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Vuelta a España 2019 Rumours

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Jun 30, 2014
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Red Rick said:
Few good things, few more bad things. All in all just very underwhelming.
I mean, It's a modern Vuelta route, so you know what to expect.
Still, better than expected and way more fun that the Tour.
 
Very mixed feelings about this route. What makes it very hard to judge how good this route really is is that I have a hard time judging how many stages will end in a sprint. I think there could be up to 9 (although I'm rather pessimistic here) which would be really sad since the lack of sprint stages often was what made some recent vuelta routes decent despite underwhelming stage design.
What I really like about this route is the return of stages with more than one proper climb and in general gc relevant stages that aren't 100% about a mtf coming at the end. Unfortunately most of these stages are very short (with the exception of the ones in the last week but I'll come back to that later) and still don't have any monster passes early one but it's a step forwards from last year and moreover the stages which don't have multiple 1st category climbs often at least have many 2nd and 3rd category hills before the mtf so possibly you could create early selections on those stages too.
Another interesting thing is that Alto de la Cubilla on stage 16 is the final mtf of the race, which is surprisingly early for nowadays gt standard. It's a lot like in 2015 again as there are still "easy" mountain stages left to gain time but generally riders will be forced to already properly race each other in the first two weeks instead of playing the waiting game until week 3. In 2015 this worked extremely well and the last week of that race was one of the best ones in recent vuelta editions with a lead swap on stage 20, but back then the route mainly worked because the time gaps were really small so riders still saw a chance to win. If you have a rider with a dominant team and a one minute lead going into the last week there is a big danger of extremely passively ridden final stages. Anyway in general I welcome a stage 20 like in this race over a hard mtf. If someone has the balls to attack on Peña Negra this could be an epic finale.
 
Oct 19, 2015
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I may come back to this topic later on. For now some quick questions and observations:

- geez, they're cutting costs with these random places (Ibi?, L'Eliana, Puerto de Ares, Onda, Jurançon, Saint-Palais, Tineo, Pravia, Becerril de la Serra),
- the stages around Alicante are like a Gordian knot,
- is Javalambre entirely dirt? Because it looks like this. The finish line seems to also be in a random place,
- Mas de la Costa is hormigon? I remember looking at it one day and i think LS also had a stage featuring it?
- does someone have any details on the road surface/quality of Arraiz on the Bilbao stage?
- i don't think Acebo should be ESP if the profile is right,
- hah, i told you LS that Cubilla ain't ESP :p. Also, interesting to see Marabio as afaik the road was in pretty bad condition the last time i looked. Maybe there were some works done,
- wonder, what will happen on the Gredos stage as you never know with that type of stages and i also guess LS and PCR pundits wll be happy to see this as they're be advocating this design since i was still in the diapers,
- the overall design of the route sort of evokes the shadows of 2015... guess someone up there liked that idea for a race.

EDIT:
Now, as the stage maps are being posted i've checked out and it seens that Javalambre observatory is not on Javalambre, but on Picon del Buitre and recently at least parts of the climb were surfaced. There still seems to be some dirt left in a local valley but maybe there will be no dirt left as per next year.

The stages also seem to criss-cross with one another or with each other, featuring some weird loops or almost loops even mid-stage, like it's a one-day race or the country is small.
 
Sep 17, 2016
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All in all the route is not impressing but there are good points as well.


+
That 5th stage is way better than a couple of early murito-stages.
9th stage to Andorra is way better than the 65 km crap the Tour pulled last year.
Stage 13, 15 and 16 are well designed mountain stages
The relatively weak last week should encourage action earlier in the race
Stage 18 should be interesting as the only real mountain stage with a downhill finish


-
Potentially too many sprint stages
Where is that really spectacular mountain stage?
Re-use of several recent climbs (Los Machucos and Andorra)
Another ITT in Pau? What is up with that?
Overall the route it feels like a consolation grand tour (for whoever failed big at the Giro or Tour)



I also like the fact that the three grand tours next year each has a "theme".
- Giro d'Italia with long stages and extremely enduring and difficult mountain stages.
- Tour de France with short and high altitude mountain stages
- Vuelta a Espana with short and explosive stages
 
Just happy to see Los Machucos return. Contador put in an epic ride there in 2017, leaving Superman Lopez in his dust. Came up a little short, but it was a killer stage. Hopefully Mini-Bertie will fly there in 2019.
 
Maybe the softer than usually final week could've been more demanding, but overall the route isn't to complain about. Always tight racing in Spain.
It's going to be interesting to see who'll be there after the latest announcements.
 
