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57th Vuelta al Pais Vasco 3-8 April 2017

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Re: Re:

Red Rick said:
roundabout said:
deValtos said:
gregrowlerson said:
No, they had plenty of TT's when Virenque was at his best.

To be fair at that point the French probably didn't think they were about embark on a 15 year drought of competitive GC riders. Tommy V was their best shot!

But seriously the number of TT kms are designed to always screw over the strongest rider for the race so as to make it "closer". Which it does do. That feels kinda bad tbh, but it makes sense why they do it.

There were 110 km of reasonably flat TT in 1998 and 5 mountain stages with 2 MTFs. But Virenque said it was a good route for him back when it was presented.
Has anyone ever gone to a route presentation and said it was absolutely completely crap?
I'm sure Cavendish said something similar once about the Vuelta - but not sure if he was every really planning on riding it.
 
Re: Re:

Red Rick said:
roundabout said:
deValtos said:
gregrowlerson said:
No, they had plenty of TT's when Virenque was at his best.

To be fair at that point the French probably didn't think they were about embark on a 15 year drought of competitive GC riders. Tommy V was their best shot!

But seriously the number of TT kms are designed to always screw over the strongest rider for the race so as to make it "closer". Which it does do. That feels kinda bad tbh, but it makes sense why they do it.

There were 110 km of reasonably flat TT in 1998 and 5 mountain stages with 2 MTFs. But Virenque said it was a good route for him back when it was presented.
Has anyone ever gone to a route presentation and said it was absolutely completely crap?

There's a middle ground somewhere too.
 
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Well, just look at those faces at the presentation of the 2011 Giro route.
052-Presentazione%20Giro%20di%20Italia%202011-10.jpg
 
Re: Re:

Red Rick said:
roundabout said:
deValtos said:
gregrowlerson said:
No, they had plenty of TT's when Virenque was at his best.

To be fair at that point the French probably didn't think they were about embark on a 15 year drought of competitive GC riders. Tommy V was their best shot!

But seriously the number of TT kms are designed to always screw over the strongest rider for the race so as to make it "closer". Which it does do. That feels kinda bad tbh, but it makes sense why they do it.

There were 110 km of reasonably flat TT in 1998 and 5 mountain stages with 2 MTFs. But Virenque said it was a good route for him back when it was presented.
Has anyone ever gone to a route presentation and said it was absolutely completely crap?

Exactly. It's moments like this when I truly wish that LS had been a professional cyclist :D
 
Re: Re:

Red Rick said:
roundabout said:
deValtos said:
gregrowlerson said:
No, they had plenty of TT's when Virenque was at his best.

To be fair at that point the French probably didn't think they were about embark on a 15 year drought of competitive GC riders. Tommy V was their best shot!

But seriously the number of TT kms are designed to always screw over the strongest rider for the race so as to make it "closer". Which it does do. That feels kinda bad tbh, but it makes sense why they do it.

There were 110 km of reasonably flat TT in 1998 and 5 mountain stages with 2 MTFs. But Virenque said it was a good route for him back when it was presented.
Has anyone ever gone to a route presentation and said it was absolutely completely crap?


I am sure loads have but not out loud

I likes the Pais Vasco ...I like to see riders like De La Cruz, KOnrad, Bennett , MAs & Roglic and others win stages and grow in stature

So it didnt have a MTF ...but loads of races do ...just watch those ...there are plenty

And I thought the last stage was exciting

Sure Valverde won but he would have won whatever the parcours it seems ...

Nice to see a race like PV mix it up ....

Some on here throwing their toys out of the pram because the race didnt go as they thought it should have ..petulant and ridiculous
 
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Re:

can3478 said:
Valverde is very strong, and in 17 days, he will be 37. He's going to win more races this year.

Tom Booen is retiring at 36? Has anyone been this strong at Valverde age?


apart Horner

Joop Zoetemelk won Tirreno Adriatico and the World Championship at the age of 38 and Amstel Gold Race when 40 ....
 
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Re: Re:

El Pistolero said:
Libertine Seguros said:
El Pistolero said:
What a weak generation of cyclists if a 37 year old beats them.
Did you say this about the weak generation of riders that couldn't pull a 35-year-old hill specialist back on the cobbles last week?

34 and last time I checked Sagan, GVA and Naesen crashed out in the finale. Otherwise Gilbert would have been caught.

Oh, and Gilbert isn't a hill specialist, such an insult should be bannable if you ask me. :)

Oh yes he is, his whole career!
 
Re: Re:

HelloDolly said:
I am sure loads have but not out loud

I likes the Pais Vasco ...I like to see riders like De La Cruz, KOnrad, Bennett , MAs & Roglic and others win stages and grow in stature

So it didnt have a MTF ...but loads of races do ...just watch those ...there are plenty

And I thought the last stage was exciting

Sure Valverde won but he would have won whatever the parcours it seems ...

Nice to see a race like PV mix it up ....

