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"I gave myself some seconds to find my second breath and then I gave again everything as I saw I could reach the overall podium if I could keep that tempo. And I succeeded. I am happy."

Photo: Sirotti






21.02.2015 @ 20:40 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

The fourth stage in the 41st Volta ao Algarve was a difficult stage at 218,3 km and climbs packing the last 40 km of the queen stage from Tavira to Alto do Malhão. But Team Katusha’s Tiago Machado was up for the challenge, climbing well and taking sixth place on the stage, 13-seconds behind winner Richie Porte. Teammate Alberto Losada was part of the action too, claiming the 8th position on the stage. 


"I arrived a bit over my limit in the last kilometer on the Alto do Manhão and was unable to follow the acceleration of Porte and Kwiatkowski. I gave myself some seconds to find my second breath and then I gave again everything as I saw I could reach the overall podium if I could keep that tempo. And I succeeded. I am happy. Now I only need to arrive safely in Vilamoura," said Tiago Machado, referring to Sunday’s final stage.


- That is one goal for tomorrow, not to lose that podium spot. The other is to bring Aleksandr Porsev in a good position to the finish as we expect a mass sprint in tomorrow's last stage. I can be happy about our team today. We knew it would be a long and hard day but we were in the front of the action. In the final, just when we wanted to attack, we had some bad luck as Iurii Trofimov had to change a wheel, but we moved again to the front and waited till the last kilometer to attack. Team Sky and Etixx - Quick Step were strong too but we may be happy with three guys in top ten of the GC," said team director José Azevedo.


Team Katusha is please with the strong showing in the top ten of the General Classification.  Machado now holds the third spot on the podium behind leader Geraint Thomas (Sky) and Michal Kwiatkowski of Etixx – Quick Step. Sergei Chernetckii and Alberto Losada are 7th and 8th.


An initial group of seven went away to hold more than five minutes but the gap was already coming down as the field took on the first pass of the Alto do Malhão. Once on the slopes, attacks came often, but Machado and Losada continued to keep themselves in good position. When the final selection was made on the last passage, Porte went clear to earn the win by three seconds, followed closely by Kwiatkowski. Ion Izagirre from Movistar (+0.06) was third.


One stage remains to be raced as Sunday brings the fifth and final stage. At 185 km, the day begins in Almodôvar and ends in Vilamoura. With only one category 3 climb coming early in the stage, it looks like a day for the sprinters.



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