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Biosphere

Vuelta 2016: Stages 15-17, GC Takes Shape, Sep 4th-Sep 7th

Wednesday's finishing wall might produce some quite decisive gaps

Stage 15




Stage 16



Stage 17

Biosphere

A quick glance at today's profile suggests it's pretty innocuous, but still getting on for 2700m of climbing and it's short. Raced hard or tired legs after yesterday?
HuwB

The final climb just doesn't look hard enough for the GC boys to try too much, given how hard their respective teams worked yesterday.
Looks odds on one for the breakaway to me, with both stage and KoM points up for grabs.
Now watch the GC battle erupt......

Whole stage coverage again today, from 1-30pm BST.
Nolte

It all depends on how it is raced but I do agree, it just doesn't look hard enough
Bartali

Smash it Bertie!! LOL
Bartali

Wooo ... this is interesting!!!  Sky struggling at the moment ...
HuwB

Scrap that, it major action.
Sky asleep at the wheel again.
OBE caught with their trousers down, too.
Bartali

Froome is lucky that OGE have missed out ... they are doing all the work at the mo.  These short stages can be fun ...
gerry12ie

Blimey O'Reilly - Fuente De II??
Nolte

Yesterday was a wear down for today with all the work sky and orica did.

Wasn't there a giro stage where chaves and orica got caught out on a Tuesday or wednesday?
Biosphere

I really would have thought that Sky would not have been caught out twice in one weekend. Suspect the front group ultimately doesn't have enough firepower. It will be gripping either way Smile
Bartali

Why are Astana pulling?  Surely the onus is on Sky and OGE.  I suspect money has changed hands here ...
HuwB

gerry12ie wrote:
Blimey O'Reilly - Fuente De II??


That it is.
Konig is completely out of the GC and probably the top 20 already.

Astana having to help in the chase.
If another team doesn't come to Froome's (and Chaves and Yate's) party, they are doomed.
Bartali

Surely Astana should et Froome Chavez and Yates ride themselves int the ground then take back time on the final climb.  Why defend 9th(?) place?
Biosphere

Bartali wrote:
Why are Astana pulling?  Surely the onus is on Sky and OGE.  I suspect money has changed hands here ...


Astana do have a top 10 GC placing to defend?
Nolte

Bartali wrote:
Surely Astana should et Froome Chavez and Yates ride themselves int the ground then take back time on the final climb.  Why defend 9th(?) place?


Maybe they don't know any other way to ride a grand tour?

They've been doing a bit of work all vuelta, I haven't been quite sure why.

Riding to defend 9th is like something from pro cycling manager PC game
Bartali

Beggars belief ... I've never seen anything like it.  Froome has the most to lose and OGE and Astana haven't made him turn one pedal at the front. Naïvety at best ...
Biosphere

Nolte wrote:
Riding to defend 9th is like something from pro cycling manager PC game


It's chess on wheels Wink
Bartali

You have to hand it to Bertie ... he rides the 'old' way. Smile
Biosphere

Bartali wrote:
Beggars belief ... I've never seen anything like it.  Froome has the most to lose and OGE and Astana haven't made him turn one pedal at the front. Naïvety at best ...


Well he is losing plenty at the moment. It's nearly 3 mins now.
HuwB

Bartali wrote:
Beggars belief ... I've never seen anything like it.  Froome has the most to lose and OGE and Astana haven't made him turn one pedal at the front. Naïvety at best ...


Er, I think that's wishful thinking, rather than tactics on your part.

OBE are not just going to chuck away two podium chances to satisfy those wish to see Froome completely broken.

I think it is going to happen in any case, with or without the 2 OBE domis working for Yates and Chaves.

It's already happened to poor Leo Konig.
gerry12ie

It's classic Contador ambush.  As Bart says - the old way.  Quintana can consider himself lucky he was wide to it, because he never would have initiated it himself...  

#ridelikehinault
Bartali

HuwB wrote:
Bartali wrote:
Beggars belief ... I've never seen anything like it.  Froome has the most to lose and OGE and Astana haven't made him turn one pedal at the front. Naïvety at best ...


Er, I think that's wishful thinking, rather than tactics on your part.

OBE are not just going to chuck away two podium chances to satisfy those wish to see Froome completely broken.

