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HuwB

Vuelta Stages 17-21:GTs Spanish Sumit Sunset. Sept 10th-15th

So, we reach the final frontier. Will the final mighty mountain decide the final outcome, or will still rule the ramps?

Unipublic wrote:

Quote:
After several consecutive mountain stages, sprinters will once again have their chance.  With only five days until we reach the Castellana, the peloton will have to cover 182 kilometres between Calahorra and Burgos.  The riders will have had a rest day after their efforts in the Pyrenees and Alberto Contador’s performance at Fuente Dé after the second rest day in the 2012 edition will be on everyone’s mind.  It will be a day in which to attempt to break away and to try to recuperate some strength before facing the much-feared Asturian mountains.


Stage 17




Unipublic wrote:

Quote:
Before facing the final few days, the peloton will once again enjoy an explosive finish in Alto de Peña Cabarga.  Joaquim Rodríguez and Froome already know what it feels like to cross this finish line first.  In 2010 and 2011, they won two victories now remembered for their spectacular performances as well as for the wonderful atmosphere that always surrounds the final climbs.  Before facing the Asturian mountains, the riders will attempt to retain whatever is left of their strength after almost three weeks of the Vuelta.


Stage 18





Unipublic wrote:

Quote:
The third last stage of the Vuelta brings us back to the Principality of Asturias.  The day will start off with a departure from San Vicente de la Barquera and will end at the Alto del Naranco, a 1st category climb.  The 177-kilometre journey will not make much of a difference in the general classification.  Those riders with the chance to fight for the ultimate triumph will preserve their energy for the dreaded second last stage that will end in the Alto de l’Angliru.  The game is well and truly on and the Asturian mountains will decide who wins the 68th edition of the Vuelta a España.


Stage 19




Stage 20

Unipublic wrote:

Quote:
For the sixth time in its history the Vuelta a España will finish a stage at the Alto de l’Angliru.  For many, this is the toughest climb you can face in any race throughout the entire cycling calendar and it will surely mean another unforgettable chapter in the history of the Spanish tour.  Crossing this particular finish line first is a challenge for many riders.  The winner will not only have another victory under his belt, but will have conquered one of the mythical climbs in the cycling world - Its ramps, as well as the atmosphere that always surrounds the race as it passes through this mountain, guarantees a spectacle worthy of a truly outstanding Vuelta.  The Cordal, which will have to be tackled before l’Angliru, will be the icing on the cake for the stage winner.






Unipublic wrote:

Quote:
The suffering is over.  The moment has arrived at last to applaud the efforts of all the riders who have been able to complete the three weeks of the Vuelta a España.  The winner will have the chance to ride through the streets of Madrid wearing his winner’s jersey, but the capital’s spectators will recognise, as always, the work of all those who cross the finish line at the Castellana.  The 99-kilometre route from Leganés to Madrid will allow us to finally discover Alberto Contador’s successor.


Stage 21


Biosphere

Ta for that Smile I was going to post them up later.
kathy

Tomorrow (rest day), we are going to do a recce of the Alto del Naranco (Stage 19), to see where we can park up there on Friday.  Although the route does pass within about 10km of here.
Boogerd_Fan

One thing is for sure... we'll be seeing "smiler" try on Angliru... he's got very little to lose, other than pride, vs. becoming a GT winner even father time can't stop!

Nibbles creaking.. can the rest day save him? (that's not what i meant, honest!)
Bartali

It's been a long season for Nibali and we've seen him tire before in the Vuelta (2011).  Hopefully the rest day and Wednesday will be enough to recharge. Hope so ....
Biosphere

SlowRower wrote:
Biosphere wrote:
I think Nibali is simply showing the effects of a long season. He's been hugely successful already and is in with a chance of winning a second GT. Think he's fatigued rather than anything more 'strategic'. He's talking about the leader's jersey weighing on his shoulders.


He looks a tad over his usual racing weight as well - maybe 6% bodyfat rather than 4%!

Do we know if Nibs has actually targeted the Vuelta from earlier in the season? Or is it more likely that he just decided to chance his arm in what looked on paper a fairly modest field despite knowing he's sub-par?


Thought I'd bring this over here for rest day chat. He has certainly spoken of the Vuelta months ago, but as usual one can't tell if it's as a stepping stone or serious. Personally I think he's committed and we're taking it for granted that its possible to win two GTs in a year.

PS: Those crits up North must be bloody tough if your describing this Vuelta line up as fairly modest Wink
SlowRower

Biosphere wrote:
PS: Those crits up North must be bloody tough if your describing this Vuelta line up as fairly modest Wink


It's all relative and down to fairly fine margins, but if you factor in who rode the Tour then there aren't many big hitters in top form in the line up.

If Nibs was riding this having had the same season he's had to date and was up against a fresh Froome, Quintana, JRod, Valverde and a 2012 version of Wiggo and Berto then Old Man Horner would be the least of his troubles, I suspect!
Biosphere

SlowRower wrote:
If Nibs was riding this having had the same season he's had to date and was up against a fresh Froome, Quintana, JRod, Valverde and a 2012 version of Wiggo and Berto then Old Man Horner would be the least of his troubles, I suspect!


Not fair though to wear him out and then put him up against a fresh half a dozen challengers. The 2012 model Wiggins has been discontinued and Nibali already took care of him this year anyway Smile
SlowRower

Biosphere wrote:
Not fair though to wear him out and then put him up against a fresh half a dozen challengers.


