Road Cycling


    The Vuelta starts tonight.

    I was a bit concerned when I saw that Roglic and Kruiswijk were both also riding that George had been permanently relegated to a super-domestique role, but although he's only the third rider in the team, he's been given "protection" status and is being allowed to ride for the GC and/or Stage wins.

    He makes the good point that TJV don't have a sprinter in the race, so the whole team is working for a GC win, and there's lots of riders to play a support role.

    Sepp Kuss and Robert Gesink can both climb as, I think can Hofstede. Tony Martin can be a powerhouse on the front - and hopefully help them win Stage 1 - a Team Time Trial! Powless is also a time trial specialist and with Kruiswijk and Roglic they should have plenty of firepower.

    Get into it George!

  • ...and TJV crash in the TTT and lose 40 seconds on Astana.

    A pipe burst in someone's garden - or some-such. Suzy wandering around with a hacksaw?

  • I couldn't find any coverage last night. Support was showing a minor tour. SBS had nothing

  • Wait, maybe it just started later, because apparently it's on both those channels

  • @mariner4life Yeah - it didn't start until about 5am in NZ. I wasn't watching!

    Looking at those photos and that this seems to have happened in the four minutes between the preceding team and TJV, you'd wonder whether this might be sabotage by a gambling syndicate.

    Seems pretty coincidental that it happens at exactly the right time to take out the likely favourites!

  • Sounds like it was an exciting day of racing, of which I've only seen the final 3 km.

    Reasonable day for George, who finished in the second group - 37 seconds behind the winner (Quintana). It sounds like it might have been Roglic who initiated the attack that took away five other riders, so perhaps not a surprise that George didn't make the split.

    Anyway, net result is that he's in 17th place overall and 73 seconds down on the leader (Roche), but with seven mountain stages to come, he's got plenty of time to make that up. Only a handful of riders ahead of him that will be difficult to get past once they start climbing - Quintana, Roglic, Lopez, Valverde, Aru - maybe Uran and Formolo.

    Kruiswijk finished further back - he's a minute behind George - maybe affected by his crash, but perhaps promising for who has to sacrifice themselves first if push comes to shove in the mountains.

    However, a long way to go...

    There's lots of the biggest guns not riding this race.The Ineos leaders are Poels and Geoghegan Hart - and both are already 10 minutes behind the leader.

  • I see Saturday's carnage is being blamed on a leaky paddling pool.

  • @mariner4life said in Vuelta a Espana:

    I see Saturday's carnage is being blamed on a leaky paddling pool.

    Don Corleone's paddling pool?

  • @Chris-B said in Vuelta a Espana:

    @mariner4life said in Vuelta a Espana:

    I see Saturday's carnage is being blamed on a leaky paddling pool.

    Don Corleone's paddling pool?

    the Giro was months ago

  • @mariner4life I know, but I don't know the names of any Spanish gangsters!

  • @mariner4life On second thoughts - maybe it's Gal Dove's swimming pool!

  • @Chris-B I'd put Uran before Aru, I've been watching the CNC highlights on YouTube and will listen to the Cycling Podcast daily episodes to keep up on the action

  • @DrivingMaul Yeah - certainly on TdF form. Though, will be interesting to see how riding the Tour affects a lot of these guys.

    People like Quintana, Uran and Valverde (and Kruiswijk) rode really hard-out Tours. George had a couple of quiet days.

    Most advantage to Roglic and Lopez who didn't ride it.

  • Just watched the last hour or so and George was excellent.

    Involved in animating the final climb, covered a few breaks, and then Roglic the beneficiary in getting in the break that worked, while George sat back and let him pick up time on Lopez et al.

  • Stage 4 safely negotiated, with the major news being that Kruiswijk has withdrawn due to a knee injury suffered in the TTT crash. So George becomes 2ic for TJV.

    The peleton split in wind with about 12kms to go, but none of the major contenders got caught out - george remains in 17th overall (though the guy in 18th, Jesus Herrada, got caught out and dropped to 55th).

    Five NZers in this race - hopefully someone gets a shot at an individual stage win somewhere.

  • @Chris-B Sounds like Uran kept getting caught on the wrong side of splits but made it back. Will see how much that takes out of the team later in the race

  • @DrivingMaul Should be an exciting stage tonight that starts to sort out the GC. It's classified only as "hilly", but finishes with an 11 km climb - second half of which averages about 10 degrees.

  • @Chris-B said in Vuelta a Espana:

    @DrivingMaul Should be an exciting stage tonight that starts to sort out the GC. It's classified only as "hilly", but finishes with an 11 km climb - second half of which averages about 10 degrees.

    That last half looks brutal

  • @SynicBast Yeah - and it's just "Hilly"!

    Seven mountain stages to come!

