The Portuguese João Almeida (Deceuninck-QuickStep) rose to the top of the individual general of the Volta à Catalunya this Tuesday and finished third in the second time trial, which was won by the Australian Rohan Dennis (INEOS).
With a time of 22 minutes and 27 minutes, which was required for the 18.5 kilometers in Banyoles, Dennis won the “Chrono” in front of two men from Deceuninck-QuickStep: the French Rémi Cavagna (second to five seconds) and Almeida (28 ).
In the individual general reports, the Portuguese cyclist is now in first place, less than a second ahead of North American Brandon McNulty (UAE Emirates), second and three seconds for Spaniard Luis León Sánchez (Astana), third.
After finishing 27th in the first stage, the 22-year-old Portuguese continued his good form in a 2021 season that saw the United Arab Emirates Tour finished in third and the Tyrrhenian-Adriatic in sixth after finishing in 2020 Had led tour of Italy for 15 days.
He told journalists that he “did not expect” to take the lead today, but that this result was “very positive” because he knows that the time trial “is one of the weapons to gain a few seconds” .
“Let’s see if we can hold the jersey until the end. I know the steps [que faltam]are very difficult but we have a good team and I hope we can get good results […] I’ve always felt better, which is promising, ”he explained.
In the second race in this class after the Giro, the cyclist still took first place in the youth classification, while Ruben Guerreiro (Education First-Nippo), the other Portuguese in the race, set the 41st best time of Dennis’ 1min21s. Guerreiro is now in the 31st position of the general and 53 seconds away from his compatriot.
The time trial, in which the Portuguese reached the third top 10 in the specialty just this year, made the first selection among the favorites for the final victory and brought Almeida to the top, but also dedicated one to Rohan Dennis, who did not win great time since the 2019 World Cup – then the second title in a row in the specialty.
“I’m relieved. It was a long time between wins, it was difficult. But it’s great to be back at the top. It’s fantastic. The team has always supported and believed that they could do it,” explained he after the victory was confirmed 545 days after the last and the first with INEOS.
On Wednesday, the third stage connects the Olympic Canal in Castelldefels with the Vallter2000 ski area, which ends a distance of 203.1 kilometers with an ascent in a special category, the first test of the Almeida leadership.