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HuwB

August 18-22-Vuelta Stages 1-4:Pamploma-Estación Valdezcaray

Here we go. The first 4 stages. Don't think it worth posting single stage threads.
Stage 1
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Start Times

19h03 : Caja Rural
19h07 : Orica-Greenedge
19h11 : Garmin-Sharp
19h15 : BMC
19h19 : Liquigas-Cannondale
19h23 : Lampre-ISD
19h27 : RadioShack-Nissan
19h31 : FDJ-BigMat
19h35 : AG2R-La Mondiale
19h39 : Andalucia
19h43 : Rabobank
19h47 : Omega Pharma-Quick Step
19h51 : Vacansoleil-DCM
19h55 : Astana
19h59 : Euskaltel
20h03 : Lotto-Belisol
20h07 : Katusha
20h11 : Cofidis
20h15 : Argos-Shimano
20h19 : Team Sky
20h23 : Saxo Bank-Tinkoff
20h27 : Movistar

Stage 2
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Last km:


Stage 3
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Stage 4
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Last km:
gerry12ie

Thanks Huw.  Contador will probably have a bit of catching up to do after the TTT as Saxo dont look particularly strong.  Sky will almost certainly have to control this race from the start but I just cant see Porte doing those massive TDF pulls again to the same level, nor can I see Sky working with the same single purpose as they did for Wiggins, as this team doesn't look to be as cohesive a unit.  I wouldnt be too surprised if either Henao or Uran ended up in the position that Froome found himself in at last years race, as they have both looked very strong this year but I wonder can they keep the party line?  

Henao was the catalyst for the best day's stage race of the year so far in Poland and looks a huge prospect.  In the same way that Froome's strength put pressure on Sky last year, might Sky's climbing strengths this year put pressure on Froome?
Nolte

though with it being henao's second grand tour of the year, that may hurt him being new to this level of racing.
HuwB

I think the TTT is really hard to call.
I agree, Gerry, that we will see a "less focused" Team Sky.
Can Froome follow a similar form curve to Wiggins?
 Porte still seems in decent nick and Stannard's huge engine, along with Pate etc.
Much depends upon the 2 Columbians, who are decent, if not spectacular, against the clock.

Someone like Katusha could upset the form book,
but the Menchov/Rodriguez/Moreno dynamic looks "unstable".
Beasley

The TTT looks a little technical, so my guess is that the team that commits the most will win the day

GC outfits, understandably, might want to play things safe, so may be pipped to the post by those willing to put it all on the line.
smarauder68

Can't seem to find any tv coverage stateside...anybody know who has the rights?

Any good streams for my I phone?
smarauder68

HuwB wrote:
I think the TTT is really hard to call.
I agree, Gerry, that we will see a "less focused" Team Sky.
Can Froome follow a similar form curve to Wiggins?
 Porte still seems in decent nick and Stannard's huge engine, along with Pate etc.
Much depends upon the 2 Columbians, who are decent, if not spectacular, against the clock.

Someone like Katusha could upset the form book,
but the Menchov/Rodriguez/Moreno dynamic looks "unstable".


Me thinks you over think....Froome and Porte will be the best time trialists in the race and Sky will win this by 25 secs.
Slapshot 3

smarauder68 wrote:
HuwB wrote:
I think the TTT is really hard to call.
I agree, Gerry, that we will see a "less focused" Team Sky.
Can Froome follow a similar form curve to Wiggins?
 Porte still seems in decent nick and Stannard's huge engine, along with Pate etc.
Much depends upon the 2 Columbians, who are decent, if not spectacular, against the clock.

Someone like Katusha could upset the form book,
but the Menchov/Rodriguez/Moreno dynamic looks "unstable".


Me thinks you over think....Froome and Porte will be the best time trialists in the race and Sky will win this by 25 secs.


No.. Tony Martin will be the best TTer in the race and he doesn't have GC aspirations to bother him...OPQS are in with a big shout today
smarauder68

Slapshot 3 wrote:
smarauder68 wrote:
HuwB wrote:
I think the TTT is really hard to call.
I agree, Gerry, that we will see a "less focused" Team Sky.
Can Froome follow a similar form curve to Wiggins?
 Porte still seems in decent nick and Stannard's huge engine, along with Pate etc.
Much depends upon the 2 Columbians, who are decent, if not spectacular, against the clock.

