/ Froome Le Tour Vuelta double?

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Wanderer100 - on 19 Aug 2017
Can Froome do the double this year? He's got a strong team and is facing stiff competition not least Contadors send off!
After 3 second place finishes Froome says he has unfinished business with the Vuelta. I hope he does it.
balmybaldwin - on 19 Aug 2017
In reply to Wanderer100:

TBH I thought he was looking weakened in the TDF, so I'm not sure how he'll do... I guess the question is did he train to peak slightly lower than previous years so he had a chance to double peak for the vuelta?

The other issue he will have is I'm not sure his style is really that well suited to the punchy nasty climbs they have a tendency to stick on the vuelta
bouldery bits - on 19 Aug 2017
In reply to Wanderer100:

No Landa, no win.

That's my guess this year.

The Vuelta is always hard to call but, and here it is now, Nibali to win it.
Stuart en Écosse - on 19 Aug 2017
In reply to Wanderer100:

Not so much because it's Froome, but more because it's Sky, but I'm lukewarm about whether he wins it. I'll be cheering Bertie, who probably doesn't have a hope, and Bardet and Barguil who might. Aru and, especially, Nibbles will shake things up too.
Wanderer100 - on 19 Aug 2017
In reply to balmybaldwin:

> TBH I thought he was looking weakened in the TDF, so I'm not sure how he'll do... I guess the question is did he train to peak slightly lower than previous years so he had a chance to double peak for the vuelta?

He had a very strong last 7 days on Le Tour.

> The other issue he will have is I'm not sure his style is really that well suited to the punchy nasty climbs they have a tendency to stick on the vuelta

He's finished 2nd three times which I would have thought means his style is well suited to the Vuelta.
gethin_allen on 19 Aug 2017
In reply to Wanderer100:

I don't think he's got it in him. I'll still be watching, the mountains look heinous this year.
kevin stephens - on 19 Aug 2017
In reply to gethin_allen:

just turned on ITV4 to watch today's highlights at 10pm, haven't seen anyone yet who looks like they could even ride a bike
Wanderer100 - on 19 Aug 2017
In reply to kevin stephens:

I know. How many fell off on that first corner?
Must be at least 5 or 6 ?
kevin stephens - on 19 Aug 2017
In reply to Wanderer100:

bloody darts!!
gethin_allen on 19 Aug 2017
In reply to kevin stephens:

> bloody darts!!

What's going on? it says cycling but I'm getting fat blokes throwing things at a target?
Chris the Tall - on 19 Aug 2017
In reply to balmybaldwin:

> I guess the question is did he train to peak slightly lower than previous years so he had a chance to double peak for the Vuelta

I've being saying that this is a possibility ever since his poor form at Romandie and the Dauphine. But another possibility is that his back problems are hampering him, and that he bluffed his way to a tour win. His rivals at the tour were too cautious and missed the opportunity, but someone like Nibali is more likely to attack. Nibbles also didn't ride the tour, and needs a good result after a disappointing Giro.

On the other hand it looks like Sky have brought a strong team, and I wouldn't imagine they'd cock it up as spectacularly as they did last year. Going to be really interesting to say how Orica play their cards.
Chris the Tall - on 19 Aug 2017
In reply to Wanderer100:

What do people make of the latest marginal gain from sky ?

http://road.cc/content/news/227889-video-team-sky-unveil-two-storey-race-hub-vuelta

I reckon it's a terrible innovation. It further increases the volume of traffic associated with a cycle race - the lorries to transport it and the staff to erect it. Already the amount of vehicle parking required at the start and end of a stage is a problem, both for the organisers and for rival teams. And it takes away business from the local community. Maybe it's time to introduce a rule limiting the number of team vehicles?
Henry Iddon - on 20 Aug 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:


Ah Team Sky and their carbon footprint.....
elsewhere on 20 Aug 2017
In reply to Wanderer100:
ITV4 highlights were good.

A pity if Romain Bardet not on form.
wbo - on 20 Aug 2017
In reply to gethin_allen:

> I don't think he's got it in him.

What on earth does that mean?

I've got the impression before that a lot of punters don't rate Froome and could kick his butt easy peasy

I
nufkin - on 20 Aug 2017
In reply to wbo:

> a lot of punters don't rate Froome and could kick his butt easy peasy

You mean they think they could?
gethin_allen on 20 Aug 2017
In reply to wbo:

> What on earth does that mean?
It's not that hard to decipher.
He just didn't look as strong in the tour and I don't think he'll win.

> I've got the impression before that a lot of punters don't rate Froome and could kick his butt easy peasy

When did I say this? I could probably give him a good go for his money if he was running in cleats but that's about it.

lummox - on 21 Aug 2017
In reply to Wanderer100:

Hopefully not.
Sir Chasm - on 21 Aug 2017
In reply to Wanderer100:

Maybe we'll get some idea of his form today. But I'll go out on a limb and suggest Contador won't be troubling him for GC.
Wanderer100 - on 21 Aug 2017
In reply to Sir Chasm:

Contador was yesterday's biggest loser.
Froome will probably reflect that the cross winds could have caused more damage than they did and he can make up on the Red jersey in today's stage. Aru and Bardet nearly 40 seconds behind Froome already.
DubyaJamesDubya - on 21 Aug 2017
In reply to gethin_allen:

> It's not that hard to decipher.

> He just didn't look as strong in the tour and I don't think he'll win.


I thought the same until I discovered that his whole season has been aimed at this (peaking later so not winning any races early on) in the Tour he didn't look dominant at any stage but neither did he look really vulnerable toward the end as he has sometimes in the past. Most importantly he won it!
Add to that the lessons learned from last year and that his major rivals (barring Nibali) are the men he beat in the Tour and I find it hard to see anyone who I think could win it other than Froome. (why no Dumoulin?)

Chris the Tall - on 21 Aug 2017
In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:

> (why no Dumoulin?)

13 mountainous stages with 8 summit finishes and lots of steep climbs, but only 40k of TT

Doesn't exactly make it easy for Froome either, so whilst he is undoubtedly the favourite it's a bit bizarre that he is odds-on when there are so many contenders and so much potential for the unexpected
Sir Chasm - on 21 Aug 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

It's hardly bizarre, odds-on favourite just means he's judged most likely to win. It would be bizarre if someone who looked stronger or had a better team was being ignored, but it looks quite reasonable at the moment.
Chris the Tall - on 21 Aug 2017
In reply to Sir Chasm:

> It's hardly bizarre, odds-on favourite just means he's judged most likely to win.

Erm - no

Favourite means he's judged most likely to win
Odds-on favourite means the bookies judge it more likely that he will win than all the other possibilities combined, that the probability of him winning is greater than 50 %

(I may not be a betting man, but I spent enough time with elderly relatives who were !)
Sir Chasm - on 21 Aug 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

Fear not, he's only 4/1.
Chris the Tall - on 21 Aug 2017
In reply to Sir Chasm:

If you can get 4/1 take it !

https://www.oddschecker.com/cycling/vuelta-a-espana/winner

Most offering 8/11, with Nibble at 7/2 and Zakaryn 14/1
Mike Highbury - on 21 Aug 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall: Yay! Clean as a whistle.
Chris the Tall - on 21 Aug 2017
In reply to Mike Highbury:

In what sense ?

