• The Cycling News forum is looking to add some volunteer moderators with Red Rick's recent retirement. If you're interested in helping keep our discussions on track, send a direct message to @SHaines here on the forum, or use the Contact Us form to message the Community Team.

    In the meanwhile, please use the Report option if you see a post that doesn't fit within the forum rules.

    Thanks!

57th Vuelta al Pais Vasco 3-8 April 2017

Euskal Herriko 57. Itzulia - 57th Vuelta al País Vasco

Website

Previous winners:
2016 | CONTADOR Alberto
2015 | RODRíGUEZ Joaquim
2014 | CONTADOR Alberto
2013 | QUINTANA Nairo
2012 | SÁNCHEZ Samuel
2011 | KLÖDEN Andréas
2010 | HORNER Chris
2009 | CONTADOR Alberto
2008 | CONTADOR Alberto
2007 | COBO Juan Jose

Top-10 previous edition:

1.CONTADOR Alberto 22:44:43
2.HENAO Sergio Luis 0:12
3.QUINTANA Nairo 0:37
4.PINOT Thibaut 1:13
5.RODRíGUEZ Joaquim 1:22
6.SÁNCHEZ Samuel 1:29
7.COSTA Rui 2:19
8.ŠPILAK Simon 2:47
9.CRADDOCK Lawson 2:52
10.KELDERMAN Wilco 3:14

1. Iruñea / Eguesibar-Sarriguren
vuelta-al-pais-vasco-2017-stage-1-1490263540.png

First stage of this edition will start at the capital city of Navarre, Pamplona. With few difficulties, riders will have to climb 2nd category Erro twice and 3rd category climb Mezkiriz will follow after on. Considering they will still have 60 kms to finish, winner could be decided among fastest riders of the bunch. Last 3 kms in Eguesibar are very flat, only point to pay attention to is a 90 degrees bend when 300 metres left.

2. Iruñea / Eltziego
vuelta-al-pais-vasco-2017-stage-2-1490263569.png

Stage will start with a hard climb, Etxauri, 16 kms from the start. Riders will continue to Araba province later and next climb will be at km. 112, la Aldea, in a short get in and out to Navarre, but 60 kms yet to the finish line. However, stage hunters could have their chances attacking in some small hills or taking advantage of wind or bad weather conditions, as they could influence last kms. In case a big bunch arrives to Eltziego, we could see a very fast sprint, as last 3 kms are slightly downhill.

3. Gasteiz / Donostia (San Sebastian)
2u7qcmr.png
Mendizorrotz2.gif

(up to km7)
Stage between Gasteiz and Donostia is a hilly one. 6 hills in total, without rest in last 100 kms. From Udana to Mandubia and heading Santa Ageda after on (definitely, hardest climb of the day), strongest riders have enough terrain to start a break in first 3 climbs. Anyway, stage will probably decide during the climb and long descent of Andazarrate and climbing last hill of the day Mendizorrotz. Once they climb it, they have some false flat kms until they start downhill in Igeldo. We know that a few seconds difference in Igeldo can be enough to win in the finish line of the Boulevard.

4. Donostia / Bilbao
vuelta-al-pais-vasco-2017-stage-4-1490263657.png
Vivero2.gif

Riders will cross basque coastline from Donostia to Bilbao in this stage. Apparently quite flat with no mountain passes during first kms, road is more hilly than it seems. Orio, Itziar or Ereño hills, for example, won´t give riders any points, but will make them start suffering before climbing Sollube and Bibero. Both climbs have an average slope bigger than 8%, and winner will probably be one of the riders that shows his strength in the last climb before arriving to Gran Via avenue in Bilbao.


5. Bilbao / Eibar

vuelta-al-pais-vasco-2017-stage-5-1490263686.png
arrate-por-matsaria_josemi-ochoa.gif

This stage starting in Bilbao will be the hardest or the most mountainous of the race. Already a classical stage, as it ends in Arrate sanctuary, will have a not so known finish this year. After climbing twice the typical Izua pass, stage will finish climbing Usartza from Matxaria. This climb has an average of 10%, so strongest climbers will show there to try to win the stage, but at the same time, to try to distance their opponents for the GC.