Someone like Katusha could upset the form book,
but the Menchov/Rodriguez/Moreno dynamic looks "unstable".


Me thinks you over think....Froome and Porte will be the best time trialists in the race and Sky will win this by 25 secs.


No.. Tony Martin will be the best TTer in the race and he doesn't have GC aspirations to bother him...OPQS are in with a big shout today


Best tandem: Froome and Porte. Martin has less help.


When does it actually start? I can't find coverage anywhere.
HuwB

Hell's teeth it's Kirby! Mad
kathy

Caja Rural on the ramp
kathy

Garmin disaster!
HuwB

Garmin's Vuelta ends at the TTT stage. Sad
gerry12ie

From glory in the Giro to carnage at le Tour, and now another disaster for Garmin.
kathy

Very annoying!  ES and TVE1 having ad breaks at the same time!
HuwB

Scott, here's a live Dutch feed:
http://sports-livez.com/channel/ch-8.php

Team Roche-Gadret go second. Shocked
Boogerd_Fan

Not a bad effort from Rabo there - I expect they will probably lose some time to Sky and Katusha, but looking like they didn't lose time to many others.
kathy

Igor started to teach EE to Tt at last?
Bartali

What happened to Garmin?  I've only just tuned in??
HuwB

Bartali wrote:
What happened to Garmin?  I've only just tuned in??


All crashed on a corner/roundabout. Patched together 5 to finish, 85 seconds down.

Except for them, this TTT is turning in time gaps akin to a 3km prologue.
smarauder68

The Dutch feed is not compatible with macs....there must be a way to watch on my phone....anyone?
Bartali

Cheers Huw.  Much appreciated.
Bartali

Sky are fast, but they look ragged to me.
kathy

HuwB wrote:
Bartali wrote:
What happened to Garmin?  I've only just tuned in??


All crashed on a corner/roundabout. Patched together 5 to finish, 85 seconds down.

Except for them, this TTT is turning in time gaps akin to a 3km prologue.


Which is good,IMO!
HuwB

smarauder68 wrote:
The Dutch feed is not compatible with macs....there must be a way to watch on my phone....anyone?


Try some of the links, here:
http://www.procyclinglive.com/livestream/
Bartali

kathy wrote:
HuwB wrote:
Bartali wrote:
What happened to Garmin?  I've only just tuned in??


All crashed on a corner/roundabout. Patched together 5 to finish, 85 seconds down.

Except for them, this TTT is turning in time gaps akin to a 3km prologue.


Which is good,IMO!


Agreed.  Nice spectacle, buy I don't like the impact they can have.
Bartali

Did Sky give that away ... or run out of steam?
HuwB

Marginal Fails? Embarassed
Boogerd_Fan

ticking off teams as they go through and RABO are still in FIRST!!!! HIi5!!!!
Bartali

Ha ha ... Rabo just might get this. Smile
Boogerd_Fan

I would never expect that to be honest.. just Movistar to come in?
HuwB

Shiite.
In the context of this TTT that was a bit ET.

7 teams within 5 seconds of eachother, then Movie take a wacking 10 seconds out of them.
That and apparently Cobo isn't fit.
MS

Movistar takes it but Cobo falls off at the end.

Might be Quintana or Valverde for them this year.
Beasley

That was nippy!

Quintana in red?
Bartali

Whoops!  Sorry Boogie ... I jinxed 'em
Boogerd_Fan

Argh!!!

Still, Mollema & Gesink would definitely take that before today.
Nolte

MS wrote:
Movistar takes it but Cobo falls off at the end.


but he's still 6 seconds ahead of everyone else but his 5 team mates
kathy

Nice to see Castroviejo get the red jersey - he bust a gut for his teammates in the olympic RR with no resutl!

I know people don't like TTT's because they can skew the results, but I think this was a good one today.  They are great for spectators - I saw the one in _Bendorm last year - there is somuch more to see than an ordinary stage.
HuwB

A bit chaotic, yesterday.
Last man in 198th was Enrico Gasparotto, 09:03" down.
3 Astana riders crashed, but he came off worst, breaking his CB and DNS today.
Meanwhile, the police escort went the wrong way, taking OPQ's Tony Martin and Stybar with them.
Hence, them not in the finishing 5 and possibly costing the team the leader's jersey.
Nolte

kathy wrote:
Nice to see Castroviejo get the red jersey - he bust a gut for his teammates in the olympic RR with no resutl!

