Vuelta a España 2021 Vuelta a España First Official Rest Day

Who will win GC?


  • Total voters
    57
  • Poll closed .
General Classification after stage 9

Roglic is in prime position after 9 days being in the lead 6 of the 9 days. Mas looks to be his best rival with a strong second and option in Lopez. Mas has improved greatly in the 3rd week of GTs and already has two 5ths last year in his double attempt. The question is if he is performing at his best now but will fade towards the end. Movistar has been devastated by injuries but they still pack a one-two punch. Their biggest worry is gaining enough time for the stage 21 33.8 km ITT. Bernal despite showing weaker form is still in the fight for overall and has a team that can be used. Ineos packs a lesser one-two punch with Bernal and Yates but now with Carapaz working for them they can set a higher pace to isolate Roglic. Movistar and Ineos are going to want to continuously attack Roglic when he is isolated in order to break him as he is a better timetrialist than all 4 of the riders. Can Aru pull his last Grand Tour performance together and win a second Vuelta? Can Landa finally be set free? In my opinion, Roglic and Mas will be seperated by 30" after the final stage but I am unsure of who will win.


Points Classification after stage 9

This looks to be a two way fight between Jakobsen and Philipsen and a distant Roglic. One is returning from injury and the other is completing his second Grand Tour this year so question marks will be on both of their endurance and recovery for the next 2 weeks. Jakobsen has either won or finished second in all of the sprint stages compared to Philipsen. Only flat 2 stages are left but if they both DNF or DNS and something happens to Roglic, Demare or Matthews could win. Roglic should also be a favorite to win the Maillot Verde a third time. If Roglic finishes top 10 in the majority of stages and wins another 2-3 he should win the Maillot Verde for the third time.


King of the Mountains Classification after stage 9
As it is every year, the mountains classification is open. Caruso could maintain his lead but it will be hard if he becomes too much of a GC threat. Bardet is another that will be focused on this to win his second mountain classification after his GC trouble. Depending on how GC action goes on the mountain stages, Roglic could also sneak in and win this classification as well to match Pogacar winning 3 classifications.


Young Ride Classification after stage 9
Bernal should be the heavy favorite to win and win his third youth classification and be the first rider to win it in all 3 Grand Tours (a short and new accomplishment). Only a massive blowup will give any chance to Vlasov or Mader. Can Bernal keep up with Pogacar winning youth classifications.


Team Classification after stage 9
RnkPrev▼▲TeamClassTime
11-Movistar TeamWT102:58:47
23▲1Bahrain - VictoriousWT1:32
35▲2Team Jumbo-VismaWT7:31
42▼2INEOS GrenadiersWT8:34
54▼1UAE-Team EmiratesWT16:30
69▲3Trek - SegafredoWT24:06
76▼1Intermarché - Wanty - Gobert MatériauxWT36:44
810▲2Astana - Premier TechWT47:39
911▲2Cofidis, Solutions CréditsWT57:06
107▼3Team DSMWT1:03:01

Movistar Team should be heavy favorites to win their 13th Vuelta Team Classification. They have already won 12 Vuelta, 7 Tour, and 2 Giro team classifications. Movistar took a heavy blow with the loss of Valverde but should be able to hold off Bahrain in their home tour.

Combativity Award
Stage 2 Diego Rubio Burgos BH
Stage 3 Julen Amezqueta Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
Stage 4 Angel Madrazo Burgos BH
Stage 5 Oier Lazkano Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
Stage 6 Joan Bou Euskaltel Euskadi
Stage 7 Michael Storer Team DSM
Stage 8 Aritz Bagues Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
Stage 9 Julen Amezqueta Caja Rural-Seguros RGA

Caja Rural-Seguros RGA is racking up this award so far.
 
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I think some people are getting a bit carried away after yesterday. The gradients on the climb in its latter km's favored riders working in tandem pulling gaps (which is what Mas & Roglic did), whilst Ineos shot themselves in the foot with Yates hurting Bernal more than his rivals.

Okay Mas was strong, but his best chance of winning this Vuelta is on flat stages with echelons, crashes & mechanicals - or descents with the same crashes. Roglic is Roglic (i.e. he's very predictable) & I just can't see anyone here gapping him on a climb finish - except Bernal on a super day. And now Roglic can even let the others ride up the road on the final climbs & just focus on Mas (who himself will at some point need to respond to Ineos).

That's why Roglic is sitting pretty comfortable right now. Mas isn't Pogacar.
 
All Roglic has to do is to control Mas (and others to less extent). He is expected to gain 90-120 seconds on the last TT. Obviously if an occassion arises Primoz will try to gain some time. And that's what I think will happen: Movistar will be attacking him on most difficult stages but Primoz will match them. I just hope there will be exciting battles in the mountains, regardless of the winner.
 
Roglic is the clear favorite here. I had some doubts about his team but Kuss anbd Kruijswijk looked solid in the last couple mountain stages. Roglic had very few racing days before the Vuelta and is a master in opening the gas only when it's strictly needed, so I doubt he will fade.

Movistar has been brilliant thus far and it's a pity Bala had to abandon. They still have both Mas and Superman high up in GC but the team depth is a problem, they lack climbing domestiques so not many options for the tough stages apart from hoping their leaders are better than Roglic. Mas likely needs a 2 minute buffer before the final ITT which means he needs to gain 2'30" on Roglic in the the remaining mountain stages. Yes, this ha been his best first week ever in a GT, but I don't think he'll be better come the third week. He's a Kruijswijk type of rider, which means his level doesn't decrease as much as others. He needs to hope Roglic fades, which it's not likely.