Agreed ... but they should lean on him a bit as he has most to lose.  Surely they wan a weak Froome to attack on the last climb.  Yates and Chavez can burn some men, but they should be looking to Froome to use some energy too.  As for Astana which was my main point???
Bartali

gerry12ie wrote:
Quintana can consider himself lucky he was wide to it, because he never would have initiated it himself...  
Indeed!  Only Bertie and Nibs would be quite so audacious.
Bartali

So Yates is working on the front, but not Froome ... sorry Huw I just don't get that.Surely they have to make Froome work ..??
Bartali

Sanchez will catch them by the bottom here ...
HuwB

Samu has made Rolland soil himself. Laughing
Bartali

LOL Smile
HuwB

Bartali wrote:
So Yates is working on the front, but not Froome ... sorry Huw I just don't get that.Surely they have to make Froome work ..??


That is happening now.
Bartali

Just popped to the loo and missed it Wink
Nolte

Bartali wrote:
So Yates is working on the front, but not Froome ... sorry Huw I just don't get that.Surely they have to make Froome work ..??


Chavez and Yates seem to have stop and lead back up to 2:30 from the 1:55
Biosphere

HuwB wrote:
Bartali wrote:
So Yates is working on the front, but not Froome ... sorry Huw I just don't get that.Surely they have to make Froome work ..??


That is happening now.


But then he looking around and the gap increased by 30s.
Bartali

HuwB wrote:
The final climb just doesn't look hard enough for the GC boys to try too much ...
Just looks at the profile and while the stage has been very different from what we expected, I think this still holds.  I think it will be difficult to gain/lose much once they start the last 12km.
Bartali

Could group 3 be out of the time limit today???
Biosphere

Bartali wrote:
Could group 3 be out of the time limit today???


I'd be surprised if they got their sums wrong.
HuwB

Bartali wrote:
Could group 3 be out of the time limit today???


No.
Because it's called the peloton. Laughing

If things stay as they are, the GC battle we are left with could be Froome v Contador for second, which frankly won't appeal to either.

I was watching flipping Sporza during yet another ES ad break and the blurted out the ToB result.
They do this with every race and without a thought for a spoiler alert. Sad
Biosphere

Eurosport Germany just spoiled ToB as well.
Bartali

Tumbling down now ...
Biosphere

Bartali wrote:
Tumbling down now ...


Well it was . . .  Rolling Eyes
Biosphere

Something very strange going on in the chase group when it's Valverde setting the pace.
Nolte

Talansky riding to lower the gap to formolo Wink
Biosphere

HuwB wrote:
. . . to satisfy those wish to see Froome completely broken . . .


He looks pretty broken now.
Nolte

Quintana upping pace sheels out the rest but brambulla. That put about 20 seconds more into froome
Bartali

Brambilla zips up before he even starts the sprint lol
Boogerd_Fan

A truly beautiful stage, i wonder how premeditated was bertie and nairo collaboration
Bartali

I make that just over 3.00 on GC ... sets up the ITT beautifully.
HuwB

Game over for Froome.
The "C" team ain't up to Movistar.

Felline 3rd: amazing.
El Pistolero  becomes Bertie "blow up" Contador.
Bartali

HuwB wrote:

El Pistolero  becomes Bertie "blow up" Contador.
 Age is catching up with him ... in fact he's never quite been the same since he stopped eating beef Wink
Bartali

Whoever one's favourites are ... two great days racing.
Biosphere

In the end, Froome looked like he would have lost time even without the ambush, but when it's a different scenario hard to be sure. New GC

1 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 61:36:07
2 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 00:03:37
3 Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-BikeExchange 00:03:57
4 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff Team 00:04:02
5 Simon Yates (GBr) Orica-BikeExchange 00:05:07
6 Samuel Sanchez (Spa) BMC Racing Team 00:06:12
7 Andrew Talansky (USA) Cannondale-Drapac 00:06:43
8 Davide Formolo (Ita) Cannondale-Drapac 00:07:17
9 David De La Cruz (Spa) Etixx - Quick-Step 00:07:23
10 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Astana Pro Team 00:07:39

IMO, The ITT alone is not enough for Froome now.
Nolte

Very good ride by Chavez to limit his own losses
Fontfroide

Bartali wrote:
Whoever one's favourites are ... two great days racing.


