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No turning back: Leadership in the ranking of victories increased

With the victories of Raúl Alarcón and of the team, FC Porto is now up to 14 individual victories and 14 team victories

The 79th edition of the Portugal Tour ended this Tuesday, with Raúl Alarcón assuring the individual victory and W52-FC Porto-Mestre da Cor the team victory, reinforcing the blue and white leadership in the history of the competition. This was the 14th victory for a blue and white cycler in the individual overall (ahead of Sporting and Benfica, both with nine) and also the 14th in terms of team results (Sporting is right behind, with 12).

The first victory dates back to 1948, with Fernando Moreira, and then Dias dos Santos won two consecutive editions (1949 and 1950), the only Dragon to win the competition twice. After that, there were victories for Moreira de Sá (1952), Carlos Carvalho (1959), Sousa Cardoso (1960), Mário Silva (1961), José Pacheco (1962), Joaquim Leão (1964), Joaquim Sousa Santos (1979), Manuel Zeferino (1981) and Marco Chagas (1982). In this modern age, together with W52, the blue and whites returned to the highest step of the podium, 34 years later, with Rui Vinhas.

The blue and white dominance has been coming in blocks: apart from the three in a row, from 1948 to 1950, there were also four in a row, from 1959 to 1962. And between 1979 and 1982, there were four yellow jerseys. One has to wonder if the last two years will become another one of those reigns.

In terms of teams, the overall lead was assured in 1948, 1949, 1950, 1952, 1955, 1958, 1959, 1964, 1969, 1979, 1980, 1981, and now in 2016. This means that, on four occasions, the individual and team titles didn’t match, although it is impossible for a cycler to be the leader without the support of teammates. In 1960, 1961, 1962 and 1982, Sousa Cardoso, Mário Silva, José Pacheco and Marco Chagas, respectively, won individually, but the team didn’t. And, in 1955, 1958, 1969 and 1980, the team won, but not individually.

Spanish Raúl Alarcón is the first foreign cycler running for FC Porto to win the Portugal Tour, as, so far, not only every single one was Portuguese, they were also all born north of Santa Maria da Feira, with the exception of Marco Chagas. Alarcón was born in Alicante, in the south of Spain, and is a worthy successor of the epic victories achieved by Dias dos Santos (the man who said “We wiped those people from Lisbon”), Mário Silva (despite the food poisoning that impaired the blue and whites in 1961) and Manuel Zeferino (who was able to break in the first stage, in 1981, assuring right from the start an advantage of 12 minutes and 28 seconds).

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