79ª Volta a Portugal em Bicicleta (4 a 15 de Agosto de 2017)

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Re: 79ª Volta a Portugal em Bicicleta (4 a 15 de Agosto de 2

Gigs_98 said:
Okay, can anyone explain this race to me. All I know is that this race is some kind of fan favorite, with riders I have never heard about who seem to ride completely crazily and have never heard anything about modern cycling tactics.

But why all this? Why are there no big teams in this race, why are all these riders nowhere in all other races in the rest of the season and generally just why is this race so popular. Can anyone explain the fascination of the Volta because every time I look into this thread I get completely confused
The Portuguese scene is like pro cycling's parallel universe, with different laws of physics. And the Volta is the Tour de France of this universe.
 
Re: 79ª Volta a Portugal em Bicicleta (4 a 15 de Agosto de 2

Gigs_98 said:
Okay, can anyone explain this race to me. All I know is that this race is some kind of fan favorite, with riders I have never heard about who seem to ride completely crazily and have never heard anything about modern cycling tactics.

But why all this? Why are there no big teams in this race, why are all these riders nowhere in all other races in the rest of the season and generally just why is this race so popular. Can anyone explain the fascination of the Volta because every time I look into this thread I get completely confused
It's a race that's held in the 1990s. But today.
Does it now make sense why others don't go there? It's pointless, you can't compete with 1990s riders.

And it's so moronic we can't help but watch, point and laugh at the stupidity.
 
Re: 79ª Volta a Portugal em Bicicleta (4 a 15 de Agosto de 2

Was it just me or that victory was slightly gifted by W-52 not riding as hard as they could? Obviously they had good sprinters like Nocentini or De Mateos riding on wheels but it still looked like an half effort there.

The funny thing about Rui Sousa's win is that even though I know better about cycling now, I still can't help but feel okay about seeing this guy win. Jet fueled or not, that solo stage win on the Torre stage a couple of years ago, riding through the mist was something that stuck in my childhood memories of lazy August days watching the Volta.

(Even funnier, I just realised that João Bento also rides for Boavista.)
 
Re: 79ª Volta a Portugal em Bicicleta (4 a 15 de Agosto de 2

Gigs_98 said:
Okay, can anyone explain this race to me. All I know is that this race is some kind of fan favorite, with riders I have never heard about who seem to ride completely crazily and have never heard anything about modern cycling tactics.

But why all this? Why are there no big teams in this race, why are all these riders nowhere in all other races in the rest of the season and generally just why is this race so popular. Can anyone explain the fascination of the Volta because every time I look into this thread I get completely confused
The Volta is it's own special kind of bizarro world, where the normal rules of cycling don't apply. It has some elements of farce played out for the benefit of cycling fans. These include wattage numbers and rider performances that, if conducted in another major race, would create a Clinic explosion, and tactics that would make Rabobank chasing their own break in Omloop all those years ago look like Liberty Seguros on Pajáres, but the Volta serves it with a nod and a wink. That stuff that is so divisive in other races is part of the price of admission to the great Volta a Portugal show. The fact that the scene has such a bad reputation (especially now that even the few teams that were picking riders from the Portuguese scene have had their fingers burnt, and even those riders that had escaped it and carved out a good WT niche have got popped, like André Cardoso) means that the number of riders out here specifically angling for a better contract with their showing are few, and the fact that young Portuguese of stronger talent levels will tend to get picked up before they spend too long in the scene (e.g. Nuno Bico or Rubén Guerreiro) means there are few of them too. The biggest Portuguese riders no longer race for teams with interest in riding the Volta in the present calendar, and the length and difficulty along with the move of the Vuelta slightly earlier into August means its viability as a warmup race like Lampre, Xaco, Andalucía, Relax-GAM, Saunier Duval and co used to use it as has been eroded, so there are few outsiders who can provide a genuine threat to the domestic riders the way riders like Pardilla and Sinkewitz did in 2010.

As a result, the riders at the pointy end of the race tend to be journeymen Iberian pros, and aging riders who are no longer wanted at the top levels anymore, and combinations of the two. Shorn of any expectation of progressing to higher levels, they cede leadership to the riders with ambition through much of the season, and have nothing to lose come August, the focal point of the season, and don't care what it looks like from the outside. The same old names pop up revolving from team to team, and hydra-headed teams lose the race due to boneheaded tactics. Riders emerge from nowhere and disappear back to the same obscurity, and nobody bats an eyelid, because that's just part of what the race is about.

