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HuwB

Sept 5th-9th:GT Finale - Stages 17 to 21-Santander to Madrid

So, we come to the end of the 2012 GT road, but there is a definite sting in this Vuelta's tail.

Stage 17:

Map:


Profile:


Final Kms:


Climbs:
Collado de Ozalba 124,3 555 m. 395 m. 5,9 km.   6,60% 3
Collado La Hoz 138,0 660 m. 435 m. 5,7 km.   7,60% 2
Fuente Dé 187,3 1080 m. 690 m. 17,3 km. 3,90% 2


Stage 18:

Map:


Profile:


Last Kms:



Stage 19:

Map:


Profile:


Last Kms:



Stage 20:

Map:


Profile:


Last Kms:


Climbs:
Puerto de Navafría 39,1 1775 m. 575 m. 10,1 km.   5,60% 1
Puerto de Canencia 72,8 1515 m. 390 m. 9,8 km.   3,90% 2
Puerto de la Morcuera 90,0 1790 m. 640 m. 9,2 km.   6,90% 1
Puerto de Cotos 120,8 1840 m. 675 m. 13,8 km.   4,90% 1
Bola del Mundo 170,7 2247 m. 987 m. 11,4 km. 8,60% ESP


Stage 21:

Map:


Profile:


Last Kms:


With this, the GT curtain comes down. Sad
gerry12ie

Something to mull over on rest day perhaps... By my reckoning, if JRod wins this (as he should) then the last seven GTs will have been claimed by first-time winners.  Although this figure is clouded somewhat by Contador's ban (Schleck and Scarponi both picked up their first GT win) you have to go back to 1964 and Poulidor's Vuelta win for the start of a similar sequence, finishing with Gimondi's Giro win in 1967.

So what does that say about where we are now?  Certainly some recent winners may not have another GT in them (Cobo, Evans, Hesjedal, Wiggins, Scarponi) but you would have to think that Nibali and Rodriguez could go again.  Schleck is probably too gutless, and a clean Contador might struggle to make an attack stick as we have seen in La Vuelta.  The likes of Rolland and JVDB haven't come on as we might have thought and where Froome (to SoMe) may have looked a nailed on future GT winner in July he doesn't look quite that now.

There is nobody obvious coming through either, so we might just have to wait for Sagan to lose a few pounds after he wins all the classics first...
Boogerd_Fan

looking forward to Sagan's marginal gains and an unprecedented triple GT win

for the future - what about Pinot?

i'm hoping for Kelderman to fulfill the potential that no-one from Boogie to Gesink has been able to do for Dutchies.
kathy

Aaah!  Stage 17 - can I rave about the scenery again.  Through Santillana and Potés (wonderful market!) to Fuente de.  Modern Parador there amidst superb scenery.  We stayed there in early October one year - lovely day when we arrived.  Next day, I woke and looked out of the window - couldn't see the car, or anything else for that matter, under at least six inches of white!  Man on reception said it was a month early that year!  We went up the mountain on the cable car in a blizzard, no views, but about 2feet of snow up there.  Next day we ventured across unfenced mountain roads to Rioja country - and lived to tell the tale!
HuwB

To think, if JRod wins, as it seems he is now destined,
he was half an ITT away from completing the near impossible of a GT double.
Bartali

Indeed .... and he's looking like a 'complete' rider with the ability to win in the Ardennes and perhaps Lombardy too.  Buts let not count any chickens ....
smarauder68

I think there's still a reasonable chance that Contador can crack Rodriquez.  Maybe 30% - He only needs to win a stage, beat Purito by 8 or 9 seconds and have 2 others finish ahead of JRod.

Not likely, but still a decent shot for AC.
Bartali

Sure Scott ....it's not over until Tosca sings.
smarauder68

Looks like today could be a day for Mollema as he has made the break...Quintana may be up for it as well.
smarauder68

Contador has attacked and gapped Rodriguez early on the first climb of the day...QRod and Valverde are chasing and about 15 seconds behind.
cyclingtv

sm.. do tell who have you got $ on?
smarauder68

I had a cover bet on JRod before the Vuelta...looks like it might pay off, but AC could spoil things today.
cyclingtv

35 km to go..  contador attacked the other gc's on the decent
approaching the final climb opened a is 20 sec or so gap..
HuwB

Contador has attacked and finally slipped his shadow.
However, we are not seeing any of these crucial kms, as RTVE
have not yet gone live.

