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Vuelta a España - Stage 11 Vilanova i la Geltrú - Andorra 208.4km

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Sep 21, 2009
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Crosswinds? The first half of the stage is mostly up-and-down winding roads and the second half goes along a river valley between moderate hills that grow in height as they get to the finish. I don't expect crosswinds to split the field today. Next Friday, maybe.
 
Oct 29, 2009
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Bit of an odd and long run-up to that ramp, and if it was the Tour, the only wise money would be on one combined GC group rollling up it, with at best only one of them losing some infuriatingly trivial amount of secs. As it isn't the very very very very last chance to make a difference yet.

But this is the Vuelta, so at least there is a chance that they forget what modern stage cycling should look like, and give it a go. Heck, so far there has been racing up some of the totally inconsequential lumps with 10-40k of flatland behind it, so I'm optimistic enough to see them racing up a mountain where the gaps actually count too.

Wise or not, Rodriguez seems to enjoy putting his group splintering team on the helm for these early on, and if they haven't got the legs, there is always Caisse. I don't think either one of them wants to see a breakaway reach the climb with a gap that can't be overcome.


I'm still not sure who Caisse will be riding for today. I would not be surprised if they will send Uran (too early), Plaza et al up the hill in semi-random fashion, and decide that after looking at tonight's GC. Something tells me they aren't totally convinced by Plaza's capacity to carry this to the end either, as they haven't exactly shown signs to throw their team's weight behind him just yet. Sounds to me they are waiting to see who of the others will make a convincing case. And that marble can still go down many holes.

As others have noted, Mosquera really needs to get some time somewhere, but I can't see him get much here. I expect Nibali and Anton to counter anything he has, AAnton more than Nibali maybe. I've been touting Anton ever since that poll went up, so I'm gonna stick with him here too.

Anton, Mosquera, Nibali. Rodriguez very close to these.

Menchov with another disappointing climb and losing time again. He might give it an early heave-ho, and decide pretty quickly that it's "ho", no? And settle for giving his all on the ITT, and peddle along for the rest of the Vuelta, good enough to save face without trying hard. Only going the full opportunistic mile when a very good chance gets thrown his way. Which I can't see happen.

I expect to see other Rabos in breaks more often from tomorrow on, as I think they have seen the GC writing on the wall. Ten Dam, mostly. Come to think of it, Garate has been very quiet so far.
 
Oct 29, 2009
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Gilbert in a break-away again, chasing those green jersey points. With Gilbert so unexpectedly determined to get green, I am not so sure of Cav will actually make it to Madrid, regardless of what he said.
 
Francois the Postman said:
Bit of an odd and long run-up to that ramp, and if it was the Tour, the only wise money would be on one combined GC group rollling up it, with at best only one of them losing some infuriatingly trivial amount of secs. As it isn't the very very very very last chance to make a difference yet.

But this is the Vuelta, so at least there is a chance that they forget what modern stage cycling should look like, and give it a go. Heck, so far there has been racing up some of the totally inconsequential lumps with 10-40k of flatland behind it, so I'm optimistic enough to see them racing up a mountain where the gaps actually count too.

Wise or not, Rodriguez seems to enjoy putting his group splintering team on the helm for these early on, and if they haven't got the legs, there is always Caisse. I don't think either one of them wants to see a breakaway reach the climb with a gap that can't be overcome.


I'm still not sure who Caisse will be riding for today. I would not be surprised if they will send Uran (too early), Plaza et al up the hill in semi-random fashion, and decide that after looking at tonight's GC. Something tells me they aren't totally convinced by Plaza's capacity to carry this to the end either, as they haven't exactly shown signs to throw their team's weight behind him just yet. Sounds to me they are waiting to see who of the others will make a convincing case. And that marble can still go down many holes.

As others have noted, Mosquera really needs to get some time somewhere, but I can't see him get much here. I expect Nibali and Anton to counter anything he has, AAnton more than Nibali maybe. I've been touting Anton ever since that poll went up, so I'm gonna stick with him here too.

Anton, Mosquera, Nibali. Rodriguez very close to these.

Menchov with another disappointing climb and losing time again. He might give it an early heave-ho, and decide pretty quickly that it's "ho", no? And settle for giving his all on the ITT, and peddle along for the rest of the Vuelta, good enough to save face without trying hard. Only going the full opportunistic mile when a very good chance gets thrown his way. Which I can't see happen.

I expect to see other Rabos in breaks more often from tomorrow on, as I think they have seen the GC writing on the wall. Ten Dam, mostly. Come to think of it, Garate has been very quiet so far.

You dont mention Sastre and Tondo. Dont you think they can stick with it.

I didnt either, hence why everyone was perplexed with cervelo pulling a few days ago. But the way Sastre and Tondo did that climb i was mightily impressed.
 
Francois the Postman said:
Gilbert in a break-away again, chasing those green jersey points. With Gilbert so unexpectedly determined to get green, I am not so sure of Cav will actually make it to Madrid, regardless of what he said.
I thought Gilbert would remain quiet after losing the red jersey. Didn't expect him to spend so much energy when he's supposed to be preparing the WC. :p
 
hrotha said:
I thought Gilbert would remain quiet after losing the red jersey. Didn't expect him to spend so much energy when he's supposed to be preparing the WC. :p
I would have thought the same but then it cant hurt that much considering cuddles won the worlds after coming 3rd last year and Samu came 2nd in lombardia after coming 2nd.
 
Oct 29, 2009
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The Hitch said:
You dont mention Sastre and Tondo. Dont you think they can stick with it.

