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Volta a Portugal 2016 (2.1, 27.07./07.08.)

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Aug 7, 2015
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Kokoso said:
Libertine Seguros said:
The other thing is that, while insular, there's something romantic...about the Volta.
I've noticed this, most of "romanticizers" seem Portuguese. I can't quite tell what is bias and what romanticizing, but there is both.

Bias is certainly towards level of racing - all this 800w attacks, most brutal sprints, send Sky train there, or send W52 to Vuelta... I mean... The level is not that high, right?
Your statement is ill-defined since it neglects the fuss in this topic you are so curious about. Talking about "the level" neglects the wicked discrepancy between on the one hand the level of the Portuguese riders in the Volta compared to the participating foreign riders, with on the other hand the actual level of these Portuguese riders outside the Volta (while taking into account their UCI/PCS/CQ ranking, their national-oriented race calendar with some exceptions of 2.1 races in Spain, not even finishing in top 100 of Volta oa Algarve etc.)

Take a look at the sudden transformation of Cesar Veloso that takes place end July: http://www.procyclingstats.com/rider.php?id=139876&season=2015 The same accounts for Rui Sousa and in the past Candido Barbosa (the most notorious one, since he transformed from a sprinter into a GC guy for one week a year). Hence the performances of these guys are mocked rather than praised or romanticized in this topic. Guys who besides the Volta perform outside Portugal as well, such as Frederico Figueiredo and José Gonçalves, are actually the ones who get more support in this topic. Their results seem to be more consistent and hence credible.

Of course a lot has to do with peak form and such, but there exist a huge discrepancy concerning the Portuguese riders between their performances in the Volta versus other races.

Kokoso said:
Maybe to win Volta a Portugal is a curse then :)
Well, it might be a curse or it might have to do with motivational aspects which differs between Portuguese Volta riders and WT riders.

For instance, I live in between the route of AGR and LBL which are big WorldTour Classics, with holding a higher reputation than the Volta has. But for most riders racing such races, they are not in particular attached to these races such as the Portuguese riders are with the Volta. At most the WT riders like it because they are the suitable rider type for these type of race profiles (i.e. explosive hilly riders for AGR and LBL). A lot of races on the WT calendar are raced as preparation, testing or training races. Even the TdF was used as preparation for the Olympics by some riders, like the Tour of Poland is subordinate to the Vuelta, while consequently the Vuelta is subordinate to the World Champs for some riders every year.

Having a national scene containing so much national pride; that is so demarcated and isolated from the rest of Europe; and with these Portuguese guys racing the Volta as if it is the only race left on earth, is very intriguing for an outsider like me.
 
Aug 7, 2015
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I am really looking forward to stage 6 since it includes two times Torre, yet no MTF. I am wondering how Cesar Veloso will take time back in that stage and where he will attack, if he has the intent to do so. Or maybe he puts all his energy in the TT, who knows. I am not quite sure if I recall correctly that a similar profile of the current stage 6 has already been raced in 2009.

Edit: Whoops, the 2009 edition did not have a MTF on the Torre. But I bet it was somewhere between 2007 and 2011 (with Tondo and Blanco ) that there was a similar stage profile of the current stage 6.
 
Aug 7, 2015
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Does anyone know the race routes of the Volta before circa 2001? So before it was reduced from a two-week stage race to one week? Autobus from Cyclingnews doesn't reveal much, other than some scarce race results. Because I would like to know which other mountain stages were included at that time, if so. Editions from recent years seem to have only two MTF's: Torre and Senhora da Graça.
 
Re:

Something fishy said:
Does anyone know the race routes of the Volta before circa 2001? So before it was reduced from a two-week stage race to one week? Autobus from Cyclingnews doesn't reveal much, other than some scarce race results. Because I would like to know which other mountain stages were included at that time, if so. Editions from recent years seem to have only two MTF's: Torre and Senhora da Graça.

I recall a stage to Fóia in something like 95 or 96. Otherwise it's mostly been Sra da Graça and Torre indeed. Also Serra de S. Mamede in Portalegre. You recently had Larouco in Montalegre as well (last year IIRC).
 
Sep 29, 2013
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Re: Re:

Something fishy said:
Kokoso said:
Libertine Seguros said:
The other thing is that, while insular, there's something romantic...about the Volta.
I've noticed this, most of "romanticizers" seem Portuguese. I can't quite tell what is bias and what romanticizing, but there is both.