Eurosport feed froze on me - one minute Froome had attacked and dropped almost everyone, whilst Nibbles had cracked and was nowhere to be seen
Mike Highbury - on 21 Aug 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall: Nibali, natch, only works if you watch these things live.
Sir Chasm - on 21 Aug 2017
In reply to Mike Highbury:

What was clean? Nibali? The result? Something else?
Chris the Tall - on 21 Aug 2017
In reply to Mike Highbury:

I saw the last 200 meters - reminded me a bit of his stage win in Sheffield - and we know what happened that year

Wonder if Froome will try to let De la Cruz take the race lead tomorrow ?
GrahamD - on 21 Aug 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

Just watched the last 10km highlights. To me, the fact that Froome pulled away from so many of them on the top of the ascent and he had so many of his team on the climb is probably more significant than that Nibali and co got back on the descent. I can't see him voluntarily giving up the jersey - he appears to like racing from the front and he's had enough practice at it.
Bob Hughes - on 22 Aug 2017
In reply to GrahamD:

Exciting stage! well, exciting last 20 minutes. Froome smashed them all on that last climb except Chavez who did well to hang on. Impressive descending from Nibbles to get back for the win though - crafty ride, that. Contador is clearly out of the running.
subtle on 22 Aug 2017
In reply to GrahamD:

> Just watched the last 10km highlights. To me, the fact that Froome pulled away from so many of them on the top of the ascent and he had so many of his team on the climb is probably more significant than that Nibali and co got back on the descent.

Didn't he do well, was quiet exciting

DubyaJamesDubya - on 22 Aug 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

> 13 mountainous stages with 8 summit finishes and lots of steep climbs, but only 40k of TT

> Doesn't exactly make it easy for Froome either, so whilst he is undoubtedly the favourite it's a bit bizarre that he is odds-on when there are so many contenders and so much potential for the unexpected

Well it is a Grand Tour so it won't be easy (and as the last couple of years prove it doesn't take much to have it all go awry). Still winning it and he might even have a shot at SPOTY!
GrahamD - on 23 Aug 2017
In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:

Moscon is looking like a real find for Sky and another very good day for Froome.
Chris the Tall - on 23 Aug 2017
In reply to GrahamD:

Bit surprised to see Nibbles struggling today, but it's still early days. Great to see Chaves back on form, and with the Yates brothers hanging in there who knows what Orica will try.

But Froome looks unstoppable - really motivated, picking up time on every opportunity, strong team. I reckon the only thing that will stop him is a crash
nufkin - on 23 Aug 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

> But Froome looks unstoppable ... I reckon the only thing that will stop him is a crash

He does seem quite prone to those, mind - or at least various GC-endangering malfunctions
GrahamD - on 23 Aug 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

Nibbles lost time on the ascent day 3 as well when the hammer went down. Nice to see TJ going well at the moment.
Chris the Tall - on 23 Aug 2017
In reply to GrahamD:

Not that I'm in much position to comment, but did anyone else think today's winner looked unusually chunky for a pro cyclist?
Chris the Tall - on 25 Aug 2017
In reply to Wanderer100:

Another interesting stage yesterday - Bertie is not giving up and Froome knows not to let him go

Today they are in that vast under-populated interior - as shown in this article

http://inrng.com/2017/08/vuelta-a-espana-stage-7-preview-cuenca/#more-32103

One of things that has always struck me when climbing in Spain is the difference between the coastal strip and once you get 10 miles inland
Wanderer100 - on 26 Aug 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

Froome and Contador continue to dominate the mountain stages. Froome looks as fit and strong as he has ever done. The first Week couldn't have gone better for him.
bouldery bits - on 26 Aug 2017
In reply to bouldery bits:

> No Landa, no win.

> That's my guess this year.

> The Vuelta is always hard to call but, and here it is now, Nibali to win it.

My prediction is looking good as usual!!! :P
Chris the Tall - on 27 Aug 2017
In reply to bouldery bits:

> My prediction is looking good as usual!!! :P

I wouldn't rule him out yet. Really impressive so far for Froome, looking in great form. May only concern is that for all his efforts he has still only taken less than half a minute. Ok the climbs have only been short and with the bigger climbs and especially the TT he is likely to increase the lead, but you never know. Bertie is looking frisky and could yet reck havoc. That said the rest of the GC may have already have settled for second at best.

Definitely been an interesting first week and looking forward to seeing more familiar scenery tomorrow
Dave Kerr - on 27 Aug 2017
In reply to Wanderer100:

Great finish today and isn't Esteban Chaves a nice guy.
Wanderer100 - on 27 Aug 2017
In reply to Dave Kerr:

Chaves is class. A future GC winner I hope and expect. A great break for the finish line by Froome and how happy will he be after the first 8 stages.
Si_G - on 27 Aug 2017
In reply to Dave Kerr:

Made that look easy.
Dave Kerr - on 27 Aug 2017
In reply to Si_G:

> Made that look easy.

If it was easy he wouldn't have needed the second kick. Looked to me like he worked for it!
Si_G - on 27 Aug 2017
In reply to Dave Kerr:

Pulled away, they came at him, just pulled away again and left them. Didn't look in trouble.
Although he did get out of the saddle.
Chris the Tall - on 28 Aug 2017
In reply to Si_G:

Hope Froome is going to share his winnings with the Cannondale team! Their efforts set him up nicely
nufkin - on 29 Aug 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

> Hope Froome is going to share his winnings with the Cannondale team! Their efforts set him up nicely

Might not be much left after Mikel Nieve gets his share. It was classy of Froome to mention Cannondale in his interviews though
nufkin - on 29 Aug 2017
In reply to Dave Kerr:

> isn't Esteban Chaves a nice guy

The smiliest guy in the race, and always seems to have something nice to say about the other riders (sincerely nice)
andy - on 30 Aug 2017
In reply to nufkin: how/why did Sky let Roche take 30 secs yesterday? I know he's still 30secs back, but it looked a bit careless?

JLS on 30 Aug 2017
In reply to andy:

"how/why did Sky let Roche take 30 secs yesterday?"

I think it made sense. Better to lose 30sec to Roche than risk crashing and losing a minute to everyone.
Even though he looks to be in great form, I'd expect Roche will lose much more than 30 sec over the course of all mountain finishes and the long TT.
andy - on 30 Aug 2017
In reply to JLS:

> "how/why did Sky let Roche take 30 secs yesterday?"

> I think it made sense. Better to lose 30sec to Roche than risk crashing and losing a minute to everyone.

> Even though he looks to be in great form, I'd expect Roche will lose much more than 30 sec over the course of all mountain finishes and the long TT.

Gotcha - it does indeed make sense. Maybe explains why they were less keen to let Nibbles get away?
GrahamD - on 30 Aug 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

Loved Gary Imlachs throwaway line on the highlights: words to the effect of "Sky graciously allowing them to ride themselves into to the ground on the front before normal service is resumed."
GrahamD - on 30 Aug 2017
In reply to andy:

You have to suspect that Nibbles was the main marked man on that stage. Nico took an opportunity well and I'm surprised he was able to stretch nearly 30s out of that jump.
Mick r - on 30 Aug 2017
In reply to GrahamD:

wasn't clear from the highlights when Roach pulled away. I assumed it was on the flat section on the run in rather than the descent? didnt think anyone got past Nibbles on the descent
Chris the Tall - on 30 Aug 2017
In reply to JLS:

> "how/why did Sky let Roche take 30 secs yesterday?"

Even before yesterday I was thinking that Roche is the new Zubeldia and this proves it. Whether he remains in the top 3 after today's stage is another matter. For all the GC action we have had in the first week, today the race takes on a different complexion with a long high climb rather than the short and nasties we have seen so far. Apparently Roche is looking a bit healthier than he did in his sky days - less skeletal, so more like a rouleur and less of a GC rider.

