Lesser known races thread 2022

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Molenaar derserved the win. If Osborne is driving like crazy he has every right to be on his wheel. I guess Osborne wanted to show that he can hold of a chasing bunch on his own and show how much power he has. If I had to sign one rider out of the two I would definitely go for Osborne. Molenaar was smart and a bit lucky here.

Strava Osborne:

120km, NP 360
Last 30km, 385 km Watt (normalized probably over 400)
 
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Meanwhile Sapurna aren't allowed to compete because they didn't pay an anti-doping testing fee to the UCI in time.
https://www.nst.com.my/sports/cycling/2022/10/838904/world-body-ban-sapura-ltdl?fbclid=IwAR0uuLPJ6opKkDvO4QXynZdRRILOnb9EoLsFShWMxsm2af2t7ldX8aFuGpA

No Cleano, no party...
but they are getting prepared! :cool:

 
Vuelta a Guatemala, one of the coolest small races around, got kicked off today. Lots of climbing, confetti, fireworks and huge crowds are the norm for the race, and I always enjoy seeing a bit of this insular but excitable scene and really hope that they can find some home success to spur them on after the hard work done to try to save the reputation of Guatemaltecan cycling. No TT this year so it's probably going to be purely a climber's race.

The race starts with a long (for the race - 164km so fairly standard pro race distance in the WT but quite long for Central American cycling) stage with a cat.3 climb just over 10km out; stage 2 ought to be a sprint, but stage 3 has 3,6km at 9,7% at 10km from home, another cat.3 climb 5km from home, and then a final ramp of 600m at 16% (!!!). Stage 4 is a monster with essentially a step after step uphill run from a long and traditional style cat.1 climb early on (12km at 6,5%), there are back to back Vuelta specials close to the finish with 3,4km @ 11% at 13km from home and 4,5km @ 12% at 4km from the line - should be savage. Stage 5 is around Esquipulas Palo Gordo (they will be so glad not to climb the Cuesta, 25km at 7,5% of severity, one of the hardest climbs ever used in pro racing, at least outside of the WT level) - some hilly circuits are followed by low gradient climbing and then a punchy uphill finish, but this time only at around 5%. Stage 6 is the traditional Cerro El Baul uphill finish in Quetzaltenango, coming after an endless grind to the Alto de Almalonga - broken up into four separate climbs by the organisers but overall totalling 42km at 5% for over 2000m of vertical from Kalel El Zarco, cresting 7km from the line with the short uphill and then plateau to the traditional finish afterward. Stage 7 is a flat finish after a cat.4 climb 5km out, but it's the 5km at 10,6% 39km from home that will make the difference. Stages 8 and 9 feature a bunch of climbing (steeper in 8, more gradual in 9) but none near the finish, so moves to make time will need to be from afar, while stage 10 is the traditional circuit race in Ciudad de Guatemala.

All the domestic favourites are here, including defending champ Mardoqueo Vásquez, and Sérgio Chumil fresh from his exploits on the Spanish amateur calendar; the Toc Xon brothers are also on the super strong Hino One-La Red team. The likes of Álex Julajuj, Alfredo Ajpacajá, Dorian Monterroso, Henry Sam, Eduardo Orozco and Jhonnatán de León give good domestic opposition, while other Central American challengers will include Honduran Luís Fernando López, Brandon Rodríguez from El Salvador, and the Panamanians Christofer Jurado, Alex Strah and Franklin Archibold. There are also teams from Mexico (including Miguel Arroyo and Efrén Santos), Colombia (including Julián Osorio and Brandon Rojas) and Ecuador (two Continental teams, with the likes of Santiago Montenegro, Cristián Toro, Wilson Haro and Robinson Chalapud), as well as an anomalous Dutch squad. Jahir Pérez and Cristián Cubides are also a couple of Colombian talents moonlighting on the Guatemalan teams.

Chalapud won stage 1, with 3 seconds over Franklin Archibold and 4 over the main other favourites, with Chumil, Vásquez, Monterroso, Cubides, Sam and Pérez among those in that group. The main bunch lost a few more seconds, coming at +13".
 
