Ruta del Sol - Vuelta Ciclista a Andalucía 2021 (May 18-22)

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...and apparently Carlton Kirby appeared to be blaming Stannard for not looking where he was going. Smith says it's just a racing incident, it probably was but Impey should know better than that at his experience level. Supermán 4th in the sprint for the line and Koronin is going to be mighty confused as it appears a guy who has never finished a GT outside the top 10 might be positioned higher than 4th in the food chain at Movistar.
Enric Mas is Movistar's top GC rider. Valverde has free reign to do whatever the heck he wants. At this point they are the top two leaders of the team. This Giro was Soler's chance to prove himself and he was having issues before he crashed. Lopez has a 1 year contract and may or may not re-sign after this year. Soler needs to be a stage hunter instead of a GC rider.
 
Enric Mas is Movistar's top GC rider. Valverde has free reign to do whatever the heck he wants. At this point they are the top two leaders of the team. This Giro was Soler's chance to prove himself and he was having issues before he crashed. Lopez has a 1 year contract and may or may not re-sign after this year. Soler needs to be a stage hunter instead of a GC rider.
LOL!

Thinking about Movistar team strategy makes me cringe!!

Here we go with Valverde's free reign. On Movistar defense they have No Chance against the Slovenians!
 
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LOL!

Thinking about Movistar team strategy makes me cringe!!

Here we go with Valverde's free reign. On Movistar defense they have No Chance against the Slovenians!
I agree and I don't think anyone including Movistar has any idea what their team strategy actually is. Of course it would usually help if they had someone who can actually finish what they are trying to set up.

At this point I don't even know if it's possible to convince the team that Marc Soler needs to be a stage hunter and not a GC rider.
 
I agree and I don't think anyone including Movistar has any idea what their team strategy actually is. Of course it would usually help if they had someone who can actually finish what they are trying to set up.

At this point I don't even know if it's possible to convince the team that Marc Soler needs to be a stage hunter and not a GC rider.
The problem is, the guy they've got who can actually finish what they are trying to set up... is Miguel Ángel López.
 
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The problem is, the guy they've got who can actually finish what they are trying to set up... is Miguel Ángel López.
The problem with that is in Grand Tours the only rider on their team with a GC GT victory and multiple GC GT podiums is Valverde. Mas has 1 GC GT podium and Lopez has 2. Valverde has tons of them. If we go back to the 2019 Vuelta Valverde was better than Lopez. We really can't gauge where Lopez is currently on form.
 
I'd suggest that Lopez is nicely building his form - Under any parameters with current and exposed form then Lopez is clearly Movistar's number one option for GC at a GT - In saying that, the Vuelta should be his key target.
 
These guys were soooo ready to get agitated until they found out it was a gentleman that had also crashed.

-Pardon the inconvenience sir, it was most unattentive of me to steer right into you.
-On the contrary my good man! I blame myself if my blood has soiled your fine clothes.
 
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The problem with that is in Grand Tours the only rider on their team with a GC GT victory and multiple GC GT podiums is Valverde. Mas has 1 GC GT podium and Lopez has 2. Valverde has tons of them. If we go back to the 2019 Vuelta Valverde was better than Lopez. We really can't gauge where Lopez is currently on form.
There are 19 World Tour teams. 11 of those (Ag2r, Astana, Bahrain, Bora, Cofidis, DQS, EF, FDJ, Intermarché, Lotto and DSM) have not got a single rider who has won a GT. 6 of those (Ag2r, Astana, Cofidis, DQS, Intermarché, Lotto) have nobody who's ever made a GT podium. And some of those teams I've eliminated there only have GT wins or podiums from riders who are unlikely to scale those heights again - Qhubeka only have Aru who fulfils the criteria, while Trek have the aging Nibali (not much different to Valverde) and Bauke Mollema whose podium was the 2011 Vuelta, acquired eight years after the fact with Cobo's removal. Jury's still out on ISN, because Froome doesn't look like recapturing his GT winning form but if there's anybody that is going to turn it around miraculously it's him - however while Dan Martin hasn't got a podium, his best GT result is his 4th in last year's Vuelta.

