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HuwB

August 22-25-Vuelta Stages 5-8:Logroņo to Andorra Gallina

The next batch.
Stage 5:

Map:


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Last Kms:


Stage 6:

Map:


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Last kms:


Fuerte del Rapitán 175,4 1070 m. 205 m. 3,8 km. 5,40%


Stage 7:

Map:


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Last Kms:



Stage 8:

Map:


Profile:


Last Kms:


Alto de la Comella 158,2 1350 m. 200 m. 3,8 km.   5,20% 2
Collada de la Gallina 174,7 1550 m. 580 m. 7,2 km.   8% 1
Biosphere

Purito says he had no choice but to accept the lead of the race Wink

http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/p...iguez-teams-can-do-what-they-want
HuwB

I'll put this here, since it's current:
http://www.telegraaf.nl/telesport...18/__Vuelta_start_in_Emmen__.html

2015 Vuelta to return to Holland, for...........wait for it....................5 stages!
Biosphere

Absurd in one way, but at least the rest day is a bit more sensibly positioned. Chrome was giving me a lot of trouble with auto translate so here's the manual effort

Quote:
The Vuelta a Espaņa has signed a contract with Jos Vaessen for five trips in the Netherlands in 2015. After the successful start of the Vuelta in Drenthe in 2009, returns one of the major cycling races within six years back to our country.

The launch will take place in Emmen with a team time trial of 31 kilometers. Then begins a journey in Sneek in Friesland along the Elfsteden route, which is also a part of the Dam is taken and the finish in Leeuwarden is planned. On the third day there is a stage through Dokkum by Drenthe goes to Zwolle. The province of Groningen recently hooked off, leaving Vaessen had to look for an alternative.

From North-Brabant and Zeeland were however many applications. "But then we had in contrast to six years ago a day longer stay in the Netherlands", emphasizes Vaessen. "Organiser Xavier Guillen was there agreed. The advent of the Vuelta to the Netherlands for 2015 is therefore now final. Both organisationally and financially. Breda will anyway a finish place, while still serving with cities such as Flushing and Den Bosch are busy as possible and start or finish locations. From Eindhoven flies the whole platoon then back to Spain. "
Bartali

FFS ... that really annoys me.

As for the Valverde/Sky incedent ... on balance my sympathies lie with Valverde.  Mybe its the latin temprement, but they appear much more sincere when explaining their version of events than the Sky guys.
Biosphere

We seem to have a bit of a split conversation going on on this topic, but I figured since it will probably run for a few days, I might as well put it on the current period thread.

Valverde not getting a lot of sympathy from some compatriots.

http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/ex-pros-back-sky-in-valverde-crash-row
Bartali

Interesting.  For me it comes down to whether Sky actually caused the crash or not.  If they did, then IMO they should have waited ... if not, then I agree that they should have pushed home their move.  

So, who actually saw the crash and is qualified to comment on the timings.  Sky say they saw nothing and heard nothing ... no surprise there.  Hansen and Valverde say Sky formed the eschelon and in doing so caused the crash.  All parties have a vested interest, so who you believe?  On this occasion I'm mided to believe Flecha unintentially caused the crash while starting the move ...
Biosphere

Millar tweeted this a while ago. Presume he's on a training ride round Girona? It's hot in Spain Shocked



Today's stage is supposedly a lot cooler though
cyclingtv

imo yesterdays episode sets a new standard for the lack
of respect between riders/teams.. a rather poor standard

it's not as if AV would win this thing and by
the end they didn't catch the break anyways..

btw skys et al race radios must have been off as
they were not needed due to the safe conditions.. Confused
Boogerd_Fan

For me it is very very simply. You don't attack the Leader's Jersey when they have a crash.

I understand echelon's forming in the conditions. But if the Leader's Jersey goes down - doesn't matter if it is Valv or some lucky domestique having a day in Red, you do NOT attack their misfortune.

Group Etiquette 1-o-1.
HuwB

Boogerd_Fan wrote:
For me it is very very simply. You don't attack the Leader's Jersey when they have a crash.

I understand echelon's forming in the conditions. But if the Leader's Jersey goes down - doesn't matter if it is Valv or some lucky domestique having a day in Red, you do NOT attack their misfortune.

Group Etiquette 1-o-1.


Thor Hushovd in yellow, USPS and Phonak, Waterloo to Wasquehal, 2004 Tour ring a bell?

