CCC Team will line up the five-stage race with a diverse roster and multiple objectives, Sports Director Valerio Piva said.
“Once again, Greg Van Avermaet and Matteo Trentin will line up together at Volta ao Algarve so, the first objective will be to try to win a stage. We saw them both racing well in Spain so I think we can build on this further in Portugal. We have a lot of our Classics group lining up at this race and for me, this is important as it allows us to continue working together ahead of the first races in Belgium,” Piva explained.
“Traditionally, the General Classification is won on the climbs so for that, we will take the race day by day. Of course, Simon Geschke is coming into the race after a strong performance in Australia so I’m sure he will be motivated to continue racing well and then Paddy Bevin will also join us so, the time trial on stage five will definitely be another target for us”.
Van Avermaet is looking forward to the next race of his early season after a solid performance in Spain.
”I feel good after five days of racing in Valencia and I’m looking forward to racing in Portugal. It’s good to be back into the racing rhythm as the legs are getting better every day. So far, everything has gone well when it comes to building my shape before the Classics season. Volta ao Algarve is the next step in my preparations. Of course, I’ll do what I can for the team and try to achieve the best possible result. Looking at the parcours, the two stages that suit me best are stage one and the fourth stage which finishes on the Malhão climb,” Van Avermaet said.
Geschke, who climbed to a career-best third place result in a WorldTour stage race at the Santos Tour Down Under, is looking forward to racing in Europe for the first time this year.
“Volta ao Algarve is a really nice race, I’ve only done it once but I like the parcours. I think that my shape will be good as after a strong race in Australia in January, everything has gone well with my training. Coming home with the result I achieved at the Tour Down Under gives me the confidence for short stage races. For me, the key stages at Algarve are both with mountain top finishes and the time trial. I am looking forward to this time trial as it will be a test for me and for sure I would like to finish it with a good result. I did quite well at the time trial two years ago and now it is quite similar. I’ll try not to lose time on the other stages and ride well in the time trial and hopefully, I’ll have good result on GC”.
Volta ao Algarve (19 -23 February)
Rider roster: Greg Van Avermaet (BEL), Bevin Patrick (NZ), Simon Geschke (GER), Michael Schär (SUI), Matteo Trentin (ITA), Gijs Van Hoecke (BEL), Nathan Van Hooydonck (BEL)
Sports Directors: Valerio Piva (ITA, Fabio Baldato (ITA)