Fabio Jakobsen was the heavy favorite for the opening stage of the Volta ao Algarve however the Soudal-QuickStep lead-out practice misfired and the European champion pale within the Lagos headwind.
There have been excessive hopes for the Belgian group, with one of many world’s prime sprinters in Jakobsen and a bolstered lead-out that not solely included the evergreen Michael Mørkøv but additionally his fellow Dane, the brand new signing Casper Pedersen.
With Kasper Asgreen there to make it a Danish trio in entrance of Jakobsen, many had anticipated QuickStep to stamp their authority and march to victory with a standard peeling lead-out practice, nevertheless it did not prove like that.
“It was not likely lead-out,” Mørkøv advised Cyclingnews on the group bus in Lagos.
“It was fairly chaotic, we needed to come from behind and we weren’t all lined up collectively.”
Jakobsen, 3 times a stage winner in Lagos on the Volta, wheeled straight to his group bus that was past the road and hopped onto it in nearly the identical movement. The frustration was evident as he noticed open highway in entrance of him however may solely handle fourth place.
“There was a robust headwind in that dash, which additionally performed a component, I believe,” Mørkøv recommended.
Soudal-QuickStep had dominated the opening stage up till the ultimate kilometres, with Tim Declercq doing a lot of the work to manage the breakaway. Issues grew to become chaotic on the ultimate climb and the run-in to Lagos, with a late dip down into a quick right-hand bend signalling the ultimate kilometre, and a roundabout forward of the ultimate straight.
Asgreen was on the entrance dropping into the ultimate kilometre however seemed round and noticed his teammates had been elsewhere. Pedersen then performed little half as Jakobsen caught to Mørkøv’s wheel hoping his trusted lead-out man would discover some gaps.
That he did, and Mørkøv gave Jakobsen a preventing probability as he hit the entrance and peeled off with simply over 125 metres to go. Nevertheless, Jakobsen did not launch instantly, as a substitute pausing for a second within the wind earlier than actually opening the faucets. Quickly the stage winner Alexander Kristoff (Uno-X) was forward on the opposite facet of the highway.
“We did not get it lined up like we hoped for,” Mørkøv mentioned. “Clearly, all groups hope to make a pleasant line-up in a race like this nevertheless it did not go as we hoped in the present day.
“We got here from behind and ultimately we launched the place we needed, however we’ll should see the photographs to know precisely what did not go nicely.”