Itzulia Basque Country 2021, Spain, April 5 - April 10

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He just needs a little bit more top end on the climbs. But if you step back a bit, he was going against the 2 strongest GT riders in the world plus GT podium favorites like Carapaz Valverde, Yates, Landa, Carthy etc. I don't think McNulty should just throw in the towel on winning stage races but take a close look at his preparations and energy expenditure and see where he could do better.
I definitely didn't say 'throw in the towel'.
 
I cheer for USAers first, but I cheer for all exciting riders no mater their place of birth.
I cheer for riders I like:) Often it’s a stylistic thing like climbing style, but also might be because of a particular stunning performance when I was first getting to “know” a particular rider. I probably pay a little extra attention to U.S. riders, but that doesn’t make them my favs, in fact some I root against. The exception is that I do root for riders from my area—especially if I’ve seen them race locally. Right now that would be Clara Honsinger on the cross WC races, and in the past Tyler Farrar and a few others.
 
Instead I'm still dreaming of a world where Danes cheer for Slovenians, Slovenians for Frenchmen, Frenchmen for Colombians and Colombians for Belgians. But sometimes in this forum I'm losing hope.
I was thinking that Gaudu looked good, and sort of hoping he would win the stage because he just seems like a nice guy.
As for the GC; sure, would have been cool if Vingegaard had somehow gotten away win it all, but we got our win in this race.
 
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I cheer for riders I like:) Often it’s a stylistic thing like climbing style, but also might be because of a particular stunning performance when I was first getting to “know” a particular rider. I probably pay a little extra attention to U.S. riders, but that doesn’t make them my favs, in fact some I root against. The exception is that I do root for riders from my area—especially if I’ve seen them race locally. Right now that would be Clara Honsinger on the cross WC races, and in the past Tyler Farrar and a few others.
We might be neighbors :). I raced against Tyler a bit when he was on his way up, and I was on my way out (I was going to say down, but that would imply that I was up at some point). He was a really nice kid!

EDIT: One time he asked if it was OK if he attacked our lead group to get a little extra work in. He crush our group for an hour, but pulled over at the 1K banner to let the old guys fight it out for the win.

I don't root against anybody. I have a lot of negative sh*t in my life so I try to stay positive about cycling (even though I slip on that).
 
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The moment the race was lost:



I take it the Ineos rider that let the gap go is Yates? (with Vingegaard on his wheel).
From what I can make of it, the order of riders are:

Aranburu, Izagirre, Valverde, Gaudu, Fernandez, Roglic, Landa (who bridges across)
Geoghegan Hart, Vingegaard, Pogacar, McNulty, Chaves(?), Bilbao, Yates, and then someone from Ag2r I can't identify.

While Aranburu drills it immediately on the flat after the descent, there seems to be some hesitation in the group behind.
 
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Epic stage decided mainly on...descents and flat. Such short dynamic stages usually deliver! All was decided in the middle part of it. Roglic outsmarted UAE, who made two big mistakes.

  1. Smart move by Primoz on the descent from Elousa-Gorla, when he (and a few other strong guys) followed Astana's attack. Why neither of UAE top guys followed him? Mistake number one.
  2. Roglic's group joined the breakaway and suddenly top UAE guys found themselves losing ground against a strong group on flat! Hirschi worked, Poga did his turns but why didn't McNulty (a strong TT-ist) work? Riciculous. Did they think that he would catch Roglic and match Pogi in the carnage, which was just starting? This proved costly for Poga soon afterwards. Mistake number two.
  3. UAE started Krabelin almost 40'' behind Roglic's group and it was clear that Poga would go full gas there. McNulty was dropped soon and Poga was reducing the gap fast. At one point it was only about 10'' but he fell short. Maybe these 10'' wouldn't be missed had McNulty worked hard on the flat. Near the top of Krabelin Roglic started building the gap again and after the descent he was about a minute ahead of Poga. The gap fluctuated since then, Poga worked a lot but it was game over.
Congrats to Primoz on a great race today. Not the result I preferred but it was exciting.
 
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He was murdered today, he won't be thinking about GC for a while...
Might just be an issue of the types of climb though. I mean, somebody like Tejay van Garderen started out with some useful puncheur skills, but he neglected these as he aimed more for GC battles, aiming more at climbing endurance and so on, but largely found his best results restricted to those races with longer and more consistent climbs, so Catalunya was the only Spanish race he ever really showed up well at, and he was better suited to the Tour than the Giro or Vuelta and that's where his best results are. Later in his career he got back to being good at steeper stuff and had a great showing on Rettenbachferner for example, so it might just be that consistency is McNulty's issue or he hasn't yet figured which are the races that best suit his skillset to maximise his results. No shame in this at all.