But a key feature of the cult appeal of the Volta lies in the way that its "wild west" tactics, where teammates chase teammates, DSes insult their riders live on air (the Rádio Popular DS complaining about Alberto Gallego getting into breakaways instead of doing his job for Rui Sousa in 2015, for example), foreign pros visiting the race tweet about its absurdities (Sten van Gucht and Jasper Ockeloen in 2015, Franco Pellizotti in 2016), teams refuse to chase breaks, riders emerge from nowhere to demolish fields while pre-race favourites ride like stuck in treacle, mean that, crucially, it's a completely different experience from the majority of other races we watch. It may not always give us great racing, and it may not give us particularly believable or even likable racing, but it does not adhere to the same tactical formulae as we have come to expect from racing from the elite péloton, and is treated as a big deal by both the presentation and the riders contesting it. It's therefore completely different to anything else we see all year, and especially in a post-Tour comedown, when many cycling fans are jaded when it comes to formulaic, tightly controlled racing, the hedonistic, guilt-free free-for-all of the Volta is a welcome tonic.

The Volta a Portugal is like a libertine professional cycling, stripped of the pretence of conscience that we see the rest of the year.
 
Aug 8, 2016
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Re: 79ª Volta a Portugal em Bicicleta (4 a 15 de Agosto de 2

Really sad to see my Volta, the race that has always excited me since my early cycling fan days, reaching this level. Like my old man says: too good to be true.
 
Dec 30, 2015
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Re: 79ª Volta a Portugal em Bicicleta (4 a 15 de Agosto de 2

Gigs_98 said:
Why are there no big teams in this race,
its a almost two week race. right after Tour and before Vuelta. why would they tire their riders, in a race they are not enforced to go to, like Poland of Binkbank, which occur at the same time.
ProCont Caja Rural use to come, but its tight for them to come here and recover their riders for the most important race for them, the Vuelta, which starts less than a week after
Sometimes it comes to discussion if Volta shouldnt move to a more favourable date for big international teams, but many dont see it viable, that would kill portuguese cycling because there wouldnt be as many spectators, because portuguese teams would be obliterated, and it may go in a few years losing popularity. The Volta, and portuguese cycling lived many years "closed" to foreigners. and probably was the reason it survived and remained popular.
We see races today in countries with one or none home teams, and very few home riders. would it grow in popularity in those places? no. its just another race

why are all these riders nowhere in all other races in the rest of the season
you may have seen some good international results by W52 riders this year, and Sporting last year. Plus. Portuguese teams are all Continental. you wont see them in the usual WT calendar.

and generally just why is this race so popular. Can anyone explain the fascination of the Volta because every time I look into this thread I get completely confused
its the 79th edition of a 90 year history. Cycling was always popular in Portugal. Didnt had many international stars, but in borders, there were many rivalries, between riders, between teams, and still are, but in a lesser extent since the best portuguese riders are in WT teams and therefore unable to ride Volta.
Both riders and teams (portuguese) almost only have this goal all season, so for them its now or nothing. Now there is a dominant team, however, you dont see the usual train ride of other multiweek race. the other teams attack, the yeallow jersey attack (55km to finish like today), team members attack each other. its a oasis in the boring cycling that usually comes to tele.
 
Horner's on the attack again, sitting between the break and the péloton, about two minutes away from each. He has Óscar Rodríguez of Euskadi-Murias for company, a young climber who they picked up from Lizarte after he was passed over in favour of Carretero and Carapaz for Movistar last year. The two are being anchored by Ricardo Mestre for W52. It looks like Mestre is doing the sensible thing and not collaborating with his team setting the pace behind, but this is the Volta a Portugal so you never know. Efapel were making the pace earlier in the day but they've got two riders into the 10-strong front group so have left the pacesetting to W52.

Perhaps a bit like 2009, we're going to see Monte Assunção have some importance if you put it AFTER Senhora da Graça, because after 2009 it was put early in the race and tended to be a gradual thinning out followed by a sprint of around 40 riders with only a handful of seconds being set either way. Certainly if there is a concerted effort to chase Horner the péloton might have more tired legs than usual on the climb, although the time gap that the lead group have is pretty decent (4 mins with 19km remaining) given the middling nature of the climb and some half-decent climbers in the group, which includes João Matias, David de la Fuente and Jesús del Pino.

The group up front started playing about, however, so utilizing their numbers advantage, Efapel attacked, sending António Barbio up the road, being chased by Moritz Backofen. This is smart because del Pino, who is a stronger climber, can sit on the chase and take advantage if Barbio is caught on the climb. So Efapel have the head of the race and a decent climber sitting on in the chase with the others needing to work to pull Barbio back on the flat before the climb. So far so good. However, this is the Volta, so W52 are being relieved of péloton-pulling duties by... Efapel.

