Two RusVelo riders, Sergey Firsanov and Ilnur Zakarin made it again to the top-15 on a climbers’ day of the Volta ao Algarve. They finished within 25 seconds off the winner, Tinkoff-Saxo leader Alberto Contador, taking 10th and 15th in the 4th stage. This brought them up to the verge of top-10 in the GC.
Igor Boev taking 16th on the finish line was the best of RusVelo finishers of the 1st stage of the Portugese race. The day's route took the peloton from Faro to Albufeira, first through the mountains, than through an undulating but relatively flatter terrain. The Lampre-Merida Italian Sasha Modolo won the sprint from the pack, leaving no chances to the likes of Mark Cavendish on an uphill stretch.
Today the Russian pro continental team RusVelo opens its road racing season in Europe. There is little opportunity to gradually warm up in the Tour of Algarve, a five day stage race featuring a whole variety of course types, including mountain top finishes and an individual time trial.
It's the moment of the highest pride: racing in your own Country wearing the rainbow jersey.