The Volta ao Algarve will welcome a record number of WorldTour teams this year, with 14 signed up to take part in the stage race, which runs from February 17 to 21.
All 12 will return in 2021, with the exception of CCC Team, who are replaced by Belgian squad Intermarché-Wanty Gobert, the team which took over CCC’s WorldTour license. Astana-Premier Tech, Bora-Hansgrohe, Cofidis, Deceuninck-QuickStep, Groupama-FDJ, Ineos Grenadiers, Israel Start-Up Nation, Lotto Soudal, Team DSM, Trek-Segafredo and UAE Team Emirates also return.
In addition to those teams, Jumbo-Visma and Movistar will also take part, leaving Bahrain Victorious, EF Education-Nippo, Team BikeExchange and Qhubeka-Assos as the WorldTour teams not taking part.
ProTeams Caja Rural-Seguros RGA and Rally Cycling are also on the start list, as are Portuguese Continental squads Atum General-Tavira-Maria Nova Hotel, Efapel, Antarte-Feirense, Kelly-Simoldes-UDO, LA Alumínios-LA Sport, Louletano-Loulé, Rádio Popular-Boavista, Tavfer-Mortágua and W52-FC Porto.
The Volta ao Algarve is a premier early-season race on the calendar, often attracting a strong start list as riders begin their European seasons, along with the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana, Tour de la Provence, and Vuelta a Andalucía.
With the Tour Down Under cancelled and the Vuelta a San Juan likely to be limited to local teams, the late-February UAE Tour now looks to be the only major non-European early-season meeting point for the pro peloton.
Israel Start-Up Nation’s Chris Froome, who was set to race in San Juan, now looks set to make his ISN debut at the Volta ao Algarve, a return to the race after nine years away. At this time, no other individual riders have been confirmed on the start list.