2022 Volta ao Algarve Stage 3 Preview

Almodôvar > Faro 211.2km

At 211km, this a long stage, prefect preparation for those soon heading for the classics. With just 2100m of climbing, this is an easy stage, and should really end in a sprint. However, there will be some who see this as a good shot at the breakaway. We now have lots of riders well down on GC, expect to see some of the world tour teams looking to get in the morning break.

The other good news for the attackers is the absence of Tim Declercq, who had to abandon the race due to sickness. Wanty, QuickStep and Alpecin-Fenix will be keen on a sprint, but we’ll have to wait and see if they try and put someone in the break to avoid pulling all day. The stage is still likely to end in a sprint, but a strong break could go a long way.


Another sunny day for the peloton. The wind will be around 15-20km/h, and there are several crosswind sections, but most of the route is well protected by trees. Some might try, but I don’t think the wind is strong enough to cause echelons.


If you are one of the big sprint teams, the opening kilometres are crucial. Given the length of the stage, they cannot let a strong break get away. A long day in the break would be perfect for someone looking ahead to Omloop, maybe an Yves Lampaert or Kasper Asgreen. We’ll have to see if anyone has the appetite for a day out, hopefully it will interest some of the bigger teams.

Managing your resources is crucial in such a long stage. Teams will want a few riders left for the sprint finish, so they can only commit one or two to chase the break. For the break to be chased down, we’ll need two or three teams to work together.


The run for home is reminiscent of the final stage in Valenciana, it also takes place on a wide highway. Inside the final kilometre we have two roundabouts, one with 900 to go and the other with just 500 to go. At this point the bunch go all the way around before the road opens up for the sprint finish. The final 400m rises at around 4%, it’s a grippy little finish.

The two roundabouts in the final kilometre ensures a big fight to control the peloton. Will Remco ride in position 4? If he does, we’re in for a repeat of the opening stage.


Fabio Jakobsen – the Dutch sprinter is enjoying a hugely dominant start to 2022, that’s three wins from four opportunities. The train is working very well, even though they are without Mørkøv in this race, which has allowed Bert Van Lerberghe to remind everyone he’s also a very good final man. The loss of Declercq cannot be underestimated, nobody else can fulfil that role to such a high level. The team could well find themselves not having enough men in the final kilometres, it all depends on what Remco is asked to do.

Tim Merlier – didn’t get to sprint on Wednesday, he was dropped by the QuickStep sprint train. He won’t be too disappointed, that was a tough day out for your first race of the season. He doesn’t have his usual sprint train with him at this race, it looks like he’ll be trying to get Fabio’s wheel and come round him. It’s a dangerous tactic, but it looks like his best option.

Alexander Kristoff – Wanty continue to impress, they have been outstanding so far this season. It looked like the Norwegian would have finished second in the opening sprint, but was almost taken out by Jordi Meeus, and a couple of phones! He knows that beating Jakobsen is hard, but it’s not impossible. They’ll hope to launch Kristoff from the front and see if Jakobsen can come round him.

Jordi Meeus – closed the door on Kristoff in the opening stage and was relegated off the podium. These things happen in sprinting, I doubt Meeus will have given it a second thought. It was a strong start for him, he’ll hope for another podium finish, one that actually counts this time round.

Bryan Coquard – he’ll be challenging for another podium finish; I’m liking what I’m seeing from him this season.

Yves Lampaert – breakaway hopeful number 1.

Daan Hoole – breakaway hopeful number 2.

Prediction Time

The break does have a chance, but it’s likely to end in a sprint. If Remco is on lead out duty, it’s another win for Fabio Jakobsen.