Radioshack Fail

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May 3, 2010
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Libertine Seguros said:
Since Radioshack have been excluded from the Vuelta, does anybody else think they should go and ride the Volta a Portugal instead? It's a 2.HC race (or at least was, it might have been downgraded this year because of the lack of top teams racing it), and it's the longest race in Europe outside of the GTs. It features a couple of major MTFs and at least one further smaller MTF, two ITTs (a prologue and a longer closing TT) and some flat stages. It takes place in August, so riders who weren't on the Tour team could peak for it, and with the defending champion being David Blanco, and with the likes of Santiago Pérez, Constantino Zaballa, David Bernabéu and with other teams and riders excluded from the upper echelons wanting to take part (Rasmussen talked of targeting it pre-season, Sinkewitz was in last year's top 10, Ceramica Flaminia have expressed interest), surely the Hog's team would be in good company?
Makes sense to me. They could even send a portuguese rider, Tiago Machado, to go for GC. Might be somewhat of a consolation prize for the guys missing the tour and the vuelta. I am sure zubeldia is bummed to miss the tour and could put some anger into the pedals.
 
offbyone said:
Makes sense to me. They could even send a portuguese rider, Tiago Machado, to go for GC. Might be somewhat of a consolation prize for the guys missing the tour and the vuelta. I am sure zubeldia is bummed to miss the tour and could put some anger into the pedals.
Ahh yes the infamous Tiago Machado. The guy who once followed Contador in a early season race for all of 7.64 seconds. Then suddenly touted as the “next big thing” by the RS fanbase. Yes he could be the man to win the Vuelta based on an 7.64 seconds performance in February. Understandable. You guys had nothing to cheer about all season so when spluttering Machado put the hammer down for all of those seconds you had to clap and cheer. Based on this theory there are probably 200 riders who could win the Vuelta. For what of them? None the less I’m sure Tiago will be given lots of opportunity at Radioshack to shine ;-)
 
offbyone said:
Makes sense to me. They could even send a portuguese rider, Tiago Machado, to go for GC. Might be somewhat of a consolation prize for the guys missing the tour and the vuelta. I am sure zubeldia is bummed to miss the tour and could put some anger into the pedals.
Machado's won the best young rider the last three years running too. I was being flippant about the race's tendency to be dominated by ex-Puerto names in recent years, which has kept away a lot of the top-level competition, but Lampre used it as Vuelta prep last year, and it's effective, 10 days in the searing heat of Portugal in August.
 
May 3, 2010
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Libertine Seguros said:
Machado's won the best young rider the last three years running too. I was being flippant about the race's tendency to be dominated by ex-Puerto names in recent years, which has kept away a lot of the top-level competition, but Lampre used it as Vuelta prep last year, and it's effective, 10 days in the searing heat of Portugal in August.
I really like that length of race. 10 days allows them to have quite a variety of stages.
 
issoisso said:
Ah yes, Team Puerto riders. Why do they all wear different jerseys, again?
It's all about getting around the UCI regulations on how many riders are allowed on a team ;)

For the record, the Volta's actually one of my absolute favourite races, but there's no denying that its most successful names in recent years include much clinic material. Actually, that's unfair - I don't know if there's any dirt on Cândido Barbosa, who has something like 6 points jerseys out of the last 7 Voltas.
 
Mar 31, 2010
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the volta portugal is one of the best races every year and I watch every day. I will never forget david blanco in volta portugal 2008 how with his gontchar gears he destroyed the whole field on a mountaintop finish with minutes. they were all doped to the sky's especially candido barbosa who with 172 and 72 kg is more of a sprinter than mcewen but all of a sudden in august he could climb like the devil. to me much spectacle although it's best for portugese cycling that since last year they have seriously tightened doping controls and are testing on cera.
 
Cândido Barbosa, to be fair, has been on the podium for the Volta 3 times, 2nd in 2005 and 2007 and 3rd in 2006. He only managed 25th last year, but he is 36 now.

I think this year it's going to be the Alto da Torre the first weekend, and the Alto da Sra da Graça the second. It's always a fun race, but there are fewer native teams around this time, they're ever-dwindling it seems, though Liberty Seguros are said to be thinking of upgrading their amateur team to Pro status because they're gluttons for punishment.

early August is nice; because of the day's timings, you can use the flattish Tour de Pologne as an apéritif, the Vuelta a Burgos as an hors d'oeuvre, and then settle down to the Volta a Portugal.
 
Mar 31, 2010
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yeah portugese cycling has taken some hits with economic crisis. used to be many more native teams. I wish they would invite 1 or 2 brazilian teams like scott and fapi funvic.
 

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