Oct 19, 2015
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hrotha said:
Jesus, that Andorra stage. 96 km. On stage 9. After an easy stage. Before an ITT. They went out of their way to position it as badly as possible, didn't they?
I assume there's a rest day between Andorra and Pau. I guess it was possible to do at least Ordino before that. With an exclusively Andorra stage it would be short no matter what, unless they would do Envalira and then descend the tunnel route like in 2012. Judging by how clunky a number of stages look it was maybe a way to go? I guess Vuelta is a fan of "grid" start. I still think the main action will be in the 2nd week (mainly thinking about Acebo and Machucos), as Vuelta likes to do.
 
Re:

Robert5091 said:
Longest ITT in the 3 GT's next year - might tempt Froome or Tommy D. Could all be over though after 2 weeks.
I think Tommy D has already said Giro/Tour. If he goes he'll skip the Tour. Froome likely will go after the Tour.

As for the others, I'd guess Mas. Valverde will definitely be there.
 
First reaction...weird. That one won't be called back-loaded. As always, I hate that so much of Spain is ignored. I have to look further to get a better feel and "rate the route", when the thread comes up, I suck at polls so be my guest :) , there seem to be something unusual about this Vuelta and right now I miss a gamble stage, do or die week 3 so the race doesn't get sealed too early. Is it by design? A two week GT would ensure massive participation. First thoughts...
 
Half a*sed attemp at designing proper mountain stages:
Andorra is the best they could do within 100km; that constraint has obviously been set to keep gaps in check.
Double ascent to Acebo... one at the start and another one at the end, with more than 20kms of flat after the preceding climb.
The detailed profile of stage 18 shows they do the second ascent to Morcuera from the easier side of Soto del Real instead of the longer ascent from Guadalix de la Sierra they did in 2015.
The stage to Gredos is underwhelming: Pedro Bernardo + half-Serranillos is far from the best option to start. The stage accumulates 'only' 4200m of climbing when a minor change such as Pedro Bernardo + Mijares would get 5000m within a distance just below 200km. A longer raid adding Serranillos N and El Pico to that would have been epic.

The good points:
They've got rid of garage ramp finishes. There's still the silly Mas de la Costa, but that's about it.
Eight mountain finishes is low for recent standards. Let's hope this sets a new trend.
La Gallina
The stage finish in Bilbao, with two moderate climbs leading to the murito... 8km from the finish line.
Marabio and Cobertoria on the way to La Cubilla. The MTF is shallow but long: 1300m of climbing will be a >45 min effort.
 
Re:

Red Rick said:
Few good things, few more bad things. All in all just very underwhelming.
Compared to my expectations in beforehand, this is the best GT route in 2019. The Giro is of course better in absolute terms, but was worse than I both hoped and expected. For the Tour I had low expectations and wasn't "disappointed" by ASO. They delivered a utter mediocre route.

For the Vuelta I also had low expectations, but this is better than I feared. Javalambre is a nice addition. The Andorra stage is short but the combo of Comella, Engolasters and Els Cortals is good. The stage is Asturias is also on par with normal Vuelta stages, and the last mountain stage to Sierra Gredos is interesting. All in all this is a pretty good Vuelta design. 7/10 in Vuelta terms from my point of view.
 
Re: Re:

Koronin said:
Robert5091 said:
Longest ITT in the 3 GT's next year - might tempt Froome or Tommy D. Could all be over though after 2 weeks.
I think Tommy D has already said Giro/Tour. If he goes he'll skip the Tour. Froome likely will go after the Tour.

As for the others, I'd guess Mas. Valverde will definitely be there.
Dumoulin hasn't said Giro/Tour, he has said Giro, and then they'll see.

Dumoulin made it a big point in an interview last month that he can't do what he did this year every year cause it won't make him a better rider.

The only reason to go for Giro/Tour is if they believe that like a 3rd place in the Tour is much more important than a big chance to win the Vuelta.

It makes absolutely no sense to ride the Tour except for "muh sponsors" which is a reason that's just *** disgusting
 
Re: Re:

Red Rick said:
Koronin said:
Robert5091 said:
Longest ITT in the 3 GT's next year - might tempt Froome or Tommy D. Could all be over though after 2 weeks.
I think Tommy D has already said Giro/Tour. If he goes he'll skip the Tour. Froome likely will go after the Tour.

As for the others, I'd guess Mas. Valverde will definitely be there.
Dumoulin hasn't said Giro/Tour, he has said Giro, and then they'll see.

Dumoulin made it a big point in an interview last month that he can't do what he did this year every year cause it won't make him a better rider.

The only reason to go for Giro/Tour is if they believe that like a 3rd place in the Tour is much more important than a big chance to win the Vuelta.

It makes absolutely no sense to ride the Tour except for "muh sponsors" which is a reason that's just **** disgusting
Well it's not like Dumoulin doesn't have a chance to win the tour after the giro. If it's Thomas and not him who has a mechanical before the mur de Bretagne he very well might have won last year and while Froome won't have the giro in his legs next season he has looked to be in slight decline for a few years now. The point is, he wouldn't be the favorite at the tour but he would definitely have a chance to win
 

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