I mean, it does kind of bail Jumbo out because it meant Thursday's tactical errors became irrelevant, but they weren't to know that. As I did say though, we as fans ought to be grateful for some of the classic Rabofail now that they have some of the strongest riders in the péloton, because it necessitates things like today. It doesn't vindicate Thursday, because Rogla had to go a lot deeper for the win today than he would have done otherwise and they could have had a much easier day of it since McNulty wound up not being a factor, but it does mean that they don't have to pay for their errors this time, and we the fans get a much better spectacle than had it been like the 2011 edition where everybody in the upper echelons of the GC was just happy to sprint up the classic side of Usartza, which this year would have seen it leading to a six man sprint for time bonuses, maybe 5 if Gaudu dropped but that seems unlikely given he and Rogla didn't lose a great deal of time on the climb and he wouldn't have been working so hard had he been just in the group and not with the win on the cards. Maybe we need to start begging for Jumbo to throw things away earlier in races rather than at the last minute like in Le Tour or Paris-Nice, because they're a lot more interesting when they are fighting from behind or when they have to rescue something from the race. Yes, even Sepp Kuss.
 
The truth is, the JV strategy was the best if they wanted to screw Pog. Not sure if revenge or anything but I'm sure TJV isn't a fan. No wonder Pog was upset because of their tactics, saying 'they made mistakes'. He knew he would probably get screwed by the fact that McNulty was leader. When Roglic went, Pog didn't follow because McNulty was still hanging. In tdf tho, this won't happen again.

I think Roglic was strong enough to survive any attacks today even without letting McNulty go away. What they achieved tho with this strategy is Vingegaard's 2nd place.
I think this is the correct analysis. Pog, moreover, was on the verge of entering the Roglic group on the descent, but, either because he was told at the time or following the morning plan, decided to wait to help McNuttley reach Roglic. Obviously the plan backfired and in hindsight UAE should have established in the pre-race morning that Pog rides for himself.

The other big problem for McNuttley. apart from getting dropped from Roglic on the descent, was that the next climb happened to have been the day's hardest and the American just couldn't handle the 17% gradients. At that point McNuttley's and Pogacar's fate were sealed.

I'm only disappointed that we did not get to see a mano a mano fight between Roglic and Pogacar on the last climb to the finish, which is what we certainly would have gotten had Pog been allowed to ride for himself. In the final analysis UAE gambled twice, first on the fourth stage when allowing McNuttley to attack to claim the leader's jersey and secondly in holding Pog back to help an ill-fated Brandon. When McNuttley lost 18 seconds to Pog and Roglic on stage 4 it now seems evident that the team should not have allowed to claim the yellow jersey, make Jumbo-Visma defend it and invest all leadership in Pogacar.
 
Who? TVG? Occasionally. Horner? Occasionally. Farrah? Occasionally. I'm tossing the entire USPS, Discovery team obviously. If I'm forgetting someone, he was forgettable or I've gone brain dead which is possible :).
Yah, my brain fails me by the minute so there is that! :eek: Yes, those you mentioned. Even though they weren't world beaters, many of the USAers on the early Vaughters teams were fun to cheer for (Z, VV, McC...etc.). Julich, T Ham, Floyd for a while...anyway offtopic for this thread sorry...
 
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I think this is the correct analysis. Pog, moreover, was on the verge of entering the Roglic group on the descent, but, either because he was told at the time or following the morning plan, decided to wait to help McNuttley reach Roglic. Obviously the plan backfired and in hindsight UAE should have established in the pre-race morning that Pog rides for himself.

The other big problem for McNuttley. apart from getting dropped from Roglic on the descent, was that the next climb happened to have been the day's hardest and the American just couldn't handle the 17% gradients. At that point McNuttley's and Pogacar's fate were sealed.

I'm only disappointed that we did not get to see a mano a mano fight between Roglic and Pogacar on the last climb to the finish, which is what we certainly would have gotten had Pog been allowed to ride for himself. In the final analysis UAE gambled twice, first on the fourth stage when allowing McNuttley to attack to claim the leader's jersey and secondly in holding Pog back to help an ill-fated Brandon. When McNuttley lost 18 seconds to Pog and Roglic on stage 4 it now seems evident that the team should not have allowed to claim the yellow jersey, make Jumbo-Visma defend it and invest all leadership in Pogacar.
Meanwhile, why was McNulty so far back on that descent in the first place, why didn't he crest with the first? Not feeling good uphill?
 
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Oh, we Slovenians love Roglic so much that in case Pogacar group would catch him, in some twisted way even Vingegaard's victory would be more acceptable than Pogacar's for some people here.
Yes, crazy, I know ... but sadly not far from the truth. :disappointed:
I don't know from which part of Slovenia are you from, because everyone I know cheers for both of them. Sure most of them slightly prefer Roglič, but only because he is older. They think that Pogačar will have plenty opportunities to win in the future.
 
The last image of the bunch before the Astana attack have UAE at the front with Majka and Ulissi with Pogacar and McNulty behind them. Then we see Carapaz drill the descent in the break, and back to the bunch at the very top of the climb, Astana suddenly moves very quickly to the front to take the lead on the descent:





The order on the descent is decided in maybe less than 10''. On the second image, the riders ahead of Hart gets away, the rest stay behind.
 

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