The British Daniel McLay (Arkéa-Samsic) added today the second victory in Return to Portugal on a bicycle, by winning the sixth stage of the sprint, which ended in Torres Vedras. Portuguese Amaro Antunes (W52-FC Porto) keeps yellow and, two stages from the end of the race, remains in the lead.
McLay was the strongest on arrival at Torres Vedras, when he covered the 155 kilometers from Caldas da Rainha in 03: 38.04 hours, imposing himself on the Italian Riccardo Minali (Nippo Delko Provence) and the Venezuelan Leangel Linarez (Miranda-Mortágua), second and third ranked, respectively.
The tribute to the fiftieth anniversary of Joaquim Agostinho's first victory in Volta a Portugal had three animators. Willem Smit (Burgos-BH), Oier Lazkano (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) and Emanuel Duarte (LA Alumínios-LA Sport) left the pack with 11 kilometers covered, had more than 4 minutes advantage, but did not resist the force of the pack, where the sprinter teams stepped up to give what is likely to be the last chance for sprinters.
With the flight canceled 5 kilometers from the goal, there were moments of tension. A fall just under four kilometers from the end broke the pack, but Team Arkéa-Samsic was able to pull himself together to take Daniel McLay to the last hundred meters. “The stage suited me. The team did an excellent job for me, I think it was impossible to do better. I only had to do my part in the last 150 meters. The points jersey was a positive coincidence, but tomorrow's stage has a very difficult ending. It is possible that there are many attacks. Therefore, I will not focus too much on that jersey ”, confessed Daniel McLay.
Overall, Amaro Antunes maintained the 13-second advantage over Frederico Figueiredo (Tuna General-Tavira-Maria Nova Hotel), who remains in second place in the overall standings, and 1.13 minutes over Spaniard Gustavo Veloso (W52-FC Porto), third. “In an exhausting Tour, in which everyone wants to win and try to attack, the team has revealed a huge union, an incredible strength and that makes us arrive without a hitch. In the end, we took over the race to avoid the falls, because nervousness is very much in the sprint ”, explained Amaro Antunes about the Porto work in defense of the yellow jersey.
If the white and red jersey, from the mountain, is handed over to Hugo Nunes (Rádio Popular-Boavista), who just has to finish the Tour, the fight for the red jersey of the points is red hot. Daniel McLay passed today, but the former commander, Luís Gomes (Kelly-Simoldes-UDO) is only one point away. Simon Carr (Nippo Delko Provence) wears the white jersey, of the best youth, and W52-FC Porto leads collectively.
On Sunday, the platoon will face the 161 kilometers between Loures and Setúbal, after two counts for the mountain prize, one of fourth category, at the beginning of the seventh and penultimate stage, and one of second, in Alto da Arrábida, just more than 10 kilometers from the goal.