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23:36 GMT         Day 89 of 90, Season 69    

Volta ao Porto Ed.59 - A Preview
by Yuri, at 5/5-24 - 21:18 GMT

  Written by Deano from Bilsky.
  With the opening stage only days away, excitement is starting to build for edition 59 of the Volta ao Porto, one of the three grand tours in OCM. 24 teams are en route to Portugal; each with different goals and ambitions. We will preview each team and predict the final standings in Porto below.
  Skudehavnen CC
  Summary: TT’ers Maldarasanu and Cumali are here for the TT’s and Hjorth should be in the mix in the sprints. The team could also target a breakaway result in the mountains with experienced climber Kofod.
  Prediction: 5 top 9 stage finishes
  Summary: Defending Perm tour champion Peter Suhrbier is the top dog at Equilibrium, who have built a team around him with the aim of a top 9 in GC.
  Prediction: Suhrbier - 8th GC
  Summary: Van Groessen will be the leader and is well suited to the Volta, having finished 2nd in edition 53. The dream is to finish on the top step in Porto but a podium is probably more realistic looking at the competition.
  Prediction: Van Groessen - 3rd GC
  AGB Procycling
  Summary: Defending SC champion Nordin Pruischer is back to try and retain his title. He arrives in top form and will try and make it impossible for any other fast men to stop AGB in the sprints.
  Prediction: Pruischer - 1st SC
  Uphill Battle
  Summary: Another team bringing a sprint train to Portugal is Uphill Battle. They will be riding in support of Marinus Mol, a former runner up in the SC at Karpaty Tyr. Expect a couple of top 9 finishes for the Dutchman.
  Prediction: 2 top 9 stage finishes
  Summary: This could get interesting. Gaston Rousseau has finished in the top 9 here three times before. He may not be the best climber but his TT ability could give the climbers headaches if he arrives in top form.
  Prediction: Rousseau - 4th GC
  English Sprinting Team
  Summary: 5 time winner Jeremy O’Pizan is the clear favourite for the GC. The defending champ has a strong team in support and should arrive in Porto wearing the yellow jersey once again.
  Prediction: O’Pizan - 1st GC
  Summary: Welcome to the SC battle Bienvenido Ordonez! Remco’s sprinter is another who will be aiming to win the pure sprints and will have his eyes on the final stage. It’s not just about the sprints and Abdul-Alim will be on a side quest for a TT result.
  Prediction: 2 top 9 stage finishes
  Summary: The YC

field looks weak in this Volta and Jim Sorli has a great opportunity to win the white jersey. His team looks strong, with Jun-ichi and Dufresne also in the mix for the TT’s.
  Prediction: Sorli - 1st YC
  Summary: CCFC leader Jim Blom was 3rd in the SC last season and will be looking for revenge. He should challenge once again and could take yellow in the prologue on a good day. CCFC are another team bringing a TT specialist with Corentin Riou.
  Prediction: Blom - 2nd SC
  Drapeau Noir
  Summary: Former winner Alexej Kafka has been left out of the squad and Drapeau Noir are instead aiming for the SC with Blake Groce. A former stage winner in the Monte Rosa, Groce will look to take a step up and challenge for the green jersey here.
  Prediction: Groce - 3rd SC
  Summary: 7th placed finisher from edition 57, Eaton Snowden, returns with the goal to finish in the top 9 again. He’s in the prime of his career after winning the Karpaty Tyr last season and is well suited to the mountain stages in Portugal.
  Prediction: Snowden - 9th GC
  Summary: Home favourite Belchior Infante will be inspired by the home crowds and should be in contention for the SC when the riders arrive in Porto. He’ll be hoping to find the legs that helped him win the YC at Copa Salsa de Cali edition 18.
  Prediction: 5 top 9 stage finishes
  Velo Club Bored Man
  Summary: Khola finished 3rd last season and returns in good form with one win and a second place already this season. He might be reaching the twilight of his career, but he is an elite climber and should be in the mix for another podium this season.
  Prediction: Khola - 5th GC
  Summary: A team of TT’ers arrive hoping to dominate the long TT stages at the Volta. Huertas is probably the strongest TT’er in the team but Marcu, Helmans and Andic could also get top 9’s against the clock.
  Prediction: 5 top 9 stage finishes
  Summary: The all-Laos team have riders for all terrains. Sysoutham will be hoping to scrape a top 9 in GC, but he has no support for the mountains as the Sacpraseuth brothers are targeting the SC and Ouvalong is looking to win a TT.
  Prediction: 2 top 9 stage finishes
  Summary: Another team targeting the GC is sivac. Their leader Amundsen flashed his potential last season when he finished 3rd in the YC. He’s too old for the YC now and will hope to challenge the grown ups this season.
  Prediction: 2 top 9 stage

