The pouring rain and cold weather could not stop Andre Greipel (HTC-Columbia) from taking the win at the second stage of the 2010 Volta ao Algarve.
It did, however, slow him down. Greipel’s winning time of 6+ hours actually exceeded the scheduled finish by at least 75 minutes. The 207km stage race of the Volat ao Algarve is tough enough without the heavy rains making it worse. Most of the cyclists who finished the stage couldn’t muster the energy to give an interview, and it took only one look at their beaten-down faces to know that you shouldn’t dare.
However, Greipel’s victory apparantly gave him enough strength to take about the race for a few minutes. The first thing he mentioned was the weather. “It was horrible out there. If I’ve got a cold tomorrow I’ll know why.” Greipel added that he had asked his teammates not to go off on any chases since he himself was feeling bad all day.
Greipel says that they did not even expect to catch up to David Vitoria, the leader of the breakaway, but catch up to him they did. With just 200 meters to go, the HTC-Columbia star managed to do a final sprint past Vitoria for the win, but adds that he couldn’t even remember what really happened.
Jurgen Roelandts, who finished second behind Greipel, mentioned that he couldn’t even feel his legs working because of the rain and cold. He added, however, that he did like wet and cold condition, mentioning the fact that his victory at the Tour of Poland last year happened in similar weather.