João Almeida - The portuguese wolf

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If descending was the main problem he should have struggled more than he did today? I think he's just a diesel not just up the mountains but downhill, on flats, in positioning, everything. Loooong attacks, looong sprints, slooooowly changing positioning. Everything at his own pace.

Just how it appears to me, can be completely wrong.
 
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If descending was the main problem he should have struggled more than he did today? I think he's just a diesel not just up the mountains but downhill, on flats, in positioning, everything. Loooong attacks, looong sprints, slooooowly changing positioning. Everything at his own pace.

Just how it appears to me, can be completely wrong.
I wouldn't take many conclusions from today's stage as nobody really pushed the descents except maybe G. Martin... Let's see when the pressure is on after Mortirolo for instance.
 
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I wouldn't take many conclusions from today's stage as nobody really pushed the descents except maybe G. Martin... Let's see when the pressure is on after Mortirolo for instance.
Yeah we'll see. I've just given myself a good laugh from rereading the Sega di Ala thread. Because I wanted to see if anyone said anything about his descending or positioning, but not a single word. I remember the peleton falling left and right at that stage and through all that giro. So many nasty crashes.

Hardly any serious crashes still this year. Let's hope it stays that way.

I don't think anything is conclusive. It's just fun to speculate, and even more fun reading last years speculations.

Regarding speculations in that old thread hats off to @Lequack as he called the Dan Martin victory very early on :D
 
Almeida said he was feeling great on Verrogne and that's why UAE briefly upped the pace, but then his teammates weren't on a particularly good day (both Formolo and Covi finished way down) so the team decided to ease off. Rui Costa didn't look good either in the break.
Hopefully at least one of them recovers during the rest day and is up to the task come the third week.

On a side note: Almeida was cross with Ineos at the finish because he thought Sivakov hit the brakes on purpose to let a gap open. It didn't matter in the end since the race officials granted ST to all GC contenders but nice to see some fire in Bota Lume.
 
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I honestly expected a tiny bit more from Almeida in the first two weeks but it's hard to say where he could have been significantly better. If he follows wheels I'd say a podium is almost assured at this point given his ITT abilities, but at the same time I don't think he's climbing as well as Hindley or Carapaz.

If the ITT was tomorrow he'd be in pink, so he's actually in a really good spot.
 
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It's now obvious that his weak points (descending, positioning and difficulty in changing climbing speed) mean he will only win a GT with a strong team supporting him. Last summer I was hoping he would sign Bora, UAE will never fully support him with the best helpers because of Pogacar. Also the Giro is the worst GT for his characteristics.
 
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Almeida said he was feeling great on Verrogne and that's why UAE briefly upped the pace, but then his teammates weren't on a particularly good day (both Formolo and Covi finished way down) so the team decided to ease off. Rui Costa didn't look good either in the break.
Hopefully at least one of them recovers during the rest day and is up to the task come the third week.

On a side note: Almeida was cross with Ineos at the finish because he thought Sivakov hit the brakes on purpose to let a gap open. It didn't matter in the end since the race officials granted ST to all GC contenders but nice to see some fire in Bota Lume.
Even the confrontation seems to have ended up on camera, but from above. Carapaz just rides away so he goes to Bora riders and it looks like Hindley just pats him and rides away? Completely brushed off.

I do wonder if Sivakov did it on purpose or not. He really slows down a lot though.
 
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I honestly expected a tiny bit more from Almeida in the first two weeks but it's hard to say where he could have been significantly better. If he follows wheels I'd say a podium is almost assured at this point given his ITT abilities, but at the same time I don't think he's climbing as well as Hindley or Carapaz.

If the ITT was tomorrow he'd be in pink, so he's actually in a really good spot.
He is where i expected him to be at this point. He may grow stronger on this final week as his preparation was focusing the high mountais stages of the 3rd week. Only a little bit disapointed with his descending in Turin (he lost Pozzovivo wheel who doesn't descend very well) and with his 2nd stage itt. It seems to me that atm he is afraid of taking risks both in technical curves and techical descents which makes me less optimistic about his chances to win this Giro. because he may climb with Carapaz, Hindley and Landa but if he can´t proper descent he will lose time no matter what.
 
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He is where i expected to him to be at this point. He may grow stronger on this final week as his preparation was focusing the high mountais stages of the 3rd week. Only a little bit disapointed with his descending in Turin (he lost Pozzovivo wheel who doens't descend very well) and with his 2nd stage itt. It seems to me that atm he is afraid of taking risks both in technical curves and techical descents which makes me more optimistic about his chances to win this Giro. because he may climb with Carapaz, Hindley and Landa but if he can´t proper descent he will lose time no matter what.
And I on the other hand didn't even expect him to podium so I am pleasantly surprised so far. I am rather surprised by him, Landa, Nibali and Hindley and the others have performed below my expectations for sure. Yates in particular of course. Still gutted about Keldermann. I always feel bad for him and Landa.
 
