Almeida leaves before the final battle for the Giro

He was the most feared for the Verona time trial.

26 May 2022 Thursday 09:24
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Almeida leaves before the final battle for the Giro

He was the most feared for the Verona time trial. João Almeida was seen as the Hesjedal who stepped on Joaquim Rodríguez in the last stage of the 2012 Giro. Nobody trusted and everyone calculated how much time they had to reach that time trial on Sunday. For this reason, the three best climbers of this edition, the Carapaz, Hindley and Landa, had allied themselves in the climbs to the Valico de Santa Cristina and Monte Rovere to rule out the Portuguese, who left a minute in Laverone and lost the third square.

This Thursday Almeida (UAE) did not start at Borgo Valsugana. The Portuguese tested positive for Covid and was forced to abandon the Giro, where he has not yet been able to be on the podium: fourth in 2020 and sixth in 2021.

That news was a respite for Mikel Landa, who had him very close, 49 seconds behind. "The drop is going to be important," says the Basque from Bahrain. “Third place is safer. Now I won't be so afraid to start”, warned the man from Alava with a view to the two finals on top that remain, in the Santuario di Castelmonte and La Marmolada, in which he does not intend to conform.

“Although we all think about Saturday, there is a stage tomorrow. There is a very hard port (the Kolovrat) although it is far from the finish line. If I see an opportunity, I'm not going to miss it”, says Landa, who is ambitious, as well as being the most daring.

For now, Hindley (Bora), second overall, had a scare at the end of Treviso, where he punctured. He entered 1m08s of the winner, the Belgian De Bondt, who gave the third stage to Alpecin after those of Van der Poel in Hungary and Oldani in Budapest. But the Australian was saved by having the mishap within the safety distance, the last three km.

Juanpe López was not so lucky, who was cut off when the peloton was stretched out in a chase that failed to catch the escapees. The Sevillian, best youngster after Almeida's departure, lost almost three minutes but did not fall out of the top-10 in the general standings.



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