6. Eibar / Eibar
vuelta-al-pais-vasco-2017-stage-6-1490264814.png
KarabietaN.gif

As usual, Itzulia will end with an individual time trial stage. 27 kms in total, riders will need to warm up well as they start climbing Elgeta. After descending direction Bergara, they will turn to Osintxu and will go to Eibar again to Untzaga square, completing a circuit that really fits time trial specialists if they do not waste too much energy in first climb. But also suitable for those riders that have shown they are in very good shape

Startlist

The GC Contenders
Alejandro Valverde
Alberto Contador
Primoz Roglic
Sergio Henao
Julian Alaphilippe
Simon Spilak
Ion Izagirre
Michal Kwiatkowski
Romain Bardet
Simon Yates

Not as tough as in previous years although we have a harder Arrate climb this time.
:arrow: Valverde vs Contador with Roglic, Henao and Spilak (why not) as dangerous outsiders.
 
I reckon both the Izagirre brothers will do very well on these parcours. Both in the top-5.

No clue who wins, but not as stoked for this race considering the pretty underwhelming route, but another classic Valverde against Contador duel is always welcome. 2 out of 2 so far, hopefully he will make it 3.
 
Matthews will win the first four stages if they are going to "safe energy" for stage 5/6.

The Arrate climb is brutal. It's too hard for both the Alaphilippe/Kwiatkowski-types and the less explosive climbers such as Spilak and Roglic.

I think it's between Henao, Contador and Valverde. Simon Yates is an outsider.
 
The GC Contenders
Alejandro Valverde
Alberto Contador
Primoz Roglic
Sergio Henao
Julian Alaphilippe
Simon Spilak
Ion Izagirre
Michal Kwiatkowski
Dan Martin
Romain Bardet
Simon Yates

Dan Martin is not riding this one
Cannot see Kwaitkowski bothering the GC but maybe a stage...same for Allaphillipe

I would take these out and put in Uran & Ulissi in their stead

Also a few others could break the top 10 like Talansky , Kreuziger

But looks like for me its between Valverde, Henao & Contador
 
Re: Re:

LaFlorecita said:
DNP-Old said:
I think Kwiatkowski will be Sky's leader, not Checho, due to the very weak route. There's only one finish which really suits him and there's a relatively long CRI.
I'm not sure. I'd think they will go in as co-leaders. It would be dangerous betting on just Kwiat not knowing how he'll go on Arrate.
He was 15th there in 2014, 10 seconds behind stagewinner Poels - his teammate. I think he can do very well, he certainly has the shape to do so.
 
Re:

Velolover2 said:
Matthews will win the first four stages if they are going to "safe energy" for stage 5/6.

The Arrate climb is brutal. It's too hard for both the Alaphilippe/Kwiatkowski-types and the less explosive climbers such as Spilak and Roglic.

I think it's between Henao, Contador and Valverde. Simon Yates is an outsider.

Contador and Henao gained a minute on the main rivals (expect for Pinot and Purito) on a easier side of Eibar. This year, they will gain even more if they are serious.

No way Kwai and Phillipe can stay with them.
 
Re: Re:

DNP-Old said:
LaFlorecita said:
DNP-Old said:
I think Kwiatkowski will be Sky's leader, not Checho, due to the very weak route. There's only one finish which really suits him and there's a relatively long CRI.
I'm not sure. I'd think they will go in as co-leaders. It would be dangerous betting on just Kwiat not knowing how he'll go on Arrate.
He was 15th there in 2014, 10 seconds behind stagewinner Poels - his teammate. I think he can do very well, he certainly has the shape to do so.
Wasn't it from an easier side? Arrate is pretty easy from the other side. It mostly ends in a reduced sprint.
 
Re: Re:

Velolover2 said:
DNP-Old said:
LaFlorecita said:
DNP-Old said:
I think Kwiatkowski will be Sky's leader, not Checho, due to the very weak route. There's only one finish which really suits him and there's a relatively long CRI.
I'm not sure. I'd think they will go in as co-leaders. It would be dangerous betting on just Kwiat not knowing how he'll go on Arrate.
He was 15th there in 2014, 10 seconds behind stagewinner Poels - his teammate. I think he can do very well, he certainly has the shape to do so.
Wasn't it from an easier side? Arrate is pretty easy from the other side. It mostly ends in a reduced sprint.
It was and a pretty conservative ridden one if I remember correctly. Not comparable with this Arrate.
 
Re: Re:

Valv.Piti said:
Velolover2 said:
DNP-Old said:
LaFlorecita said:
DNP-Old said:
I think Kwiatkowski will be Sky's leader, not Checho, due to the very weak route. There's only one finish which really suits him and there's a relatively long CRI.
I'm not sure. I'd think they will go in as co-leaders. It would be dangerous betting on just Kwiat not knowing how he'll go on Arrate.
He was 15th there in 2014, 10 seconds behind stagewinner Poels - his teammate. I think he can do very well, he certainly has the shape to do so.
Wasn't it from an easier side? Arrate is pretty easy from the other side. It mostly ends in a reduced sprint.
It was and a pretty conservative ridden one if I remember correctly. Not comparable with this Arrate.