That's my point though - Nibali's opposition in the Vuelta is weak relative to Nibs' opposition in the Giro and the Tour line up, as so many riders are worn out at the end of the season. Nibs is also somewhat worn out, so we're getting a good race!
HuwB

SlowRower wrote:
Biosphere wrote:
Not fair though to wear him out and then put him up against a fresh half a dozen challengers.


That's my point though - Nibali's opposition in the Vuelta is weak relative to Nibs' opposition in the Giro and the Tour line up, as so many riders are worn out at the end of the season. Nibs is also somewhat worn out, so we're getting a good race!


I'm afraid I have to disagree, here.
The Giro had a Tour winner past his sell by date and a Tour winner with his head some place else. Hesjedal and Gesink not exactly stellar.
Uran was on babysitting duty for the first 10 days and still managed to finish as RU.
The Tour had a rookie (albeit a very talented one) finishing in the same spot.
Bertie no better than Kreuziger without his raw steak.
Third place man, Rodriguez came in "cold" and only hit form in his third week.
Valverde lost interest after the crosswind calamity.
Both will be strong in this Vuelta's tough finish.
EE sent their absolute cream, although I fear Samu now falls into the Evans category and Anton, at best, is an enigma.
A well rested Henao, Uran again,  a back to form Basso, Pozzovivo, plus Radioshack's best, current GT rider by far, all here.
SlowRower

HuwB wrote:
SlowRower wrote:
Biosphere wrote:
Not fair though to wear him out and then put him up against a fresh half a dozen challengers.


That's my point though - Nibali's opposition in the Vuelta is weak relative to Nibs' opposition in the Giro and the Tour line up, as so many riders are worn out at the end of the season. Nibs is also somewhat worn out, so we're getting a good race!


I'm afraid I have to disagree, here.
The Giro had a Tour winner past his sell by date and a Tour winner with his head some place else. Hesjedal and Gesink not exactly stellar.
Uran was on babysitting duty for the first 10 days and still managed to finish as RU.
The Tour had a rookie (albeit a very talented one) finishing in the same spot.
Bertie no better than Kreuziger without his raw steak.
Third place man, Rodriguez came in "cold" and only hit form in his third week.
Valverde lost interest after the crosswind calamity.
Both will be strong in this Vuelta's tough finish.
EE sent their absolute cream, although I fear Samu now falls into the Evans category and Anton, at best, is an enigma.
A well rested Henao, Uran again,  a back to form Basso, Pozzovivo, plus Radioshack's best, current GT rider by far, all here.


I wouldn't violently disagree with much of the above, but not so sure about JRod, Valverde and Basso being real threats in the Vuelta. However JRod rode the Tour, he finished third and is most likely to be not fully recovered yet. Similarly, Valverde didn't really lose interest, as without the crosswind stage (where he was caning himself for a long time before giving up the chase) he was going as fast as the 3rd/4th/5th place guys, which again is an effort that will take some recovering from. His effort last year where he finished 40 odd minutes down in the Tour was much better preparation for the Vuelta. Next week will be interesting indeed!

Basso is past it, I think, so although back on form, he was never going to challenge.
Biosphere

Graham Watson tweeting about  “massive winds likely to cause chaos for cyclists”. He's not the best at predicting things, but if the pace is high in an effort to exploit, it wont help the break's chances.

Javier Aramendia (Caja Rural) and Adam Hansen (Lotto Belisol) off the front with 6+ minutes at the moment.
gerry12ie

Adam Hansen is a hell of a bloke.  This is his seventh GT in a row, yes?
HuwB

Well, this "slow" stage has blown up big time.
Another GC shake up coming on a Vuelta "nothing" stage.
Groups all over the road. Pozzo and Pinot today's losers.
mazda

Mollema gets first GC stage.

Good day for Roche.
Bartali

I'm with Huw re the quality of the field.  The TdF field was woeful and the Giro not as strong in practice as it looked on paper.

The beauty of this Vuelta is that virtually everybody is here - albeit most with a GT in their legs - and the parcours is consistently challenging.

Basso past it?  I'm not sure what that says about Mollema, Ten Dam, Gesink, Roche, Pinot, Samu, Uran, Henao etc etc ... as they were all struggling to keep up with the old man.  He might not have another GT win in him, but hebis certainly capable of mixing it with the best and more consistent than virtually anyone.
HuwB

mazda wrote:
Mollema gets first GC stage.

Good day for Roche.


Thanks to the usual, hilariously inept wheel watching from the bunch.
Mollema saw them swanning about and took the chance with both hands.
Left EBH wringing his. Wink

A cracking final 30 kms, out of the blue.
Boogerd_Fan

Bartali wrote:
I'm with Huw re the quality of the field.  The TdF field was woeful and the Giro not as strong in practice as it looked on paper.

The beauty of this Vuelta is that virtually everybody is here - albeit most with a GT in their legs - and the parcours is consistently challenging.

Basso past it?  I'm not sure what that says about Mollema, Ten Dam, Gesink, Roche, Pinot, Samu, Uran, Henao etc etc ... as they were all struggling to keep up with the old man.  He might not have another GT win in him, but hebis certainly capable of mixing it with the best and more consistent than virtually anyone.


