La Vuelta Thread

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La Vuelta Thread

Post by Azabache on Thu 29 Aug 2013, 10:57

I'll start this off.

Looking at some of the gradients, is this verging on a freakshow?

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Re: La Vuelta Thread

Post by Big on Fri 30 Aug 2013, 09:59

I'm on holiday at the moment and haven't actually seen any yet... looking forward to catching up with it next week.

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Re: La Vuelta Thread

Post by Azabache on Fri 30 Aug 2013, 10:59

Sorry All, I've also been away and now realise that discussions on the Vuelta are under the 2013 thread.

Is this preferable?

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Re: La Vuelta Thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Fri 30 Aug 2013, 12:17

Yeah you might as well keep this open Aza!

Some of the gradients are stupid, I've never seen riders actually have to get off and walk before! 30%!!!
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Re: La Vuelta Thread

Post by Lumbering_Jack on Fri 30 Aug 2013, 15:22

When did they walk? 30% is madness. How long was it like that for?

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Re: La Vuelta Thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Sun 15 Sep 2013, 15:19

Got serious reservations about Horner...
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Re: La Vuelta Thread

Post by Mike Selig on Sun 15 Sep 2013, 15:33

You don't say...?

Not sure about Nibali's tactics in the final climb. You needed 3 seconds, even just outsprinting him at the end would have done it...

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Re: La Vuelta Thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Sun 15 Sep 2013, 15:36

Yeah I've not been comfy watching this Vuelta. I obviously hope he's not doping, but how could he not be to perform like this?

Nibali/Valverde/Rodriguez are all too fatigued or out of form to really take the Tour like they usually would do.

The route's been a bit uninspiring. A mountain top finish every other day becomes a bit boring after a while, how about some descents?
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Re: La Vuelta Thread

Post by The Terror of Tylorstown on Sun 15 Sep 2013, 17:33

He's old and american but i'll keep my opinions to myself.

Have to feel for Nibali, Valverde and Rodriguez, tried to bite off a bit more than they could chew this year. I find it absurd that Rodriguez could hang with Froome most of the time in the Tour but is getting dropped easily by Horner in mountains that are more suited to him.

I'll put a nice big asterix next to the 2013 Vuelta.

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Re: La Vuelta Thread

Post by Mike Selig on Sun 15 Sep 2013, 21:54

More to the point, he's also an ex-teammate of Lance (and ex-member of Saunier Duval) who has never previously done anything of note in a GT beyond finishing 10th I think in the 2009 Tour and supporting Cadel decently on a couple of stages. Still, nothing to be suspicious of here... Whistle angel 

I agree somewhat with Olly about the stage - each stage has felt fairly similar, it's been more like riding an incredibly tough classic x times than a GT. There's something to be said for variety.

On the plus side it was good to see Roche get a top 5, and the young frenchman Pinot a top 10.

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Re: La Vuelta Thread

Post by whocares on Sun 15 Sep 2013, 22:29

Well am glad there us some people commentating :)thought everyone was embarrassed by Horner performance. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt to start with and congrats for the win. But some his power data is quite awesome in a weird way.
VAM per hour on last thursday stage was above 1900 Vm/h... Above 1800 is usually described as Amstrong and Pantani EPO heydays while GC contenders and top mountain climbers are in the 1600-1800 bracket. That said it was only a 6km climb and maybe he ha favorable  conditions. I'd like to see saturday angliru data when he dropped nibali in what is maybe the toughest climb of the pro-tour (some parts are above 20%).  
As for the rest am happy to see some new faces including that new crop of french climbers that I hope will be around in the next TDF.
Here's a decent article about it:
http://velonews.competitor.com/2013/09/news/horner-pushes-the-power-numbers-at-the-vuelta_302720

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Re: La Vuelta Thread

Post by Azabache on Mon 16 Sep 2013, 11:11

We have to give the guy the benefit of the doubt I guess. He was fresher due to that earlier injury. He has been around for years and has always been a very good rider.

We don't want a Lance-type witchhunt do we!

(Even though the doubters were eventually proved right.)

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Re: La Vuelta Thread

Post by Mad for Chelsea on Mon 16 Sep 2013, 12:56

the trouble is there's quite a gap from "very good rider" (which he is, just about, I think he has a handful of top 15 finishes in GTs prior to this), to "blows a pretty good field away to win a GT" (yes I know he didn't win by much in the end, but he was always looking the most comfortable). I'm sure I read somewhere that Nibbles, Valverde and Rodriguez were producing good times on the climbs (up with what they were producing in ealier GTs) yet Horner was making it look ridiculously easy. Mike and whocares also make decent points.

