Almeida chasing Pogacar at UAE Tour

Joao Almeida of UCI WorldTeam Deceuninck Quick Step pedals during the second stage of the UAE Cycling Tour from alHudayriyat Island to alHudayriyat Island on February 22 2021 Photo by Giuseppe CACACE AFP Photo by GIUSEPPE CACACEAFP via Getty Images
(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

All eyes are on Tour de France winner Tadej Pogacar at the UAE Tour after the UAE Team Emirates rider moved into the race lead thanks to his fourth place in the stage 2 individual time trial. But another top Grand Tour performer from 2020 is chasing close behind; João Almeida (Deceuninck-Quickstep), fourth in the Giro d'Italia after leading for 15 stages, sits just five seconds in arrears.

The Portuguese rider earned six seconds in time bonuses on the opening stage and helped shatter the peloton in the crosswinds – one of just 21 riders still in contention for the overall victory – although he ended up ceding three seconds to a cluster of seven riders including Pogacar in the sprint.

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