/ Vuelta - odds and teams
Surprised no comments yet on team Sky's squad for the race.
Happy to see Luke Rowe in the team. Hope for an interesting race!
If Quintana is half as good as he was at the Giro and TDF last year, he'll be hard to beat...not sure if froome will have enough.
Not seen the full Sky squad yet.
Chris Froome, Peter Kennaugh, Luke Rowe, Philip Deignan, Mikel Nieve, Vasil Kiryienka, Kanstantsin Siutsou, Christian Knees, Dario Cataldo.
According to BBC.
Not sure who is in the Moviestar squad.
Has Contador decided if he will race yet?
Yes, I think last week he said he would race, but not for the overall - would go for stage wins instead
Valverde for sure, not sure whether he is nominally there co-leader. Hopefully Dowsett will be there - he's been a bit disappointing so far this year.
Quintana won a race last week, so his form looks solid whereas Froome, and that of the rest of the team, is unknown at best.
Strong team from Sky. Close to their strongest I think, at least given injuries and fatigue. I'm surprised to see Rowe not Swift. Swift was making noises about about the World Championships earlier this year and I would have thought this good preparation although I guess there is no reason that would be a Team Sky consideration these days. Did Costa ride the vuelta last year?
I'd think I'd like to see Uran win, although obviously the most exciting announcement so far is the Tony Martin will be there. Psyched for all day solo break aways.
That said, the Orica Greenedge claim to GC aspirations is cool too. Presumably Adam Yates has been getting a block of that grand tour training in while his brother was at the Tour. Seems to be riding in support though from the noises being made.
Given that this is there last chance to rescue a disastrous season then it will be the best team they can muster, but doesn't look strong to me. No wiggins obviously, Stannard hasnt recovered yet, but along with Thomas and Swift we can expect to see them at the Tour of Britain, which is great news. Henao is still out and Porte needs to rest.
Sky won't be able to control the race in their trademark manner, especially not with such a strong field, so we might get the best race of the year.
That is assuming Moviestar can't just control the race instead !
It's a less popular tactic with other teams, who tend to prefer attacking from the front rather than the attrition of a high tempo. Plus we might see the tactic of Valverde making lots of attacks in the first half of the race, and with Quintana taking over when he (inevitably) fades.
Slight change of subject, but I wonder when the Vuelta will go international ? You'd think that given the state of the Spanish economy and it's status behind the other two GTs that it would have been quicker to go abroad. And given that it's run by ASO, maybe it's first foreign venture will be in Yorkshire !!!
If the Giro can start in NI you would have thought the Vuelta could have gone international. Whether it would help anyone back in Spain particularly is moot.
Looks like Cav will not be at the Vuelta, but will be at the Tour of Britain instead - more good news for the race
The prologue was in Holland in 2009
Which race is that?
Good to get ToB profile up. Its unfortunate that it can never really be a pre grand tour warm up.
here's the movistar squad
Nairo Quintana y Alejandro Valverde will lead jointly (!) and the rest of the team is: Andrey Amador, Jonathan Castroviejo, Imanol Erviti, Josť Herrada, Gorka Izagirre, Adriano Malori y Javi Moreno
No Dowsett then - bit of a surprise given the race has a team TT and 2 individuals
Horner out and Froome crashes again - says he's OK, but he said that after his crash at the tour - can't do his confidence any good.
Interesting that Horner has been withdrawn because MPCC rules are stricter than the UCI. Team Sky say they refuse to join MPCC because they wouldn't be able to apply their "no ex-dopers" rule, but that claim is completely undermined when their riders win races thanks to TUE's.
Only if you are claiming that TUE's constitute doping? They don't, they are within the rules. So what Team Sky is saying is that we won't employ anyone who has been caught breaking the rules in the past, even if they have served their ban.
Or am I missing something?
TUE's ought to allow an athlete to get medical treatment during a season without running the risk of failing a drug test. And yes, it is within the rules to continue to race. But nonetheless these are performance enhancing drugs, and without them Froome almost certainly would not have won the Tour of Romandie - you wouldn't expect someone with with Bronchitis to win a race!
It's also within the rules to hire ex-dopers, and my point is that if you want to take things further, to be whiter than white, then not racing on TUIs is much more of a sacrifice, and a far more positive step.
I understand your point but I don't necessarily agree with it. There is a reasonable difference in "moral stance" between using the rules to your advantage and including known cheats within your team.