+1 but i do agree while Basso looked strong here, he has had woeful form this year. I don't see how he can do a job for Nibali even if he did join Astana.

p.s. BAUKE BAUKE BAUKE!!!!!!
SlowRower

Bart,

I was thinking about quality of fields in terms of the chances of winning, not placing. The Vuelta Nibs wouldn't be beating the Giro Nibs and would have had a real struggle in the Tour against Froome, even if rested. Thus, in this simplistic view, the Vuelta field is weakest as its best rider (in Vuelta form) is worse than the best in the Giro and Tour.

Basso is "past it" in terms of beating the top guys in a GT. If Basso was up against the current top guys (Nibs and Froome) then no-one would back him to win.

My thinking re Nibs was that he was surveying the field for people who might beat him, and Basso wouldn't feature in this assessment. in fact, my view is that Nibs might have reached the same conclusion about everyone - perhaps erroneously in respect of Horner, but he's surprised everyone - and gone for the Vuelta even though he's slightly below par.
Boogerd_Fan

The fact is that even a 90% Nibali has this field beat.

However I can't comment if a 100% Jrod or Valv turned up. I think they're on a downward spiral from their form in July.. whereas Nibs is on upward trend to peak for 2-3 weeks time. Does that give some sort of psychological advantage, or maybe fresher legs on the really steep stuff? Not sure.

Horner is defying quite a lot of things - gravity, age, critics... it is too unbelievable - not that we've really got a good baseline to judge him against. He has never been up there like this!! That's exactly the problem.
Bartali

Boogerd_Fan wrote:
While Basso looked strong here, he has had woeful form this year. I don't see how he can do a job for Nibali even if he did join Astana.

Really?  He's sat out most of the season with a boil on his butt, but when he has got out he's managed 4th Overall in the Coppi e Bartali, 8th in poland and 10th in the Vuelta a Burgos. And here he didn't lose any significant time on the top riders (other than theTTs).  To me that means he has a good chance of sticking with Nibs in the hills longer than any of his current team.
Bartali

SlowRower wrote:
The Vuelta Nibs wouldn't be beating the Giro Nibs and would have had a real struggle in the Tour against Froome, even if rested.
That's a bold statement given that Nibs has had the beating of Froome, Wiggins, Uran, Haeno at al all year?  How is it that after one GT win the Froomatics suddenly think there man is unbeatable?

As I said elsewhere ... by the end of the week it is likely that Nibali's GT record will be superior top the whole of Team Sky combined.
SlowRower

Nibs vs Froome would be a close call; I only predicted that if Nibs had ridden the Tour fresh he'd have had a real struggle against Froome, not that Froome would definitely have won.

Froome's GT record vs Nibs is quite good over the last three seasons, so they are obviously very closely matched.

Take your point about Nibs GT record vs Sky, but that is not actually relevant to who would win in a GT out of Froome and Nibs when both were fresh. Don't forget that Froome was aiming to peak for the Tour so would expect to be behind the curve performance wise early season vs Nibs, who was aiming to peak 6 or so weeks earlier.
Bartali

SlowRower wrote:
Don't forget that Froome was aiming to peak for the Tour so would expect to be behind the curve performance wise early season vs Nibs, who was aiming to peak 6 or so weeks earlier.


Is that true?  I thought we have been told for the last two years that Wiggins/Froome do not train to peak for the Tour - they are constantly in top shape hence why they win every race they ride ... apart from when they face Nibali.
gerry12ie

Let's face it, Nibali is on the verge of something genuinely historic here and while both him and Froome have hardly made an error this season (and when Froome did Nibali took full advantage) Nibali goes in to the vital days with the advantage and experience to claim a prestigious double.  I look forward to the two of them  getting it on next season mano y mano as there isn't too much between them on the road but Nibali is a smarter, cannier rider than Froome, and he has the edge I think.

That said, I'm not fully confident that the final days wont be very difficult for him.  In a race with so many climbs and only one ITT you might expect the most consistent climber to come out on top, and so far that has been Horner.  Nibali hasn't been able to stamp his authority on Horner and I think that might be down to focus.  Horner was 100% going for this and, for me, Nibali was sending unclear messages about the Vuelta before the race.  It's understandable that he might want to play down his chances but I got the impression some of his focus was a few weeks down the road.  I wouldn't bet against him but Valverde and Purito look different riders to what they seemed a week ago so there should be fireworks right to the end now.  

Not terribly impressed by Cancellara going off to do his thing with his man in second overall going in to the critical stages.
Bartali

As usual I agree with this Gerry.  Doubles are incredibly rare and that Nibali has got so close does him great credit.

I also agree that today and Saturday will be very difficult for him - but we all thought he was going to get turned over at the end of the 2010 Vuelta where he had shown a bit of weakness  ... and he came back strongly.

Cancellara - poor show, but frankly he wouldn't be much help at the pointy end.  What does suprise me is Tangart(sp?) consistently high placing, but failure to stick close by Nibs towards the end? I would have expected more sacrafice at this stage of the race. Maybe I'm being unfair.
Biosphere

gerry12ie wrote:
Let's face it, Nibali is on the verge of something genuinely historic here and while both him and Froome have hardly made an error this season (and when Froome did Nibali took full advantage) Nibali goes in to the vital days with the advantage and experience to claim a prestigious double.  I look forward to the two of them  getting it on next season mano y mano as there isn't too much between them on the road but Nibali is a smarter, cannier rider than Froome, and he has the edge I think.

