João Almeida - The portuguese wolf

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If gaps are these for the final tt, he probably wins with clear margin, his tt level at the end of gt's is so much higher. He's typically been right behind tt specialist at the final tt. I'm guessing here but I think he's sandbagging and playing long game as he does not have big mountain domestique team around him like Pogi typically or Billy or Rogla. He cant hit out against others atm in the mountains, it would destroy him out.
 
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What can be done on a 6% climb (by a strong TT-er like Almeida) may not be possible on 10% climbs that decide this Giro.
Don't think is about the gradient. It's about how fast climb is done and if he is dropped and has exhaust himself closing gap for kms. If they relax at some summit finish he is dangerous on the last kms.
 
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They won't relax. They see him as the only guy they can distance and they are adament to succeed doing that. They cannot distance eachother.
I agree with you, that´s why I only see it possible with some bad day or bad luck from Carapaz or Hindley. Today everytime he was close to regroup Hindley would take the front and accelerate. Hindley is the strongest at the moment.
 
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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...
That's just the point. Not winning a GT in the next two years will probably force him permanently in the role of a domestique.
 
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That's just the point. Not winning a GT in the next two years will probably force him permanently in the role of a domestique.
You have no point whatsoever. A rider showing GT capabilities is enough to keep him signed until as a GT leader until he delivers. It does not push him to domestique roles. I can give you a list of GT riders that don't have a GT win but you hopefully get the idea.
 
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Joao is in the perfect ambush position. If he can place a couple of late attacks that stick, will the other two play games?

Almeida is still within striking distance. Pre-Giro, I thought that he would be further away after this stage. He has managed his Giro really well so far, like today, when many would have lost minutes and Joao Almeida took his shovel and dug deep. He's a super rider. And he's still there.

Will Almeida win this bike race and pull a Carapaz on Carapaz? I have no idea, but I would laugh.
 
That's just the point. Not winning a GT in the next two years will probably force him permanently in the role of a domestique.
Absolute nonsense! How many riders do you want me to give you that after years haven’t won a GT and still are team leaders at GT?
And if you don’t know I can also tell you that in the 5 year contract with UAE was stated that Almeida will have leadership in 1 GT per year so… it was one of the conditions required by Almeida to sign and one of the main reasons why he picked UAE over other teams that tried to sign him
 
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These last stages in sequence are so hard and at the end of a 3 week race that it will be a war of attrition and under such cirumstances each of the top racers on GC risk a bad day. It could happen to Almeida, just as it could happen to Carapaz or Hindley. And then you have a Nibali who still wants to leave his mark on the race, which could trigger an opportunity for the others or end their GC hopes. The point is the race is still open, unless sombody ships big time today, Friday or Saturday before the TT.
 
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Absolute nonsense! How many riders do you want me to give you that after years haven’t won a GT and still are team leaders at GT?
And if you don’t know I can also tell you that in the 5 year contract with UAE was stated that Almeida will have leadership in 1 GT per year so… it was one of the conditions required by Almeida to sign and one of the main reasons why he picked UAE over other teams that tried to sign him
I didn't think anyone could ever sign a contract like that that would promise him leadership for five years. That sounds rather crazy to do since you can never guarantee it will pay off :eek:
 
Joao is in the perfect ambush position. If he can place a couple of late attacks that stick, will the other two play games?

Almeida is still within striking distance. Pre-Giro, I thought that he would be further away after this stage. He has managed his Giro really well so far, like today, when many would have lost minutes and Joao Almeida took his shovel and dug deep. He's a super rider. And he's still there.