The lack of footage of Roche yesterday may have explained why he got away - if any of the rival teams DSs had noticed he was picking up that sort of a lead then surely they would have warned their riders. And of course another factor is that none of the big names - Froome, Chaves, Nibali, Aru - really see him as a threat, so either didn't notice his absence or didn't care.


andy - on 30 Aug 2017
In reply to Mick r:

> wasn't clear from the highlights when Roach pulled away. I assumed it was on the flat section on the run in rather than the descent? didnt think anyone got past Nibbles on the descent

I was following it live on the Tour Tracker app and their commentary (assume they just watch the telly) didn't mention it at all - just showed up when they put up the provisional GC with him just 30secs down.
GrahamD - on 30 Aug 2017
In reply to andy:

Roches efforts might all be pretty academic after today. An attritional stage if ever there was one.
Chris the Tall - on 30 Aug 2017
In reply to GrahamD:

Some big changes on the GC - well, apart from the obvious exception
Ramblin dave - on 30 Aug 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

The points classification is interestingly close as well, given that there are only a couple of real sprinters' stages left...
Chris the Tall - on 30 Aug 2017
In reply to Ramblin dave:

It has been suggested that Froome could end up with all 4 jerseys - he is currently second in both points and mountains, so obviously has a big lead in the combined

If he does then surely it will signal the end for the combo jersey - at least unless the UCI does the sensible thing and drop the silly 4 jerseys rule. The best young rider should get a jersey, but apparently it's down to the sponsor

As to the young riders, I wonder what happened to Simon Yates today - was in the lead on the final climb, then lost 15 mins. I thought he might have dropped back to help Chaves, but presumably not.
GrahamD - on 30 Aug 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

> As to the young riders, I wonder what happened to Simon Yates today - was in the lead on the final climb, then lost 15 mins. I thought he might have dropped back to help Chaves, but presumably not.

He put a lot of effort on the road to bridge from the main bunch to Bardet / Attapuma and was doing his share with this group over the first climb, but clearly badly underestimated the full climb to the finish and was dropped pretty early on and totally isolated on the second climb. Too blown out to be any use to Chaves anyway.
Wanderer100 - on 30 Aug 2017
In reply to GrahamD:

Another great day for Froome. Clearly the best cyclist of his generation.
"He suffers better than anyone else".
A shame Esteban dropped so much time but good to see him still smiling after the stage end.
Mike Highbury - on 30 Aug 2017
In reply to Wanderer100:
> Another great day for Froome. Clearly the best cyclist of his generation. "He suffers better than anyone else".

That's an interesting observation, who else would you consider to be pretenders to the crown of best of the generation?
baron - on 30 Aug 2017
In reply to Wanderer100:
Froome totally dominant, can't remember anybody so good since ............
Post edited at 20:24
Wanderer100 - on 30 Aug 2017
In reply to Mike Highbury:

I should have clarified by saying GC rider but am referring to in no particular order.

Froome - 32 - 4 GCs 5th on the way.
Wiggins - 37 - 1 GC
Evans - 40 - 1 GC
Nibbles - 32 - 4 GCs
Quintana - 27 - 2 GCs
Valverde - 37 - 1GC
Contador - 34 - 7 GCs?
Richie Porte - 32 0 GC
Dan Martin - 31 0 GCs
Fabio Aru - 27 - 1GC.

I fully expect Froome to exceed 7 GCs before he hangs his cleats up. The only blot that may remain is if he doesn't win the Giro.
Wanderer100 - on 30 Aug 2017
In reply to baron:

> Froome totally dominant, can't remember anybody so good since ............

Bertie?
Mike Highbury - on 30 Aug 2017
In reply to Wanderer100:
> I should have clarified by saying GC rider but am referring to in no particular order.

> Froome - 32 - 4 GCs 5th on the way... Fabio Aru - 27 - 1GC.

Given the company, Armstrong would be right to feel miffed to be excluded.

The answer is Vos, still, by the way.
Wanderer100 - on 30 Aug 2017
In reply to Mike Highbury:

Ah. But Armstrong was a liar a bully and a drug cheat whereas the other guilty parties were just drug cheats.
Wanderer100 - on 30 Aug 2017
In reply to Mike Highbury:



> The answer is Vos, still, by the way.

You've got me there! Who?
The New NickB - on 30 Aug 2017
In reply to Wanderer100:

> You've got me there! Who?

No excuse for that.
balmybaldwin - on 30 Aug 2017
In reply to Wanderer100:
One of the most accomplished athletes in the sport.
Palmares includes:
3 Times World Road Race Champion, Track World Champion in Points race, and Scratch Race, 7 times world Cyclocross champion, 2 Olympic Golds (Beijing on track & London Road Race), 7 GC titles, A wide range of Classic wins inc Fleche Wallone (5 times), Tour of Flanders... it goes on and currently national cyclocross champ
Post edited at 21:55
Lemony - on 30 Aug 2017
In reply to balmybaldwin:

> One of the most accomplished athletes in the sport.


One of the most accomplished athletes in sport.


Wanderer100 - on 30 Aug 2017
In reply to The New NickB:

Who? Marianne? Fair enough although I didn't realise we had moved onto the female side of the sport.
Mike Highbury - on 30 Aug 2017
In reply to balmybaldwin:
I thought that W100 was taking the piss, BTW. He talking about GT racing, in particular, otherwise one might have been tempted to suggest Gilbert's 2011 season as the most dominant moment of his generation.

Post edited at 22:03
balmybaldwin - on 30 Aug 2017
In reply to Mike Highbury:

Yeah I know he wasn't thinking of the women either.

I've always had a lot of respect for Vos, she makes a fantastic commentator too, and I've always known her winning stuff, but looking at it in black and white it's quite astonishing how dominant she has been and for how long.

(I also fancy her a little bit)
Chris the Tall - on 30 Aug 2017
In reply to Mike Highbury:

> Given the company, Armstrong would be right to feel miffed to be excluded.

Why, what has he won ?

Anyway, it does seem to me that as far as grand tours are concerned, contadors positive and Armstrong's retirement did mark the end of an era - history may of course tell a different story. In the current era of Grand tours the only one with a palmares to rival Froome is Nibbles - he alone has done the triple in that period - but has always been second best to Froome unless the latter crashed. Contador mk2 hasn't come close.

> The answer is Vos, still, by the way.

Or maybe Ferrand-Prevot, who held the rainbow jersey for road, cross and XC MTB in 2015. Or Hoy or Sagan or Wiggins or Kenny or Trott or Fabio or Gilbert or Atherton or Cavendish or GVA or Van Aert.......

But Froome is the best Grand Tour rider of the current era

GrahamD - on 31 Aug 2017
In reply to baron:

> Froome totally dominant, can't remember anybody so good since ............

In the end he was dominant, but he also rode a very astute race. He had a big team pulling for him right to the end, he didn't waste effort on fruitless chases and he paced himself exactly to his limits.

So the reason he 'dominated' in the end was because his opponents (by and large) have had bad days and Froome has maximised his and his team's efforts. Even now, there are loads of people within a two or three minutes of him so its not like he's smashing them out of sight.
baron - on 31 Aug 2017
In reply to GrahamD:

While having the strongest team around him obviously helps I can't remember any cyclist, in recent times, who has the ability to sprint, climb, descend and time trial better than any of the GC contenders and most of the specialists.
It's more usual to be very good at some of these disciplines and maybe the best in one of them.
Froome seems to be the best climber, best time trialer, best descender and only gives way to the sprint specialists although it's not unknown for him to win a sprint.
I'd like to have seen Tom Domoulin in this years Vuelta because he seems to offer something that Froome's competitors can't.
Chris the Tall - on 31 Aug 2017
In reply to baron:

> Froome seems to be the best climber, best time trialer, best descender and only gives way to the sprint specialists although it's not unknown for him to win a sprint.

No, he isn't the best in any of these disciplines, just the best at being consistent over 3 weeks. He will probably put a couple of minutes into his GC rivals in the TT, but Rohan Dennis is the favourite to win it. At the worlds he will also have the likes of Domoulin, Martin and Roglic to contend with. Likewise he won't be a favourite for the road race

Cycling has become far more specialised since the days of Mercx or Hinault. They could win sprints, climbs, TTs and GTs because far less of the talent pool focused on a particular discipline. Times have changed.