Is it only the leader that should be waited for, what about a top contender?
What about if the leader punctures?
Fabian Cancellara needs to be omnipresent.

Sean Kelly commentating clearly doesn't get this group etiquette thing.
MAILLOT JAUNE

From what I've read on CN, it appears that Sky's DS was not aware that Valverde was involved in the crash and instructed Sky to push on.
Biosphere

Boogerd_Fan wrote:
For me it is very very simply. You don't attack the Leader's Jersey when they have a crash.

I understand echelon's forming in the conditions. But if the Leader's Jersey goes down - doesn't matter if it is Valv or some lucky domestique having a day in Red, you do NOT attack their misfortune.

Group Etiquette 1-o-1.


Sky say he was in the process of surrendering the jersey (allowed the break to go) so should he get special treatment*?

For me there's a difference between attacking when you see the leader have an incident, and shaking the tree and seeing what falls out. Can't tell if you're making that distinction?

If Nibali attacked on a downhill in the Tour and Wiggins crashed trying to follow, would Nibali be expected to call off the attack? Personally, I wouldn't expect him to.

*Which maybe confirms they knew more than they are letting on?
kathy

MAILLOT JAUNE wrote:
From what I've read on CN, it appears that Sky's DS was not aware that Valverde was involved in the crash and instructed Sky to push on.



But he would say that, wouldn't he......?
smarauder68

The best case against Valverde's crying is that his own team were in the process of throwing away their leader's jersey by letting the break get 13 minutes.  So, apparently the jersey wasn't that important to him anyway.  

Tough shit, AV!
kathy

smarauder68 wrote:
The best case against Valverde's crying is that his own team were in the process of throwing away their leader's jersey by letting the break get 13 minutes.  So, apparently the jersey wasn't that important to him anyway.  

Tough shit, AV!


Nothing to do with leader's jersey!  He lost time to his GC rivals!
kathy

What's this story about ES covering a race round Brands Hatch next year?
Biosphere

kathy wrote:
Nothing to do with leader's jersey!  He lost time to his GC rivals!


The unwritten rule seems to refer to the leaders jersey though as opposed to a GC contender?
kathy

Armstong waited for Ullrich - 2001?
HuwB

kathy wrote:
Armstong waited for Ullrich - 2001?


I'm still waiting for something to happen in this stage.......
kathy

Degenkolb from BennatI?
berck

HuwB wrote:

I'm still waiting for something to happen in this stage.......


Laughing  Laughing  Laughing
mr shifter

smarauder68 wrote:
The best case against Valverde's crying is that his own team were in the process of throwing away their leader's jersey by letting the break get 13 minutes.  So, apparently the jersey wasn't that important to him anyway.  

Tough shit, AV!
Cannot go to sleep wearing a leaders jersey.
Must have your team on the front to be in control.
Why wasn't  Alejandro with the GC leaders when the crash happened while being serviced by his domestics.

So you deserve what you get for your negligence and your DS wants a kick up the backside for the same reasons.
FFS stop whinging.

Change of topic
Kathy

I think I am seeing a "Flag of Wales"  on each stage.
Anything to do with you. ??
HuwB

The Welsh flag is getting around. Not only at each Vuelta finish, but there was one at the top of the Hamburg climb.

Part of Wales bid for the 2024 Olympics. Razz
TNG

Bartali wrote:
Interesting.  For me it comes down to whether Sky actually caused the crash or not.  If they did, then IMO they should have waited ... if not, then I agree that they should have pushed home their move.  

So, who actually saw the crash and is qualified to comment on the timings.  Sky say they saw nothing and heard nothing ... no surprise there.  Hansen and Valverde say Sky formed the eschelon and in doing so caused the crash.  All parties have a vested interest, so who you believe?  On this occasion I'm mided to believe Flecha unintentially caused the crash while starting the move ...


Without an overhead shot, it's difficult to be categoric. However, the peleton had been dawdling along under the 'leadership' of the Movistar team (three in front, then AV). Just prior to the crash SKY and others were also riding at the front, which was more or less covering the width of the road. A strung out, balls out, peleton it most definitely wasn't!

Pictures switch to the front 5 for a short time, SK is talking about something or other, then the picture switches back to the bunch, shown from a motorcycle in front. One of the SKY guys (think Flecha) plus two others (one of them Stannard) had put the foot on the gas and had moved over to the left, and were out of the saddle, clearly making a move. SK just starts to pick up on that when in the background he sees the crash happen, i.e. AFTER the attack.

