La Vuelta '17 stage 3:Prades Conflent>Andorra la Vella 158km

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Aug 16, 2013
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Nibali: As expected, psyhically speaken not at his best anymore. But the guy has so much experience and toughness.

De la Cruz: Absolute monster. He really shows he's up there with the elite guys.

Froome: As always really solid. The big favorite atm with that long flat ITT and a strong Sky train

Bardet: Really good atm, but i think he will falter in the 2nd part of this Vuelta

Aru: I admire the guy. So much fighting spirit. Podium candidate for sure

Chavito: The big challenger of Froome. Normally he should be stronger in the final week, but it will be tough to take out 3 minutes for the ITT

Pozzovivo: rock solid as always

Contador: It's over

Majka: Really disappointing

Zakarin: Same

Kruijswijk: Got one chance to win a GT, blew it

Lopez: I still think he will challenge for top-5
 
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Max Rockatansky said:
portugal11 said:
Movistar is completely dead...
Only riders left are Moreno and Bananito. Young guys like Soler, Fernandez and Carapaz already completely gone after three days. They desperately need a stage win here. Quick sign Alarcon and let him ride as Arcas. :redface:

And they are having an awful transfer period, too. Losing all their firepower. Really bad.
Regarding Carapaz, I'm not sure what people were expecting. It's his first pro year, first GT, he finished where he should be. After all, his best WT race of the season was Romandie, where he was good but not impressive.

A realistic goal for him at the start would be to lose time early and try to get a good result from a break on week 2 or 3.
 
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Dekker_Tifosi said:
Well didn't expect that. Froome looks already to be the strongest. Much difference than his previous Tour/Vuelta combo's were he seemed to be going in slowly.
He definitely looked the strongest today. But not by a huge margin. I thought he'd really ride away from the group but Chavez sucked...er, held...his wheel. Still he's in command right now, a comfortable position for Sky. The next stage with GC implications could come as early as Wednesday, with a bunch of cat. 2 climbs and a short uphill finish. If not, then Saturday at Xorret de Cati...
 
Oct 10, 2015
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Dekker_Tifosi said:
Geraint Too Fast said:
HelloDolly said:
So all those hyping Kelderman, Allaphillipe, Soler, Fernandez, Betencur...have a serious talk with yourself please ...
Look out everybody, the fun police is here.
Heh.

But in all honoustly, I expected Kelderman to be lower end top 10. Or at least to hang with the group at +30s from the heads of state. This was seriously bad from him. In fact, all the Tour of Poland guys sucked except for Nibali.

Where was Majka?
Pozzovivo also raced in Poland and did well today, Adam Yates wasn't far off either.
 
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Dekker_Tifosi said:
Geraint Too Fast said:
HelloDolly said:
So all those hyping Kelderman, Allaphillipe, Soler, Fernandez, Betencur...have a serious talk with yourself please ...
Look out everybody, the fun police is here.
Heh.

But in all honoustly, I expected Kelderman to be lower end top 10. Or at least to hang with the group at +30s from the heads of state. This was seriously bad from him. In fact, all the Tour of Poland guys sucked except for Nibali.

Where was Majka?
And TJVG :D
 
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Dekker_Tifosi said:
Geraint Too Fast said:
HelloDolly said:
So all those hyping Kelderman, Allaphillipe, Soler, Fernandez, Betencur...have a serious talk with yourself please ...
Look out everybody, the fun police is here.
Heh.

But in all honoustly, I expected Kelderman to be lower end top 10. Or at least to hang with the group at +30s from the heads of state. This was seriously bad from him. In fact, all the Tour of Poland guys sucked except for Nibali.

Where was Majka?
Pozzovivo and Van Garderen did good.
 
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Alexandre B. said:
Arredondo said:
Bardet: Really good atm, but i think he will falter in the 2nd part of this Vuelta

Aru: I admire the guy. So much fighting spirit. Podium candidate for sure
Enlighten me, because I fail to see many differences between their abilities. Bookies seem to share your thoughts.
There's a 40km ITT, Aru is basically an average TT'er for an elite climber, whereas Bardet is the very definition of TT'ing excrement.
 
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portugal11 said:
carolina said:
portugal11 said:
This isn't the giro nibali... here you face the best gt man of the planet. Overachiever little bastard!
LOL

That's what you get by overestimating lo squalo!
Nibali is a clown. And yes he is overachiever, can't even know how he won today. I will wait for angliru, that climb never lies!
I hope he proves you wrong again. You know nothing, portugal11.
 
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Red Rick said:
Alexandre B. said:
Arredondo said:
Bardet: Really good atm, but i think he will falter in the 2nd part of this Vuelta

Aru: I admire the guy. So much fighting spirit. Podium candidate for sure
Enlighten me, because I fail to see many differences between their abilities. Bookies seem to share your thoughts.
There's a 40km ITT, Aru is basically an average TT'er for an elite climber, whereas Bardet is the very definition of TT'ing excrement.
Doesn't it (also) have to do with Aru being a former winner and Bardet racing here for the first time?
 
