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Reflections on the 2009 Vuelta a Espana

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Rate the Vuelta...

  • 10

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    0
Mar 13, 2009
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brewerjeff said:
Rate Spain in September: Hot, dry and brown.

That's exactly how I feel! I've been to Spain many times, I know that there are many beautiful spots there ... but every year, I find that there is nothing but brown. The Tour and the Giro do such a good job showing off the beauty of their country, but the Vuelta is (sorry to say it so harshly) in my opinion very often just plain ugly.
 
There were too many successful breakaways,i don't remember a GT in recent years with such a high rate.
The other contenders' teams also allowed the escapees to stay clear during the mountain stages because they were afraid Valv.Piti will easily win the sprint for the 20 sec bonus,thing i won't argue.:D
The fact that only the last 2 men from the top 10 won a stage made the race look kind of strange.
I think a mountaintop finish before the Toledo TT would have been more appropriate,maybe atop the Navacerrada,or the Abantos,as they did in 2007.

I hope we'll get some Pyrenees next year,or at least the Asturias region.;)
 
Just to get the discussion away from the front end of the GC for a bit... I think that some recognition should go to Julian Dean's efforts this season. Doing it the hard way as a helper for his team mates for the most part but in doing so becoming the only rider in 2009 to finish all three Grand Tours. That's 63 stages, 10,000+ km in 135 days from day 1 of the Giro till today (plus a few one day and short stage races thrown inbetween)!!

He's basically raced at the top level every other day for nearly the last 5 months. That's epic.
 
Jun 16, 2009
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I gave a 7 for la vuelta. The tour on the other hand I gave a 4.
on the same thread in which i made for the tour de france the average rating for the tour was 5.5.
For the vuelta so far the average rating is 5.95. Interesting that people didn't find the vuelta that much better than the tour. i wonder what would of been the figures for the giro this year.
 
May 15, 2009
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Difficult to be unbiased as it's the first GT I've been to see.

Saw Moncoutie winning on the Sierra Nevada, which was excellent. Less excellent to see Evans adrift and Valverde cementing his lead though.
 
May 15, 2009
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Christian said:
That's exactly how I feel! I've been to Spain many times, I know that there are many beautiful spots there ... but every year, I find that there is nothing but brown. The Tour and the Giro do such a good job showing off the beauty of their country, but the Vuelta is (sorry to say it so harshly) in my opinion very often just plain ugly.

To be honest, I cannot disagree more.

And it's not like the Tour never goes through some very dull looking places.

That said, Sierra Nevada was all sunshine and blue skies until the Vuelta turned up, then it suddenly went grey. Maybe the clouds are following Valverde.
 
RhodriM said:
To be honest, I cannot disagree more.

And it's not like the Tour never goes through some very dull looking places.

That said, Sierra Nevada was all sunshine and blue skies until the Vuelta turned up, then it suddenly went grey. Maybe the clouds are following Valverde.

LOL, I was on Sierra Nevada also and had to put a jacket on when the race approached as it got a bit chilly.

The next day to La Pandera was even worse, it was beautiful in the morning when I left Granada and even when I got to La Pandera, but when I got up to the 5km mark from where I watched, a huge thunderstorm with huge lightning bolts passed over and I got wet. I was thinking, I am stuck halfway up a mountain and a thunderstorm is coming, great. It stayed overcast for the rest of the day.

The first time I visited Andalucia, I found the scenery a bit boring but I really enjoyed the scenery this time(maybe I needed a change from green Ireland) but I know from watching on TV, some parts can appear very dull.
 
2009 Vuelta

Let's face it if Valverde was not Spanish he would not have been allowed to race. Menchov never looked like losing the Giro until the final dramatic time trial and Contador was dominant in the Tour. Valverde was not a convincing winner and there were a lot of hard luck stories within the top 5 riders. Gesink bad fall, Evans puncture at the worst possible time, Sanchez and Mosquera rode well and also had some bad luck. Danielson was the one who finally looked like producing a great ride but illness once again got the better of him plus a fall. This time though the illness affected others on the team so it was nothing to do with Danielson being fragile or anything. I am not convinced that Valverde can win the Giro or Tour. The stages in the Vuelta are shorter, the time trials are shorter and as usual the Spanish teams help each other.

