Ciolek, Trentin Go 1-2 at Volta Algarve
Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team showed their early season strength once again on Saturday, as Gerald Ciolek won Volta ao Algarve Stage 4 in a field sprint. He went early, and his sprint was so strong he won by a considerable margin. His teammate Matteo Trentin was the only rider close to him up until meters of the finish line, and he crossed the line in second place with his arms outstretched in celebration.
The Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team leadout train dominated the front of the peloton for the last several km, while the leftover of a breakaway — about five riders including Dries Devenyns — hung onto a 15 second gap.
"The sprint was fantastic because the team controlled the race in every moment from the beginning," Ciolek said after his victory. "Then the final with the entire team — it's unbelievable how all the riders know their jobs really well, and their position. Everyone knows what they have to do at whichever moment of the race. I don't want to say it was easy to win, but it was a big help to have riders like these together. In the last kilometer I think it was Tony who pulled the sprint. Then there was a roundabout at about 450 meters from the finish. At that time I asked Matteo to pull for my sprint and he did it perfectly."
Once the break was finally absorbed after being away since approximately kilometer 25, the train for Ciolek went to work.
"This is an incredible feeling," Ciolek said. "It's been a long time without a victory for me."
This makes win number 16 for Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team this season. Tony Martin is also in general classification contention going into tomorrow's final time trial stage. He is in 10th place, 50 seconds out. He won the race in 2011.
"It won't be easy for Tony to to win the race because the gap between Richie Porte (Team Sky) and Tony is big," Sport Director Rik Van Slycke said. "But Tony will ride 100 percent to win the race, even if it won't be easy due to Porte's strength as a rider."
Video courtesy of Eurosport