The European racing season is in full swing and Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka are motivated to be starting the Volta ao Algarve, which gets underway tomorrow in Albufeira, Portugal. The UCI 2.HC event is made up by 4 road stages and 1 individual time trial (stage 3), with the final stage finishing on Sunday in Malhao.
Even though this year will see the 43rd running of the Volta ao Algarve, it will be the first time our African Team will compete in the event. It is always something special when we are able to take our African Team and the Qhubeka cause for which we race to a new event, fans and country we have yet to race in all that much. It is for this reason that our Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka squad hope to make a lasting impression at our first Volta ao Algarve.
We have a strong team for the Volta ao Algarve with a number of our key riders using the Portugese race to get their 2017 season’s underway. Edvald Boasson Hagen, Steve Cummings, Omar Fraile and Natnael Berhane will all pin on a race number for the first time this season in Algarve. Mark Cavendish, Scott Thwaites, Johann van Zyl and Ben King will complete our 8 rider line up.
The 4 road stages are all of an undulating nature and could allow for a different winner on each occasion. Realistically, all 8 of our riders could actually be in with a shout for a stage win on any of these given stages. The stage 3 time trial, at 18km in length, should suit the likes of Steve Cummings and Edvald Boasson Hagen. Our African Team will hope to use the many cards we have to play to our advantage over the coming week in order to come away with a stage win, or two.
Omar Fraile – Rider
I was really motivated throughout the winter and did some good training, so I am very excited to start racing and get my season going. I have done this race before. It is a beautiful race and I love to ride here. I just hope to be at a good enough level to be competitive already but we also have a nice team here so I think it can be a good week for us.