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liamito said:
Red Rick said:
Alexandre B. said:
Arredondo said:
Bardet: Really good atm, but i think he will falter in the 2nd part of this Vuelta

Aru: I admire the guy. So much fighting spirit. Podium candidate for sure
Enlighten me, because I fail to see many differences between their abilities. Bookies seem to share your thoughts.
There's a 40km ITT, Aru is basically an average TT'er for an elite climber, whereas Bardet is the very definition of TT'ing excrement.
Doesn't it (also) have to do with Aru being a former winner and Bardet racing here for the first time?
A little bit? Aru is probably slightly more established as a GT contender and especially as a man who can contend 2 GTs in a season (though he did Giro-Vuelta back then)
 
Very entertaining stage, as expected with such a good route.

Froome looked amazing on the accelerations, but couldn't really make a difference. Chaves was on his wheel and Bardet/Aru 5-6 seconds behind on top of the climb.

Nibali rode smart, I don't think he popped, he just can't follow any accelerations. He didn't look like someone who popped in the final km, quite the opposite. He also started the last climb in a terrible position and had to come back by himself.
I'm very surprised by De La Cruz and TJVG, they climbed with the very best. Also Pozzovivo keeps his great season going.

I voted for Chaves in the pre race poll, and now I'm convinced he can do it. He's very fresh. The TdF guys might fade at some point, and he could benefit from some Contador/Nibali madness in the third week.
 
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Max Rockatansky said:
portugal11 said:
Movistar is completely dead...
Only riders left are Moreno and Bananito. Young guys like Soler, Fernandez and Carapaz already completely gone after three days. They desperately need a stage win here. Quick sign Alarcon and let him ride as Arcas. :redface:

And they are having an awful transfer period, too. Losing all their firepower. Really bad.
Surely these guys are just looking to stage hunt. They were clearly not at the level for a GC battle on this kind of parcours, so much better for them to target stages to test themselves against the best. Moreno will probably finish low down in the top 10 without showing much on TV - that will look OK on the results sheet and get some WT points. Then the young guys will try to get the camera time in breaks and going for stage wins, maybe even go for the team classification. It's about all a relatively small budget team like Movistar can hope for if their two big stars are both absent.
 
3 questions:

-What was that stupid tactic from UAE on the last 20km?
-Noticed Froome had a gel on his hand right on the foot of the last climb? Don't know if he threw or took it but defo a weird timing to have it.
-Poels was surprisingly useless on the last climb. Did he work on the cat.1?

Edit: Nibali todays perf reminds me that day on the Giro when he "popped" but then literally TT'ed back and did more than limiting the loss.
 
Jul 16, 2011
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hfer07 said:
on Froome:
The fact that he sprinted for the intermediate time bonuses, the fact that he attacked viciously to gain the most advantage possible to his competitors so early in the race -those facts signal to me he feels in desperate need to make huge chunks of of time before he starts to fade towards the last week ....?
I don't think that Froome's riding today gives us any other information, apart from the fact that he's very strong now. How strong he is in the final week remains to be seen.

At the sprint, the group was reasonably spread out and Froome was at the front. Going for it was low hanging fruit and comes from his nature, rather than being desperate. As for the attack, I was rather surprised, but if he was feeling strong then why not try? It wasn't a long range effort, he gained information about who is strong at the moment and it's not like he's suddenly going to be marked when he wasn't before. I don't think he used up a huge amount of energy, especially as tomorrow he can hide in the peloton. It was going to be a sprint from a small group, so it was quite likely that he would lose a few seconds to one or two of his rivals. He lost 3 seconds to Nibali and gained time on everybody else. I'm sure he's happy with that.

On the other hand, the fact that Nibali has gained time in the last couple of stages, although not being as strong, is informative. In recent GTs, Nibali has always been (relatively) strongest at the end. Of course, the TT is to Froome's advantage.

Chavez is obviously another to look out for. As others have stated, he is relatively fresh and Orica have a few cards up their sleeve. Unfortunately, the TT is a bigger problem for him.

p.s. Moscon is a monster not a tractor.
 
Rubén Fernández is 26, not exactly a young star, and only one year younger than Nairito. He's the only one of whom Unzué will have placed any responsibility on GC-wise. Abarcá always leave their young guns with the freedom to lose time early on, and that's what Soler and Carapaz have done. Quintana did that in his breakout 2012 Vuelta. It's just that for once they don't have any GC leader here.

I reckon Soler and Carapaz are allowed to lose time here just to test recovery and have some freedom to go for stages later in the race. I wouldn't be surprised if Marc targets the GPM as the race goes on. Moreno will be their man who bails out the GC ambitions, probably by riding à la Zubeldia to finish about 8th. And Carlos Betancur was only a minute down ;)

I am pretty pessimistic about a GC mix including both Yates twins, Rui Costa, Tejay van Garderen and the black hole void that is Louis Meintjes. Save us, Kamaz, save us.
 

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