As to what was the direct cause, replaying over a couple of times it seems as though a Saxo Bank(?) rider made contact with the lead Movistar guy and down they went. Whether that contact was caused by a direct contact from another rider (i.e. a SKY guy), or was simply caused by the bunch reacting to the attack and someone (or two) being somewhat inattentive, is impossible to say without the overhead shot. However, it definitely happened behind the attack of the three SKY riders, and after they'd made the move.

Subsequent to that there were a few backward glances, so I would think they realised a crash had happened, though I don't see how they would have known (initially) that AV was also down.

Couple of other observations:

1. I wondered why all of the Movistar team (that hadn't been involved) weren't immediately ordered back to help with the chase back. Still looking after Cobo?

2. Great effort by AV, got within 15 seconds of the other GC contenders when Saxo made their move and blew him away again. It wasn't all down to the SKY attack...
Biosphere

Thanks TNG. Best description I've read.

I think Sky will have known very quickly over the radio and will have made their decision to push on. As did Katusha. And as you say it was Contador that finished it off, despite the media write ups saying he was a bystander Smile
Bartali

Thx TNG - as you might have guessed I hadn't seen it.
So, if the move was in  motion then Sky were within their rights to push on.  IMO, etiquette demands that you don't start an attack when the jersey is down.  Continuing a move is a whole different ball game.
Bartali

Bennati gets closer ....
TNG

Bartali wrote:

So, if the move was in  motion then Sky were within their rights to push on.  IMO, etiquette demands that you don't start an attack when the jersey is down.  Continuing a move is a whole different ball game.


In fairness to DH/SK, that's exactly what they were saying.
berck

Thanks for the fill in TNG!
kathy

Yes, Sky were in front when the crash happened, buit then for 'some reason', there was a distinct acceleration.  Please don't ty to tell me that the Sky DS didn't know immediatly who had gone down - the commentators certainly knew.  They were screeching 'Valverde, Capecchi!' as soon as it happened.  I gather that Katusha also told their riders to put the boot in, but Purito told them to quit helping, as soon as he knew Valverde was down,. And Valverde isn't a particular friend of his.
TNG

I can only tell you what I saw, and what the commentators also seemed to see....the "distinct acceleration" had already happened (which is why I think they cut back to the pictures from the bunch in the first place), that much was pretty evident, and the crash happened very closely afterward.

I wasn't trying to tell you that the Sky DS didn't know, I said the riders at the front wouldn't have immediately known.
Bartali

I didn't see it so I have to go with TNG on when the acceleration happened .... but I totally agree with Kathy that the DSs will have known virtually instantly and therefore I assume that sky would have at least been told to keep the hammer down if indeed it was already down.
mazda

Mr S - Valverde was at the front and the crash still took him out, nothing to do with being out of position or at the back.

DH/SK - a couple of comments they made:
SK said something like "what goes around comes around".
A bit later DH said something like "the other riders will have looked round, seen it was Movistar and (makes a dismissive clicking sound)".

Where does this emnity to Movistar come from ?

Finally, 7 out of 8 ex-Pro Spanish riders that were asked say Sky were right. Who are we to argue ?

What I'm worried about is that one of these times we will get a kneejerk reaction that causes more rules to be put in place.
Then you'll start to get riders deliberately falling over so as to cause the others to have to slow down.
HuwB

Today's finish is known as the mini Alpe d'Huez.

Not hard to see why.
kathy

Sky should watch their backs today!
HuwB

Lovely ride, today.
The pace starts to build and De Gendt fancies
it's time to shed any passengers.
kathy

Movistar giving a hand at the front now!
HuwB

It's hot and the racing is hot, too.

Saxo wanting the brake put on?
Biosphere

Don't want to wait until highlights tonight. Grrr.
Beasley

Nasty descent. Fast, technical and the road surface has seen better days.

Saxo train almost on TDG's tail.
kathy

My commentators comparing it to  a Moto GP
HuwB

A bit surprised to see Bertie without his kick.
Anton out of touch again.
Sky pretty impressive, once again.
The winner was the expected one.
Beasley

The Spanish Mafia were no match for Sky's Colombian legionnaires. Laughing
smarauder68

I'm sure the Contador apologists and Sky haters will soothe their wounds by suggesting "it's a long race and the real mountains are still yet to come....blah blah blah....and Contador will still be dangerous as he rides himself into form...blah blah blah..."  -  But I'm going on the record right now and saying it...This race is effectively over. Rodriquez can't gain enough time in bonuses to make up for the 2 minutes he'll lose to Froome in the Time Trial.

