Ruta del Sol 2017

Always one of my favourite stage races, this year will be extra interesting to follow. The whole Spanish elite will be here: Contador, Valverde, Landa, Ion Izagirre.. and interesting riders with GC-chances such as Rosa, Poels, Felline, Pinot and Oomen. Cannondale has also scheduled good climbers such as Rolland, Dombro, Carthy and Uran. Interesting team this year.

Its kinda of a weird route. The 3 first stages, especially the MTF and the time trial at stage 2 and 3, will have huge implications for the GC, while the 2 last stages in the weekend are flat affairs. Anyways, the 3 first stages should promise us a super interesting race between some of the best riders in the world. Not too bad in February, eh. Lets hope for a repeat of 2015.

Contador and Valverde are the huge favourites. Before Murcia, I would definitely have given Contador the edge, but given his performance in that race, Valverde should be favoured IMO. Contador has also been pretty vocal about not going to great in the first stages of his first stage race, probably due to Alto de Foia last year, so he won't really have time to get into rhythm. BS-alarm?

Sky have Rosa, Poels and Landa. Everyone could realistically win the race, but its relatively unlikely given who they are going up against. Poels is ever inconsistent and he is probable to have one bad day (most likely stage 1) and its Landa and Rosa's first race. All 3 of these riders have a lot to prove already know so they will be hungry.

Izagirre is probably the only rider who can match Valverde and Contador along with Pinot. Both riders will have to defend themselves at Peña del Aguila and try to smash Valverde and Contador who both are up and down in the time trials.

Finally, Coquard should be able to win at least 1 stage against this non-existent sprinter field.
 
Mar 8, 2014
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The route is very weird. I don't see why they would not place the TT in the final stage, and then add a hilly stage between the MTF and the TT. Very anti-climatic structure. Oh well, cycling is back so why complain right?
 
Jun 30, 2014
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Yes,now that Coquard finally got his first pro win outside of France he should be the favourite when it comes to sprints.
 
Jun 18, 2015
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Official Music Video with images of past years: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SpWArjPz3jI

Inmortals Contador and Valverde to battle it out. Time goes by like sand slipping through our fingers, we might get old, beauty may wear out of our faces, but there are still some good things in life that remain unchanged. At least for another cycling season.
 
Jun 18, 2015
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Squire said:
KyoGrey said:
Official Music Video with images of past years: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SpWArjPz3jI
There are certain things which shouldn't exist, and songs written for sporting events are among them. This is slightly more tolerable than the Tour Down Under song, most likely because I cannot understand all of the lyrics.
In this case, lyrics are not the problem :p It's just some guy with Andalusian accent singing about the beauties of his southern lands with some mild cycling references.
 
KyoGrey said:
Inmortals Contador and Valverde to battle it out. Time goes by like sand slipping through our fingers, we might get old, beauty may wear out of our faces, but there are still some good things in life that remain unchanged. At least for another cycling season.
That is funny and true :p

I am looking forward, Alberto has been training hard I feel but the first (and only) MTF on the 2nd stage, it might be too early. He will be lacking rhythm. Annoying that there is no 2nd MTF, we may have to remain in doubt about his shape until Paris-Nice
I am probably most curious about his performance in the ITT (uphill he should be there or thereabouts, regardless) his TTs can be a bit hit-and-miss early in the season.
Anyway it is also possible that he removes all doubts already in his first race :)
For the win I think Valverde is definitely the favorite, Izagirre has a chance as well thanks to the ITT. Tibopino, I don't expect a lot from him (sorry Tonton)
 
LaFlorecita said:
KyoGrey said:
Inmortals Contador and Valverde to battle it out. Time goes by like sand slipping through our fingers, we might get old, beauty may wear out of our faces, but there are still some good things in life that remain unchanged. At least for another cycling season.
That is funny and true :p

I am looking forward, Alberto has been training hard I feel but the first (and only) MTF on the 2nd stage, it might be too early. He will be lacking rhythm. Annoying that there is no 2nd MTF, we may have to remain in doubt about his shape until Paris-Nice
Yeah.... he didn't seem to be missing race rhythm on Hazallanes in 2015 on stage 3 when Froome got the better of him on the next MTF, but he has spoken about this a lot. Mainly, in my opinion, due to whatever happened in Algarve last year.
 
Jul 6, 2016
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Very weird stage order indeed, perhaps even a true shame in terms of excitement. But being his first race of the season, Alberto cannot be anything else than an outsider. Would be fun also if he kept a low profile in the mountains only to give us some showdown in the last stage. I guess that's what he was training on in that Insta vid with the FundConta boys, Alberto preparing a Tony Martin-esque raid ;)
 
Expecting from Valverde to show what Quintana and Porte showed several weeks ago. After his domination in Murcia everything else would be a surprise to me.
Already tomorrow he might try to make a cushion for the coming stages... Just to be able to follow rather than to lead.
And Valverde's presence in such a shape is pure blessing for the GT hunters. A high benchmark is what they need.

Excellent racing schedule this week.
 
Yes, Monarchil from the hardside isn't easy at all. The profiles makes it look easier than it really is. Valverde doesn't really have fond memories of this climb tho as he basically lost the Vuelta there in 2006, but does it matter when he is in this kind of shape? I expect a the best climbers at the front, but tomorrow (the day after Monarchil, lol) is even harder which is a shame.
 
Valv.Piti said:
To be fair, the video in itself was okayish... :p

Will Felline be allowed to chase the stage victory and the leaders jersey on stage 1? Probably the favourite along with Valv.
Depends on how other teams ride, if one puts the hammer down I can see the peloton being shredded on the last climb.
 
Valv.Piti said:
MatParker117 said:
Valv.Piti said:
To be fair, the video in itself was okayish... :p

Will Felline be allowed to chase the stage victory and the leaders jersey on stage 1? Probably the favourite along with Valv.
Depends on how other teams ride, if one puts the hammer down I can see the peloton being shredded on the last climb.
Yes, totally agree.
Sky, FDJ and Movistar definitely have the firepower to make it hurt.
 

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