Giro d’Italia: João Almeida takes the maglia rosa atop Etna

Giro d’Italia: João Almeida takes the maglia rosa atop Etna

Monday 05 October 2020 - 17:18

Our 22-year-old Grand Tour debutant became the first Portuguese in more than three decades to lead the race.

João Almeida kept hitting new heights, moving into the Giro d’Italia overall lead after the race’s first mountain stage, which took the peloton atop the mighty Etna. Almeida, who since the start of the season gave indications of his blossoming talents in several stage races, dazzled again, this time against a stellar field that included Grand Tour and Monument winners.

Despite his young age and the lack of experience in three-week races, the strong winds and the powerful attacks made by the GC contenders inside the last four kilometers of the stage, João climbed exceptionally at the race’s sixth visit on Etna, the mountain where, according to the Greek mythology, Zeus trapped the monster Typhon who had challenged him for the supremacy of the cosmos.

Almeida began the day in the white jersey, which he had on loan, aware that he had a shot of donning the famous maglia rosa at the end of the day on the same ascent where his countryman Acacio da Silva became the first ever Portuguese to top the Giro d’Italia GC, 31 years ago. While Jonathan Caicedo (EF First) soloed to victory from the breakaway, the chasers had their own battle, and João showed incredible mental and physical resilience as he tried to stay with the best and limit the losses when cracks began to form in the elite group.

As he crossed the line in 11th place, one minute down on the winner, the 22-year-old was sure of a visit to the podium to collect the white jersey, but was soon announced that he is expected to take also the pink jersey, a huge but at the same time well deserved moment in the young career of the Caldas da Rainha native.

“Leading a Grand Tour is a dream come true! This performance left me speechless, I can barely find the words to describe how I feel. The pace was high on the last climb, so I just tried to control my effort. When the wind began blowing hard close to the top, I did everything to just hang in there and make it through the pain. It was a sufferfest until the finish, but I emptied myself out there, because we are the Wolfpack and we always give our best”, said the third Portuguese rider in history to lead a Grand Tour. “I am happy and proud to wear this iconic maglia rosa, which I will try to keep as much as I can, this I promise.”

 

Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele / Getty Images

Race details

1 Jonathan Klever Caicedo Cepeda
EF Pro Cycling
4:02:33
2 Giovanni Visconti
Vini Zabù - KTM
0:21
3 Harm Vanhoucke
Lotto Soudal
0:30
4 Wilco Kelderman
Team Sunweb
0:39
5 Jakob Fuglsang
Astana Pro Team
0:51
6 Rafał Majka
BORA - hansgrohe
,,
7 Vincenzo Nibali
Trek - Segafredo
,,
8 Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolás
INEOS Grenadiers
,,
9 Domenico Pozzovivo
NTT Pro Cycling
,,
10 Steven Kruijswijk
Team Jumbo-Visma
0:56
11 João Almeida
Deceuninck - Quick Step
1:03
16 Fausto Masnada
Deceuninck - Quick Step
1:31
22 James Knox
Deceuninck - Quick Step
1:52
65 Pieter Serry
Deceuninck - Quick Step
,,
70 Mikkel Frølich Honoré
Deceuninck - Quick Step
,,
137 Davide Ballerini
Deceuninck - Quick Step
,,
160 Iljo Keisse
Deceuninck - Quick Step
,,
161 Álvaro José Hodeg Chagüi
Deceuninck - Quick Step
,,
1 João Almeida
Deceuninck - Quick Step
7:44:25
2 Jonathan Klever Caicedo Cepeda
EF Pro Cycling
,,
3 Pello Bilbao López de Armentia
Bahrain - McLaren
0:37
4 Wilco Kelderman
Team Sunweb
0:42
5 Harm Vanhoucke
Lotto Soudal
0:53
6 Vincenzo Nibali
Trek - Segafredo
0:55
7 Domenico Pozzovivo
NTT Pro Cycling
0:59
8 Brandon McNulty
UAE-Team Emirates
1:11
9 Jakob Fuglsang
Astana Pro Team
1:13
10 Steven Kruijswijk
Team Jumbo-Visma
1:15
14 Fausto Masnada
Deceuninck - Quick Step
1:32
16 James Knox
Deceuninck - Quick Step
1:40
54 Pieter Serry
Deceuninck - Quick Step
11:40
55 Mikkel Frølich Honoré
Deceuninck - Quick Step
11:53
120 Davide Ballerini
Deceuninck - Quick Step
26:31
163 Iljo Keisse
Deceuninck - Quick Step
36:39
169 Álvaro José Hodeg Chagüi
Deceuninck - Quick Step
37:39
1 Diego Ulissi
UAE-Team Emirates
25 pt
2 Jonathan Klever Caicedo Cepeda
EF Pro Cycling
23 pt
3 Peter Sagan
BORA - hansgrohe
19 pt
4 João Almeida
Deceuninck - Quick Step
17 pt
5 Giovanni Visconti
Vini Zabù - KTM
16 pt
6 Filippo Ganna
INEOS Grenadiers
15 pt
7 Josip Rumac
Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec
12 pt
8 Thomas De Gendt
Lotto Soudal
12 pt
9 Mikkel Frølich Honoré
Deceuninck - Quick Step
12 pt
10 Mikkel Bjerg
UAE-Team Emirates
10 pt
1 João Almeida
Deceuninck - Quick Step
7:44:25
2 Harm Vanhoucke
Lotto Soudal
0:53
3 Brandon McNulty
UAE-Team Emirates
1:11
4 Jai Hindley
Team Sunweb
1:27
5 James Knox
Deceuninck - Quick Step
1:40
6 Sergio Samitier Samitier
Movistar Team
2:06
7 Lucas Hamilton
Mitchelton-Scott
2:41
8 Tao Geoghegan Hart
INEOS Grenadiers
3:12
9 Aurélien Paret-Peintre
AG2R La Mondiale
4:11
10 Giovanni Carboni
Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè
4:25
17 Mikkel Frølich Honoré
Deceuninck - Quick Step
11:53
48 Álvaro José Hodeg Chagüi
Deceuninck - Quick Step
37:39
1 Jonathan Klever Caicedo Cepeda
EF Pro Cycling
40 pt
2 Giovanni Visconti
Vini Zabù - KTM
18 pt
3 Harm Vanhoucke
Lotto Soudal
12 pt
4 Wilco Kelderman
Team Sunweb
9 pt
5 Jakob Fuglsang
Astana Pro Team
6 pt
6 Rafał Majka
BORA - hansgrohe
4 pt
7 Peter Sagan
BORA - hansgrohe
4 pt
8 Diego Ulissi
UAE-Team Emirates
3 pt
9 Thomas De Gendt
Lotto Soudal
3 pt
10 Rick Zabel
Israel Start-Up Nation
3 pt
14 Mikkel Frølich Honoré
Deceuninck - Quick Step
1 pt
15 Davide Ballerini
Deceuninck - Quick Step
1 pt
1 Deceuninck - Quick Step 23:15:40
2 Team Sunweb 3:02
3 Trek - Segafredo 4:38
4 INEOS Grenadiers 5:34
5 Team Jumbo-Visma 5:48
6 NTT Pro Cycling 7:05
7 Mitchelton-Scott 7:43
8 AG2R La Mondiale 9:16
9 BORA - hansgrohe 9:17
10 EF Pro Cycling 9:30

Top results

1 Jonathan Klever Caicedo Cepeda
EF Pro Cycling
4:02:33
2 Giovanni Visconti
Vini Zabù - KTM
0:21
3 Harm Vanhoucke
Lotto Soudal
0:30
See all race results

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