THE BALL – Contador elects João Almeida as “one of the favorites” (Cycling)

Twice winner of the Giro (2008 and 2015), Alberto Contador, now in the staff of the Spanish team EOLO-Kometa, is full of praise for João Almeida, a 23-year-old Portuguese rider for the UAE Team Emirates who is in 11th place. position of the Volta in Italy, has completed three stages of the 2022 edition. The 39-year-old Spaniard, who in addition to his two Giro victories also has two Tours (2007 and 2009) and three Vueltas (2008, 2012 and 2014) on his Almeida course as one of the candidates for the podium in Verona, on the 29th.

“Van der Poel, Van Aert, Pogaçar and João Almeida himself are impressive,” said Contador when asked about his favorite cyclists today. “I don’t want to forget other stars, like Alaphilippe or Evenepoel and others,” he adds, quoted by the daily Marca, in an interview promoted by Eurosport, in which Contador confesses what he expects from three weeks of the Giro.

“I hope to see a lot of surprises. In my experience, the most important thing is to be a regular competitor. You don’t have to be the best, but don’t fail and be consistent, especially on the mountain stages. If you complete this mission, you have secured yourself a good place in the general classification, which is why I think the most important thing is that the group of favorites focus on not making mistakes. he, replacing the A-dos-Francos cyclist, Caldas da Rainha, in the list of candidates for the final victory.: “Carapaz and Nibali are two specialists, like Simon Yates, Mikel Landa and Almeida himself, will be fighting at a high level and it will be an attractive competition for the fans.”

Directly confronted with the abilities of João Almeida – 4th in the 2020 edition of the Volta a Italia, in which he wore the pink jersey for 15 days, and 6th in the 2021, when he ran the Deceuninck-Quick Step -, praise again floods Contador’s speech: “As I said before, it seems to me that João is one of the most relevant cyclists today. Not only for what he accomplishes, but also for the characteristic way in which he competes. He’s growing a lot and doing things well and that’s why he’s one of my favorites to do big things in this Giro d’Italia.

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