They are woefully late, as Eurosport are having to use fill in material.

What a miserable 11,000th post. Mad

Edit: WTF are Eurosport playing at?
http://sports-livez.com/channel/ch-1.php
Dutch are live.

44 seconds clear.
cyclingtv

33 km to go.. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (009) and
Joaquin RODRIGUEZ OLIVER (101) are 25 seconds back
cyclingtv

155 Km
Alberto Contador group (201) and has 40 seconds over RODRIGUEZ
OLIVER Joaquin group (101) and Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (009).

At 2:17, Robert Gesink (161) and Christopher Froome (181).
HuwB

I get the feeling that Eurosport with go with slightly delayed coverage.
Otherwise, I cannot understand this delay, with less than 30kms left.

Edit: No they haven't.
What a complete bunch of incompetent tosseurs.
Severo

Finally live coverage - some time after Contador's attack. Does anyone know what the time gap given on the onscreen caption refers to? P+59" right now - Contador to Rodriguez or something else?
cyclingtv

Quote:
There are twelve others in the front group with Contador, and there's plenty of firepower in there: Alberto Contador, Sergio Paulinho (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank), Gorka Verdugo, Mikel Landa (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Paolo Tiralongo (Astana), Rinaldo Nocentini (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Alexandre Geniez (Argos-Shimano), Sergio Luis Henao (Sky), Nairo Quintana, Benat Inxausti (Movistar), Arnold Jeannesson (FDJ-BigMat), Bauke Mollema (Rabobank) and Jan Bakelants (RadioShack-Nissan).
Severo

HuwB wrote:
I get the feeling that Eurosport with go with slightly delayed coverage.
Otherwise, I cannot understand this delay, with less than 30kms left.

Edit: No they haven't.
What a complete bunch of incompetent tosseurs.


Think it was a host broadcaster issue not making it available until 1600CET rather than Eurosport's fault this time.
cyclingtv

smarauder68 wrote:
I had a cover bet on JRod before the Vuelta...looks
like it might pay off, but AC could spoil things today.
yea.. good luck with that..
kathy

Brilliant stuff!
cyclingtv

23 to go..
so contador get 6 sec sprint bonus..
Jrod group come across 1'23" back..
Severo

Tour de France eat your heart out.
cyclingtv

if Jrod can pull him back it will be the most brillant of all..

Quote:
166 km 16:26 h.

Alberto Contador (201) and Paolo Tiralongo (038) march ahead.

They take 1:27 to Alejandro VALVERDE BELMONTE
(009) and Joaquin RODRIGUEZ OLIVER (101).
HuwB

For Tiralongo it's payback time for last year's Giro.
Bertie bags 6 seconds.

Meanwhile, the wheels have well and truly come off for Team Harmon.
Shockingly poor coverage.

Harmon now telling porky pies.
kathy

Wonder what sort of reward Tiralongo willget....
cyclingtv

19 km> Alberto Contador and Paolo Tiralongo have 20 secs
ahead of the ten they at the intermediate sprint behind.
smarauder68

So, where's Menchov and the Katusha team when needed????
HuwB

Massive time swing coming.
JRod having to pull the tiny bunch, against 2 up front.

smarauder68 wrote:
So, where's Menchov and the Katusha team when needed????


Menchov just ran dry. Went back to the team car, but spent.

Valverde drops Purito!
smarauder68

Any chance for JRod to pull this back? How much help does he have?
cyclingtv

hate the backhanded comments of Contador by harmon.. what a arse..
kathy

And Dani injured inhis crash a couple of days ago
cyclingtv

11 km to go.. it seems valverde has 30 secs on Jrod..
HuwB

cyclingtv wrote:
hate the backhanded comments of Contador by harmon.. what a arse..