It's OVAH!!!  Chris Froome is the winner of the 2012 Vuelta!!!!
smarauder68

three hours after the stage and still none of the Contador backers on this forum have chimed in...nothing but crickets here...lol
HuwB

smarauder68 wrote:
three hours after the stage and still none of the Contador backers on this forum have chimed in...nothing but crickets here...lol


I'll have to help you out, then. Wink

Quote:
From Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank site:
http://teamsaxobanktinkoffbank.com/ny_news.asp?n_id=3753&lang=uk

Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank captain explains:

“I'm happy because I saved the day quite well. Due to the heat and the high temperatures, I suffered some cramps on the last climb and I told myself, hey, Alberto, go as far you can. I think I managed quite well. For me it's not the best climb but normally I would have been in front without any problems even to fight for the stage but I'm happy because the loss has however been minimal”, said Alberto Contador and concluded:

“I like the action of this race because it is important for everyone that the favorites attack. It's good for the race and I'm looking forward to my opportunity later on in the Vuelta.”
gerry12ie

Good stage.  ES managed to cut out the De Gendt capture in the highlights but the Colombians were certainly strong and Froome looked in good nick.  Good racing this week so far
Biosphere

smarauder68 wrote:
three hours after the stage and still none of the Contador backers on this forum have chimed in...nothing but crickets here...lol


Why you trolling all the nice people who've been helping you with your biking and investing at the one stop probability shop?

So did Contador look like he was cramping or is that a bit of media management? Don't know if I'll be able to stay awake for the UK highlights on ITV4. P+P are a powerful soporific at this time of night.
smarauder68

Biosphere wrote:
smarauder68 wrote:
three hours after the stage and still none of the Contador backers on this forum have chimed in...nothing but crickets here...lol


Why you trolling all the nice people who've been helping you with your biking and investing at the one stop probability shop?

So did Contador look like he was cramping or is that a bit of media management? Don't know if I'll be able to stay awake for the UK highlights on ITV4. P+P are a powerful soporific at this time of night.


Cramping often happens to athletes who are not properly hydrated AND not in their best form. It was obvious after the Eneco results that Contador wasn't going to be back to his "bad meat" eating days anytime soon. I'm actually impressed that he's been as competitive as he has. As long as Froome can stay within 2 minutes of Rodriguez before the time trial, he'll have the lead going into the final week and then just have to mark attacks, something he proved to be the master of in July.
Biosphere

smarauder68 wrote:
Cramping often happens to athletes who are not properly hydrated . . . .


I'm told that paradoxically it can also be due to over hydration messing up the electrolyte balance  Confused
smarauder68

Biosphere wrote:
smarauder68 wrote:
Cramping often happens to athletes who are not properly hydrated . . . .


I'm told that paradoxically it can also be due to over hydration messing up the electrolyte balance  Confused


I'll tell you who it doesn't happen to...CHRIS FROOME!!!! Smile
MS

smarauder68 wrote:
Biosphere wrote:
smarauder68 wrote:
Cramping often happens to athletes who are not properly hydrated . . . .


I'm told that paradoxically it can also be due to over hydration messing up the electrolyte balance  Confused


I'll tell you who it doesn't happen to...CHRIS FROOME!!!! Smile


It's really unwise to act this certain on a rider who has yet to win one of these babies at this stage in the race. He may do it, and I will readily admit to my errors if he does, but I may prove correct about him geting blown apart, just by the wrong rider. Another very impressive finish by Rodriguez. I think this course is better for him than the Giro course, though I will acknowledge Froome appears to be a stronger adversary than Hesjedal.
Biosphere

berck wrote:
kathy wrote:
It's the way the Sky guy on the front looks back at his mates, and seems to be urging them on, just after they've shown Valverde back on his bike and trying to get back on.....


He may or may not have seen the crash, but he took off before it happened. It happened while he was looking back, but Valverde getting back on his back clearly happened well after Sky was gone.


