74ª Volta a Portugal 15/08 to 26/08

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Ruvu75 said:
Is it?
Looking at the profile I can't figure out why to be honest...?
Gomes had talked of an uphill finish in Sabugal, and the original profile had a ludicrous glitch that jumped about 150m in under a kilometre, a rise that exists nowhere at all around Sabugal itself. Therefore, the understanding was that there was an uphill finish, but it was not clear how difficult it was going to be as we didn't have a last-kms-profile or detailed map of the finish, and only had the glitched profile to go on.

Now, the last 2km will have a bit of a hill in them, but nothing that will trouble all but the most miserably bad of climbers.

This is pretty miserable though, it confirms the route is actually even worse than anticipated. It's like there are two climbs, a TT and nothing else. The uphill finish in Guarda is gone, and has been replaced by nothing. The cobbled climb of Gouveia after the big climb of Penhas Douradas has gone, and has been replaced by nothing. The cat.2 finish at Monte Assunção has gone, and has been replaced by nothing. The stage to Monte Farinha is a one-climb stage, which the climb isn't really hard enough to be. It's a good climb, but needs something like Monte do Viso or the Alto Campanhó to lead in to it - this also usually means good racing as it's short enough to tempt riders to attack on the penultimate climb. That's how Hernâni Broco got into the GC mix in 2010.

It seems the race is sadly going the way of the Volta a Catalunya; bank everything on one or two stages, and have the rest just be holding station. Maybe they're hoping Sergio Ribeiro can make the podium and remind us all of that f***ing joke that was Cândido Barbosa in 2007.

I know Gomes has had to work hard to even produce a race this last few years, but come on, are you really meaning to say that this is all they could do? Just off the top of my head with two minutes, I offer this suggestion to make stage 5 into an actually relevant one:
Going from Armamar, instead of turning west along the river at Castro Daire, continue south to São Pedro do Sul. Then head to the north over the extremely difficult Alto de São Macário (when staying on the main road not doing the last few hundred metres up to the chapel it's 9,2km @ 9,1%), descending towards Arouca. You could have the same cat.3 climb as they have in the race as the run in (and then not have the extra lap around the finish, to make the run-in harder and easier for breaks to escape and tempt GC men to attack), or you could leave Arouca and double back on yourself to climb the Serra da Freita, which would probably be another cat.1 climb (about 12km @ 6%), before descending down to have about 10km flat before the slight uphill rise to the finish.
 
Mar 31, 2010
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Libertine Seguros said:
Gomes had talked of an uphill finish in Sabugal, and the original profile had a ludicrous glitch that jumped about 150m in under a kilometre, a rise that exists nowhere at all around Sabugal itself. Therefore, the understanding was that there was an uphill finish, but it was not clear how difficult it was going to be as we didn't have a last-kms-profile or detailed map of the finish, and only had the glitched profile to go on.

Now, the last 2km will have a bit of a hill in them, but nothing that will trouble all but the most miserably bad of climbers.

This is pretty miserable though, it confirms the route is actually even worse than anticipated. It's like there are two climbs, a TT and nothing else. The uphill finish in Guarda is gone, and has been replaced by nothing. The cobbled climb of Gouveia after the big climb of Penhas Douradas has gone, and has been replaced by nothing. The cat.2 finish at Monte Assunção has gone, and has been replaced by nothing. The stage to Monte Farinha is a one-climb stage, which the climb isn't really hard enough to be. It's a good climb, but needs something like Monte do Viso or the Alto Campanhó to lead in to it - this also usually means good racing as it's short enough to tempt riders to attack on the penultimate climb. That's how Hernâni Broco got into the GC mix in 2010.

It seems the race is sadly going the way of the Volta a Catalunya; bank everything on one or two stages, and have the rest just be holding station. Maybe they're hoping Sergio Ribeiro can make the podium and remind us all of that f***ing joke that was Cândido Barbosa in 2007.