Ain't that a fact.
HuwB

50 minutes after Brambilla and only 70 riders have times.
No other Sky rider in that.
Boogerd_Fan

Froome will attack on the final MTF.. this is far from over
HuwB

90 riders finished way outside the time limit, including the entire Sky team, who had given chase for at least 40kms.

Says a lot about the other 82's day.
sabcarrera

These marginal gains remind me of the martingale system of betting for which small winning returns can suddenly become a huge loss.
kathy

What a great stage!  Sorry I can't contribute during the race (I feed from the laptop to the TV and bandwidith is limited!).  I was glued to the TV throughout as the time gaps increased and decreased.  Let's have more of these short, sharp, hilly stages!
Bartali

HuwB wrote:
90 riders finished way outside the time limit, including the entire Sky team, who had given chase for at least 40kms.

Says a lot about the other 82's day.
Tells me nothing more than that Sky 'sat up'.  You could see them on TV swing aside - presumably on team orders. I expect them to be rested and stronger for the final week.
Biosphere

So nobody has been Hors Delayed as I understand it. Here's who actually made the cut.


Click to see full size image
Nolte

Bartali wrote:
HuwB wrote:
90 riders finished way outside the time limit, including the entire Sky team, who had given chase for at least 40kms.

Says a lot about the other 82's day.
Tells me nothing more than that Sky 'sat up'.  You could see them on TV swing aside - presumably on team orders. I expect them to be rested and stronger for the final week.


Yes that is the thing. 54 minutes down, 131% of the winners time
Bartali

Biosphere wrote:
In the end, Froome looked like he would have lost time even without the ambush, but when it's a different scenario hard to be sure.
Agreed, hard to be sure.  Interestingly (to some maybe), Froome did very very little all day, and was still out climbed by Scarponi, Chavez and a Quintana who rode on the front for the last 8km.  He looked tired today ... I expect the damage was really done yesterday where he fought like a lion to hand on to Quintana's coat tails. One GT too many IMO
Bartali

Biosphere wrote:
So nobody has been Hors Delayed as I understand it. Here's who actually made the cut.


Click to see full size image

You all know my views on this ... I would only apply discretion in the case of a fall/mechanical ... not because 90 riders fancied an early rest day and banked on the commissionaires being gutless.  Disgusting IMO. And BTW - that's not anti Sky or anyone else ...
sabcarrera

Bartali wrote:

Says a lot about the other 82's day.Tells me nothing more than that Sky 'sat up'.  You could see them on TV swing aside - presumably on team orders. I expect them to be rested and stronger for the final week.


How is that not cheating like using drugs to improve performance? Just because there are 90 of them they knew they could twist the jury's arm.
How can UCI expect to enforce rules credibly on cyclists?
Bartali

I'm fine with riders sitting up, but yes, you are right.  The time limit should be enforced irrespective of how many are caught out IMO.
HuwB

sabcarrera wrote:
Bartali wrote:

Says a lot about the other 82's day.Tells me nothing more than that Sky 'sat up'.  You could see them on TV swing aside - presumably on team orders. I expect them to be rested and stronger for the final week.


How is that not cheating like using drugs to improve performance? Just because there are 90 of them they knew they could twist the jury's arm.
How can UCI expect to enforce rules credibly on cyclists?


Admittedly, 50 minutes is swinging the lead, but here's the thing: the entire peloton, led by Movistar, did this exact same thing on stage 13, (to the tune of 34 minutes) on a longer stage, raced at an entirely different intensity and speed. They did this definitely with the weekend stage is mind.
What follows tomorrow is a benign, mostly downhill stage, followed by a rest day.
Which group is the "drugs cheats"? Today's.
Why? Because of an arbitrary figure, sitting in splendid isolation from all circumstance, or motive.

Having said all of that, I too would have liked to have seen them all booted out, just to watch the circus that followed.
Would have been great fun, if not much of an actual cycling race.
gerry12ie

It would be great sport to see them all eliminated alright, but of course it's never going to happen (which is, of course, why the took the very conscious decision to do it).  It's always gone on, and until the commissaires actually make the big decision one day, it always will.

I have seen virtually nothing of the race so far, bar the last 20k yesterday and today's stage, so breaking my FP duck today was a proper Brucie Bonus Very Happy
mazda

Glad I recorded this.
I've never seen anything like it.
We are truly going to miss Contador when he retires. Do you think he can be persuaded to act as a road captain for some younger, upcoming GC prospect ?
That said, if Quintana hadn't have been in the break it wouldn't have succeeded.