I know people don't like TTT's because they can skew the results, but I think this was a good one today.  They are great for spectators - I saw the one in _Bendorm last year - there is somuch more to see than an ordinary stage.


well i was quite interested before movistar romped home that even with a TTT, we'd have had 3 separate team  riders on the same time in the classement battling for bonus seconds to take the red.

i also don't mind them if they're under 20km in 3 week tour's as with the amount of climbing, it should diminish the affect. shorter stage races are troubling as it can be difficult to gain back such time.
kathy

Break of 3 away today, and comissionaires now interfering with mountain sprints Exclamation  Exclamation  Evil or Very Mad
HuwB

kathy wrote:
Break of 3 away today, and comissionaires now interfering with mountain sprints Exclamation  Exclamation  Evil or Very Mad


Meanwhile, the Vattenfall goes on...........and on............and on.
Bartali

Tell me about it Huw Zzzz Zzzz
HuwB

Finally, we (Eurosport) arrive with 26kms to go.............
kathy

I've had Vuelta on TVE1 Very Happy
Bartali

Nice dig by this fella ...
HuwB

Had to go out with 3km to go.
Allan Davies 2nd? Wow, that's his best for some time.
That slight uphill suited Degenkolb to a tee.
MS

If Bennati doesn't pick up any stage wins against this field, he and his employers need to rethink his role.
Beasley

Hasn't been a vintage season for the Panther, not only has he not won but I can't remember him ever being close to winning.

However, the route is kind to him if he's prepared to stay the distance. Three out of the last four stages are flat and with four consecutive MTFs preceding them the sprinters' union should be even more underrepresented than usual.
smarauder68

What's going on with Rojas?

When did he quit contesting sprint stages?
Bartali

Beasley wrote:
Hasn't been a vintage season for the Panther, not only has he not won but I can't remember him ever being close to winning.

However, the route is kind to him if he's prepared to stay the distance. Three out of the last four stages are flat and with four consecutive MTFs preceding them the sprinters' union should be even more underrepresented than usual.


Sadly I think he just doesn't have it anymore.  Probably in his head as much as anything else ...
HuwB

Mmmm, Harmon says that Eurosport will be covering a lot more cycling, next season.
The Wiggins effect=bigger cycling budget?

Phil Gilbert would fancy his chances, if the break was allowed to stick, but Moviestar have it under a tight leash.
kathy

Hot there again today!
Beasley

Movistar starting to turn the screw.

The break have 2'04" with 23km to go, 18km of which are uphill. No Problem for the peloton.

Big question - will Castroviejo be able to protect his lead? 42 riders within 20s.
kathy

Castroviejo losing ground already
Beasley

Cobo out the back; Valverde on the attack...

Here comes Contador! Froome responds, but not convincingly.
HuwB

Pretty selective for the first serious climb.
We now know that Berto is back..........so too Valverde, it seems.
Beasley

Contador, J-Rod, Valverde... The Spanish Armada in fall flight.

I wonder if they'll fix this so Anton takes the win? He'll be a useful ally for later on...
Beasley

To my eyes: J-Rod takes the stage, Valverde the leaders jersey.
HuwB

Valverde by a tyre width?
berck

HuwB wrote:
Valverde by a tyre width?


Was it even that much??? Wink
Bartali

Interesting to follow the finish on the ticker feed.  Bertie loses time bonuses to Froome after all that attacking???
Beasley

The way Bertie was riding, he won't have to care about bonuses...
HuwB

Bartali wrote:
Interesting to follow the finish on the ticker feed.  Bertie loses time bonuses to Froome after all that attacking???


He lost Valverde's wheel and a gap appeared. Slightly misjudged the final bend and left the door open for Froome.

Have to agree. Bertie looks to be flying. Saxo slaughter quite likely.
Bartali

Cheers ... thx fellas.  IMO its a shame JRod didn't get the win - oh well.  Hopefully there is a late night showing.
smarauder68

Was Froome seriously in danger? Reading the Eurosport commentary made it seem like he was struggling today...anybody actually see the images?
smarauder68

Sounds like the time bonuses will really make these finishes more competitive and exciting. I've been pining for their return to the tour for 3 years now.
Biosphere

smarauder68 wrote:
Sounds like the time bonuses will really make these finishes more competitive and exciting. I've been pining for their return to the tour for 3 years now.