    I really hope George is due some luck - he could do pretty well in this if things roll his way.

  • Gah - looks like he hasn't brought his TdF legs.

    Moves up to 15th, but loses nearly two minutes on the real GC contenders - Lopez, Roglic, Valverde - Quintana, Uran and Chaves still in touch, but on today's form those first three look strongest.

  • Found out that the ITV app is working back here (on VPN). Has the daily highlights package at 6am NZ time. Can put it on while getting ready for work.

  • You can get daily highlights on GCN channel on YouTube

  • @DrivingMaul said in Vuelta a Espana:

    You can get daily highlights on GCN channel on YouTube

    As a quick (under 10 minutes) package that GCN one is good..
    The ITV one is an hour long and usually shows the last 5 km or so in full.

  • Big thing that happened last night was a crash that took out (permanently) Uran, Roche and de la Parte - all guys ahead of George in the GC.

    However, that's pretty shit in terms of the overall race.

    The racing is way more unpredictable than the TdF - in part, I think, because none of the teams is overly confident they've got the best guy. Certainly, no-one is making a concerted effort yet to control things.

    As a result, Dylan Teuns grabbed the GC lead from a breakaway last night, while several others temporarily vaulted themselves into the top 10 - de la Cruz and Gesink.

    In terms of "genuine contenders", George is probably up to about 10th.

    First "Mountain"stage tonight - and look at the profile of that final climb!

    A little section at 25%, a lot at 13%+ and finishing at 17%.

  • Anyone else listening to the Cycling Podcast?
    They are doing daily shows including 2 riders who are giving their view of what it was like in the bunch rather than the story of the day

  • The big question, given the interest shown even on this board is why we aren’t getting any of this (or other tour) coverage in NZ.
    Eurosport in Europe shows just about everything going both live and with highlights packages. Eurosport in NZ is piss poor. I would buy a streaming subscription from them if the content was available and it looks like others would be interested as well

  • @Crucial SS3 and SS8 is showing highlights and live (abbreviated) coverage.

  • @Bovidae Yep - they're also playing replays of the final two hours many days, although the timing jumps all over the place (sometimes at quite reasonable hours). E.g. Tonight it's at 11pm, but Sunday it is 2.15pm.

    I've got no idea why, when they've got at least 10 sports channels they can't do it at the same time every night.

  • @Chris-B Yeah, strange. I see Sky is also showing the Deutschland Deine Tour.


    Didn't realize that George was part of that big crash. Doesn't sound like he's completely unscathed, which doesn't bode that well for tonight.

    "It was real nasty. I don't feel too good after it, but I feel a lot better than the guys in hospital. That's part of racing – crashing. It was all going all right with [Primoz] Roglic's results, but we keep hitting the deck, and that's not good."

    "What can you do?" he asked reporters. "If you crash, you can't really sulk in a [WorldTour] race. You just got to get on with it, because no one gives a s... if you crash. You've got to keep going," he said.

    "It's unfortunate that Tony, Neilson and I all went down, and I'll maybe talk to the doctor. I know the other two are all good. We'll have a look and hopefully in a few days' time we can forget about today."

  • Watched that last climb - pretty sure I would have been off and pushing my bike very early on! 🙂

    Valverde wins, from Roglic, Lopez and Quintana and those four are grouped at the front of the field. Commentators saying the eventual winner will come from those four and it's hard to disagree. On the other hand, one or more of them is bound to crack badly before the end.

    Much better climb by George today - he crosses the line ninth. Behind a few guys that he usually looks a bit better than, but still a good effort - especially after yesterday's crash. Moves up to eighth in the GC - but, now 3 min 34 sec behind Lopez. Also has Majka, Pogacar and Esteban Chavez ahead of him - and Aru and Kelderman just 2 seconds behind.

    Hilly stage tomorrow - not too awful, followed by the second mountain stage and then a rest day.

  • @Chris-B George is really there to set the pace for Roglic which it sounds like he did today.
    I'm expecting tomorrow to be a quiet day on GC but you never know

  • @DrivingMaul I think he's got a lot more freedom to ride for himself in this one compared with the role he was playing in the TdF.

    Sepp Kuss was setting the pace on the lower slopes of the climb.

    When Quintana launched his initial surge George may, or may not, have initially marked him. The commentators said is was Bennett, but next thing we saw (a minute later) was the Big Four riding away from everyone, so I'm inclined to think it was actually Roglic all along. Need to have another look.

    George certainly hadn't done enough that in his TdF form he wouldn't have been able to go with the Big Four for two-thirds of that climb.

  • Davide Formolo yet another victim and withdrawal from that crash....

    Rigoberto Urán and Hugh Carthy both suffered broken collarbones, CCC Team's Victor de la Parte suffered multiple fractures, and former race leader Nicolas Roche required 12 stitches in his arm.

