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Biosphere

Vuelta '13, Stages 11-16: To The Pyrénées, 4th-9th Sept

Thought it made sense to lump everything between the 2 rest days into one section. Kicks off with the only ITT, followed by two days that I initially thought gave the sprinters a chance, but it seems the organisers couldn't resist the lure of a finishing ramp for Stage 13, followed by three days in the Pyrénées. I guess others might point us at more detailed profiles on the eve of any key climbs.

Stage 11
Unipublic wrote:
It is always difficult to face a new stage after a rest day, especially when it is a time trial stage.  We now leave behind Andalusia and head to Aragon.  Tarazona will be both the departure point as well as the finish line for the one and only individual time trials in this edition of the Vuelta, comprising 38 very demanding kilometres.  Any differences obtained here will, no doubt, mark the remainder of the Vuelta’s progress.






Stage 12
Unipublic wrote:
The 12th stage of the Vuelta will take us from Maella to Tarragona.  The stage outline, basically a straight line heading downwards towards the sea, will allow the peloton to reach very high speeds resulting in a quick day.  This may well be the day for the bravest riders.  Energy levels will already be somewhat lower and there are still very tough stages ahead so those wishing to see their names in the general classification will not waste their energy just two days before reaching the Pyrenees.






Stage 13
Unipublic wrote:
The day before the Vuelta a España’s arrival in the Pyrenees could be marked by various aspects.  Firstly, by the wind, which could greatly affect the day’s progress.  If the wind is strong, the stage could be extremely challenging and complicated.  All the riders will have to be careful not to lose everything they have worked so hard to gain thus far in the past two weeks.  Secondly, not may riders will be willing to spend all their energy on this stage, as reserves are already running low.  The next three days will take place solely in the Pyrenees and every effort made could potentially take its toll later on.  It will be a fast, anxiety-driven day.  However, the climb up the Rat Penat mountain pass promises to be one of the day’s highlights.






Stage 14
Unipublic wrote:
This is the first stage in the Pyrenees.  The Vuelta returns to one of the most spectacular settings of the 2012 edition.  The previously unprecedented Collada de la Gallina mountain pass allowed us to witness one of the most attractive battles in recent cycling history.  Valverde, Joaquim Rodríguez and Contador kept the aficionados hooked on a race that broke all records.  The Movistar team leader imposed himself in a tight finish against Purito and the eventual Vuelta winner.  This 164-kilometre journey, almost entirely in Andorran territory, will also consist of the Envalira mountain pass that, with an altitude of 2409 metres will be the Alberto Fernández climb of this year’s edition of the Vuelta.






Stage 15
Unipublic wrote:
The peloton will face its longest stage right in the heart of the Pyrenees.  The 230-kilometre journey that joins Andorra and the Peyragudes mountain pass, in France, will determine the number of riders who will fight it out for the ultimate triumph.  This mountain stage will end at the summit where Alejandro Valverde won his last stage of the Tour de France.  The day’s four mountain passes will mean changes in the general classification and will leave many riders out of the running to reach their final goal.  Those who obtain a good place during this tough stage will not necessarily win the Vuelta, but those who have a bad day will have definitely ruined their chances completely.  The Vuelta a España will, once again, have an arrival in France after the arrival at Cauterets back in 2003.  In this way, the Vuelta pays homage to the 100th edition of the Tour de France.






Stage 16
Unipublic wrote:
This is the third and last day in the Pyrenees.  The peloton bids farewell to Aragon in this sixteenth stage that will take us from Graus to the Formigal ski resort.  The 147-kilometre route may be the least demanding out of the three days spent in the Pyrenees, but the riders’ flailing energy will be obvious by now.  The peloton will have already pedalled for many, many kilometres and the pressure experienced in the mountain stages may take its toll on more than a few riders.  This stage will pay homage to Fernando Escartín, one of the best climbers ever to emerge from Spanish cycling.




Biosphere

Tony Martin takes more than two and a half mins out of the next man.