Arrate.gif


It was from this side and Kwaitkowski was still dropped. I'm pretty sure Henao will be their leader. He is better on these brutal gradients. Kwaitkowski is Sky's "sprinter" for the first four stages.

It's too hard for Alaphilippe as well.
 
Re: Re:

Velolover2 said:
DNP-Old said:
LaFlorecita said:
DNP-Old said:
I think Kwiatkowski will be Sky's leader, not Checho, due to the very weak route. There's only one finish which really suits him and there's a relatively long CRI.
I'm not sure. I'd think they will go in as co-leaders. It would be dangerous betting on just Kwiat not knowing how he'll go on Arrate.
He was 15th there in 2014, 10 seconds behind stagewinner Poels - his teammate. I think he can do very well, he certainly has the shape to do so.
Wasn't it from an easier side? Arrate is pretty easy from the other side. It mostly ends in a reduced sprint.
No idea honestly. :p

Nonetheless, I don't see Checho being a threat this year due to the CRI.
 
Last 1.5km nearly flat? That's a lot more than usual on Arrate right?

For me, 3 guys can win; Contador, Valverde, and Roglic.

Kwiatkowski may just TT best but only marginally better than Roglic and I think Roglic will do way better on that Arrate climb.

Arrate should be Contador vs Valverde, and between those 2 Contador usually has it in the TT.

Valverde was definitely better in Catalunya, but historically that's Contador worst of the WT stage races in the spring, whereas this is his best one. The opposite seems to be true for Valverde, and while I think it may be possible that Valverde has a higher standard now, I don't think it's as high as Catalunya, so I expect him to regress to his mean a bit.


The TT climb is not hard enough for Contador to destroy the field, so while it suits him, it's not perfect, and it leaves Valverde, Roglic and Kwiat in with a chance to beat him there. How much time Contador and Valverde have on those flat 15km may just be decided by how much they look at each other on the Arrate.

This is assuming Henao works for Kwiat. I don't see Henao doing too well in that TT.
 
Re:

HelloDolly said:
The GC Contenders
Alejandro Valverde
Alberto Contador
Primoz Roglic
Sergio Henao
Julian Alaphilippe
Simon Spilak
Ion Izagirre
Michal Kwiatkowski
Dan Martin
Romain Bardet
Simon Yates

Dan Martin is not riding this one
Cannot see Kwaitkowski bothering the GC but maybe a stage...same for Allaphillipe

I would take these out and put in Uran & Ulissi in their stead

Also a few others could break the top 10 like Talansky , Kreuziger

But looks like for me its between Valverde, Henao & Contador

I'd keep Alaphillippe there because you never know what he will produce. Steep climbs don't tend to be the problem for him, but long ones.
 
Re: Re:

DNP-Old said:
Velolover2 said:
DNP-Old said:
LaFlorecita said:
DNP-Old said:
I think Kwiatkowski will be Sky's leader, not Checho, due to the very weak route. There's only one finish which really suits him and there's a relatively long CRI.
I'm not sure. I'd think they will go in as co-leaders. It would be dangerous betting on just Kwiat not knowing how he'll go on Arrate.
He was 15th there in 2014, 10 seconds behind stagewinner Poels - his teammate. I think he can do very well, he certainly has the shape to do so.
Wasn't it from an easier side? Arrate is pretty easy from the other side. It mostly ends in a reduced sprint.
No idea honestly. :p

Nonetheless, I don't see Checho being a threat this year due to the CRI.
He is not a bad TT. He was third last year. He is decent in hilly TT's. Not as good as Contador but still not bad to count him out.
 
Re: Re:

Escarabajo said:
DNP-Old said:
Velolover2 said:
DNP-Old said:
LaFlorecita said:
[quote="
I'm not sure. I'd think they will go in as co-leaders. It would be dangerous betting on just Kwiat not knowing how he'll go on Arrate.
He was 15th there in 2014, 10 seconds behind stagewinner Poels - his teammate. I think he can do very well, he certainly has the shape to do so.
Wasn't it from an easier side? Arrate is pretty easy from the other side. It mostly ends in a reduced sprint.
No idea honestly. :p

Nonetheless, I don't see Checho being a threat this year due to the CRI.
He is not a bad TT. He was third last year. He is decent in hilly TT's. Not as good as Contador but still not bad to count him out.
Last years CRI and this years CRI aren't close to being comparable.
 

TRENDING THREADS