Who is Joao Almeida, the Portuguese who leads the Giro?

The Deceuninck rider, only 22 years old, is the third rider from Portugal to command a big one, after Da Silva and Agostinho.


Joao Almeida became on Etna the third Portuguese cyclist in history to lead a great round. Acacio da Silva donned the pink Giro jersey and the yellow Tour jersey in the 1989 editions, 31 years ago, and previously Joaquim Agostinho commanded the 1976 Vuelta. At 22, Almeida is one of the most promising riders in the peloton , another one that stands out in Deceuninck.

However, Almeida went professional in 2017 with Unieuro Trevigiani, a continental Bulgarian team of Italian origin. There he achieved his first three victories: stages in the Tour de Mersin and in the Ukraine, and in the Tuscany Terra di Ciclismo Eroica. In 2018 he signed for Hagens Berman Axeon, owned by Axel Merckx, Eddy's son and a good talent recruiter. That season led him to compete with the best Under-23s: he won the Liege and finished second in the Giro of the category, only surpassed by Aleksandr Vlasov (who adds in 2020 a partial in La Provence, the Giro dell'Emilia, the Mont Ventoux Challenge and finished third in Lombardy at 24) .

The explosion of Remco Evenepoel when he left confinement overshadowed his good numbers, since Almeida finished third in the Vuelta a Burgos that the Belgian scored, third in Coppi & Bartali and second in Emilia (he ran into Vlasov again), in the Mirador del Castillo de Burgos or in the opening time of the Giro: “It seems that I lack a bit of luck to achieve my first triumph as a World Tour cyclist. But if you look hard, you get it. Apart from the fact that going first in a three-week test means a dream, a privileged situation that I must enjoy. ”

Natural from the spa town of Caldas da Rainha, he is passionate about his country and speed. That is why his favorite movie is Fast & Furious and he plays Need for Speed with the game console (also Fortnite). Regarding how he sees himself as a runner, he is considered "a prototype of a climber who counters well." He always looked to Chris Froome as a reference because he would like his future to lead him "to fight for the titles in the grand tours." For now, he leads the Giro in his debut in one of the three.

Photos from as.com
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