Some on here throwing their toys out of the pram because the race didnt go as they thought it should have ..petulant and ridiculous
And the same mis-representation of the arguments which is partly why you get the responses.

For one thing, País Vasco DID have an MTF. It was on stage 5.
For another thing, the TT was exciting.

But the first four days were very disappointing, and the pacing of the race was a large part of that. Place the Arrate summit finish earlier in the race, and the complexion of the racing on the Donostia and Bilbao stages changes. For an extreme example of this, compare the racing on Monte Assunção in the Volta a Portugal when it was AFTER Monte Farinha (e.g. 2009), and when it was early in the race (e.g. 2010, 2011).

And compare the first four stages of this edition to previous editions. We had in 2011 a similar situation where the time gaps were small and the final TT was exciting as the GC was on the line... but that was with a much more interesting first stage. Or 2010, where the flatter stages were stages 2 and 3, with the first stage starting the race off hot, then the MTF was on stage 4, meaning stage 5, the hilliest stage, was raced much harder than had it been early in the week and the time gaps weren't already there.

I like to see different people among the winners and actually I like Valverde, despite myself (you know how there are people you love to hate? Valverde's a guy I hate to love). But that doesn't mean that this wasn't the most disappointing edition of País Vasco I can remember seeing. If the MTF had been a stage earlier and there was a stage with solid climbing but not an MTF (a bit like a slightly tougher version of the Donostia stage) on stage 5, it could have been really interesting - look at Orio '10, Oiartzun '07, Aia '15, Beasain '13, Oñati '12 for examples in varying styles.

While it's nice to shake things up once in a while, I don't think that this particular attempt at innovation really worked, because while we got an interesting climax to the race, it was very tame up until that point, and lent it the air of a generic, interchangeable one-week race, with flat to rolling stages then finishing with one mountain stage and one TT, so everybody saved their energy for that. Normally, there's a certain unique flavour to the Itzulia due to the crowd, the deceptive terrain, the weather and the roads, that is difficult to replicate elsewhere. This particular edition didn't feel like that.
 
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Re: Re:

Mr.White said:
El Pistolero said:
Libertine Seguros said:
El Pistolero said:
What a weak generation of cyclists if a 37 year old beats them.
Did you say this about the weak generation of riders that couldn't pull a 35-year-old hill specialist back on the cobbles last week?

34 and last time I checked Sagan, GVA and Naesen crashed out in the finale. Otherwise Gilbert would have been caught.

Oh, and Gilbert isn't a hill specialist, such an insult should be bannable if you ask me. :)

Oh yes he is, his whole career!

His first big win was Omloop het Volk 2006, where he rode away from everyone else in a flat finale. His second big win was Omloop het Volk 2008, where he rode away from everyone on a flat cobblestone sector. His third big win was Paris-Tours 2008, the sprinter's classic. His fourth big one was Paris-Tours 2009, beating Tom Boonen himself in a sprint from a group of 3.

His first podium in a Monument was Milan-San Remo, usually a race that is contested by the cobbled classic specialists. His second and third podium in a Monument was in the Ronde van Vlaanderen.

If Gilbert can't be considered a cobbled classic specialist then who can besides Boonen & Cancellara? Sagan has never even been on the podium in Paris-Roubaix.
 
Re: Re:

DFA123 said:
Libertine Seguros said:
DFA123 said:
Mayomaniac said:
We shouldn't overrate Bala's performance, every Movistar rider seems to gain 30W in an ITT on spanish soil .
Even on Basque soil, in a race organized by Basques, where Izagirre is in contention for the win? ;)
This was pretty much the last Spanish major race left for Valverde to win.

He's won:
Vuelta a España (2009)
Clásica San Sebastián (2008, 2014)
Spanish National RR Championship (2008, 2015)
Spanish National TT Championship (2014)
Volta a Catalunya (2009, 2017)
Vuelta a Burgos (2004, 2009)
GP Miguel Indurain (2014)
Vuelta a Andalucía (2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017)
Vuelta a Murcia (2004, 2007, 2008 as stage race, 2014, 2017 as one-day race)
Vuelta a Castilla y León (2016 - albeit long after its fall from grace, never got past 2nd in its heyday)
Klasika Primavera (2003, 2004, 2009)

I mean you could argue he still needs La Rioja, Madrid, Almería and Asturias to complete the set, but those are pretty small races, whereas País Vasco is a legit major race on home soil he had yet to win.
That's an incredible domestic palmares. Also you can see why he's so popular in Spain and with the national set up as well. Despite being one of the stars of the sport for over a decade, he keeps turning up at a load of relatively minor domestic races and probably keeps some of them solvent with the publicity and interest he generates.
I also forgot
Vuelta a la Comunidad Valenciana (2004, 2007)
Prueba Villafranca Ordizia (2003)

Plus there's about a dozen different Trofeo Mallorca wins, but since those change year to year it's hard to really count them. He hasn't won the Circuito de Getxo, mind!
 