That said, I'm not fully confident that the final days wont be very difficult for him.  In a race with so many climbs and only one ITT you might expect the most consistent climber to come out on top, and so far that has been Horner.  Nibali hasn't been able to stamp his authority on Horner and I think that might be down to focus.  Horner was 100% going for this and, for me, Nibali was sending unclear messages about the Vuelta before the race.  It's understandable that he might want to play down his chances but I got the impression some of his focus was a few weeks down the road.  I wouldn't bet against him but Valverde and Purito look different riders to what they seemed a week ago so there should be fireworks right to the end now.  

Not terribly impressed by Cancellara going off to do his thing with his man in second overall going in to the critical stages.


I think Nibali is a cannier racer, but I don't see him out-climbing or out-TTing Froome over 3 weeks. If he wins a GT against him it will rely on other factors. He is going to be under a lot of pressure in the next few days and I will not be surprised by him being out-climbed by the rest of the podium chasers if that happens. His team manager is talking about him not being at his Giro level and missing that little bit.

That said, I think he's been committed to the Vuelta, but it's only natural that he would have an eye on a climbers WC in Italy so he probably is trying to time his peak for that as well.

If it's a sole decision from Cancellara then I agree, but I presume there is some level of agreement / sanction from management in the pursuit of the hoops. In the LBS at the weekend and I noticed that the BMC posters / catalogue were of Gilbert. I guess after the MJ, the WC is the most marketable jersey?
SlowRower

Bartali wrote:
SlowRower wrote:
Don't forget that Froome was aiming to peak for the Tour so would expect to be behind the curve performance wise early season vs Nibs, who was aiming to peak 6 or so weeks earlier.


Is that true?  I thought we have been told for the last two years that Wiggins/Froome do not train to peak for the Tour - they are constantly in top shape hence why they win every race they ride ... apart from when they face Nibali.


I don't think even Sky have claimed that Wiggo was at peak form all through 2012. If memory serves, the claim was that he was at 95% through early season training and racing before peaking for the Tour and the OGs. (Froome's form was manifestly much more variable in 2012, though much more consistent in 2013.)

This would appear to be borne out by results, where he was winning by seconds in the early season: Paris Nice by 8, Romandie by 12, Dauphine by 77 (form building by here). Contrast this to the Tour where he was putting minutes into even promising Italian stage racers.

Results also show that during 2012, when Wiggo was winning so much, Nibali lost to him convincingly in the only race they both seriously contested.

But that was 2012 and Wiggins. My focus has been 2013 and Froome. Froome and Nibs have only raced once this year and that was in mid March, 2 months before the Giro and 4 months before the Tour. It doesn't seem unreasonable to assume that Nibs and Froome were at different stages of their preparation at this stage of the season, so I don't think a 23s overall victory for Nibs is much to hang your hat on to claim that Nibs would definitely be better than Froome if they'd both targeted the same GT. I'm certainly not claiming the contrary, only that Froome would be a lot tougher to beat than anyone in this year's Vuelta line up. I will say though that Nibs' wins over Sky personnel other than Froome this year are completely irrelevant in assessing whether Nibs might beat Froome.

As Gerry says, a genuine match up between the two would be quite something, as Nibs has two drubbings in the most recent GTs they've both contested to overturn.
berck

I think Cancellara was always going to pull out of the Vuelta. Here is a comment from Horner...

Fabian was amazing the way he looked after me. He could have pulled out earlier to prepare for the World’s but he stayed yesterday for me, I’m grateful he did that.
Bartali

SlowRower wrote:
Results also show that during 2012, when Wiggo was winning so much, Nibali lost to him convincingly in the only race they both seriously contested.


You are only as good as your last result and Froome and the entire Sky outfit have been out thought and out raced by Nibali all year.  Also, its well documented that Nibali was ill at the 2012 TdF and in the 2011 Vuelta he was riding his second GT of the season - which is significant.  Last year we saw how Froome performed in his second GT of the year and you might remember that it wasn't pretty!

But back to the initial point, surely the field here is strong because most of the top men are here and most have had a GT in their legs.  A fresh Froome is an irrelevance - would the line up be that much stronger by the inclusion of a 'tired' Froome, a weak Contador or a knacked Evans?  I dont think so.  In fact, given how easily Froome got his arse kicked by a Tour 'also ran' in the 2012 Vuelta I wouldn't expect his presence at this years Vuelta would trouble the top men too much.
SlowRower

Bartali wrote:
...surely the field here is strong because most of the top men are here and most have had a GT in their legs.


Having a hard TDF in your legs is a positive disadvantage for riding the Vuelta, as you highlight with your comments about Froome's 2012 Vuelta campaign. Thus I would re-phrase you comment above to be:

"Surely the field here is weak despite the presence of most of the top men as most of them have a GT in their legs".

Bartali wrote:
A fresh Froome is an irrelevance...


To the Vuelta this year, to be sure. But my comments about Froome have related to how strong he was in the Tour (i.e. when he was fresh) and the hypothetical situation - this year, at least - as to how he and Nibs might go in a GT against each other when fresh.

Seeing Froome in the latter stages of the Tour suggest he wouldn't have done very well in the Vuelta this year. The poor lad looked cream crackered!

Re Nibs being ill in the Tour last year, pretty much all top cyclists claim to have been ill when they perform under par. I'm genuinely curious as to what sort of illness it is that allows you to perform at 99% of your peak levels in a GT. Most illnesses I've ever encountered result in far greater drops in performance. I'm more inclined to believe that Nibs' 2012 campaign was blighted by a genuine loss of form, for reasons that can't be quantified.
SlowRower

Bartali wrote:
...in the 2011 Vuelta he was riding his second GT of the season - which is significant.


