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

This Friday, Scott McGill inaugurated his achievements by conquering a first stage of a troubled final in the Volta a Portugal on bicycle, which did not change the general accounts, despite the yellow jersey Rafael Reis having reached the finish line ‘cut’.

Cycling, Reis recalled, is unpredictable and, this Friday, after a monotonous run, 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 Tiago Antunes (Efapel) and almost knocked the leader of the general team down.


João Macedo ended up with 'bittersweet taste': «It's my first time on the podium of Volta»

“Even on the sign for the last three kilometers, there was a very dangerous narrowing. And then that was a mess: a lot of people outside the separator, outside the three kilometer barrier. Then they entered a roundabout again, then got out. there was a fall with two to go, you were going at a lot of speed. Someone was seriously injured, I saw broken bikes, and I ended up being able to save myself. I only got a shin”, described the Glassdrive-Q8-Anicolor cyclist, after seeing the commissaires’ panel give him the same time as the stage winner.

Against the chaotic scenario, the victory of Scott McGill (Wildlife Generation) almost went unnoticed, although the young American imposed himself with authority in Elvas, with a time of 4:30.28 hours, against the youth leader, the British Oliver Rees (Trinity Racing), and Mauricio Moreira (Glassdrive-Q8-Anicolor), getting closer and closer to his best version — the Uruguayan remains in second position, nine seconds behind Reis, with Rees in third at the same distance .

the movie of the day

The first stage in the line was also the longest run of the 83rd edition and, as is already a 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 was transformed into a quartet, after Victor Manakov (ABTF-Feirense) jumped out of the pack to catch the adventurers, who by then already had a four-minute lead.

With Rafael Reis dressed in yellow, it was up to Glassdrive-Q8-Anicolor to assume the expenses of the chase, a task shared with Burgos-BH — and 100 kilometers from the finish line, the escape was already only 1.35 minutes apart.

After the flying goal of Arraiolos, Browning, the youngest rider of this Tour (not yet 19 years old), stopped waiting for the peloton, giving up an escape that seemed inevitably compromised when Manakov took off.

But with more than 70 kilometers to go, the Glassdrive-Q8-Anicolor slowed down – it was too early for the escapade to end – and let the two tough guys dream a little more, giving them a margin that exceeded 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 journey’s adventure.

On the approach to Elvas, Macedo, 20, was left alone at the front and was trying to get through everything in the last mountain count of the day, a mission that narrowly missed, as he was ‘absorbed’ by the peloton 23 kilometers from the finish line. , already after Moreira broke down, changed his bike and still had to tune it on the go.

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

Once the escape was annulled, the conditions were met for a sprint, something that McGill took advantage of to make his career debut. “It’s a relief”, shot the 23-year-old American, who hurriedly called his girlfriend to tell him the good news: “I had to tell her, because she was at work, unfortunately she couldn’t see the race”.

Who knows if on Saturday, when the peloton completes the 181.5 kilometers between Badajoz – the Volta makes a leap to Spain, following the trend of internationalization of the great Tours -, and Castelo Branco, McGill’s girlfriend will not be able to tune in to the broadcast to see a new arrival in the sprint, which the Wildlife Generation cyclist will compete dressed in the green points jersey.