Bias is certainly towards level of racing - all this 800w attacks, most brutal sprints, send Sky train there, or send W52 to Vuelta... I mean... The level is not that high, right?
Your statement is ill-defined since it neglects the fuss in this topic you are so curious about. Talking about "the level" neglects the wicked discrepancy between on the one hand the level of the Portuguese riders in the Volta compared to the participating foreign riders, with on the other hand the actual level of these Portuguese riders outside the Volta (while taking into account their UCI/PCS/CQ ranking, their national-oriented race calendar with some exceptions of 2.1 races in Spain, not even finishing in top 100 of Volta oa Algarve etc.)

Take a look at the sudden transformation of Cesar Veloso that takes place end July: http://www.procyclingstats.com/rider.php?id=139876&season=2015 The same accounts for Rui Sousa and in the past Candido Barbosa (the most notorious one, since he transformed from a sprinter into a GC guy for one week a year). Hence the performances of these guys are mocked rather than praised or romanticized in this topic. Guys who besides the Volta perform outside Portugal as well, such as Frederico Figueiredo and José Gonçalves, are actually the ones who get more support in this topic. Their results seem to be more consistent and hence credible.

Of course a lot has to do with peak form and such, but there exist a huge discrepancy concerning the Portuguese riders between their performances in the Volta versus other races.

Kokoso said:
Maybe to win Volta a Portugal is a curse then :)
Well, it might be a curse or it might have to do with motivational aspects which differs between Portuguese Volta riders and WT riders.

For instance, I live in between the route of AGR and LBL which are big WorldTour Classics, with holding a higher reputation than the Volta has. But for most riders racing such races, they are not in particular attached to these races such as the Portuguese riders are with the Volta. At most the WT riders like it because they are the suitable rider type for these type of race profiles (i.e. explosive hilly riders for AGR and LBL). A lot of races on the WT calendar are raced as preparation, testing or training races. Even the TdF was used as preparation for the Olympics by some riders, like the Tour of Poland is subordinate to the Vuelta, while consequently the Vuelta is subordinate to the World Champs for some riders every year.

Having a national scene containing so much national pride; that is so demarcated and isolated from the rest of Europe; and with these Portuguese guys racing the Volta as if it is the only race left on earth, is very intriguing for an outsider like me.


This option is because portuguese teams dosen´t race outside, so it is a home race. Being the bigger race here, is normal that every team try to win this race. But this just happen because of the date where the volta is...

Being between the Tour and the vuelta is not good to some good teams bring good riders. Portuguese volta is not easy, it has almost every year 3 or 4 stages of hihg leve plus a long TT. I think the route, not being great is not bad, but to attract better riders it should be in another date... But when?

With a stronger field it wouldn´t be just about portuguese teams, but this way is a race to the Portuguese teams and not more.
 
So we won't be able to watch S. Macário live because RTP thinks their pre-race show with the absurdly awful musical shows and chouriço/ham/local delicacy showcase are somehow more relevant? Considering they showed the early part of TDF stages on RTP2 before switching to 1 for the final parts, I'm baffled that they won't do the same for the Volta.
 
Aug 16, 2013
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So Parra, Gaspar and i think Rincon crashed on the descent.

If i saw it well, Rincon was lying somewhere in the woods. And quite severe. But maybe i'm wrong.
 
Apr 22, 2012
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Re: Re:

Something fishy said:
Kokoso said:
Libertine Seguros said:
The other thing is that, while insular, there's something romantic...about the Volta.
I've noticed this, most of "romanticizers" seem Portuguese. I can't quite tell what is bias and what romanticizing, but there is both.

Bias is certainly towards level of racing - all this 800w attacks, most brutal sprints, send Sky train there, or send W52 to Vuelta... I mean... The level is not that high, right?
Your statement is ill-defined since it neglects the fuss in this topic you are so curious about. Talking about "the level" neglects the wicked discrepancy between on the one hand the level of the Portuguese riders in the Volta compared to the participating foreign riders, with on the other hand the actual level of these Portuguese riders outside the Volta (while taking into account their UCI/PCS/CQ ranking, their national-oriented race calendar with some exceptions of 2.1 races in Spain, not even finishing in top 100 of Volta oa Algarve etc.)