Another good stage today. Good to see Yates up the front showing his face.
Froome already on the back foot with the gap to Quintana
If Froome is anywhere near his usual form he'll easily make up 30 secs in the two TTs, but it was clearly a very cautious ride on a technical course, which indicates a mental weakness. Plus the rest of the team are already losing shedloads of time on the flat stages, can't see them being much use in the mountains.
I'm wondering how much the heat is playing a part... Froome himself should be good in hot weather (with growing up in Africa and all)
Occurs to me that it would be better if the Vuelta and the Giro swapped slots - given that the Giro has had to contend with snow blocked roads in the last two years. Until about 25 years ago they did both precede the tour, and then the Vuelta moved. The Giro is the more prestigious race, but it's moot as to which slot gets the best riders - certainly this year it's the Vuelta
Heat must be playing a part when it gets near 40C - African upbringing or not !
Funny how Mr marginal gains hasn't spotted the obvious flaw in black team strip !
Ha yep, they'll all be sporting tinfoil shirts soon!
Hopefully he's learnt his lesson
Exciting finale today.....
Very good. Interesting to see who's on form early on. Not what I expected
Ahem. May I point out my comment 10 days ago
"Plus we might see the tactic of Valverde making lots of attacks in the first half of the race, and with Quintana taking over when he (inevitably) fades."
Well, I seem to be accurate with the first part of my prediction
First real test and it was interesting that Bertie stuck with Froome and ignored the other Spaniards. Quintana may have lost a few seconds but I reckon the other contenders will tire more quickly having done too little, or too much, riding in the last couple of months. Top 5 yesterday could end up as the top 5 overall, though as ever it's always likely that at least one will crash out, and another will plummet after a bad day.
Uran was the big loser yesterday - lost over a minute.
Also noticed that after 6 stages all 198 are still riding - very unusual. And does anyone still think this is a strong Sky team ?
Froomedog has taken a bit of a tumble today - but seems to be relatively unscathed and is safely back in the peloton.
It depends upon whether Froomey is in the lead after the big TT - and by how much. I dont think Sky are strong enough to defend a lead of under 2 minutes over the final 10 stages.
However as he's a more explosive climber than Wiggo ever was, there's no need for Sky to drill it in to the foot of the summit finishes to blunt the attacks of the pure climbers as long as he can keep in a safe position with Nieve as wing man. Movistar and Tinkoff have more firepower in that department, so will want to attack Froome. He's a good enough climber to be able to mark the attcks by his main rivals and not concede too much time.
Missed the highlights yesterday (bloody football - set to record at 7, didn't finish my ride till 10.45, cant get ITV4+1), but from what I saw on youtube Nieve was still there at the bottom of the final climb, but all the rest were a long way back. I guess there were a few there today to pace him back to the peleton, and you never see how much work they do in the early part of the stage anyway, but it's clearly not a strong team.
Highlights on ITV4 should be 7.00 from now on.
Job done again today for Froome.
The Heath Robinson recording system failed again, so had to rely on YouTube. Nice work by Froome, but let's hope he hasn't done any damage and can stay upright
Just when you think sky are back on song, team going well, Froome has a bad day and the others get the benefit of all that effort. Were Sky feeling full of confidence, or did they know Froome was under par and were trying to bluff it out ?
I rather suspect that Froome will take over the lead in the TT tomorrow, possibly with as much as a minute, but we'll see Quintana and Contador move clear in the big hills in the final week
All change again. I really thought Quintana had wrecked himself but the slow mo didn't look quite so bad. Froome a bit off the pace again. I'd say it's shaping up because if Quintana isn't too badly hurt he's going to have to go on the rampage in the mountains.
Great comment from Gary Imlach - limited number of body parts which could have broken the saddle
Ha! Didn't see that as I was on Eurosport with Sean 'that would be an ecumenical matter' Kelly.
What is going on at Sky this year - the wheels really seem to have come off the wagon... Highlights, Wiggins at Paris roubaix and Wiggins at Tour of California.
Froome hasn'y looked good all season....i thought he fidn't look right in the Dauphine! I think they have all gone down hill since Yates left...
Are you suggesting that Yates has the recipe for success?
> Are you suggesting that Yates has the recipe for success?
Not in that way!!
I do think their race strategies are a bit predictable and other teams are reading them too easily...