Horner off at 16:50 local time.
HuwB

Current:
1. Martin 161 51:37
2. Barta    152+ 2:15
3. Grivko 34 + 2:35
4. Pinotti 57 + 2:37
5. Westra 219 + 2:45

Nibali has been stung by a wasp, a la Vaughters, apparently.
Hope it's name wasn't Chris Hornet. Razz
gerry12ie

Very Happy  Very Happy  Very Happy
JohnD

Nibali stung by wasp on the face - no reports on his eating it tho' (the wasp, not his own face)

Oops, didn't see Huw's mention above.

Cancellara in the lead, 37 seconds on Martin
HuwB

Not the only one, John. Wink
mazda wrote:
Cancellara turns round a 45 sec deficit to Martin to lead by 37 sec at finishing line

Posted in last week's thread.
Biosphere

mazda wrote:
Cancellara turns round a 45 sec deficit to Martin to lead by 37 sec at finishing line


Went so fast he time travelled back to last week's thread Wink

When it was 3 a piece in the FP game I was trying to decide between Cancellara holding back for GC duties and Martin being a bit tired after a 170 km ITT. I chose badly Rolling Eyes
Fontfroide

Looks good for a few points today, shared of course with Huw and Kathy and maybe someone else I missed.  I did think Martin and Fabian would get multiple picks, such a sure thing.  Mind you cycling is not predictable, and the "big names" have not ridden.  He has ridden well this Vuelta, trying for stages even and certainly riding up hills well.

Mind you Martin rode into legend.  Can't even imagine Wiggo beating them both in a few days.

May as well go out for a short ride and coe back to see if things stay the same.
mazda

HuwB wrote:
Not the only one, John. Wink
mazda wrote:
Cancellara turns round a 45 sec deficit to Martin to lead by 37 sec at finishing line

Posted in last week's thread.


Still haven't seen this week's thread.
Well, obviously I have now  Very Happy

Wondered why it was so quiet.
Biosphere

Puncture for Valverde!
Boogerd_Fan

Damn, why didn't i pick Pozzovivo for this TT.. nailed on certainty Smile)
gerry12ie

Roche? WTF??
mazda

Pozzovivo up to 5th ?
mazda

1 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 41:22:22  
2 Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team Saxo-Tinkoff 0:00:33  
3 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:46  
4 Christopher Horner (USA) RadioShack Leopard 0:00:46    
5 Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha 0:02:33  
6 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 0:02:44  
7 Ivan Basso (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling 0:02:55
berck

Hmm, I expected a much better performance from a 'doped' rider like Horner today than he turned in... Wink
mazda

berck wrote:
Hmm, I expected a much better performance from a 'doped' rider like Horner today than he turned in... Wink

I'd call it well judged.
He can take another 48 seconds off Nibali on the Andorra stage and he will be back in red.  Razz
ventoux

gerry12ie wrote:
Roche? WTF??


I think if we're calling out Horner, there's certainly questions to be asked here....   2nd on GC after several mountain stages and a long ITT....  really???
gerry12ie

ventoux wrote:
gerry12ie wrote:
Roche? WTF??


I think if we're calling out Horner, there's certainly questions to be asked here....   2nd on GC after several mountain stages and a long ITT....  really???


I hear ya!
Biosphere

gerry12ie wrote:
ventoux wrote:
gerry12ie wrote:
Roche? WTF??


I think if we're calling out Horner, there's certainly questions to be asked here....   2nd on GC after several mountain stages and a long ITT....  really???


I hear ya!


Or it's just the topsy turvy world of clean cycling Laughing
gerry12ie

Kirby on Pozzovivo - 'I was going to say stranger things have happened, but they haven't' Very Happy

Sean - 'It looks like he is preparing a performance that is truly unbelievable'
HuwB

berck wrote:
Hmm, I expected a much better performance from a 'doped' rider like Horner today than he turned in... Wink


I'm finding this new, clean era very confusing.
Domenico Pozzotivo on a not too lumpy, exposed course. I mean??????
If I had to use one word to describe Nick Roche's past time trialing exploits, that word would be...................crap.
Even Thinner Fab beating up Der Panzerwagon, after all his mountain graft...

