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Old 07-29-12, 16:10
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Default 74 Volta a Portugal 15/08 to 26/08

This years Volta Route is fairly similar to last years route and once again a bit of a disappointment, the economic crisis in portugal doesn't allow the organizers great adventures into new terrain without getting paid by the host towns. so once again no alto de S. Macário which was tested on the baby volta do futuro (the baby volta) in 2010, on that stage Amaro Antunes, one of biggest portuguese talents which will race his first volta this year at 22 years of age, put 1.47 into every1 attacking from the main group. We also won't see the vuelta heading neither south of lisbon nor to my disappointment to the interior of country in vila real and bragança where they could find some very though terrain like the malhão climb.

anyway onto the route itself: 1 prologue, 1 36k itt, 2 MTF, 1 hill top finish and a couple of tough finishes and the rest are sprint stages.

the profiles of the stages:

Prologue: not much needs to be said about this. . . .


stage 1: this looks like a fairly good stage that could create some gaps, i doubt the pure sprinters will be there at the end so most likely it will be a Sergio Ribeiro win and yellow for which he will prolly keep until the first MTF.


stage 2: sprint stage. . . .


stage 3: it looks like a hill top finish but an easy won so stage number 2 for Serigo Ribeiro? it must be said that this stage goes through my hometown so i will be on the top of the extremo climb with my friends, it must be said that the volta isn't using the terrain available for this stage to it's full potential has before the extremo they already skipped 2( monte faro and bonfim) tougher climbs then the extremo one and after the extremo they skip another 1 . . .

Last edited by Parrulo; 07-29-12 at 16:14.
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Old 07-29-12, 16:10
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Stage 4: First MTF on Monte Farinha and for the second year in a row the lead up to the climb is an utter disappointment I bet libertine will be mighty upset when he sees this profile. . . . it will still provide some entertainment ofc as Monte Farinha is a nice climb and if attacked properly it can create some gaps


stage 5: looks like a very nice stage for a breakaway to succeed, or for efapel glass drive to bring it back and Sergio Ribeiro to get another stage win


Stage 6: sprint finish so not much to say

Last edited by Parrulo; 07-29-12 at 16:21.
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Old 07-29-12, 16:10
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Stage 7: a hill top finish to sabugal the last 3k profiles aren't available yet so i am not sure how though this one is, but maybe libertine can give me a hand on this one


Stage 8: The queen stage of the vuelta by far, finishing on the Alto the torre climbed from the toughest side, the seia side. before the reach the torre however they have to climb 2 tough first category climbs, penhas da saude and penhas douradas 2 climbs with no flat in btw them so attack can be made there by the second tier contenders. after those climbs there is a long 40k downhill that leads to the bottom of the torre climb. The climb to the torre is a beast, nearly 30k long it has the steepest sections which reach 17% on the first part of the climb up to the small downhill section. after the downhill section the climb remains steep for 10k before transforming itself into an endless 10k drag to finish at 1.8k meters of altitude which no protection to the wind with constant 5 to 7% gradients. Gaps are always huge on this climbs and any1 on a bad day better be prepared to loose minutes!!!!


Results from last year when the mighty tavira train made sky look like a bunch of amateurs and put minutes into every1 cept rui sousa who managed to hang on for dear life till the finish where he tried but failed to outsprint Andre Cardoso:

1-André CARDOSO Tavira/Prio 5:28:58
2-Rui SOUSA Barbot/Efapel m.t.
3-Ricardo MESTRE Tavira/Prio a 0:00:03
4-Nelson VITORINO Tavira/Prio a 0:00:14
5-Célio SOUSA ONDA/Boavista a 0:01:47
6-Hernâni BRÔCO LA/Antarte a 0:02:06
7-Delio FERNANDEZ ONDA/Boavista a 0:02:17
8-Francesco GAVAZZI Lampre/ISD a 0:02:40
9-Sergio RIBEIRO Barbot/Efapel a 0:03:25
10-João CABREIRA ONDA/Boavista a 0:03:28

Stage 9: A flat 36k long itt, the pure climbers will have to work hard to defend their hard gained time on the previous days if they want to win the volta.



Stage 10: Parade into lisbon. . .

