La Vuelta

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La Vuelta

Post by Azabache on Mon 20 Aug 2012, 2:10 pm

Can't wait to see how this unfolds.

Froome or Contador?
My heart says Froome, my head says Bertie-his Tour of Atonement?

Or Cobo?

Or.....?

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Re: La Vuelta

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Mon 20 Aug 2012, 2:25 pm

I should imagine Contador too, although if Froome can pick up time in the early mountain stages, he could make a real run.

There are so many contenders though, Anton has made this his only Grand Tour all season, Rodriguez likes the climbs, then you got the likes of Valverde, Gesink, Van De Broeck. Crazy potential, should be a cracking race
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Re: La Vuelta

Post by JDizzle on Mon 20 Aug 2012, 2:27 pm

Great route as well, far more interesting set up than the TdF this year with plenty of summit finishes to test the riders. I think Albertoooooooo will take this as tiredness has to catch up with Froome eventually... Doesn't it?!

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Re: La Vuelta

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Mon 20 Aug 2012, 2:29 pm

You would think so Dizzle, but Contador himself has said it will take him time to hit form, so these early mountain stages, maybe Froome could pick up time.
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Re: La Vuelta

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Mon 20 Aug 2012, 2:54 pm

Highlights for this are at 7pm on ITV4 right?
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Re: La Vuelta

Post by JDizzle on Mon 20 Aug 2012, 2:56 pm

Yeah, ITV4 has the highlights and Eurosport has the live coverage.

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Re: La Vuelta

Post by JDizzle on Mon 20 Aug 2012, 4:27 pm

Albertoooo looking good! Froome looks like he doesn't have the kick of Contador, but he is grinding them down to get back with them. This is a fantastic stage, and I'd say better in terms of pure racing than anything we saw in the TdF!

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Re: La Vuelta

Post by Azabache on Mon 20 Aug 2012, 4:49 pm

Very early I know but maybe, just maybe..Chris is too young?

But there are examples from the past to counter that...Eddy, Laurent, Jan...
and he has been here before.

Well, he's getting his chance and he can't use Bradley as an excuse but I wonder how much they needed each other.

Shades of Andy and Frank?

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Re: La Vuelta

Post by Mad for Chelsea on Mon 20 Aug 2012, 6:09 pm

Froome is 28, while that's not peak age for a cyclist it's not that young either, and let's remember he has two second place finishes already in GTs to his credit. I think he's capable of winning a GT (I'd be surprised if he didn't win one sooner rather than later), but my worry is how fresh he is for this one. Contador hasn't raced this season, so he's fresh, while Froome rode the TdF (pretty much flat out too) and of course carried onto the Olympics. I don't think it's possible to stay in peak form for roughly two months unfortunately.

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Re: La Vuelta

Post by Who_Shot_JR on Mon 20 Aug 2012, 7:49 pm

I know he's not everyone's cup of tea but my goodness is Grand Tour racing more entertaining with Contador involved. It's stage 3 and he's already attacked more times on one 5km climb than all the top guys combined during the entire Tour De France.

Froome looked quite good though, he isn't as explosive as Contador and got gapped a few times but was able to slowly close Contador down, however if Contador improves throughout the race as expected then I think Froome will be racing for 2nd place.

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Re: La Vuelta

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Mon 20 Aug 2012, 7:50 pm

But with Contador, is he clean or not? Will always be the cloud hanging over his head
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Re: La Vuelta

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Mon 20 Aug 2012, 7:57 pm

If I'm honest I thought Froome more than matched Contador today, he just rode a solid pace back up to his wheel.

Also Rodriguez what were you doing on the line. Bet the Katusha hierachy were not happy with him
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Re: La Vuelta

Post by dummy_half on Tue 21 Aug 2012, 9:50 am

Mad for Chelsea wrote:Froome is 28, while that's not peak age for a cyclist it's not that young either, and let's remember he has two second place finishes already in GTs to his credit. I think he's capable of winning a GT (I'd be surprised if he didn't win one sooner rather than later), but my worry is how fresh he is for this one. Contador hasn't raced this season, so he's fresh, while Froome rode the TdF (pretty much flat out too) and of course carried onto the Olympics. I don't think it's possible to stay in peak form for roughly two months unfortunately.

Absolutely spot on - my worry with Froome for this race is that he hasn't had a proper rest from the Tour (a few days, then a hard effort in the Olympic RR, then a few more days and the Olympic TT and then a couple of weeks). Tough to recover and return to somewhere near peak form in that time frame. Was good enough rather than outstanding yesterday, but the question is whether he is still riding himself back into form for the later part of the race or whether this is the best he's going to be.