Ineos is in a bad position. Carapaz is 100% out of it, Yates isn't exactly known for being solid over three weeks (I honestly thought he'd be better than this in the first week) and Bernal looks undercooked, or maybe not properly trained because of COVID. I don't see how they win this race.

I believe Bahrein is the only team with a chance to put Jumbo under pressure and perhaps force a Roglic mistake. Only Haig is close enough in GC to truly aim at the jersey but they have the firepower to try something epic. My 2 cents: have one of Caruso, Mader and Landa in every mountain break from now on, possibly with Padun/Tratnik to help, and check if Jumbo doms have a bad day. It's an extremely long shot, I know.
 
Roglic is the clear favorite here. I had some doubts about his team but Kuss anbd Kruijswijk looked solid in the last couple mountain stages. Roglic had very few racing days before the Vuelta and is a master in opening the gas only when it's strictly needed, so I doubt he will fade.

Movistar has been brilliant thus far and it's a pity Bala had to abandon. They still have both Mas and Superman high up in GC but the team depth is a problem, they lack climbing domestiques so not many options for the tough stages apart from hoping their leaders are better than Roglic. Mas likely needs a 2 minute buffer before the final ITT which means he needs to gain 2'30" on Roglic in the the remaining mountain stages. Yes, this ha been his best first week ever in a GT, but I don't think he'll be better come the third week. He's a Kruijswijk type of rider, which means his level doesn't decrease as much as others. He needs to hope Roglic fades, which it's not likely.

Ineos is in a bad position. Carapaz is 100% out of it, Yates isn't exactly known for being solid over three weeks (I honestly thought he'd be better than this in the first week) and Bernal looks undercooked, or maybe not properly trained because of COVID. I don't see how they win this race.

I believe Bahrein is the only team with a chance to put Jumbo under pressure and perhaps force a Roglic mistake. Only Haig is close enough in GC to truly aim at the jersey but they have the firepower to try something epic. My 2 cents: have one of Caruso, Mader and Landa in every mountain break from now on, possibly with Padun/Tratnik to help, and check if Jumbo doms have a bad day. It's an extremely long shot, I know.
Movistar might be forced to chose between going for #1 or going for #2 and #3.

Ineos I think has lost the Vuelta and might end up tactically more riding for the podium than the win.

Bahrain has 4 guys in the top 16, but I think Landa is so bad right now he'll fall off by himself. Basically Mader or Caruso need to be in another break and pray to get free minutes.
 
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Movistar might be forced to chose between going for #1 or going for #2 and #3.

Ineos I think has lost the Vuelta and might end up tactically more riding for the podium than the win.

Bahrain has 4 guys in the top 16, but I think Landa is so bad right now he'll fall off by himself. Basically Mader or Caruso need to be in another break and pray to get free minutes.
The problem with Lopez is that he hasn't had any of his usual mishaps yet. I'm not sure if that's a good sign or he's sure to lose time somehow in the next couple of weeks.
 
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Movistar Team should be heavy favorites to win their 13th Vuelta Team Classification. They have already won 12 Vuelta, 7 Tour, and 2 Giro team classifications. Movistar took a heavy blow with the loss of Valverde but should be able to hold off Bahrain in their home tour.
I think it will be almost impossible for movistar to hold off bahrain. Verona is just not good enough in the high mountains and will lose a lot of time to Mader/Caruso/Landa/Padun/Haig. With mader/padun/Poels and caruso they also have 4 riders that are very capable of getting in the break and winning the stage, whereas Movistar only realistically has Verona that is capable of getting in the break and winning a stage. Movistar just does not have enough depth in the squad now with Valverde crashing out to win the team GC. Bahrain should be the heavy favourite to win it, they will also ride for it.
 
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I think it will be almost impossible for movistar to hold off bahrain. Verona is just not good enough in the high mountains and will lose a lot of time to Mader/Caruso/Landa/Padun/Haig. With mader/padun/Poels and caruso they also have 4 riders that are very capable of getting in the break and winning the stage, whereas Movistar only realistically has Verona that is capable of getting in the break and winning a stage. Movistar just does not have enough depth in the squad now with Valverde crashing out to win the team GC. Bahrain should be the heavy favourite to win it, they will also ride for it.
Maybe, but Lopez and Mas should finish higher than Bahrain’s riders plus the breakaways they’re going to be in. Though yes it will be tough against Bahrain. Though Bahrain can either be BAHRAIN or bahrain.
 
I have doubts about Mas performing a lot lower than Roglic in the last Time Trial.

  • Last time trial is more about recovery than anything else and Mas seems to be in prime form.
  • Roglic tends to reduce performance in last time trials. Especially here where I have my doubts that he will recover fully in the third week.
Last, I did not pick Roglic for the win here. I will stick with my answer. There are little things that are still bothering me about him.
 

Question here, do we consider the following ITTs disappointing?

2016 Giro MTT
2017 Tour final ITT
2018 Tour final ITT
2019 Giro 2nd ITT
2019 Giro final ITT
2019 Vuelta ITT
2020 Tour final ITT
2020 Vuelta ITT
 
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Yeah I honestly wouldn't be shocked at all if Roglic disappoints in the final TT again. I just don't think it's a coincidence that this has happened more than once in the past. But even then Mas has to gain time on Roglic. Him making up 30 seconds seems unrealistic even if Roglic has a bad day.
Roglic actually wasn't that bad during the ITT. Ok, he was a few dozens of seconds below his standard but it was Pogacar who had incredible performance. I don't believe Mas has such a performance in him. Plus I'm not convinced about his 3rd week weakness - during the TdF'20 Primoz was strong in the Alps. As for Vuelta'20 I'm actually surprised that he won it - he was running on fumes at the end after exhausting season (Tour, WC, LBL etc - all in the autumn) but this shouldn't be the case now.
 

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