Yes but it's the fact that he is the freshest and should have had the best prep for this race, yet he is beaten by guys who rode the tour like Quintana and Froome and guys who did the giro like esteban. Not forgeting Valverde who has done all three at the age of 36.
Problem was Valverde was forced to wait for Quintano who didn't have the legs - Then Chavez wouldn't attack Movie Star -Valverde sent Fernandez up the road to make sure Froome didn't get bonus seconds for second - Valverde made the right decision.
He must hope Quintana and Froome lose their form because it seems unlikely he'll improve much during the race, he almost never does. He will bleed more time on the other uphill finishes this week anyway, so it's hard to see him win. Curious to read his comments after the stage.
I said this at the beginning of the year. It probably applies again. Contador might need to adjust to his aging and not be the best in the race everytime. He needs to learn to just ride miles. To gradually getting back on form during races. Not just trying to follow the attacks of the GC contenders all the time. He is not the one he used to be. If he has the talent it will show again by riding the good miles. My 2 cents.
Possibly, for someone like Yates, Porte or Bardet. But among the riders at the Vuelta I wouldn't advise anyone to try to follow Froome's wheel but for Nairo Quintana or Esteban Chaves. Otherwise it's a one way ticket to blowing yourself up when he goes for it. Froome has the best acceleration among the Vuelta GC riders bar maybe Valverde (who knows how to pace himself and is prone to "cracking") and Chaves (sorry, Contador fans). And if I was Chaves I'd be riding my own race up the punchy stuff. And if I was Quintana and had three teammates ahead I'd follow them instead.
Good summary. Had higher hopes for Contador, Carthy (who might not be going for GC) and the Lotto boys. A little surprised by Anton. Everyone else seems to be par for the course in my book. Lopez gets a mulligan.
the thing is i didn't remembered seeing anton near quintana, tbh i thought anton was on the contador group then i watched the replay
i think they will change this soon, they don't even show all the riders, just 152 mso something is wrong with their website
Just watched the last kilometers of the stage.
I'm very disappointed by Contador. I feared he would loose a few seconds but 28 is a lot, especially considering he is already far behind. The last week should be interesting though, since Contador will probably become better, because he had an injury, while Quintana and especially Froome will get worse because they still have the end of their tour peak. The main question is however if Froome will fade as badly as in 2012 (in that case he doesn't have a chance anyway) or if his shape will stay good. Anyway, Chaves just became my top favorite, because there isn't such a big question mark behind how his shape will develop. Contador must not lose any more time this week and has to start gaining time in Lagos de Covadonga. On the Aubisque, in Formigal and on stage 20 he might gain a lot of time if his shape develops well and considering what kind of rider Contador is he won't wait for the last kilometers of a stage if he needs time. Objectively Contador losing a lot of time early is actually quite good, but since I want him to win I'd prefer it if he wouldn't lose any more time.
Froome was faster than Fernandez in the last km.
To my measurements : Froome was 16 seconds behind Fernandez with ~1k to go (~700m to go for the race leader). and he finished 5 seconds behind.
Ergo (assuming your initial measurement was right) the quote must go like this: