Although Martínez is among the 175 registered in this 'Algarvia', he is not the favourite for the race, instead this is Evenepoel, who opened the season with a victory in the Clássica da Figueira.

At 24 years old, the Belgian from Soudal Quick-Step is a serious candidate to equal the Portuguese Belmiro Silva, the only cyclist to have won the Volta ao Algarve three times (1977, 1981 and 1984), a feat that could also be achieved by Thomas, champion in 2015 and 2016.

The Welshman, distinguished with the Prestige Award of the 50th 'Algarvia', leads a strong INEOS contingent, which will also line up with Thomas Pidcock and the Italian Filippo Ganna, respectively winner in Malhão and 'runner up' in the general final of the last edition , as well as the promising Dutchman Thymen Arensman.

But it is Visma-Lease a Bike that brings the two other big headliners of the only Portuguese stage race on the UCI ProSeries circuit, the second most important on the international calendar, featuring the Belgian Wout van Aert and the northern -American Sepp Kuss, winner of the Vuelta2023.

Among the favorites are also the British Tao Geoghegan Hart (ex-INEOS), the winner of the Giro2020 who debuts in the colours of Lidl-Trek and is returning to the competition after the serious crash in the last edition of the 'pink race', or the Portuguese Rui Costa (EF Education-EasyPost), third in 2014 and 10th last year.

The 175 cyclists, from 25 teams, 13 of which are in the WorldTour, will have 200.8 kilometers to cover from Portimão, where the symbolic start will take place at 11:35.

Arrival at Avenida dos Descobrimentos, in Lagos, is scheduled for 4:46 pm.

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