I was catching up with some more of the reaction on UK TV last night, and they cited the example of this years Paris Nice when Leipheimer was only a few seconds off the lead on the penultimate day with an 8 second advantage over Valverde with a final day ITT to come. He crashed and Movistar continued to set a hard pace despite no chance of winning the stage (came in 9+ minutes down) or needing to chase a GC opponent.

Did lift Valverde onto the podium though.
HuwB

Painful listening to Sean Kelly waffling about the big subject of the day.
Somehow, I can't quite see him as being this naive.
Harmon is right about the "talisman" for others, but wrongly brings up
the "they were all at it, at the time", excuse.
Vino was also doping during the same era.
berck

I see Sky pressed through another crash today. Apparently nobody important in the crash.

Degenkolb takes it again.
berck

Biosphere wrote:
berck wrote:
kathy wrote:
It's the way the Sky guy on the front looks back at his mates, and seems to be urging them on, just after they've shown Valverde back on his bike and trying to get back on.....


He may or may not have seen the crash, but he took off before it happened. It happened while he was looking back, but Valverde getting back on his back clearly happened well after Sky was gone.


I was catching up with some more of the reaction on UK TV last night, and they cited the example of this years Paris Nice when Leipheimer was only a few seconds off the lead on the penultimate day with an 8 second advantage over Valverde with a final day ITT to come. He crashed and Movistar continued to set a hard pace despite no chance of winning the stage (came in 9+ minutes down) or needing to chase a GC opponent.

Did lift Valverde onto the podium though.


Hmm, sounds like karma.
smarauder68

Looks like Stage 8 will give us a nice 7.2 km climb to end the day...Should be enough for Froomie to take another 30 secs from Contador and Valverde...maybe he'll finally drop Rodriguez too...Smile
kathy

Biosphere wrote:
smarauder68 wrote:
Cramping often happens to athletes who are not properly hydrated . . . .


I'm told that paradoxically it can also be due to over hydration messing up the electrolyte balance  Confused


Bio, I drink 2-2.5 litres of water a day, and at least a couple of mugs of green tea, and in thiese temperatures, I sitll feel thirsty.  And also, when it's as hot as this, I am rather inactive Laughing   Looking at cyclists sipping from their bidons, I can't see them over-hydrating!
Biosphere

kathy wrote:
Biosphere wrote:
smarauder68 wrote:
Cramping often happens to athletes who are not properly hydrated . . . .


I'm told that paradoxically it can also be due to over hydration messing up the electrolyte balance  Confused


Bio, I drink 2-2.5 litres of water a day, and at least a couple of mugs of green tea, and in thiese temperatures, I sitll feel thirsty.  And also, when it's as hot as this, I am rather inactive Laughing   Looking at cyclists sipping from their bidons, I can't see them over-hydrating!


I'm inclined to agree on the cyclists. It was just the athlete word reminded me of a snippet that was told by a hurdler to me where he was saying when some track and field people have been up to no good and they're trying to flush their system, they can end up cramping unexpectedly when it's not particularly hot because they've also flushed away their electrolytes.

Is it any cooler over there? Weekend was hot here. I was fairly active and easily went though more than 5 litres of water per day. Even during the night I was getting through a 1.5 litre bottle just whilst trying to sleep!
Boogerd_Fan

SM's trolling has become even worse since he switched to Froome's PR agent... Smile
Bartali

Laughing  Laughing
HuwB

Unashamedly nick from the CN thread.
Profile with weather forecast:



There'll be rain... and the descent of La Comella is technical.

As usual, climb profiles from la Vuelta web site are not very accurate. This one will do:



Based on the stage finish altitude, the finish line will be placed just after the church some 4 kms before the summit, allegedly due to space constraints for the race infrastructure.

And now, for your viewing pleasure :



(the church near the stage finish is pointed to by the arrow)
smarauder68

Looks like a nice finish...what time do we expect them to get there? I might actually get to watch this stage....Smile
Bartali

Looks superb!  Brutal!!
Biosphere

So am I right in thinking that ITV don't do live coverage even at weekends?
HuwB

smarauder68 wrote:
Looks like a nice finish...what time do we expect them to get there? I might actually get to watch this stage....Smile


Coverage starts around 16-10CET.
The interesting bit, you would need to tune in by about one hour later.

Biosphere wrote:
So am I right in thinking that ITV don't do live coverage even at weekends?


You are-they don't.
HuwB

Err, just 30kms of the stage left, already.
Way, way ahead of schedule.
cyclingtv

After three hours of racing, the average speed remains a brisk 46.6kph.. wow..
kathy

Bad news - stillvery hot today.

