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Is it gonna be as good as it looks?
The best GT lineup this year. Although defending champion Horner has been sidelined with low cortisol levels and can't race. But I wasn't expecting him to do much anyway.
Shame about Wiggins in general. Is he definitely just going to fuck off to the track now? Shame.
since he's their guy. It is a shame. Would love to see him riding against froome at some point but it aint gonna happen.
Like to see him go somewhere and win a few time trials though. Or go to Omega Pharma and form a sprint train dream team with Martin, Renshaw and Cavendish.
He should start his own team of Real Guys who, when asked, would say they prefer the spring classics to any grand tours.
It should be as good as it looks because of the main GC riders who were unable to compete in Le Tour.
The reigning champion Horner is out due to complications arising from treatment of bronchitis and the effect on his cortisol levels. Froome crashed in training for team time trial, but is apparently unhurt.
Froome should be the favourite, as it is uncertain if the recent recovery of Contador has been sufficient for him to be at his best. The first half of the race could let Contador get into peak condition and make for an exciting conclusion to the race. Time trials are on the short side this year, so pure climbers will not be as vulnerable as on other occasions.
Some interesting team leadership situations in this race. Valverde and Quintana is the obvious attraction in this regard. I would expect Quintana to be fresher having not ridden Le Tour and assume leadership as the race develops. He could well be the main challenger to Froome in this race. Cadel Evans is nominally supporting Samuel Sanchez, but has been in good form recently. I don't think either of them will be strong enough to finish on the podium but stage wins are a possibility. Garmin have Hesjedal and Martin as their main options, with the former having the pedigree of winning but the latter claims to be in the best shape he has been in. It would be disappointing if they didn't achieve a top 10 finish and a stage win or two between them.
Hopefully Joaquim Rodriquez is somewhere approaching his best, as he would be a good shout for at least a stage win. It should be a strong top 10 this year, with the likes of Uran, Pinot, Van Den Broeck, Kelderman and Navarro taking part. Adam Yates is likely to be aggressive throughout.
Sagan should be able to take the points jersey given the absence of a dominant sprinter like Kittel or Cavendish.
Think Froome should consider despite the aero disadvantage.
Quite want to see what Aru is made of too after his giro performance
to try & finsih in the top ten in each stage at teh start and slowly fade away
quintana v froome is where it's going to be for me - really lookinmg forward to that
re wiggo - trek will be neeeding a new team leader soon won't they?
The peloton contests the first mountain top finish with Froome and Contador appearing to be in good shape at this early stage. The finish suited the eventual winner Valverde, who is comfortably the best sprinter amongst the main GC contenders.
Quintana crashes on a descent and takes some time to get back on his bike - loses a significant amount of time in the end.
Contador does a good ride and takes the lead, while Valverde does a respectable time to move into second overall. Froome looking below par at the moment and finishing only slightly ahead of Rodriguez on the day. Biggest surprise was how well Uran rode, and he now finds himself in third place overall.
A broken Tibia only 2 months ago and now leading the Vuelta by a decent margin, destroying his closest rivals in the Time Trial... I know Contador has been banned for doping in the past, is it really wrong for me to just assume that he's fucking AT IT here?
I know he's a superior athlete but a broken tibia? It doesn't seem reasonable to me at all.
He was beaten by Uran, and was not very far ahead of Valverde. Froome was relatively far behind, but he was back in 10th place and not at his best. Contador is looking good, but his relatively modest lead at the moment is down to being the most consistent rider so far as much as anything.
Presume hell ride in support of valverde from here out. Shame, as he was looking strong.
I'm cycling round Devon at the moment so won't be able to follow as closely as I'd like, will be interesting to see how things change
Depending on whether he has recovered from the crash, he should be able to pick up a stage win at the least.
was an amazing result given the field
Tomorrow's final climb looks ridiculous, barely below 9% gradient for 9km. Then four massive climbs on Monday, must surely mean some big GC gains for people.
Sagan's just retired. No Grand Tour stage wins, only victories in the Tour of California and Tirreno Adriatico. When the green jersey in the TdF is basically his every year, it's been quite a disappointing year for him.
The majority of mountain stages in this year's Vuelta have very little climbing before the final mountain. This has the effect of providing more attacking riding on the final climb, which makes for an exciting conclusion to the stage. I think it would benefit from more variety in the number of climbs in these stages, however, as it would allow for more tactical options for the contenders.
But he's a bit of a puncher, pretty good at sprints and climbing but imo not a world beater at any of them. Changing teams will probably put some investment behind him.
What's all this I'm hearing about bikes that ride themselves too?
Obviously he's a very talented rider, but he's got to a point where his reputation means it's really hard for him to win stages. If he gets in a breakaway, then no one will work with him as they know that he'll out-sprint them easily. And he doesn't have the power to beat big sprinters.
I'm not sure a change of team will make much of a difference. Tinkoff Saxo aren't going to give him a big leadout train like OPQS and Giant have, so he'll still just be latching onto the wheels of the best sprinter, which he does incredibly well, and come home in the top five in every sprint.
I don't see how how a change of team would change anything either. He is more like a quicker version of Gilbert, who is better on slightly uphill finishes than the pure sprinters, but cannot match the best sprinters on relatively flat finishes. Even the best one day riders and sprinters go through lean spells, particularly when they are viewed as the most serious threat in a group. He will be back to winning ways in the future.
But I've started watching the Tour of Britain now
Some big names involved, including British hero WIGGO defending his crown, and the Manx twat Cavendish (hope he crashes). It's good fun watching them ride around Liverpool. Half expect a gang of scallies to start invading the course popping wheelies everywhere.
Not happy with British Eurosport prioritising the Tour of Britain over the Vuelta for its live coverage today. The more casual fan can (and probably will) watch it live on ITV anyway, and anyone who regularly follows cycling will be probably more interested in the Vuelta. The Tour of Britain is winning in terms of the weather today though.
Particularly yesterday, so maybe the Vuelta wins overall. Will be sort of embarrassing when they're riding through the wastelands of Swindon etc.
Tbh I feel like I sort of have to watch it because I used to work with Owain Doull's uncle. And I liked him so I sort of shout for him.
For the prioritising.
to see if any of the lads will be able to match my heroic effort up stoke hill last week... it was good motivation seeing the signs saying the route would be coming that way as we went up at 10kph with loaded panniers and all.
anyway, I'll be watching it for wiggins, konig, kwiatkowski and roche. Like those guys.
contador is ridiculous
begrudging respect for Froome for finally showing some balls