Almeida survives the echelons to finish third at the UAE Tour

Almeida survives the echelons to finish third at the UAE Tour

Saturday 27 February 2021 - 14:29
Almeida survives the echelons to finish third at the UAE Tour

Almeida survives the echelons to finish third at the UAE Tour

Saturday 27 February 2021 - 14:29

Our team was the only one to rack up two stage wins at the Middle East event.

João Almeida got off to a great start to the season, taking his best ever result in a World Tour race after a solid and unbelievably consistent ride throughout the seven days of the event which this year ran its third edition. The surprise of the 2020 Giro d’Italia, João impressed in the short time trial, but also on the two summit finishes – Jebel Jafeet and Jebel Jais – showing the same tenacity and determination as in his first season with Deceuninck – Quick-Step.

Third at the start of the final stage, Almeida had a scare with 50 kilometers remaining when the peloton split in the crosswinds and he found himself in the second group, around 30 seconds behind the 20-odd leaders. Deceuninck – Quick-Step immediately rallied around the young Portuguese and kicked-off a frantic chase, which ended after around ten kilometers, when they bridged across.

From that moment on, the race was quiet until with three kilometers to go, when the sprinters’ teams came in large numbers at the front of the bunch, taking advantage of the wide roads of the Abu Dhabi Corniche. Piloted by the incredible Michael Mørkøv, whose experience was once again on full display, Sam Bennett made it through the chaotic finale and opened his sprint with 150 meters to go, coming close to a hat-trick of victories at the UAE Tour, only to be denied by Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) on the line.

Almeida finished safely in the peloton and wrapped up his third place in the general classification – making him one of the three Deceuninck – Quick-Step riders in the top 10, alongside Mattia Cattaneo (8th) and Fausto Masnada (10th). This result confirmed the staggering progression João has made since joining the Wolfpack, which so far has seen him finish in the top 10 overall at six stage races.

“Starting the season on the right foot is always good, something every rider desires. I am really satisfied with the result and the race we did: two stage wins and three guys in the top 10 is great, a top performance of this incredible team to whom I am extremely grateful for all their help and work. To finish third in a race of such calibre is a morale-boosting result, which I will carry into my March races”, Almeida said after burgeoning his reputation as one of the peloton’s up-and-coming stage racers.

 

Photo credit: ©Wout Beel

Race details

1 Caleb Ewan
Lotto Soudal
3:18:29
2 Sam Bennett
Deceuninck - Quick Step
0:00
3 Phil Bauhaus
Bahrain - Victorious
0:00
4 Michael Mørkøv Christensen
Deceuninck - Quick Step
0:00
5 Cees Bol
Team DSM
0:00
6 André Greipel
Israel Start-Up Nation
0:00
7 Andrea Vendrame
AG2R Citroën Team
0:00
8 Luka Mezgec
Team BikeExchange
0:00
9 Riccardo Minali
Intermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux
0:00
10 Yevgeniy Gidich
Astana - Premier Tech
0:00
23 João Almeida
Deceuninck - Quick Step
0:00
40 Mattia Cattaneo
Deceuninck - Quick Step
0:00
60 Shane Archbold
Deceuninck - Quick Step
0:00
74 Fausto Masnada
Deceuninck - Quick Step
0:00
104 Iljo Keisse
Deceuninck - Quick Step
0:29
1 Tadej Pogačar
UAE-Team Emirates
24:00:28
2 Adam Yates
INEOS Grenadiers
0:35
3 João Almeida
Deceuninck - Quick Step
1:02
4 Chris Harper
Team Jumbo-Visma
1:42
5 Neilson Powless
EF Education - Nippo
1:45
6 Mattias Skjelmose Jensen
Trek - Segafredo
2:37
7 Damiano Caruso
Bahrain - Victorious
2:39
8 Mattia Cattaneo
Deceuninck - Quick Step
3:53
9 Rubén Fernández Andújar
Cofidis, Solutions Crédits
4:13
10 Fausto Masnada
Deceuninck - Quick Step
6:30
66 Michael Mørkøv Christensen
Deceuninck - Quick Step
33:29
73 Shane Archbold
Deceuninck - Quick Step
36:17
95 Iljo Keisse
Deceuninck - Quick Step
42:38
102 Sam Bennett
Deceuninck - Quick Step
44:09
1 David Dekker
Team Jumbo-Visma
66 pt
2 Sam Bennett
Deceuninck - Quick Step
56 pt
3 Tadej Pogačar
UAE-Team Emirates
51 pt
4 João Almeida
Deceuninck - Quick Step
35 pt
5 Tony Gallopin
AG2R Citroën Team
33 pt
6 Elia Viviani
Cofidis, Solutions Crédits
33 pt
7 Caleb Ewan
Lotto Soudal
32 pt
8 Adam Yates
INEOS Grenadiers
28 pt
9 Michael Mørkøv Christensen
Deceuninck - Quick Step
28 pt
10 Filippo Ganna
INEOS Grenadiers
21 pt
23 Mattia Cattaneo
Deceuninck - Quick Step
9 pt
52 Fausto Masnada
Deceuninck - Quick Step
1 pt
1 Tadej Pogačar
UAE-Team Emirates
24:00:28
2 João Almeida
Deceuninck - Quick Step
1:02
3 Neilson Powless
EF Education - Nippo
1:45
4 Mattias Skjelmose Jensen
Trek - Segafredo
2:37
5 Sergio Higuita García
EF Education - Nippo
9:47
6 Stefan de Bod
Astana - Premier Tech
12:34
7 Harm Vanhoucke
Lotto Soudal
13:05
8 Rémy Rochas
Cofidis, Solutions Crédits
14:06
9 Mikkel Bjerg
UAE-Team Emirates
14:18
10 Samuele Battistella
Astana - Premier Tech
14:45
1 UAE-Team Emirates 72:07:44
2 Deceuninck - Quick Step 5:10
3 Team Jumbo-Visma 11:01
4 Cofidis, Solutions Crédits 16:28
5 EF Education - Nippo 17:25
6 Bahrain - Victorious 18:59
7 Astana - Premier Tech 29:11
8 BORA - hansgrohe 32:12
9 Trek - Segafredo 34:17
10 Intermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux 34:25

Top results

1 Caleb Ewan
Lotto Soudal
3:18:29
2 Sam Bennett
Deceuninck - Quick Step
0:00
3 Phil Bauhaus
Bahrain - Victorious
0:00
See all race results

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