Strange that his descending was never noticed to be a problem. I guess at least last year people were focusing on Evenepoel too much to keep an eye on Almeida. It also never struck me as being an issue.

He's still very much in this. If he actually is getting better (doesn't unravel as fast as the others) for the 3rd week, and he stays within 45 seconds in GC of Carapaz, he can still take it in the ITT. Last year he finished 52s ahead of Carapaz in Catalunya in a 18.5k TT. In the 2019 Giro, Carapaz lost 49 seconds to Nibali in the closing 17k TT.
 
Strange that his descending was never noticed to be a problem. I guess at least last year people were focusing on Evenepoel too much to keep an eye on Almeida. It also never struck me as being an issue.

He's still very much in this. If he actually is getting better (doesn't unravel as fast as the others) for the 3rd week, and he stays within 45 seconds in GC of Carapaz, he can still take it in the ITT. Last year he finished 52s ahead of Carapaz in Catalunya in a 18.5k TT. In the 2019 Giro, Carapaz lost 49 seconds to Nibali in the closing 17k TT.
I think that stamina will start to be an issue with the other contenders before being an issue with Almeida, it seems to me that his physical recovering levels from continuous efforts are stellar from what I have read last year. His itt is also better to a point that he can take back around 40 seconds over Carapaz and Hidley and a little more over Landa in the last stage. Despite that atm i really think that he should be worried, not so much with the climbing but with the descends in the next stages.

At Catalunya he won the queen stage at Boi Taull with both Carapaz and Hindley ending 13 seconds behind. But then we saw in stage 6 that he simply couldn't follow the wheel of Ayuso at the Coll de la Teixeta descent and imo that was what cost him the win in GC.
So he needs to work his descents for the future following Remco example that is already showing obvious improvements this season.
 
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A strong rider, but not the toprider some had made it when he left the lefevere team. No better than Evenepoel in the stage races. Certainly not in small stage races. Maybe in big stage races (Giro, Tour, Vuelta), but we have to wait and see. If he can't win a grand tour (or a podium at least) in the next two years he will just become Pogacar's helper. Then he might have built up a better career at Lefevere as a leader or co-leader in the GC's at Lefevere.
 
I don't see how Almeida had a future at Quick-Step, which has gone all-in in developing Evenepoel as their GC rider. I actually think going to UAE was an astute move, since he doesn't have to win a GC with Pogacar being the primary go-to guy for that on the team. Rather Almeida can develop his potential with a bit less presure and, if he does not succeed, working for Tadej will still yield satisfaction. At any rate, if he doesn't blow up this week he can podium at least. I'm curious to see how far his legs take him. One thing is for sure, however, he is a courageous fighter (we saw that in his two previous Giros) and won't go down easily.
 
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Last time I saw them in the same one day race Remco was left behind by Almeida and some others.

Quickstep is long gone and that has helped Almeida to grow as a GC rider.
No point whatsoever in dwelling on "what if" about Remco and Lefevere.
 
A strong rider, but not the toprider some had made it when he left the lefevere team. No better than Evenepoel in the stage races. Certainly not in small stage races. Maybe in big stage races (Giro, Tour, Vuelta), but we have to wait and see. If he can't win a grand tour (or a podium at least) in the next two years he will just become Pogacar's helper. Then he might have built up a better career at Lefevere as a leader or co-leader in the GC's at Lefevere.
He certainly is a GT rider, that's already obvious. Is he a toprider already? No he's not. May he never be one? Sure. It's likely that he can grow up to be one? I think so. He already has almost all the skillsets needed for being one, strong iTT, Stamina, not top tier climbing but good enough to be very close with the very best, amazing diesel engine pacing himself like very few can atm.

So if he improves both descending, his positioning inside the peloton and the tactical understanding of what are the critical moments in the race, which can be easily improved and gained with more races and maybe with descending sessions in training camps with some expert he probably will be in the making for winning a GT in the next 2 years.

Concerning his move to UAE imo was the right move to make both financially and personally. He has a 5 year contract with the objective of being one of the leaders of the team. Sure he will work at some point for Pogacar but was also agreed between both sides that he will always have 1 GT per season as a team leader so...
 
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Last time I saw them in the same one day race Remco was left behind by Almeida and some others.

Quickstep is long gone and that has helped Almeida to grow as a GC rider.
No point whatsoever in dwelling on "what if" about Remco and Lefevere.
Then i have to wonder which one day race you are referring to. Last one day race they did was Lombardia, where Evenepoel finished 19th and Almeida finished 40th.
 
Well, if you wish to be even more confused, he gave and interview today and said this regarding to saturday:

"I consider myself a good descender, but it was a very dangerous descent and I made a mistake or two while following Pozzovivo, because there were some potholes on the road."

 
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Well, if you wish to be even more confused, he gave and interview today and said this regarding to saturday:

"I consider myself a good descender, but it was a very dangerous descent and I made a mistake or two while following Pozzovivo, because there were some potholes on the road."

The most impressive is how calm and not worried he seems. Cold blood in the veins.
 
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