A deliberate misteak?
smarauder68

How did this happen? Did JRod make the mistake of assuming he'd pull back AC on the descent?
kathy

Berto attacked on the descent
Bartali

Poor old Rodriguez .... Sad

Good move by Bertie though ... he has animated this race.
smarauder68

It looks to be done and dusted for JRod now...does he have anything left in the tank for an all out attack up the final climb? Will AC crack a little?

It looks like AC is destined to win this by 2 minutes.
gerry12ie

And to think I took Monday off to see the Vuelta being won Rolling Eyes
cyclingtv

valverde determined to pass Jrod on the podium..

brilliant if AV can catch AC for the stage win..
SlowRower

Would it be inappropriate to remind everyone of one of Phil and Paul's favourite sayings?

"You never know how a rider will react to a rest day."

S*d that, though. Get in Berto!
gerry12ie

Poor Purito
cyclingtv

185 km16:58 h.
Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (009) and would be second overall.
Also, is 25 seconds of Alberto Contador (201) on the stage.
smarauder68

SlowRower wrote:
Would it be inappropriate to remind everyone of one of Phil and Paul's favourite sayings?

"You never know how a rider will react to a rest day."

S*d that, though. Get in Berto!


I was thinking that as the gap grew from 20 to a minute in the blink of an eye...and then Valverde rode away from him....wow...What a horrific day!
HuwB

At least Bertie looked well and truly in the hurt locker.
Meanwhile Valverde, after almost making the catch, still managed to raise a sprint.
JRod does well to keep it to 2 and a half.
Biosphere

gerry12ie wrote:
And to think I took Monday off to see the Vuelta being won Rolling Eyes


I didn't even follow the ticker today. On bus home thinking WTF has happened.
Boogerd_Fan

ARGH!!! Missed it all.. hopefully will catch the RTVE coverage again like at the weekend.
Bartali

Good stage, but very disappointed for Rodriguez.
Boogerd_Fan

Interesting that it all happens on a (comparatively) shallow grade climb... I assume Bertie could keep pushing his attacking tempo with the gradient less steep.

Certainly on Monday the severe gradient seemed to nullify any attacks from the top favourites in form - much like Angliru last year except for Cobo on the different groupset.

I wonder if JRod will try something on Belo del Mundo to save face.. or if thats history. Again.
smarauder68

I reckon JRod let AC go because he assumed he would make the catch on the descent.  Poor assumption!
kathy

smarauder68 wrote:
I reckon JRod let AC go because he assumed he would make the catch on the descent.  Poor assumption!


Read the posts, Scott!  Berto attacked ON the descent!
Biosphere

kathy wrote:
smarauder68 wrote:
I reckon JRod let AC go because he assumed he would make the catch on the descent.  Poor assumption!


Read the posts, Scott!  Berto attacked ON the descent!


Everything I'm reading says initial attack on a climb  scratch
cyclingtv

no pistoleros today.. just yelping.. and that's a good thing..
gerry12ie

I'm looking forward to the highlights.  Contador has attacked and attacked throughout this Vuelta until it looked like it was all over - and then he attacks again and finally nails it.  What a contrast to this years other GTs
HuwB

I more or less followed the whole stage on the TT.
(hence the frustration with lax and shoddy Eurosport and unprofessional David Harmon)

The race was full on for the entire 187kms.
JRod was dropped by an early effort from the other two and Katusha had to chase.
No break formed in the first 2 hours, then, Bertie unleashed his master plan.

My head scratching is with Katusha. Collectively, they were inept.
The failed in the first instance to control the peloton, so that when breaks did eventually form, not only did Contador get riders up the road, (and Tiralongo) but Valverde was able to strategical position his two best men as stepping stones.

Meanwhile, JRod was left with no more than two domestiques, early in the chase and Moreno nowhere to be seen.
Yes, he crashed two stages ago, but today, he still finished with the GC top ten leftovers and 10 seconds ahead of the flagging Froome.
Wtf?

Today was the stage that would have more than made up for the rather over-hyped, bland, big mountain stages.

