João Almeida - Bota Lume

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That’s what is in the contract. 1GT per season with leadership. But you can be sent with Ayuso as a vi-leader, a protected rider. There’s always a way of turning things around.
That explains it! Sounds way more logic then! Then the strategy with having 3 leaders for the upcoming years aint that bad. It's just that they need to pay more for a good domestiques.
 
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Like i said in the race thread a few days ago, Ayuso is doing great, but we'll have to see how he finishes before jumping to conclusions. On stage 6 he was very strong, almost bridged to Evenepoel, but after closing the gap to 12 seconds, he faded hard and lost roughly 30 seconds in the final kilometers. On stage 8, he was dropped and lost considerable time together with Almeida, while Roglic, Rodriguez and Mas were all able to follow Evenepoel. I wouldn't be surprised if Ayuso has to let go the moment the climbs start getting longer. If stage 8 was an indicator, perhaps the flat part on Pico Jano saved him from dropping back further. His best performance relative to the others was on the steepest/shortest MTF on stage 9.

Maybe the climbs so far have been advantageous for him, but maybe the longer climbs coming up could see him fade a lot harder. If that is the case, that could be down to age, experience or simply physical ability. Maybe he turns out to be more of a Valverde type climber than a Bernal type climber. Or maybe his age permits him to be among the best on shorter climbs, but once the climbs get into double digits, he has to let go. He was also suffering in the TT, supposedly didn't feel well. Maybe he's reaching his limit and will soon start to lose loads of time. Hell, there is still a risk for Evenepoel to succumb to these same pitfalls. So i would not jump to conclusions yet. But if Ayuso doesn't lose significant time on the longer climbs, doesn't fade in the coming stages, then i guess Almeida's role within the team might change quickly. But for now i think it's still very well possible that Almeida finishes way ahead of Ayuso in GC come Madrid. Say Almeida is able to follow the best on Sierra Nevada, and Ayuso fades, we could be talking about minutes.
 
The problem with Almeida is if he starts every season to have 1 GT as leader and a 2nd GT as a domestique for Pogacar. Every single year with 2GT is a bit too much imo so he maybe will start to have worst results and decline sooner than it could happen otherwise
I think this is going to be the fate of most riders that are young today. Decline will happen faster than in past years.
 
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Well, a longer climb today, and although Ayuso has been struggling 2/3rds of the climb, he managed to hang on. Where as Joao again got dropped. I think at this moment it's fair to assume it's not going to happen for Joao anymore in the next week. Might as well lose time and go for a stagewin from a break now.
Almeida is definitely struggling and out of form, I already predicted yesterday in the stage thread that despite on paper this stage might suit him, he would be in surviving mode trying to lose as little as possible. It went just like i was foreseeing yesterday.

Not seeing Jumbo, Movistar or Ineos letting Almeida to go on a break despite the time gap for 3rd place. Maybe if he looses more time until Sierra Nevada he can... He sits in the right spot of the GC, because all the guys ahead, besides Kelderman are stronger than him until now
 
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You just don't throw a top-7 away for a better chance at a stage win, like, what?
I don't know. First of all, he's currently not in the top 7 anymore. Currently i think either Hart or O'Connor overtaking him is maybe more likely than him overtaking Kelderman or MAL.
He's been 4th in a GT 2 years ago. His team doesn't need the points. If he loses 3 more minutes (out of top 10 around 10 minutes down), he only loses a few extra spots, which he could just as well recover in case he goes into a successful break. QuickStep and Jumbo aren't strong enough to control the breaks, so the chances are considerable that he could stay away.
 
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I don't know. First of all, he's currently not in the top 7 anymore. Currently i think either Hart or O'Connor overtaking him is maybe more likely than him overtaking Kelderman or MAL.
He's been 4th in a GT 2 years ago. His team doesn't need the points. If he loses 3 more minutes (out of top 10 around 10 minutes down), he only loses a few extra spots, which he could just as well recover in case he goes into a successful break. QuickStep and Jumbo aren't strong enough to control the breaks, so the chances are considerable that he could stay away.
I don't consider Kelderman better than Almeida after getting gifted 8 min or whatever. Sure, hes 8th, but I think you knew what I meant. He has been the 7th best rider in the race.

What youre saying will never happen. Its just that simple. Almeida didn't drag himself through 2 weeks to suddenly just lose 15 minutes for fun tomorrow.
 