I didnt either, hence why everyone was perplexed with cervelo pulling a few days ago. But the way Sastre and Tondo did that climb i was mightily impressed.

Couple of other obvious guys I didn't mention either, who might well feature too. They are just not really on my long-arc Vuelta story radar.

About these two:

Sastre? No, to be frank, although it wouldn't surprise me if he surprised me, if that makes sense. He's been shooting out of the back more than the front. And although that is his usual style even on good days, he hasn't convinced me yet that his form is good enough for the sharp end (yet).

Tondo I do count in for today. High up. 5th or 6th. :) I have him on my Fantasy team too. But I just don't care enough for him to feature heavily on my mind. For no good reason. Sorry Tondo.
 
Sastre was impressive because he attacked early, got caught but sticked with them. I think the fact that cervello worked for them is telling. It says to me that they expected Sastre or Tondo to be up there, and wasnt so much a fluke.
Also with Sastre you never know. He has done all gts but didnt need to go all out, and importantly, he has done nothing else all season. I know its a long shot but thats the fun in making predictions.
 
Oct 29, 2009
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hrotha said:
I thought Gilbert would remain quiet after losing the red jersey. Didn't expect him to spend so much energy when he's supposed to be preparing the WC. :p

Yeah, it's a bit of an odd one, but he has an extra week to recover, and he can sustain form over a long time too.

I am wondering if Gilbert is in that funny place where he has been much much better in a GT than he ever thought possible himself. Maybe he feels he has reached "a new level", and is just trying to find out what this new level is, and what he can actually do, if anything, in a "proper" stage race.

Normally, I'd agree that chasing that green jersey seems daft. I've wiped my slate of "normal expectations" from Gilbert clean though. He might surprise himself as much as he surprises us.

And maybe he is just going for the long long shot, having found himself a situation and frame of mind he doesn't expect to repeat ever, so why try to put something daft but very tasty on your palmares that you had never expect to see on it?

Either way, he's lasting a hell of a lot longer than I had him down for. One of the animators of this year's Vuelta, for me.

No Hoogerland though :D
 
roundabout said:
Gilbert is really antsy. 3rd over the climb.

And now for 135 kilometers of boredom. It's not like Pal is the only climb in the area. :(

Be careful what you wish for ;)

I remember a recent race where they had 4 huge mountains in the area- 2 cat 1s and 2 hc cat in the area. So they just put them all in and the last one was 70k from the finish.
I much prefer to just have 1 but have it at the end.
 
Oct 29, 2009
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Sasquatch said:
Where did Cav say he was going to make it to Madrid?
here

Although World Championships contenders often pull out of the Vuetla, Cavendish says he has every intention of completing the Tour of Spain - for which he has trained hard, deliberately avoiding doing any criteriums in August.


Hard to know if he really meant it, but something makes me think that he did so at the time. That was said after the TTT, and before he failed to go around the rest of Vuelta in a blaze of glory though (so far).
 
Mar 31, 2010
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roundabout said:
Gilbert is really antsy. 3rd over the climb.

And now for 135 kilometers of boredom. It's not like Pal is the only climb in the area. :(

be happy, with multiple climbs we would sure get a break that makes it to the finish first.
 
Oct 29, 2009
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The Hitch said:
Sastre was impressive because he attacked early, got caught but sticked with them. I think the fact that cervello worked for them is telling. It says to me that they expected Sastre or Tondo to be up there, and wasnt so much a fluke.
Also with Sastre you never know. He has done all gts but didnt need to go all out, and importantly, he has done nothing else all season. I know its a long shot but thats the fun in making predictions.

I like him a lot, so I wouldn't mind if he showed stronger than I expect him too.

The squad worked for him, he attacked, and got caught, and that was it. The only telling thing for me out of that was he wanted to give it a shot that day (for whatever reason) and he came up short.

Now, if "whatever reason" was a getting much better and might be there already, let's just test things feeling, you could be right.

If it was today is the day, as it might happen if the others aren't playing ball yet, and it probably won't happen anywhere else if I can't even make it stick here, you're betting on the wrong horse.

We'll know more by 5pm. I think he will lose a bit of time again. Similar to Tondo, who might just better him by a bit if there is serious racing up that slope. Less than Menchov.
 
Sep 16, 2009
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Francois the Postman said:
here

Although World Championships contenders often pull out of the Vuetla, Cavendish says he has every intention of completing the Tour of Spain - for which he has trained hard, deliberately avoiding doing any criteriums in August.


Hard to know if he really meant it, but something makes me think that he did so at the time. That was said after the TTT, and before he failed to go around the rest of Vuelta in a blaze of glory though (so far).

Cheers

Well he did contest and intermediate sprint yesterday which is unusual.

I guess he'll make his decision by the weekend after Thursday and Friday's stages seeing where he stands in the green jersey competition. If he has a handy break, he will keep going.
 
Seeing as we are discussing cavs vuelta and worlds, anyone see any parallels with cav at the vuelta and his great enemy at the giro? Both keep failing at sprints, and cite illness.

I suspect the finale might be similar, he will wait to get a stage win and then leabe, by which i mean he will win finally get his win on stage 21.
 
Sep 21, 2009
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The Hitch said:
Seeing as we are discussing cavs vuelta and worlds, anyone see any parallels with cav at the vuelta and his great enemy at the giro? Both keep failing at sprints, and cite illness.

I suspect the finale might be similar, he will wait to get a stage win and then leabe, by which i mean he will win finally get his win on stage 21.

Nope. He'll get one of the flat stages before Bola del Mundo, and he'll leave then. ;)