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kathy

La Vuelta, Week 1, starts Sat, 23rd August

The Vuelta starts in Jerez next Saturday, 23rd August with a 12.6km Team Time Trial.

An FP thread complete with profiles and startlist can be found here.

http://justcycling.myfastforum.org/about5152.html
Mrs John Murphy

The Vuelta is always the hardest of the GTs to get excited for.
mazda

With the rumour that AC will be taking part would it be fair to say that everyone except Nibali will be at the race ?
gerry12ie

mazda wrote:
With the rumour that AC will be taking part would it be fair to say that everyone except Nibali will be at the race ?


Well I was going to reply that Horner might be one of the few fit contenders at the race but he has been pulled over low cortisol levels

http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/c...espana-due-to-low-cortisol-levels
HuwB

Yup. Horner bites the dust, even before a pedal is turned.
Falls foul of those pesky MPCC rules.

Team release:

Quote:
Christopher Horner will unfortunately not take part in the 2014 Vuelta.
Valerio Conti will take his place in his debut in a grand tour.

As the blue-fuchsia-green team are part of the MPCC organization, it has been necessary for a change of program.
Even though Horner would be allowed to start the race as fas as the UCI is concerned, however the team are obliged to respect the rules and theregulation of the MPCC organisation in which it is a member on complete volontary decision.

The team’s head of medical staff, Dr Carlo Guardascione, explains the situation in more detail: “After the finish of Tour de France and after the Tour of Utah where the athlete was still suffering from bronchitis, Chris Horner underwent two examinations by two specialists for his bronchitis as he had been suffering since the beginning of the Tour de France as well as during the Tour of Utah, both specialists agreed that a treatment of cortisone by oral means was the only way to resolve this problem, all the necessary steps were taken to request a TUE (therapeutical use exemption), this authorization was given by UCI commission for the athlete to proceed with this therapy on the 15.08.2014.
Physiologically this treatment can cause a lowering of the cortisol together with other factors such as jet lag after his travel from United States where he had a time difference of 9 hours.
After the necessary UCI blood tests were taken it showed a lower cortisol level compared to the minumul level requested by the MPCC, thus the decision from the team to not allow the athlete to partake in this Vuelta even with having all the necessary UCI authorisation in order”.

With this decision, the team reaffirms his adherence to the principles underlying the MPCC organisation, agreeing to respect the rules and regulations and not to allow the athlete to start the Vuelta even though this being an important appointment for the athlete after an investment had been made on behalf of the team.

Horner, who’s going to spend the day training with his team mates, commented: “Of course I’m sad about this news. I was willing to try to defend the 2013 title, Vuelta was my main target in the season, the team signed my with the aim of being competitive in the Spanish race, but I accept the decision linked to the MPCC’s rules.
This bad bronchitis caused me a lot of problems, I’ve been suffering for it for weeks and this treatment could have allowed me to solve the problem.
UCI gave authorization for the treatment, I could race according UCI rules, but my team is member of MPCC, I understand it and we all must accept this situation without regrets”.
Bartali

Not sure ... are the French, Poles and Italians turning out in numbers?  Aru and Quintana are there ... valverde will be shattered, J-Rod still struggling for GT form I expect.  Bertie crocked and possibly Froome too.

It should be an interesting race ...

So why is Horner pulled on the eve of the race.  What does low levels of cortisol really mean ....
gerry12ie

Bartali wrote:
Not sure ... are the French, Poles and Italians turning out in numbers?  Aru and Quintana are there ... valverde will be shattered, J-Rod still struggling for GT form I expect.  Bertie crocked and possibly Froome too.

It should be an interesting race ...

So why is Horner pulled on the eve of the race.  What does low levels of cortisol really mean ....


Glowing


mr shifter

gerry12ie wrote:


Well I was going to reply that Horner might be one of the few fit contenders at the race but
What a pity he has been withdrawn.  Very Happy  Very Happy  Very Happy  Very Happy  and that is quite believable.
mazda

Bartali wrote:
Not sure ... are the French, Poles and Italians turning out in numbers?