With hindsight Froome could have put in a dig to help his two teammates when the gap was just 10-12 seconds.
After that you had Sky trying to drive both chasing groups, which was madness.

Still astonished it looked so comfortable in the end, there wasn't that much available firepower in the escapees. I saw them all co-operate a little bit, but surely most of the effort was done just by 3 Tinkoff, 2 Movistar and De La Cruz (?).

I was glad to see Quintana accept the responsibility and lead out for the last km. He easily out-TTed Froome over that distance.
Chaves put in another fantastic effort to cut his losses, but we saw what eventually happened in the Giro after making some big efforts.

I'd also like them to chuck out all the delayed riders. Both in terms of the rules and a sense of mischief.
Bartali

HuwB wrote:
Which group is the "drugs cheats"? Today's.
Why? Because of an arbitrary figure, sitting in splendid isolation from all circumstance, or motive.
Not at all Huw.  I'll give Froome credit where it's due (like the way he rode throughout the tour) and my comments today have nothing whatsoever with the fact I don't like him.  You are right though ... they took the piss on stage 13 and they should have been kicked out there too.

And I still don't understand why Astana worked so hard rather than put the pressure on the best placed rider.
Bartali

mazda wrote:
I saw them all co-operate a little bit, but surely most of the effort was done just by 3 Tinkoff, 2 Movistar and De La Cruz (?).
But while the Froome group was a lot bigger, the work was still only done by 2 Astana, 2 OGE and 1 Sky.  The front group worked really well throughout (albeit there were some passengers) whereas group two were pretty disorganised.
HuwB



Today's stage classified it as the same difficulty as stage 13, despite being shorter, far punchier and following yesterday's mountain marathon.
Also, it was completed almost 15 minutes ahead of the 40kph fastest schedule.

David Lopez is an interesting case. After is huge work rate yesterday, had to go far deeper to day, often pulling the chase for many kms.
When he eventually runs out of gas, alone, mid mountains, finds there isn't a group to latch onto.
Ends up hors delay, with the others.

On the other hand, the look on Adam Hansen's face would have been priceless. Razz
Bartali

Definitely a case of winners and losers there ...
SlowRower

WTF were Sky doing at the back in the neutral zone? Short of taking out an advert in Cycling Weekly, it's hard to know how it could have been more obvious that the hammer would be dropped by someone as soon as the flag dropped on such a short stage. (Does Berto on the Telegraphe in 2011 ring any bells?)

That said, Froome clearly didn't have the legs on the day - he conceded a lot of time to Chavez and Scarponi on the last climb and he'd normally put a fair amount of time into them when going full bore.

Froome could probably have better spent his time trying to close the decisive gap on his own when it was round the 10s-15s mark. He was relying on Lopez and Puccio(?) whilst he was on the radio to Sir Dave. Sometimes you just have to throw caution to the wind and "get back on" yourself (or "die" trying).

Unlike on the great time-limit scandal of Alpe D'Huez in 2011, I'm in agreement with Bart this time. Conceding 54 minutes on a 3 hour stage is just taking the p*ss. (I think it reduces the average speed to something akin to a top club rider in this year's Etape).
HuwB

Yes SR. From the top to the bottom, Team Sky were totally complacent and utterly crap, yesterday.
Movistar and Tinkoff, the opposite; alert, daring and utterly brilliant.


On the strict enforcement of the law:
Could they have started the final week and a day with a peloton of just 71? Sure they could. It is tiny, but viable.
Could they have started the final week and a day with a peloton of 71 with that demographic?
Definitely not, imo. Were it a WT week stage race, under UCI rules only Movistar would be eligible to take the start. 9 teams could just about scrape into lesser races, which this isn't.
Little doubt teams with 1 and 2 riders would pull out immediately with rider safety issues far out weighing the ambition to somehow survive to Madrid.


Anyhow, the reason for the above, is that I have read elsewhere what I consider to be a fair and equitable solution.
The punishment should be, that while these riders should be allowed to ride on, they be remove from all future classement.
So no stage wins, no points, no bonuses, nada.
SlowRower

HuwB wrote:
Yes SR. From the top to the bottom, Team Sky were totally complacent and utterly crap, yesterday.


Even in amateur racing, positioning in the neutral zone (or even the car park before the neutral zone even starts) is essential!
SlowRower

HuwB wrote:
On the strict enforcement of the law...


