This Monday, October 5th, a national holiday in Portugal, will once again have its place in the history of the Volta a Portugal. The capital city returns to the Volta as the closing stage, with the possibility of W52-FC Porto being the ones celebrating. Will anyone surprise Amaro Antunes?
Four years ago, Rui Vinhas confirmed surprised everyone by making the time trial of a lifetime to hold the yellow jersey. This Monday, it is Amaro Antunes who will try to seal the victory that began to take shape in Senhora da Graça.
Gustavo César Veloso can repeat his place on the 2016 podium. He was second, won the time trial, and wanted to win his third Volta a Portugal. He is now third, on the Edição Especial Jogos Santa Casa third, 1m13s away from his teammate and main rival. At the age of 40, he keeps his third victory dream alive.
But Frederico Figueiredo is the one closest to Amaro Antunes, with a 13-second gap. However, the time trial is an Achilles heel for the Atum General-Tavira-Maria Nova Hotel’s leader. The flat track, the cobbled areas, none of these help Figueiredo, and Amaro Antunes, is not an expert either. But, as Vinhas showed, the time trial of a lifetime can change everything. The distance between them does not allow the rider from Algarve to think that the victory is guaranteed.
The Volta a Portugal Edição Especial will thus have its epilogue, with the podium already set for Hugo Nunes (winner of the mountain jersey) and for Luís Gomes (winner of the points jersey).
Veloso is one of the strongest candidates to win again in the time trial, as in 2016 and a week ago in the prologue, in Fafe. João Benta (Radio Popular-Boavista) and Joni Brandão (Efapel) are 14 and 24 seconds away from Veloso, but finishing on the podium will be a difficult task. Rafael Reis (Feirense) has another opportunity to win in his specialty.
Oscar Pelegri (Feirense) will be the first to start at Avenida da Ribeira das Naus, at 15h22, with Amaro Antunes starting at 5pm. Praça do Comércio will be waiting for João Rodrigues’ successor.