Vuelta de Espana



  • George started with a slightly disappointing time trial on Stage 1 to be about 42 seconds behind Rohan Dennis, but he's done a very good ride on Stage 2 to finish 5th and jump up to 18th overall.

    http://www.cyclingnews.com/races/vuelta-a-espana-2018/stage-2/results/

    Most amazing thing is that several of the potential big guns fell apart on this stage and are already out of contention. Notably Richie Porte and Adam Yates - who lost more than 13 minutes. Vincenzo Nibali lost 4 minutes. Carapaz nearly 2 minutes.



  • What the hell happened to Yates and Porte? Nibali seems a fading force or is it just the effects of the Giro and TdF?



  • @crossbencher Just not in form and caught on the wrong side of a split in the peleton? Here's the story from Dennis and Porte.

    http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/dennis-porte-fade-from-contention-in-vuelta-a-espana/



  • Thanks. Interesting comments from Dennis "But, about two hours in, I really started to suffer and even sitting on the wheel I wasn't feeling great. I lasted for as long as possible and I was planning on trying to help at the end if I was needed but I just had nothing left in the tank."

    In a way it's good to hear about riders not feeling that great so early in a tour, makes them seem human like the rest of us! La Vuelta is no picnic in any case.



  • Two Category 1 climbs in Stage 4 - mountain top finish at the end of the second one.

    https://www.lavuelta.es/en/stage-4

    Main contenders for the GC include - Simon Yates, Fabio Aru, Thibault Pinot, Michal Kwiatkowski, Nairo Quintana, Alejandro Valverde, George Bennett, Steven Kruiswijk, Rigoberto Uran, Davide Formolo, Louis Meintjes, Richard Carapaz and Vincenzo Nibali (except he's possibly already lost too much time).



  • @chris-b said in Vuelta de Espana:

    Thibault Pinot

    I'm following him on Strava. Stages look fucking hard!



  • George slowly climbing up the leaderboard without pushing. Now in 13th, still 45 secs from the lead.

    TLJ had a late look today to see if they could get a gap on the peleton but were happy to get back in line. Simon Yates made a solo jump on them and picked up 25 secs.

    Looks like TLJ are searching for the right moment to launch.



  • @crucial Just watched the final hour.

    Interesting to see Lotto-NL-Jumbo taking charge and good to see they apparently have some climbing firepower to support George (and Kruiswijk). Particularly impressed with the riding of Sepp(o) Kuss. Hope that's an indication of things to come and they haven't burned all the gunpowder on Stage 4.

    I do kind of wonder what their purpose was in taking control of the climb. If it was just to burn off the fringe GC contenders and see who's got what, then it worked OK.

    If it was to set up George or Kruiswijk to make some sort of move, then there wasn't really any icing. Yates and Buchmann were the winners on the day.

    George reckoned he went into the Giro too hot and didn't have the legs he wanted in the final week, so he was planning to go into the Vuelta a bit more "underdone", so we'll see how that goes.

    They did achieve the burying of Nibali - as well as Mollema, Zakarin and a few other fringe contenders - and put some hurt into Formolo, Roche, Carapaz and Meintjes.

    Simon Yates looks bloody strong again. Will have learned some stuff from the Giro and without Froome and Dumoulin he may not have to go quite as hard.



  • Sky make a "tactical retreat" overnight and hand the tour leader's jersey over to Rudy Molard. Conserving their resources for now.

    In answer to my question above...

    “We can see the team (Sky) is not on the same level as it was at the Tour,” said LottoNL-Jumbo’s Steven Kruijswijk. “We were also surprised not to see Movistar step up. We took the initiative [Tuesday] because no else was.”

    https://www.velonews.com/2018/08/vuelta-a-espana/why-did-team-sky-let-the-vuelta-lead-slip-away-in-stage-5_477182



  • Kelderman (puncture) and Pinot get caught out on Stage 6 and lose some significant time in the GC.

    George is up to 11th - he's 1.26 down on the leader, but only 15 seconds from 6th place.

    Most importantly (I think) he's 45 seconds down on Kwiatkowski and 35 seconds down on Yates.



  • Kwiatkowski crashes and loses 25 seconds to close up the field.

    Molard won't survive in the Red Jersey - so George is 39 seconds behind Valverde.

    Another flat stage tonight and then a really big mountain stage on Sunday night.

    If things go well for George he could easily jump a long way up the standings!



  • Just watching the last climb. A crash was inevitable given the goat track they were riding up



  • @mariner4life said in Vuelta de Espana:

    Just watching the last climb. A crash was inevitable given the goat track they were riding up

    Just saw the highlights - lots of riders complaining.

    Good to see George having a little dig - hopefully a sign that he's feeling good.



  • Still looking ok after Stage 9. George back into top ten and only one minute separating them all.
    Hard to tell if the TLJ guys aren’t quite in the hunt or whether they are deliberately not over extending themselves unless a really good opportunity arises. At least the are always staying in the picture at the moment. No need to bust a lung to gain 10 seconds at this point in the race but still have to be awake to any opportunities. They had a look and Kuss looked strong but the could see they weren’t going to gain much and let the small break at the end go



  • @crucial I don't think George intentionally let that mini break go at the end. It looked like he and Yates were following whoever made the first break and then they got caught and caught out by a counter by Keldermans et al. Yates had a bit more firepower at the end and George didn't quite have the legs to limit the damage.

    On the plus side - Kwiatkowski cracked a bit and is well over a minute behind George and Aru also lost 20 seconds.

    Not terminal, but not the ride I was hoping for - Miguel Angel Lopez had that ride and as a result he's 21 seconds ahead of George.

    Yates moves into the red jersey and I think he'll be hard to shift from there. In the Giro he looked stronger than George on pretty much every stage until he cracked and he's a better TT rider - so he needs to crack somewhere along the line if George is to win (overall I'll be very happy with top three - and satisfied with top five - anything less is a bit"meh" and I think George would agree).

    However, there's a lot of guys ahead of George who rode the TdF and hopefully those kms will catch up with them at some point.



  • Here's what George has to say.

    That side stitch is a recurrent problem for him - he's had an operation to try to fix it.



  • Tonight's stage is labeled "Hilly/Mid-Mountain.

    Tomorrow is "Hilly".

    Then three "Mountain" stages.

    Lots of sorting out over the next five days!



  • @chris-b said in Vuelta de Espana:

    Tonight's stage is labeled "Hilly/Mid-Mountain.

    Tomorrow is "Hilly".

    Then three "Mountain" stages.

    Lots of sorting out over the next five days!

    That stage yesterday had potential for some ugliness right at the end which seems to be a theme in this race. Lots of nasty gradient in the last 5 kms where if you aren't watching carefully someone can slip away and gain time.
    GB alluded to this being the case before the race and had been trying out some late power uphills. Haven't seen him use them yet but he's doing a good job making sure no one gets away if he can't do it himself.



  • Interesting result to last night's stage - Yates not protecting the red jersey and allowing Herada from Cofidis take it in a breakaway.

    I think Michelton Scott learned a bit from their experiences in the Giro and maybe burned all their matches trying to protect the jersey from near whoa to go. Riding smarter this time and will let Cofidis have a day doing the work.

    Stage finish was slightly shambolic and amusing in a slightly sadistic way.

    Some tubby guy for some reason found himself in the middle of the road beyond the finish line as the leaders came into sight. He blundered up the road to a point where he either thought he was out of the way or ran out of gas.

    He wasn't out of the way and the leader shouldered into him - his spectacles went flying and so did he. The second place getter rode straight into the body and went over the handlebars - to add insult to his injury of getting edged in the sprint!