I know Gomes has had to work hard to even produce a race this last few years, but come on, are you really meaning to say that this is all they could do? Just off the top of my head with two minutes, I offer this suggestion to make stage 5 into an actually relevant one:
Going from Armamar, instead of turning west along the river at Castro Daire, continue south to São Pedro do Sul. Then head to the north over the extremely difficult Alto de São Macário (when staying on the main road not doing the last few hundred metres up to the chapel it's 9,2km @ 9,1%), descending towards Arouca. You could have the same cat.3 climb as they have in the race as the run in (and then not have the extra lap around the finish, to make the run-in harder and easier for breaks to escape and tempt GC men to attack), or you could leave Arouca and double back on yourself to climb the Serra da Freita, which would probably be another cat.1 climb (about 12km @ 6%), before descending down to have about 10km flat before the slight uphill rise to the finish.
do you ever say anything possible ever?
 
Ryo Hazuki said:
do you ever say anything possible ever?
Not about routes that don't merit anything positive being said about them, no.

Where are the difficult stages here? Stage 1 should be pretty good, but then it's a one-climb 8km sprint up Senhora da Graça, an ITT and the always-awesome Torre. But everything else is just spinning the wheels. Feels like the 2011 Volta a Catalunya - a climb to Pal and six sprints of varying degrees of mild uphill.
 
Really looks like a two horse race of the home teams... unless João Cabreira's back on the sauce I see this as Efapel vs. Carmim. LA-Antarte look comparatively weak now they've lost Broco, though I hope José João Mendes is back in the sort of form he was 3 years back, because he'll do his best to make the meagre opportunities to attack stick. Of the top two teams the rider that intrigues me most is Amaro Antunes - he won the Volta do Futuro a couple of years with some killer performances on the Alto Montejunto and on the stage into Arouca over the big, bad São Macário climb that we've been begging for inclusion in the race constantly since.

Worth noting for those that don't pay much attention to the Portuguese péloton, though - the João Correia on LA-Antarte is not the 35 year-old neo-pro from Cervélo a couple of years ago, but an entirely different João Correia.

I am intrigued by the Funvic lineup, hopefully this is their more competitive lineup (I remember when the Scott-Marcondés César-São José dos Campos team was Pro-Conti a couple of years ago, they had a tendency to send their second-stringers to some of the biggest races they went to, and some of the only ones in Europe, keeping their best riders in South America).

I am kind of disappointed at the Caja Rural lineup, more because all their Portuguese are in La Vuelta than anything else. There had been talk of putting Hernâni Broco in A Volta as his recovery seemed to be comparatively limited, but instead they've gone all out with all their big GC talents in La Vuelta and A Volta gets a sort of odds-and-ends lineup. Nevertheless there are a couple who should be interesting - Moyano and Ferrari for starters, while Garikoitz Bravo (who the organisers keep insisting on calling Bravo Garikoitz) was the Best Young Rider at last year's race.

Excellent to see Burgos and Orbea here, a positive of not clashing with Burgos this year. Maybe they should keep this format into next year when the Vuelta won't be so early. Just a shame it clashes with Denmark still, if that was early in the month like it normally would be we could have had Christina Watches here, which could have been spicy. Anyhow, I like Brandão being Burgos' leader, and watch out for Moisés Dueñas - he came back from suspension with elite amateur team Supermercados Froiz (one of Spain's biggest), and was picked up off the scrapheap last month, going straight from signing on July 24th to the top 10 of the Prueba Villafranca de Ordizia the next day; has followed that with some OK showings in Burgos and good results in León, so he's in decent form too.

The Coldeportes team is strong. Tragic that the route only gives them one stage to really showcase what they can do (the Mondim de Basto stage doesn't accumulate enough climbing to really let them use what they have in my opinion, as it will be comparatively easy to limit losses over the 8km of climbing this way). But if they're in any sort of form, they could really ruin a lot of people's hopes on the way to the Alto da Torre. I also really want to see Kai Reus do well for UHC.

Also of curio value will be the Lokosphinx guys - Shilov and Shalunov in particular - and Reinardt Janse van Rensburg. How they transition to long stage races will be interesting to say the least. Shalunov and Janse van Rensburg are overdue a step up, Shilov has a suspension in his back pocket already which might make people wary, but he's shown reasonable climbing and good TT skills in the Vuelta a Asturias the last couple of years.
 
great post libertine.

