Friday, 27 March 2009

Details on the forthcoming races:

G.P. Llodio or "Laudioko Nazioarteko Sari Nagusia" in the local Basque:

This race is a "classic" in the purest meaning of the word. This race is going into it's 60th edition, first being held in 1949.

Classics are one day races, usually very long and very difficult. They dawn from a time when race organiser wanted the most dramatic and difficult course, designed to break the riders and create as much drama as possible. They tend to be either "hilly classics" or "northern classics" northern usually being in the wind and rain and over cobble stone sections.

Unusually, the two Portuguese teams involved are both Algarvean; Palmeiras Resort/Prio/Tavira and C.C Loulé/Louletano/Aquashow. The previous winner of this event, Hector Guerra rides for the Liberty Seguros squad, how ever they don't appear to be racing.

All the information about this race can be found here:

Volta ao Alentejo:

This is a normal road race, over five days through the Alentejo. It's highly ranked though, at 2.1, which is the same as the Tour of Britian for example. This race passes some beautiful scenery, especially in the hills near Portalegre.

On the third stage is a time trials. Which will probably determine the winner. Last year David Blanco came in second in the time trial and won the green points jersey.

I hope this year, will be as successful as the previous and that the weather is better also.

All the information on this race can be found here:

Monday, 23 March 2009

Exciting times ahead!

This Sunday the G.P. Llodio classic tkes place in the Basque country. It's quite hilly apparently and very hard. In order to be fresh for the race the team management has decided that flying is a better option than a 1200km journey by car and caravan.

Following on two days later we have the"Volta ao Alentejo" a 2.1 ranked race, or the highest ranking in our calendar bar the "Volta a Portugal". Again I suspect we will be combative, but I am also fully aware there will be many other strong teams with powerful riders.

This is all rather exciting and I sincerly hope I can do a decent job. I am quite aware how hard these races will be and know that my form has taken a bit of a dip, probably by training a little too hard. I hope the hard training will have paid of and that I recover strong for this block.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Volta a Albufeira

Palmeiras Resort/Prio/Tavira came out victorious this weekend, in the general classification, points and metas volantes and all through one rider; Samuel Caldeira.

The race was not straight forward. It is a fast, short and technical race, with many chances for time bonifications. We had to kill every break away and prepare a sprint every time there was a meta volante, which was often. Of course 10 guys against 110 is always going to make for difficult racing, but the sittuation was adequatly controled, alowing Samuel Caleira to take victory.

It was an impressive lesson in team work. We were greatlly helped along by the fact Cândido Barbosa, with an impresive 101 professional victories in his palmares, was able to guide us and tell us what to do and when.

Monday, 2 March 2009

Volta a Albufeira, Buenos Aires

Volta a Albufeira:

On Saturday and Sunday we are racing the "Volta a Albufeira" a tight, sinous and dangerous race, around the little "concelho" - something like a council, of Albufeira. The plus side to this race is it can be a lot of fun and the hotels are excellent. And it's only 30km away from home!

We want to win the race through sprinter Smauel Caldeira, so that's the plan as it stands. He had a very good "Volta ao Algarve" and it seems likely he could win it. Last year I came in 13th after gaining time by winning some intermediate sprints.

The full, detailed race route for all three stages can be found here:

Vuelta a Buenos Aires:

This race has been canceled, I would guess it is another casualty of the credit crunch. Although so far cycling has come through relatively unscathed. Cycling lurches from crisis to crisis anyway.

Volta ao Algarve:

We had a suprisingly good Volta, 4th in the team classification, as the best Portuguese team. The race this year was bigger and much better than before, though falling a bit short of what it was talked up to be. Live TV and Eurosport never turned up. It was a shame because during such a glorious sunny week, with Tour de France Champion Alberto Contador in yellow at the end I can not think of any better way to promote a region supposedly renown for high end tourism and sports tourism. Infact that little race alone attracted throngs of people who would wouldn't be here otherwise. I think some large developments, and comerce could through a few euros to have the race pass... On TV, to millions across Europe.