  Summary: Julio Lietava is a mountain goat and one of the best climbers in the business. He’s no stranger to the Volta either, having finished 5th in edition 56, but he’s not in top shape and might struggle to compete this season.
  Prediction: 2 top 9 stage finishes
  Summary: Bradley Hammondtree is the designated leader and is joined by Volta specialist Cuartio Bueno, who finished 8th in edition 48. The team also have a few youngsters and Chadwell is someone who could challenge in the TT’s.
  Prediction: 1 top 9 stage finish
  Vitoria FC
  Summary: Vitoria are an all-Portuguese team who will be at home in this tour. They have one of the strongest climbing teams but it’s hard to pick a clear leader. Souto Maior or Festas look best placed to battle for a top 9 in the GC.
  Prediction: 3 top 9 stage finishes
  Summary: Rantanplan will arrive fresh off the Zurich-Bern—Zurich with Co Van der Velde in top form. He’s one of the best climbers in the race but it’ll be difficult for him to compete in this one with the short turnaround between races.
  Prediction: 2 top 9 stage finishes
  Temora Tornadoes
  Summary: Yoeri De Weijgaert is the team leader and is perfectly suited to the Volta. He finished 9th in edition 57 and has a strong team, which includes former world champion Steinar Bredesen.
  Prediction: De Weijgaert - 7th GC
  Ribeiros Bile Shop
  Summary: Former Monte Rosa winner Silvanio Rivera will get his first shot at the Volta this season. He will arrive in top form and will aim to challenge O’Pizan for the title or at least finish best of the rest.
  Prediction: Rivera - 2nd GC
  Summary: The lowest ranked team in the Volta used Espen Hammer’s wildcard to sign up after his 2nd place last season. He only joined the team recently and comes straight in as leader. Juro Hucko could be an outside bet for the YC if anything happens to Hammer early on.
  Prediction: Hammer - 6th GC
  Final GC Prediction
  1st - O’Pizan
  2nd - Rivera
  3rd - Van Groessen
  4th - Rousseau
  5th - Khola
  6th - Hammer
  7th - Di Weijgaert
  8th - Suhrbier
  9th - Snowden
  Final SC Prediction
  1st - Pruischer
  2nd - Blom
  3rd - Groce
  Final YC Prediction
  1st - Sorli
  2nd - Hucko
  3rd - Verlie


Schiavi di Don at 12:01 6/5-2024
  Awesome to see a preview again! Great job Deano. :)

Ribeiros Bike Shop at 20:42 6/5-2024
  Good job, hope your prediction for Rivera is right because it will be thight to trigger the top form.

Bilsky at 14:00 7/5-2024
  Yeah it’s difficult to predict without knowing who’s going to be in tf but I think Rivera will do well in this edition even if he just missed tf

Rantanplan at 19:51 8/5-2024
  Thanks Deano, nice article !

POM Wonderful at 19:21 9/5-2024
  Love the preview!!

PRS at 13:33 10/5-2024
  Excellent preview and love the predictions. Obviously a lot of research went in to it so thank you!!

doky at 14:43 4/7-2024