I agree that there wasn't really an alternative but to let them all survive. Whereas Alpe D'Huez 2011 was a fairly marginal (a couple of minutes, if memory serves) yesterday was just a simple collective decision to "down tools" and rely on the organisers not wanting the scenarios you describe which doesn't sit well with me.
HuwB

SlowRower wrote:
HuwB wrote:
On the strict enforcement of the law...


I agree that there wasn't really an alternative but to let them all survive. Whereas Alpe D'Huez 2011 was a fairly marginal (a couple of minutes, if memory serves) yesterday was just a simple collective decision to "down tools" and rely on the organisers not wanting the scenarios you describe which doesn't sit well with me.


Hence the idea of making any future "majority miscreant group"  have to ride, (as their teams would require them) but  "invisible" in terms of results.

Stage 16 has kicked off in pretty much the prescribed manner. Siesta time.
gerry12ie

IMO, it was great to see the over-reliance on radios being exposed yesterday.  I'm not singling out Sky here, as every WT team relies on radio transmissions, but they far too often suffocate initiative.  If Froome had jumped on the break asap instead of calling for support we wouldn't be debating anything today.  It was the few seconds indecision that allowed to move to establish itself, after that the real 'management' job was Valverde ensuring the pace was high enough to ensure Sky couldn't get back.  Maybe Sky as a team should have been more awake to what might happen, but ultimately Froome should have taken responsibility himself to latch on the move (difficult after a hard day for sure, but not impossible).

The bare facts are that a move like yesterday is, sadly, as rare as hen's teeth these days, so I'm delighted it paid off purely to expose dependance on radios.  We won't see much of it ever again either, as the vast majority of riders have only ever raced with radios.  BTW, I would feel the same if Sky/Froome (or Chaves/OBE etc) caught out Quintana/Movistar.

With Bartali's rose-tinted specs on, could you see Hinault fiddling about looking for support if, say, Fignon and Roche initiated a move?  I think we all the know the answer...
gerry12ie

HuwB wrote:
Yes SR. From the top to the bottom, Team Sky were totally complacent and utterly crap, yesterday.
Movistar and Tinkoff, the opposite; alert, daring and utterly brilliant.


On the strict enforcement of the law:
Could they have started the final week and a day with a peloton of just 71? Sure they could. It is tiny, but viable.
Could they have started the final week and a day with a peloton of 71 with that demographic?
Definitely not, imo. Were it a WT week stage race, under UCI rules only Movistar would be eligible to take the start. 9 teams could just about scrape into lesser races, which this isn't.
Little doubt teams with 1 and 2 riders would pull out immediately with rider safety issues far out weighing the ambition to somehow survive to Madrid.


Anyhow, the reason for the above, is that I have read elsewhere what I consider to be a fair and equitable solution.
The punishment should be, that while these riders should be allowed to ride on, they be remove from all future classement.
So no stage wins, no points, no bonuses, nada.


I like this idea, any chance it might ever happen though? Sad
Bartali

Interesting that Bakelants, De Gendt and others are calling foul and I have a lot of sympathy.  I also think that this is the thin end of the wedge and one firm decision would settle it once and for all for the good of the sport.  Whether Huw's suggestion goes far enough I don't know (and in any event it hasn't been applied).  Something should be done else the rule becomes useless.

I'm also a little insure why  it is argued that any future majority miscreant group"  would be "invisible" in terms of results. They wouldn't be invisible if they helped one of the guys who had made the time limit in future stages.

What would be the downside of sending them home ... I'm sure some of the things on Huw's list are a bit over-egged.  Rider safety?  Maybe I'm missing something, but why would a tiny team be unsafe?
Bartali

What annoys me is that with a bit of foresight from the commissionaires all this could have been avoided.  We were discussing the cut-off here so it wouldn't have too a genius to reach out to the DSs and say "ride or else".
HuwB

Drucker wins the sprint from Selig Arndt and Meersman.
Bartali

I thought the Panther was going to sneak that one for old times sake Wink
HuwB

Bartali wrote:
Interesting that Bakelants, De Gendt and others are calling foul and I have a lot of sympathy.  I also think that this is the thin end of the wedge and one firm decision would settle it once and for all for the good of the sport.  Whether Huw's suggestion goes far enough I don't know (and in any event it hasn't been applied).  Something should be done else the rule becomes useless.