As to Papi Horner, pushing what appeared to be a significantly smaller gear than Nibali, today, after borrowing Mustafa Sayar's bike for Monday.
I got the impression he was "throwing the game" a bit.
gerry12ie

I would agree with all that.  Is La Vuelta considered a soft touch in comparison to TDF and the Giro for those that want to be naughty?  Roche has never, ever TT'd like that and given that Kreuziger was nominal leader I would doubt that he even trained with the TT in mind, yet he took time from most of the GC men.  From what I saw of Horner he looked to be soft-pedalling a touch and why would a race leader ever want to give that impression in a TT?  TBH I fancied Cancellara to take Martin today but not by quite that margin, bur the real shock is Pozzovivo who has barely threatened anything since last years Trentino and puts in a time that nobody could ever see coming.  

Strange days...
berck

Could some of the performances be attributed to a NON FLAT TT?
Bartali

Umm ... oh well.  There goes the clean peloton Sad
HuwB

berck wrote:
Could some of the performances be attributed to a NON FLAT TT?

Hard to think of anything else.
Even so, it highlights Pozzovivo's performance as an anomaly.
Fastest overall to the 18km mark, while other notable climbers were well down on Cancellara.
Biosphere

I read about slight headwind on the climb. Pozzovivo's diminutive frame might have worked in his favour (small frontal area), and if it was then a tail wind on the way back (which would seem to follow from the route maps) he might have again done better than expected. Downhill probably helps too?

Valverde's puncture dragged his time on the climb down.

Just watched Nibali interviewed wearing shades to hide his swollen eye. He looked very chic Smile
Biosphere

De Weert was badly hurt yesterday

http://www.velonation.com/News/ID...fter-Vuelta-time-trial-crash.aspx
HuwB

Fair crawling along, (36kph) so another long, hot afternoon in front of the tv/pc. Siesta time!
berck

HuwB wrote:
Siesta time!


Sounds like the best plan. Even the race feeds aren't too exciting. Most of the information for the past hour has been who's currently leading in the different jersey rankings. Wink
Biosphere

It's edge of the seat stuff as far as I'm concerned . . .  I get some breakaway points in the Velogames league for Ferrari Wink
berck

Well, there have been more race updates in the last 20 minutes. The break doesn't look like it will last. A lead of 2:44 with 41km to go.
Fontfroide

Tony Martin doing his thing.  Just wanted to get in some good training for the Worlds.  What a rider.
HuwB

Phil Gil, spoils FF's EBH thrill. Razz
Fontfroide

Absolutely delighted for Gilbert, great finish.

I will admit I thought I had my single person huge victory there for a minute.  Nice job though for EBH.  I was totally wild about EBH (and my brilliant pick  Wink ) but in the end, it was a really good finish, Gilbert back.



Damn.
HuwB

Richeze 3rd, Paolini 4th, Meersman 5th, Lasca 6th.
Fontfroide

HuwB wrote:
Phil Gil, spoils FF's EBH thrill. Razz


True, but a classic end, can't fault the race.  Although I skipped most of it until 15 k from the end.

I LIKE this Vuelta.
Bartali

What about the GC? I hear there was gaps and yesterdays ITT surprise had a mechanical at 5km?
kathy

There appear to be no changes in GC.  Pozzovivo did have a puncture with 4.2 to go, but doesn't seem to have lsot any time.
Biosphere

The 3km get the same time as winner point was at 5 km today due to complexity of run in. Pozzovivo has had two good days in a row.
gerry12ie

Gilbert manages to wind the clock back as far as T-A 2011.  He hasn't pulled one of them out in a long, long time...
HuwB

Tomorrow's hurdle:


Biosphere

That Cat 1 looks tasty.

So is the last 300m - 400m of the stage really at something like 10%? If so, who else but Gilbert?
Bartali

Gilbert might have to chase back on for 50km before he can think about the finish ...
HuwB

Biosphere wrote:
That Cat 1 looks tasty.

