João Almeida - The portuguese wolf

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It's Quickstep themselves claiming before the Giro that Remco's likely to crack. I'm just showing my agreement about this claims by also giving my own arguments why they were valid.

Loosing 4min in the first week of GT is not a collapse and is still keeping you in better position for overall result, than a rider whose preparation consisted of 2 months of training, 0 races, and never been tested as a GC rider before.
They didn't say he was likely to crack, they said it was always a possibility. They also said they'd look at it day by day, but they also wanted to give Remco his fair chance at going for GC. And again, he learned a lot from it. For the team, Remco's comeback was just as important looking towards the future, as the GC ambitions of a rider who will leave the team in a few months. I'll repeat, the biggest mistake the team made, was not to bring better support.

The most natural option would have been to go stage hunting, as QS almost always used to do, let Evenepoel ride and test himself on a few stages, but not get supported as a leader, let Almeida go for certain stages, let Cavagna go for stages, let Honoré go for stages, let Knox go for stages. Maybe change the outlook of the team as well, bring someone like Cattaneo or Cerny instead of either Keisse or Serry, if you don't need "protectors" so much as guys capable of going for stages themselves. I'm not even talking about a sprinter because none of the options was imposing, but that would have been a possibility, too.
The whole "we are going all in for GC this time" was a special move which wasn't necessary and they must have believed in it to have a very good chance of succeeding, otherwise they wouldn't have done this.
What would he learn from that? Picking out a few stages and finishing in the peloton would not have taught him anything about what it takes to deliver 3 weeks in a row. It would not have pointed out that his descending is abysmal, because even he can follow a mellow pace set by the peloton when the favorites ride away. It would not have slammed his bikehandling skills (or lack thereof) in his face, because he would just be moseying in the group along with Dan Martin at 8 minutes of Bernal.

People are too fixated on the result here. Evenepoel and the team learned a lot, and they learned it because he rode for GC. Had he not done that, the team would might not have noticed they brought a knife to a gunfight in terms of GC support. Evenepoel already knows he can perform if he can pick out days over a course of 3 weeks. He's already won 2 one week stage races within a timespan of 3 weeks (Burgos & Poland), obviously simply cherrypicking some stages and using the other stages as training, would not be an issue, but he would not have learned from it.
 
Losing 4 minutes that early on in a GT is a collapse and it brings you in a situation where it is almost impossible to get to a podium.
With all the most important mountain stages ahead (+30k TT) and knowing that this was just one-day issue?

It was always very likely that Remco would crack, so that is what Quickstep is now mentioning. But there was always a small chance with Remco that he would not, because hè is quite the special kid. And within that scenario it was possible that Remco would be able to go for at least the podium. I think until after stage 11 it was logical that Quickstep went for that small chance instead of trying to go for at Max a top-5 by Almeida.
If I had had a choice between at least 50% possibility of taking top5 and less than 1% possibility of top3, I would've gone for the first one.

But ok, Quickstep opted for the yolo option, it was their choice.
 
How would they know that? Even if it were a hungerknock, something i've yet to see confirmed, than it doesn't exclude the possibility that he would have an "actual" bad day later in the race, where he would lose minutes, just like last year?
Yes, it doesn't exclude the possibility of having an actual bad day later. Actually, you can be almost never sure about that during 3 week race concerning any rider. No matter if he performed well on 1st or 2nd week, or not.

Also I see a hungerknock (or any other one-day issue in general) as a very likely scenario, as until now Almeida hasn't got any issues despite much harder stages than the 4th one.

I just wanted to say, that after the first week of the race, Almeida was still a way better pick for the GC than Remco (you know my reasoning for that), and the possibility of him losing minutes at any point further into the race, was waay much smaller than in case of Remco.
 
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Yes, it doesn't exclude the possibility of having an actual bad day later. Actually, you can be almost never sure about that during 3 week race concerning any rider. No matter if he performed well on 1st or 2nd week, or not.