Onto the climb, W52 still pacing the group but looks like the Mestre group has been re-absorbed. Barbio still leading what remains of the breakaway and over 2 minutes. Given the nature of Monte Assunção I think it's fairly assured the break will take this stage, hard to take that kind of time on this climb. Efapel's tactics from the break working, though, as de la Fuente is counterattacking away from the leftover fugitives, with del Pino in his wheel. Tavira helping the pacework now, thinking they can maybe steal a few seconds with Nocentini here I think.

Parrinello counterattacking after the remainder of the break get back together. Has a few seconds over the chasing quartet. Situation is Barbio, Parrinello, del Pino group, then a gap back to the péloton led by Mestre. Well, I say péloton, but there's not that many left. W52's pace has shredded it and there's only about 25 riders left in the group. Alarcón's troops are bringing back stragglers from the break now. Antunes still has his jacket fully zipped and his mouth closed.

Barbio nearly stacks it on the corner at the top of the main road climb before the rolling final stretches! LA attacking the bunch and going over the chasing quartet but there's not enough time to catch António Barbio, who takes his first Volta stage for Efapel! GCV pulls Balarcón away from the rest but Nocentini and García de Mateos go with him, and in the end César Veloso has to sprint to prevent the Tavira duo stealing too many seconds from the camisola amarela. Antunes loses a few seconds, as do all the Rádio Popular, LA and Loulé guys. Efapel's price for their tactical success in securing their first stage win of the race is that both Paulinho and Casimiro, their two riders in the top 10, lose time to the boys in blue and green (García de Mateos is in the points jersey so also in green). Luis Afonso running across the line Froome-style with his broken bicycle, the tyre completely shorn from the hub (!).

1 António Barbio (Efapel) POR
2 Gustavo César Veloso (W52-FC Porto) ESP +1'07"
3 Vicente García de Mateos Rubio (Louletano-Hospital de Loulé) ESP +st
4 Rinaldo Nocentini (Sporting-Tavira) ITA +st
5 Raúl Alarcón (W52-FC Porto) ESP +st
6 João Benta (Rádio Popular-Boavista) POR +1'11"
7 Amaro Antunes (W52-FC Porto) POR +st
8 Marco Tizza (GM Europa Ovini) ITA +1'15"
9 Davide Rebellin (Kuwait-Cartucho.es) ITA +st
10 Krists Neilands (Israel Cycling Academy) LAT +st

GC after stage 7:
1 Raúl Alarcón (W52-FC Porto) ESP
2 Rinaldo Nocentini (Sporting-Tavira) ITA +24"
3 Vicente García de Mateos Rubio (Louletano-Hospital de Loulé) ESP +30"
4 Gustavo César Veloso (W52-FC Porto) ESP +33"
5 Amaro Antunes (W52-FC Porto) POR +34"
6 João Benta (Rádio Popular-Boavista) POR +1'32"
7 António Carvalho (W52-FC Porto) POR +1'50"
8 Henrique Casimiro (Efapel) POR +2'00"
9 Sérgio Paulinho (Efapel) POR +st
10 Alejandro Marque (Sporting-Tavira) ESP +2'08"
 
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Re:

Libertine Seguros said:
The group up front started playing about, however, so utilizing their numbers advantage, Efapel attacked, sending António Barbio up the road, being chased by Moritz Backofen. This is smart because del Pino, who is a stronger climber, can sit on the chase and take advantage if Barbio is caught on the climb. So Efapel have the head of the race and a decent climber sitting on in the chase with the others needing to work to pull Barbio back on the flat before the climb. So far so good. However, this is the Volta, so W52 are being relieved of péloton-pulling duties by... Efapel.
And at the same time they were interviewing Efapel's race director. Unfortunately, I don't understand Porteguese.
Can anyone tell me what he said (more or less)?

This race is just mental.
 
25km from the line in a rolling flat stage and Gustavo César Veloso is attacking. Vicente García de Mateos is leading the chasing group with Balarcón in his wheel... no wait, García de Mateos has dropped Balarcón! The two Spaniards are at the front, Balarcón in the small group behind with Marque, Antunes and Nocentini but it looks like the impetus is going out and they'll be reabsorbed. Still... no guarantees GCV is passing the torch at all here :p