A pity that Unipublic's schedule meant that RTVE left it so late to come to the party.
HuwB

ALL of RTVE's coverage can be seen by all, here:
http://www.rtve.es/alacarta/video...ta-esp-20120905-1610-169/1521322/

Unfortunately, it's a massive 28.5kms worth.
Just like their epic 2005 fail. Sad
Slapshot 3

Catch up again because I expected today to be a breakaway win.....didn't think it would be Berto doing it!! Awesome!
Bartali

Fair play to Bertie ... a throw back to the Hinault / Fignon era today.  All the same, Im gutted for JRod.
gerry12ie

Ah that was great racing.  Masterclass in tactics from Contador and Saxo, even down to to the morale-sapping leech left on Rodriguez' wheel, but weren't Katusha pathetic?  Unbelievable to see a Katusha (Menchov?) sitting fifth wheel with JRod driving on the front on his own, with Contador over a minute up the road.  It's difficult not to feel sympathy for Jrod who looked imperious in the mountains and then gets done on the flat.  A great throwback of a race - brilliant.
smarauder68

kathy wrote:
smarauder68 wrote:
I reckon JRod let AC go because he assumed he would make the catch on the descent.  Poor assumption!


Read the posts, Scott!  Berto attacked ON the descent!


According to the live text on Cycling News he attacked at the base of the 2nd climb (penultimate for the day) and had a 16 to 20 second advantage over Purito and Valverde...then on the descent, he built his advantage up to 1:30 before Valverde left the ailing Purito (Did he get over-confident and skip his microdosing?).
kathy

Well, unlike the rest of you (I assume), I heard Berto's interview at the end of the stage.  Yes, he a bit of distance on Purito at the top of the climb (Hoz?), but, not a lot.  So he deicided go all out on the descent.,  Why do you lot continue to believe everything that CN says?
Biosphere

kathy wrote:
 Why do you lot continue to believe everything that CN says?


Why do you continue to believe everything Contador says? Wink
MAILLOT JAUNE

Looks like Contador is back on the steaks again????
Biosphere

MAILLOT JAUNE wrote:
Looks like Contador is back on the steaks again????


He got a friend to bring it from France this time Wink
smarauder68

Biosphere wrote:
MAILLOT JAUNE wrote:
Looks like Contador is back on the steaks again????


He got a friend to bring it from France this time Wink


Maybe he's micro-dosing his steaks...8 ounces at a time...Smile
HuwB

smarauder68 wrote:
Biosphere wrote:
MAILLOT JAUNE wrote:
Looks like Contador is back on the steaks again????


He got a friend to bring it from France this time Wink


Maybe he's micro-dosing his steaks...8 ounces at a time...Smile


Trust an American to think an 8 ounce steak is micro. Smile
kathy

MJ, I have just read CN's own report.  Which says than Berto had only 18 secibds at the top of the climb.  Which is nothing in the greater scheme of things.  Also as soon as Carlos and Perico were live on TVE, they were talking about how Berto had attacked 'over the top of the climb, and on the descent'.  Having always found them to be pretty accurate commentators, I prefer to believe them than CN and Harmon's speculation, none of whom appear to be able to understand Spanish to save their lives!

Purito was also interviewed at the end of the stage. He was philosophical, bur obviously gutted, and admitted to being a bit 'inattentive' towards the top of the climb.  By the time he realised that he was a bit behind, Berto had launched his attack, and it was too late.  At that time, Valverde was with Purito, and he managed to get back to within 6 sec of Berto at the end.  Purito was knackered, and Dani Moreno was suffering from muscle strain as a result of his fall, and couldn't help.  Menchov did his best, but he is a spent force.
smarauder68

HuwB wrote:
smarauder68 wrote:
Biosphere wrote:
MAILLOT JAUNE wrote:
Looks like Contador is back on the steaks again????


He got a friend to bring it from France this time Wink


Maybe he's micro-dosing his steaks...8 ounces at a time...Smile


Trust an American to think an 8 ounce steak is micro. Smile


True!  I spent many a year in Texas where anything less than 16 ounces seemed like an appetizer.
mazda

Loved the tactics today.

Loved watching AV yelling/urging Intxausti for a final effort, cutting chunks out of the lead until the final 1.5 km.

Is it too much to hope JRod has something left for later in the week and goes early ? Can AV let JRod go up the road and not fret about it ?
(see below about not settling for second)

Caught Harmon saying it was (one of?) his favourite GT ever.

