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cj2002

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The 2017 Portugal Thread
« on: February 07, 2017, 14:02 »
Previously in Portuguese Cycling

2016 was not a vintage year for Portuguese cycling in many ways. Rui Costa, the former world champion, managed just 3 podium places and extended a winless run that stretches back to the 2015 national championships. Nelson Oliveira retained his national time trial title, and put in a strong performance in the Tour's ITT, holding the hotseat until the arrival of Froome and Dumoulin. Jose Gonçalves, riding for Caja Rural, took arguably the biggest result of the season for Portugal (and certainly the biggest of his career) winning overall in the Tour of Turkey, but most of the rest of the Portuguese riders plying their trade outside of their homeland were anonymous.

On the domestic scene, Rui Vinhas accidentally won the big prize, putting in an enormous time trial on the final day to keep the Volta a Portugal yellow (and red) jersey ahead of his teammate, Gustavo Veloso. Rafael Reis won the overall cyclist of the year ranking[1], and with it a contract at pro-continental level.

The juniors also continued to impress. Liberty Seguros-Carglass, the unofficial U23 national squad on the road, with their riders taking all the podium spots in the season-long U23 Taça Portugal. Ivo Oliveira continued his impressive performances on the track, winning Silver at the European championships, as well as putting in a respectable performance, alongside twin brother Rui[2] at the Elite Worlds in London.

And now...

Portuguese World Tour Riders
8 men and 1 woman will have the UCI's World Tour logo affixed to their chest this season.
  • Nuno Bico  #movistar
  • André Cardoso  #trek
  • Rui Costa  #uad
  • José Gonçalves  #katusha
  • Ruben Guerreiro  #trek
  • Tiago Machado  #katusha
  • José Mendes  #bora #champpt
  • Nelson Oliveira  #movistar #champpt
  • Daniela Reis  #lares

Other Ex-Pats[3]
Seven other Portuguese riders will be earning their crust abroad this season.
  • João Pedro Almeida #unieuro
  • Ivo Oliveira #axeon
  • Rui Oliveira #axeon
  • Nuno Meireles #bolivia
  • Rafael Reis #cajarural
  • Daniel Silva  #brasil
  • Ricardo Vilela  #postobon

The Men's Elite Peloton
Portugal will continue to have six domestic teams in the 2017 season - but this nearly wasn't the case. LA-Antarte director Mario Rocha threw in the towel at the end of 2016, citing concerns that the Portuguese peloton was regressing to doping behaviours not seen since the bad old days of pre-2007[4]. With a change in sponsor, the team continues without its boss of 16 years... not sure who that is a victory for, particularly. Otherwise, and for the first time in quite a while, there is a welcome stability in the sponsorship of the Portuguese peloton. The following teams will be lining up this season[5]:
  • Efapel #efapel
  • LA Aluminios-Metalusa #metalusa
  • Louletano-Hospital do Loulé #louletano
  • RP-Boavista #boavista
  • Sporting-Tavira #sporting
  • W52-FC Porto #porto

Key Transfers
While there has been stability in the teams, the merry-go-round of riders was as active as normal. Efapel have lost one of their key riders, former national champion Joni Brandão, but gained the experience of Sergio Paulinho. Alex Marque, former Volta winner[6] joins Brandão at Sporting, as the Lions look to strengthen in their second year, and take the fight to Porto with someone other than Rinaldo Nocentini. Fabio Silvestre, formerly of Leopard-Trek, also pulls on the green and white hoops this season. As for Porto - who in their various incarnations as W52 and OFM have been the dominant team for the last few years - their major winter activity was ensuring that Gustavo Veloso and Rui Vinhas, last year's Volta 1-2, stay put. They have added strength in Amaro Antunes - the young climber was LA-Antarte's great GC hope last season, but took the contract on offer amid the uncertainty at his former team.

Edgar Pinto, most recently seen (occasionally) racing for Sky Dive Dubai, returns to Portugual, rejoining his former team LA Aluminios. And while his younger brother has moved to the Emirates, there was no contract available for Mario Costa, who retired. Bruno Pires, a long-serving member of the peloton, has also retired after a final year riding for Team Roth.


The Men's U23 Peloton
There continues to be an exciting production line of young riders, who have 7 U23 squads to choose from across the generous junior calendar. Liberty Seguros-Carglass #bikecp, who share a sponsor (and several riders) with the National squad, are likely to continue to dominate. Although the Oliveira twins have stepped up to join Axeon and Luis Gomes has moved up to ride for RP-Boavista, the squad have retained the services of César Martingil (U23 Taça de Portugal winner) and Gaspar Gonçalves (U23 ITT champion), as well as bringing 5 new riders into their 10-strong roster.