I just wanted to say, that after the first week of the race, Almeida was still a way better pick for the GC than Remco (you know my reasoning for that), and the possibility of him losing minutes at any point further into the race, was waay much smaller than in case of Remco.
I understand your reasoning and i don't necessarily disagree, but in case Remco doesn't crack, or even gets to wear pink for a few days (he was very close twice) you could say the opposite. What if Remco doesn't crack, and Almeida has a 2nd bad day? Then we could say "it was already clear in the first week that Almeida was a bad choice!". Remco also wanted to ride for GC, because it was the next step in his development. Since the team is going with Remco in the future, it is a reasonable decision to declare him the leader at the moment Almeida already lost 5 minutes in GC.
 
How would they know that? Even if it were a hungerknock, something i've yet to see confirmed, than it doesn't exclude the possibility that he would have an "actual" bad day later in the race, where he would lose minutes, just like last year?
The hunger knock was already confirmed by João himself, so unless you think he's lying it's confirmed.
Obviously he, or any other rider, can still have another bad day untill the end of this Giro.
To be honest and from what I saw untill now even without that bad day it would be possible, yet unlikely, for João to finish at top5. He would probably be between Bardet and Martinez in GC atm.
 
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With all the most important mountain stages ahead (+30k TT) and knowing that this was just one-day issue?



If I had had a choice between at least 50% possibility of taking top5 and less than 1% possibility of top3, I would've gone for the first one.

But ok, Quickstep opted for the yolo option, it was their choice.
At least 50% possibility on top-5? Allround Bernal, Yates, Bardet, Caruso, Vlasov, Carthy and Ciccone are still riding a much better Giro. Almeida might have ended in front of them yesterday but that was after having a multi minute lead over the peloton at the foot of the Climb. Top-5 was all but sure after that fourth stage, even more if you dont take into account that Landa and Buchmann dropped out after that.

Also i would argue that most people would have rated the chance of Evenepoel catching a podium a Little higher then 1%. I have been quite critical of his chances, and even i would have rated them much higher until the sterrato stage.

And lastly, now that Remco has failed it seems that people are trying to make Almeida a better Climber than he has proven to be. Because last year in the Giro as well as this year until the Giro hè has struggled quite a bit on longer climbs. So it is far from certain that he would be able to follow the best climbers in week 3. And to be honest, i think he will still struggle this week if he does not hold an advantage before the climb starts.
 
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What if Remco doesn't crack, and Almeida has a 2nd bad day? Then we could say "it was already clear in the first week that Almeida was a bad choice!". Remco also wanted to ride for GC, because it was the next step in his development. Since the team is going with Remco in the future, it is a reasonable decision to declare him the leader at the moment Almeida already lost 5 minutes in GC.
If the supposed Almeida's 2nd crack was so bad that he'd be completely out of GC contention, then yes, I'd say it was a a bad choice to make him a leader but at the same I still wouldn't agree with the decision to make Remco a leader from day one.

In a GT you can't put a rider with a complete lack of preparation side by side with a rider who had a solid preaparation, and proven GT capability. No matter how talented the first rider is.

We'll never reach any agreement on this, as I'll never agree that giving a co-leadership before this race to Remco was a reasonable idea, as I also can't see any point of him doing this race at all. ;)
 
I doubt Deceuninck–Quick-Step are that amateurish. They must have had the data and likely just went against it. In addition i never believed Evenepoel would ride for Almeida.

If they would just let them both ride for themselves, we would likely still be in some thread arguing similar outcomes. On how their tactics are just perfect.

All in all hopefully all riders involved will get to go in teams that support them in the future and the teams do a better job. It's a shame if GC riders don't stand a chance, not because of their ability, but because of team they are in just not doing enough.
 
I doubt Deceuninck–Quick-Step are that amateurish. They must have had the data and likely just went against it. In addition i never believed Evenepoel would ride for Almeida.
I strongly believe that Remco was forced to do the Giro for sponsorship purposes, maybe it's related with the announcement made last 18th of May that quick-step would support Lefevere's team untill 2027. After all this is a bussiness and they were in need of the money and nothing better than Remco at this Giro with all the hype that followed!
 
Could be they tried to "cash in the hype". Still hard to say as five year contract. To me that reads long term plans.

In retrospective, maybe Vuelta would be a much better GT entering point for Evenepoel this year. Considering injury. But over there he would need to face Pogačar and i could see on why they wanted to avoid that. In the end likely Bernal took them by surprise.
 