Say what you like about AC, he does liven up a race and never settles for second.
Like Nibali in that respect - who should be the real winner of the 2011 Giro, IMO.
cyclingtv

I think it's not fair to imply an et performance..

on the second last climb he only has 15-20 secs on jrod/
av and he stretched it out to 30-45 sec by the bottom..

he linked up with a strong break group and they
got a 1 1/2 to 2 to where the last climb turned up..

he attacked the last 10 km on his
own got up to 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 ahead..  

by the top av's group closed it down to a handful
of seconds.. he hardly powered away like et..
great tactics by him and a bad day for jrod..
cyclingtv

smarauder68 wrote:
HuwB wrote:
smarauder68 wrote:
Biosphere wrote:
MAILLOT JAUNE wrote:
Looks like Contador is back on the steaks again????


He got a friend to bring it from France this time Wink


Maybe he's micro-dosing his steaks...8 ounces at a time...Smile


Trust an American to think an 8 ounce steak is micro. Smile


True!  I spent many a year in Texas where anything less than 16 ounces seemed like an appetizer.
and where spokes never break Laughing
mazda

kathy wrote:
Purito was also interviewed at the end of the stage. He was philosophical, bur obviously gutted, and admitted to being a bit 'inattentive' towards the top of the climb.  By the time he realised that he was a bit behind, Berto had launched his attack, and it was too late.

Yes, he said something about been unable to think at that point, and then it was too late.

AV largely got back, 'tis true, but had the benefit of being sheltered for a while before launching his attack.

Is there anything behind the report that Purito spent all yesterday in bed ?
kathy

Ctv, thank you for your balanced post, as opposed to some of those above.

Mazda, early on the commetators did let slip something about Purito not being too well, but it was hushed up later, and he himself didn't comment.
Biosphere

kathy wrote:
Ctv, thank you for your balanced post, as opposed to some of those above.


Kathy

I think having a sense of humour about two unrepentant dopers recently returned from their respective bans and blowing open a GT on the day after rest day is a fairly balanced approach.

Edit: In case I expressed myself badly, I'm talking about myself.
cyclingtv

and here I hoped we here knew enough to, distinguish between a great
ride and an et ride, leave the veiled hate and vitriol to other forums..
smarauder68

kathy wrote:
Ctv, thank you for your balanced post, as opposed to some of those above.

Mazda, early on the commetators did let slip something about Purito not being too well, but it was hushed up later, and he himself didn't comment.


Maybe he got the wrong bag of blood? Rolling Eyes
Biosphere

cyclingtv wrote:
and here I hoped we here knew enough to, distinguish between a great
ride and an et ride, leave the veiled hate and vitriol to other forums..


There is no veiled hate or vitriol anywhere in this thread.

If you can tell me your secret for distinguishing between a great ride and a doped ride, then I'll be quite happy to apply it in the future instead of bemusedly scratching my head, wondering what I saw and concluding that maybe I shouldn't take it too seriously?

Having a laugh about it is the emotional response it gives me these days.
kathy

Biosphere wrote:
kathy wrote:
Ctv, thank you for your balanced post, as opposed to some of those above.


Kathy

I think having a sense of humour about two unrepentant dopers recently returned from their respective bans and blowing open a GT on the day after rest day is a fairly balanced approach.

Edit: In case I expressed myself badly, I'm talking about myself.


Sorry but I don't find the comments humorous, just puerile.  And I'm not going to start off again what Spanish farmers get up to with their animals.  I'm not saying that Bero didn't/isn't doping - IMO all the top guys are at it, but there does appear to be a lack of balance on this forum lately - and I'm not just talking about this thread!
mazda

Biosphere wrote:
kathy wrote:
Ctv, thank you for your balanced post, as opposed to some of those above.


Kathy

I think having a sense of humour about two unrepentant dopers recently returned from their respective bans and blowing open a GT on the day after rest day is a fairly balanced approach.

Edit: In case I expressed myself badly, I'm talking about myself.


Don't take this the wrong way but you sound like Harmon.
We know there are dopers, and those lucky enough to not get caught. Now I sound like someone else  Wink
smarauder68

kathy wrote:
Biosphere wrote:
kathy wrote:
Ctv, thank you for your balanced post, as opposed to some of those above.