Poles ? Majka is in Colorado and must be completely shagged by now.
I don't think any Poles are really up to the task of winning a GT yet.
Same for the Italians except for Lord Vicenzo.

Pinot is racing.
Betancur, Uran, Evans, Hesjedal.

Think Columbia v Spain with a few English speaking aliens thrown in.
HuwB

Bartali wrote:
Not sure ... are the French, Poles and Italians turning out in numbers?  Aru and Quintana are there ... valverde will be shattered, J-Rod still struggling for GT form I expect.  Bertie crocked and possibly Froome too.

It should be an interesting race ...

So why is Horner pulled on the eve of the race.  What does low levels of cortisol really mean ....


Not the first time this has happened. Remember this, from last year?

http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/m...emporarily-suspends-team-europcar
Fontfroide

I'll go on record as predicting that Betancur will have nothing whatever to do with the results of anything in the Vuelta.  He looked like he had a very hard time being an athlete in the last few months, when I saw him on a TV show.  Looked overweight and if he really had CMV, that is not picnic.  His behaviour with AG2R was really strange.

Of course, what do I know.  No inside info at all.
Bartali

I think I would back Majka in a straight GT fight v Evans and Hesjedal Wink

Pinot is shagged according to cyclingnews, no Peraud or Badret or TJG.

All the TdF finishers will be exhausted so it comes down to whether the TdF fallers can redeem themselves against the Giro finishes (which will largely depend on whether the latter have kept off the pies over summer.  It promises to be an interesting race.  

I read that 'Fall Fall Froome' fell again while training for the TTT.  Apparently he's okay ... but didn't they say that in July?
Bartali

Huw ... I couldn't understand how Horner got in that position, but - taking them at their word - it seems that it was no Vuelta or potentially pulling him at the last minute.

Poor old Lampre haven't really got much out of Horner this year ...
gerry12ie

Strange vibe about this, and I suppose we will have to wait until it gets going to draw anything meaningful.  So many have been injured or off the radar that it is difficult to make a worthwhile prediction but we shouldn't let that stop us...  Smile

Quintana - Seems to be the standout favourite to win and become the fourth rider to complete the Giro/Vuelta double.  He won Burgos recently and seems to have real form but Movistar are holding the 'two leaders' line, which always strikes me as a recipe for disaster.  For me, Stelviogate and his frequent disappearances back to the Andes take the gloss off a rider who has finished second and first in his last two GTs.

Froome - Well his bogeyman won't be there (Nibs), and the team looks to be a solid selection.  We simply don't know if the injury will hold up though.  He looks a little fragile now, and the whole book and TUE stuff had him looking unsettled before the TDF so I'm not convinced.  Remember too that the three amigos bullied him roundly in the last Vuelta, and he certainly doesn't look any stronger now than he did then.  The jury is out...

Rodriguez - Again, difficult to get a handle on.  Tried for the KOM in France but when it was put up to him he was soundly beaten.  Difficult to assess how his injuries are but I think he might be limited to a stage win with a presence in the points or KOM classification.

Contador - Impossible to see how a rider that broke his leg in July can be competitive in August.  If he can stay around for the third week he might be in a position to cause a bit of havoc though.  Surely his ambitions can't extend beyond that?

Valverde - I suppose he has to ride his home tour but he might end up having a disruptive influence on the team, who should be fully committed to Quintana.  If something happens Quintana he might sneak a podium spot.

Aru - 3rd at the Giro and might produce the strongest challenge to Quintana. Astana are sending a strong enough team as backup but three TTs might count against him.

Uran - Looks to be good each way value at 33/1 and a better option than those who have fitness question marks.  Cavendish isn't going so he will benefit from full support.  I might sneak a couple of quid on him...

With concerns about form and fitness, two or three of those mentioned could well be out of the frame by midway, so expect one or two that are off the radar now to come into the reckoning.
Mrs John Murphy

I think with Piti we have to remember that Piti in Spain is a totally different rider to Piti outside of Spain. His powers are always rejuvenated when he crosses back over the border.