Ultimately I'm not a fan of witch-hunting (of course), but experience teaches you that cycling fairytales don't happen all that often... Also worth a thought that Horner doesn't have that much to lose anymore: if he gets caught, well he's at the end of his career anyway. Finally, the disparity in comments between Roche on taking the lead ("I hope I can keep the jersey a few days") and Horner ("I can win the Vuelta") certainly suggest a great deal of confidence on Horner's part.

Anyway, onto lighter news, and Mike points out good finishes for Roche and Pinot. I like Roche, lovely rider, never afraid to go on the attack, and his 5th place here were just rewards for his efforts. Pinot is a star of the future, but like a lot of French hopes will have weight of expectation on his shoulders. He needs to find a team better suited to supporting him, and work on his ITT and descending. A final shout out for Barguil, a little younger even than Pinot and who looks a right talent too. Good to see some French guys coming through, they've been without a genuine challenger for too long...

Finally, agree with Mike and Olly on the route. The Vuelta has never been a GT for sprinters (yes Cav won the points jersey once but that's about it), but every stage this year (or almost) boiled down to the final climb. The leaders were never interested before then, and rarely challenged for the stage win, so it didn't make for spectacular viewing. I suspect it was set up that way to favour Spanish riders (Rodriguez maybe in particular) though it didn't turn out that way. This year's TdF route I think got the balance about right. I know it's not a particularly popular view among cycling fans, but I do feel sprinters deserve their chance occasionally too. The fact we have much better sprinters attending the Tour of Britain than the Vuelta tells its own story...

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Re: La Vuelta Thread

Post by Mike Selig on Mon 16 Sep 2013, 22:26

Unfortunately news of Horner missing a drugs test the morning after his victory. Some possible confusion over hotels with his team claiming he did everything by the book and informed USADA (Horner wasn't at the same hotel as the rest of the team). It could be unfortunate coincidence of course, but unfortunately from where a lot of people are standing it looks like more smoke to fan the flames.

Meanwhile Cilic gets suspended 9 months for actual PED use, showing again how serious tennis is in tackling the problem... Whistle 

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Re: La Vuelta Thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Mon 16 Sep 2013, 22:41

Haha it's laughable ain't it Mike? Some sports are gonna need a serious clean up, if everything comes out, but that's another debate...

As for Horner, imo this actually does seem like an unfortunate coincidence. They've released the email containing the things and everything. Obviously I still have my suspicions, but this seems a genuine mistake...
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Re: La Vuelta Thread

Post by Mike Selig on Mon 16 Sep 2013, 23:05

Someone once asked me why I thought tennis was open to PED use: I explained that PED usage could enhance (amongst other things) endurance (both repeating and sustaining efforts), strength, power and recuperation. I gave up when this person's answer was "none of that is going to help you time a forehand though is it?"... Anyway, moving on...

As you say, from reading the email it does seem that this is a (very) unfortunate set of circumstances... However as MfC says, seasoned cycling fans have become a bit wary of the fairytale - the axiom is that if it seems too good to be true, it probably is (Armstrong x2, Landis's monster ride, etc. etc. etc.).

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Re: La Vuelta Thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Mon 16 Sep 2013, 23:08

Mike Selig wrote:Someone once asked me why I thought tennis was open to PED use: I explained that PED usage could enhance (amongst other things) endurance (both repeating and sustaining efforts), strength, power and recuperation. I gave up when this person's answer was "none of that is going to help you time a forehand though is it?"... Anyway, moving on...
This is exactly the same in football. Drugs testing so easy to get around, and the rewards are so high, it's worth the risk. There's a reason the Spanish wanted those bags from the Fuentes case destroyed...

As for Horner I hope for cycling's sake he is clean. Would be a great story. Unfortunately it's just too good to be true for me
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Re: La Vuelta Thread

Post by JDizzle on Mon 16 Sep 2013, 23:36

I'm not too suspicious of Horner missing the test to be honest. He'll have been tested all through the Vuelta and I can't see any reason why he'd have a specific reason to miss this one.

As for his actual performance, I'm as suspicious as hell of that.

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Re: La Vuelta Thread

Post by Lumbering_Jack on Tue 17 Sep 2013, 00:46

Were those bags destroyed Olly? What was the judges justification for having them destroyed?

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Re: La Vuelta Thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Tue 17 Sep 2013, 00:51

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/othersports/drugsinsport/10065408/Spanish-state-prosecutor-office-contests-blood-bags-verdict-in-Operation-Puerto-doping-case.html

I'm not too sure what's happening now, think it's a bit of a stalemate. Basically I think the judges justification comes in the form of lets say, some reward for keeping sports such as football and tennis out of this case, despite Fuentes himself admitting he had clients in said sports...
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Re: La Vuelta Thread

Post by Out for the count on Thu 19 Sep 2013, 13:18

Dodgy as hell, guys just don't improve that much at 41.

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Re: La Vuelta Thread

Post by Azabache on Thu 19 Sep 2013, 15:28

At least he smiles a lot (unlike LA).

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