Remco Evenepoel vows to work for João Almeida in the final week of the Giro d'Italia 2021

The Belgian lost 24 minutes as his Portuguese team-mate moved into 10th overall

João Almeida, Hugh Carthy and a distant Giulio Ciccone battle on the Passo Giau at the Giro d'Italia 2021
João Almeida, Hugh Carthy and a distant Giulio Ciccone battle on the Passo Giau at the Giro d'Italia 2021
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)

Remco Evenepoel has said that he will work for his team-mate João Almeida in the final week of the Giro d'Italia 2021, after he lost 24 minutes on stage 16 of the race with Almeida moving up to 10th overall.

Almeida (Deceuninck - Quick-Step) lost a hefty chunk of time on the first mountain stage to Sestola right at the start of the race, but has slowly been improving as the race went on seeing him rise through the general classification.

By contrast, Evenepoel slipped down the overall after losing 24 minutes to the pink jersey of Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) seeing him sit at just over 28 minutes in the GC.

>>> 'Despite the changes it was an epic ride' - Pros react to brutal shortened stage 16 of the Giro d'Italia 2021

Speaking after stage 16, Evenepoel said: "Losing that much time shows that I didn’t have a good stage and I really felt the fatigue of the past two weeks in my legs, there’s no shame in admitting that. 

"I said even before that I didn’t have any expectations coming into the race after that lengthy injury and with just two months of training, so I don’t think everyone thought I could be in top form for three weeks. 

"At the same time, it’s a learning process that I am sure will help me in the future. I am happy for João, he worked hard for me in the last couple of days and deserves to be in the top 10, so we’re going to help him in the next stages to remain there."

Almeida has spent the race looking after Remco Evenepoel, but since the young Belgian has started slipping out of the GC fight the Portuguese rider has gone in search of his own opportunities.

His strong ride up the Giau meant that he was in a good position going over the top of the climb and was the best finisher out of the breakaway, taking sixth on the day, 1-21 behind Bernal, moving him into 10th overall.

Speaking in a team press release, Almeida said: "I felt good today despite the rain and cold. I wanted to go for the stage win, that’s why I attacked and joined that move, but the peloton was really strong and rode really hard, as they had other plans today. 

"In the end, it wasn’t a bad day. I did my best and I’m happy to have gained a few places in the general classification. There’s still a long way to Milan and a lot of hard stages left, but we’ll continue to take it day by day and see where that takes us."

The first stage of the final week in this year's Giro is another tough mountain stage with two late climbs with steep gradients and a summit finish over 193km from Canazei to Sega di Ala before a hilly stage, two mountain stages and a time trial finish off the race.

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Tim Bonville-Ginn

Hi, I'm one of Cycling Weekly's content writers for the web team responsible for writing stories on racing, tech, updating evergreen pages as well as the weekly email newsletter. Proud Yorkshireman from the UK's answer to Flanders, Calderdale, go check out the cobbled climbs!

I started watching cycling back in 2010, before all the hype around London 2012 and Bradley Wiggins at the Tour de France. In fact, it was Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck's battle in the fog up the Tourmalet on stage 17 of the Tour de France.

It took me a few more years to get into the journalism side of things, but I had a good idea I wanted to get into cycling journalism by the end of year nine at school and started doing voluntary work soon after. This got me a chance to go to the London Six Days, Tour de Yorkshire and the Tour of Britain to name a few before eventually joining Eurosport's online team while I was at uni, where I studied journalism. Eurosport gave me the opportunity to work at the world championships in Harrogate back in the awful weather.

After various bar jobs, I managed to get my way into Cycling Weekly in late February of 2020 where I mostly write about racing and everything around that as it's what I specialise in but don't be surprised to see my name on other news stories.

When not writing stories for the site, I don't really switch off my cycling side as I watch every race that is televised as well as being a rider myself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager. Maybe too regular.

My bike is a well used Specialized Tarmac SL4 when out on my local roads back in West Yorkshire as well as in northern Hampshire with the hills and mountains being my preferred terrain.