Of course Valverde also has the Tour in his legs, but he didn't ride for the overall and so was able to gauge his efforts better. Also, he's probably not going to be in the shake-up at the end for the GC (I don't think he's back to being a good enough high mountain climber day after day to be a GC threat), and so he can just cherry-pick the stages where he puts in the effort.

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Re: La Vuelta

Post by Azabache on Tue 21 Aug 2012, 10:33 am

I caught up with ITV4's coverage last night and I must say that Froome impressed me, both by his performance (Bertie danced but he couldn't escape!) and also his maturity at the post race interview.

But, as said, has Bertie more in him...?

A fascinating three weeks in prospect.

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Re: La Vuelta

Post by Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler on Tue 21 Aug 2012, 11:03 am

Its a big day for Froome today...mountain finish up against Contador and some fresher guys who didnt rag themselves on the Tour and Olympics. If he can avoid getting blown away it says a lot about his potential.


Update...Contadors really gone for him over the last few km, Froome stood up to it.

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Re: La Vuelta

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Tue 21 Aug 2012, 4:42 pm

Just Froome, Contador and Roche left now with around 7km to go. Valverde crashed so he is way off. Tony Martin and somebody else are up the road.

Sounds like a brilliant ride from Roche
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Re: La Vuelta

Post by Dave. on Tue 21 Aug 2012, 4:57 pm

Just like his father then..

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Re: La Vuelta

Post by JDizzle on Tue 21 Aug 2012, 4:58 pm

Valverde couldn't get back up the the rest of the leaders after his crash, so Froome, Albertoooo and Rodriguez all took a serious dent out of him. Cracking ride by Roche, and by the Aussie Clarke who own the stage.

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Re: La Vuelta

Post by Mad for Chelsea on Tue 21 Aug 2012, 5:00 pm

Roche rode very well today. Once Contador and Froome realised they weren't getting away from Rodriguez and his lieutenants they backed off, but Roche carried on, and nabbed a few precious seconds. Froome and Contador look a class above the rest though, the ease with which they got away from Rodriguez should worry the latter.

Clark takes the win from Martin, Rodriguez I think will take the overall lead with Froome up to second. Valverde with decent damage limitation, losing just 55 secs or thereabouts on Froome, Contador etc. but this will have taken a huge amount out of him (when you consider he usually struggles with stamina issues anyway).

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Re: La Vuelta

Post by Mad for Chelsea on Tue 21 Aug 2012, 5:02 pm

Roche only picked up 9 seconds on the Contador/Froome group in the end, so not entirely sure it was worth the effort...

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Re: La Vuelta

Post by Mike Selig on Tue 21 Aug 2012, 8:10 pm

OK, I'm going to start this debate.

Sky push on, Valverde crashes (claiming it was because Flecha and sky cut him up, although I don't think there's much truth in that), sky and Katusha push on further and gain a minute on Valverde and co leading up to the climb. Valverde never makes it back.

Fair move or poor etiquette?

Let me just kick off quickly by saying that for Sky (and Froome) to suggest they didn't know Valverde was down is disingenuous at best, and downright lying at worse. It was clear on TV images immediately, and the fact that Katusha joined in at the front suggests they were doing so precisely because they knew Valverde was down at that stage. It's disappointing that Sky haven't had the courage of their convictions and at least admit they knew what was going on, but thought it was a racing incident and as such fair game.

I don't really know about racing etiquette and the like (those of you on here who do please step forward), but old-timers tell us that in the 70s if you fell or had a puncutre then that was just bad luck, but more recently that hasn't been the case (Armstrong's fall famously, but also too many recent occurences to mention).

It is interesting to note that a few french cycling fans on the site l'équipe are of the opinion that sky accelerated and the fall was almost a direct result of the panic caused as everyone tried to get to the front, and as such fair game. I thought it was strange that BMC joined the front, obviously there is some kind of alliance going on there and I'm not sure I like it, but I guess that's always been part of things.

I have no definitive opinion TBH. I am however disappointed Sky have tried to pretend it was something it wasn't.

On the racing itself, I think Roche wanted the stage win which is fair enough. Contador and Froome easily rode away from Joaquim Rodriguez which was a bit of a surprise, and I would say bodes ill for him in the future. Anton lost more time. Overall the final climb wasn't really tough enough for Contador to have a go at Froome, but those two do seem to be the strongest. Froome's continued form worries me. Valverde climbed really well I thought, and the sense of injustice (right or wrong) could spur him on.