> I'd like to have seen Tom Domoulin in this years Vuelta because he seems to offer something that Froome's competitors can't.

TD is the just about the only GC rider who is likely to beat CF in a TT. He won the Giro by managing his losses on the climbs, but it might be a different story at the Tour with Team Sky in full effect.

Then again if Froome wins the vuelta, then maybe he next year will go for Giro-Tour double

Hugh Janus - on 31 Aug 2017
In reply to Wanderer100:

What do you think the Froomedog was saying to Nibbles yesterday in the last couple of kilometres?

"Is that it Vincy-boy?"

"I'm not even going give you the couple of seconds bonus time."

Impressive stuff to hold his fire when others might have panicked and then to out sprint Nibbles and Kelderman to the line.
baron - on 31 Aug 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

So who climbs better than Froome?
Who descends better?
The sprinters are easier to name.
Lee Proctor - on 31 Aug 2017
In reply to baron:
> So who climbs better than Froome?

Landa? - It'll be interesting to see him in leader mode at Movistar next year

> Who descends better?

Bardet and Nibbles - just watch his bunny hop on this years Giro;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK-4WRV--aI


> The sprinters are easier to name

Just about any of them
Post edited at 13:13
nufkin - on 31 Aug 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

> Why, what has he won ?

One might argue that it's better to acknowledge that Armstrong won those seven Tours but was stripped of the titles for his drug-taking (and being a double-barrelled bastard about it) than to pretend it didn't happen at all, which sometimes seems to be the cycling authorities' approach. He did, after all, still have to do all that pedalling and suffering, and it would appear that he and his team weren't the only ones making pharmaceutical enhancements
Chris the Tall - on 31 Aug 2017
In reply to baron:

> So who climbs better than Froome?

On what sort of climb, and in what context ?

He rarely does one day races, so we can't compare his "pure" ability to that of Valverde or Martin. Some might argue that the Mur de Huy finish to Fleche Wallone offers the simplest test of climbing ability, or maybe LBL or Lombardia ?

In the context of stage races, which is where we normally see the big climbs, then Froome doesn't win many stages, but doesn't usually lose much time. He clearly wasn't the best climber at this years tour (Barguil, Bardet, Aru), he wasn't even the best on his team, but he was consistent.

> Who descends better?

A few years ago the answer would have been "everyone", but he has massively improved in this area. I'd say Roglic, Sagan, Mohoric and Nibali are definitely better though.
Chris the Tall - on 31 Aug 2017
In reply to baron:

> Who descends better?

You might want to watch the highlights tonight !

Sir Chasm - on 31 Aug 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

> You might want to watch the highlights tonight !

http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/nibali-breaks-collarbone-in-olympic-games-crash/ I'd be surprised if none of the "better" descenders hadn't fallen off at some point.
baron - on 31 Aug 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

Being retired I've watched just about every minute of the race so far.
Except for this afternoon.
Talk about bad timing!
Look's like I jinxed poor Mr Froome!
Dave Kerr - on 31 Aug 2017
In reply to Wanderer100:

Contador's legacy is tainted but I shall miss him. Nobody animates a race like him and his never say die attitude is inspirational. Chapeau.
Wanderer100 - on 31 Aug 2017
In reply to Dave Kerr:

Froome certainly animated today's race whilst trying to limit his loses. He does seem to attract more misfortune than most of the other riders.
Chris the Tall - on 31 Aug 2017
In reply to Wanderer100:

Loads of wired incidents at the Vuelta today - arson attack on aqua blue bus, policeman throwing spectator across road and under a motorbike, and a spectator pushing Katusha's Maxim Belkov off his bike and over a barrier
elsewhere on 31 Aug 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:
> Loads of wired incidents at the Vuelta today - arson attack on aqua blue bus, policeman throwing spectator across road and under a motorbike, and a spectator pushing Katusha's Maxim Belkov off his bike and over a barrier

Yes, what the hell is happening?

Great racing though.
Wanderer100 - on 01 Sep 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

I saw that on the highlights. What kind of lunatic gets a mattress, shoves it under a bus and sets fire to it? Madness!!
Chris the Tall - on 01 Sep 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

In case people haven't seen it, here is the moto incident

https://twitter.com/Laura_Meseguer/status/903318550009536513

The runner is well away from the riders and the motos, until the policeman intervenes !
DubyaJamesDubya - on 01 Sep 2017
In reply to elsewhere:

> Yes, what the hell is happening?

> Great racing though.

There could be any number of reasons but I fret that the Katusha guy was wearing red and that the spectator might be another anti-Froome guy (thinking back to urine throwing of a year or so ago) or someone thinking he was preventing him catch Contador.
Bob Hughes - on 01 Sep 2017
In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:

> There could be any number of reasons but I fret that the Katusha guy was wearing red and that the spectator might be another anti-Froome guy (thinking back to urine throwing of a year or so ago) or someone thinking he was preventing him catch Contador.

The fan was mentally disabled, according to Maxim Belkov's statement:

“Through the Vuelta organizers I have received more details from the Guardia Civil about the incident that occurred yesterday on the Puerto del Torcal when a fan pushed me into the ditch,” Belkov said.

“Apparently the man suffers from a mental disability. For me this is more than enough reason not to undertake any further action against him.

“I am healthy and not injured, but it could have ended worse. Cycling is a very accessible sport. We need to keep it this way. I just hope that this incident will open the eyes of many fans. Please never touch the riders in the race, don’t run alongside us and make sure to always properly supervise anyone under your care.”
Chris the Tall - on 01 Sep 2017
In reply to baron:

Wasn't clear at first whether Froome's first stop and bike change was merely a mechanical, but it seems he did crash twice - this being the first

https://twitter.com/Laura_Meseguer/status/903589872732135424

Still leaves the question of why Nibbles didn't drive home his advantage. It wasn't bad luck, it was a lack of skill, just as it was with Kruiswijk in the Giro a couple of years ago. He could have taken the race lead, not a measly 20 seconds.
DubyaJamesDubya - on 01 Sep 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

> Wasn't clear at first whether Froome's first stop and bike change was merely a mechanical, but it seems he did crash twice - this being the first


> Still leaves the question of why Nibbles didn't drive home his advantage. It wasn't bad luck, it was a lack of skill, just as it was with Kruiswijk in the Giro a couple of years ago. He could have taken the race lead, not a measly 20 seconds.

I think they summarised it quite well on the highlights last night. The first crash happened a long way from home and Froome had two team mates with him so the feeling was not worth the effort as he'll get back on easily and as it was a crash they may have assumed he'd just get back up rather than need a bike change (which was actually pretty quick). Although they have pretty good communication it's not quite as instantaneous as we think so there was a delay in response even after the second crash and there may have been(wrongly in this case) a slight uncertainty over the ethics of going under the circumstances.
DubyaJamesDubya - on 01 Sep 2017
In reply to Bob Hughes:

> The fan was mentally disabled, according to Maxim Belkov's statement:

> “Through the Vuelta organizers I have received more details from the Guardia Civil about the incident that occurred yesterday on the Puerto del Torcal when a fan pushed me into the ditch,” Belkov said.

> “Apparently the man suffers from a mental disability. For me this is more than enough reason not to undertake any further action against him.

> “I am healthy and not injured, but it could have ended worse. Cycling is a very accessible sport. We need to keep it this way. I just hope that this incident will open the eyes of many fans. Please never touch the riders in the race, don’t run alongside us and make sure to always properly supervise anyone under your care.”

Well it's not good but it's a more reassuring explanation than some I'd feared.
nufkin - on 01 Sep 2017
In reply to baron:

> Look's like I jinxed poor Mr Froome!