Kathy

I think having a sense of humour about two unrepentant dopers recently returned from their respective bans and blowing open a GT on the day after rest day is a fairly balanced approach.

Edit: In case I expressed myself badly, I'm talking about myself.


Sorry but I don't find the comments humorous, just puerile.  And I'm not going to start off again what Spanish farmers get up to with their animals.  I'm not saying that Bero didn't/isn't doping - IMO all the top guys are at it, but there does appear to be a lack of balance on this forum lately - and I'm not just talking about this thread!


I still believe the best man usually wins GT's...but you can't blame the masses here for being cynnical. The sport and AC have surely earned our skepticism.
Biosphere

mazda wrote:
Biosphere wrote:
kathy wrote:
Ctv, thank you for your balanced post, as opposed to some of those above.


Kathy

I think having a sense of humour about two unrepentant dopers recently returned from their respective bans and blowing open a GT on the day after rest day is a fairly balanced approach.

Edit: In case I expressed myself badly, I'm talking about myself.


Don't take this the wrong way but you sound like Harmon.
We know there are dopers, and those lucky enough to not get caught. Now I sound like someone else  Wink


No. Harmon's inconsistent. I'm not. I'm actually quite relaxed about today, I just don't claim to know what went on. I do think today lends itself to a satirical view of where cycling currently is though, which is the one I'm taking*. Right down to Riis dispensing treats from the car to any rider who would take them, given the ongoing revelations about him over the last 48 hours.

*Rather than trying to cause any offence.
cyclingtv

not once during ac's ride did I think about
how doped up he must be but that's just me..

what I did think of, from the look on his face, was
how much pain he was in during those last 10k..

but that's just me enjoying the performance
we all wanted and hoped to see and finally did..
MAILLOT JAUNE

smarauder68 wrote:
kathy wrote:
Biosphere wrote:
kathy wrote:
Ctv, thank you for your balanced post, as opposed to some of those above.


Kathy

I think having a sense of humour about two unrepentant dopers recently returned from their respective bans and blowing open a GT on the day after rest day is a fairly balanced approach.

Edit: In case I expressed myself badly, I'm talking about myself.


Sorry but I don't find the comments humorous, just puerile.  And I'm not going to start off again what Spanish farmers get up to with their animals.  I'm not saying that Bero didn't/isn't doping - IMO all the top guys are at it, but there does appear to be a lack of balance on this forum lately - and I'm not just talking about this thread!


I still believe the best man usually wins GT's...but you can't blame the masses here for being cynnical. The sport and AC have surely earned our skepticism.

I think kathy must be a Contador fanboy(girl)!  Wink
smarauder68

cyclingtv wrote:
not once during ac's ride did I think about
how doped up he must be but that's just me..

what I did think of, from the look on his face, was
how much pain he was in during those last 10k..

but that's just me enjoying the performance
we all wanted and hoped to see and finally did..


What I instantly thought was Saxo got the dosing just right while Katusha's Russian Docs mixed up the latin characters and gave Purito the wrong bag...but that's just me.... Wink
Biosphere

CTV

What you want to see for yourself is fine. I'm not sure you should extrapolate it to being what everyone wants to see.

Kathy

Some people think today was awesome, and some people think maybe things are not so awesome. That does not strike me as a terribly unbalanced thread.
HuwB

cyclingtv wrote:

I did think of, from the look on his face, was
how much pain he was in during those last 10k..

but that's just me enjoying the performance
I all wanted and hoped to see and finally did..


With some editing, I shared the above sentiments to ctv.

I also agree with most of Bio's comments, including that this is a pretty balance thread. Certainly any scepticism expressed is done so mildly, with dashes of humour.

For a really unbalanced viewpoints and double standards, go look at this thread, from the page posted on.

http://www.bikeradar.com/forums/v...0002&t=12876532&start=140

I have been defending Bertie's performance as plausible, there.
Why? Try telling these guys that there is even the slightest chance that any GB rider might just be dubious...........
nicedommie

for me, i just felt gutted that a great stage was going on and i couldnt help think that Contador had been done for drugs, never fessed up and didnt even serve a proper time out from the sport, and valverde had been done, never fessed up, never apologised.

i have no idea if they still cheat. but thats the problem.
Bartali

Well the sport has been subject to a lot more transparency of late and that will always get the gossips going.  Personally I'm more concerned about those who are lucky enough not to have been caught rather than those who have.

