Kyle Murphy finished off a massive breakaway effort to win stage two of the Volta a Portugal. With the peloton bearing down on his breakaway group of three, Murphy kicked clear in the final kilometers to claim his first professional victory. It was the first stage win by an American at “A Grandíssima” since 2013.
“All I could think about is how rare these opportunities are and how badly I wanted to capitalize on it,” recalled Murphy. “When I crossed the line I was thinking about my family at home and how much I miss them. I was also thinking about how important a win in Portugal is for our staff and our sponsors.”
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The breakaway formed in the first hour of racing and was comprised entirely of riders who were more than nine minutes down in the general classification. This allowed them to grow their advantage to nearly 10 minutes until the sprinter’s teams started their chase. They were clearly unaware of Murphy’s quality and he had plenty of time to relish his victory on the finish stretch.
“As soon as we had nine minutes I knew they had underestimated us,” said Murphy. “It was touch and go the last 10 kilometers, but we turned into a ripping tailwind and hot damn, that Felt AR just absolutely rips at speed.”
Murphy joins the 2021 winner’s circle alongside Arvid de Kleijn and Joey Rosskopf.
“This year, I feel like our team has turned a page,” added Murphy. “We’re riding a wave of momentum that started in Turkey, continued in Suisse, and crested at Nationals with the pro win. Winning is infectious and I’m extremely excited to see what else we can do in the second half of the season.”
Saturday’s queen stage is 170km in length and finishes atop a 13km climb that averages eight percent in gradient. Expect the top Portuguese teams from Efapel and W52 to control the action for the final pitch to the line.
Stage 2 results
1 MURPHY Kyle Rally Cycling 3:57:49
2 BRANDÃO Joni W52 / FC Porto 0:12
3 MAS Lluís Movistar Team 0:17
4 FREITAS Daniel Radio Popular Boavista ”
5 GOMES Luis Kelly / Simoldes / UDO ”
6 MESTRE Daniel W52 / FC Porto ”
7 MOLLY Kenny Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB ”
8 WIRTGEN Tom Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB ”
9 CONTTE Tomas Louletano – Loulé Concelho ”
10 HOLLMANN Juri Movistar Team ”
Points standings after stage 2
1 MURPHY Kyle Rally Cycling 45
2 GOMES Luis Kelly / Simoldes / UDO 44
3 REIS Rafael Efapel 40
4 BRANDÃO Joni W52 / FC Porto 32
5 MOLENAAR Alex Burgos-BH 32
6 SAMITIER Sergio Movistar Team 28
7 MAS Lluís Movistar Team 28
8 FREITAS Daniel Radio Popular Boavista 24
9 MOLLY Kenny Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB 24
10 FERNANDES Luís Radio Popular Boavista 20