    This is also quite interesting and quite hopeful in regard to George's future...

  • Fascinating day of racing on what the commentators think is the the hardest stage. It had a bit of everything, including losing the TV coverage for about 10 minutes of key action due to a major rainstorm.

    Racing continued to be waaay different to the usual TdF patterns.

    The big contenders let a big group of riders away up the road - more than 3 minutes - including some of their key teammates (e.g. Fuglsang, Kuss and 2 others from TJV, and Soler) and even someone like Kelderman, who is something of a GC threat.

    Coming onto the big final climb, Lopez attacked really early and broke away. George gave Roglic a little bit of help to chase, but was struggling and quickly slid out the back.

    A smallish group continued to chase Lopez, with Quintana and Valverde also taking it in turns to attack Roglic - who they clearly wanted to break with the ITT pending. Meanwhile some of the key men from the breakaway in front sat up and waited for their leaders - most worryingly, at the time, Fuglsang waiting for Lopez - and those two powered on. Sepp Kuss dropped back and provided some key support for Roglic.

    Around this time the TV pictures disappeared and the rain poured down. 🙂

    While that was occurring, Valverde, Quintana and Pogacar broke away from Roglic. Lopez somehow managed to crash on a graveled section. Edit: Turns out Roglic also crashed on the gravel section - a motorbike somehow got in his way.

    When the TV reappeared, Lopez was riding with most of the remnants of the breakaway. V,Q and P were rapidly closing on him and Roglic was 20 or 30 seconds further back. Marc Soler had broken away and was heading towards winning the stage.

    Quintana and Pogacar rode past Lopez and made a break on the others. Roglic came surging back and caught and passed Lopez and eventually Valverde.

    Much to his disgust, Soler got reined in to wait for, and help, Quintana - allowing the Stage win to fall into Pogacar's lap.

    Net result is that Quintana gets the red jersey, 6 seconds ahead of Roglic with Valverde and Lopez both within 30 seconds and Pogacar 1.42 back. Pogacar is a guy who is going to be a major force with Bernal in coming years - I watched him thwart George on the climb up Mt. Baldy in the Tour of California earlier this year.

    George battled on, but is now 7 minutes behind in 15th place (though probably 10th in terms of genuine contenders). That's surely enough rope that he'll get a chance to escape up the road and hunt a stage win.

    Meanwhile, it's a rest day then attention turns to Patrick Bevin and whether he can win the Individual Time Trial, in which he'll be a major contender.

  • And Roglic pips Bevin by 25 seconds to win the stage.

    Bevin must have been sitting there for an hour with an individual stage win in his grasp!

    Roglic now 1.52 ahead of Valverde in the GC, Lopez 2.11, Quintana 3.00; and Pogacar 3.05.

    George rode an identical TT time as Quintana and moves up to 13th.

  • Quiet day yesterday - no-one threatening in the breakaway and TJV parked themselves on the front of the peloton and cruised.

    With Roglic sitting on a handy lead, I'm not sure George will get much scope to go stage hunting from here. His job seems likely to be changed to "Help Protect Roglic".

    His best chances might be getting permission to attack near the end of Stages 18 or 20 - mountain stages that don't finish on top of big mountains - if he's able to be up with the leaders and Roglic is feeling secure.

    Patrick Bevin might be more interesting to watch in the meantime. He was talking about trying to be in some breakaways now that he's missed winning the time trial.

  • George definitely working for Roglic last night - did a significant stint on the front on the final climb - ended up costing him a few seconds, when Lopez attacked near the top and George couldn't quite stick with the lead group.

    TJV look a little bit vulnerable to me with George not in his best form and Sepp Kuss also getting dropped on that last little climb.

    Tonight's stage is massive - seven categorized climbs and the last one looks like the North Face of the Eiger.

    Roglic will need help if he's not going to be isolated by Movistar and others - good night for George to really stand up.

  • @Chris-B said in Vuelta a Espana:

    TJV look a little bit vulnerable to me with George not in his best form and Sepp Kuss also getting dropped on that last little climb.

    TJV had a great day in the mountains yesterday - with Sepp Kuss getting the green light to go for and get the win.
    Amazing how much talent they have in that team at the moment. And Tom Dumoulin joining next year...

    So there will be:
    Dumoulin - previous Giro winner and TDF runner-up
    Kruiswijk - 3rd at TDF 2019
    Roglic - 4th TDF 2018, 3rd Giro 2019 and likely first Vuelta 2019

    Plus: Bennett and now this youngster Kuss who can obviously climb!
    and then add Tony Martin, and Robert Gesink.

    And just in case you want to sprint: Dylan Groenewegen and Wout van Aert

    Bloomin unbelievable strength.

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