Team Sky rider Sergio Henao wins queen stage of Volta ao Algarve
Last Updated: 17/02/13 3:01pm
Sergio Henao: Claimed his first victory in Team Sky colours
Colombia's Sergio Henao powered into the overall lead of the Volta ao Algarve by winning the race's queen stage with a devastating attack on the final climb of the day.
The Team Sky rider broke clear of the main bunch alongside Portugal's Rui Costa (Movistar) with 2km remaining to the summit finish on Alto do Malhao.
But the 25-year-old then opened up a gap that Costa was helpless to close, eventually crossing the line three seconds ahead of his rival and a further one second in front of third-placed Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil-DCM).
It was Henao's first victory in Team Sky colours and he now leads the race overall by seven seconds from Costa. However, he is unlikely to be able to hold on to it in tomorrow's concluding 35km time trial, a discipline in which he struggles.
The stage win nevertheless enhances Henao's reputation as a climbing expert and comes 10 days after he narrowly missed out on a win at the Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana in Mallorca, where he was closely beaten by Spain's Alejandro Valverde.
It also completed a triumphant day for Team Sky, who earlier saw Chris Froome wrap up overall victory at the Tour of Oman.
And they were given further reason to celebrate when Henao's Colombian compatriot Rigoberto Uran finished in fourth place in Portugal, with newly signed 20-year-old Briton Josh Edmondson following in a superb seventh place to give Sky three riders in the top 10.
Stage three took the peloton on a hilly 193km route starting in Portimao and taking in two ascents of the 2.4km-long Alto do Malhao.
Breakaway moves tried and failed before a 12-strong group finally stuck as the race approached the 100km mark. Team Sky (David Lopez), Omega Pharma - Quick-Step (Sylvain Chavanel), Blanco (Maarten Wynants) and Movistar (Jose Herrada) all had representation up the road as the advantage grew to beyond five minutes.
The group splintered briefly on the first ascent of the climb, but they reformed and held out until 4km from the finish, from where the pure climbers and, in particular, Henao took decisive control of the stage.
Elsewhere in Europe on Saturday, Norway's Thor Hushovd (BMC) won stage one of Tour du Haut Var in France, while home favourite Filippo Pozzato (Lampre-Merida) was victorious at the Trofeo Laigueglia in Italy.
Volta ao Algarve stage three result
1 Sergio Henao (Col) Team Sky, 4:53.15; 2 Rui Costa (Por) Movistar, +3secs; 3 Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM, +5; 4 Rigoberto Uran (Col) Team Sky, +7; 5 Tiago Machado (Por) RadioShack-Leopard, same time; 6 Andreas Kloden (Ger) RadioShack-Leopard, st; 7 Josh Edmondson (GB) Team Sky, st; 8 Denis Menchov (Rus) Katusha, st; 9 Jose Herrada (Spa) Movistar, +12; 10 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step, st
1 Sergio Henao (Col) Team Sky, 14:50.49; 2 Rui Costa (Por) Movistar, +7secs; 3 Tiago Machado (Por) RadioShack-Leopard, +11; 4 Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM, same time; 5 Andreas Kloden (Ger) RadioShack-Leopard, +17; 6 Rigoberto Uran (Col) Team Sky, st; 7 Denis Menchov (Rus) Katusha, st; 8 Josh Edmondson (GB) Team Sky, st; 9 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step, +19; 10 Jose Herrada (Spa) Movistar, +22