So in 2011, Nibs got a mild kicking in the Vuelta having ridden the Giro, with the podium occupied by riders who hadn't ridden a GT that year (other than Wiggo's foray in the Tour.)

In 2013, Nibs is leading the Vuelta having also ridden the Giro.

So has Nibs improved significantly from 2011 to 2013 or is the opposition this year not so strong? (His main rival, amongst many notable performance attributes, hasn't ridden a GT this year, which may or may not be significant.) Combination of both I'd say, with more of the latter.

Or are the margins actually too small to draw meaningful conclusions, other than who wins and who doesn't?
Bartali

Question:  Is a peloton with all the top riders being 'equally' tired stronger or weaker than a peloton with only a few of the top riders present albeit fully fresh?

I say the former is the stronger.  I think you are saying the latter?

Nibali is clearly stronger this year than 2011 AND this year's field has more qualirty.
berck

I wonder if Kiryienka is going to be able to hold his lead?
SlowRower

Bartali wrote:
Question:  Is a peloton with all the top riders being 'equally' tired stronger or weaker than a peloton with only a few of the top riders present albeit fully fresh?

I say the former is the stronger.  I think you are saying the latter?


In this context, yes. When assessing Nibs' chances of winning, you can have all the top guys there, but if everyone's equally tired then he'd fancy his chances of winning. Conversely, you could have a field of you, me, a fresh Froome and Nibs with a GT in his legs already, and Nibs' chances of winning would actually be lower. Nibs is at the stage of his career where he should only be thinking about winning, not being satisifed with a good place.

It's not unambiguous, though. If you're just aiming for a top 5, top 10 etc. then a large field of the top guys, albeit tired, is probably not so good for you, due to sheer weight of numbers who could displace you. In this case you'd think the field with the small number of top guys (who are fresh) is weakest, as there is less competition where you're aiming/hoping to finish.

We really need Nibs and Froome on form to race the same GT programme next year to settle this properly!
Biosphere

berck wrote:
I wonder if Kiryienka is going to be able to hold his lead?


I guess you can't see pictures, but if I owned an "all you can eat" restaurant I'd get nervous if I saw him turning up Laughing

Wolfing back the food and holding off the chase.
Fontfroide

One of my favourite kinds of race.  Two for the price of one.  Should be fun to watch these last few k.

Not too many points today I guess.
berck

No, I don't have a video feed. Just stuck with text updates.

I think you're right FF, not many points will be had today.
Biosphere

Gotta go out again. Stage winner clear. GC battle starting now. Radioshack still setting pace.
berck

Sounds like Nibali is challenging Horner to take the red jersey. Nice move by Nibali to sit on Horner's wheel.
gerry12ie

Ticker suggests Horner is the strongest?
mazda

SlowRower wrote:
We really need Nibs and Froome on form to race the same GT programme next year to settle this properly!

Yates seems to think Froome is untouchable over the next few years.

And if that isn't enough to get you going, says he is probably the only rider with a bigger engine than Lance !
mazda

Roche and Valverde dropped ?
gerry12ie

mazda wrote:
SlowRower wrote:
We really need Nibs and Froome on form to race the same GT programme next year to settle this properly!

Yates seems to think Froome is untouchable over the next few years.

And if that isn't enough to get you going, says he is probably the only rider with a bigger engine than Lance !


That's cos Lance has a Ferrari engine... Wink
mazda

Ticker problems ?

Horner is too much for NIbali! The Italian cannot keep up.
The tirelss American crosses the line 1:50 behind the winner, with Nibali coming in at 2:18.

That sounds like 28 seconds.
Fontfroide

Really was quite a startling few ks.

Horner, goodness.  There will be words.
gerry12ie

It really should be way beyond the realm of possibility that a 42 year old would win stages in the first week and a fortnight later still be outclimbing the main GC contenders.

Shouldn't it?
HuwB

Unless Horner rectally implants his seat post, he has this Vuelta in the bag.
Kiriyenka delivers his annual one man show, stage win.
SlowRower

gerry12ie wrote:
It really should be way beyond the realm of possibility that a 42 year old would win stages in the first week and a fortnight later still be outclimbing the main GC contenders.

Shouldn't it?


Agreed. But it is a weak field, with everyone else suffering from GT campaigns earlier in the season.  Wink
Fontfroide

I was getting a little off a few days ago.  Thought Nibali had it locked up.

Still enjoying the last climb.

I can remind you all that my middle name is Vasil.
berck

Nibali couldn't match Horner, but I'm hearing he will still retain the jersey by 3 seconds. Kiryienka takes the stage...
HuwB

gerry12ie wrote:
It really should be way beyond the realm of possibility that a 42 year old would win stages in the first week and a fortnight later still be outclimbing the main GC contenders.

Shouldn't it?


Well, there is a study that says your VO max starts to go downhill from 35.
Then, the older you are, the fatser the decline.
Obviously not true in Chris's case.
JohnD

Shocked

I'm sorry for you. I’m sorry that you can’t dream big. I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles.