No, he's been under some sort of crash hex long before you cast your spell yesterday lunchtime
mbh - on 01 Sep 2017
In reply to Wanderer100:

Millar quote of the day "In cycling, he who dares, wins, but, more often than not, loses". I really like him as a pundit.
Wanderer100 - on 01 Sep 2017
In reply to mbh:

I think he's a great pundit. Not entirely comfortable in front of the camera but genuine, extremely knowledgeable and likeable.
GrahamD - on 02 Sep 2017
In reply to Wanderer100:

What I like about David Miller is how fast he reads a race situation and articulates what's happening immediately and usually totally accurately. He also doesn't sit on the fence which is good. Have to admit I'm warming to Ned Boulting as the main commentator. Wasn't sure he was up to it to start with but he seems to have grown out of his Boardmans stooge role pretty well.
Chris the Tall - on 02 Sep 2017
In reply to GrahamD:

I'm pretty sure they aren't in Spain, but does anyone know if they do their Vuelta commentary in real-time ? I tend to watch/listen to it live on Eurosport player, and Carlton Kirby is hopeless in comparison. For example he had no idea who the Sky rider who came in second (Moscow) and didn't spot the GC riders who also got in the first group - Millar knew exactly what was happening.
tim000 - on 02 Sep 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

> For example he had no idea who the Sky rider who came in second (Moscow) and didn't spot the GC riders who also got in the first group - Millar knew exactly what was happening.

err , his name is moscon . http://www.cyclingweekly.com/news/racing/vuelta-a-espana/team-skys-gianni-moscon-saw-chance-sprint-t...
elsewhere on 02 Sep 2017
In reply to GrahamD:
> What I like about David Miller is how fast he reads a race situation and articulates what's happening immediately and usually totally accurately.

Every day he does this and every day I am amazed.
Chris the Tall - on 02 Sep 2017
In reply to tim000:

Autocorrect!

He's having a remarkably good first grand tour, and looked good in the classics. What he did in between is less impressive...
GrahamD - on 03 Sep 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

Good point about being in Spain. As to live feeds I'm stuck with whatever I can get to run on Steephill which is Danish or Flemish often as not. Talk about monotonic !
tim000 - on 03 Sep 2017
Wanderer100 - on 03 Sep 2017
In reply to Wanderer100:

Another classy day in the saddle by Sky and Froome. Nibali remains the only serious contender but time is running out.
Chris the Tall - on 04 Sep 2017
In reply to Wanderer100:
We have seen GC action on about 3/4s of the stages so far, which is remarkable, but it's never been more than a handful of seconds that have been gained. Froome has dominated, but his lead is only a minute- the sort of gap he could easily lose in the final couple of KMs on the Angilru.

Thing is though, he'll probably triple that lead tomorrow and I reckon the only thing that can stop him is the gastrointestinal illness which has hit a few other teams. Or another crash on an innocuous descent
Wanderer100 - on 04 Sep 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

I like the look of the GB team for the World's.
Lots of racing power but who's going to grab the finish line and win the damned thing?
Froome for the TT?

Road World Championship: Chris Froome named on Great Britain longlist - http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/41147770
Dave Kerr - on 04 Sep 2017
In reply to Wanderer100:

> I like the look of the GB team for the World's.

> Lots of racing power but who's going to grab the finish line and win the damned thing?

> Froome for the TT?

Maybe a medal but I can't see him winning it.

Chris the Tall - on 04 Sep 2017
In reply to Dave Kerr:

> Maybe a medal but I can't see him winning it.

Initially I discounted him too, but looking at the course I certainly wouldn't rule him out

http://www.cyclingweekly.com/news/racing/world-championships-road-race-previews-289374 (scroll down, though not quite as far as the clickbait - who the hell cares about an antiques roadshow presenters having a hissy fit!)

It's a lumpy 31km, but the final climb is 3.4km long and has an average gradient of 9.1 per cent which peaks of 10.2 per cent.

That should swing the balance away from the likes of Tony Martin or Vasil Kiryenka and towards Froome and Dumolin. But whereas TD has been focusing on this ever since the Giro, skipping the Tour and the Vuelta and just doing enough to keep himself fit, Froome must be feeling a wee bit tired by now.
Mike Highbury - on 04 Sep 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:
> http://www.cyclingweekly.com/news/racing/world-championships-road-race-previews-289374 (scroll down, though not quite as far as the clickbait - who the hell cares about an antiques roadshow presenters having a hissy fit!)

You must have quite some Google-history.
Chris the Tall - on 05 Sep 2017
In reply to Wanderer100:

Apparently Nibali is convinced that Froome and Bertie have done a deal - the latter wont help Nibbles in return for help from Sky in a stage win. Would be the perfect ending for him to bow out with a win on the Angliru - and I suspect that anyone who fancies getting out of Spain alive won't want to get in the way.
GrahamD - on 05 Sep 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

Good showing from Nibbles today. I expected him to have shipped considerably more than a minute or so. Professional performance by Froome though to get a second stage win.
Wanderer100 - on 05 Sep 2017
In reply to GrahamD:

Big day tomorrow for Froome to try and maintain his lead. He's looking good though and the finish line is looming large on the horizon. Only illness or injury will stop him now.
Dave Kerr - on 05 Sep 2017
In reply to Wanderer100:

> Only illness or injury will stop him now.

Or one of those bad days that come along from time to time.
Chris the Tall - on 05 Sep 2017
In reply to Wanderer100:

There's been a lot of illnesses going around in the Vuelta- dimension data hit worst, just 3 riders left, but also BMC and Sunweb I think. Maybe sky's rule about not shaking hands with anyone is paying off
Wanderer100 - on 05 Sep 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

Marginal gains.
captain paranoia - on 06 Sep 2017
In reply to Dave Kerr:

A 1 in 4 section tomorrow could easily do anyone in. Fit that granny ring...
elsewhere on 06 Sep 2017
In reply to Wanderer100:
Not shaking hands must be one of the more concrete or less runny marginal gains.

Has Frome ever looked happier than yesterday after the TT?
Chris the Tall - on 06 Sep 2017
In reply to Wanderer100:

Much sneered at by the cynics who think nothing has changed in cycling, but I do believe that their attention to detail and innovative approach is at least partly the cause of their success

Why they didn't show the same attention to detail when it came to medical records is another matter....

And the sight of Froome warming up/down in the air-conditioned mobile hub really annoys me. Rather than questioning how he could win both Tour and Vuelta, we need to question whether one team should be able to spend so much
stubbed on 06 Sep 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

Watching him warm up like that is annoying, yes.

Also annoyed that the same amount is not invested in women's cycling.
elsewhere on 06 Sep 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:
> And the sight of Froome warming up/down in the air-conditioned mobile hub really annoys

I respect him for being a hard working professional delivering maximum value for money for his sponsor for doing that.

However if it is yet another marginal gain that psychologically undermines his competitors too that's even better.

Sir Chasm - on 06 Sep 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

What limit would you set? And why do you think teams with nearly Sky's (estimated http://www.cyclingweekly.com/news/racing/tour-de-france/tour-de-france-team-largest-budget-262275 ) budget aren't doing better?
Chris the Tall - on 06 Sep 2017
In reply to elsewhere:

Warming-up is not the problem (actually it's one of those things that show how much cycling has changed)

But only his team can afford the air-conditioned hub. And if all the teams had one then the logistics of the start/finish area, and the daily convoy would either become impossible, or change the nature of the race. Formula one can do this because it has fixed, dedicated venues - cycling doesn't and long may that remain so.

And then there is the environmental impact of the race
tim000 - on 06 Sep 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

cant imagine a tent with an air condition unit in it costs much .
elsewhere on 06 Sep 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:
It's not green, but the Sky Hub (a single truck?) is an insignificant part of the hundreds or approaching
a thousand vehicles in the publicity caravan, security, race organisers, TV & other media, lorries for kilometers of crowd barriers, two thousand hotel bookings daily, teams and finally the broom wagon!

