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Joao Almeida – “I would like Tadej Pogacar to win and close the top five”

Joao Almeida – “I would like Tadej Pogacar to win and close the top five”

Tour de France debut alongside Tadej Pogacar motivates Joao Almeida. Finishing preparations for the Switzerland tour, where he wants to discuss general matters.

For the first time since turning professional, he saw Joao Almeida Giro d'Italia From the sofa. A strange feeling for someone who stood on the podium in 2023.

This year's goal is Tour of France. To prepare for his debut, he traded the cold of April for the heat of May and spent a month and a day at altitude between Andorra and the Sierra Nevada.

It was from afar what he saw Tadej Pogacar Massacre of competitors and Control of the United Arab Emirates The three weeks of testing.

“It was really expected. You could see the difference, there was no competition for Tadej, not even a day when he struggled or came behind others.

Joao Almeida to TopCycling.

Credits: Fabio Ferrari/La Presse

Tadej Pogacar was in management mode

The Giro is a race with less pressure Of the Tour and this year's route was not the most demanding.

The second week in particular allowed us to breathe a little.

Joao Almeida has the perspective of someone who pedals. He knows racing like the back of his hand and had no doubt that Tadej Pogacar was in management mode.

“If it is necessary to go further, the feeling when you see it from the outside is that you can go further. He is the strongest, the others accumulate fatigue; the fact that he is so strong pushes the team to take a strong step, but it will not go to Red line I would say it's almost like training don't get me wrong, of course he attacks and his legs hurt, he tries his best, but it's one thing to try his best and it's another thing to start the break and that's what affects him His legs are hurting, but he's comfortable with the pace he's going. Maybe in the round, as we saw in the past against Vengegard, he went as fast as he could.

Credits: Luis Angel Gomez/Sprint Bicycle Agency

Combine the Tour de France with the Giro d'Italia

Tadej Pogacar's mission is to combine the Tour de France with the Giro d'Italia and complete a double that no one has achieved in 26 years.

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Winning cyclists such as Joao Almeida, Juan Ayuso and even the third place finisher at the last round, Adam Yates, will be bundled in luxury.

“He will start the Tour in very good condition, with freshness, despite doing the Giro. The double is quite possible. I would like Tadej to win and I would like to finish in the top five. I was happy. I know I will try to help him win. We all have our chances, but the goal is clear.” “Mentally, I'm happy because the goal of going to the Tour has been achieved. It's a great honor to race alongside him and be part of something historic.”

Credits: La Presse

The tour begins on the fourteenth stage

In the Dauphiné the competition showed its cards. Primoz Roglic won two stages and the overall. Remco Evenepoel won the time trial.

Both recovered from falls suffered in the Tour of the Basque Country. Doubt lies in the case of two-time champion Jonas Vengegaard.

“Roglic wasn't too affected by the fall, nothing was broken. Maybe a short stop, but before the Tour I always had to stop. Remco is already limited and Vingegaard will not be the same as he has been in recent years. The Tour starts on the 14th stage, and until then “There are no stages that can make a big difference. We have a difficult start, but then there are steps that can be reached and at the end of the second week the toughness begins in earnest and Vingegaard can finish strongly.”

Source: Emirates Team UAE/Visa

How to manage so much talent and ego?

Six stages, a victory in the Giro with the largest difference between first and second place since 1965 and the fastest edition ever. Tadej Pogacar's debut left in Italy Strong numbers.

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Cannibal Kominda is on a mission. Next to him will be a Portuguese man who just wants to enjoy his Tour debut and race with a special rider.

A touring group is a luxury, but how do you manage so much talent and ego? Will the UAE-UAE runners have any idea of ​​the theoretical firepower of the eight called up?

“We have this idea, let's see how it goes. There is room for everyone. I realize that Tadej is a stronger athlete, so I like to run with him and help him. I also have my ambitions and I like to go to some races to compete as I have been trying to do. It doesn't always work out, but the important thing is It's about focusing on the work, training hard, and once you're physically fit, the results always show.

Credits: La Presse

Raising the bar after a low-key year

Joao Almeida prepared the Tour of Switzerland hard. It's an introduction to the Tour and the bar should be raised after a quiet year – 11th in Paris-Nice and 9th in the Tour of Catalunya.

Since the dream is free, why not consider the equivalent of the debut of Joachim Agostino, who finished eighth in the 1969 Tour and won stages in Mulhouse and Revel?

The first step towards strength is to pass the Swiss Tour test.

“The important thing is to think positively and focus on the work that will bring good form and results. I face the Tour of Switzerland with confidence in my physical form and I have everything I need to get back to my level and discuss the race. I have seen the last time trial, and I know that the last mountain stage has the same level of climbing as the time trial Time, so I'll do the reconnaissance soon. It's at Dauphiné level, the race will be tough and your legs will hurt.

Cycling News followed Rui Costa at the 2014 Tour of Switzerland.
Remember the third victory of the world champion.

Incredible support from immigrants

The Portuguese community in Switzerland is called upon to do for João Almeida what it has already done for Rui Costa.

Thanks to the amazing support of immigrants living in the Alpine country, Povero – who returned from injury – won the title three times.

“It makes a difference. I remember the Giro in Switzerland and that immediately gave me another incentive. Even when I was young, I did the Tour du Pays de Vaud with the team and it went well. I don't know if it's the chocolate, but it's going well.” “It's so gratifying to see people supporting us, and when times are so painful, it gives extra motivation. There's an exchange of energy there.”

What will the rest of the season be like? Until the call for the Olympic Games is launched, nothing is set in stone.

Joao Almeida wants to do the Vuelta a España, but if he goes to Paris 2024, he will almost certainly not be able to start in Lisbon. The alternative would be to target Lombardi and the World Cup.