Horner's case sounds like the prelude to a Biopassport case.

Huw can probably remember but wasn't someone withdrawn from a race for having an abnormally low hct a couple of years ago.

I think a case like this means that they got him during a period of cycling on/off drugs.

What was Horner's suspicion index score? Like Menchov the biggest shock is how long it has taken to pop him.
HuwB

Mrs John Murphy wrote:
I think with Piti we have to remember that Piti in Spain is a totally different rider to Piti outside of Spain. His powers are always rejuvenated when he crosses back over the border.

Horner's case sounds like the prelude to a Biopassport case.

Huw can probably remember but wasn't someone withdrawn from a race for having an abnormally low hct a couple of years ago.

I think a case like this means that they got him during a period of cycling on/off drugs.

What was Horner's suspicion index score? Like Menchov the biggest shock is how long it has taken to pop him.


The only guy I can think of was Anthony Charteau, (also Europcar) but he was the same as Rolland and Horner: abnormally low cortisol.
I wouldn't be surprised, given his form this time last year and his performance this year, that we are again heading down the JTL road, either.


On the racing front, I'll post a few maps and final kms after tomorrow's TTT.
Not much point atm, with this story running etc.
Oh and the team presentation is on Eurosport at 8-30pm, just before the US Pro Challenge race goes  live.
Don't know which will be the least boring.
Mrs John Murphy

Found it.

It was back in 2007 and it was abnormally low hormone levels, not hct but as I recall nothing ever became of the case although looking at those involved something was almost certainly up:

http://autobus.cyclingnews.com/news.php?id=news/2007/jun07/jun25news

Quote:


Italian paper calls Giro doping test results 'abnormal'

Italian newspaper Corriere Dello Sport is reporting that Danilo Di Luca (Liquigas), Eddy Mazzoleni (Astana), Gilberto Simoni and Riccardo Riccò (both Saunier Duval - Prodir) are being scrutinized by the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) for what are being called 'abnormally low' hormone levels.

The newspaper characterized the results as 'extremely bizarre' saying that they were returned from blood and urine tests given after the stage to Monte Zoncolan on May 30th.

CONI is reported to have requested a meeting with UCI president Pat McQuaid regarding the alleged abnormal results and wants access to the UCI's files containing the athletes' quarterly blood tests to compare against the Giro test values.

The low hormone values are said to be rare as a natural occurrence - levels expected in prepubescent males and not those of fully mature adults - and a red flag to the possible use of masking agents designed to thwart anti-doping controls. However, decreased levels of testosterone have been demonstrated during a study of riders in the 1999 Vuelta a España published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine (in 2001).
HuwB

Many, many roundabouts on this course, apparently, so expect Kirby to go into "safety" orbit.



Tee off times:

19:04 MTN-Qhubeka
19:08 Cofidis
19:12 Europar
19:16 Giant-Shimano
19:20 AG2R
19:24 Caja Rural
19:28 IAM Cycling
19:32 GreenEdge
19:36 Cannondale
19:40 FDJ
19:44 Lampre-Merida
19:48 BMC
19:52 Trek
19:56 Belkin
20:00 Garmin
20:04 Lotto-Belisol
20:08 Astana
20:12 Katusha
20:16 Team Sky
20:20 Omega Pharma Quick Step
20:24 Tinkoff-Saxo
20:28 Movistar
HuwB

We are off.
Even before we begun, the whole Trek team crashed on one roundabout in practice.
Dan Martin must be a bag of nerves. Very, very difficult course, plus wind.
Another TTT GC lottery.
Boogerd_Fan

MTN Quibeka handled that quite nicely i thought.
HuwB

Cannondale?
Slapshot 3

Moviestar take it...
HuwB

Slapshot 3 wrote:
Moviestar take it...