Laughing
HuwB

This Vuelta reminds me of the 2004 race and how Santi Perez ate into Heras's lead in the final week.
Horner has more opportunities, though and Nibali looks to be weakening.
Time for him to try something spectacular, with tomorrow's run in stacked with hills and descents.
HuwB

OK. Horner sets a new lap record of 16'-44", beating JRod's 2010 record by
16 seconds and Froome's 2011 time by 30 seconds.
The figure of 6.7w/kg has already been mentioned, but for a 20 minute effort, is that at all ET?
Bartali

HuwB wrote:
OK. Horner sets a new lap record of 16'-44", beating JRod's 2010 record by
16 seconds and Froome's 2011 time by 30 seconds.
The figure of 6.7w/kg has already been mentioned, but for a 20 minute effort, is that at all ET?

For Horner?  Yes!!
Bartali

mazda wrote:
Yates seems to think Froome is untouchable over the next few years.


Is that the same yates that spent a career with Armstrong and Riis and never ever had a hint of anything untowards happening around him ... yeah, must be true then.

Rolling Eyes
HuwB

My bad.
Apparently Horner's timed climb wasn't 16-44" as it first appeared.
It was  16'38". Wink
MAILLOT JAUNE

No wonder Horner has a big smile on his face when he's climbing - he's having a laugh at our expense of thinking that he's riding clean!
Slapshot 3

Ahhhh the new age of clean cycling.....I cry bullshit!!
berck

HuwB wrote:
My bad.
Apparently Horner's timed climb wasn't 16-44" as it first appeared.
It was  16'38". Wink


Where are you getting the climbing times?
HuwB

berck wrote:
HuwB wrote:
My bad.
Apparently Horner's timed climb wasn't 16-44" as it first appeared.
It was  16'38". Wink


Where are you getting the climbing times?


There have been several sources. The latter one is from Danish tv, the former is the one upon which the 6.7w/kg calculation was based.
The general consensus atm, is that the guy who produced said calculation is pretty accurate and slightly conservative.

Anton Vayer, the ex Festina, anti-Sky bloke who seems to held in high esteem by the MCC is kicking off again.

Quote:
En 16'43sec Horner bat le record de la montée de plus de 15sec!!! Watts mutants. AMAZING!

Froome et Cobo en 2011: 17min16s, 473 watts étalon. Horner 16min 44!!!  
berck

Thanks Huw!!
gerry12ie

Horner looked very comfortable in the final.  With him in this kind of form it would be foolish to try and sit on his wheel with only a three second lead.  So will Nibali attack?  Will he try to nullify tomorrow and stake all on Saturday?
Boogerd_Fan

I'd be pushing for some alliance with the Spanish guys. They are too far back... but they could work over Horner to secure a stage victory on Angliru - which is certainly in Jrod's radar.
Biosphere

Caught up a while ago. I may be wrong in my thinking, but on behalf of 42 year olds everywhere, I apologise Rolling Eyes

Edit: Big break today, but not being given much quarter in terms of time. Katusha taking part in driving chase. Bonus seconds?

Quote:
David Tanner (Belkin), Francis De Greef (Lotto), Rafael Valls Ferri (Vacansoleil), Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Sky), Georg Preidler (Argos), Danilo Wyss (BMC), Benat Intxausti (Movistar), Paul Voss (NetApp), Nicolas Edet (Cofidis), Pablo Urtasun (Euskaltel), Manuele Mori (Lampre), Leigh Howard (Orica GreenEDGE), David Arroyo (Caja Rural), Xabier Zandio (Team Sky), Dominik Nerz (BMC), Andriy Grivko (Astana), Christian Meier (Orica GreenEDGE), Daniele Ratto (Cannondale), Ivan Santaromita (BMC) and Nico Sijmens (Cofidis).
HuwB

LOL. The Italians are clearly not happy with Horner.
Gazetto's the latest to calculate his output.
Needless to say, they place it a fair bit higher than 6.7w/kg.....
....well, a fair bit higher than anybody's really:
http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/g...-horners-power-data-at-the-vuelta
berck

EBH and Preidler have broken from the mass and have 1:50 on the big break.
HuwB

berck wrote:
EBH and Preidler have broken from the mass and have 1:50 on the big break.


Katusha working like crazy to keep them within reach.
A very, very fast stage thus far.
Not a lot of live left by the time we get there.
berck

HuwB wrote:
LOL. The Italians are clearly not happy with Horner.
Gazetto's the latest to calculate his output.
Needless to say, they place it a fair bit higher than 6.7w/kg.....
....well, a fair bit higher than anybody's really:
http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/g...-horners-power-data-at-the-vuelta


Did you read the comments? I like this one...

The incontrovertible evidence that Horner is doping is the fact that he smiles all the way up a climb. I have trouble finding a picture where he isn't. There was a study in the Journal of the American College of Psychology showing that people who smile in competition are definitely cheating. Smile

Laughing
gerry12ie

CN ticker kaput Sad  any action?
HuwB

Very fast, very stretched 18kms to go.
Eurosport still messing about with ad breaks and pointless trivia.

Yes, berck, I always read the comments for their comedy value. Wink

Break of 2 have just 70 seconds.
gerry12ie

Ta Huw
HuwB

Slightly larger group ahead of the pack (+40 riders) at 50 seconds.
Netapp rider leads the field.
About to start the Naranco climb.
HuwB

Purito rockets away to win.
Nibali blows up again, so Horner takes red.
JRod
Ulissi
Moreno
Samu
Horner
Valv
Scarponi
Konig

Papy leads the Vuelta by 3"

Nibali looks so vulnerable, now. Could end up 4th.
berck

Thanks Huw. I have the same problem as gerry. CN ticker died.

