Great Britain’s Ethan Hayter (Ineos Grenadiers) came out on top of a sprint finish atop the Alto do Foia to triumph on stage two of the 2021 Tour of the Algarve,
The Ineos Grenadiers rider held off competition from the chasing pack to claim the yellow jersey following a gruelling 182.8km ride from Sagres to Foia.
The Londoner, a time-trial specialist, admitted he was surprised to take the victory in mountainous terrain ahead of Joao Rodriguez (W52 / FC Porto), Jonathan Lastra Martinez (Caja Rural - Seguros RGA) and Elie Gesbert (Team Arkéa Samsic).
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Hayter said: “I knew I was going well, but I didn’t expect this. My aim today was to limit my losses but to win was really special and I owe it to the team. We were in a perfect position all day.”
A seven-rider break - Marvin Scheulen (L.A. Aluminos), Fabio Costa (Efapel), Samuel Jose Caldeira (W52-PC Porto), Damien Touze (Ag2r-Citroen), Kenny Molly (Bigoal-Pauwels Sauces), Clement Carisey (Delko) and Joseph Laverick (Hagens Bermans-Axeon) - had, at one point, an advantage of seven minutes, but they had been reeled in as the race took to the category 1 climb of Alto do Foia.
And it was Team Arkéa Samsic rider Gesbert who made his move some 3km out from the finish, but Ineos Grenadiers pair Iván Sosa and Sebastián Henao bridged over with Rodriguez, Lastra Martinez and Hayter making it an elite six-man group. Sosa, on the front with 300m to go, set the pace, but peeled off with 200m left, allowing Hayter to open up his sprint to take the win.
The 22-year-old Hayter was quick to praise his Ineos teammates for their role in his win:
It was perfect for me because it was head wind for most of the day. It felt good following in the wheels. I was trying to hide in the wheels a bit. (Ivan) Sousa and Seb (Henao) were following the attack. I looked and everyone else around me was done after I’d just been following, so I actually jumped myself and then it was full gas.
The third stage of the Volta ao Algarve from Faro to Tavira takes place on Friday.
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