New move is one of the Rádio Popular guys (I initially thought João Benta, but appears to be David Rodrigues) with Björn Thurau and Rui Vinhas anchoring it for W52. The reason for Veloso's activity is the pursuit of bonus seconds at an intermediate, but as he got a decent gap he decided to press on until it became clear he and VGdM weren't going to get anywhere and also the Loulé rider is ahead of him on the GC. Efapel looking to help neutralize the Vinhas move. Sprint seems to be the most likely outcome but they've pulled out around 15 seconds here. However the trio aren't working together, clearly the presence of a rider not on a Portuguese team in contention for the stage win has disrupted their flow, so David Rodrigues attacks solo, and Vinhas chases, abandoning Thurau to his fate. And now, Vinhas starts collaborating while Efapel are pacing the bunch. He is the defending champion, after all, even if he's fourth at best in the pecking order at W52. However, the former Bouygues Télécom and Milram pro is made of sterner stuff than the two Portuguese thought, and the German grits his teeth and reunites the front trio, but with only 10-15 seconds and over 10km remaining, their chances are limited at best.
 
At 5km to go the fugitives are caught again. David Rodrigues goes out the back like a bowling ball, Vinhas does a better job of staying in there. W52 are obliterating it with their pace, but Caldeira, their designated sprinter, has gone, so wonder if they're hoping for more seconds for César or something. Domingos Gonçalves tries to escape with 3km to go but he won't get away. A second kick, but W52 just have too much strength even if they only have 3 riders left coming into the final kilometre. Very reduced bunch due to the rolling, undulating stage and the tough run-in. Very strange drag of a sprint, after Balarcón sat up to let Antunes ride away in the leadout and then we had a very slow 500m grind of the GC men sprinting, García de Mateos did the work to chase Antunes, then let Sporting's duo do the leadout, Daniel Mestre came up on the left very fast but went just too early and faded dramatically in the final metres allowing Vicente García de Mateos to sneak past him for the win at the last second. Very importantly, though, in addition to the bonus seconds, there was a time gap behind the first few, and Balarcón was behind it so GdM takes a bit more time - it will be key for tomorrow's stage when he is likely to be heavily outnumbered by the W52 troops, with likely only David de la Fuente for company if the Quinta da Lixa team take it as thermonuclear on Torre as many anticipate.

zlev11 said:
de Mateos is awesome. world tour next year? :razz:
I think Barbio, who won yesterday, might have an ok shot. García de Mateos is 29 so has plenty of hope compared to many of the others here, but more likely to be Pro Conti, however Caja Rural's misadventure with Gallego shuts that route off. Barbio is only 23, finished on the podium of the Volta do Futuro twice in his teens, and is starting to emerge after a couple of quiet years. He's got a sprint of sorts, a decent time trial level and can get over some mid-sized obstacles as he showed yesterday. He's young enough that the taint of Portuguese cycling on him isn't indelible yet.

Top 10 this stage:

1 Vicente García de Mateos Rubio (Louletano-Hospital de Loulé) ESP 4'06'39
2 Daniel Mestre (Efapel) POR +st
3 Marco Tizza (GM Europa Ovini) ITA +st
4 Gustavo César Veloso (W52-FC Porto) ESP +st
5 Rinaldo Nocentini (Sporting-Tavira) ITA +st
6 Krists Neilands (Israel Cycling Academy) LAT +st
7 Fabian Lienhard (Team Vorarlberg) SUI +3"
8 Raúl Alarcón García (W52-FC Porto) ESP +st
9 César Fonte (LA-Metalusa Blackjack) POR +st
10 Alejandro Marque Porto (Sporting-Tavira) ESP +st

Edit: updated GC, just the queen stage and the ITT to come:
1 Raúl Alarcón García (W52-FC Porto) ESP
2 Vicente García de Mateos Rubio (Louletano-Hospital de Loulé) ESP +14"
3 Rinaldo Nocentini (Sporting-Tavira) ITA +19"
4 Gustavo César Veloso (W52-FC Porto) ESP +26"
5 Amaro Antunes (W52-FC Porto) POR +34"
6 João Benta (Rádio Popular-Boavista) POR +1'35"
7 António Carvalho (W52-FC Porto) POR +1'58"
8 Henrique Casimiro (Efapel) POR +2'08"
9 Sérgio Paulinho (Efapel) POR +st
10 Alejandro Marque Porto (Sporting-Tavira) ESP +st
 
He still could from here, even if they all come in together tomorrow. The important thing tomorrow will be that Nocentini, Marque, García de Mateos, Paulinho, Benta, Casimiro and co need to break the rhythm of the W52 machine on Torre. If Balarcón falters, W52 will have a small window of uncertainty over whether to protect him or to cast free the others. I don't think, seeing as he's been attacking for bonus seconds, that César is going to lay down and play helper lightly, so Balarcón has to be strong to lay down the law to his more experienced teammate. And in Antunes he has a climbing beast who doesn't have the TT weapon, too.

