João Almeida - The portuguese wolf

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To be sure Almeida is no Indurain, however, there were once courses that valued a decent TT at the Giro even with 25,000 meters of climbing. It would have thus been better for this race to have a 50 k tt included, because the slug fest amongst the current trio of climbers leaves something to be desired.
I am not disagreeing there. A TT would have been nice, as well as trading one of those ~10% 10km MTFs for one proper stage with multiple climbs above 2500m+.
 
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I am not disagreeing there. A TT would have been nice, as well as trading one of those ~10% 10km MTFs for one proper stage with multiple climbs above 2500m+.
Unfortunately the earlier slot for the Giro has faced problems with high altitude stages, because of the weather. I mean decades ago it used to finish around 9 June or so. Thus too many stages have been cancelled because of "adverse" conditions, which, however, would not have been a problem on the Gavia in 88. How times have changed.
 
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2017 had 70km of ITT.
This giro has 26km.
João could probably take 90s in 70km ITT.
This giro does not suit him. I think that is clear.
With a better team and more ITT he has solid odds for a GT win.

For this Giro, defending is not enough anymore. He needs to play some cards. Let's see if the UAE and João can pull a rabbit out of his hat. I do hope so. As portuguese it's been such a pleasure and joy to watch a real portuguese GC contender. João is not only a great athlete, he has such a spirit and heart... He represent all of us and we will always support him.
 
Needs a lot of ITT, a very strong team and a very weak field.
You’re exaggerating a lot. If this route has had typical itt distances (say the same prologue + a 20km halfway through flat itt) Almeida would probably be about 40 to 50 seconds from Carapaz.

Are we forgetting that he is still only 23 years old? We are getting too used to Pogacars and Remcos, and expecting young riders to just have it from the start.
 
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Yeah he neesd a route, a team, and an opposition each of different races, such is his dominance to win.
Or maybe he needs to learn that pacing a climb on a set potency is not always the best option to avoid cracking... or that letting guys enjoy your saving wheel for a long time (like hindley at blockhaus) can be bitter some days later.
 
I cheered for him yesterday...and here's what happens today. Sorry for jinxing you Joao. :oops:

From now on, Vamos Richard! Sorry dude, but you are at Ineos, you have already won a GT, it's better than Chiappucci,

Almeida is still in podium contention, it's not over. It looks like he will earn a very nice GC when it's over. Between not over and over, we still have a race and it's wide open. The top-5 looks pretty much set, but its order has yet to be decided.
 
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Yeah he neesd a route, a team, and an opposition each of different races, such is his dominance to win.
Jesus, just kill the young man! He only needs to keep developing and a more balanced and fair ratio between high mountains and iTT, domestiques as strong as the opposition and that’s it, leave the weaker field aside because it won’t be needed ;)
How wise and fair it is to put a looser stamp on a young rider with only 3 GT in his belt?
 
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Needs a lot of ITT, a very strong team and a very weak field.
lol wtf
There are only 3 stages left before the ITT. He's less than 2 minutes off Carapaz. There have only been 9km of ITT as of yet.

Keep the current competition, keep the current route, give him an extra 30k of ITT which would still be underwhelming, and give him actual support. He would be within striking distance with everything to play for in the closing ITT. Just one domestique that would still be around on a few crucial moments, if only a handful of seconds in certain stages would make a difference. Even if it were only five or ten seconds per GC stage, it could mean 30 seconds or more over 3 weeks. It all adds up. Let's say he takes 1.5s per km in the longer ITT on Carapaz. In that case he could realistically claw back 70 seconds in the longer ITT's. That would bring him back to roughly 45 seconds, against the current competition, with the current route. Now add some actual support and over the course of 3 weeks you'll easily find enough time to give him a fighting chance, without needing to dismiss him as some 2nd rate wannabe.
 
lol wtf
There are only 3 stages left before the ITT. He's less than 2 minutes off Carapaz. There have only been 9km of ITT as of yet.