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Re: La Vuelta

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Tue 21 Aug 2012, 8:14 pm

If I'm honest Mike, I think Sky pushed on the pace, and Valverde just got caught out, and caught up in the crash through sheer bad luck.

As far as I know on the etiquette thing, I always thought it was just for mechanicals for the race leaders that they waited, because that is out of there hands.

I think it was just bad luck for Valverde, and Sky were pushing the pace on anyways, so just carried on.
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Re: La Vuelta

Post by Mike Selig on Tue 21 Aug 2012, 8:21 pm

I agree, the crash was clearly (fractionally, but clearly) after Sky had made their move. However equally clearly Sky would have realised quite early on that Valverde was caught up in it, and at that point had the option on carrying on, or sitting up and waiting. They (and Katusha it has to be emphasised) chose the former.

As I say, I don't know if it's deemed ok or not.

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Re: La Vuelta

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Tue 21 Aug 2012, 8:35 pm

If I'm honest Mike, I think if it's like a racing incident, ie. a normal crash, they just carry on as per usual, otherwise you would have to wait for everyone after every crash
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Re: La Vuelta

Post by Mad for Chelsea on Tue 21 Aug 2012, 8:37 pm

another thing that hasn't been mentioned is that Valverde's team, Movistar, have been "guilty" on several occasions this year of accelerating after riders from other teams have been victims of incidents (certainly in the Paris-Nice they pushed hard after Leipheimer fell, and they've been others) so one could argue that what goes around... It was noticeable that no other team went to try and get Sky to calm down either, so maybe Movistar are a bit unloved in the peloton.

For me (though I don't claim to have ultimate knowledge on cycling etiquette) it was a fair move as the crash seemed to be a direct result from Sky picking up the pace. Disappointing Sky tried to make out they didn't know Valverde was caught in the crash (Valverde's teammates coming up to tell them to slow down should have been a hint even if they weren't aware by then). You could however argue that by the time they were made aware that Valverde was caught up in the crash the peloton had already split and they felt justified in keeping it that way.

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Re: La Vuelta

Post by ChequeredJersey on Tue 21 Aug 2012, 9:27 pm

Hmm, hard to call whether they were in the wrong or not, hope what they said in the interviews afterward was true.
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Re: La Vuelta

Post by JDizzle on Tue 21 Aug 2012, 9:38 pm

I have some sympathy with Sky's excuses or reasoning or whatever you will call them as during the TdF they did wait for Cadel after his puncture from tacks on the road, so they do have history in waiting rather than pushing on. Add in their push caused the crash, rather than came after it I don't think too much blame can be attached to them especially as it sounds like Movistar aren't too popular in the pro cycling circles for doing the same thing to lots of other teams this year then I do understand Sky doing what they did, but I do wish they had just come out and said this rather than claimed that they didn't know.

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Re: La Vuelta

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Wed 22 Aug 2012, 12:13 am

Just watched the highlights, and Team Sky were definately accelerating before the crash, albeit literally seconds or a minute before.
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Re: La Vuelta

Post by Postie on Wed 22 Aug 2012, 12:59 am

After reading all your (very measured) views on the racing etiquette after the crash, it seems most people think it was a 50/50 call, as to whether Sky waited or pushed on regardless.

Although I think in hindsight, that this early on in the race, with the leader going down, it wouldn't of done Sky any harm to have backed off properly and given Valverde the chance to rejoin them.

Having not done so might just give the Spanish riders,Valverde in particular, added impetus ?

Hope Froomey's got his earplugs in for stage 5 ....




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Re: La Vuelta

Post by Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler on Wed 22 Aug 2012, 12:11 pm

Maybe theres more sympathy for those who arent convicted dopers.

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Re: La Vuelta

Post by AsLongAsBut100ofUs on Wed 22 Aug 2012, 3:53 pm

Not exactly tit4tat, but hark back to the treatment given to Robert Millar in the Vuelta a few decades ago - Spanish cycling teams have never shied from chicanery when it suits them

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Re: La Vuelta

Post by Mike Selig on Wed 22 Aug 2012, 4:17 pm

The Holly Wilaboobie-for-tat argument is interesting: it makes no difference to the moral case (doing the wrong thing is not more right because others have done it before) but would be a contributing reason for Sky (and others!) pushing on, despite not having done for Evans.