Vuelta a Guatemala, one of the coolest small races around, got kicked off today. Lots of climbing, confetti, fireworks and huge crowds are the norm for the race, and I always enjoy seeing a bit of this insular but excitable scene and really hope that they can find some home success to spur them on after the hard work done to try to save the reputation of Guatemaltecan cycling. No TT this year so it's probably going to be purely a climber's race.

The race starts with a long (for the race - 164km so fairly standard pro race distance in the WT but quite long for Central American cycling) stage with a cat.3 climb just over 10km out; stage 2 ought to be a sprint, but stage 3 has 3,6km at 9,7% at 10km from home, another cat.3 climb 5km from home, and then a final ramp of 600m at 16% (!!!). Stage 4 is a monster with essentially a step after step uphill run from a long and traditional style cat.1 climb early on (12km at 6,5%), there are back to back Vuelta specials close to the finish with 3,4km @ 11% at 13km from home and 4,5km @ 12% at 4km from the line - should be savage. Stage 5 is around Esquipulas Palo Gordo (they will be so glad not to climb the Cuesta, 25km at 7,5% of severity, one of the hardest climbs ever used in pro racing, at least outside of the WT level) - some hilly circuits are followed by low gradient climbing and then a punchy uphill finish, but this time only at around 5%. Stage 6 is the traditional Cerro El Baul uphill finish in Quetzaltenango, coming after an endless grind to the Alto de Almalonga - broken up into four separate climbs by the organisers but overall totalling 42km at 5% for over 2000m of vertical from Kalel El Zarco, cresting 7km from the line with the short uphill and then plateau to the traditional finish afterward. Stage 7 is a flat finish after a cat.4 climb 5km out, but it's the 5km at 10,6% 39km from home that will make the difference. Stages 8 and 9 feature a bunch of climbing (steeper in 8, more gradual in 9) but none near the finish, so moves to make time will need to be from afar, while stage 10 is the traditional circuit race in Ciudad de Guatemala.

All the domestic favourites are here, including defending champ Mardoqueo Vásquez, and Sérgio Chumil fresh from his exploits on the Spanish amateur calendar; the Toc Xon brothers are also on the super strong Hino One-La Red team. The likes of Álex Julajuj, Alfredo Ajpacajá, Dorian Monterroso, Henry Sam, Eduardo Orozco and Jhonnatán de León give good domestic opposition, while other Central American challengers will include Honduran Luís Fernando López, Brandon Rodríguez from El Salvador, and the Panamanians Christofer Jurado, Alex Strah and Franklin Archibold. There are also teams from Mexico (including Miguel Arroyo and Efrén Santos), Colombia (including Julián Osorio and Brandon Rojas) and Ecuador (two Continental teams, with the likes of Santiago Montenegro, Cristián Toro, Wilson Haro and Robinson Chalapud), as well as an anomalous Dutch squad. Jahir Pérez and Cristián Cubides are also a couple of Colombian talents moonlighting on the Guatemalan teams.

Chalapud won stage 1, with 3 seconds over Franklin Archibold and 4 over the main other favourites, with Chumil, Vásquez, Monterroso, Cubides, Sam and Pérez among those in that group. The main bunch lost a few more seconds, coming at +13".
Damn, that's a hard route.

Kinda surprised that not a single European pro team gave Archibold a chance after his 15th place on the gc in the Tour de l'Avenir with the UCI team at the age of 21.
 
First mountain stage today and the gaps are already opening up, with veteran Colombian mercenary Wilmar Jahír Pérez (here riding for Cerámica Castelli-ASO Quetzaltenango) taking the stage win and the yellow jersey with a 19 second lead over defending champion Mardóqueo Vásquez, and Sérgio Chumil the only other finisher within a minute. Surprisingly enough, 36-year-old Julián Yak was the next best Guatemalan after the two Hino One-La Red riders, with Santiago Montenegro and the two Mexicans, Jorge Ramírez and Efrén Santos, the next to the line. Archibold and Robinson Chalapud lost a little over two minutes so drop down the order, just ahead of Hino One's own Colombian mercenary, Cristián Cubides.
 
Have just realised that the stage 4 finale is around Lago Atitlán and is the same as I used in my Vuelta a Guatemala in the Race Design Thread, although I included a bunch more rolling and an uphill finish rather than finishing so close to the climb.



Hino One-La Red took control of the race with Mardóqueo Vásquez taking stage honours and the yellow jersey, and Sérgio Chumil in 2nd ahead of overnight leader Jahír Pérez.