I'm also a little insure why  it is argued that any future majority miscreant group"  would be "invisible" in terms of results. They wouldn't be invisible if they helped one of the guys who had made the time limit in future stages.

What would be the downside of sending them home ... I'm sure some of the things on Huw's list are a bit over-egged.  Rider safety?  Maybe I'm missing something, but why would a tiny team be unsafe?


It has to be weighed against ALL the implications for the race.
For instance rider safety: it was over 40C today and will be for much of the week. Hydration for solo and dual riders in hard racing a major issue.
Very unhappy sponsors = very unhappy race organisers.

Not to mention that 2 of the riders to suffer the most by the exclusion would be two of the hardest workers in yesterday's race, in Elissonde and Fraile.
Team 1 and team 2 respectively.
All that effort for the KoM down the Swanee.
Bartali

I hear you Huw ... its difficult, but without effective enforcement of the rules we have nothing.  For me, one could deal with Fraile and Elissonde by exercising discretion ... that's what its for IMO.

We will have to agree to disagree on the safety issue ... they get hydration from the cars and from the feeds, it makes only a little difference whether it is a small team or a big one. [FWIW there are small teams at the worlds etc, though that is only one day]

What it comes down to is money money money - we can't upset those sponsors.  But ... the sponsors wouldn't be upset if the riders hadn't taken the piss or if the commissionaires had been proactive. The sponsors should sue the team for failure to deliver IMO ...

FWIW, todays top 10 all finished out of time yesterday.  I'm not sure that means anything or not.
Nolte

Bartali wrote:
What annoys me is that with a bit of foresight from the commissionaires all this could have been avoided.  We were discussing the cut-off here so it wouldn't have too a genius to reach out to the DSs and say "ride or else".


Indeed there is president for this in the Australian worlds a few year back when the breakaway of 6 were looking like they could lap the field and the commissares told the peloton to speed up.

Matt brameier could have been world champion Sad
Though likely not.
Boogerd_Fan

Either they are in or out...they can't be in but not counted for in the results. That would allow teams to prioritize stages, and let their domestiques crawl over the parcours on days they were not required.
HuwB

Boogerd_Fan wrote:
Either they are in or out...they can't be in but not counted for in the results. That would allow teams to prioritize stages, and let their domestiques crawl over the parcours on days they were not required.


The argument against seems to be that, but really which is the lesser evil: targeting stages and using these domestiques, or turning the remaining stages GC, KoM etc into a complete joke?

That's a bit of a drama queen attitude to me. All they gained was being fresh for today's stage . Everybody gets tomorrow off and everybody took Friday off to the tune of 30 minutes.

So, talking as if 30 minutes saved on the road yesterday is going to make them superhuman compared to the rest, for 7 stages, is ridiculous.
Bartali

But where does it stop Huw? Just because there was excitement at the front of the race doesn't excuse those at the back from taking the piss (yesterday or whenever).  Deliberate disregard for the rules - which is what this was - just brings the sport into disrepute.  What if three or four teams get together and all turn up with 'illegal' equipment?  Do we say go ahead and ride because we can't stop 36 riders taking the start line.  Or to stretch a point they all openly shoot up with epo ... do we let them ride because we can't throw a lot of riders off the race (well history suggests that might be the case). For me it is a point of principle, not expediency. Doing the right thing sometimes carries a cost and here the cost might be turning the remaining stages into a joke .... but this would never happen again.

Also,and I think it is quite important, as far as I can tell, the commissionaires have applied discretion that the rules don't permit.  No force majeure here! As Mr S often says ... this is just about money.
Bartali

HuwB wrote:
That's a bit of a drama queen attitude to me. All they gained was being fresh for today's stage . Everybody gets tomorrow off and everybody took Friday off to the tune of 30 minutes. So, talking as if 30 minutes saved on the road yesterday is going to make them superhuman compared to the rest, for 7 stages, is ridiculous.


Sorry to go on and on ... but this entirely misses the point.  It's nothing to do with what the advantage might or might not be ... its simply about applying the rules.  When VP/JV got disqualified in the 2012 OG that was because the rules were correctly applied .... the advantage they gained was, quite rightly, irrelevant.