Boy, those Italians are going to be even madder today. Wink
kathy

just got back from the stage.We were near the finish with the last 40k on big screen TV.  Have some dubious photos.  Purito flashed past like a rocket!

Will update FPs later or tomorrow.
MAILLOT JAUNE

Did Horner smile at you????  Wink

Hope you had a good time.
Nolte

i did not get the saxobank/roche strategy to drive the pace into Naranco. all that to put 11 seconds into pozzovivo. ridiculous riding. should have just left José Joao Pimenta Costa Mendes out in front to take the stage win

but then again i am biased.
Bartali

Can someone remind me why Horner doesn't have a 2014 contract given they must have all of his physiological data?  I think I've had enough of this ... you might only see me on the track posts from now on.
HuwB

Bartali wrote:
Can someone remind me why Horner doesn't have a 2014 contract given they must have all of his physiological data?  I think I've had enough of this ... you might only see me on the track posts from now on.


Err, he wants a two year contract, not one, at a million dollars per year.
No incentive to dope there, then.
Maybe that's why there appears even less incentive for anybody to make the offer atm, perhaps?
Beasley

Bartali wrote:
Can someone remind me why Horner doesn't have a 2014 contract given they must have all of his physiological data?  I think I've had enough of this ... you might only see me on the track posts from now on.

... toys thrown from the pram in spectacular fashion! Laughing

The Italian press is making a great of deal of Horner possibly clocking up 7w/kg. Funnily, I can't remember them having the same interested when their boy Cunego was putting up the same numbers on much longer climbs in the 2004 Giro.
gerry12ie

Keep the faith Bartali.

In truth, Nibali and Astana have been far too defensive in this race, especially in the last week.  In fact his team were quite poor really and haven't been able to really compete with Movistar, Katusha and superman Kiserlovski, but he it's quite simple now - Nibali needs to win today.  He looks a shadow of the aggressive rider that defended his Vuelta title in 2010, where he was chasing bonus seconds and orchestrating attacks (ultimately in vain, but what can you do against such supreme proven GT competitors as Cobo, Froome and Wiggins) but he stamped his authority on the toughest day of the Giro this year and he has to repeat that performance now today.  I am hopeful he can do that but, sadly, not confident as Horner has comfortably been the best rider in the race.

For a sport that has allegedly cleaned up its act, cycling is certainly throwing out a few curveballs in the last couple of years.  Some of the more bizarre results might suggest that the sport is indeed changing but there is a bit too much recent oddness to take on board, and Horner is yet another example of this.  Put simply, he is almost 42 and has no Grand Tour pedigree but has absolutely breezed through this race.  Everything we know about cycling and human sporting endeavour suggests that Horner's performance is indeed unbelievable.  Or maybe just as believable as a track rider winning the TDF, or Froome appearing overnight as a 26 year old invincible champion like Dionysus springing fully formed from the thigh of Zeus.  If people want to believe in that kind of shit then fine, that's their prerogative, knock themselves out.  Me? I'm already looking forward to the cyclocross season, because that means the Spring Classics can't be too far away...     Wink

Beasley managed to stop by on his way home from the pub to toss a couple of grenades but forgot to mention that Cunego was 20 years younger when he won his Giro than Horner is now.  People can see whats going on in this race and all the figures and pseudo-science in the world wont change that.

Forza Nibali
HuwB

Some of the rider comments are starting to sound a bit doubled edged, too.

Purito joked about Horner having a tailwind, while they all had a headwind.
Now, Nibali chips in for Gazzetto, here.


http://velonews.competitor.com/20...ower-numbers-at-the-vuelta_302720

Quote:
Nibali told Italy’s La Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper, “I can’t climb at 500 watts. I was going at 430 watts and that guy accelerated. What could I do?”
JohnD

...... Froome appearing overnight as a 26 year old invincible champion like Dionysus springing fully formed from the thigh of Zeus...

Great turn of phrase Gerry!   Very Happy
Biosphere

HuwB wrote:
Some of the rider comments are starting to sound a bit doubled edged, too.

Purito joked about Horner having a tailwind, while they all had a headwind.
Now, Nibali chips in for Gazzetto, here.


http://velonews.competitor.com/20...ower-numbers-at-the-vuelta_302720

Quote:
Nibali told Italy’s La Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper, “I can’t climb at 500 watts. I was going at 430 watts and that guy accelerated. What could I do?”


German ES spoke about Horner and doping yesterday. They did comment on the remarkable performance and breaking new ground for a 42 year old. The Italian press got mentioned too and they felt that some of the reported powers were a bit high and hoped the SRM data would be released. They also said that on Thursday that Nibali despite appearing to crack, bested his previous time by 26 seconds, suggesting that  something made the climb very favourable on the day. I have not seen that statistic anywhere else. Anyone come across it? Mind you Nibali said he climbed at 430W, whilst the better calculation tools that anyone can plug numbers into came up with 434W, suggesting nothing too weird going on.

Gerry, Nibali's Giro defining stage win came at the end of 3 weeks where he was clearly the strongest and was arguably an expected victory that day. The trajectory here is completely different  (especially over the last few days) and I expect today to be more about defending a podium place rather than retaking the lead.
Biosphere

Fighting talk Smile

http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/nibali-hopes-for-rain-on-the-angliru
HuwB

Biosphere wrote:
Fighting talk Smile

http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/nibali-hopes-for-rain-on-the-angliru


In which case, he's plum out of luck.