Almeida is definitely struggling and out of form, I already predicted yesterday in the stage thread that despite on paper this stage might suit him, he would be in surviving mode trying to lose as little as possible. It went just like i was foreseeing yesterday.

Not seeing Jumbo, Movistar or Ineos letting Almeida to go on a break despite the time gap for 3rd place. Maybe if he looses more time until Sierra Nevada he can... He sits in the right spot of the GC, because all the guys ahead, besides Kelderman are stronger than him until now
Out of form? I think this is a bit harsh. Almeida was a massive podium threat in the Giro before Covid took him out before stage 18. Almeida is by far the best performer at this Vuelta of any rider who also did the Giro.

I like this guy, strong and not a one trick climbing pony.
 
I don't consider Kelderman better than Almeida after getting gifted 8 min or whatever. Sure, hes 8th, but I think you knew what I meant. He has been the 7th best rider in the race.

What youre saying will never happen. Its just that simple. Almeida didn't drag himself through 2 weeks to suddenly just lose 15 minutes for fun tomorrow.
The good thing is, maybe he doesn't have to lose time for fun. And i wasn't talking about 15 minutes. If he loses 3 or 4, i don't know whether the big teams are going to bother chasing him. as he is out for the podium contention. Maybe he could also try going early from a GC group.
 
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Out of form? I think this is a bit harsh. Almeida was a massive podium threat in the Giro before Covid took him out before stage 18. Almeida is by far the best performer at this Vuelta of any rider who also did the Giro.

I like this guy, strong and not a one trick climbing pony.

It's clear by now that he's out of form, if not he would be able to follow Remco GC group in a stage with the climbing profile of Peñas Blancas (almost perfectly suited for him, despite a little longer than he would like, because he excells on climbs with this average gradient but with something between 30 to 40 minutes efforts).

We always expect the best from a rider, but it was kind off expected for Almeida to be somehow underperforming, he had to recover from covid and his preparation was sub optimal.
I'm not saying that his form is completely off, but clearly not at his top level. At his top form i would expect him to be in contention for a top4/top3 (maybe not at the podium with the level that Mas is showing and for obvious reasons not at Roglic and Remco level).

If we have a look at all the Giro/Vuelta double GC riders, none of them are at their best, with the exception of MAL who looks better each day, but with only did 3 stages at the Giro.
 
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The good thing is, maybe he doesn't have to lose time for fun. And i wasn't talking about 15 minutes. If he loses 3 or 4, i don't know whether the big teams are going to bother chasing him. as he is out for the podium contention. Maybe he could also try going early from a GC group.

I think that UAE will only make a decision of that possibility after Sierra Nevada and not before, why?
They still don't know for sure if Ayuso can keep his performance and not having a crack that could cost him places and minutes in the GC and despite Almeida atm underperforming
he can have a good day at Sierra Nevada and gain some time to the likes of Kelderman, Ayuso, Rodriguez or even Mas... so i think that could become a possibility but only after Sierra Nevada
 
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It's clear by now that he's out of form, if not he would be able to follow Remco GC group in a stage with the climbing profile of Peñas Blancas (almost perfectly suited for him, despite a little longer than he would like, because he excells on climbs with this average gradient but with something between 30 to 40 minutes efforts).

We always expect the best from a rider, but it was kind off expected for Almeida to be somehow underperforming, he had to recover from covid and his preparation was sub optimal.
I'm not saying that his form is completely off, but clearly not at his top level. At his top form i would expect him to be in contention for a top4/top3 (maybe not at the podium with the level that Mas is showing and for obvious reasons not at Roglic and Remco level).

If we have a look at all the Giro/Vuelta double GC riders, none of them are at their best, with the exception of MAL who looks better each day, but with only did 3 stages at the Giro.
Out of form suggests not riding well - in fact he is riding the best of anyone who rode the Giro and none of them as far as I am aware had Covid. Like I said, Almeida is 7th on GC. In the Giro he likely would have podiumed and was even a threat to win. To say he is "out of form" is harsh. As proven by his GC position and even his ride today compared to every other Giro competitor he is riding a strong race. He certainly isn't "underperforming". Almeida is in great form but the body can only do so much.
 