And, as I mentioned before, the other thing López has over Mas as a leader is that he's a proven winner. Even if a GC bid goes way awry, Supermán can do something to salvage the race in the same way as Quintana at Col de Portet or Valloire, or Valverde at Peyragudes, which Mas hasn't shown the ability to do to date. And López signed off the back of winning the queen stage of the Tour de France. In terms of final results on the GC at the end of the day, Mas and López might be much of a muchness, but if I'm a sponsor, I'd much rather have Supermán - he's going to be a lot more visible throughout the race, and he gives a much greater chance of seeing my company logo all over the media.
 
I'd suggest that Lopez is nicely building his form - Under any parameters with current and exposed form then Lopez is clearly Movistar's number one option for GC at a GT - In saying that, the Vuelta should be his key target.
Enric Mas is building form for the Tour and Vuelta. Also Lopez will at best be given co-leadership at la Vuelta with BOTH Valverde and Mas. It should be a known established fact at this point that Movistar will always have a Spanish leader for la Vuelta whom is who they will race for.

There are 19 World Tour teams. 11 of those (Ag2r, Astana, Bahrain, Bora, Cofidis, DQS, EF, FDJ, Intermarché, Lotto and DSM) have not got a single rider who has won a GT. 6 of those (Ag2r, Astana, Cofidis, DQS, Intermarché, Lotto) have nobody who's ever made a GT podium. And some of those teams I've eliminated there only have GT wins or podiums from riders who are unlikely to scale those heights again - Qhubeka only have Aru who fulfils the criteria, while Trek have the aging Nibali (not much different to Valverde) and Bauke Mollema whose podium was the 2011 Vuelta, acquired eight years after the fact with Cobo's removal. Jury's still out on ISN, because Froome doesn't look like recapturing his GT winning form but if there's anybody that is going to turn it around miraculously it's him - however while Dan Martin hasn't got a podium, his best GT result is his 4th in last year's Vuelta.

And, as I mentioned before, the other thing López has over Mas as a leader is that he's a proven winner. Even if a GC bid goes way awry, Supermán can do something to salvage the race in the same way as Quintana at Col de Portet or Valloire, or Valverde at Peyragudes, which Mas hasn't shown the ability to do to date. And López signed off the back of winning the queen stage of the Tour de France. In terms of final results on the GC at the end of the day, Mas and López might be much of a muchness, but if I'm a sponsor, I'd much rather have Supermán - he's going to be a lot more visible throughout the race, and he gives a much greater chance of seeing my company logo all over the media.

The problem is you are talking about a Spanish team, Spanish sponsor and the biggest part of their business still being Spain. It sounds like they are reducing their expenditures in Colombia, meaning that doesn't mean as much. They can't sell Lopez in Spain. It really sounds like the biggest reason Movistar signed Lopez is their contract with Movistar requires them to have 3 Colombian riders on their team, plus he can get the team extra points.
 
Enric Mas is building form for the Tour and Vuelta. Also Lopez will at best be given co-leadership at la Vuelta with BOTH Valverde and Mas. It should be a known established fact at this point that Movistar will always have a Spanish leader for la Vuelta whom is who they will race for.
Surely they'd be smart enough to ride for Lopez if he's best.

Anyway... turned out that "The race to the sun" was a lie, coz the sun was definitely not in Murcia!
 
Enric Mas is building form for the Tour and Vuelta. Also Lopez will at best be given co-leadership at la Vuelta with BOTH Valverde and Mas. It should be a known established fact at this point that Movistar will always have a Spanish leader for la Vuelta whom is who they will race for.