Take a look at the sudden transformation of Cesar Veloso that takes place end July: http://www.procyclingstats.com/rider.php?id=139876&season=2015 The same accounts for Rui Sousa and in the past Candido Barbosa (the most notorious one, since he transformed from a sprinter into a GC guy for one week a year). Hence the performances of these guys are mocked rather than praised or romanticized in this topic. Guys who besides the Volta perform outside Portugal as well, such as Frederico Figueiredo and José Gonçalves, are actually the ones who get more support in this topic. Their results seem to be more consistent and hence credible.

Of course a lot has to do with peak form and such, but there exist a huge discrepancy concerning the Portuguese riders between their performances in the Volta versus other races.

Kokoso said:
Maybe to win Volta a Portugal is a curse then :)
Well, it might be a curse or it might have to do with motivational aspects which differs between Portuguese Volta riders and WT riders.

For instance, I live in between the route of AGR and LBL which are big WorldTour Classics, with holding a higher reputation than the Volta has. But for most riders racing such races, they are not in particular attached to these races such as the Portuguese riders are with the Volta. At most the WT riders like it because they are the suitable rider type for these type of race profiles (i.e. explosive hilly riders for AGR and LBL). A lot of races on the WT calendar are raced as preparation, testing or training races. Even the TdF was used as preparation for the Olympics by some riders, like the Tour of Poland is subordinate to the Vuelta, while consequently the Vuelta is subordinate to the World Champs for some riders every year.

Having a national scene containing so much national pride; that is so demarcated and isolated from the rest of Europe; and with these Portuguese guys racing the Volta as if it is the only race left on earth, is very intriguing for an outsider like me.
I think it was quite well discussed on previous page, but thank you anyway.

The level of riders isn't much high, I insist on it, but they do produce huge watts. I wouldn't confuse this with their actual level. Are they so isolated and demarcated? They race outside Portugal - France, Spain, Brasil. And I think most of them are " racing the Volta as if it is the only race left on earth" perhaps only because it's only major race they can succeed in;, I think if they could they would prefer to win Algarve but they can't because there are better riders. If that's the case, I find nothing intiguing on that. In every country there are riders racing local races as the most important for them.
 
Re: Re:

MikeTichondrius said:
Concerning racing out of Portugal. Some have found success at WT level like Costa (though the first time I took notice of him he was already racing at Movistar), or to a more relevant extent, riders like Bruno Pires or José Gonçalves. On the other hand you have guys like Cândido and Orlando Rodrigues who raced for Banesto in the 90s and (to my limited knowledge) didn't amount to anything, much like Hugo Sabido but were major in Portugal - exception would be Azevedo. And then you have guys like Ricardo Mestre, Nuno Ribeiro, Rui Sousa who were top level here and were never seen outside.
It is interesting to note that at the Volta ao Algarve in recent years, the one time WT teams show up in Portugal, the most successful Portuguese team since the downfall of Liberty Seguros has been LA-Antarte, with the likes of Edgar Pinto and Amaro Antunes. Pinto has escaped Portugal but not to really improve his level, riding with Sky Dive Dubai, but Pinto's Volta breakthrough came the same way as Brôco, his LA team leader predecessor. However, they seem to always be swamped come Volta time. Pires I think got out because of connections, he was a decent mountain helper but there's no way he should have been taken when he was ahead of Ricardo Mestre and co. - André Cardoso is a more relevant guy you could say; he was a mountain superhelper at the Volta but wasn't all-round enough to win the race, got out young enough that he's been able to carve a decent niche in the WT. The Portuguese teams tend to do their own calendar plus much of the Spanish one, and not a great deal else except maybe the Tour do Rio, so getting spotted to get out is harder; Nelson Oliveira was lucky in that he got onto Xacobeo before they folded, so he was doing top two tier races; Azevedo being a DS at Radioshack certainly helped a few Portuguese get rides there in 2010 too.

