History of Axel Merckx: “Joao Almeida is a quiet force!”

History of Axel Merckx: “Joao Almeida is a quiet force!”

I am currently near Lyon with my team for the Tour of the Alpes Isère, one of the most beautiful events and difficult to straighten out hopes. Despite everything, I will watch the end of the Giro carefully and inevitably, as you can imagine, a hearty favorite since Joao Almeida rode with us for two seasons before moving to the pros. After the second qualifying and Remko’s retirement, I talked about two of my favourites, Tao (Geoghegan Hart) and Joao, but the Briton, who was in great shape, unfortunately crashed and had to retire.

The Portuguese is someone who knows how to forget, he is smart, he doesn’t make big statements but he is always present. We don’t see him much, though, as he’s still in the lead, but he’s not catching any wind. Last year, he was already with the best (editor’s note: 4) when he caught the virus three or four days after the end. His victory on Tuesday is nothing, he attacked, causing the decision and finally getting the better of Thomas.

I hope that continues for him and that he is able to achieve all the good that we can think of.

He’s young, he has a bright future, he’s been in the Giro for three years now, we can see he’s getting better year by year. He is patient and takes it step by step. He is calm and balanced. It is one of its strengths. That’s it, João Almedia, it’s quiet power!

But there are still three very difficult stages, as every time in the Giro where gaps are often limited to a few days from the finish, before the last crucial stages. As we always say, freshness plays a major role. Everyone’s health status and physical glitches also because after two very difficult weeks, often in very difficult weather conditions, everyone’s immune system and resistance, to the test, are under attack. A tired, weak runner is more likely to catch colds or digestive problems than usual.

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That said, be careful, don’t get me wrong, I say, “May the best man win!” If Geraint Thomas or Primoz Roglic wins, I will tip my hat to them and be very impressed. Thomas has already won the Tour, he is someone who never gives up, just like Roglic who has already fallen four times in this Giro. On Tuesday it was said that he collapsed, but this is not true. If you crack, you lose more time, and he even got it back at the end of the stage. He managed it, you always have to be wary of him, and as we saw in the Vuelta, a couple of years ago, he’s someone who gets better in the third week of a Grand Tour. So, nothing was played and that was so much the better!

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About the Author: Lucinda Lima

"Desbravador de cerveja apaixonado. Álcool alcoólico incurável. Geek de bacon. Viciado em web em geral."

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