The general feeling on here seems to echo mine - unsure. My feeling is human nature being what it is, that we are a bit biased towards Sky, so the fact that we think it's 50-50 probably means it's a bit wrong. Possibly. But not clear cut.

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Re: La Vuelta

Post by djlovesyou on Wed 22 Aug 2012, 4:26 pm

Go on the cyclingnews forums, that'll give you a 'fairer' outlook on the peloton.

Haha, maybe not, but they sure do hate Team SKY. I'm fairly neutral on the matter to be honest, I didn't really have a problem with them yesterday, but I also didn't have a huge problem with what Movistar did at Paris-Nice.

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Re: La Vuelta

Post by Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler on Wed 22 Aug 2012, 7:31 pm

Mike Selig wrote:The Holly Wilaboobie-for-tat argument is interesting: it makes no difference to the moral case (doing the wrong thing is not more right because others have done it before) but would be a contributing reason for Sky (and others!) pushing on, despite not having done for Evans.

The general feeling on here seems to echo mine - unsure. My feeling is human nature being what it is, that we are a bit biased towards Sky, so the fact that we think it's 50-50 probably means it's a bit wrong. Possibly. But not clear cut.

Im watching the ITV show at the moment. They had a big section at the start showing the recent history of similar events, showing a complete lack of consistency ...including a certain convicted drug cheat cycling off when one of his rivals fell earlier this year, and a clip of one of the sky guys getting taken out by a TV car and noone bothering to stop for him.
Some of the stuff said by Valverdes team regarding Sky trying to make out it was a deliberate ploy and their fault he fell was pretty poor and even further takes away from my sympathy for him. Its not like its even put him out of the race, and previously he'd been moaning it was too early to have the red jersey and made him a target. Its also seems a bit rum that Sky are taking all the heat for not stopping, I didnt see Rodriguezs lot exactly go out of their way to convince them to slow down
As much as we may want to take a positive view of Sky, it does seem some are happy to lay into them and cast them as the boo boys as much as possible because they are the dominant team in world cycling now.

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Re: La Vuelta

Post by alfie on Thu 23 Aug 2012, 11:11 am

Didn't see the incident , but from what has been said on here I don't see how anyone could call not waiting for a crash victim "wrong".
Accidents happen in tours ...you certainly can't be stopping very time someone falls over. Does it make a difference because it is the race leader ?

Comparison with the TDF and the tacks on the road business are wide of the mark...that was an exceptional case of outside interference. I would imagine a similar incident here would probably be treated differently from a straightforward racing accident.

I pay virtually no attention to teams trying to claim moral high ground. No surprise that Sky gets a bit of a bashing from some. Jealousy is a curse...

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Re: La Vuelta

Post by Mike Selig on Thu 23 Aug 2012, 11:27 am

alfie wrote:Didn't see the incident , but from what has been said on here I don't see how anyone could call not waiting for a crash victim "wrong".
Accidents happen in tours ...you certainly can't be stopping very time someone falls over. Does it make a difference because it is the race leader ?

Comparison with the TDF and the tacks on the road business are wide of the mark...that was an exceptional case of outside interference. I would imagine a similar incident here would probably be treated differently from a straightforward racing accident.

I pay virtually no attention to teams trying to claim moral high ground. No surprise that Sky gets a bit of a bashing from some. Jealousy is a curse...

Apparently so. Armstrong waited for Ullrich when he went off the side of the road, and the whole front group waited for Armstrong when he clashed with a spectator.

However it seems that the unwritten rule is that there is no hard and fast rule and it all depends on circumstances etc. Contador famously didn't wait for Schleck when he had his mechanical, etc. Those who rode in the 70s like to tell us nobody waited for anybody. If anyone had a puncture on a cobbled section then certainly nobody waited, so perhaps the point is that if it's felt the crash (or mechanical) was part of the race, or after the race had truly been launched, then it's just tough luck and fair game. Although the two examples involving Ullrich would be counterexamples to that (some felt that by waiting for Armstrong, Ullrich lost his rythm that day, and eventually the tour).

As to your bit about jealousy, that is a lazy argument frankly against what in this case can be legitimate criticism - certainly most sensible people recognise that their immediate dishonesty after the incident was poor. It was used also by US Postal fans when people were criticising their tactics of for example not letting Scarponi get into a break-away)

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Re: La Vuelta

Post by alfie on Thu 23 Aug 2012, 12:05 pm

Ease up with the sniping please Mike ...

