Which is about 3 minutes less than everyone else will lose. Surely you would agree Almeida is a better TTer than the other podium contenders?
As for grinding his way back to the front, well yes diesels do that. Anyway I think today was promising it tells me Almeida is on track to be at least be as strong as last year before Covid got in the way. Whether that is good enough for a podium I have no idea.
Who do you consider a podium contender in the Giro? Roglic probably will be better in the ITTs but maybe you gifting him the second spot behind Remco and so we are only talking 3rd place.
Thomas: Could come close to Roglic on at least 2 of the 3 courses. In top form better TTer then Almeida.
Vine: Unsure where he is as a TTer. Could loose minutes to Almeida or doesn't loose much.
Vlasov: Seems to have a few problems with TTs in Grand Tours but overall not bad against the clock.
Those 3 + Almeida would be my favourites for the third podium spot and I wouldn't expect them to stink in the TT and it would be a surprise for Almeida to take minutes on all of them if you consider his TT results at UAE (maybe on Vine that guy is a real wildcard).
If we got to the 7 to 15 range of potential GC riders the picture gets of course more mixed but anyone of those guys on the podium would be a real upset.
Geoghan Hart: Maybe it's now his part to do the Hindley. Solid Ineos TT set-up. But you never know he could be out of the Lineup like with the Tour last year. Arensman and Ganna smash the TTs of course but I don't see them hanging on with those mountains.
Ciccone: Early Season success but he's the GC guy that is potentially tanked by the TT heavy course. On the other hand those crazy altitude mountain stages are also not really his cup of tea as he likes the shorter, punchier stuff better.
Kelderman: Yes he's Roglic Number 1 domestique but if something happens I think he's still good enough.
Kämna: I think his whole case for trying to go the GC route is his overall versatility. Don't know if the T-A TT was a fluke but he has all the tools to become one of the best TT GC riders.
Haig and Caruso are also ok on the TT bike. Mollema and pinot probably won't go for GC so... Pozzovivo will ship a ton of time but that's for tenth place. Don't know who else on the startlist could be considered as GC Rider. EF Probably will bring on or two as well.
For me in the end there's a relatively strong TT field in the Giro especially in the second tier GC riders as the real bad ones (Landa, hindley, Carthy, carapaz) probably miss the Giro because of the route. So I see now big advantage for Joa in the fight for the podium. In the end for the win he has to break Remco like everybody else. For the podium it's close enough that he doesn't has much room for error in the mountains if any.
That's also where my concern is with Almeida. The way he rides in the mountains at UAE is not very suitable to go on the attack and start a mountain raid. I also think that UAE is missing key domestiques if the y want to contest the race.
If I look in my crystal ball I could see a fith place but I must say I'm not very convinced when it comes to his development (when we are talking Top GC riders - Almeida is of course a great rider).