Keep the current competition, keep the current route, give him an extra 30k of ITT which would still be underwhelming, and give him actual support. He would be within striking distance with everything to play for in the closing ITT. Just one domestique that would still be around on a few crucial moments, if only a handful of seconds in certain stages would make a difference. Even if it were only five or ten seconds per GC stage, it could mean 30 seconds or more over 3 weeks. It all adds up. Let's say he takes 1.5s per km in the longer ITT on Carapaz. In that case he could realistically claw back 70 seconds in the longer ITT's. That would bring him back to roughly 45 seconds, against the current competition, with the current route. Now add some actual support and over the course of 3 weeks you'll easily find enough time to give him a fighting chance, without needing to dismiss him as some 2nd rate wannabe.
But still. This year that might hold true, but also because his competition is one slightly below average TT-er and two of the worst TT-ers around. Maybe next year he will face Evenepoel, Roglic, Pogacar and he will actually loose time. Or Martinez, Vlasov etc. And he will not gain much time. He can’t afford to just loose 10-15 seconds every mountain finish in that case either.

Also for me it is still the question what would have happened on Blockhaus and the Sforzata stage if there was more TT in this Giro. I think it would have meant that the leading trios in those stage might have cooperated better to distance Almeida a bit more.

For now Almeida just has too many weaknesses to exploit for his opponents. They can get rid of him to easily in both ascents and descents.
 
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lol wtf
There are only 3 stages left before the ITT. He's less than 2 minutes off Carapaz. There have only been 9km of ITT as of yet.

Keep the current competition, keep the current route, give him an extra 30k of ITT which would still be underwhelming, and give him actual support. He would be within striking distance with everything to play for in the closing ITT. Just one domestique that would still be around on a few crucial moments, if only a handful of seconds in certain stages would make a difference. Even if it were only five or ten seconds per GC stage, it could mean 30 seconds or more over 3 weeks. It all adds up. Let's say he takes 1.5s per km in the longer ITT on Carapaz. In that case he could realistically claw back 70 seconds in the longer ITT's. That would bring him back to roughly 45 seconds, against the current competition, with the current route. Now add some actual support and over the course of 3 weeks you'll easily find enough time to give him a fighting chance, without needing to dismiss him as some 2nd rate wannabe.
Hindley and Carapaz haven't really tried that hard to put as much time into Almeida as possible. And while you can argue that another 30km of ITT may bring Almeida 1'30 or so closer, if the queen stage does the conventional Mortirolo-Aprica then he may drop 1'30 extra on that stage alone.
 
I still am in disbelief that he's promised one GT leadership a year for five years. It just doesn't make sense to me. There must be some more conditions.

If that was true I'd look to buy someone like Poels in the mountains. Even with Pog they might eventually need more mountain domestiques.
 
Also while a more balanced route with significant additional TT kilometers would give a chance for Almeida to take more time on the likes of Carapaz, Landa or Hindley, it would also force those climbers to ride more aggressively, not only against Almeida, but also against each other. Then it's more likely than not, that at least one of them has the legs to stretch the gap to Almeida signicantly bigger than what it has been due to a stalemate between the top 3 climbers thus far.

A balanced route allows the racing to open up in more ways than one and in my opinion Almeida needs to up the level on which he can climb consistently to actually start winning GT's. Currently he is more of a solid top 5 rider, who can podium a GT if circumstances go his way. As such his own pre-race assessment, that his goal is the podium and not the overall victory has turned out fairly accurate. Although he cannot afford to keep loosing time to Landa, if does want reach that podium.
 
I still am in disbelief that he's promised one GT leadership a year for five years. It just doesn't make sense to me. There must be some more conditions.