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Today was a seriously impressive ride. It was actually a performance I was expecting from Remco. The larger question remains, though, as to what kind of race Almeida will excel at. I'm not yet convinced he can ride the high mountains at the sharp end , but with his TT skills and lack of real weaknesses he's probably got a lot of GT Top 5s in him. With a full team (Bora?) behind him, possibly a podium.

And he strikes me as the kind of rider who can improve, so with perhaps a different approach to training he's got a GT win in him at some point.
He could win several GTs weren't we living on a time with no regard for TTs . I think he's a better climber than Olano for example.
 
What would he learn from that? Picking out a few stages and finishing in the peloton would not have taught him anything about what it takes to deliver 3 weeks in a row. It would not have pointed out that his descending is abysmal, because even he can follow a mellow pace set by the peloton when the favorites ride away. It would not have slammed his bikehandling skills (or lack thereof) in his face, because he would just be moseying in the group along with Dan Martin at 8 minutes of Bernal.

People are too fixated on the result here. Evenepoel and the team learned a lot, and they learned it because he rode for GC. Had he not done that, the team would might not have noticed they brought a knife to a gunfight in terms of GC support. Evenepoel already knows he can perform if he can pick out days over a course of 3 weeks. He's already won 2 one week stage races within a timespan of 3 weeks (Burgos & Poland), obviously simply cherrypicking some stages and using the other stages as training, would not be an issue, but he would not have learned from it.
Right, because nobody ever started a GT-winning career by riding a few GTs with no ambition first? Even spending 3 weeks in the grupetto would have helped them learn how his body reacts to riding a 3 week bike race.

Yes, they shot for the moon to try and get the kid a GT win on debut. But don't paint it like it was their only logical option.
 
Could be they tried to "cash in the hype". Still hard to say as five year contract. To me that reads long term plans.

In retrospective, maybe Vuelta would be a much better GT entering point for Evenepoel this year. Considering injury. But over there he would need to face Pogačar and i could see on why they wanted to avoid that. In the end likely Bernal took them by surprise.
Vuelta would be lower profile, but as we've seen with him struggling on high-double-digit pitches in the Giro, 3 weeks of Vuelta goat tracks probably wouldn't have suited him either.
 
He could win several GTs weren't we living on a time with no regard for TTs . I think he's a better climber than Olano for example.
As far as i see it, despite being too early to be sure as he's only on his 2nd year at WT, João is one of the most complete riders of the peloton.
He has strong itt, consistency (despite stage 4), endurance, untill now and only in his 2nd GT it seems that he can also recover very well from sustained and continuous efforts.
He can also hold himself with the best at medium mountains.
His weak spot are indeed those high mountains stages so if he improves in the next few years as a climber he may have a shot for winning a GT. Even so it still amazes me the way he can pace himself at those high mountains climbs, keeping up with his own right tempo!
Even if he's already at his peak (which i don't think being so young) he´s already a Top10 GC contender for GT for years to come.
 
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Remco also wanted to ride for GC, because it was the next step in his development.
I would say the next step in his development would be to actually ride a GT before going for GC in one. That said, I get it. The guy is used to always racing for the win and there have been others who have done well in their first attempt. Still, his situation was quite a bit different coming off the crash and no racing beforehand.
 
Who knows if he has reached his peak but we have seen the case of riders performing well young, we think they will improve, they plateau, and slowly get worse.
Yes, nobody knows, logic may point to not having reach his peak yet but as you said,it happened before it will happen again with some riders. We need to keep an eye on his next few years at GTs to know for sure.
 
Sorry, i read right past this BS post. I was not happy, because i do in fact like Almeida. And as i already stated in other topics over the past weeks, it was even in Evenepoel's best interest to have Almeida in the top 10 of GC, because then they could make tactical plays to put their rivals under pressure.