Full stream!!!

Mardóqueo finished solo with over 2 minutes' advantage, with Chumil sitting on the yellow jersey before outsprinting him for second on the day. Wilson Haro was 4th, after losing time on stage 3, while 19-year-old Colombian espoir Paulo Pantoja managed 5th - two top 10s in a row - as the last rider within 5 minutes. A bit of a group at the 6 minute mark including Esdras Morales, Luís Fernando López and Jimmy Montenegro as the time gaps get pretty herculean.
 
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Only a few seconds between the favourites on stage 5, Ispache and Haro stealing a few seconds at the line from the top GC group who all finished together, that being Vásquez, Chumil, Montenegro and Pérez. Robinson Chalapud lost 15 minutes on stage 4 over the Aldea Xojolá climb so was allowed to escape, taking back 2 minutes and finishing solo as cabeza de carrera to pull back to the bottom end of the top 10.
 
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Mardóqueo Vásquez put the capper on his dominance of the mountains in Guatemala; having won over the shorter but extremely steep back to back climbs in stage 4, he followed that up by winning at Cerro El Baúl, a short punchy ascent just after a 40km at 5% grind up to the Alto de Zunil, a classic and traditional climb in the race. The gaps weren't huge - Wilmar Jahír Pérez was 24 seconds behind the defending champion, and the Ecuadorian pair of Santi Montenegro and Wilson Haro were at +39", but after Pantoja and the Mexican Jorge Ramírez, there was quite the gap down to Efrén Santos at three and a half minutes.

Notice a GC name missing? Yep, Sérgio Chumil, the young prospect dropped over five minutes on the day and was towed in by teammate Esdras González, behind the Panamanians Franklin Archibold and Randish Lorenzo as well, and falls to fifth on the GC. This also means that Vásquez assumes unchallenged leadership within Hino One-La Red. Sadly Luís Fernando López, the Honduran on the Opticas Deluxe team who has had some strong showings in Central America and even at races like the Vuelta a Colombia, crashed out today. He had been lying 7th on the GC.

Overall therefore now Vásquez leads by 2'21 over Pérez, with Haro, Montenegro, Chumil and Pantoja in that order being between six and a half and nine minutes back.
 
The steep mid-climb stage proved decisive once more, but notably Santi Montenegro stayed away solo and clawed a minute back on the day to move into 3rd on the GC, after his compatriot Wilson Haro lost a few seconds at the line to the remains of the top 5, who all came in at +1'08. It looks like for the most part Mardóqueo is just going to shadow Pérez from here on in, Chumil managed to win the battle for 2nd and now has a comfortable lead over 6th place, and is just over a minute and a quarter back from the podium, so Hino One-La Red may try to get both of them onto the podium as long as they can keep Jahír Pérez at bay? Pantoja and Ramírez in 6th and 7th seem in splendid isolation, several minutes away from other competitors, but the two Guatemalans at 8th and 9th are separated by only a few seconds.
 
Have just realised that the stage 4 finale is around Lago Atitlán and is the same as I used in my Vuelta a Guatemala in the Race Design Thread, although I included a bunch more rolling and an uphill finish rather than finishing so close to the climb.



Hino One-La Red took control of the race with Mardóqueo Vásquez taking stage honours and the yellow jersey, and Sérgio Chumil in 2nd ahead of overnight leader Jahír Pérez.

Full stream!!!

Mardóqueo finished solo with over 2 minutes' advantage, with Chumil sitting on the yellow jersey before outsprinting him for second on the day. Wilson Haro was 4th, after losing time on stage 3, while 19-year-old Colombian espoir Paulo Pantoja managed 5th - two top 10s in a row - as the last rider within 5 minutes. A bit of a group at the 6 minute mark including Esdras Morales, Luís Fernando López and Jimmy Montenegro as the time gaps get pretty herculean.
That is a real depressing 60 hours in a cubicle excel spreadsheet type mountain profile (no offense) haha
 
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The race finished with a relatively quiet stretch as 1st and 2nd on the GC were pretty settled with a large gap and so Mardóqueo Vásquez was happy to just shadow Pérez and make sure nobody from 3rd to 5th gained too much time.

