The weather was terrible on the last kilometers, but Joni Brandão (Efapel) was not afraid to face the difficult conditions to win in Alto da Torre. However, Efapel’s efforts to lower the gap to Amaro Antunes (W52-FC Porto) were not enough.
Today’s stage started in Guarda but the most difficult part was waiting for the riders on the ascent to Alto da Torre. The initial 14 riders breakaway started to lose some of its men at the start of the climb in Covilhã.
Cristian Rodriguez (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) stood strong until almost the very end but the guys behind him put a very good pace and gave him no chance. In the chasing group was João Rodrigues (W52-FC Porto), who gave all he had during the race, defending all the attacks, including António Carvalho’s several attempts to lower the gap for Joni Brandão (Efapel).
After reaching Rodriguez, the 8 remaining riders at the head of the race started launching more attacks. António Carvalho (Efapel) try to run away but João Benta (Rádio Popular-Boavista) was able to easily block the attack.
On the last meters, Joni Brandão gave all he had left after the tough climb to win at the top of Torre. Frederico Figueiredo (Atum General-Tavira-Maria Nova Hotel) came in second, followed by Amaro Antunes (W52-FC Porto).
Nothing changed among the top 3 of the overall classification, with Amaro Antunes sticking with the Jogos Santa Casa yellow jersey. Frederico Figueiredo is in second place, at 0:13, and Gustavo Veloso in third, at 1:13.
Simon Carr still carries the IPDJ youth Jersey and Luís Gomes the Cofidis points Jersey,
Hugo Nunes improved his advantage over the other riders fighting for the Fidelidade mountain Jersey and will still be wearing it tomorrow.
Tomorrow’s stage will definitely suit the fastest men in the peloton, as this is expected to be a sprint finish. The riders will go from Oliveira do Hospital to Águeda, also known as Portugal’s bike capital city, through a 176,3 km.