The other squads in the U23 peloton are:
  • ACDC Trofa
  • Jorbi-Team José Maria Nicolau
  • Maia
  • Miranda-Mortágua
  • Moreira Congelados-Feira-Bicicletas Andrade
  • Sicasal-Constantinos-DeltaCafés

The Women's Peloton
In another exciting development, Portugal can now boast 2 domestic women's teams for the first time. 5Quinas-Albufeira count Taça de Portugal winner Liliana Jesus and national championship runner-up[7] Celina Carpinteiro among their elite riders, complemented by a squad of masters, cadets and juniors. Meanwhile Maiatos/Reabnorte will be led by Ana Rita Vigário, a former cross-country national champion.

The Calendar
7 Portuguese races make the UCI's Europe Tour calendar in 2017. The growth of the racing scene is evident in the upgrade of two early-season races. The Volta ao Algarve, which has seen victories from Alberto Contador and Richie Porte in recent years, has already established itself as a good testing ground for the top riders. It is classified as 2.HC for the first time this year, with Sky, Trek-Segafredo and Movistar among the 12 World Tour teams slated to appear on the south coast. Movistar - with their two Portuguese riders Nelson Oliveira and Nuno Bico - are also set to debut at the Volta ao Alentejo[8], which has been upgraded to 2.1 for the 2017 edition.

As ever, once the big teams go home, there will be a plentiful calendar for the six domestic teams to enjoy. A good mix of one-day and stage races across the country. The GP Beiras e Serra da Estrela returns for a second edition, over 4 stages at the beginning of June - this race is also ranked 2.1. And, of course, the domestic season reaches its peak in August with the 79th Volta a Portugal.
 1. Which includes all Portuguese riders, regardless of where or at what level they race
 2. Who was injured for much of the season
 3. Not to be confused with Pat's Veg
 4. I leave this here without comment... https://youtu.be/jap9NZKTrxU?t=30s
 5. Subject to UCI paperwork and all that...
 6. And he who had his Movistar contract torn up due to suspicious blood values
 7. Runner-up to Daniela Reis of #lares
 8. Alentejo is the region of Portugal south of Lisbon but north of the Algarve. Beautiful though it is, there is very little there.
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  • « Last Edit: February 08, 2017, 13:17 by cj2002 »
    He shook his head sadly and told me that endemic drug use had compelled him to give up a promising career. "Even one small local race, prize was a salami, and I see doping!" - Tim Moore: Gironimo (Riding the Very Terrible 1914 Tour of Italy)

    cj2002

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    Re: The 2017 Portugal Thread
    « Reply #1 on: February 07, 2017, 14:03 »
    Unlike in the several previous seasons, ahead of the increased competition in the 2.HC Volta ao Algarve, the domestic teams have had the chance for an early-February dust off. The 160km Prova de Abertura (literally, Race of Opening), allowed all 6 elite and 7 U23 men's teams to get the wheels turning in anger. They were joined by a national selection, including the Oliveira twins (now with #axeon) and Tiago Ferreira, the XCM #rainbows). It was also a first outing on home soil for Nuno Meireles of #bolivia, with his teammates.



    The course wound through the centre of the country, starting at Anadia, home of the national velodrome, heading out to the coast near Aveiro, then back inland for enough climbing to stretch the legs after a long winter. Neither Talhadas (6.7km at 4.2%) and Sever do Vouga (3.8km at 6.2%) would test a real mountain goat, but they added some challenge to the otherwise flat course. The final third of the route headed back towards the Atlantic coast, finishing in Ovar.



    It was Ferreira #teampt, in his first road race since June 2013, who proved to be one of the most animated, as he broke away with Mario Gonzalez #sporting and Xuban Errazkin #boavista. Gonzalez - who was nominally the best climber - and Ferreira were swallowed up by the peleton on the descent from Sever do Vouga. It took until the final 10km for the bunch to catch Errazkin, though. In the end, it lined up for a sprint - perhaps not a surprise given the flat terrain. The surprise came, however, when 1st and 2nd places went to U23 riders - Francisco Campos of Miranda-Mortagua and César Martingil of #bikecp - with Fabio Silvestre #sporting the highest placed Elite rider in 3rd. Ivo Oliveira #axeon/ #teampt finished a strong 5th.



    Most of the home interest in terms of those who might get in amongst the big boys in the Algarve this week kept their powder dry. With their main interest still some months away, it remains to be seen if any of them can mount a challenge over the course of a week in the south of the country.

