Irishman Dan Martin of Quick Step leaped into the race lead of the Volta ao Algarve after winning on Thursday’s summit finish. Colombian Fernando Gaviria hands over the leader’s jersey to a teammate. Canadian Adam de Vos was in the breakaway for the second stage in a row and sits just behind Martin in the Portuguese stage race’s King of the Mountains competition.

The course was 189.3-km with a sting in the tail: three categorized climbs in the final half including the Cat. 1 summit finish of Alto da Fóia, 9-km of 6%. Some think the Cat. 2 Alto da Pomba just before the Fóia is tougher, at 4-km of 8%.

In the blue mountains jersey after his brief excursion on Wednesday’s breakaway, Canadian Adam de Vos lit out with seven others, drawing out a 3:30 gap after 20-km. The octet reached the first of the three climbs, Cat. 3 Eirinha, with 1:30 over the field.

Once again it was de Vos taking the maximum points. But would he have enough points to keep the blue by the end of the day? His breakmate Edward Theuns (Belgium/Trek-Segafredo) bolted with an eye on helping his leader Ruben Guerreiro (Portugal) on the next mountains.

Katusha worked hard to bring the field closer to the fugitives and on the plateau between Eirinha and Pomba the race came back together. On the Pomba it was Quick Step’s emerging Spanish scalatore Enric Mas who was first over. Once the race hit the Fóia, Mas, Martin and another Quick Step rider attacked.

At first only Sky’s Michal Kwiatkowski (Poland) and LottoNL-Jumbo’s Primož Roglič (Slovenia) could stay with the Quick Step trio. Then a chase group of 11 caught them up.

Once more Mas, Martin and Roglič surged away, this time with Portuguese rider Amaro Antunes of Continental squad W52-FC Porto-Porto Canal. With 4-km remaining, the Irishman and the Slovenian pulled ahead. Roglič tried to shake Martin, but the Irishman kept his cool and outpowered his opponent in the sprint for the win.

Friday will see another GC shakeup after the 18-km time trial in Sagres.

2017 Volta ao Algarve Stage 2
1) Dan Martin (Ireland/Quick Step) 4:46:35
2) Primož Roglič (Slovenia/LottoNL-Jumbo) s.t.
3) Michal Kwiatkowski (Poland/Sky) +0:20

2017 Volta ao Algarve GC
1) Dan Martin (Ireland/Quick Step) 9:14:56
2) Primož Roglič (Slovenia/LottoNL-Jumbo) +0:04
3) Michal Kwiatkowski (Poland/Sky) +0:26


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