José Bento Azevedo Carvalho (born September 19, 1973 in Vila do Conde, Grande Porto) is a former Portuguese professional road racing cyclist who joins the new UCI Pro Team RadioShack for their inaugural season in 2010 as a Director Sportif. He is the third native of Portugal to sign with the TRS, along with pro riders Sérgio Paulinho and Tiago Machado.
As a cyclist he turned professional in 1994 with Recer-Boavista, the same sports organization that Machado would ride for years later. After 2 years he signed with Mai for 1996 through 2000. He raced for ONCE-Eroski in 2001-2003, US Postal in 2004, then Discovery Channel for the 2005-2006 seasons and later, to spend more time with his family he signed with home team SL Benfica in 2007.
He has always been a renowned climber and time trialist, nicknamed ‘El Diablo’ and ‘Ace’ he often served the role of super domestique shepherding Lance Armstrong up the hardest climbs in his 7th Tour victory. Riding in support of others he attained significant personal results including overall finishes of 5th, 6th and 10th at the Tour and winning races and Time Trial Championships on numerous occasions.
His long list of major results include: 1st overall GP Almoçageme and 1st San Lourenço in 1994, 2nd overall GP Lacticoop in 1995, 1st overall GP Almoçageme, 1st overall GP Internacional Costa Azul and National Time Trial Champion 1996, National Time Trial Champion, 1st overall Abimota, 1st overall GP Sport Noticias in 1997, 1st overall Clássica de Vila Franca de Xira, 1st overall GP de Ciclismo de Torres Vedras, 1st overall Volta ao Portugal do Futuro, in 1998, 2nd overall Circuito da Benedita in 1999, 1st overall Combination Classification Volta a Portugal, 2nd overall Clássica da Primavera, 2nd overall Volta ao Algarve and 2nd overall GP Jornal de Noticias in 2000, National Time Trial Champion, 2n overall Volta ao Algarve and 5th overall Giro d’Italia in 2001, 3rd overall GP du Midi-Libre, 3rd overall Euskal Bizkleta and 6th overall Tour de France in 2002, 2nd overall Tour of Deutschland in 2003, 1st Stage 4 (TTT) and 5th overall Tour de France in 2004, 1st Stage 4 (TTT) Tour de France, in 2005, 19th Tour de France in 2006, 2nd Nation Time Trial Championships in 2007 and 2nd overall Rota do Vinho Verde in 2008.
By George Hurst