    HIGHLIGHTS

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  • « Last Edit: February 13, 2017, 14:42 by cj2002 »

    cj2002

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    « Last Edit: February 14, 2017, 10:00 by cj2002 »

    LukasCPH

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    Re: The 2017 Portugal Thread
    « Reply #3 on: February 07, 2017, 23:58 »
    Muito obrigado! :cool
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  • 2017 0711|CYCLING PR Manager; 2016 Stölting Content Editor
    Views presented are my own.
    RIP Keith

    Guilherme Ribeiro

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    Re: The 2017 Portugal Thread
    « Reply #4 on: February 08, 2017, 13:05 »
    TOP !!!!!!!
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  • Mellow Velo

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    Re: The 2017 Portugal Thread
    « Reply #5 on: February 08, 2017, 17:51 »
     My 7 day epg has just come up with Eurosport, live Volta ao Algarve, next Wednesday, right after Andalucia.
    I'll believe it when I see it.
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  • "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.

    cj2002

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    cj2002

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    Re: The 2017 Portugal Thread
    « Reply #7 on: March 06, 2017, 09:37 »
    Sunday saw the first of this season's 1-day races in Portugal, and the first half of the 'Trofeu Liberty Seguros'. The Clássica da Arrábida took in 187 km around the Setúbal peninsular, just south of Lisbon. While the banks of the river Sado are better known for their beaches, Arrábida park has some tricky climbs that make for excellent cycling. And the day's final climb, up to the Miradouro[1] de Palmela, hit a maximum 7.1% over its 2.6km length.





    In the end, it was the in-form Amaro Antunes #porto who followed up his win in the Queen stage of the Volta ao Algarve with the win in Palmela, 2 seconds clear of a chase from Sergio Paulinho #efapel and Andreas Vangstad #sparsor. The rest of the field, including Eddie Dunbar #axeon (5th @ 21") - continuing Axeon's strong start to the campaign - and Joni Brandão #sporting (7th @ 31"), were scattered down the mountain and along a course that saw 48 riders fail to finish, or finish out of time...



    Next weekend, the 'Trofeu Liberty Seguros' concludes with a 141km course in the foothills of the Serra da Estrela mountains. With a win already under his belt, and the form in his legs, it looks like being Antunes' title to lose.
     1. It's a point with a great view... I'm not sure there is a direct English translation
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  • cj2002

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    Re: The 2017 Portugal Thread
    « Reply #8 on: March 14, 2017, 15:52 »
    As the peloton headed into the mountains of central Portugal on Sunday, the pressure was on Amaro Antunes #porto. He held a 2-second lead over Sergio Paulinho #efapel, the long-time lieutenant of Alberto Contador and veteran of 16 Grand Tours. And there were a number of other riders within striking distance, hoping to take the overall title in the 'Trofeu Liberty Seguros'. But first, there was the small matter of 140.6 km of rolling hills and sharp climbs.

    And then - just to add some spice - the Portuguese national squad arrived, with some high profile names. Axeon lent the Oliveira twins - talented, without a doubt, but not (yet) hardened mountain goats. But Ricardo Vilela #manzana, Andre Cardoso #trek and Tiago Machado #katusha provided Team Portugal with some serious climbing chops.



    It took 28 km for a break to form - Hugo Sancho #metalusa, Ricardo Mestre #porto and Mario Gonzalez #sporting eventually went clear - but it was never likely to stick. The pace was frenetic, but on the final 1.5km climb (with slopes in excess of 12%), Vicente Garcia de Mateos #louletano broke away and took a solo victory. Rinaldo Nocentini #sporting continued his good start to the season, finishing 12" down in 2nd, while Andreas Vangstad #sparsor finished 3rd for the 2nd weekend running.



    Despite what my previous post might have led you to believe, the overall 'Trofeu Liberty Seguros' was actually based on the results in three races - the Prova de Abertura, the first race of the season, also counted - and was based on points, not time. His victory on Sunday, coupled to a 4th-place finish last weekend, was enough to earn Garcia 130 points, and the overall title. Amaro Antunes, who finished 5th, 21" down, ended up in 2nd place overall, with 125 points. Paulinho and Vangstad shared honours in 3rd, with 120 points each.

    Francisco Campos (Miranda/Mortagua) and César Martingil #bikecp, who finished 1st and 2nd in the Prova de Abertura, ended up 1st and 2nd in the overall U23 rankings, followed by Ivo Oliveira #teampt/ #axeon.  Sporting #sporting took the overall team title.

    And what of the big boys, lining up in national kit rather than taking to the road with their teammates in France or Italy..? Well, Cardoso #trek finished 7th and Machado #katusha 10th.