They throw up funny results though. Froome would have won the Vuelta last year were it not for the bonus seconds. So I've read - I've not verified even though I usually take journalistic arithmetic with a health warning.
smarauder68

Biosphere wrote:
smarauder68 wrote:
Sounds like the time bonuses will really make these finishes more competitive and exciting. I've been pining for their return to the tour for 3 years now.


They throw up funny results though. Froome would have won the Vuelta last year were it not for the bonus seconds. So I've read - I've not verified even though I usually take journalistic arithmetic with a health warning.


I believe that because Cobo won by about 20 secs?  He also won at least 2 stages so that makes sense.

I'd rather see the riders sprinting for finishes than just trying to get the same time. I hate that after a long mountain stage.
berck

Biosphere wrote:
smarauder68 wrote:
Sounds like the time bonuses will really make these finishes more competitive and exciting. I've been pining for their return to the tour for 3 years now.


They throw up funny results though. Froome would have won the Vuelta last year were it not for the bonus seconds. So I've read - I've not verified even though I usually take journalistic arithmetic with a health warning.


Didn't Contador beat Leipheimer because of the time bonuses a few years back? I thought somebody pointed this out after the Vuelta.
berck

Ok, I found here where it said Contador had 58 seconds in time bonuses and Leipheimer had 12. The 46 second difference was the same difference between the two riders. It would come down to the TT's, then I think Leipheimer would have won on fractions of seconds.
Biosphere

berck wrote:
Biosphere wrote:
smarauder68 wrote:
Sounds like the time bonuses will really make these finishes more competitive and exciting. I've been pining for their return to the tour for 3 years now.


They throw up funny results though. Froome would have won the Vuelta last year were it not for the bonus seconds. So I've read - I've not verified even though I usually take journalistic arithmetic with a health warning.


Didn't Contador beat Leipheimer because of the time bonuses a few years back? I thought somebody pointed this out after the Vuelta.


I believe that's true as well and I thought of it after I posted last years example.

So, do the excitement of bonus seconds outweigh the principle that the winner should be the one that finishes the course in the shortest time?
Boogerd_Fan

HuwB wrote:
Mmmm, Harmon says that Eurosport will be covering a lot more cycling, next season.
The Wiggins effect=bigger cycling budget?



I understand the effect.. i disagree with them needing to add any more races to their already large schedule. Maybe more priority over some ropey ATP 500 event would be ideal though.

I mean, its not like they need to cover more events - they captured quite nicely the "Triple" from Wiggo this year... why expand races? Just expand the coverage and thats' a great 2013!

Looking forward to seeing the finish on highlights.. especially if they already had Froomey in trouble  Twisted Evil
Boogerd_Fan

Also checking out the GC... while time gaps are small, can only see about 5-6 guys who are going to still contend!
gerry12ie

Froome is certainly going to get worked over in the mountains, that's for sure.  SM is sure he'll take two minutes in the TT but the Spanish mafia have another two summit finishes and more lumpiness to soften up his legs before then...  

Stage 3 only, and already some little gaps appearing in GC but Boogie is right there are only a small handful that will be in the frame.  Cobo obviously in full repossession of his 2010 form, finishing with Kessiakoff.
Biosphere

Watched the highlights now. Don't see much evidence today that Contador is currently is a cut above everyone else - didn't even sustain a gap to the likes of on Roche on the climbing sections. Looked like they finally just made it stick by 6 seconds on the descent.
HuwB

Van Den Broeck the big loser today.
Came in 70th, almost 3 and a half minutes down.

Tomorrow looks relatively flat! Razz
Bartali

So, Eurosport full of superlatives when it comes to Bertie ... very different from their stance on Vino.

Contador ignites the race and loses time on his GC rivals.  Great riding Bertie ... very clever.  Froome clearly uncomfortable with the accelerations but probably not unduly troubled because we all know Bertie can't sustain an attack - never has been able to.  JRod and Don Alejandro follow Bertie's accelerations seemingly with ease.  Would have liked to see Froome cracked like a walnut ... but it'll take a lot more than that.

Interesting stage, but this isn't over by a long way!
Bartali

Huw ... the last 5km are virtually flat.  No action tomorrow.
smarauder68

Froome was clearly a bit sluggish at times...perhaps a few too many pints after the Olympics...but I suspect he'll ride himself back into shape before its too late.
Bartali

Maybe sluggish .... maybe focused on his power meter.  Depends whether you believe all the Sky hype about marginal gains and best ever preparation etc ...

