When two fight over a leg, the third goes with it. When Evenepoel and Geoghegan Hart dropped out of the Giro, it was mainly about the battle between Thomas and Roglic.
But Joao Almeida can also get involved. He is only twenty seconds behind the aforementioned contenders and has good credentials for the overall victory. “The third week will be incredibly tough, but I feel good and hope for a good result,” said the Portuguese during a press conference on the rest day.
The Giro of 2023 is not yet really known for its exciting course. The classification riders often chose to watch the cat out of the tree. But Almeida hopes that will soon change. “The last two weeks have probably been very boring for the fans, but hopefully the fight will start as soon as possible.”
Almeida hopes for more attacks in third week
On Tuesday the peloton awaits a tough mountain stage with more than 5000 altimeters. But whether the favorites there already put the cards on the table, Almeida does not dare to say. “Roglic and Thomas have been very passive so far. I don’t know if that will change tomorrow, but I hope so. When I feel good I also attack, but I don’t know where or when that is.
Almeida has built up a good track record in the Giro, finishing in the top ten of the Italian Grand Tour several times and finishing fourth in 2020. The Portuguese GC rider hopes to improve his best result in any case. “The final win is of course the ultimate goal, but a place on the podium would also be very nice, I can also be satisfied with that.”
The rider of UAE Team Emirates concludes his speech with a prognosis for the coming week. “At the moment Roglic looks the strongest as far as I’m concerned, but we shouldn’t erase Thomas either. They are both very strong and have strong teams behind them, hopefully I can join the fight.”