But then every day thousands drive to see the race which will be the real environmental impact.

It's not green but the totality is a great spectacle.
Post edited at 11:26
elsewhere on 06 Sep 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:
Changing the topic slightly - what's the point of acclimatising to to air conditioned comfort whilst warming up? These aren't normal people but you'd think they'd be better off at something closer to the heat of Spain.
Jon Greengrass on 06 Sep 2017
In reply to elsewhere:

the aircon is to simulate the 50km/h windchill, perhaps the next upgrade to the Sky Hub will be a portable wind tunnel?
Chris the Tall - on 06 Sep 2017
In reply to elsewhere:

2 years ago the UCI stopped Sky from using camper vans for their riders on the Giro, realising where it would lead to. I think they need to do the same here and limit the number/size of team vehicles that can be at the start/finish, just as teams are limited to 2 cars in the race (or one for AG2R!).

As to the publicity caravan - I got overtaken by the one at the Tour de Yorkshire several times on the hills around Holmfirth this year. And the only freebie I got offered was a sachet of Aunt Bessie's Yorkshire Pudding mix !!!
Chris Harris - on 06 Sep 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

> we need to question whether one team should be able to spend so much

You could apply that to pretty much any sport you care to name.
Chris the Tall - on 06 Sep 2017
In reply to Chris Harris:

Team sport, not individual sport - and cycling is a mix of both.

Salary caps are always difficult to enforce. And I don't believe teams shouldn't be able to innovate with their kit. But there is nothing new about restrictions on what teams can and can't do - such as 2 cars following the race.

At the end of the day we want to find the best rider, not the one who has attracted the most sponsorship money. And I think Froome is the best rider, and because he is so good there is more pressure on his team, so there is a bit of natural balance there.

But the hub has annoyed me !

Meanwhile I've discovered via http://inrng.com/2017/09/vuelta-a-espana-stage-17-preview-vaca-pasiega/ who took the anonymous footage of the AG2R riders hanging on to their car. Have a guess !!
nufkin - on 06 Sep 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

> the only freebie I got offered was a sachet of Aunt Bessie's Yorkshire Pudding mix

It's pleasing to think of the pros chugging that down instead of gels as they whizz along
Mike Highbury - on 06 Sep 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:
> Meanwhile I've discovered via http://inrng.com/2017/09/vuelta-a-espana-stage-17-preview-vaca-pasiega/ who took the anonymous footage of the AG2R riders hanging on to their car. Have a guess !!

Grassing up one's opponents has become quite a habit. It feeds irritation and draws one into all kinds of fantasies asking what else they have learned Johan B?
GrahamD - on 06 Sep 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

> Warming-up is not the problem (actually it's one of those things that show how much cycling has changed)

> But only his team can afford the air-conditioned hub.

Is that really true ? I mean Sky might have the highest budget but its not by a massive amount. I don't particularly like the hub but I don't think its Sky's budget that has allowed them to have it - its just endemic of the way the team is managed and organised.
elsewhere on 06 Sep 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:
> And the only freebie I got offered was a sachet of Aunt Bessie's Yorkshire Pudding mix !!!

Vive le Tour! Vive la France!

The crux is the professional sport and Vuelta, Giro, Tour organisations cannot exist without media coverage and sponsors. Hence things like the bizarre sight spectators watching Froome in a goldfish bowl might represent good value for money for the sponsors and the Vuelta. The fact that we've noticed it suggests it's excellent value for money compared to most of the billions of pounds/dollar/euros spent on advertising.
Post edited at 13:49
nufkin - on 06 Sep 2017
In reply to elsewhere:

> the professional sport and Vuelta, Giro, Tour organisations cannot exist without media coverage and sponsors

Watching the Tour of Britain I'm torn between wishing it had a bit more of this (the presentation seems embarrassingly shabby compared to the Grand Tours) and in some ways a little less (the 'Ovo Tour of Britain'? It's not the Vittel Tour de France!)
sg - on 06 Sep 2017
In reply to nufkin:

Interesting result today (in the Vuelta, I mean!). Definitely not over until Saturday afternoon now.

The OVO ToB certainly lacks the same racing drama, I think. I don't mind a good sprint finish but Brill Hill is no Alpe 'dHuez! At least the time trial tomorrow will be a chance for something other than bonus seconds and points to separate the riders.
Wanderer100 - on 06 Sep 2017
In reply to sg:

The first day on this GT that Froome has struggled. Tomorrow's flatish stage will help him recover.
Yanis Nayu - on 06 Sep 2017
In reply to sg:

> Interesting result today (in the Vuelta, I mean!). Definitely not over until Saturday afternoon now.

> The OVO ToB certainly lacks the same racing drama, I think. I don't mind a good sprint finish but Brill Hill is no Alpe 'dHuez! At least the time trial tomorrow will be a chance for something other than bonus seconds and points to separate the riders.

I rode up Alpe d'Huez on Monday!
Wanderer100 - on 06 Sep 2017
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

> I rode up Alpe d'Huez on Monday!

How did it go? Was the sun shining on you?
Yanis Nayu - on 06 Sep 2017
In reply to Wanderer100:

It was scorching! Cracking day, and even better yesterday doing Col de La Croix de Fer. Breathtaking. Doing Lautaret and the Galibier tomorrow.
elsewhere on 06 Sep 2017
After the TT Frome looked near invincible but not today. Great to watch.

sg - on 06 Sep 2017
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

> It was scorching! Cracking day, and even better yesterday doing Col de La Croix de Fer. Breathtaking. Doing Lautaret and the Galibier tomorrow.

Lucky you! Had a great time doing them myself a few years back. All considerably more satisfying than Brill which I've also done and the ToB goes over on Friday!

sg - on 06 Sep 2017
In reply to elsewhere:

Nightmare final climb. Even the motorbikes were struggling!
Chris the Tall - on 06 Sep 2017
In reply to Wanderer100:

> The first day on this GT that Froome has struggled. Tomorrow's flatish stage will help him recover.

It's another summit finish tomorrow, and a lumpy stage on Friday before the grand finale on the Angliru on Sat. Froome has lost the race there once before! Certainly keeping things interesting
stubbed on 07 Sep 2017
In reply to bouldery bits:

I thought you were a bit crazy when you said Nibali to win but maybe you will be right after all
malk - on 07 Sep 2017
In reply to Jon Greengrass:

> the aircon is to simulate the 50km/h windchill, perhaps the next upgrade to the Sky Hub will be a portable wind tunnel?

what's to stop them reducing O2 to simulate altitude? (for aircon read hypoxic chamber;)
Chris the Tall - on 07 Sep 2017
In reply to GrahamD:

> I mean Sky might have the highest budget but its not by a massive amount.

Fair point - Sky seem to have been far more innovative than the other big teams and it has paid dividends. Maybe Movistar, Astana, BMC and Bahrain will all rock up at next year's tour with their hubs. Hopefully the ensuing parking wars will force the UCI or ASO to take action - but more likely they'll simply blame each other !

The budget differences makes yesterdays magnificent win for Aqua Blue all the more remarkable - smallest team, first GT, borrowing a bus and kit after the arson attack. I presume Stefan Denifil has been granted honorary Irish citizenship !
Toby_W on 07 Sep 2017
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

Lucky you the weather was gorgeous for us all week but p*ssed it down the day we went to do Alp d'Huez (almost a 30C drop in temp) and we missed off the Col de La Croix de Fer mollard etc on our last day. Was still pleased though, knocked four minutes off my previous time when I was injured and did it in 56:58. Reckon I could shave another 4 off as well in better conditions.
Back to the Pyrenees next year.

