João Almeida believes he could have won Tour de Suisse in a different role: "Would I have won the tour if I had not worked for him? We will never know"

João Almeida is a rider that thrives in the difficulties of the Grand Tours but often does not find as much ease in the one-week races. That was not the case this week at the Tour de Suisse, as he has won two stages including the final time-trial and was close to even snatching the final overall win from teammate Adam Yates.

“I am very happy with the victory today. Outside of the national championships, this is my first time trial victory, so that is nice," Almeida said in a post-race interview. The big favourite to win the stage, the Portuguese climber put his current great form to good use. He had the advantage on the first intermediate sprint and the GC win was even looking possible; but Adam Yates turned on the gear on the final climb to Villars-sur-Ollon to defend his classification.

"I knew it was going to be very difficult to win the classification. Adam is of course also very strong, especially on a course like this. So I can be satisfied with a second place behind him.” Almeida won 9 seconds on his teammate, but finished 22 seconds away from him in the final overall classification. This was despite having worked a lot for him in the early mountain stages of the race.

Almeida reaches the end of the week with two stage wins and seems to be on the form of his life ahead of the Tour de France where he will finally make his debut. This performance puts him in a better position where he can realistically aim for a co-leadership alongside Yates, Tadej Pogacar and who knows... Juan Ayuso.

“Would I have won the tour if I had not worked for him? We will never know," Almeida says. "I mainly look back on a good week with perfect team play. Maybe I will win the tour next time…”

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