With Valverde nicely positioned to take the leader's jumper
on stage 3.
A piti for him having Sagan close enough to spoil his party.
I see a big Movistar race bust up, a la Astana Lance and Bertie.
Nairo already not a happy bunny.
Boogerd_Fan

I can see it ending the same way too.. with the estranged climber single-handedly able to beat his team mate despite the loyal support.

Wink

Both will be delighted to already have cca 30s over all the other favourites.

Looking good for a short spell in RED if Peto can stay upright, and contest the sprint finish tomorrow.
HuwB

Not a lot to be said about today's parcour.
Map:

Final Kms:

The Weather:
Mrs John Murphy

The kind of stage where you can tune into the last minute and not miss any of the action. (other than crashes involving favourites)
mazda

After today I think we can safely say Betancur and Pinot are not there for the GC.
HuwB

mazda wrote:
After today I think we can safely say Betancur and Pinot are not there for the GC.


For sure. Smile
Just watched after Vattenfall.
Bouhanni racking up the GT stage wins.
A few less than stellar performances from a couple of the sprinters.
Possible echelons failed to materialize.
A siesta stage.

Valverde gets the GC lead on just stage 2.
Let the in fighting commence, when Quintana sees the team being forced to hold onto the jersey, for 3 weeks.
mr shifter

HuwB wrote:

Valverde gets the GC lead on just stage 2.
Let the in fighting commence, when Quintana sees the team being forced to hold onto the jersey, for 3 weeks.

Nairo will have to "Make an offer he can't refuse" (oh sorry that should be Effort that Piti can't maintain.)  Rolling Eyes
HuwB

Today's weather:

Map:

Final Kms:
Bartali

Zzzz Zzzz .... in to the last 16km.
Mrs John Murphy

You are telling me.

Stages like this ought to be banned.
Boogerd_Fan

Havent seen it yet, but i guess Matthews winning confirms it wasn't as decisive as perhaps the profile suggested.
Fontfroide

Boogerd_Fan wrote:
Havent seen it yet, but i guess Matthews winning confirms it wasn't as decisive as perhaps the profile suggested.


He he.  But some of us thought Matthews was quite good at stages with a bit of up at the end.  I more or less was looking for a battle between Sagan and Matthews for the stages with little bits up at the end, but where was Sagan today?

Love the full, utterly full beard of Dan Craven.  What is the thing with this sudden burst of riders not shaving that seems to have come into fashion.  Was Luca Paolini the first?  Wiggo?  Now Cav and others.
mazda

Finish was quite tough, just that Matthews is pretty good going uphill.
Bouhanni made the front group as well, just too tough for him in the end.

J-Rod back in form - 4 bonus seconds.
And a nice little gap after Contador in 16th.
Aru and Valverde losing 7 seconds.

Quintana now the team leader  
Have to see how Valverde tries to get that back .
HuwB

Nice inland Andalucia and nothing else until the final 5kms, which had more impact on the GC than I expected.
Contador very lucky to get the same time, looking at my screen.
Valverde surprisingly way off on his ideal parcour.

Had a sneaky feeling that Dan Martin might fancy this. A pity I didn't fp on it.
Boogerd_Fan

Fontfroide wrote:
Boogerd_Fan wrote:
Havent seen it yet, but i guess Matthews winning confirms it wasn't as decisive as perhaps the profile suggested.


where was Sagan today?.



121st @ 1m30?

clearly his focus is on cooking some form before the Worlds Wink
Mrs John Murphy

It looks like the question of who is the real leader at Movistar was resolved faster than we thought it would be.

Shiti Piti.
HuwB

Mrs John Murphy wrote:
It looks like the question of who is the real leader at Movistar was resolved faster than we thought it would be.

Shiti Piti.


Seems he came down in the Malori crash.
Hurt his back a bit and was badly placed on the climb.