Riders i can't wait to see:

Amaro Antunes
Ricardo Vilela (he is only 25)
Joni Brandão
Rafael Reis


there are ofc other riders to keep an eye on but this 4 are imo the ones that can shine, mostly the first 3
 
Oct 17, 2010
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I would have to add to that list Pedro Paulinho. He has shown he can fight for the win among the Elite's. António Carvalho too. It would be fantastic if one of the guy's from the portuguese national team could score a stage.
 
jens_attacks said:
let's hope candido will make an appearance again on the podium _o_

as always,looking forward to the volta
He has appeared on the teams presentation so there's a big chance he'll be on the podiums too :) I always cheered for him and he always failed but well I have a soft spot for guys that aren't climbers trying to climb.
 
Mar 31, 2010
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candido barbosa was the biggest joke in portugese cycling and that's against pretty good compeition there. glad he's gone.

as always I'm looking forward to this. been following since 2004 when I found rtpi on my satelite and enjoyed the overdoped riders flying over climbs like there's no tomorrow. now it's clean but still it's a lot better than most european races and it has a great starting field this year with so many interesting teams and names
 
Aug 28, 2011
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Libertine Seguros said:
Also of curio value will be the Lokosphinx guys - Shilov and Shalunov in particular - and Reinardt Janse van Rensburg. How they transition to long stage races will be interesting to say the least. Shalunov and Janse van Rensburg are overdue a step up, Shilov has a suspension in his back pocket already which might make people wary, but he's shown reasonable climbing and good TT skills in the Vuelta a Asturias the last couple of years.
Looks like Belykh has the best form of the Lokosphinx guys at the moment....
 
Caught some of the all singing and dancing team presentation on PTPi, yesterday.
One of my fav races of the year.
Glad I got back just in time to see it.:)

Busy week, with the big Italian trio being shown live on RAITRE, too, this week.
 
Oct 17, 2010
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Indeed. There's a 30 km or so ITT. A fairly flat one. Doubt Atapuma can take on the mountains enough time oncontenders that can actually defend themselves at it. But we'll see.

Rensburg starts a Volta with the rigth foot clocking the best time so far. I hope he can take a stage win (or more) and I'm curious as to how he will fare at the TT.
 
Oct 17, 2010
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And this is the Top 10 of the Prologue. 2,2 km

1. Reinardt Van Rensburg (MTN) 02:48:744
2. Hugo Sabido (LA-Antarte)0,2 s
3. José Gonçalves (Onda-Bovista) + 1,39 s
4. Boy Van Poppel (UHC) + 3,50 s
5. Dimitry Sokolov (Lokosphinx) 4,54 s
6. Rafael Reis (National Team) +4,78 s
7. Samuel Caldeira (Carmim-Prio) + 5,11 s
8. Edgar Pinto (LA-Antarte) + 5,37 s
9. Sérgio Sousa(Efapel Glassdrive) + 6,3 s
10.Bradley White(UHC) + 6,5

David Blanco and Ricardo Mestre are the big contenders. Finished 41th and 42th, respectively. 10 seconds behind.

Atapuma lost about 18 seconds. (I'm not sure how they round the time?). Full Results
 
canyonball said:
And this is the Top 10 of the Prologue. 2,2 km

1. Reinardt Van Rensburg (MTN) 02:48:744
2. Hugo Sabido (LA-Antarte)0,2 s
3. José Gonçalves (Onda-Bovista) + 1,39 s
4. Boy Van Poppel (UHC) + 3,50 s
5. Dimitry Sokolov (Lokosphinx) 4,54 s
6. Rafael Reis (National Team) +4,78 s
7. Samuel Caldeira (Carmim-Prio) + 5,11 s
8. Edgar Pinto (LA-Antarte) + 5,37 s
9. Sérgio Sousa(Efapel Glassdrive) + 6,3 s
10.Bradley White(UHC) + 6,5

David Blanco and Ricardo Mestre are the big contenders. Finished 41th and 42th, respectively. 10 seconds behind.

Atapuma lost about 18 seconds. (I'm not sure how they round the time?). Full Results
awesome, that kid is going to be a world beater in the future
 

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