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Ben Healy will be in action in Portugal today but a scheduled appearance by Eddie Dunbar in Spanish stage race action will now not take place (Photo: Nathalie Teyssier)

Ben Healy gets his second stage race of the year underway in Portugal today though an expected appearance by Eddie Dunbar in Spanish stage race action has been shelved.

Dunbar (Team Jayco AlUla) was scheduled to compete in Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista Del Sol (2.Pro), a five-stage event which would have served as a useful tune-up towards the Giro d’Italia in May.

However, the Corkman crashed on stage 2 at Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana (2.Pro) two weeks ago, some 12 months after breaking his hand on the opening stage of the same event.

While Dunbar finish the second stage earlier this month after his fall, his team announced he would not start the following day and would instead focus on recovering after his fall.

It was not clear at the time of writing if a crash injury, or perhaps some other issue, is the reason for Dunbar not starting Ruta del Sol today. Stickybottle placed a query with Team Jayco AlUla and was awaiting a response.

When the team line-up for Ruta del Sol was announced it featured just five riders, rather than a full seven-strong line-up. The team is comprised of GC leader Alessandro De Marchi, with Lawson Craddock, Welay Hagos Berhe, Amund Grøndahl Jansen and Christopher Juul-Jensen.

The opening stage of the race today has been cancelled due to a lack of policing recourse available to work on the event as the police have had to put operations in place around farmer protests.

In Portugal today Ben Healy (EF Education-EasyPost) will get underway at Volta ao Algarve em Bicicleta (2.Pro) for five stages of racing as he also tunes up towards the Giro.

Healy finished the recent Etoile de Bessèges (2.1) very strongly, placing 4th on the final stage TT which lifted him to 4th in the final overall standings.

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