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Out of form suggests not riding well - in fact he is riding the best of anyone who rode the Giro and none of them as far as I am aware had Covid. Like I said, Almeida is 7th on GC. In the Giro he likely would have podiumed and was even a threat to win. To say he is "out of form" is harsh. As proven by his GC position and even his ride today compared to every other Giro competitor he is riding a strong race. He certainly isn't "underperforming". Almeida is in great form but the body can only do so much.
When saying out of form I mean that he’s not at his peak form. As I said earlier if he was at peak form today he would arrive with Evenepoel group. Even his watts per kilo can show you that. He is capable of more watts/per kilo than he as been done.for instance at Praeres climb he should be at something around 6.35w/K and VAM 1850 and he wasn’t capable of.
Even Almeida said at the beginning of this Vuelta that he wasn’t feeling well, if he himself says that who am I to call him a liar.

I agree with you when you say that comparable to the other Giro/Vuelta GC guys he’s doing good. And he had covid so don’t know if that made him being worst atm but for sure didn’t make him better. Common sense tell us that the impact on his current performance was negative.
 
When saying out of form I mean that he’s not at his peak form. As I said earlier if he was at peak form today he would arrive with Evenepoel group. Even his watts per kilo can show you that. He is capable of more watts/per kilo than he as been done.for instance at Praeres climb he should be at something around 6.35w/K and VAM 1850 and he wasn’t capable of.
Even Almeida said at the beginning of this Vuelta that he wasn’t feeling well, if he himself says that who am I to call him a liar.

I agree with you when you say that comparable to the other Giro/Vuelta GC guys he’s doing good. And he had covid so don’t know if that made him being worst atm but for sure didn’t make him better. Common sense tell us that the impact on his current performance was negative.
Yes I think its just a matter of definition. As I mentioned "out of form" has negative connotations which is what prompted me to respond. Considering he rode the Giro and caught Covid there is nothing disappointing about Almeida in this Vuelta as I pointed out.

I hope he can hold or even slightly improve on his position by the end. For another example this would be like saying Alberto Contador was out of form at the 2011 TdF after he demolished the Giro that year (before he was stripped).
 
I think Burgos just go the expectations way too high up to the point that people thought he was a serious contender, while most likely he is doing a GT he didn't even ask to do himself, plus close to no support for him despite him being called the leader. Just a lot of pressure while simultaneously losing out on the races I believe he could do better in; Emilia and Lombardia.

Meanwhile his three years younger teammate is already passing him. And he rode the wrong way on the ITT. He gotta be quite frustrated with the whole situation. :(

All things considered I've made myself realise that he ain't doing bad.
 
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He was supposed to do Giro-Vuelta, the only thing that was off-plan was getting covid.

I guess we all had better expectations like you said. He did win the national road race with a fantastic attack and then the stage in Burgos. I thought it was strange when he said the preparation didn't go well.

With the possibility of Remco, Rodriguez and Ayuso completely cracking next week, I think he should continue to do what he's doing. Even if all three of them keep the level they're at, Almeida can finish top10.

He was going to finish inside top5 in the Giro. If he finishes inside top10 in the Vuelta, I'd say that's a great result for someone this young and trying 2 GTs during the same season.
 
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It's going to be tough to significantly improve his position, but on the other side the riders below him don't look like huge threats either, so a top10 looks realistic.
I wouldn't say he's doing badly.
But one thing I wonder about is the hierarchy at UAE which doesn't seem to exist. Do they even talk about it?
 
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I don't see any problem with him doing Giro-Tour.

To be honest, he's so bad at positioning himself that he won't be a great domestique for Pogacar.

I will gladly eat my words, but I suspect that Joao might have a better chance of multiple top-5s and stage wins in GTs throughout his career as a super-dome, than as a nominated team leader; at least in a big team.

Edit: what I mean is that he seems to miss that killer instinct that you need to be a serial winner and a GT winner. That wanting more and more, more than you can chew, but that eventually pays off and you rise multiple levels above.
 
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i think that he is ambitious and with enough hunger for that. He simply isn’t yet of the level of a Top3 when we have a 1st tier field in the race. Without Poga, Vinge, Roglic, Evenepoel and maybe, (nobody knows at this point) Bernal with the right race profile and if in peak form he surely can make top3 in a GT.
He might even get better in the next few seasons, all of them have different levels of progression, some of them make it quicker then others. The 1 million dollars question is he capable of improving his performance level as a rider? If so he might end winning something major, if he is already at his peak, he lacks a little for that.
 
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