I take exception to the use of terms like lazy argument and sensible people to criticize opinions with which you disagree.

You say it yourself at the start of your second paragraph : there is no hard and fast rule. If a Sky spokesman was apparently less than honest in an interview (can't comment , haven't seen it) , then that is reprehensible , but it does not make the team's conduct on the road morally wrong.

We are all entitled to our opinions, and I do not think it is unreasonable to suspect there may be a touch of envy motivating some of the recent criticism af Sky.

Of course , I may be wrong. I am always prepared to consider that possibility. I sometimes wonder if you might occasionally benefit from considering it in your own case.

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Re: La Vuelta

Post by Mike Selig on Thu 23 Aug 2012, 12:47 pm

Sorry, didn't mean to come accross as sniping.

I do stand by the "lazy argument" though. What I mean is those people (of which you are not one) who think that every criticism of Sky is motivated by some sort of ulterior motive. We had the same with USPostal back in those days, and it basically turned into a slanging match between those who thought US Postal could do no wrong, and those who just wanted to bash them at every turn, and those stuck in the middle who were trying to make genuine criticisms and being attacked from both sides. I see the same in some of the arguments about Sky (although to be honest not on this thread).

Certainly some of the criticism of Sky is unreasonable. But also some people seem unwilling to accept any criticism (and sometimes these people are the very ones who were criticising US Postal for doing exactly what Sky are doing, i.e. dominating the TdF from start to finish - it seems because Sky is british and US Postal was american).

Regarding the incident, I have said from the start I'm not sure whether it was right or wrong. But in the immediate aftermath Froome in particular was claiming that they weren't aware that Valverde had fallen which was patently dishonest (and he gave a completely different version - and IMO a much more truthful one - the next morning before the race started). That was the most disappointing thing, and was picked up on by myself, MfC, and JD.

In any case I am always prepared to admit when I'm wrong (the Chris Gayle saga being the latest case) and in fact in this case have said from the start I don't really know what to think. So I think your last paragraph was a bit unfair.

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Re: La Vuelta

Post by Mad for Chelsea on Thu 23 Aug 2012, 12:55 pm

Hmm personally wouldn't read much into what the "cyclingnews" forum is saying TBH, it's mostly the same people who equally hated HTC (for targeting winning races), the US Postal before that, etc. Basically a bunch of cycling "traditionalists" who reckon we should all go back to the way things were in the 70s. In their case, I think "jealousy of success" can be called justified.

Valverde's comments were as dishonest as Sky's were, and while the t*t-for-tat argument isn't really a valid one, there's no doubt IMO that it played a part here. Equally if Froome suffers a problem at some stage I don't think we can expect Movistar to wait up...

All in all, I'm pretty pleased Sky acted as they did as
1) It made the day's racing (which was gently meandering along until then) much more interesting and
2) It's added a bit of spice to the general race; nothing like a bit of bad blood to make things more exciting Very Happy

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Re: La Vuelta

Post by Mike Selig on Thu 23 Aug 2012, 1:00 pm

Mad for Chelsea wrote:
Valverde's comments were as dishonest as Sky's were

That's a fair point, which should be made.

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Re: La Vuelta

Post by Azabache on Thu 23 Aug 2012, 1:04 pm

Just think....

If Sky had slowed the pace a little after getting the news from their team car about Valverde, and the leading contenders had got back into the main group.....

we wouldn't now be having this delicious (but now verging on the interminable, methinks) debate!!

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Re: La Vuelta

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Thu 23 Aug 2012, 1:06 pm

I think you would find a lot of the peloton would be against Valverde anyways because of his past, it certainly makes a difference
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Re: La Vuelta

Post by Mike Selig on Thu 23 Aug 2012, 1:10 pm

Olly wrote:I think you would find a lot of the peloton would be against Valverde anyways because of his past, it certainly makes a difference

and movistar's reputation. As people have said, nobody exactly rushed forward to tell them to calm down, and BMC (what were they actually trying to do) actually went in to help out! Then when Valverde looked as if he might bridge at the start of the climb, Contador accelerated...

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Re: La Vuelta

Post by alfie on Thu 23 Aug 2012, 1:25 pm

Ah , glad you came back to me , Mike...because I certainly don't want any bad blood between us...value our discussions on the cricket board too much...

My last comment was a bit unfair and I do apologise for it - I think I am uncharacteristically irritable tonight for some reason. I had felt disrespected when I saw your reply , and apparently read into it stuff that was not intended. Hence my over reaction.