The problem is you are talking about a Spanish team, Spanish sponsor and the biggest part of their business still being Spain. It sounds like they are reducing their expenditures in Colombia, meaning that doesn't mean as much. They can't sell Lopez in Spain. It really sounds like the biggest reason Movistar signed Lopez is their contract with Movistar requires them to have 3 Colombian riders on their team, plus he can get the team extra points.
So why not sign Aldemar Reyes, Nelson Soto, Hernán Aguirre, or José Tito Hernández, or any number of other guys with a bit of experience who can score some decent enough results but at a fraction of the cost? Why go after literally the biggest name free agent Colombian if all they need is a warm body with the right flag? Come on. You know that Supermán is not a rider you go after to fulfil a quota, he's a rider you go after to try to win races, because he's good at that. He just won the queen stage of the Tour de France.

A guy like Miguel Ángel López is not signing anywhere unless he gets some degree of autonomy and leadership - nor should he be. We like to bag on Movistar for dumb tactics, but signing Miguel Ángel López and then not letting him lead any major races, when he's the most proven stage racer you have, would be the dumbest one yet. And if you remember, the last time Movistar succeeded in winning the Vuelta, they went in with Nairo Quintana as leader. Valverde was not co-leader in 2016, because he was doing all 3 GTs that season.
 
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So why not sign Aldemar Reyes, Nelson Soto, Hernán Aguirre, or José Tito Hernández, or any number of other guys with a bit of experience who can score some decent enough results but at a fraction of the cost? Why go after literally the biggest name free agent Colombian if all they need is a warm body with the right flag? Come on. You know that Supermán is not a rider you go after to fulfil a quota, he's a rider you go after to try to win races, because he's good at that. He just won the queen stage of the Tour de France.

A guy like Miguel Ángel López is not signing anywhere unless he gets some degree of autonomy and leadership - nor should he be. We like to bag on Movistar for dumb tactics, but signing Miguel Ángel López and then not letting him lead any major races, when he's the most proven stage racer you have, would be the dumbest one yet. And if you remember, the last time Movistar succeeded in winning the Vuelta, they went in with Nairo Quintana as leader. Valverde was not co-leader in 2016, because he was doing all 3 GTs that season.

Many of the Colombian riders have the one agent Movistar won't deal with. Remember they only signed Lopez to a 1 year contract. Not exactly a typical contract. Movistar's comments when giving out which races their leaders were going to back before the season was Mas and Lopez co leaders at the Tour and Mas and Valverde co leaders at la Vuelta with Lopez as plan C basically. Soler will likely be at the Vuelta as well.

Surely they'd be smart enough to ride for Lopez if he's best.

Anyway... turned out that "The race to the sun" was a lie, coz the sun was definitely not in Murcia!
It is Movistar. At the Tour, yes. La Vuelta is a different story.

Murcia had one of their handful of rainy days for the year.
 
1999 - Alex Zülle sole leader
2000 - Alex Zülle sole leader
2004 - Denis Menchov co-leader
2007 - Vladimir Efimkin and Vladimir Karpets co-leaders
2014 - Nairo Quintana co-leader
2015 - Nairo Quintana co-leader
2016 - Nairo Quintana sole leader
2018 - Nairo Quintana co-leader
2019 - Nairo Quintana co-leader

Richard Carapaz was also supposed to do the 2019 Vuelta as a co-leader but he injured himself doing a crit against team orders.
 
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1999 - Alex Zülle sole leader
2000 - Alex Zülle sole leader
2004 - Denis Menchov co-leader
2007 - Vladimir Efimkin and Vladimir Karpets co-leaders
2014 - Nairo Quintana co-leader
2015 - Nairo Quintana co-leader
2016 - Nairo Quintana sole leader
2018 - Nairo Quintana co-leader
2019 - Nairo Quintana co-leader

Richard Carapaz was also supposed to do the 2019 Vuelta as a co-leader but he injured himself doing a crit against team orders.
Other than 2016 Valverde was the better option.
 