But like so many here, like our Portuguese friend who joined the forum last week, who only "coincidentally" started watching the Giro (cycling?) last year when Almeida was doing well but ironically starts calling other people fanboys, maybe you should read my posts about Almeida from last year, in this topic, and i'm sure i made some comments in the topics of Algarve and Burgos 2020 as well. The fact that i said he was at fault not to wait and immediately help in stage 11, was not only completely justified since he ignored team orders and team agreements which were decided before the Giro and before the stage, but it also does not mean i can not be a fan because i am critical of him for doing something wrong. I've been critical of van Aert and Evenepoel plenty of times, yet they are my favorite riders. If you can not be critical of a rider you're a fan of, then you're a fanboy. Being a fan doesn't mean you can not be critical. But that appears to be a concept few people understand in this topic.


The team communicates over an open channel. If they told Remco how to eat, then everybody in the team heard it. What you are suggesting is that either they didn't remind anybody to eat, yet somehow the most inexperienced rider of them all, did not have this hungerknock, or they found a way to only tell Remco (deliberately changing the channel, if this is even technically possible with the radio) so Almeida would not hear it. The latter pushing this a bit too much into conspiracy theory/tin foil hat territory. If this was the team's plan, then why the hell wouldn't they just have left Almeida at home and bring a guy like Vansevenant to help Evenepoel instead?

Also, Almeida wasn't in the break, he wasn't riding solo. He was riding in a large group/peloton. How can you "forget to eat" when you are seeing ALL the riders around you eat? But somehow the team is to blame that he didn't eat, yet Remco didn't forget.

And if you think it's an unfair nickname, why would you even bring it up and use it?
Yes an open channel but they are racing and concentrating on their riding. You can get a message or even a message prefaced to Remco figuring that both will hear the instructions to remember to feed but while riding jostling happens a lot and just after getting the instructions it would be easy to have another rider come past "you" and then there is an acceleration and some more jostling to get back a position and there you are, you have forgotten the message. Have you never walked to another room and have something on our mind and gotten to the room and have to remember why you came to the room in the first place, most people do that and very few people have perfect memories in these types of situations.

Very much with you on your insights ...

Prety stupid to blame on DQ about the "forgot to eat thing", he is a big boy and a professional and it should be 2nd nature to all riders without having to be warned by their racing directors

DQ bad decisions where not made on stage 11, there they were absolutely spot on, as far as racing strategy goes and IMO the only bad call was made at stage 14 (Zoncolan) where it didn't made any sense to bring back João in such a steep climb, at those kind of climbs it's basicaly every man for himself. As far as DQ goes, I criticize the changes there were made before the start of the Giro concerning João´s role as a leader, he was going to be leader, then maybe he could be co-leader and finally, yes we'll have 2 leaders. They were looking for trouble and as we saw it they found it.

Before the start of the Giro and after looking at the riders that DQ chose to bring IMO and on paper it was at the same level as Bahrain and Ineos to the purpose of working for their leaders especially at mountain stages

The apparent steady development of João since last year it's very similar to the pace he puts on those high mountains, small but strong steps towards the top. It seems by now that he will turn into a very strong contender for GC at GT for years to come, don't know if he will ever win one but he'll be there for contention for sure.
Um there have been some very accomplished riders who do commentary on broadcasts that have mentioned many times when I listen to them that there need to be reminders to feed. This dismissive Idea, for a second year WT rider, that it would be ridiculous for a rider to forget to feed is not fair. I have heard several times where those accomplished riders, as commentaotors, have recounted stories of how they themselves have missed feeds that ruined their chances at wins. Also with the bad weather, rain, you are not, while climbing looking ahead at other riders you are concentrating on your line and the wheel in front of you there also may be other feeding behind you that you don't see and you may well not notice some riders in front of you feeding it's not like a dinner bell is rung and everybody is sitting up casually open there gels they often are leaned forward and pulling it out and biting and tearing the gels package and the rider behind would never notice it's not like they put a tray out on their handles bars and bring out the forks and knives and pull out a napkin to stuff under their shirt to stop spills they are keeping their position on bike while using as little energy to get the feed down.
 
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Netserk as well.

I recall that some years ago there was a topic where the bans and suspensions were announced and explained. I'm not really regular here to have noticed it, but is there not the case now?
That thread is gone now. No more ban announcements or explanations.

I bet they were both temporarily banned for going at it in the Remco thread, though I'm sure all evidence of it has been expunged. There was a bit of name-calling which is probably what did it.

I don't know how far it ultimately went but I'd be surprised if either was banned permanently.
 
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