Best he can hope for is the now, traditional fog. Maybe he can shove Horner off a cliff? Razz
Boogerd_Fan

Keep the faith indeed... looking forward for the day when they announce Quintana as the real winner of the Tour.. and Nibali still has some work to do this afternoon to keep his 2nd place and win the Vuelta (in a few years time when Horner's busted). But that's just part and parcel of why Bart's pissed and this circus is getting tired and old. Unless you are 42.

A rainy Angliru??
Any of the tOp 4 could still do something if the weather  is bad.
Bartali

Beasley wrote:
The Italian press is making a great of deal of Horner possibly clocking up 7w/kg. Funnily, I can't remember them having the same interested when their boy Cunego was putting up the same numbers on much longer climbs in the 2004 Giro.


Truly laughable Beasley!!!  No body showed much interest in 7W/kg 10 years ago but if it doesn't concern you, then there is something seriously wrong.

Have I thrown my toys out of my pram?  Absolutely - I care about this sport and this is a joke.  We have yet again talked the talk about a clean peloton but we really are in WWE territory.  You know Horner's not capable of this performance, Nibali knows it, Don Alejandro and JRod know it and even his employers know he can't deliver this performance clean.  This is Landis' stage 17 all over again ... and the faithful will come out with all sorts of reasons about this or that wattage being achievable, but it is just a crock of c**p.  Finito
Nolte

i think people who believe horner is clean can be grouped in to 2 categories:

- wind up merchants
- those who not even Jesus could cure of blindness

it is really depressing seeing horner dominate the vuelta as this is so unbelievable that he could be clean and unbelievable that he passing the doping tests.

maybe his slow pedalling in the time trial was to avoid some doping tests at the end of the stage?
MAILLOT JAUNE

Well, Armstrong managed to pass the doping tests for at least 7 years (possibly with a little help.....), so I don't see it being any different now. But I do think there is some new type of doping going on, possibly a new drug or an new way of taking/masking existing ones, that are not detectable.
HuwB

MAILLOT JAUNE wrote:
Well, Armstrong managed to pass the doping tests for at least 7 years (possibly with a little help.....), so I don't see it being any different now. But I do think there is some new type of doping going on, possibly a new drug or an new way of taking/masking existing ones, that are not detectable.


Been mulling over the Armstrong return and whether there is any link to a number of riders now seemingly able to be competitive after the big four-o.
A Clinicesque theory too far, perhaps?
kathy

The weather for the Angliru?  Well, even though we're quite a bit further north here, it is changeable today, and rained this morning.  Some low cloud, and quite windy.
Slapshot 3

I guess Horner is after 2 years at a Million+ to cover the cheques he's written to Pat to allow him to win the Vuelta...... Of all the piss takes perpetrated in recent years this one takes the pack of penguins. Froome is barely believable but Horner is a feckin joke, at this rate we'll have Merckx, Indurain and Hinault coming out of retirement!!

It's a big feckin joke!!
Biosphere

Well I guess anybody who's interested knows the CN ticker is live. Astana with 3 men up the road.

Quote:
14:49:03 CEST
The break's lead has now stretched out to 3:38, and it's interesting to note the presence of Fuglsang and Tiralongo from Astana in this move, as well as delegations from Katusha and Movistar. By contrast, Chris Horner's RadioShack-Leopard team does not have anyone in the break and the onus will fall upon them to control affairs behind.

The riders in the break are: Jose Joao Mendes (NetApp-Enudra), David Arroyo (Movistar), Andriy Grivko (Astana), Vasil Kiryienka (Sky), Rinaldo Nocentini (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Jacob Fuglsang (Astana), Juan Jose Oroz (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Serge Pauwels (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), Jan Barta (NetApp-Enudra), Bauke Mollema (Belkin), Juan Antonio Flecha (Vacansoleil-DCM), Rafael Valls Ferri (Vacansoleil-DCM), Nicolas Edet (Cofidis), Antonio Piedra (Caja Rural), Maciej Paterski (Cannondale), Carlos Alberto Betancur (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Dominik Nerz (BMC), Francis De Greef (Lotto Belisol), Juan Manuel Garate (Belkin), Jerome Coppel (Cofidis), Kenny Elissonde (FDJ), Johannes Frohlinger (Argos-Shimano), Ivan Santaromita (BMC), Dmitry Kozontchuk (Katusha), Angel Vicioso (Katusha), Benat Intxausti (Movistar), Dario Cataldo (Sky), Paolo Tiralongo (Astana), Imanol Erviti (Movistar), Andre Cardoso (Caja Rural) and Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida).
Biosphere

TV pictures of finish show blue skies.
HuwB

Euskaltel chasing, but making little impact on the break.
That will be the job of the last 2 Vuelta climbs.
Biosphere

CN reporting the chosen gearings:

Valverde 36x29; Nibali 34x29; Sanchez 34x32; Roche 36x32; Horner 34x32; Rodriguez 36x28.

Rodriguez pushing the biggest and I'm a bit surprised that Horner is joint lowest.

Huw, CN reckon that Euskatel are managing the gap for the team competition  due to Movistar riders in break. May not be looking to bring it back as such.
gerry12ie

Kiserlovski eh?

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