Last edited by Parrulo; 07-29-12 at 16:38.
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Old 07-29-12, 16:10
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the team that will show up are:

Carmin-Prio
Efapel-Glassdrive
LA-Antarte
Onda Boavista
Andalucia
Colombia-Coldeportes
Caja Rural
Saur-Sojasun
Unitedhealthcare
Funvic-Pindamonhangaba
Orbea
Burgos BH.Castilla y Leon
Itera-Katusha
Lokosphinx
Team Bonitas
MTN QHUBEKA

Last edited by Parrulo; 07-29-12 at 17:27.
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Old 07-29-12, 17:52
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Libertine Seguros Libertine Seguros is offline
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Wow, this route makes baby Jesus cry.

Seriously, what the hell is that Senhora da Graça stage? "oh, you know, a climb with comparable grades to Verbier doesn't need any lead-in climbs"... Movistar aren't going to come and bring Rui Costa, guys, they've got to have a set of guys at the Vuelta and another at the other WT events. Bet the top 10 are separated by less than 30 seconds on that.

I'm hoping the Fafe stage can open up a bit of time gaps but I doubt it. Looks no tougher than the stuff Sagan was winning at Le Tour, where it's uphill but still a bunch sprint, not even one where there is a time gap. Sabugal... I'm thinking that last uphill wall that it looks like must be fictitious, due to an admin error when programming those profiles. There's nowhere to put in that kind of climb. Unless they finish in the back end of beyond on the roads out of the town or in one of the outlying villages and call it Sabugal, there's nowhere to put in any real kind of climb actually... maybe some vaguely uphill sprinting terrain in town (on cobbles, no less), but basically like a much less challenging Gouveia finish.

If money's an issue... don't put a goddamn stage finish in Lisboa! Or if you do... put it in Parque Monsanto or something, on the old racing circuit. Make it something other than a waste of a stage.

I agree that Monte Assunção was growing stale (at least being used as the first climb of the race, where it was becoming uphill sprints of bunches of 20 each time)... but when it was used AFTER one of the big climbs, like in 2009, it was way more exciting, with the riders having to make time up, so the likes of Jiménez made it tough racing from the bottom. But removing it and replacing it with nothing? Not convinced. There is no Monte Assunção, nor are there the gradual puncheur finishes in Guarda or Gouveia that so often provide entertaining climaxes. Instead we're given a couple of barely noticeable uphill pimples in Fafe and Sabugal, and no third real tough stage to create any time gaps.

Torre stage should either add the Alto de Gibraltar if it's going the side it is going, or do Piornos from the north down into Covilhã, then Teixeira and Carrazedo before Torre - absolutely no flat from Carrazedo into Seia. I do think that one year, actually, they should go back to what they did in 2008 and put Torre on the first weekend, to try to induce more aggressive racing from the GC guys on Senhora da Graça and whatever medium mountain or puncheur stages they put in.

The Fafe stage could be SO much better than it is. There's a road leading up to the summit of Monte São Salvador, but I don't think there's room at the summit. Nevertheless, even with a flat finish in Fafe, there are lots of medium climbs they could throw in in the late parts of the stage to make it hard to control and create some exciting racing. What I wouldn't give for a climb up to the village of Monte (next to Casal de Estime)(I estimate about 4,5km at about 6%, and about an 11-12km run back into Fafe) in the dying stages.

And now for the positives:
The first road stage. That's really good. That's it.
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Old 07-29-12, 19:45
Waterloo Sunrise Waterloo Sunrise is offline
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Whoever wins should write a cheque to whichever sadsack failed to give endura a wildcard.

Only suits can deny JTL.

Suits and constant injuries.
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Old 07-29-12, 19:50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waterloo Sunrise View Post
Whoever wins should write a cheque to whichever sadsack failed to give endura a wildcard.

Only suits can deny JTL.

Suits and constant injuries.
i would actually love to see how would JTL go on the portuguese heat against the portuguese domestique scene
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Old 07-29-12, 20:12
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A race that will really benefit from being moved out of competition with the Tour of Poland.
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Old 07-29-12, 20:26
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sergio ribeiro to do better than last year please

nuno to repeat his 2009 win!
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Old 07-29-12, 20:33
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I feel a Volta Vuelta headache coming on.............
.....never had one, before.
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