Good news - supposed tocool down to about 30deg next week Very Happy  Maybe Iwill discover what a good night's sleep is again!
Bartali

Just back home in time ... phew!
Beasley

brutal pace from Sky; peloton down to only ~40 riders already

Break have a minute with 5km to go.
Bartali

This feels like it is about to explode ...
Bartali

There's the split ...
Bartali

Good work Alejandro ...
Bartali

Hang in JRod
Bartali

I'm talking to myself ...
kathy

i'm trying to watch!
Beasley

Is Valverde really strugging or playing dumb to nab the win?
Bartali

Good work amigos ..... Smile Smile  Pleased with that last 2km.
Boogerd_Fan

Whoa that was an awesome final 5km
Beasley

There's the answer... Valverde from J-Rod from Contador

Froome loses 14" on the top three
Bartali

Playing dumb Beasley ....
gerry12ie

So Froome not quite so invincible... Spanish Mafia mop up the bonifications as well.
Bartali

Beasley wrote:
There's the answer... Valverde from J-Rod from Contador

Froome loses 14" on the top three

Plus bonus seconds ...
Boogerd_Fan

Oh dear Froomey Fans!!

hmm looks like it takes 3 big digs and he's toast.. he brought back Valv's initial kick... the tester from JRod through the 1km kite, and then struggled with Berties's counter attack to the point where he couldn't follow JRod/Valv's sprint for the line.

14s not a lot.. but it sets a precedent for the longer climbs to come in 3rd week Smile
Bartali

Three more of those stages and Froome will be in trouble ...
HuwB

Froome shafted by the Spanish alliance.
Nice playing dead.
Shit awful coverage from RTVE, today.
Pathetic for a Grand Tour.

Still think that a "tiring" Froome will be in red, come Wednesday evening.
kathy

Great stage finish!
cyclingtv

actually froome lost 15 secs

plus an other

12 from valvendre, 8 from JRod and 4 from AC..
smarauder68

I tried to watching on one of those streaming feeds HUW provided, but it was so choppy and my Dutch is so bad that I was totally confused over the final 3km.

There's gotta be a better signal somewhere online.

When I first picked up the coverage, it looked like Froome and AC were alone and putting huge time into  Rodriguez....then suddenly all 4 were  together...very confusing.

Then Froome went on the attack inside the final KM and it froze for a minute...when it came back Froom was dropped and somehow the previously dropped Valverde and Rodriguez came back to get the top 2 spots....Very strange result...


New GC:

1)Rod
2)Froome 31 secs
3)AC 36
smarauder68

Froome into Red tomorrow
Slapshot 3

smarauder68 wrote:
Froome into Red tomorrow


What into Barcelona???? Shocked  Shocked  Rolling Eyes

That has to be your more Fearless Prediction yet Scott...
Beasley

Froome to take over half a minute on a flat stage ... beyond fearless!
cyclingtv

psychosis of the mind.. when the imaginary seems an actuality..
smarauder68

I thought stage 9 was the TT....When is it?
Boogerd_Fan

SM good analysis - got to confess it was Froome's acceleration that only Bertie responded to, that initially lost JRod and Valv.

However, just as they caught Meyer, after 1 more switchback he pulled on the brakes literally stopped dead, probably trying to get Bertie to take a turn. This allowed JRod and Valv a way back into the stage.

Poor tactics - or more likely he didnt have it today.
TNG

Even before they caught Meyer, Froome had several times asked Contador to share the work, but AC steadfastly refused. Eventually Froome dropped anchor, but Contador's brakes were just as effective. Poor tactics, or just fed up with towing AC to the top? He may have been better off continuing to ride and letting AC wheel-suck, but maybe he couldn't.

Either way, Froome easing up was certainly a big help to J-Rod and AV, though I guess that tells us that AC is less worried about his compatriots than he is about Froome. He might need to rethink that, J-Rod in particular was particularly stubborn in the Giro and looks like he will be here as well.

Nice to see AC being caught on the line though.
Bartali

I know there's more to cycling than 'style' but it is just me who thinks Froome has one real ugly position on the bike?  Works for him I guess ....
Beasley

King Alberto's probably hoping to take two minutes+ out of J-Rod and Don Alejandro in the ITT, so likely isn't too concerned with losing a handful of seconds here & there if it buys him favours later on.

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