The interesting thing for me was how easily JRod and Valverde followed those accelerations.
Boogerd_Fan

Having watched the highlights, i think JRod and Valv could follow because Bertie only danced 20m up the road, and they could survive that... its not like he was secretive about attacking.. telegraphing them by dropping back or starting out the saddle (i think one at the 1km to go banner seated, had them distanced by 5m at one point)...

anyway - Kudos to Bertie. In the Tour the tempo climbing was why Wiggo didn't crack despite clearly having less form than Froome / Nibs. This is what is required to break up a Sky train or tempo riding - how many Sky riders stayed within that front group? Uran was all over his bike to stay in contact with the front group. Henao was gone a long way from the top. Porte nowhere.

Bertie doesn't really need to worry about Valv or JRod following him... as he knows he can put time into them against the clock.

This was clearly a statement of intent from Bertie - he's going to climb at mixed speeds and changing the pace all the way up the climb. Froome was doing  a job to keep his own tempo going and reel him back - but over 36 mountains and numerous MTF's the elastic is going to snap at some point.

Bertie looked reasonably fresh. I don't think he went 100% yesterday. Just little stabs to test the water. Evident in that the Roche/Gesink/Mollema group was still within contact under 10 seconds gap... despite getting distanced relatively lower down on the climb.
mazda

Rely on Bertie to liven up a race !

Not sure Froome was sluggish in responding, he was always the first (only) one that got back onto the wheels of the Spanish trio, he just didn't do it instantly.

Hard to say how mcuh effort Bertie was putting in - after all they only finished 6 seconds ahead of a larger group so clearly it was a series of short attacks followed by a rest rather than trying to maintain a gap.
Plus he didn't gain so much as a bike length on Valverde.
Biosphere

To me it looked like Contador was really straining and trying when he was putting in his attacks, but he backed off quick enough each time. I didn't think Froome was sluggish - he seemed more measured than lacking.

I think it was too short and too early to tell us much though. Other than who has legs that are decent and who's becoming stage hunting fodder.
HuwB

Break seems to be long gone, 12 minutes up the road.....
kathy

peloton don't seem that bothered
cyclingtv

AV goes down and sky puts the hammer down..??
kathy

Deplorable!
Biosphere

It's what Valverde did to Evans. I don't like it, but live by the sword . . .
HuwB

Crosswinds started the upping of pace.
Crash couldn't have happened at a worse time.
Sky not covering themselves in glory.
Quintana with Valverde.
Groups all over the place.
smarauder68

Is their anybody in the break that'll scare the GC Contenders?

There must be somebody in that break who can climb reasonably well.
HuwB

smarauder68 wrote:
Is their anybody in the break that'll scare the GC Contenders?

There must be somebody in that break who can climb reasonably well.


Nope.
Valverde an co were happy to give them 10 minutes.
Changed a bit, now mind.

Slowly all coming back together.

Moviestar having a tough day at the office, after all.
Fontfroide

cyclingtv wrote:
AV goes down and sky puts the hammer down..??


Although my commentators say the pace went up and caused the crash.  First acceleration then crash.  The usual argument will ensue.  If Sky started to up the pace, should they have stopped and waited for Valverde?  Some will say yes, some will say no.

I myself have great difficulty demanding sportsmanship and nice behaviour from professional sports teams.  When it happens a tear comes to our eyes, because it is rare.  

Still, I bet Valverde will catch up, he seems to be getting a fair bit of help.
smarauder68

Smart move by Sky....force Valverde to expend extra energy to close down the gap....soften him up for the final climb. I like it! Smile
HuwB

smarauder68 wrote:
Smart move by Sky....force Valverde to expend extra energy to close down the gap....soften him up for the final climb. I like it! Smile


Katusha and BMC seem to agree.
RadioShack now also appear at the front of the front group.

67 seconds down now. Gap growing.
Biosphere

What's in it for BMC?
mazda

Apparently Movistar aren't all that popular then.
Or is it just Valverde ?

He'll probably catch the Sky group once they rech the slopes, won't he ?
smarauder68

sadly, none of the links are compatible with i-phone in the states so I can't watch this carnage. Looks like the leading break lost 7 minutes from their advantage in about 20km...amazing.
kathy

Interesting that Berto's team aren't helping - but he is a friend of Valverde Laughing
smarauder68

Down to 3:30 now....I've never seen a break lose 10 minutes that fast...wow!

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