At least a few Tour de France contenders are expected to be at the starting line in the Volta ao Algarve, which will begin on February 17 in the southern part of Portugal. We’ll be expecting twenty three teams to join in the race which will end in Portimao on Sunday.
The five-day stage race will include Andreas Klöden and Levi Leipheimer of Team Radioshack, together with Alberto Contador (Astana), their former teammate and current champion of Volta ao Algraveformer. Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d’Epargne) who just won in the Tour of the Mediterranean will also be taking part in the race.
Likewise, Christian Vande Velde of Garmin-Transitions will be joining the tour to Portugal and will lead his team all by himself since Bradley Wiggins, his former teammate has changed teams and is now with the British Team Sky.
Olympic gold medalist Samuel Sánchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) will also be there in preparation for Tour de France 2010. Norwegian Thor Hushovd (Cervélo TestTeam), Belgians Gert Steegmans and Sébastien Rosseler (RadioShack), Stijn Devolder, Sylvain Chavanel, lljo Keisse and Wouter Weylandt (Quick Step), Nick Nuyens and Lars Boom (Rabobank), and Robbie McEwen (Katusha) will all be in attendance.