Stage 8 had some climbing in the first half but the second half of the stage was mostly flat, and the break was allowed to take this, with Panamanian leader Franklin Archibold escaping and launching a very long and comprehensive solo, finishing almost three minutes ahead of 2nd place. After some splintered breakaway riders came the bunch, although the two Ecuadorians fighting out the final spot on the podium, Wilson Haro and Santi Montenegro, did gain a few seconds over the yellow jersey - however neither of them were Jahír Pérez so he was happy enough to let them do that, gaining in increments of a few seconds doesn't matter when your lead is six and a half minutes.

Stage 9 followed a similar format, with a three man breakaway staying away and the main bunch finishing two and a half minutes later. Esdras Morales won for Hine One-La Red who had set him monitoring the break; they are the team of Vásquez and Chumil so were dominating the race - Morales was sitting 8th overall and sharing the break with two teammates for the Banco Guayaquil team - so it came down to a straight shootout as to which was more beneficial, sharing the load between two and pulling the one-two card, or sitting on all day because you're monitoring for the race leader's team. The answer, of course, was the latter on this occasion.

Finally on stage 10 came the only flat stage of the race, but even that didn't end up in a sprint, seeing as the GC was settled and why would sprinters be in this race in the first place? Decoba-ASO Quetzaltenango dominated the stage, taking the win with Dorián Monterroso and also with Henry Sam and Walter Escobar taking 3rd and 4th from the rest of the breakaway - Monterroso had got away solo after this time the numbers game told in the run-in. It looks like there was a crash in the sprint as well as we have a number of riders finishing later credited with +18" which is when the front of the péloton came in. The entire Hino One-La Red team came in losing 14" to avoid crashes and to get the photo op as they shepherded Mardóqueo Vásquez across the line to his second consecutive Vuelta a Guatemala triumph. He's been the best climber and Hino One have been the best team.



Final GC:
1 Juan Mardóqueo Vásquez Vásquez (Hino One-La Red) GUA 34'57'05
2 Wilmar Jahír Pérez (Cerámica Castelli-ASO Quetzaltenango) COL +2'07
3 Jimmy Santiago Montenegro Narvaez (Movistar-Best PC) ECU +6'16
4 Wilson Steven Haro Criollo (Team Banco Guayaquil-Ecuador) ECU +6'17
5 Sérgio Geovani Chumil González (Hino One-La Red) GUA +8'00
6 Paulo Pantoja Hidalgo (Movistar-Best PC) COL +12'33
7 Jorge Ramírez Florez (Mexico National) MEX +18'08
8 Esdras Donaldo Morales Pinzón (Hine One-La Red) GUA +21'11
9 Francisco Osweli González Sacalxot (Decoba-ASO Quetzaltenango) GUA +23'43
10 Franklin Erasmo Archibold Castillo (Panama es Cultura y Valores) PAN +25'17
 
Just looking at Procyclingstats and the Vuelta al Ecuador makes my legs hurt. Yesterday Robinson Chalapud won stage 3 which was more or less one single 120 km climb. The top ten scattered across a five-and-a-half minute gap.

Looks like quite the grind!

 
Just looking at Procyclingstats and the Vuelta al Ecuador makes my legs hurt. Yesterday Robinson Chalapud won stage 3 which was more or less one single 120 km climb. The top ten scattered across a five-and-a-half minute gap.

Looks like quite the grind!

Not to mention the altitude - the highest point ever reached in a European race is 2802 metres (Bonette), I'm pretty sure the entirety of stage 5 is higher than that. Even by Latin American standards, that's something special.

Qinghai Lake still beats that on a yearly basis, though
 
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Not to mention the altitude - the highest point ever reached in a European race is 2802 metres (Bonette), I'm pretty sure the entirety of stage 5 is higher than that. Even by Latin American standards, that's something special.

Qinghai Lake still beats that on a yearly basis, though
Yeah, but stage 5 enters Quinghai Lake territory.
I really like that route overall, a really hard race.
 
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Just looking at Procyclingstats and the Vuelta al Ecuador makes my legs hurt. Yesterday Robinson Chalapud won stage 3 which was more or less one single 120 km climb. The top ten scattered across a five-and-a-half minute gap.

Looks like quite the grind!

I used to live on that road: it goes right past my former door in Los Bancos where the sprint point is.
 
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