'Almeida has no interest in leaving UAE-Emirates' - No chance for Astana to sign Portuguese star

With just over two months left for the transfers period to officially open, many teams, riders and agents are tough at work securing their futures. One interesting possibility launched this week was that of João Almeida possibly joining Astana Qazaqstan Team; but this has virtually no chance of happening according to a new report.

The Portuguese rider holds a contract until 2026 with UAE Team Emirates. Alongside the likes of Tadej Pogacar, Juan Ayuso and Adam Yates, he will be racing (for the first time) at the Tour de France this summer. The team does however have a big amount of leaders and even more such as Isaac del Toro already in development, which could eventually lead to freedom problems in the Grand Tours for Almeida.

Hence, there was a small possibility of there being a reason to believe the intentions of Alexandre Vinokourov and Astana to try and make a bid to bring him in for the 2025 season. "I don’t know if he’s on the market but there might be a solution. We will see," the manager of the Kazakh team said of Almeida.

Following the breaking of contract of Cian Uijtdebroeks this winter, alongside a few others in recent years - mainly from DSM riders - it wouldn't be impossible to consider this a possibility, specially taking into account that Astana will have available budget to make a big offer, but also as the team is financed by a coalition of state-owned companies in Kazakhstan who could receive a special financial boost specifically for such a transfer.

But this will not happen, with certainty, according to TopCycling.pt's Gonçalo Moreira. "TopCycling sources can confirm that Almeida has no interest in leaving UAE-Emirates. Almeida to Astana is a no-go situation," he wrote.

Hence the Kazakh team loses one of it's possible new leaders into 2025. Simon Yates remains a possibility, but the team may also try and negotiation with other out-of-contract climbers such as Ben O'Connor, Thymen Arensman, Nairo Quintana or Romain Bardet... Former team riders such as Aleksandr Vlasov and Ion Izagirre are also on the market currently.

Place comments



More comments

You are currently seeing only the comments you are notified about, if you want to see all comments from this post, click the button below.

Show all comments