Happy riding.

Toby
Wanderer100 - on 07 Sep 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

Classy recovery ride by Froome. Its all going to come down to who can force Team Sky to crack on the Angliru on Saturday. By the way, the second half of that climb looks absolutely horrific. Is it the hardest climb in cycling?
It certainly put Dovers and Saintbury, my local hills, in perspective.
Chris the Tall - on 07 Sep 2017
In reply to Wanderer100:

Looks like a steep summit finish is the the only time Froome will be vulnerable- and even then only if he's having a bad day. Think he may have given himself enough of a buffer today. Then again Bertie probably believes he can still win, and that means he will try and cause havoc!

And the hardest climb in cycling - has a race ever gone up Trooper Lane ?
mbh - on 07 Sep 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

> And the hardest climb in cycling - has a race ever gone up Trooper Lane ?

Or the hill at Millook on the north Cornwall coast? It scared me going down it.





sg - on 07 Sep 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

> Looks like a steep summit finish is the the only time Froome will be vulnerable- and even then only if he's having a bad day. Think he may have given himself enough of a buffer today. Then again Bertie probably believes he can still win, and that means he will try and cause havoc!

I'm sure Froome will be pleased with that time he got back today - it will definitely be interesting on the Angliru and nothing's over yet. On those really steep ramps it doesn't matter how many superdomestiques you've got around - if your legs aren't up for it... Sky will certainly be drawing on all the marginal gains to make sure he's in the best shape possible at the bottom of it, aircon hubs, the works!
Dave the Rave on 07 Sep 2017
In reply to sg:

What is an aircon hub please?
Dave Kerr - on 07 Sep 2017
In reply to Wanderer100:

I'm putting a tenner on Moscon for the worlds. Can't find odds yet but they should be pretty decent. Remember, you heard it here first.
Dave Kerr - on 07 Sep 2017
In reply to Wanderer100:
33/1 on bet365.

Tempted by Sonny Colbrelli at 66/1, it's amazing how often he's there abouts in big races, maybe due the big win...
Post edited at 21:43
sg - on 07 Sep 2017
In reply to Dave the Rave:

> What is an aircon hub please?
I'm honestly not entirely sure but I think it's basically a big blow-up tent with an airconditioning unit in that Froome uses for warming up and down. I only referenced it because Chris the Tall was frothing about their use further up the thread! He can probably give more detail!
Chris the Tall - on 07 Sep 2017
In reply to mbh:

> Or the hill at Millook on the north Cornwall coast? It scared me going down it.

Short but bloody sharp ! Rode there from Bude, down one side and up the other, turned round and did it in reverse. Almost blew it on the steepest corner by trying to take it on the inside.
Chris the Tall - on 07 Sep 2017
sg - on 08 Sep 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:


> Not exactly a tent !

Oh indeed quite - I hadn't actually seen it in all its glory like that; thanks for the link.
GrahamD - on 08 Sep 2017
In reply to sg:

There was a GCN feature on it recently. Quite interesting.
elsewhere on 08 Sep 2017
In reply to Wanderer100:
Another great stage.
The safest prediction possible for Saturday - Contactor attacks.
Wee Davie - on 08 Sep 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

The aircon warm up thingy struck me as totally logical when I first clocked it. It's Spain in mid- summer, it's roasting- so why start the race dehydrated? The cameras and spectators like it better than a guy sweating on a turbo.
It was a lot more shocking for me finding out how meagre the salaries are in these Grand Tour pelotons, especially in comparison to footballers (I'm not condoning the insane remuneration of the pig skin primadonnas btw).
The sport world has become pretty insane in its capitalist ways so I'm more surprised the wall to wall 3 week coverage of these races hasn't made it more F1- like...
Chris the Tall - on 09 Sep 2017
In reply to Wanderer100:

Watched today's stage whilst supping a bottle of Kwaremount! Now who was it who predicted Bertie would win on the Angliru?
sg - on 09 Sep 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

Well done Froomey. Look forward to watching the highlights in a bit. Hope he tries the Giro some time soon.
Chris the Tall - on 09 Sep 2017
In reply to sg:

I'd love to see him go for the Giro next year, and hold all 3 titles (if he wins it). Last done by the badger in 82/3. But I suspect he will go for a 5th tour. Suspect he will miss the Vuelta last year, so maybe we will see him at the Tour of Britain?
andy - on 09 Sep 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

> Watched today's stage whilst supping a bottle of Kwaremount! Now who was it who predicted Bertie would win on the Angliru?

What an awesome stage! Glad that Bertie won - wonder if Froome could have caught him if he tried?
andy - on 09 Sep 2017
In reply to sg:

Incidentally, (and I know it's been said before) did anyone watch it live on Eurosport? The on-screen timings were clearly showing that Contador was ahead of the red jersey group for about ten minutes before Kelly and Kirby(?) realised what was going on. It had a caption saying showing Contador was about half a minute behind the front and the leader group was a further minute back and yet they kept banging on about how sad it was that Contador had blown. Morons.
Chris the Tall - on 09 Sep 2017
In reply to andy:

I've been aware of Kirby' reputation for being terrible, but it's only this year I experienced it first hand. Sean Kelly doesn't help much - he doesn't add any insights, just agrees with whatever inane remark Kirby has said. I know it's difficult filling that much air time, but Millar and Boulting are so much better at both the dull bits and when it all kicks off. From what little I've heard, Rob hatch is a far better commentator
Wanderer100 - on 09 Sep 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

A great day for the Vuelta. Froome never looked in trouble and Bertie won in some style.
As an aside, I struggled my way round the Mendips Sportive today and suffered the ignomy of falling off half way up Cheddar Gorge as cramp tore through my calf and my attempts to disengage my cleat resulted in the bike swerving suddenly to the left where I promptly fell off just in front of a rider who has dismounted. There were some nasty spills today, I heard a few screams with ambulance crews in attendance, as there were in the Vuelta, not least Nibbles possibly breaking some ribs.
tim000 - on 09 Sep 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

rod hatch is a lot better . also like Anthony Mc Crossan . dose the cyclocross on the youtube UCI channel
tim000 - on 09 Sep 2017
In reply to andy:

yep , I was watching on the internet and lost the feed . came back and within seconds I was shouting at the laptop . obvious contador was ahead . the guy is a muppit .
Toby_W on 09 Sep 2017
In reply to Wanderer100:

Hope it didn't ruin your ride and no damage done. Always loved riding up cheddar.

Cheers

Toby

Wanderer100 - on 09 Sep 2017
In reply to Toby_W:

A red face for 30 seconds but that's as bad as it got! I need to go back and try again via a shorter route.
Wanderer100 - on 10 Sep 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

> Apparently Nibali is convinced that Froome and Bertie have done a deal - the latter wont help Nibbles in return for help from Sky in a stage win. Would be the perfect ending for him to bow out with a win on the Angliru - and I suspect that anyone who fancies getting out of Spain alive won't want to get in the way.

I wonder if that is how it actually played out. Certainly I got the feeling Froome and Poels could have caught Contador but didn't have to or want to. In any event it was great to see Bertie get his stage victory and also to see Froome smile as he crossed the finish line.
Rigid Raider - on 10 Sep 2017
In reply to Wanderer100:

It would have been very bad form for Froome to have taken the stage from the wheel-sucker when he didn't need to and as Gary mentioned, Froome and Poels would have needed a Police escort back down the hill.
baron - on 10 Sep 2017
In reply to Rigid Raider:

Froome couldn't catch Contador even though he had his mate to help him.
Without Contador and those other riders who went for stage wins, often from a long way out, some successfully and some not, this Vuelta wouldn't have been half as exciting.
abr1966 - on 10 Sep 2017
In reply to andy:

> What an awesome stage! Glad that Bertie won - wonder if Froome could have caught him if he tried?

