Monday, August 20, 2012

Fraile to the fore in Portugal

The Vuelta a España isn't the only big ongoing race on the Iberian Peninsula these days: the 2.1-ranked Volta a Portugal is well underway, and Orbea are making their mark now that the peloton has reached the mountains after a muted start.

The first real mountain stage was Sunday's stage four to the top of the cat.1 Alto Senhora da Graca, and Omar Fraile showed what a potential ace climber he is in the making by finishing a solid tenth in a relatively high-quality field. 36-year-old Rui Sousa, the 2008 overall victor, showed he's still going strong by beating Efapel-Glassdrive team-mates Sérgio Ribeiro and David Blanco to take a popular home win. 22-year-old Fraile came in 27 seconds back, ahead of the likes of Darwin Atapuma, Garikoitz Bravo, defending champ Ricardo Mestre and Moisés Dueñas. Mikel Bizkarra also showed decent shape by claiming 23rd.

Check complete stage four results here.

On Monday's fifth stage from Armamar to Oliveira de Azemeis, run in sweltering heat, Mikel Bizkarra made it into the main break, but the stage ended in a bunch sprint from which Efapel's Ribeiro grabbed the win. Fraile, Bagües and Zabalo made it in with the peloton, while the rest of the guys ceded some time.

Access stage five results through this link.

Five stages down (plus a prologue), five stages to go. Tomorrow's trek takes the riders 184,1 lumpy clicks from Aveiro to Viseu.

Here's the overview of the stages.

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