Kittel continues his winning streak and takes the opening stage in Algarve

Marcel Kittel won his first 2016 battle against André Greipel (Lotto Soudal) on the first stage of the Volta ao Algarve. After his Etixx-QuickStep teammates had controlled the stage all day, he held off his compatriot in the bunch sprint to take the stage victory and the first leader’s jersey. Jasper Stuyven (Trek) completed the podium.

Two late crashes disrupted the peloton in the final kilometres but Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) and Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) finished in the front group, two seconds behind Kittel. Fabio Aru (Astana) was further back and lost 11 seconds.

With the win, Kittel takes the first leader’s jersey with a four-second advantage over Greipel. However, he is unlikely to defend his position as stage 2 offers the first big battle between the climbers. After a flat start, the final third is very hilly, with three smaller climbs leading to the uphill finish on Alto da Foia, the highest mountain in Algarve. It’s a 7.4km climb that averages around 6-7% and it will give the first indication of who’s going to win the race overall.

Volta ao Algarve 2016 – stage 1 results (Lagos – Albufeira):

1 Marcel Kittel (Etixx-QuickStep)


2 Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal)


3 Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo)


4 Wouter Wippert (Cannondale)


5 Victor Campenaerts (LottoNL-Jumbo)


6 Salvatore Puccio (Sky)


7 Tiago Machado (Katusha)


8 Alex Dowsett (Movistar)


9 Roman Maikin (Gazprom-RusVelo)


10 Pawel Cieslik (Verva ActiveJet)  ,,