I'll shut up now.  Sorry.   Rolling Eyes
Biosphere

Bart, you spoke of the jury exercising hypothetical discretion for Fraile and Elisonde. That's not in the rules Smile You also spoke of effective application of the rules. I know we'll disagree but what happened was both effective and discretionary in my opinion given the situation. The stage was raced in an exceptional way and there were exceptional outcomes. The rules allow for these exceptions because they're written vaguely enough.

Even though my tendency is not to throw the book at people (someone might get hurt), I'm not happy about the go slow precedent. I think the suggestion that they would be excluded from further results would be a good solution going forward. Sprinters and their trains could not take a rest for an upcoming stage. ITTers could not save themselves for an upcoming test. I might even go further and think about something like if it's as bad as Sunday with practically entire teams involved, then maybe something like a  25% or 33% cull of riders the next morning. Team with 2 riders in broom wagon get no penalty, 8 riders and you lose 2. The teams can decide who to DNS but it addresses the concerns about domestiques abusing the situation. Maybe? And it's just me waving my hands rather than a well thought out proposal, so bound to be stupid things I've not thought about.

I'm not sure it would be needed anyway as I think the exclusion penalty would lend enough impetus to the chase group. If Sky did chase for 40km the other day and none of the other teams helped, then I'm not surprised they said fug it and sat up.

Finally, as stupid as it might sound to some, I wouldn't want to take away the riders right to strike Smile
mazda

You only have to think about what _might_ happen in other team sports if something so unprofessional happened.

They should fine the teams for failing to control their riders, an amount that is significant enough so that it wouldn't happen again.
SlowRower

HuwB wrote:
So, talking as if 30 minutes saved on the road yesterday is going to make them superhuman compared to the rest, for 7 stages, is ridiculous.


But recovery / managing exhaustion is critical in the latter stages of a GT. Riding half an hour slower on a 3 hour stage represents a very significant saving of effort. A crude estimate suggest that this represent approx 15% to 20% less effort, which is getting on for the difference between riding in the bunch vs riding in the wind all day. This maybe enough to make the difference between making a break or closing a gap for the team leader on a subsequent stage. Fine margins often do make the difference at pro level, notwithstanding Sky's b*llocks about marginal gains.
HuwB

SlowRower wrote:
HuwB wrote:
So, talking as if 30 minutes saved on the road yesterday is going to make them superhuman compared to the rest, for 7 stages, is ridiculous.


But recovery / managing exhaustion is critical in the latter stages of a GT. Riding half an hour slower on a 3 hour stage represents a very significant saving of effort. A crude estimate suggest that this represent approx 15% to 20% less effort, which is getting on for the difference between riding in the bunch vs riding in the wind all day. This maybe enough to make the difference between making a break or closing a gap for the team leader on a subsequent stage. Fine margins often do make the difference at pro level, notwithstanding Sky's b*llocks about marginal gains.




Not talking about Bart's POV here which is confined to the breaking of, and perhaps more importantly, the abuse of the rules merits an en masse DQF.
That stance is fair enough to me. There is nothing duplicitous about wanting to enforce rules, cos they are rules.

The point I was trying and clearly failing to make for some, is a hypothetical one, because that is the territory we are now in.

A large number of "rule enforcers" are attempting to justify their demand by citing what may happen in terms of possible breakaway wins, based upon that marginal 30 minutes. The same marginal 30 minutes that Movistar took legally, because of an arbitrary percentage. On Sunday, that arbitrary figure turn out to be exceptionally optimistic.
This seems to have become the party line amongst a certain cyclo-twitter/forum circle.

My response was should they have thrown the baby out with the bath water, by giving examples of how the race might well collapse into farce.

I guess that's my rambling way of saying throw them out for being lazy tools: fine. Just don't try and make out it's because one or two of those lazy tools might take a stage or do some longer turns in the mountains, when the alternative scenario is for a far, far greater final week farce.
Bartali

Biosphere wrote:
Bart, you spoke of the jury exercising hypothetical discretion for Fraile and Elisonde. That's not in the rules Smile
Probably Smile I think I would argue force majeure on their behalf as it was beyond their control that the gruppetto was taking the piss.  In non-exceptional circumstances they would have fallen back to the grupetto and finished within time.