Re: Re:

Libertine Seguros said:
burning said:
El Pistolero said:
burning said:
El Pistolero said:
What a weak generation of cyclists if a 37 year old beats them.

LMAO, but it would be great if Boonen wins tomorrow

Boonen isn't winning 10 races in the spring season anymore. Cobbled classics have an actual decent field, unlike these races, which are severely lacking last few years.

Since you mention Froome beating Piti on Huy in TDF like 5 times a day, I will mention Fuglsang and Nibali smoking everyone on cobbles in TDF, which implies the field in cobbled classics is trash according to your logic.
Pistolero's logic only applies to circumstances when it is proven correct. Where his logic is proven incorrect, another set of circumstances apply, which can be invented as you go along to defend the hypothesis that all riders you don't like are terrible, and all riders you like are amazing.

Pisti will then post an extremely selective résumé of each rider's palmarès intended to promote the rider he likes and discredit the riders he doesn't, including insulting the field of any race won by a rider he doesn't like, even if the same field is beaten by his preferred rider in a phenomenally strong field.
Absolutely spot on.

I'm sad for AC (yet another 2nd) yet thrilled for Bala. The guy is just amazing. Though I like the podium overall, the route was so-so. I didn't hate it but it definitely could have been better. And what a ride from Roglic! I think someone above mentioned Dumo as a comparison and I wonder if that's the kind of rider he will be?

On another note, when watching the race after it's aired, am I the only one who reads through the thread while watching? I find it more enjoyable to read the comments in "real time" though you have to be careful to stay just behind the action on screen to prevent spoilers.
 
Re:

DFA123 said:
lol - either Contador and Valverde have been riding intervals - or this GPS gap is a joke.

Late to this, but there was a brilliant moment yesterday on Arrate when the gap from Meintjes and Woods to group 2 was given as 13 seconds. The camera angle changed from a head on shot to a helicopter, and Bala, Contador and co were on the wheel of Woods. The GPS gap promptly disappeared.
 
Re: Re:

HelloDolly said:
burning said:
can3478 said:
Valverde is very strong, and in 17 days, he will be 37. He's going to win more races this year.

Tom Booen is retiring at 36? Has anyone been this strong at Valverde age?

Horner.


Horber was beyond amasing in the Vuelta in 2013....What was very extra ordinary was how he never sat down on his saddle for the whole race !!!

Imagine if Valverde has the same progress rate as Horner from 37 to 42.

Valverde will win the TDF a couple of times by the time he is 42 :p
 
Re:

Maaaaaaaarten said:
I think tactics also played an important role in this TT. With these hilly TTs it can be difficult to pace yourself properly. Going full out on the hill or saving something on the hill to then go hard on the flat. I mean, I think Roglic is a good TT on the flat, but almost a minute out of Contador in 15km? Clearly Roglic saved something extra for the flat. Also look at Louis Meintjes. He was okayish in the first part but not great and then, despite being tiny and not that good in TT, he still managed to limit his losses on the flat very well. I think Meintjes also did a good job pacing himself.

I mean, it's pure speculation on my side, there's no way for us to know what kind of tactical decision in pacing were made, but I think Contador might have made a mistake in pacing himself properly this TT. If the GPS was correct, the amount of time he lost to Valverde in the last few km was insane. Another example of poor pacing would be De La Parte; ahead at the intermediate, but more than a minute behind at the finish line.

It is obvious: Contador set the effort at 75 on the hill, clearly overcooked himself and had no green bar left the last 5 kms, That is what happens when you have bad domestiques and cannot rehearse properly the ITT.
 
Re: Re:

Roku said:
Maaaaaaaarten said:
I think tactics also played an important role in this TT. With these hilly TTs it can be difficult to pace yourself properly. Going full out on the hill or saving something on the hill to then go hard on the flat. I mean, I think Roglic is a good TT on the flat, but almost a minute out of Contador in 15km? Clearly Roglic saved something extra for the flat. Also look at Louis Meintjes. He was okayish in the first part but not great and then, despite being tiny and not that good in TT, he still managed to limit his losses on the flat very well. I think Meintjes also did a good job pacing himself.

I mean, it's pure speculation on my side, there's no way for us to know what kind of tactical decision in pacing were made, but I think Contador might have made a mistake in pacing himself properly this TT. If the GPS was correct, the amount of time he lost to Valverde in the last few km was insane. Another example of poor pacing would be De La Parte; ahead at the intermediate, but more than a minute behind at the finish line.

It is obvious: Contador set the effort at 75 on the hill, clearly overcooked himself and had no green bar left the last 5 kms, That is what happens when you have bad domestiques and cannot rehearse properly the ITT.
This looked the case to me as well. I guess it can also be a tactic though, to go out really hard and hope that your rivals see the times you are posting, panic a bit, and go into the red as well. But that would normally be from a rider not confident in their own TT ability, and very unlikely to work on a rider as experienced as Valverde.