João Almeida biding his time at the Giro d'Italia: 'Always keep in mind the next days'

The UAE Team Emirates rider is hoping to secure a podium finish as he expects the final day's time trial to be decisive

Joao Almeida Giro d'Italia
(Image credit: Getty Images)

João Almeida expects the final day time trial of the Giro d'Italia to prove decisive, with the UAE Team Emirates rider recognising he needs to expend his energy smartly over the last week of racing. 

Sitting third overall and just 30 seconds back from Giro GC standings leader Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers), Almeida indicated the difficulty of the remaining stages means he has to ride with each day in mind. Stage 16, 17 and 20  of the 2022 Giro d'Italia route are all gruelling mountain stages which could shake up the GC, and the Portuguese isn't planning on losing time with misjudged efforts ahead of the final day TT. 

“It’s a long week so if you spend all the bullets on Tuesday it’s still a hard week,” Almeida told VeloNews (opens in new tab) during the rest day on Monday. 

“If I feel good [I'll attack], but maybe not on Tuesday. Because there are some really hard days still coming up, especially the day before the TT. I think that’s going to be the real queen stage Saturday. If I feel good, of course, I’m going to try something but always keep in mind the next days.”

Ahead of the 17.4km time trial around Verona on Sunday, Almeida seems confident in his ability to steal some crucial seconds. Arguing he is one of the strongest time trialists of the GC contenders, Almeida also suggests there won't necessarily be a large time difference between riders, meaning it is crucial he gives himself the best opportunity by racing optimally over the next few days. 

“It’s quite a specialty time trial, not like a flat city one where it’s more simple,” he said. 

“I think the gaps are not going to be that big like they normally are. I think maybe 30 seconds maximum. Of course, I really need I need to have the legs and feel good. It’s a bit relative sometimes.

“There were a lot of corners in the first time trial, and all those corners in a city can be quite dangerous. So, I lost some time. But if we check the data of the straights and the climb, I think I’ll be maybe one of the top guys, but the corners were there.”

Regardless, the 23-year-old isn't placing too much pressure on himself to take the maglia rosa. Having finished fourth and sixth overall at the Giro in 2020 and 2021, respectively, Almeida suggests simply securing a top-three finish would be a success.

“A podium spot would be like a victory for me," Almeida explained.

“I think I’m in the perfect position. I’m 30 seconds from Richard Carapaz. Things have been pretty good. We go to this final week to try to not lose any time, keeping up with the best riders and seeing what we can do."

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Staff Writer

Ryan is a staff writer for Cycling Weekly, having joined the team in September 2021. He first joined Future in December 2020, working across FourFourTwo, Golf Monthly, Rugby World and Advnture's websites, before making his way to cycling. After graduating from Cardiff University with a degree in Journalism and Communications, Ryan earned a NCTJ qualification to further develop as a writer.