José Neves, the only W52-FC Porto cyclist in the competition, managed to keep the yellow jersey and won the Douro International GP.
José Neves won the second edition of the Douro International Grand Prix this Sunday, managing to defend the yellow in the fourth and final stage, despite not having any teammate from the W52-FC Porto in the competition.
One day after being the only representative of the dragons in the race, after his six colleagues were removed before the start of the time trial, due to being preventively suspended by the Anti-Doping Authority of Portugal (ADoP), Neves committed the feat of defending the yellow one alone, winning in Lamego.
In the last stage, a connection of 148 kilometers with departure and arrival in Lamego, won by César Fonte (Kelly-Simoldes-UDO), the former national champion (2021) kept the 15 seconds advantage he had over António Carvalho (Glassdrive-Q8). -Anicolor), and secured the first overall victory for W52-FC Porto this season.
In a journey with several escape attempts, Fonte prevailed, after attacking in the last kilometres, cutting the finish line in 03:49.20 hours.
His teammate Luís Gomes was second, at 28 seconds, the same time given by the Spaniards Jesus del Pino (Aviludo-Louletano-Loulé Concelho) and Delio Fernández (Tuna General-Tavira-Maria Nova Hotel), third and fourth respectively in the run.
The experienced Fernández moved up to third place in the general standings, finishing 30 seconds behind Neves, who arrived integrated into the first pack.
On Saturday, the 26-year-old cyclist, one of the great figures of last season in national cycling, was alone in the Douro International GP, after losing all his teammates due to the suspension imposed by the AdoP.
Ricardo Vilela and José Gonçalves were removed, in addition to four former winners of the Volta a Portugal: João Rodrigues (2019), Rui Vinhas (2016), Ricardo Mestre (2011) and Joni Brandão, who inherited the victory in the 2018 edition after being disqualified. , by doping, of the also dragon Raúl Alarcón.
Eight cyclists and two members of the W52-FC Porto staff were preventively suspended on Friday by the ADoP within the scope of the Prova Limpa operation, a source linked to the process confirmed to the Lusa agency.
The runners, as well as the staff members, are preventively suspended for 120 days, a period that can be extended “given the complexity of the process”.
In addition to the cyclists who lined up in the Douro International GP, the W52-FC Porto also counts in its ranks with Amaro Antunes, three-time winner and two-time champion of the Volta title (2021, 2020 and 2017), Samuel Caldeira, Daniel Mestre and Jorge Magalhães.
At the end of April, ten W52-FC Porto runners were accused and the team’s sports director, Nuno Ribeiro, was even arrested, as well as his deputy, José Rodrigues, during the Clean Test operation, in charge of the Investigation Department. and Criminal Action (DIAP) of Porto.
“The police operation, involving a total of about 120 elements from the Northern Directorate and also from the Central and Southern Directorates, from the National Anti-Corruption Unit and from the Criminal Investigation Departments of Braga, Vila Real and Guarda, had also with the collaboration of the ADoP (Anti-Doping Authority of Portugal)”, detailed the PJ, on April 24.
The W52 structure, linked to FC Porto for six seasons, has won the last nine editions of the Volta a Portugal, but the triumphs of its Spanish rider Raúl Alarcón, in 2017 and 2018, were also taken away for “use of methods and/or prohibited substances”.