Canvellara has been having a moan. Thinks it's too hot to race and the stage should have been cancelled.
Bad news Fabian: It's going to be hotter tomorrow with no sign of a let up until the weekend.
Mrs John Murphy

Cancellara is the peloton's Daily Mail. Always moaning about something.
gerry12ie

I thought that Dan might have finally considered sprinting in the drops because it might be worth a metre or two but no he stays in the hoods and gets duffed again...

Betancur 22' down after 3 stages - good luck with the new contract Carlos Wink
Biosphere

Mrs John Murphy wrote:
Cancellara is the peloton's Daily Mail. Always moaning about something.


Just following the lead of forumites the cycling world over Wink

Being serious I have sympathy having seen the amount of salt on his jersey yesterday. I was cycling my usual loop a couple of weeks ago when it was only 33C with 60% humidity and my heart rate was 30 bpm higher than normal on my "recovery" sections and I had to back off on the climbs to avoid blowing.

I don't think cancelling a stage is the answer given that they were clearly still able to compete, but for what gets described as a siesta stage, it is clearly anything but for those involved Smile
HuwB

V hot weather comes with pushing the Vuelta further and further forward into August. It's inevitable; everyone can figure that out, but the UCI don't appear bothered.

Today's (incorrect)  Map:


Final Kms:



And the all important weather and it's going to be of big concern:
Biosphere

How the hell do you cool the body when the ambient is 39°C Shocked

The UCI needs to come under FIFA's umbrella and then acres of newsprint will be devoted to moving the Vuelta to Christmas if the Qatari example is anything to go by.

Has a race ever been neutralised for heat reasons?
Mrs John Murphy

I do have a lot of sympathy because 39+ is deeply unpleasant to do anything in other than to sit on the beach.

And this is the fault of the UCI who are more concerned about money than rider health.
mr shifter

Biosphere wrote:
How the hell do you cool the body when the ambient is 39°C Shocked

The UCI needs to come under FIFA's umbrella and then acres of newsprint will be devoted to moving the Vuelta to Christmas if the Qatari example is anything to go by.

Has a race ever been neutralised for heat reasons?
Perhaps they could go back to starting 2 days after Liege-Bastogne where it always was.
Alex Zulle regularly got rain on his glasses and fell off.

UCI and money, well yet again read the bottom of my posts.
McQuid was to blame with his World (pathetic) Tour.
The UCI won't change it though because they like the money so much. (well they HQ in Switzerland for a reason, oh yes, MONEY)
gerry12ie

Well Cancellara has become a proper serial whinger.  This year alone...

Milan-San Remo wasn't hard enough
The Giro was dangerous
The crowds in Yorkshire at the TDF were dangerous
Cobbles have no place in a GT
Eneco had an amateur parcours and should have been cancelled
It is too hot in Spain in August

For a rider with just over 60 days of racing in his legs this year that's alot of complaining...
Mrs John Murphy

Didn't he quit the TDF because he was worn out after 60 days of racing as well.
HuwB

Cancellara reckons he lost 4kgs yesterday.
Confirmed hotter today at 40C.
As a result, it's going to be another very slow stage.
Still 68kms to go and both the climbs ahead, so way down on the slowest schedule.
Boogerd_Fan

Valverde attacks on the descent with 24km to go??? #suicide
kathy

Not too hot in this part of Spain today. Cloud, drizzle and about 20deg.
mazda

Boogerd_Fan wrote:
Valverde attacks on the descent with 24km to go??? #suicide

Really ?
Without knowing the composition of the various groups it is hard to comment on the motivation for the attack.
Have any other rivals lost ground and he's keen to make the front group work, is he trying to win the stage, or just upset Quintana ?
mazda

Adam Yates is with him.
Presumably the rules of cycling say he can take a free ride with Matthews not far behind.
Boogerd_Fan

Crazy move... cos they will be caught. He bridged up to a trio of yates, sicard and anacona.

Katusha closing it down... after a failed attempt from saxo on the noncategorized lump half way thru descent.

