Algarve cyclist Amaro Antunes confessed today, minutes after the triumph in the special edition of Volta a Portugal, to feel “fulfilled” for having reciprocated the best effort of his colleagues during the race.
“I can already breathe with relief. These were days of great tension. On a daily basis, I felt very confident. There are no words for what my colleagues did: they were tireless, they gave everything for me and I just thought I had to win, to repay this whole effort ”, guaranteed the W52 / FC Porto runner, speaking to RTP, dedicating the victory to your mother.
The cyclist from Vila Real de Santo António, who had led the race since the climb to Senhora da Graça, defended himself in the best way in the 8th and last stage, a 17.7 kilometer time trial in Lisbon, with the 7th place, 31 seconds from 1st, teammate Gustavo Veloso.
Amaro Antunes, 29, considered that his career in the sport so far was "quite beautiful", but that he was lacking "a little luck at certain times".
“Fortunately, when we do things well and when we do good, he, sooner or later, arrives. It's incredible, something I can't explain, I feel fulfilled. I just have to thank the group and the [diretor-desportivo] Nuno Ribeiro for everything they did ”, he stressed.
The celebrations for the triumph in Volta a Portugal will have to be contained, given the pandemic scenario. “I don't even know what can be done. It matters least. Most important was to achieve what we set out to do: win the Tour. I haven't really realized yet, but we did it, ”said Amaro Antunes to RTP.
To conclude, the W52 / FC Porto corridor – who won the individual general in Volta a Portugal for eight years in a row – thanked “the municipality of Vila Real de Santo António and the parish of Vila Nova de Cacela for all the support”.
Frederico Figueiredo, from Atum General / Tavira / Maria Nova Hotel, lost on the last day the 2nd place in the individual overall to the winner of the “chrono”, Gustavo Veloso.
“The“ chrono ”is not my specialty, so I attacked Senhora da Graça. I knew I had to buy time on the mountain stages, because in a“ chrono ”rolling, with great speed, Gustavo had an advantage. Today I did my best, I defended the colors of my team as best I could. It is a 3rd place and for the year we are back to continue fighting, ”said the cyclist from the Tavira team.
Gustavo Veloso, winner of the time trial and 2nd in the final overall, revealed that, in 2021, he will continue on the road. “This Tour did not have the support of our fans at the side of the road. Seeing Senhora da Graça empty is not the same and I want to say goodbye to cycling with real cycling ”, he stressed.