At a press conference to launch the event which will be taking place across the region between February 14 and 17, the organiser of the race, Rogério Teixeira said that he was very pleased with the racers who were going to be taking part in the event
“We always attract good competitors to the race. If we are not able to secure Bradley Wiggins then instead we have Froome who is a likely candidate for victory in the Tour de France. We were unable to get Alessandro Petachi but instead we have Cavendish. As usual we have got around the situation and provided a strong field for the race.”
He assured those at the press conference that even without Alberto Contador this upcoming race had all the hallmarks of becoming a classic in its history.
“We have Froom, rui Costa, Rigoberto Urán, Tony Martin and Cavendish which gives an indication of the quality of the riders taking part this year,” said Rogério Teixeira who added that of the 20 teams taking part he is proud to announce that six of them are Portuguese.
This year the Volta ao Algarve will be taking place over four days instead of the usual five and boasts Candido Barbosa as the sporting director.km
He said that the reduction in the number of days for the race was essential to ensure that it can continue in the future during this time of economic difficulty in Portugal.
“It was our choice to reduce the number of days of the race from five to four. Taking away one day of the tour is not really significant to it overall and by doing this we have been able to ensure the future of the race over the next few years.”
Speaking at the press conference the president of the Portuguese Cycling Association said that the event would be supported by the government and will be held in conjunction with the Portuguese Institute of Sport and Youth.
He added that it was important for the Algarve and Portugal as a whole to promote the region on an international platform such as this race.
The exact routes of the race have not been revealed but it has been announced that the stages will be between Faro and Albufeira on February 14 of 198.8km, followed by a stage starting and finishing in Lagoa on February 15 over 195km then a stage between Portimão and Loulé over 193km on February 16 and finishing with a time trial over 34.2km between Castro Marim and Tavira on the final day of the race on February 17.