    The next outing on the roads of Portugal is this weekend (Sunday 19th), with the Clássica da Primavera running its 21st edition a little later than normal. Last season saw Matti Manninen of Team Bliz-Merida win solo by over 3 minutes. He is slated to be at the Classic Loire Atlantique, and thus unlikely to be defending his title. More information on this race when I can find it...
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  • cj2002

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    Re: The 2017 Portugal Thread
    « Reply #9 on: March 14, 2017, 16:01 »
    PS - Rui Oliveira tweeted out some of his numbers after the race. In case you were wondering how hard it was...

    https://twitter.com/roliveira57/status/840994199046631425

    Bottom right - 3137 m elevation gained. Rather him than me.
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  • t-72

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    Re: The 2017 Portugal Thread
    « Reply #10 on: March 14, 2017, 21:11 »
    Quote
    3   VANGSTAD Andreas   Team Sparebanken Sør

    Isso!  :cool

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  • cj2002

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    Re: The 2017 Portugal Thread
    « Reply #11 on: April 21, 2017, 14:23 »
    A quick update on how things are going in the Portuguese peloton.

    The national team has been busy, sending squads to the U23 Tour of Flanders and ZLM Tour. This represents - for the Federation - a growing desire to find the next Rui Costa, a champion who can compete at the highest levels, backed up by funding to travel to these events. For the riders, it is invaluable experience for their own careers, and exposure to a watching world of future employers.

    In Flanders, won by Eddie Dunbar[1], the best placed Portuguese was Francisco Campos (Miranda/Mortagua), who finished 50th, 4'24" behind the Irishman. Marcelo Salvador (Sicasal) was 61st, with César Martingil #bikecp further back in 95th. Their teammates, André Carvalho (Cipollini), and Gaspar Gonçalves and André Crispim #bikecp, didn't finish.

    In the Netherlands the following weekend, the strong winds played their role in wiping out the entire 6-man squad from contention. Rui Oliveira #axeon fell in the neutral start and was off his bike before the flag had dropped. Carvalho, Crispim and Campos also fell during the race, while Martingil and Gonçalves abandoned after being caught behind other crashes.

    Better news for the national team came from Hong Kong, where Ivo Oliveira #axeon and João Matias #metalusa were the Portuguese representatives in the World Track Championships. With a focus on Tokyo 2020, it is important for the Portuguese to gather as many ranking points as possible, to guarantee qualification for the World Cups and World Championships in which Olympic qualification points will be on offer[2]. Matias took 20th in the Scratch and 19th in the Points Race. Oliveira - himself a multiple national track champion and former junior world IP champion - had an extremely positive tournament. He finished 6th in the Individual pursuit, and 10th in the Omnium.

    On Domestic roads, the elite peloton has only seen one outing since I last popped in. In the Clássica da Primavera, Gustavo Veloso #porto took his first win of the season as he builds to an inevitable attempt to regain his Volta a Portugal title. He finished 51 seconds clear on a 160km route starting and finishing in Rui Costa's home town of Povoa da Varzim. Omar Mendonza #bolivia and Domingos Gonçalves #boavista filled the podium.

    The 2-day/3-stage Volta a Santa Maria da Feira, a little way south of Porto, subjected the U23 peloton to typically rolling terrain. Day 1's 108.6km stage was won by Francisco Campos (Miranda), ahead of César Martingil #bikecp - the pair doing well to warm up for the Tour of Flanders[3]. His time-trialling let him down, though, even over the 7.5km loop of stage 2a. Gaspar Gonçalves #bikecp set the pace, finishing ahead of Jorge Magalhães (Miranda) and Martingil. There were no time gaps on Stage 1, so the 4" and 6" lead that Gonçalves obtained in the time trial was all he had to defend on the Sunday afternoon.

    Stage 2b clocked in at 79.2km, 12 laps of the 6.6km circuit. Each lap ended with an uphill drag, not enough to cause problems the first few times, but enough to cause fatigue. Campos bounced back from his poor time trial to take his second stage win of the weekend, as well as to secure the points jersey. Martingil finished 4th on the road, one place ahead of Gonçalves, but crucially only by 2 seconds - handing the GC win to his teammate. Liberty Seguros-Carglass also took the team classification, while Marcelo Salvador won the mountains classification.

    The first round of the Taça de Portugal for Elites and U23s takes place this weekend, with the 4th Volta à Bairrada, held just north of the city of Coimbra. Stage 1 covers 147km, with 1600m of climbing; Stage 2 ramps it up[4], with 2146m of climbing across a 170km course. I believe that the Elite and U23 squads will race together, with only the rankings separated.
     1. Teammate, at Axeon, of Portuguese twins Rui and Ivo Oliveira
     2. Yes, it's a ridiculous system, I know
     3. Which happened after this race, despite the order of my reporting
     4. Pun intended
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