So is the last 300m - 400m of the stage really at something like 10%? If so, who else but Gilbert?


Some dispute about that.
From the basic profile, it looks to be 35-40m ascent in 400m, which of course is 9-10%.
Seen it mapped out elsewhere and it looks far less severe, (5%) only getting up to the 8% mark for the final 200m.

If it is around 10%, besides Gilbert, we have several of the GC boys who might fancy a "cheap" time bonus.

Oh and the uncategorised "bump", after the 1st cat is a bit of a leg breaker, too; up to 18% gradient.
Biosphere

Bartali wrote:
Gilbert might have to chase back on for 50km before he can think about the finish ...


I know. I didn't mean to imply it was a foregone conclusion, more that after today Gilbert must be the favourite? I like Gerry's answer though (FP thread).

Edit: Just seen Huw's input on the last km. I will go visit Google Earth later. Unipublic also trying to stoke the possibility of wind and echelons. The fact that I'll be taking little one to swimming lessons for the duration of the coverage and will miss everything will surely guarantee an epic days racing Wink
mazda

I see Basso  Shocked and Roche picked up some intermediate sprint seconds.
Basso winning a sprint.
What is the world coming to.
JohnD

I don't think they actually sprinted for it though, just kinda rolled off the front through the sprint point.
HuwB

After 76kms, still no successful breakaway.
HuwB

Now, at 84kms, we have:
Beñat Intxausti (6), Mikael Cherel (15), Rinaldo Nocentini (19), Warren Barguil (22), Bauke Mollema (41), Ivan Santaromita (5Cool, Antonio Piedra (67), Amets Txurruka (6Cool, Jerome Coppel (81), Egoi Martinez (95), Michele Scarponi (131), Jelle Vanendert (148), Iker Camano (153), Gianni Meersman (164), Serge Pauwels (165), Christian Meier (177), Vasil Kiryienka (194), Xabier Zandio (199), Tomasz Marczynski (216)

@ 1'-51", so they are gone.
mazda

Gap for leading 10 at 3'30"
Seems like with 30 km to go that nobody is organising a chase.
Maybe the OGE chasers have not caught back on yet.
Fontfroide

A break, but where is Flecha?

Good road for cyclotouring, unless of course there is traffic.
Fontfroide

Nice one for the French lad.  He has been touted for some time, and this is probably his best victory.  Very pleased.  

Allons enfants …!

Cocorico!
HuwB

Don't think anyone could have fp'd that result.
Figured it was a great day for the break, but for a long time
one couldn't get away.
Hope Moreno wasn't hurt in that OPQS tunnel pile up.
kathy

Think Moreno is OK - TDP guys seemed to think so.

Rather disappointing stage - except for the winnner.  GC men got away on the climb, then let everyone back in again.  I would have thought some of them would have fancied their chances to get some bonus seconds and pulled the break back.
Bartali

Worst stage of the race for me so far ... but there have been a lot of good ones! Smile
HuwB

Eurosport are scheduled to start live coverage at 2pm tomorrow. (15-00cet)
Whether or not this will actually happen, I remain sceptical, since TVE don't appear to start until 15-45cet.

Anyhow.
Port de Envalira: The highest point of this years Vuelta, 26Km at 5.2% with 15% max


Collada de la Gallina: 7.2Km at 8% with 15%


The yuk weather:
Boogerd_Fan

weather could make this stage come alive.. recent trips to Andorra have failed to deliver much in the way of decent racing. Hopefully there will be some fireworks from JRod, Basso or Pozzovivo early.
kathy

TVE coverage - commentators were saying rather bitterly that TVE is more interested in the Olympic venue selection for 2020(?), than the Vuelta.  From what they were saying coverage of the Vuelta will keep swapping from one channel to another - a great shame!
Biosphere

HuwB wrote:
Eurosport is supposed and I stress supposed to begin live Vuelta coverage a full hour earlier today, at 15-00cet (2pm UK)


Had a look at the German Eurosport schedule and they too are claiming to have dropped the usual hour long recap of the previous stage between 1500 and 1600 and going live an hour early. I will reprogram recording box and see what happens.