The ideal would be for early attacks to split W52's forces in two, leaving us with a group up the road with García de Mateos, Nocentini, Marque, Paulinho, de la Fuente, and some other fairly strong riders who've had good races, like Mikel Bizkarra or Krists Neilands (there need to be some useful all-round engines, some domestiques, and some real threats) in a group that W52 has only been able to monitor with secondary names, or maybe Antunes, with César and Alarcón back with the bunch. In fairness to him Rui Sousa is a key candidate to initiate such a move. The Loulé, Sporting and Efapel guys are not going to dethrone W52 from the heads of state group so they need to do it another way, like João Cabreira and Nuno Ribeiro in 2009 or Hernâni Broco and Rui Sousa in 2010. And crucially, they've got to be the first to make the move otherwise they're going to be stomped into oblivion if they can't prise a few of the names out of that blue and white train.
 
Jun 30, 2014
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W52 kinda helped Rui Sousa to get a stage win by not pulling full force and then you had Alarcon and Veloso hugging him at the finish line, so we could see him returning the favour by helping them tomorrow, I'm not saying that It's gonna go down exactly like that, but it wouldn't be the biggest surprise.
A big attack by Marque would put a lot of pressure on W52 because of his TT skills and Nocentini could sit on their wheels.
 
Re:

Libertine Seguros said:
He still could from here, even if they all come in together tomorrow. The important thing tomorrow will be that Nocentini, Marque, García de Mateos, Paulinho, Benta, Casimiro and co need to break the rhythm of the W52 machine on Torre. If Balarcón falters, W52 will have a small window of uncertainty over whether to protect him or to cast free the others. I don't think, seeing as he's been attacking for bonus seconds, that César is going to lay down and play helper lightly, so Balarcón has to be strong to lay down the law to his more experienced teammate. And in Antunes he has a climbing beast who doesn't have the TT weapon, too.

The ideal would be for early attacks to split W52's forces in two, leaving us with a group up the road with García de Mateos, Nocentini, Marque, Paulinho, de la Fuente, and some other fairly strong riders who've had good races, like Mikel Bizkarra or Krists Neilands (there need to be some useful all-round engines, some domestiques, and some real threats) in a group that W52 has only been able to monitor with secondary names, or maybe Antunes, with César and Alarcón back with the bunch. In fairness to him Rui Sousa is a key candidate to initiate such a move. The Loulé, Sporting and Efapel guys are not going to dethrone W52 from the heads of state group so they need to do it another way, like João Cabreira and Nuno Ribeiro in 2009 or Hernâni Broco and Rui Sousa in 2010. And crucially, they've got to be the first to make the move otherwise they're going to be stomped into oblivion if they can't prise a few of the names out of that blue and white train.
Indeed. But Torre should have been climbed twice.That way Antunes could have unleashed hell. The stage looks very easy for W52 now. Marque and Garcia de Mateos should go big tomorrow.
 
Aug 1, 2016
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Re: 79ª Volta a Portugal em Bicicleta (4 a 15 de Agosto de 2

I don't really think anybody has the ability of dethroning W52 today. Nocentini is more likely to being dropped than to ride away from the W52 train. A 20 km climb like Torre never suited his abilities. Garcia de Mateos is not also a pure climber.

We will really miss Joni Bradao for today's stage. He would have put on a show as he did last year.

I expect W52 to control. Alarcón should try something if he has the legs, Veloso is only 27" away now and, being fastest than him, he could pick some bonus seconds and a few more in the finish if there are attacks/splits (likely to happen).
 
Re: 79ª Volta a Portugal em Bicicleta (4 a 15 de Agosto de 2

Amaro Antunes goes clear as Veloso gets dropped with Antonio Carvalho trying to pace him back.

83km to go :D

Update: Veloso dropped by Carvalho, his own team mate. Veloso left alone by his team, classy.

Update: And Alarcon goes after Antunes. I wonder why the hell did Carvalho dropped Veloso if it wasn't to be close to Alarcon.

Update: Antunes connects with Mestre at the front. They're pulling as Alarcon is trying to get there. Carvalho back in the main group without Veloso.

Update: Mestre and Antunes waiting for Alarcon now. The group lead by Sporting is closing on them with Nocentini; Paulinho suffering in that group.

Update: Carvalho tries to go from the Sporting/De Mateos group with Casimiro, to connect with Alarcon/Antunes/Mestre/Neilands at the front.
 
Only 1min for the Alarcon/Antunes group. Still 75km to the finish. I think Sporting has this under control, the run in suits riders like De Mateos and Nocentini if they don't run out of power to chase.
 

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