António Morgado wins Portuguese time-trial title... But without his trademark moustache: "I was told I had to cut it so that it grows back stronger"

António Morgado is the new national time trial champion of Portugal. The UAE Team Emirates rider had a hard-fought duel with teammate Ivo Oliveira, but the margin between the two (albeit small) left no doubt as to who was stronger. Rui Costa completed the podium and was less than 30 seconds behind the first-placed rider.

But not everything went smoothly for the national champion, as he notes in statements to the Portuguese Cycling Federation: "The power meter must not have been calibrated properly. Halfway through the race I didn't like the numbers I was getting and decided to go for sensations."

The 20-year-old had yet to win a time trial as a professional and his only result in this specialty in 2024 was in the Volta ao Algarve, where he finished in the top 15. Doubts were growing after the Caldas da Rainha rider crashed in the Tour of Slovenia.

"I wasn't expecting to win, but I'm very happy. The last week has been complicated, because I crashed in the Tour of Slovenia and I'm still in a lot of pain on the left side of my body, and I've also got a bit of a cold, but now we'll move on. On Sunday we'll race as a team and we'll do our best." UAE start Sunday's race as big favourites for the title, with Rui Oliveira - who showed great form at the Giro d'Italia - being another very dangerous weapon. At 20 years of age however and after taking this win, Morgado could well go on to become double national champion in Santa Maria da Feira.

"The race was hard, I started with the goal of fighting for the Top5, Top3, it was a surprise to win," Morgado said in words to the Portuguese Cycling Magazine. He was very noticeably without his trademark moustache and naturally, this led to the obvious question of why it has disappeared.

"The moustache wasn't growing anymore, I was told I had to cut it so that it grows back stronger and that's what I did," was the response. In his debut year as a pro rider Morgado isn't expected to race a Grand Tour, but is scheduled to race the Tour de l'Avenir later in the year.

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