The other teams (well Riis anyway) have certainly worked out how to deal with them which hasn't helped but I think a lot of it is down to a hefty dose of bad luck.
Their only top level win is Froome at Romandie, but that is somewhat tarnished (IMHO) by the TUE that was required. His health seems to have been poor all year and that, combined with the crash in the tour, has really affected his form. Porte has had illness at a key time, whilst Stannard and Henao had bad crashes. Bad luck all round
Given Froome's prep for the vuelta it isn't really a surprise he's struggling, but Bertie's remarkable recovery is.
Highlights for the Wiggins fan! haven't Thomas (ahead of Wiggins at PR?), Kennaugh, Stannard, and Froome won some races this year ?
Yep, wins listed here - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Team_Sky_wins - but only one at World Tour level (Romandie - see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UCI_World_Tour for full list)
Having been 2nd, 1st and 2nd ranked team in the last three seasons, they are struggling to finish in the top 10.
Perfectly timed delivery as well. I really like him as a front man - just the right level of flippancy without it being a distraction.
I'm not sure any of the pundits expected Froome to drop time to Contador. Clearly not in a great shape right now. I don't suppose having Porte so off form helps his conditioning.
Porte's not in the team this time is he?
Really surprised at how well Contador's going after a broken leg. Amazing recovery. Not that I'm implying anything, obviously.
Porte isn't in the team but he is an important training partner for Froomes (at least going by his book he is)
Clearly we haven't had the full story on Contador yet.
Agreed. He was in amazing condition by all accounts before the Tour but a broken leg just has to put you way down... surely?
It would be nice if he got busted banned and consigned to history like Armstrong.
Please please please not a serial and un-repentant doper winning this years Vuelta.
Well, Quintana is out of the Vuelta now after a second crash, so Contador is the man to beat.
Are Froome, Valverde and Rodriguez up to it? http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/09/news/quintana-abandons-vuelta-second-crash-two-days_343767
More bad news for the neutral.... Quintana is out with a suspect broken collarbone after another crash today acording to Road.cc
Was looking forward to seeing him try to get his losses from yesterday back.
Seems to be AC's to loose now
At least that resolves the question as to who's leading Movistar
Also I've heard a report that had Quintana won, his bonus would have been so big that they wouldn't have been able to offer Valverde a contract for next year
"Is there a motor in Hjededal's bike"
At first I thought this was merely classic tin-foil hat stuff, but it does appear that his bike stops and then continues spinning once he unclips.
I'm sure there is a perfectly good explanation, but it's a bit early in the morning for me
What a finish today....awesome and so tough....feeling whacked just watching it!
Froome....comes back to form!
Great stuff. Pleased for Hesjdal and great to see Froome having to battle.
His last 200 metres sprint was unreal!! I was sure zaugg had it! Froome took 7 seconds back on contador.....next 2 days will tell!
Great ride from Ryder -motor assisted, or moto assisted ? Hope somebody understands what I'm on about cos I've just spent 10 minutes trying to explain it to my wife but she's pretending not to be interested....
And what a finish amongst the GC guys. Froome paced himself perfectly, for today at least. We'll see on Monday as to whether he went too deep into the red today. For the time being this is exactly what we were hoping for, the most tightly fought GT of the season *
*OK Bertie will still win, but it's not as clear-cut as either the giro or the tour at this stage
I've still got some hope that he won't! He'd have lost more than 7 seconds to Froome today if Rodriguez hadn't paced him back up.....depends on everyone's recovery I guess but you never know!
Great racing up to Covadonga yesterday too! Semms like Bertie might have over-done it a bit.
I watched it on Spanish tv and the commentators were (a little bit begrudingly) giving Froome credit where its due for smart tactics. That said, though, he's not as much fun to watch at the Spanish trio taking chunks out of each other over and over again.
Amazing racing, Froome really seems to have got into Bertie's head. Instead of racing and watching the guy in second he's looking back over his shoulder and attacking whenever Froome gets close.
I don't think Froome has the form (I'm so hoping I'm wrong, so so hoping) but as it stands V and R could use this against Contador.
I can't wait to watch todays stage. Looking forward to watching the ToB on Dartmoor on Thursday too.
Just seen the last 6km - exceptional racing!! Won't say any more than that to avoid spoilers
> Just seen the last 6km - exceptional racing!! Won't say any more than that to avoid spoilers
It's ok on this thread I think.
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