CN's live ticker is running now

14:00:05 CEST
The weather could also be a factor, with the riders racing in the rain and with a storm gathering.
HuwB

Be handy if they start up in half an hour, because they are currently ahead of the fastest schedule, regardless of the weather.
HuwB

Another cursed GT mountain stage. Coverage killed off.
Bartali

Humph ... I'm getting board of looking at this finishing line!
gerry12ie

Yikes, hypothermia?!!



Nolte

back at the finish line now.

that is not good for luis leon.
Boogerd_Fan

I call total bs on their "weather complications" for TV coverage.

It was well known Spanish TV will go live @ 1600... nothing but Eurosports own fault for scheduling anything more!!

Looks like disgusting weather! Dangerous but Epic!!
gerry12ie

Ratto's descending?? Laughing  Laughing
Bartali

Smile  Good lad .... at least he's out there and he might just make it!
gerry12ie

Basso retired from the cold??
gerry12ie

Valverde out the back?
Nolte

valverde distanced from nibs
gerry12ie

They are all over the road
Nolte

only horner and nibs left after kiss her lots's big dig for horner
gerry12ie

This bloke is supposed to be forty fucking two... Twisted Evil
Nolte

yeah, i didn;t think old people liked bad weather Wink
Bartali

Kudos to this Cannondale fella .... Smile

then its mano et mano
Nolte

fine victory for ratto
gerry12ie

Piti Valv coming back?
Nolte

nibali horner put 16 seconds into joaquim rodrique, 48 seconds into valverde, 50 into pinot and pozzoviovovovovovoovov
Bartali

Nah ... good stage once we got some pictures.

Horner continues to surprise, but at least this is the last day Kirby will be bleating on about 'Nico'!
HuwB

gerry12ie wrote:
This bloke is supposed to be forty fucking two... Twisted Evil


Nolte wrote:
only horner and nibs left after kiss her lots's big dig for horner


Kiserlovski a bit of a failure, though. He somehow managed to leave Nibali attached, before he sat up and cruised in less than 3 minutes down. Rolling Eyes  Wink

Bummed about Basso. Surprised that he got that cold, given it was a fair bit warmer than your average passing of the Gavia/Stevio/Giau etc.

Roche's suffering may have only just begun. I see him slipping further back tomorrow.
Chapeau Pinot for starting the last descent in first spot.
Get through tomorrow without mishap and he should place well.
Bartali

Agreed Huw ... I don't understand the 'cold' story?  Did he just lose his bottle on the descent and throw his toys out of the pram when he realised he wouldn't podium?
Fontfroide

Nolte wrote:
yeah, i didn;t think old people liked bad weather Wink


I am old, Horner is middle aged.  And old people do not like big temperature variations.  In general.
HuwB

Today's casualty list makes for grim reading.

DNS Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge  
DNS Sam Bewley (NZl) Orica-GreenEdge  
DNF Steve Chainel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
DNF Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano  
DNF Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spa) Belkin Pro Cycling Team  
DNF Ivan Basso (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling  
DNF Cyril Bessy (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
DNF Michel Kreder (Ned) Garmin-Sharp  
DNF Nick Nuyens (Bel) Garmin-Sharp  
DNF Greg Henderson (NZl) Lotto Belisol  
DNF Jurgen Van De Walle (Bel) Lotto Belisol  
DNF Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Belisol  
DNF Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) RadioShack Leopard  
DNF Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Team Saxo-Tinkoff  
DNF Wouter Poels (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
DNF Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
kathy

Well, that's deimated some of my fantasy teams!
Bartali

Three Belgiums and two dutch climbing off in the cold ... ummm!
Biosphere

Bartali wrote:
Three Belgiums and two dutch climbing off in the cold ... ummm!


Doesn't the Vuelta have it's more that its fair share of abandons due to the proximity of the worlds?

Weather today brought forward the plans of a few by a day or two?