Yes, and they rode for Valverde when he was the better option and rode for Quintana when he was the better option. So, surely they will ride for Lopez if he turns out to be their best option.
The team except for Quintana did. However, if you look at the line up of the teams, esp in 2019 they were line ups show that Valverde was the team's preferred option to begin with.

But still... if Lopez is doing better at Mas or Valverde at the Vuelta, surely they'll ride for him. Other than that, they're just tactically inept.
I wouldn't count on it if he's not several minutes better than the others.

You do recall that in 2014 Nairo crashed out of the race while leading it? And that he inherited that jersey from Valverde by being among the best climbers when Valverde was dropped?
He didn't have the full support of the team and the team was still riding for both riders. He did crash out of the race, proving why they were correct to not give him full support. The fact he crashed out proved that he wasn't the best option in 2014. Also Valverde finished on the podium of that Vuelta.
 
He didn't have the full support of the team and the team was still riding for both riders. He did crash out of the race, proving why they were correct to not give him full support. The fact he crashed out proved that he wasn't the best option in 2014. Also Valverde finished on the podium of that Vuelta.
So Sky shouldn't have given full support to Chris Froome at the 2014 Tour?
 
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I wouldn't count on it if he's not several minutes better than the others.
So... like Astana in the 2015 Giro, when they called Landa back, even though it looked like he might win? Can't believe some teams would rather have a secondary placing with a "local" (I know Aru isn't Kazakh, but I'd say Astana has - or had - a strong enough Italian base that he almost count(ed) as local) rider, than win with a foreigner...
 
2014 was 50-50 at the point Quintana crashed out. Valverde was better on Cumbres Verdes and Quintana was better in the rain IIRC on Valdelinares.

1999 - Alex Zülle sole leader
2000 - Alex Zülle sole leader
2004 - Denis Menchov co-leader
2007 - Vladimir Efimkin and Vladimir Karpets co-leaders
2014 - Nairo Quintana co-leader
2015 - Nairo Quintana co-leader
2016 - Nairo Quintana sole leader
2018 - Nairo Quintana co-leader
2019 - Nairo Quintana co-leader

Richard Carapaz was also supposed to do the 2019 Vuelta as a co-leader but he injured himself doing a crit against team orders.
Is this the Vuelta ledership? I think in 1999 at least with 1.5 GTs before the Vuelta Zülle was a leader in name/number only and the team did not ride for him at any point
 
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So Sky shouldn't have given full support to Chris Froome at the 2014 Tour?
Sky/Ineos have a different philosophy than Movistar. Also Movistar will do almost anything to ensure having at minimum a co-leader of la Vuelta who is a Spaniard.

So... like Astana in the 2015 Giro, when they called Landa back, even though it looked like he might win? Can't believe some teams would rather have a secondary placing with a "local" (I know Aru isn't Kazakh, but I'd say Astana has - or had - a strong enough Italian base that he almost count(ed) as local) rider, than win with a foreigner...
Landa also ignored the team trying to call him back in a GT to get a stage win.

Remember Movistar did call Soler back from a possible maybe likely stage win at the Vuelta and he threw a temper tantrum didn't help Quintana and then actually rode most of the rest of that climb with Valverde and Roglic. You have different dynamics with different teams as well. Movistar is considered the "home" team to many of the Spanish riders and to an extent a "national" team to some of the riders and to the Spanish fans. Now that likely does cause of the issues with the team, but it's there and can't be ignored. They even have a rule they use that requires over 50% of their riders to be Spaniards.



2014 was 50-50 at the point Quintana crashed out. Valverde was better on Cumbres Verdes and Quintana was better in the rain IIRC on Valdelinares.

Is this the Vuelta ledership? I think in 1999 at least with 1.5 GTs before the Vuelta Zülle was a leader in name/number only and the team did not ride for him at any point
I'm fairly sure that's just Vuelta leadership for those years as that is what we've been talking about.
 

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