Vuelta 2012: Stage Profiles and Analysis

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Sep 21, 2009
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Descender said:
They failed.
I knew. But considering it is the first of three mountain stages in a row I'm afraid riders would smoke it anyway as they did in Velefique 2009. Only Contador can make a difference if he can sustain an attack for longer than 200 metres.
 
I conclude that my guide is scarily accurate until this point, I predicted the correct race development for every stage until now. I'm not saying this to boast, just to show how predictable this Vuelta is.

Ok, it was to boast a little bit too :D
 
RedheadDane said:
Is it true that while the finishes on stage 15 and stage 16 are a Special Category the Bola del Mundo on stage 20 is an Extra Special Category?
Nobody really understands what Unipublic have got going on about the climb categorisation.

A couple of years ago they got rid of the Especial category, and so they suddenly had 3 categories instead of 4.

This year though it seems they've brought the Esp category back, and labeled as such Lagos, Cuitu Negru and Bola del Mundo. Bola awards probably more points because of it being the Cima Alberto Fernández or whatever (highest finish).

Now there are a couple of mind-boggling inconsistencies and bizarre decisions, such as labeling Mirador de Ézaro a 3rd cat while Comella is a 2nd cat, and making San Lorenzo a 1st Cat instead of Esp, which puts it into the same category as Valdezcaray. Judge yourself whether that makes sense:


Just the green part.


 
Sep 21, 2009
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RedheadDane said:
Is it true that while the finishes on stage 15 and stage 16 are a Special Category the Bola del Mundo on stage 20 is an Extra Special Category?
As Descender says, there's no logic in climb categorisation. But Bola del Mundo is the highest summit of the race. It's the equivalent to Cima Coppi or Souvenir Henri Desgrange. That's what makes it 'extra'.
 
The Vuelta used to have Cat.E, Cat.1, Cat.2, Cat.3. These paid large amounts of points. However, they were giving so many points out that people were defending KOM jerseys just by getting in a couple of breaks, then mopping up the leftover points after the break went through.

So they changed it a couple of years ago to something based on the Giro's old classifications - 3, 2, 1 for cat.3, 5, 3, 1 for cat.2, 10, 6, 4, 2, 1 for cat.1. This came with two additional categorisations - 15, 10, 6, 4, 2 for MTFs, and 20, 15, 10, 6, 4, 2 for the highest summit of the race. Bola del Mundo paid this prize in 2010, and Sierra Nevada last year.

However, just as the Giro changed this categorisation last year as it was creating strange paradoxes where Macugnaga would have paid more points than Monte Crostis, Passo Fedaia or Colle delle Finestre, the Vuelta has amended its categorisations this year. After all, they gave no points at all for San Lorenzo de El Escorial last year because it was an uphill finish, therefore they had to give 15 points or none at all, which would have put it level with Angliru for points - ludicrous.

As a result this year, they've trimmed back the "MTF" points, probably because they have so many MTFs, and they can't really give all of them 15 points, because really, how is Lagos de Covadonga or Ancares level with, say, Fuente Dé? As a result they've gone back to cat.E, cat.1, cat.2, cat.3, plus a bonus categorisation for the highest point in the race (Bola del Mundo). But a result of this has been that cat.1 is being awarded to some decidedly not cat.1 climbs (Arrate/Usartza, for example, is what, 7km @ 7%?), but then that's not a new phenomenon at the Vuelta.
 
Libertine Seguros said:
The Vuelta used to have Cat.E, Cat.1, Cat.2, Cat.3. These paid large amounts of points. However, they were giving so many points out that people were defending KOM jerseys just by getting in a couple of breaks, then mopping up the leftover points after the break went through.

So they changed it a couple of years ago to something based on the Giro's old classifications - 3, 2, 1 for cat.3, 5, 3, 1 for cat.2, 10, 6, 4, 2, 1 for cat.1. This came with two additional categorisations - 15, 10, 6, 4, 2 for MTFs, and 20, 15, 10, 6, 4, 2 for the highest summit of the race. Bola del Mundo paid this prize in 2010, and Sierra Nevada last year.

However, just as the Giro changed this categorisation last year as it was creating strange paradoxes where Macugnaga would have paid more points than Monte Crostis, Passo Fedaia or Colle delle Finestre, the Vuelta has amended its categorisations this year. After all, they gave no points at all for San Lorenzo de El Escorial last year because it was an uphill finish, therefore they had to give 15 points or none at all, which would have put it level with Angliru for points - ludicrous.

As a result this year, they've trimmed back the "MTF" points, probably because they have so many MTFs, and they can't really give all of them 15 points, because really, how is Lagos de Covadonga or Ancares level with, say, Fuente Dé? As a result they've gone back to cat.E, cat.1, cat.2, cat.3, plus a bonus categorisation for the highest point in the race (Bola del Mundo). But a result of this has been that cat.1 is being awarded to some decidedly not cat.1 climbs (Arrate/Usartza, for example, is what, 7km @ 7%?), but then that's not a new phenomenon at the Vuelta.
Have a look at the Bola del Mundo stage for some lulz regarding this issue.
 

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