The 22-year-old is the new Portuguese ITT National Champion.
João Almeida captured Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s fourth national title in three days after a storming ride in Campos de Feiras, where the event was held this year, on a 30.5km course that featured some short hills averaging around 5%.
Almeida’s prowess against the clock had been on display on numerous occasions since joining the World Tour at the beginning of 2020 – helping him finish in the top 10 overall at a host of stage races – and on Friday afternoon it propelled him to his first ever victory in the pro ranks. The penultimate rider to roll down the ramp, João produced a blistering ride and recorded the best time at the midway point, which put him in the driving seat for the second part of the race.
The Portuguese – who was making his first appearance since finishing sixth overall in May at the Giro d’Italia – continued to produce a strong tempo and keep the speed high, which helped him clock a winning time of 36:20, almost one minute faster than the runner-up.
“To get my first victory as a pro is a crazy feeling, and the fact that it happened in my home country makes it even more special. I don’t know what to say, just that I am happy and want to thank the team for their support.”
“The weather wasn’t too warm and I immediately felt good on my Specialized Shiv, which allowed me to put in a solid effort on this up-and-down course that at the end of the day brought me the title. I can’t wait to wear this beautiful jersey for the next twelve months, I will have goosebumps every time I pull it on. But the Nationals aren’t over, as there’s still the road race on Sunday. It will be harder, but I will give everything and see what I can get out of it”, added the youngest rider in ten years to become Portuguese ITT Champion.
Photo credit: ©João Fonseca