Motivator: not sure but evans was seen getting back up to front group soon after so maybe valv wanted them to push on?
mazda

All together.
Matthews v Degenkolb or is the ramp steep enough for any GC to stand a chance ?
Mrs John Murphy

What happened to Quintana? Not showing up on the finishers so far.
mazda

30th ?
HuwB

Insipid parcour and excessive heat: not exactly a recipe for exiting racing.
Mrs John Murphy

171. PINOT, Thibaut 97 FDJ.fr 4h 19' 50'' + 16' 55''
189. BETANCUR, Carlos Alberto 12 AG2R La Mondiale 4h 19' 50'' + 16' 55''

Oh dear.
HuwB

Yeah, a lot cooler tomorrow.


Map:


Final Kms:
Nolte

Mrs John Murphy wrote:
What happened to Quintana? Not showing up on the finishers so far.


think, if ryder hesjedal was not showing, carlton kirby would be in a panic
kathy

They made a mistake. Quintana didn't lose any time!
mazda

Says here that Froome attacked for an intermediate sprint and gained 2 seconds !
I bet they don't let him do that again  Cool
Mrs John Murphy

The live feed has some interesting stories:

About Sagan:

Quote:
Dario Mariuzzo, DS of Cannondale: "He is not in good form. He has stopped cycling after the Tour. Why would he try to shine here? He's already got his contract for next year. He's here with no pressure but only to prepare for the world championship."


About Pinot

Quote:
His DS Franck Pineau said: "He's not performing at the same level as in the Tour de France because he took it easy after the Tour, he got a bit sick before the Vuelta and he suffers the heat here. But we don't worry at all. He's here for winning a stage towards the end of the race. He also says he want to help Kenny ELISSONDE (92)."
mazda

re:Sagan
Given his shape, and the fact he is leaving the team then why on earth have they brought him to the race ?
Confused
Bartali

Might be written into his contract ...
Nolte

mazda wrote:
re:Sagan
Given his shape, and the fact he is leaving the team then why on earth have they brought him to the race ?
Confused


punishment for leaving the team?
HuwB

Tomorrow all comes down to the final 4kms.


And the all important weather:
Bartali

Nice!!!
mazda

Talansky the big loser yesterday.
Eventually ran out of gas and lost nearly 4 minutes.
Was it really worth all that work just to distance the Garmin riders ?

An extra 5 seconds for Matthews as well with a gap between the 13th and 14th finisher.
No GC men got anything from it this time (Froome was 15th).
Biosphere

mazda wrote:

. . . Was it really worth all that work just to distance the Garmin riders ?

An extra 5 seconds for Matthews as well with a gap between the 13th and 14th finisher.
No GC men got anything from it this time (Froome was 15th).


I am away with work for a few days so have not seen, but I read Contador said it was confusing who was gapped, so Saxo just put in the effort and figured it out later.
Mrs John Murphy

Riis is quite a macho DS. I read it as more of laying down a marker that the team was uber-strong.
HuwB

Break still looks good to stay away and take the stage.
20kms and still at 4 and a half.
Nolte

valverde from froome and contador, joaquim rodriguez at 8 seconds and quintana at 11
Fontfroide

Rather enjoyed that last kilometre.  Too bad there was not so much room, and not enough cameras to watch people drop off, always a rather dramatic part of a climb.  Still, it was so short there was not much time for people to get dropped and then recover later.  Attack and then fade (like J Rod did).  It was, as we used to say in Detroit, a drag race.  Much more interesting climbs to come I suspect, and racing lasting more than a kilometre.

Valverde not yet ready to give up the job to Quintana I guess.  Not without a wee bit of wriggling over the next couple of weeks.  Still, I doubt it will be Valverde on the long climbs.  He did get a little tired during the third week of the Tour.  Really glad to see that people without much recent form, Contador and Froome, seem to have got into some kind of shape.  Nice prelude or overture or trailer for what should be a great tour to come.
gerry12ie

GC

1 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team 22:48:08
2 Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar Team 0:00:15
3 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:00:18
4 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:22
5 Jhoan Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) Orica Greenedge 0:00:41
6 Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Team Katusha 0:00:45
7 Robert Gesink (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 0:00:55
8 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:00:58
9 Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Giant-Shimano 0:01:02
10 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 0:01:06
Fontfroide

Goodness, gaps are opening up rather quickly.  Good thing the race is long and there are many mountaintop finishes.