As for the interviews , I haven't seen them. But from what you are all saying it seems no- one has distinguished themselves with after race comments. Which is why I was dismissive of teams and their claims to righteousness ...and I would probably include Sky in that too. I do think a lot of sportsmen sometimes say what they think puts them in the best light without considering how stupid they are going to look later...particularly if they feel they have actually acted honorably in the first place. Of course having to revise their accounts later has the opposite effect...

Anyway I trust we are still friends and had better go off and see if I have managed to offend anybody else this evening Smile

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Re: La Vuelta

Post by Mad for Chelsea on Thu 23 Aug 2012, 1:33 pm

good point about BMC, they have no GC riders that I know of, and the stage win looked very unlikely, so I have no idea what they were doing. I think generally there's very little love lost for Valverde (and Movistar) in the peloton.

anyway, moving on. While this may not be the place as such to discuss this, it is the most active current cycling thread. Germany have made a pre-selection for the world championships. Rather surprisingly, they haven't included either Kittel or Greipel, which suggests they think there's no chance of a sprint finish, though they have included Dedenkolb (who's won both Vuelta mass sprints so far). Cancellara has apparently called a stop to his season to get more surgery done on his collarbone. Also, French website L'Equipe were reporting that Wiggins wasn't going to ride the TT at the Worlds, but I haven't been able to find corroboration of this anywhere, so not sure how true it is (you'd have thought some of the English media would have picked up on it). Would be a shame if true as given his form this year (particularly in TTs) I can't see him being beaten. GB by the way have a full complement of racers in both the men's and women's events (plus one extra in the men's because of Cav I think) due to Wiggins and Froome's exploits this year.

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Re: La Vuelta

Post by Mike Selig on Thu 23 Aug 2012, 1:38 pm

No worries alfie. I know my debating can sometimes be a bit abrupt. Glad we've cleared things up at any rate.

MfC, isn't Dednkolb a bit more of a classics rider a la Boonen than pure sprinter a la Greipel? Would suggest that the germans indeed don't think it will be a bunch sprint, but could be a smaller group type thingy.

Surprised if true about Wiggins, although fatigue may have played a part he's surely GB's best hope.

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Re: La Vuelta

Post by Mad for Chelsea on Thu 23 Aug 2012, 1:44 pm

the report had Wiggins as saying he had too many "commitments" over the coming week to have the time for the "specific" training to put it for the TT (implying that he would ride the road race). All a bit odd. Froome has a chance, with no Cancellara and on a course which is apparenly hilly (thus favouring him over Martin) but again, fatigue surely an issue there? As for Dedenkolb, I don't really know much about him, other than he's beaten a fairly average bunch of sprinters twice (there don't seem to be any good sprinters in the Vuelta). If he's more of a classics rider it makes sense, as Greipel won't get far on hilly terrain. Saying that, GB will probably pick Cav anyway (they're allowed nine riders, and it doesn't hurt to have him in there just in case...)

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Re: La Vuelta

Post by djlovesyou on Thu 23 Aug 2012, 2:20 pm

Griepel chose not to go himself, he stated that the course was much too tough for him and that there was no point in putting himself up for selection (and if it's too tough for him, it's 10 times too tough for Kittel.)

I would imagine they may work for Degenkolb, but they'll probably just try to put people in all the breakaways and hope for the best. Wegmann and Gerdemann will be their main hopes for victory I should imagine.

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Re: La Vuelta

Post by Mad for Chelsea on Thu 23 Aug 2012, 5:00 pm

interesting finish today. Froome obviously feeling in great form as he got his two Colombian lieutenants to go for it before attacking himself in the final km. Only Rodriguez could actually stick with him, Rodriguez eventually outsprinting Froome for the win but Froome grabbed a few seconds on Contador there. Very interesting Very Happy Not too fussed about the few extra seconds Rodriguez took out of him, he'll need a lot more before the TT. Wonder if Froome should have attacked a bit earlier though, and what the response would have been (ie did Contador not respond because he didn't mind a few seconds, or because he couldn't respond?)

Roche rode pretty well again, and looks set for a top ten finish if he can keep this up, but the win looks very much between Froome, Contador and Rodriguez to me.

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Re: La Vuelta

Post by Mike Selig on Thu 23 Aug 2012, 5:03 pm

My immediate reaction was Contador wasn't too fussed, but it was a good ride by Froome, although Rodriguez also looked comfortable.

Interesting end of stage though, the rest of the tour is going to be fascinating.

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Re: La Vuelta

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