João Almeida on third place in Volta a Catalunya: “We did well as a team”

João Almeida finished third in the Volta a Catalunya, a race won by Higuita

João Almeida (UAE Emirates) closed the Tour of Catalonia in third place, 52 seconds behind Colombian Sergio Higuita (BORA-hansgrohe), who won the race after the seventh and final stage.

The last day, with 138.6 kilometers from and to Barcelona, ​​ended in a sprint restricted to around twenty runners, in Montjuïc, in which the Italian Andrea Bagioli (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) is imposed after 3h18.09.

Hungarian Attila Valter (Groupama-FDJ) finished second, with Spaniard Fernando Barceló (Caja Rural) in last place on the podium.

In the fight for the general, the Ecuadorian Richard Carapaz (INEOS), second, was one of the most active, trying to attack in the various passes from the top of the Castle of Montjuïc, but also the United Arab Emirates, with the Spaniards Marc Soler and Juan Ayuso, sought to “shake” the final accounts.

The only big change was the abandonment of Dutchman Wout Poels (Bahrain-Victorious), “stomach ache”, when he was sixth overall, while the favorites marked themselves until the finish.

João Almeida, who finished seventh in Catalonia in 2021, finished 16th in the race and finished third, 52 seconds behind Higuita, with Carapaz second, 16 seconds behind the winner. Higuita also won in his youth, in which Almeida finished second.

The Portuguese cyclist won stage four, but an attack from the South American duo on Saturday took the lead, continuing the season with another ‘top 10’ in a WorldTour event, after finishing fifth in the UAE Tour and eighth in Paris-Nice. .

This is the third podium in a race at the highest level in the career of the rider from A-dos-Francos (Caldas da Rainha), after the third place in the Tour of the Emirates 2021 and the victory in the Tour of Poland, also last. year.

“I am very happy. Yesterday [sábado], it was not a good day, but we were good as a team, we won a stage, we were very strong on the climbs. Third in the overall standings is very good. We wanted to win, but we can be happy. On Saturday I will race the Miguel Indurain Grand Prix, we will win it, then I want to focus on the main objective, the Vuelta a Italia”, said the 23-year-old Portuguese after the end of the stage.

The other two Portuguese in the race, both from the United Arab Emirates, recorded increases on the last day, mainly due to the many retirements, with Rui Costa finishing 69th and Ivo Oliveira 94th, the last of those who finished the Tower.

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