The reasons it's bee like this are obviously debatable, but you have to remember these guys were racing spanish riders like Eladio Jimenez, Santi Perez, Blanco, Bernabeu, Mauri or outliers like Claus Moller who took a lot of wins themselves after being "exiled" from the international races...When I was younger I always wondered why the likes of Cândido never took the leap. Nowadays I pretty much expect to take notice of any new portuguese prospect when he's already racing at a Proconti team like Caja instead of post-winning the Volta.
Take notice of the Portuguese prospects that do well in the Algarve and some of the Spanish domestic races, those are usually your better guides. Caja at least are comfortable with looking at the Portuguese scene, although their recent experience with Alberto Gallego may make them more reluctant than they have been in the past. From the recent past, however, it does seem that those contending the Volta at the business end tend to be the older riders for whom getting out of Portugal now seems unlikely; it's to the younger riders we should look for who should be getting out. Too young and they may flounder like has happened to Fabio Silvestre and I'm concerned might happen to Nuno Bico. Teams are more likely to look at Amaro Antunes and Fred Figueiredo than at Henrique Casimiro and Daniel Silva, shall we say. It will be interesting to see if anybody at ProConti takes a flyer on Joni, he's had good results at Castilla y León and Cova da Beira, which while the fields aren't that great is still well away from the August machines, but his performances among the August machines might make people hesitate.
I cannot honestly remember a Volta winner that went on to have a successful career at PT level.
[/quote]
xavier_tondo05.jpg
 
Re: Re:

Kokoso said:
I think it was quite well discussed on previous page, but thank you anyway.

The level of riders isn't much high, I insist on it, but they do produce huge watts. I wouldn't confuse this with their actual level. Are they so isolated and demarcated? They race outside Portugal - France, Spain, Brasil. And I think most of them are " racing the Volta as if it is the only race left on earth" perhaps only because it's only major race they can succeed in;, I think if they could they would prefer to win Algarve but they can't because there are better riders. If that's the case, I find nothing intiguing on that. In every country there are riders racing local races as the most important for them.
Riders like Carvalho, Figueiredo, Antunes, Brandão and previously Délio, yes, they ride elsewhere and can be competitive. Riders like Rui Sousa and Gustavo César are not going to get rides anywhere else, nor are they going to beat the world's elite in Algarve. They're 40 and 36 respectively so even if teams decided to trust them, they're not a great investment. Likewise João Benta, who's only 29 but in his second year back from a 3 year ban.

Also, the Volta is way bigger than Algarve. Way bigger. Even if the world's best show up in Algarve, it's a February race. This is an institution. While every nation holds its own national tour in higher esteem, the Volta to the Portuguese péloton is more integral than most national tours in Europe below the GT level. Its status is perhaps better compared to the esteem of the Vuelta a Colombia, or the Tour de Pologne in the Iron Curtain days - it's insular, the riders competing aren't the world's best by any stretch, but it's more of an institution than, say, the Tour of Britain in Britain, the Österreich Rundfahrt in Austria, or the Danmark Rundt in Denmark.
 
Apr 22, 2012
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Re: Re:

Libertine Seguros said:
Kokoso said:
I think it was quite well discussed on previous page, but thank you anyway.

The level of riders isn't much high, I insist on it, but they do produce huge watts. I wouldn't confuse this with their actual level. Are they so isolated and demarcated? They race outside Portugal - France, Spain, Brasil. And I think most of them are " racing the Volta as if it is the only race left on earth" perhaps only because it's only major race they can succeed in;, I think if they could they would prefer to win Algarve but they can't because there are better riders. If that's the case, I find nothing intiguing on that. In every country there are riders racing local races as the most important for them.
Riders like Carvalho, Figueiredo, Antunes, Brandão and previously Délio, yes, they ride elsewhere and can be competitive. Riders like Rui Sousa and Gustavo César are not going to get rides anywhere else, nor are they going to beat the world's elite in Algarve. They're 40 and 36 respectively so even if teams decided to trust them, they're not a great investment. Likewise João Benta, who's only 29 but in his second year back from a 3 year ban.

Also, the Volta is way bigger than Algarve. Way bigger. Even if the world's best show up in Algarve, it's a February race. This is an institution. While every nation holds its own national tour in higher esteem, the Volta to the Portuguese péloton is more integral than most national tours in Europe below the GT level. Its status is perhaps better compared to the esteem of the Vuelta a Colombia, or the Tour de Pologne in the Iron Curtain days - it's insular, the riders competing aren't the world's best by any stretch, but it's more of an institution than, say, the Tour of Britain in Britain, the Österreich Rundfahrt in Austria, or the Danmark Rundt in Denmark.
Thank you. What does institution mean? (not rhetorical question).