lagos, over 189.5 kilometres. Even though there are three category 3 climbs, the final parts of the race are flat and it is unlikely that the sprinters will let the opportunity slip by. However, you will never know if there will be the odd breakaway to succeed on the narrow roads in southern Portugal.

Stage 3 has four category 3 climbs, with the last being 50 kilometres from the finish of that longest stage in the race. The riders will have to conquer 207 kilometres from Vila Rel S. Antonio to reach the finish in Loule. To make things worse, the next day the racers will face an individual time trial over 34 kilometres, from Castro Marin to Tavira. The course is flat and fairly straight, favouring the specialists of the race against the clock. Those who aren't in for the overall or the stage victory may want to relax a bit and enjoy the scenic run-in to Tavira, situated right along the sea.

The final day sees the riders go from Vila do Bispo to Portimăo over 193.5 kilometres, and it is again a day for the sprinters. Only two categorised climbs are offered for the day, and maybe in the end it will be a sprinter, like Alessandro Petacchi last year, who can win the overall. Maybe even his team-mate Erik Zabel.

Start list

Team Milram                         Astana
1 Erik Zabel (Ger)                  11 René Haselbacher (Aut)
2 Björn Schröder (Ger)              12 Benoît Joachim (Lux)
3 Markus Eichler (Ger)              13 Andreas Klöden (Ger)
4 Enrico Poitschke (Ger)            14 Dmitriy Muravyev (Kaz)
5 Martin Müller (Ger)               15 Sergio Paulinho (Por)
6 Christian Kux (Ger)               16 Grégory Rast (Swi)
7 Ralf Grabsch (Ger)                17 Michael Schär (Swi)
8 Artur Gajek (Ger)                 18 Tomas Vaitkus (Ltu)
Cofidis Credit Par Telephone        Francaise des Jeux
21 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra)           31 Sébastien Chavanel (Fra)
22 Kevin De Weert (Bel)             32 Mickael Delage (Fra)
23 Mathieu Heijboer (Ned)           33 Arnaud Gerard (Fra)
24 Frank Hoj (Den)                  34 Frédéric Guesdon (Fra)
25 Sébastien Minard (Fra)           35 Lilian Jegou (Fra)
26 Nick Nuyens (Bel)                36 Tom Stubbe (Bel)
27 Staf Scheirlinckx (Bel)          37 Gianni Meersman (Bel)
28 Rik Verbrugghe (Bel)             38 Christophe Mengin (Fra)
Gerolsteiner                        High Road
41 Robert Förster (Ger)             51 Vicente Reynes (Spa)
42 Markus Fothen (Ger)              52 Marcus Burghardt (Ger)
43 Ronny Scholz (Ger)               53 Bernhard Eisel (Aut)
44 Sven Krauss (Ger)                54 Bert Grabsch (Ger)
45 Sebastian Lang (Ger)             55 Roger Hammond (GBr)
46 Stephan Schreck (Ger)            56 Marcel Sieberg (Ger)
47 Stefan Schumacher (Ger)          57 Andreas Klier (Ger)
48 Tom Stamsnijder (Ned)            58 Servais Knaven (Ned)
Quick Step                          Silence-Lotto
61 Mauro Facci (Ita)                71 Robbie McEwen (Aus)
62 Stijn Devolder (Bel)             72 Wim Vansevenant (Bel)
63 Matteo Carrara (Ita)             73 Bert Roesems (Bel)
64 Wilfried Cretskens (Bel)         74 Roy Sentjens (Bel)
65 Alessandro Proni (Ita)           75 Jurgen Roelandts (Bel)
66 Davide Vigano (Ita)              76 Gorik Gardeyn (Bel)
67 Kevin Van Impe (Bel)             77 Glenn D'hollander (Bel)
68 Wouter Weylandt (Bel)            78 Christophe Brandt (Bel)
Benfica                             Barloworld
81 José Azevedo (Por)               91 Diego Caccia (Ita)
82 Javier Benitez (Spa)             92 Félix Cardenas (Col)
83 Pedro Lopes (Por)                93 Baden Cooke (Aus)
84 Bruno Castanheira (Por)          94 Christopher Froome (GBr)
85 Ruben Plaza (Spa)                95 Robert Hunter (RSA)
86 Mario J. Da Costa (Por)          96 Daryl Impey (RSA)
87 Rui A. Costa (Por)               97 Christian Pfannberger (Aut)
88 Candido Barbosa (Por)            98 Hugo Sabido (Por)
Cycle Collstrop                     Mitsubishi-Jartazi
101 Tom Criel (Bel)                 111 Frank Vandenbroucke (Bel)
102 Bastiaan Giling (Ned)           112 Mathieu Criquielion (Bel)
103 Michal Golas (Pol)              113 Gregory Habeaux (Bel)
104 Sergey Kolesnikov (Rus)         114 Stefan Vandyck (Ned)
105 Sergey Lagutin (Uzb)            115 Vytautas Kaupas (Ltu)
106 Matheus Pronk (Ned)             116 Geert Omloop (Bel)
107 Sergey Rudaskov (Ned)           117 Jarno Van Mingeroet (Bel)
108 Kenny Van Schueren (Bel)        118 Maxime Vantamme (Bel)
PSK Whirlpool-Author                Topsport Vlaanderen
121 René Andrle (Cze)               131 Niko Eeckhout (Bel)
122 Petr Bencik (Cze)               132 Evert Verbist (Bel)
123 Tomas Buchacek (Cze)            133 Kurt Hovelyncr (Bel)
124 Jakub Danacik (Cze)             134 Kristof Vandewalle (Bel)
125 Andre Schulze (Ger)             135 Preben Van Hecke (Bel)
126 Stanislav Kozubek (Cze)         136 Kenny De Haes (Bel)
127 Radek Becka (Cze)               137 Neyens Maarten (Bel)
128 Martin Mares (Cze)              138 Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel)
Barbot-Siper                        C. Ciclismo Loulé
141 Carlos M. Pinho (Por)           151 Pedro M. Soeiro M. (Por)
142 Celestino Pinho (Por)           152 Nuno Marta (Por)
143 Antonio Amorin (Por)            153 Renato Silva (Por)
144 Francisco Pacheco (Spa)         154 Hugo M. Vitor (Por)
145 Bruno A. Pinto (Por)            155 Claudio Pauliho (Por)
146 Helder Oliveira (Por)           156 Joaquin Gregorio (Por)
147 Luis Oliveira (Spa)             157 Alexander Oliveira (Por)
148 Vidal Celis (Spa)               158 Arlindo Fernandes (Por)
Fercase/Rota Dos Moveis             LA MSS
161 Francisco Mancebo (Spa)         171 Pedro Cardoso (Por)
162 Andre Cardoso (Por)             172 Constantino Zaballa (Spa)
163 Edgar Anäo (Por)                173 Joäo Cabreira (Por)
164 Bruno Barbosa (Por)             174 Claudio Faria (Por)
165 Jose M. Cuesta (Spa)            175 Bruno Neves (Por)
166 David Vaz (Por)                 176 Angel Vicioso (Spa)
167 Virgilio Dos Santos (Por)       177 Alfonso Azevedo (Por)
168 Eladio Jimenez (Spa)            178 Pedro Romero (Spa)
Liberty Seguros                     Madeinox Boavista
181 Manuel A. Cardoso (Por)         191 Tiago Machado (Por)
182 Rui Sousa (Por)                 192 Nelson H. Rocha (Por)
183 César Quiterio (Por)            193 Sergio Sousa (Por)
184 Hector Guerra (Spa)             194 Joaquim Sampaio (Por)
185 Hernani Broco (Por)             195 Celio Sousa (Por)
186 Isidro Nozal (Spa)              196 Bruno Lima (Por)
187 Pablo Urtasun (Spa)             197 Luis Pinheiro (Por)
188 Koldo Gil (Spa)                 198 Antonio Cosme (Spa)
Palmeiras Resort-Tavira             An Post - M. Donnelly - Grant Thornton - Sean Kelly Team
201 David Blanco (Spa)              211 Daniel Lloyd (GBr)
202 Alejandro Marque (Spa)          212 Benny De Schrooder (Bel)
203 Claudio F. Apolo (Por)          213 Kenny Lisabeth (Bel)
204 Nelson Vitorino (Por)           214 Frank Van Kuik (Ned)
205 Krassimir Vasilev (Bul)         215 Christian Müller (Ger)
206 Paul Sneeboer (Ned)             216 Viktor Folkesson (Swe)
207 Samuel Caldeira (Por)           217 Daniel Fleeman (Ger)
208 Martin Garrido (Arg)            218 Stephen Gallagher (Irl)
Rabobank Continental
221 Marcel Beima (Ned)
222 Thomas Berkhout (Ned)
223 Jos Van Emden (Ned)
224 Tejay Van Garderen (USA)
225 Michael Kreder (Ned)
226 Coen Vermeltfoort (Ned)
227 Klaas Lodewjck (Bel)
228 Ricardo Van Der Velde (Ned)