Was visiting sister in law and saw it more or less from where it went live. Did the ITV highlights show footage that the organisers managed to get from the bikes post event, or is it not worth recording the repeat of their show tomorrow afternoon and I wont see anything that ES didn't already show?
Beasley

A big factor would have been the wind chill coming off the summits. You just don't get that on the flat, no matter how cold it is.
gerry12ie

Nico foretold his future in his GT diary yesterday...


Quote:
I retained my white jersey again today but I've worn so many different classification leader's jerseys in the past two weeks that people have said I'm hard to spot. Tomorrow it'll be easy. I'll be the one grimacing the most.
Biosphere

Beasley wrote:
A big factor would have been the wind chill coming off the summits. You just don't get that on the flat, no matter how cold it is.


Indeed. Another factor is that it's wet. Water conducts heat away from the body quicker than air does. When people fall overboard from ships, there is a smaller window to rescue them than might be expected when one considers the water temperature and tries to compare to air temperatures.

Can't see that Basso threw a strop. He's been looking serene and was well placed going into the final week.
HuwB

I don't anyone is suggesting Basso abandoned due to a fit of pique.
More that someone as experienced as he should fall foul of the weather.
Talking of which:

Weather for stage 15:



Apparently, Valverde has been moaning about inhuman stages and has asked the organizers to cancel today's race.
Nothing to do with him having a history of struggling on cold, wet mountains stages, no doubt. Rolling Eyes
HuwB

Very long stage =early start.

Giampaolo Caruso (122), Yaroslav Popovych (187), Yannick Eijssen (52), Michele Scarponi (131), Javier Moreno (Cool, Mikel Nieve (96), Francis De Greef (142), Juan Manuel Garate (45), Mikael Cherel (15), Oliver Zaugg (209), Kenny Elissonde (103), David Arroyo (61), Juan Antonio Flecha (214), Warren Barguil (22), Rafal Majka (202), Sergio Luis Henao (191), Andre Cardoso (63), Nicolas Edet (84), Michael Matthews (178), Alexandre Geniez (104), Gorka Verdugo (99), Serge Pauwels (165), Maciej Paterski (76), Jose Joao Mendes (157), Mikel Landa (94), Jose Herrada (5) and Dario Cataldo (193)
have joined Bartosz Huzarski in front, with the peloton at one and a half minutes.
Weather a bit better than forecast.
Biosphere

It would have been easier to list who isn't in the break!

Basso describes yesterday

http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/basso-its-the-saddest-day-of-my-career
Biosphere

Gilbert has abandoned 60km into today's stage. Rowe (Sky) and Cooke (Orica-GreenEdge) have also abandoned. Marczynski (Vacansoleil) became ill over night and did not start.

http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/g...e-vuelta-a-espana-during-stage-15
Biosphere

More retirees including Stybar. Shame that it's being so badly affected by the weather. Key days are not going to see the racing they should Confused
gerry12ie

Gilbert finished his training yesterday Wink
Bartali

Just read the Basso article ... shocking.  I feel for the guy.  For the record, I was just trying to understand, I wasn't accusing him of throwing a strop.

On the plus side, the article suggests a move to Astana to support Nibs.  I like that ... it all comes full circle!
Biosphere

Bartali wrote:
Just read the Basso article ... shocking.  I feel for the guy.  For the record, I was just trying to understand, I wasn't accusing him of throwing a strop . . . .


I was just taking it that way and answering as I saw it. It wasn't troubling me Smile

I think yesterday must have been a brutal day given the things that have been said about it. Nibali is proving himself to be a hard nut in these type of GT conditions (although he did have his MSR wobble). German ES were passing time yesterday saying that Ratto's build and his higher bodyfat % worked in his in favour.
gerry12ie

Why are FDJ chasing?
Fontfroide

Helping out Thibaut?
Biosphere

gerry12ie wrote:
Why are FDJ chasing?


Defendings Pinot's GC? Mind you they were ordered to mindlessly chase the other day too when Barguil won.

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