If that was true I'd look to buy someone like Pouls in the mountains. Even with Pog they might eventually need more mountain domestiques.
I feel like getting Almeida was UAE trying to set up a team that can win all 3 GTs in a season without thinking it really through. His reported wages are super high, yet they say someone else offered more, which I also find hard to believe.
 
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Hindley and Carapaz haven't really tried that hard to put as much time into Almeida as possible. And while you can argue that another 30km of ITT may bring Almeida 1'30 or so closer, if the queen stage does the conventional Mortirolo-Aprica then he may drop 1'30 extra on that stage alone.
Disagree, they have tried like hell to distance Almeida as far as possible. That was the main GC fight every mountain stage. What they didn't try is to distance each other seriously because they are afraid of risking. Their fearfull racing is what keeping the GC fight a bit boring.
 
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Disagree, they have tried like hell to distance Almeida as far as possible. That was the main GC fight every mountain stage. What they didn't try is to distance each other seriously because they are afraid of risking. Their fearfull racing is what keeping the GC fight a bit boring.
You really can’t be serious. Carapaz/Hindley/Landa (Bardet) have only been looking at each other so far and haven’t paid much attention to Almeida in any stage.

Only reason for Almeida finally losing more time yesterday was because Poels was there to set some pace again everytime Landa wasn’t able to make a difference and hence dropped the pace.
 
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You really can’t be serious. Carapaz/Hindley/Landa (Bardet) have only been looking at each other so far and haven’t paid much attention to Almeida in any stage.

Only reason for Almeida finally losing more time yesterday was because Poels was there to set some pace again everytime Landa wasn’t able to make a difference and hence dropped the pace.
List the serious attacks between Hindley and Carapaz till now. Only remenber Torino by Carapaz, and sprints at the end. If they attacked eachother was the best cenário for Almeida, they would attack and stop all the time or some of them would crack.
 
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List the serious attacks between Hindley and Carapaz till now. Only remenber Torino by Carapaz, and sprints at the end.
I am not saying they made a lot of serious attacks. They realize that they are in a stalemate because of very similar strength levels.

However where I very much disagree with you is that they have been riding against Almeida. I think they have hardly cared about almeida the entire race, and I think that Almeida has been able to limit his losses until yesterday precisely because of the stalemate between the riders that are better than him.
 
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I feel like getting Almeida was UAE trying to set up a team that can win all 3 GTs in a season without thinking it really through. His reported wages are super high, yet they say someone else offered more, which I also find hard to believe.
Yes I must have been their plan, with Ayouso as a third backup for them if the plan didn't work or Pog or Almeidawas injured. If Ineos or Bora was just above UAE and offered a two year contract and no leadership it could possibly make sense. But it's a crazy thing to do by UAE if true.
 
Yes I must have been their plan, with Ayouso as a third backup for them if the plan didn't work or Pog or Almeidawas injured. If Ineos or Bora was just above UAE and offered a two year contract and no leadership it could possibly make sense. But it's a crazy thing to do by UAE if true.
Considering UAE offered Almeida basically Bernal money on a 5 year deal with guaranteed leadership, it's a pretty easy choice for Almeida.

Leadership might be tough if Ayuso surpasses him quickly.
 
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I am not saying they made a lot of serious attacks. They realize that they are in a stalemate because of very similar strength levels.

However where I very much disagree with you is that they have been riding against Almeida. I think they have hardly cared about almeida the entire race, and I think that Almeida has been able to limit his losses until yesterday precisely because of the stalemate between the riders that are better than him.
They always agreed on fairly diving the pulls between them. They were small suspicious pulls from each one, but no one did the classic I sat at your wheel now, you push or I counterattack.
 
They always agreed on fairly diving the pulls between them. They were small suspicious pulls from each one, but no one did the classic I sat at your wheel now, you push or I counterattack.
Agreed, but small suspicious pulls for me means that they are not really attempting to distance Almeida as much as they could. That’s why I think that if this Giro had more TT kilometers the small pulls would have at least been medium pulls.
 

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