Can't even imagine how the GC will look at 18h00 on Monday.  Much less with many more days to come.  What do we like?  Surprises and uncertainty!
HuwB

When in Spain:
Form improves when it should already have deteriorated.
Lack of conditioning appears to hamper form very little.
Novel approach from Valverde today. Setting the tempo before sprinting away, rather than sitting on first wheel.
Contador's TDF injury must, in part, have been bogus.
Given today's ride, he cannot been off the bike for more than a couple of weeks, tops.

Quintana: The man with proven form, well beaten.
Has JRod begun his age decline?
Boogerd_Fan

Ah but Quintana is still ahead of everyone in the GC... I think he'll utilize similar tactics to the Giro.. and explode the race on 1 or 2 select days in the third week. By which time the form guys from today will be likely be on the limit form-wise.
Mrs John Murphy

HuwB wrote:
When in Spain:
Form improves when it should already have deteriorated.
Lack of conditioning appears to hamper form very little.
Novel approach from Valverde today. Setting the tempo before sprinting away, rather than sitting on first wheel.
Contador's TDF injury must, in part, have been bogus.
Given today's ride, he cannot been off the bike for more than a couple of weeks, tops.

Quintana: The man with proven form, well beaten.
Has JRod begun his age decline?


Ain't that the truth.

Dertie wouldn't know the truth if it bit him in the face.

Piti as we know from the past is a completely different rider when in Spain compared to when he crosses the border.

It seems like the border is kryptonite to him
HuwB

Froome has been having problems. Was a minute down and has visited the doctor's car, although I'm not sure what the situation is now.
Apparently all due to another.............................crash.

Today's final kms:


And the weather:
mazda

I can see you're all following another exciting day.
Poor Hesjedal  Sad
HuwB

mazda wrote:
I can see you're all following another exciting day.
Poor Hesjedal  Sad


Very unfortunate that the camera bike appeared to run over his front wheel, post tumble.

Yes, a bit of a tranquillo day all round.
Great to see De Marchi finally nailing a GT breakaway.

As for the rest, the only time they showed signs of lighting it up came pre tv, when those lovely, sporting fellows at Tinkoff put the hammer down when Froome was on the floor.
Ironic that Froome then caught the Spaniards at siesta to pinch those 3 seconds at the finish.
Going on this race so far, it's another bluff and he's trying to hide how banged up he is.
On that score, poor Warren Barguil. Gave the tarmac a Glasgow kiss and came off worse.
Bartali

HuwB wrote:

Great to see De Marchi finally nailing a GT breakaway.


The new Jens!!
Fontfroide

These stage diagrams are a little strange.  Stage 9, for example, looks really steep on the stage long diagram, until you see the last five k diagram, which don't look all that steep.  Am I missing something?  

5k, 275 metres of climbing?  That does not sound very steep.  Anyway, you guys that know about these things, what is steep and what is not, help me out.
Boogerd_Fan

275m in 5k isnt that testing  but its going to hurt... 4-5% AVG?

Its quite high up though... so even if shallow gradients it will test those bluffing.
Fontfroide

Boogerd_Fan wrote:
275m in 5k isnt that testing  but its going to hurt... 4-5% AVG?

Its quite high up though... so even if shallow gradients it will test those bluffing.


I was just curious, as when I looked at the steep looking diagram it looked like for an "explosive climber".  Then I thought it looked more like an escape with one or two regular, strong climbers could get away, then I thought about whether the GC guys would be racing hard …  I certainly hope the rest of the mountain finishes are not so ambiguous.  Even if I claim to like uncertainty and surprises.
Nolte

friday saw the first 3 riders abandon

i was hoping we'd see a week without any abandonments

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