The business about banning dopers from one country and not another is a joke. Ban them from competing worldwide or not at all. Change the laws !Valverde may not have won a stage but time bonuses definitely helped him. Strangely enough the race was at it's most boring in the last five days which is usually the opposite in grand tours. It was too hard too early and only the battle for third place was of any interest towards the end.
 
I wonder who had the "Most Impressive Visible Schlong At The Vuelta":D
(anybody remember the tour thread on that?????)

We so should have had one of those for the vuelta. Ha Ha I'm so funny.;)

Maybe we should start one for the Worlds.:D Man I am on fire today.....


Anyway i thought the Vuelta was way better that the tour. The only time i really found myself cheering in the tour was when AC hit the accelerator on Arcalis and Verbier. Whilst i am not an LA hater i really didn't like the crud LA pulled during the tour.

The Vuelta on the other hand i found quite good and held my interest much more then the tour. I do agree though that the 3 mountain top finishes in a row was a bit much and made them ride more conservative. A rest day or something a little less mountainess might have helped.

The Vuelta i also believe had the potential to be so much better. Had some GC contenders not have had misfourtunes ie. Crashes, poor wheel changes etc, this race i believe had the possibility of being able to explode in the the last week.

Well thats my 2cents
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Highlights:

-Cunego's wins (Aitana; Pandera)
-Moncoutie's win (Sierra Nevada)
-Boom's (Cordoba) win and how he did it.
-Gesink's overall performance and aggressive riding style.
-Taaramae's parallell parking on Cati and Cesar winning the stage.
-Deignan & Kreuziger on a gloomy, rainy day in Spain, racing the cobbles against a beautiful background painted with turrets.
-Vacansoleil's overall performance, Bozic win, Hoogerland's GC position and 'combativity', Westra's passion.
-Hesjedal's win 'in extremis' on Velefique, and the 6s late charge from Gesink

Lows:
-Mass crash in Liege
-Distance spectators to the prologue parcours, although I liked the parcours
-Evans' mechanical, Mosquerra's, Gesink's Sanchez's crash affecting the GC a bit. Gerdeman's sloppy wheel change apparently causing him to crash in the descent.
-No stage wins for top (3) contenders.
-long line of cars blocking the road on the Cati

All in all, a 7 out of 10
 
I honestly was expecting more from the competitors themselves-specially Basso since he skipped the tour to get ready for this Vuelta. The parcours was very well laid out, with a lot of interesting stages.Overall, I'm satisfied with Cunego, Gesink & Mosquera for the excitement brought to the competition & hoping next year to see the missing big names (AC,the Schlek Brothers, Sastre, Leiphaimer, CVV,Cavendish? Pellizoti, -etc.) take part of it in a more competitive approach.
 
Sep 21, 2009
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First time I've watched la Vuelta all the way through but have definitely now become one of those who will defend it against the 'third GT = third rate' brigade. Gave it an 8/10 - the highs outweighed the lows for me.

Highlights:
- Moncoutie's determined assault on the KOM and his win at Sierra Nevada.
- Hoogerland's attacking style.
- Gesink and Mosquera's never-say-die attitude - would have been very easy for them to call it quits after their bad luck (especially Gesink) but they kept battling to the end.
- Some great mountain stages (much better planned than the Pyrenees at the TDF), although the strength of Caisse's team and various crashes/mechanical issues among the GC guys perhaps made these stages less exciting than they could have been.
- Tyler Farrar breaking his GT duck and Garmin getting three well-deserved stage wins.
- Evans making it onto the podium. For some reason I've really warmed to him over the last three weeks, possibly I've been brainwashed by Dave Harman's commentary on Eurosport.
- Vino's return. I can't help it, I miss his crazy attacks and tactically ridiculous riding :eek:

Lowpoints:
- 4 pretty dull days in Northern Europe.
- Valverde's controversial win. Don't quite know what to make of him, I guess it would be easier to digest if he had served two years a la Basso and the like and I don't think he was particularly any stronger than the rest of the top 6 (just a strong team and better luck).
- So many riders leaving to prepare for Worlds.
 
give it only 5/10 very boring race with to many contributing factors(punctures,pushing up mts etc)to be taken seriosly.Great to see gerrans win a stage aswell as Deignan's stage.Not long till the worlds....go aussies
 

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