Vuelta a España - Stage 8: September 6 - Alzira - Alto de Aitana, 206km

May 6, 2009
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Vuelta a España - Stage 8: September 6 - Alzira - Alto de Aitana, 206km



Nasty.

And Valverde will get dropped on the final climb IMO.
 
As bad as the profile looks, I think we will still see around 70 or 80 riders start the Aitana in the peloton, unless the weather stays as bad as it was in the time trial. If so, we could see a big break stay away for the stage and 20 or 30 riders battle behind as GC contenders with major time gaps.
 
Jun 16, 2009
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Cobber said:
I can't wait. First real mountain stage since the Giro! :D
LOL. All i can say is OUCH about this stage. I personally think Valverde will be very strong today as he always is in the first 10 stages but he usually fades away.
 
Aug 4, 2009
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Is Vino going to break away early on a stage like this?

looking forward to seeing samuel sanchez, Valverde, Gesink, Fuglsang, and the Schlecks. The saxo bank team will move forward hopefully in team competition.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Usually the first mountain stages in GTs are relatively boring because everyone is unsure about their relative fitness. They check each other out and often the group of real contenders finish in an elite bunch.

I hope tomorrow will be different. The last climb is long, but on average not too steep (5.6/7%) with some steeper sections till the end, up to 9.5% and one in the last km. Shallow start, punchy finish... who could that be?

Evans, Valverde and Sanchez at 1:12; 1:14; 1:20 are well placed and can in theory conserve energy. On the other hand, bonus seconds are an easy way to take time on other contenders. Valverde thus has the edge. He should be doing well - assuming he is in tip top form - like he did in the DL on the Ventoux.

Basso and Gesink are already at 1:52 and 1:57. Evans being the best TTr - assuming he will remain in contention given his placing and not think too hard about the Worlds - needs to be attacked up hill. Basso and Gesink are similar climbers, diesels that run forever. Perhaps they can set up a 1-2?

Then there is Fuglsang and Danielson, both of whom I have no real idea how well they'll hold up for the duration of 3 weeks.

Mosquera is already 2:52 behind, so he surely has a reason to take time to close in on a top 5 spot.

Perhaps some others will want to go for a win, what about Andy Schleck. Valjavec is already 3m behind, and I thought he wanted to impress this tour after his absence in the TdF. What about Cobo or de la Fuente in an escape?

Looking forward to tomorrow.
 
Jul 14, 2009
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Should be a great stage. Mosquera might have a go, but how about his teammate david herrero in gold by the end of the day? He's also good enough to finish top 5.
 
The real race is about to begin-- a monster stage to select the real contenders--but whoever conserves energy today, can very well make up the differences on stage 9-- another beast!!! God, I hope Christian Prudhomme is watching & seeking to put the kind of mountain stages like these ones in the vuelta for the next year's tour....
 
May 6, 2009
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I guess this stage will tell us whether or not Evans is interested in the Vuelta or not. FTR I'm gunning for Basso.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Yeah, Evans will be interesting but the Shreks will really go for it, using their team to wreck the peloton first.
 
Cobber said:
I can't wait. First real mountain stage since the Giro! :D
LOL! Post of the week.

I think this is going to be a stage of feeling out, and attrition, where we'll see a lot of riders bunched up, the route wearing them down for future stages. Though someone will go towards the end, and Valverde is a good pick.

Nasty weather, which is possible, could change a lot of that, and we could indeed see some breaks, and the top GC riders all sticking together until the last 500m.

Tomorrow's stage over the Xorret de Cati is where we'll see the leaders attack each other. The last 10k there is going to be fun to watch, though the splits won't be huge, it will be dramatic.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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Thomas said:
Yeah, Evans will be interesting but the Shreks will really go for it, using their team to wreck the peloton first.
I'll be surprised if any of the Schlecks is anywhere near the GC favorites at the finish
 
Jul 17, 2009
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Expect about 30-50 seconds difference between the favourites, no more, especially with this being the first mountain stage in the race. If I remember correctly, when the Vuelta arrived here last in 2004 and Piepoli won, all the leaders were within 30 seconds of each other. It's also possible that a couple of non-GC riders manage to hold on and maybe even take the stage.

On an historical sidenote, Cyclingnews' preview of the stage says: The walled city of Alzira was founded by the Moors in the 8th century and brought under Spanish control when conquered by James I of Aragon in 1242.

It should read that it was brought under Aragonese control, since Spain did not exist until the end of the 15th century and James I of Aragon was king of... well, Aragon. This kind of mistake can be as offensive to us as it is for the Dutch to hear their country being called Holland, or for a Scotsman to be called an Englishman. Somehow, Cyclingnews did not like my reasoned correction of this mistake and not only ignored it, but actually deleted it so that no-one could see it. :rolleyes:
 
Mar 11, 2009
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issoisso said:
I'll be surprised if any of the Schlecks is anywhere near the GC favorites at the finish
they probably won't put too much effort in it. don't seem interested in this race at all.
but this will probably be the usual 'no racing till the last 5km' mountain stage, so they won't lose too much time.
 
May 17, 2009
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issoisso said:
I'll be surprised if any of the Schlecks is anywhere near the GC favorites at the finish
Agree. They are currently in 'deposit mode' with an eye towards the WC.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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ak-zaaf said:
they probably won't put too much effort in it. don't seem interested in this race at all.
but this will probably be the usual 'no racing till the last 5km' mountain stage, so they won't lose too much time.
It's not to say that Frank won't try, but he just came back from a long break, so I'm not expecting much.

As for Andy, he's the typical "I'm completely out of form until the day my objective starts when I can suddenly ride with the best" type of rider (that didn't seem to exist before the mid nineties) who can't hold top form for more than a few short weeks. And we're not in those weeks yet.
 
Aug 18, 2009
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I think someone outside the GC will get the stage, Valverde, Evans, Sanchez will be conservative, Mosquera or Gesink might attack, and Fuglsang or Basso might use their teams to drop people.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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workingclasshero said:
:eek: do they not like that?? seriously?? :eek:

:eek:
Holland is a part of the Netherlands. Two of the Netherlands' ten or so regions are called North Holland and South Holland.

It's kinda like calling the USA "Carolina".
 

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