As for yesterday I thought it was a great stage ... albeit I'm gutted by the result.  Not because I am anti Bertie in any way - he's enlivened the race - but because I really wanted JRod to win a big one.  All three Spaniards have ridden with bravery and panache throughout .... and I've seen enough 'weakness' from all three to be as satisfied as I can be that there's nothing untoward going on.  Certainly no ET performance.

As for yesterday ... further to CTVs excellent analysis, I would add that JRod looked 'flat' for about the last 20km.  Not the man he was before the rest day.  Illness, fatigue, who knows .... but he look under the weather to me.
Good race so far IMO.
Slapshot 3

I am a big fan of Contador but you know that anyway the steak lines are a bit passe now. However the general doping story is changing, Muuseew coming out with what he has, Vaughters "honesty" about his team and the Pharmstrong stuff.....it's all changing and this race is going on in the face of those changes.

I'd also suggest that this Vuelta has been the best GT we've seen in a long time and I'm only reading about it. There has been monumental attacking nearly every day, Contador has animated the race and until yesterday had been eclipsed every time by JRod. The time bonuses have meant that the top riders have been chasing everything because the bonuses have been critical. Obviously I'm happy about yesterday but JRod's performance has been something you can't fail to admire and respect so I'm a bit disappointed for him, he's certainly gone up in my estimation this year, he has only broken down with an attack that no-one could have expected.

If it's possible to have a level playing field at the top of a GT then this Vuelta has maybe been it, the top few riders have all been very close. It has been a brilliant race to read about.
gerry12ie

Slapshot 3 wrote:
I am a big fan of Contador but you know that anyway the steak lines are a bit passe now. However the general doping story is changing, Muuseew coming out with what he has, Vaughters "honesty" about his team and the Pharmstrong stuff.....it's all changing and this race is going on in the face of those changes.

I'd also suggest that this Vuelta has been the best GT we've seen in a long time and I'm only reading about it. There has been monumental attacking nearly every day, Contador has animated the race and until yesterday had been eclipsed every time by JRod. The time bonuses have meant that the top riders have been chasing everything because the bonuses have been critical. Obviously I'm happy about yesterday but JRod's performance has been something you can't fail to admire and respect so I'm a bit disappointed for him, he's certainly gone up in my estimation this year, he has only broken down with an attack that no-one could have expected.

If it's possible to have a level playing field at the top of a GT then this Vuelta has maybe been it, the top few riders have all been very close. It has been a brilliant race to read about.


In fact the best GTs of the last dozen years/this century have been in the last two years:

Giro 2010
Vuelta 2012
TDF 2011

There has been a fair bit of dross dished up as well, mind...
mazda

nicedommie wrote:
for me, i just felt gutted that a great stage was going on and i couldnt help think that Contador had been done for drugs


If I may delve a little deeper ?
Are you saying that if Contador hadn't fallen foul of the extra sensitive testing of his Clenbuterol level then you would think of him in a completely different manner ?

We all know his past and former associations.
I don't think the fact he was caught out (in suspicious circumstances or otherwise) makes much difference to what most of us on here think of him.

There's even the chance he was innocent of taking that particular drug, not that it makes him innocent per se of course.

I think your labelling of Contador in a negative manner while he is doing great deeds is simple human nature.
I have much the same response every time I see/hear mentioned a certain Wayne Rooney.
Most of us can't help it.
kathy

Looks like Quintsna is out - writhing inagony,poor guy!
HuwB

kathy wrote:
Looks like Quintsna is out - writhing inagony,poor guy!


Well, he's back up, wrist it seems.
Gerdemann still on the deck.
Cone causes crash chaos.
Slapshot 3

Gerdeman Out
kathy

Split peloton
cyclingtv

looks like todays avg over 47 kph
kathy

Gesink taking sprint bonus time, trying to overtake Moreno
kathy

Bennati?
HuwB

Bennati by a whisker on the lunge?

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