Chaotic end of the 1st stage: “Someone was seriously injured, I saw broken bikes…” – Volta a Portugal

This Friday, Scott McGill inaugurated his exploits by winning a first stage of an eventful final in the Volta a Portugal by bike, which did not change the general accounts, despite the yellow jersey Rafael Reis having reached the line of arrival ‘cut’.

Cycling, Reis recalled, is unpredictable and, this Friday, after a monotonous race, too long (193.5 kilometers from Vila Franca de Xira) and too hot, a fall changed the laps of the peloton: after a dangerous narrowing, Tomas Contte (Aviludo -Louletano-Loulé Concelho) fell and caused a domino effect, which caught up with Tiago Antunes (Efapel) and nearly knocked down the general team leader.


“Even on the last three kilometer sign there was a very dangerous narrowing. And then it was a mess: a lot of people outside the divider, outside the three kilometer barrier. Then they are entered a roundabout again and then came out of it there was a fall with two to go you were driving at high speed someone was badly injured saw some broken bikes and finished by being able to save myself. I only took a shin”, described the Glassdrive-Q8 -Anicolor cyclist, after seeing the college of commissioners grant him the same time as the winner of the stage.

Against the chaotic scenario, the victory of Scott McGill (Wildlife Generation) went almost unnoticed, even if the young American imposed himself with authority in Elvas, with a time of 4:30.28 hours, against the leader of the youngsters, the Briton Oliver Rees (Trinity Racing), and Mauricio Moreira (Glassdrive-Q8-Anicolor), closing ever closer to his best version – the Uruguayan remains in second, nine seconds behind Reis, with Rees in third by the same distance .

movie of the day

The first consecutive stage was also the longest of the 83rd edition and, as is already tradition, LA Alumínios-Credibom-MarcosCar did the honors of inaugurating the escape attempts, launching João Macedo forward, quickly achieved by Fergus Browning (Trinity Racing) and José Maria García (Electro Hiper Europa-Caldas).

At kilometer 16, the trio turned into a quartet, after Victor Manakov (ABTF-Feirense) jumped out of the peloton to catch up with the adventurers, who then already had a four-minute lead.

With Rafael Reis clad in yellow, it was up to Glassdrive-Q8-Anicolor to bear the cost of the chase, a task shared with Burgos-BH – and with 100 kilometers to go the breakaway was no already only 1.35 minutes apart.

After the goal thrown from Arraiolos, Browning, the youngest rider of this Tour (not yet 19), kept waiting for the peloton, renouncing a breakaway which seemed necessarily compromised at the start of Manakov.

But with more than 70 kilometers still to go, the Glassdrive-Q8-Anicolor slowed down – it was too soon for the escapade to end – and let the two tough guys dream a little more, leaving them a margin that exceeded the three minutes.

“We ended up doing great teamwork. Afonso [Eulálio] and fabio [Costa] were superb, maybe even a little too much, because the escape was always very close”, then joked the yellow jersey, praising his young colleagues responsible for the end of the adventure.

Approaching Elvas, Macedo, 20, was alone in the lead and tried to cross everything alone in the last mountain count of the day, a mission that narrowly failed, as he was “absorbed” by the peloton 23 kilometers from the finish line. , already after the Moreira breakdown, changed bikes and still had to adjust it on the go.

“After today’s stage, at least, I wanted the mountain jersey”, lamented the LA Alumínios-Credibom-MarcosCar cyclist at the end, dethroned by the regular Hugo Nunes (Rádio Popular-Paredes- Boavista), who took the opportunity to be leader of the classification that has already won in 2020 passing first in the fourth category of Vila Boim.

Once the break was called off, the conditions were in place for a sprint, which McGill took advantage of to start his career. “It’s a relief,” said the 23-year-old American, who hurriedly called her girlfriend to tell her the good news: “I had to tell her, because she was at work, unfortunately she didn’t couldn’t see the race”.

Who knows if on Saturday, when the peloton will complete the 181.5 kilometers between Badajoz – the Volta is making a leap in Spain, following the trend of internationalization of the Grand Tours -, and Castelo Branco, McGill’s companion, will not be able to tune in to the broadcast to see a newcomer to the sprint, which the Generation Faune cyclist will compete wearing the green dots jersey.

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