“I am excited about this new chapter in my career and my life. I feel that the move to UAE Emirates comes at the right time and I am sure that I will feel happy in this new adventure”, said João Almeida, who will remain connected to the new team until 2027. The 23-year-old A-dos-Francos (Caldas da Rainha) runner is at the end of his contract with Deceuninck-QuickStep and will now continue his career in the World Tour team, which includes the Portuguese Rui Costa, Rui Oliveira and Ivo Oliveira. João Almeida finished this year's Volta a Italia in sixth place in the overall standings, after fourth in 2020 in the same race, having been representing Portugal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, with a 13th place in the road race and one 16th in the time trial.
Joxean Matxin Fernandez, director of the team, said that João Almeida is a cyclist they have known for a long time and was pleased to get his contraction. “João is a great quality cyclist and we have no doubts that he will be an important pillar of this team. He's talented, versatile and I'm sure we'll see a lot of successes. Our goal is to improve the team from year to year and we are confident that João will bring important things to the group, as an athlete and as a person”, he stressed. At UAE Emirates, João Almeida will have as his teammate the Slovenian Tadej Pogacar, winner of the last two editions of the Tour de France on bicycle and bronze medal in Tokyo2020 in the road race.