Biosphere wrote:
You also spoke of effective application of the rules. I know we'll disagree but what happened was both effective and discretionary in my opinion given the situation. The stage was raced in an exceptional way and there were exceptional outcomes. The rules allow for these exceptions because they're written vaguely enough.
We will agree to disagree, but the rules peak of 'force majeure' which I take to mean that the exceptional circumstance is outside the control of the rider(s) affected.  Of course there is still some latitude for interpretation, but I can not see how the decision to ride so far off the pace was outside the control of the riders concerned.  They new exactly what they were doing and the DSs knew what they were doing. This was calculated deliberate rule breaking which should not be allowed to go unpunished.  Exceptional in its brazenness ... but certainly not force majeure IMO.
Bartali

HuwB wrote:
The point I was trying and clearly failing to make for some, is a hypothetical one, because that is the territory we are now in.


Maybe we are focussing on the wrong stage here ... probably because of the media furore etc.  I agree with Huw that Sunday's rested riders were/are unlikely to have a major impact on the race due to the profile of yesterday's stage and the rest day today.  But what about the earlier occurrence that Huw has mentioned. Was it Friday?  Did 'rested' Movistar riders have a big impact on Saturday's stage and therefor Sunday too?  I haven't done the analysis ... but that seems more on point that suggesting Team Sky might gain an advantage in the last week.
Boogerd_Fan

The grupetto needs to respect making it within the time limit - it would still mean they are rested for the next days ahead.

Simple.

Chilling out and going 30mins over is just taking the piss

Not sure if it mattered much that Movistar riders were rested after that first breach of the rules... they were also put to the sword by OGE on the queen stage just got lucky that Moreno in the break meant they didn't have to do too much until Yates went ahead, and Quintana did most of the work himself on the day after.

I think we'll see Uber-SKY tomorrow, not because they are more rested but because Froome will be pissed he missed that move on Sunday, and the team will ride hard to set up Froome to go full apocalypse mode, for a big win, to put him within 2:20 of Quintana and leave it in the balance for the timetrial.
SlowRower

HuwB wrote:
A large number of "rule enforcers" are attempting to justify their demand by citing what may happen in terms of possible breakaway wins, based upon that marginal 30 minutes. The same marginal 30 minutes that Movistar took legally, because of an arbitrary percentage. On Sunday, that arbitrary figure turn out to be exceptionally optimistic.


Not sure you're entirely comparing apples and apples here.

Movistar's 30 minutes was the permitted time-limit on the stage on Saturday. The 30 minutes being talked about on Sunday is the excess over the permitted time-limit. The group concerned on Sunday was actually 54 minutes down on the winner. So Sunday's laggards had an unduly easy day which much affect things at the margins in coming days.

I know that time-limits on short stages are problematical as they are based on coefficients derived from long stages where attacks from the flag drop are rare. Hence, I wasn't bothered by the incident on the Alpe in 2011 where they missed the cut by a couple of minutes.

But missing the time-limit by half an hour isn't a quirk of coefficients. It was a collective decision to down tools and force the organisers to show leniency. (Which the rules do permit, obviously.)
mazda

An interesting tidbit I have only just seen for the first time.

Orica have suggested the breakaway (the second surge by Contador) succeeded due to a crash by Van der Sande which caused the initial gap (I can't see this on the footage between 112 and 110 km to go).
Chaves and Keukeleire were just behind and would have easily been with the Contador group otherwise.

Still boils down to the fact that the second group had its chance to get back to the Contador group but I'm guessing they never expected them to keep going so never gave it full gas in order to catch up at the crucial moment.
HuwB

mazda wrote:
An interesting tidbit I have only just seen for the first time.

Orica have suggested the breakaway (the second surge by Contador) succeeded due to a crash by Van der Sande which caused the initial gap (I can't see this on the footage between 112 and 110 km to go).
Chaves and Keukeleire were just behind and would have easily been with the Contador group otherwise.

Still boils down to the fact that the second group had its chance to get back to the Contador group but I'm guessing they never expected them to keep going so never gave it full gas in order to catch up at the crucial moment.


This, you mean?

[/quote]

So, Froome also and that would have been that, for those crucial moments.


.........................
Bartali

From Cyclingnews ...

Quote:
Chris Froome (Sky) has argued that the 93 riders who finished outside the time limit on stage 15 of the Vuelta a España should not have been reinstated to the race, although he understands the commissaires’ decision to allow them to continue. All of Froome’s Sky teammate would have been excluded from the race had the rule been enforced.


That's quite powerful ...

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