POLL: How will João Almeida's GC challenge go at 2024 Tour de France?

João Almeida is making his Tour de France debut this year and it is one looked at with immense excitement. The Portuguese rider made his Grand Tour debut at the 2020 Giro d'Italia and has since every year focused on the Corsa Rosa. In 2024 he aims for the Tour and is in the form of his life ahead of the race.

Almeida was a shock in the first Grand Tour of his career, racing most of the 2020 Giro in the pink jersey and finishing fourth. The following year he finished sixth, after a poor start which also included domestique work for Remco Evenepoel. In 2022 he abandoned in the final week whilst sitting on the podium, whilst in 2023 he finally finished on the podium - winning a mountain stage in the final week. The 25-year old Portuguese also has two Vuelta a España editions under his belt, finishing fourth and ninth in 2022 and 2023 respectively. He has never finished below ninth in any Grand Tour he's started.

This year he is part of UAE Team Emirates' master plan to win the Tour de France. His spring was rather modest with an 11th place at Paris-Nice, and a 9th spot at the Volta a Catalunya where he supported Tadej Pogacar to overall victory. But after a training camp, his return to racing at the Tour de Suisse was nothing but superb, winning two stages and finishing second in the overall classification, almost taking the yellow jersey despite having spent large kilometers leading Adam Yates up the many Swiss mountains.

After having won the final time-trial and finished second in the race's GC, Almeida's statement is one that leaves quite a lot open as to whether he was superior to Yates. “Would I have won the tour if I had not worked for him? We will never know." The Portuguese climber looks to be on the form of his life and is a rider that frequently performs better in the Grand Tours. He will be a very dangerous and interesting weapon for UAE.

Yates won stage 7 as the two dropped the competition together but it was evident that Almeida had not gone to the absolute limit. “He is a very nice person. When we rode away together, he asked me what we were going to do. I asked if I could win and he immediately said yes," Yates admit in a post-race interview. "It shows what a great person he is, what a good teammate. He was also very good himself, so he could have easily won. Credit to him for that.”

We will see if the same scenario repeats at the Tour de France, or if Almeida can take his game up another level and not only match Yates, but also the likes of Tadej Pogacar and Jonas Vingegaard who come to the Tour without competition.


How will João Almeida's GC challenge go at 2024 Tour de France?

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