Will Almeida win this bike race and pull a Carapaz on Carapaz? I have no idea, but I would laugh.
Agree with your view on Almeida’s performance so far. It’s obvious that he is not the better climber and that he lacks the punch above 7% climbs but he is the most complete GC rider in this Giro edition. No question about it. If he had at least 2 domestiques with the same level of Ineos, Bora or Bahrain Domestiques with him I’m sure that he would be less than 10 seconds behind Carapaz after this stage. To many watts spent while closing gaps since the Blockhaus stage that would serve him to try to win those bonus seconds at the finish because he would be with the other guys at the final sprint.
As for a chance to still win imo it’s unlikely that he reach the final of stage 20 within the time gap that he can recover from Carapaz (40 seconds) Hindley (45 seconds) or Landa (50 seconds). These time gaps are only mere estimations based on the history of the contenders itt but will surely give him a strong chance to pull it in the end. Even if he reach 3rd place it will be a very very good giro, even more because this year’s edition was much more climber friendly and less TTier friendly.
 
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I didn't think anyone could ever sign a contract like that that would promise him leadership for five years. That sounds rather crazy to do since you can never guarantee it will pay off :eek:
yes it could be done and it was done. At any type of contracts you have clauses that gives you guarantees if both parts are willing to commit to them. It was the main condition asked from Almeida while he was negotiating with several teams. He wanted to assure that he could be leader for a GT every season despite also being able to work for other rider in other races (Pogacar). Still this Giro is crucial for Almeida for being able to mark a position of strength inside UAE so they can give him next season better conditions (domestiques) to try to have a real chance for winning a GT.
 
Agree with your view on Almeida’s performance so far. It’s obvious that he is not the better climber and that he lacks the punch above 7% climbs but he is the most complete GC rider in this Giro edition. No question about it. If he had at least 2 domestiques with the same level of Ineos, Bora or Bahrain Domestiques with him I’m sure that he would be less than 10 seconds behind Carapaz after this stage. To many watts spent while closing gaps since the Blockhaus stage that would serve him to try to win those bonus seconds at the finish because he would be with the other guys at the final sprint.
As for a chance to still win imo it’s unlikely that he reach the final of stage 20 within the time gap that he can recover from Carapaz (40 seconds) Hindley (45 seconds) or Landa (50 seconds). These time gaps are only mere estimations based on the history of the contenders itt but will surely give him a strong chance to pull it in the end. Even if he reach 3rd place it will be a very very good giro, even more because this year’s edition was much more climber friendly and less TTier friendly.
I'd say had it had been a normal amount of ITT he probably would have been likely to win this giro.

And had he had Carapaz team he would be in contention. If he both had Carapaz team and more ITT yes he would have won.

The fact that he does all climbing work himself makes him pretty darn special imnsho.
 
Maybe it is the lack of TT KMS that allowed for the cooperation between Carapaz/Landa/Bardet and Carapaz/Hindley/Landa to be this bad?

Its not like the other contenders did not have the chances to put more time into almeida. They are just more busy with each other. Nonetheless, Almeida is a very unique rider which is admirable. But him being within striking distance still is also a result of the better riders just not willing to deliver more of a knockout by working together.
 
Its not like the other contenders did not have the chances to put more time into almeida. They are just more busy with each other.
I don't think this is the case.
Bardet said they were all on the limit on Blockhaus and I'm pretty sure it was the same on Santa Cristina (bar maybe Hindley). These guys aren't much better than Almeida uphill, they just have a different pacing strategy.

The main issue at this point is the lack of team in case something goes wrong on a descent. I thought his domestiques were gaining shape but it looks like Formolo and Covi are actually getting worse.
 
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The conversation would be very different if there were 40-50 kms of ITT in this race. He says he was a "little weaker" than the others yesterday but lost only 14 seconds...I wonder if there would have been much more aggressive riding from Landa/Hindley/Carapaz with more TT kms, knowing that Almeida could likely make up 1m 30 sec or more on a long TT (or, more likely, he'd already be in pink after a long mid-race TT...)?

Yesterday's final climb and descent weren't really ideal for a huge attack -- too many fans on the climb and wet, dangerous descent sort of neutralized things.

It's ludicrous to think that Almeida only has a few more years as a protected GC rider to prove he can win. Lots of fabulous riders won't win, let alone podium, a GT. He's got the skills to be a GC hopeful for the next decade, and as I said, if there were more TT kms in this Giro he'd be in pink and we wouldn't even be raising that notion...
 
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