Past winners

2007 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Milram
2006 Joao Cabreira (Por) Maia-Milaneza
2005 Hugo Sabido (Por) Paredes R.M.-Beirata
2004 Floyd Landis (USA) U.S. Postal Service
2003 Claus Michael Moller (Den) Milaneza-MSS
2002 Candido Barbosa (Por) L.A. Pecol
2001 Andrea Ferrigato (Ita) Alessio
2000 Alex Zulle (Swi)
1999 Melchor Mauri (Spa)
1998 Tomas Konecny (Cze)
1997 Cândido Barbosa (Por)
1996 Alberto Amaral (Por)
1995 Cássio Freitas (Bra)
1994 Vitor Gamito (Por)
1993 Cássio Freitas (Bra)
1992 Joaquim Gomes (Por)
1991 Joaquim Andrade (Por)
1990 Fernando Carvalho (Por)
1989 Fernando Carvalho (Por)
1988 Joaquim Gomes (Por)
1987 Manuel Cunha (Por)
1986 Manuel Cunha (Por)
1985 Eduardo Correia (Por)
1984 Belmiro Silva  (Por)
1983 Adelino Teixeira (Por)
1982 Alexandre Ruas (Por)
1981 Belmiro Silva  (Por)
1980 Firmino Bernardino (Por)
1979 Firmino Bernardino (Por)
1978 Joaquim Andrade (Por)
1960 José Manuel Marques (Por)
Past winners by Mario Stiehl,