I reckon he could have, Froome looked very comfy yesterday and contador put so much in to his ride....very impressive! Still have mixed thoughts about contador though!

Slight thread hijack....I just ordered a new Canyon today!
Dave Kerr - on 10 Sep 2017
In reply to Rigid Raider:

> It would have been very bad form for Froome to have taken the stage from the wheel-sucker when he didn't need to

I don't understand that. Are you calling Contador a wheel sucker? There are lots of things you could call Contador but wheel sucker isn't one of them.

Wanderer100 - on 10 Sep 2017
In reply to Dave Kerr:

That's what I thought. Wheel sucker??? Not Bertie!
Wanderer100 - on 10 Sep 2017
In reply to Wanderer100:

And so it passed. Bravo, Chapeau, well done Chris Froome. An outstanding effort and adios to Senor Alberto Contador and the Contador dance. No one will ever climb the big hills out of the saddle as gracefully and seemingly effortlessly as he did.
Toby_W on 10 Sep 2017
In reply to Wanderer100:
I think contador has been a career long doper, perhaps being an end of an era rider but, being caught and with blood passports etc making it harder to get away with the worst excesses of doping has stripped away some of this and shown his true class as a rider. While many of his attacks in recent years have run out of steam or failed the audacity or daring of them is often quite breath taking and when they succeed they show tactical astuteness and guts. Even when they fail they light up the race. So while I have often condemned him for being a Career long cheat I'll still applaud him for being a truly great rider. I'd like to think he'd still have been a grand tour winner if he'd started more recently and raced clean.
An amazing double by Chris Froome and team sky, well deserved and well won by every rider so willingly and unreservedly supporting him.

Cheers

Toby


sg - on 10 Sep 2017
In reply to Toby_W:

Well said. It is such a shame the way doping hangs over pro bike racing in the way it does. A fabulous sport generating so many brilliant moments and stories; it would just be so good if there was a way of erasing all doubt about whether all racers are clean now. The Sky Wiggins fiasco really hasn't helped and Contador's continued non-acceptance of guilt is problematic. And then individual racers who generate questions, some more than others but not all from the distant past. Horner, Pantani etc. etc. never mind the whole Armstrong / Postal saga and the extent to which it was a one-off or not. It does all take the edge off a bit. I do believe Froome though, I think.
sg - on 10 Sep 2017
In reply to Toby_W:

I mean, I know Pantani was from a while back! And I know that perfect doping control is an impossible dream! Just idle thoughts...
Chris Harris - on 10 Sep 2017
In reply to Wanderer100:

More than one person I know has speculated that Contador has gone back on the meds for one last hurrah, with a "What are they going to do, ban me?" attitude to getting caught.

Sudden return to form, and all that.......
elsewhere on 10 Sep 2017
In reply to Wanderer100:
Cannot believe there was real racing by GC leader in today's final stage and it was for the sprint jersey. Incredible.

Hope Froome goes from the Giro so we get that on TV too in 2018.
ClimberEd - on 11 Sep 2017
In reply to Chris Harris:

> More than one person I know has speculated that Contador has gone back on the meds for one last hurrah, with a "What are they going to do, ban me?" attitude to getting caught.

> Sudden return to form, and all that.......

+1 * 100. The only thing that popped into my head.
Wanderer100 - on 11 Sep 2017
In reply to ClimberEd:
> +1 * 100. The only thing that popped into my head.

He finished 5th. He didn't win the damned thing and the only stage he won, the Angliru, was because Sky allowed him to when he had clearly cracked in the last couple of kilometres.
Post edited at 09:15
Chris the Tall - on 11 Sep 2017
In reply to Chris Harris:

I do find it sad that cycling fans take such a polarised view - once a doper, always a doper etc etc

It is possible to be aware of Contador's chequered past and still appreciate how he races - old school in more ways than one. Just as it possible to see that Sky have adopted and advanced some of US postal's tactics, without assuming that they must have copied all the tactics. And to be aware that undetected motor or chemical doping may be possible without declaring that anyone who wins a race, or anyone who challenges your hero, must be guilty of it.
Chris the Tall - on 11 Sep 2017
In reply to Wanderer100:

> He finished 5th.

Did you notice that after stage 3 (Andorra) he was 3'10 behind Froome, and after the Angliru the gap was 3'11

Obviously if he hadn't been so far behind he wouldn't have been given the freedom to attack, and maybe Froome benefited this year (unlike last year), but it's interesting to speculate as to how the race would have changed had he not had the stomach bug.

Well more interesting than speculation about drugs or motors anyway.
nufkin - on 11 Sep 2017
In reply to Wanderer100:

> No one will ever climb the big hills out of the saddle as gracefully and seemingly effortlessly as he did

Certainly not Fabio Aru - I think the way he jerks his poor bike around might be why I irrationally seem not to care for him very much
Rigid Raider - on 11 Sep 2017
In reply to Wanderer100:

No apologies for calling Contador a wheel-sucker. In 1977 I worked as English assistant in a Spanish poly where I lived in halls with about 100 lads and taught a couple of hundred students of all ages and abilities and I feel somehow familiar with his cocky "el pistolero" persona. That he was banned for taking drugs doesn't surprise me and my limited knowledge of PEDs tells me it's still possible to cheat, as long as you understand the chemistry, the biology and the testing.
Chris the Tall - on 11 Sep 2017
In reply to Rigid Raider:

Do you understand what the term "wheel-sucker" means ?
DubyaJamesDubya - on 11 Sep 2017
In reply to Rigid Raider:

It's not the need to insult it's the insult itself.
He isn't a wheel-sucker.
nufkin - on 11 Sep 2017
In reply to Rigid Raider:

> In 1977 I worked as English assistant in a Spanish poly

He wasn't even born then
tony on 11 Sep 2017
In reply to Rigid Raider:

> No apologies for calling Contador a wheel-sucker. In 1977 I worked as English assistant in a Spanish poly where I lived in halls with about 100 lads and taught a couple of hundred students of all ages and abilities and I feel somehow familiar with his cocky "el pistolero" persona.

So you don't like him because he's Spanish?
Dave Kerr - on 11 Sep 2017
In reply to Rigid Raider:
> No apologies for calling Contador a wheel-sucker.

As others have suggested, you've misunderstood or misapplied the term wheelsucker. A wheelsucker is a rider who follows other riders wheels, sits in their slipstream, doesn't take a turn or attack but often pulls out a sprint to win at the finish.

Love him or loath him (and there are good reasons for both) Contador is not and never has been a wheelsucker. He is in fact generally acknowledged to be the antithesis of a wheelsucker, the most aggressive and attacking grand tour contender of his generation.
Post edited at 16:52
Rigid Raider - on 11 Sep 2017
In reply to Wanderer100:

He seems to spend 98% of any race sitting in and enjoying the efforts of other riders.
Dave Kerr - on 11 Sep 2017
In reply to Rigid Raider:
You must've been watching different races from everyone else, or not understand how massed start road racing works!

http://www.cyclingweekly.com/news/racing/nine-grand-tour-stages-defined-alberto-contadors-career-345...

http://www.eurosport.com/cycling/blazin-saddles-adieu-alberto-contador-s-best-moments_sto6284915/sto...
Post edited at 17:19
Byronius Maximus - on 11 Sep 2017
In reply to Rigid Raider:

> He seems to win races by sitting in and enjoying the efforts of other riders and then expending his efforts when it matters.

FTFY

ClimberEd - on 11 Sep 2017
In reply to Wanderer100:

> He finished 5th. He didn't win the damned thing and the only stage he won, the Angliru, was because Sky allowed him to when he had clearly cracked in the last couple of kilometres.

I was only referring to the Angliru stage

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