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Vuelta a España 2019 stage 17: Aranda de Duero - Guadalajara > 219.6 km

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I just realize yesterday was 9/11. In hindsight some turmoil was bound to happen. Also it was again the day after the resting day.

It's wide open for the places 2 to 6 now. Quintana is riding a good tactical Vuelta with attacking spirit. Hopefully he feels better than before the resting day and finds his climbing legs back.

Roglic was isolated, but because of Astana's defensive tactics this couldn't be exploited. In the third week you will always see coalition with the leader instead of against him.
 
So Erviti, Oliveira and Rojas who were in the front split and drove it on weren't selfish ?
Without Quintana there they were of zero concern to anyone and were likely there for the team competition over anything else. Also likely that Rojas was there for an attempt at the stage win, which becomes impossible to even try because of Quintana. Instead Quintana burned them all up before the finish line.
 
Reactions: Sandisfan
Just seen the stage from 90k to finish. Could've been nice with possibility to see entire stage.
I very, very rarely use the word 'epic', but this is the first word popping up here.
Crosswind race from the starting pistol and going for it entire 220k stage with an average of +50kph.
Read more grumbling in this thread over Movistarring and persons who don't even want to see the race from that on. But that's a fine annoying spice to have seated in the teeth, just making emotions even larger.

For me, this is whats cycling race is about. What is not to like?
 
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Valverde attacking to bring the gap down was selfish
Exactly. Now they have Quintana in bad form sitting in a 2nd place with no real margin to the guys behind. He's a sitting duck.

Not riding would've benefit Valverde as well
Are people genuinely unable to understand what Movistar did?

If they hadn't "brought down the gap" (by exactly a minute), then you'd have 10-15 guys chasing those last 40kms, instead of 3-4. Quintana wouldn't even have made it to the 3rd place in that case.

Doesn't the fact they never stopped pulling in front and only stepped up the pace on a climb, for 5 minutes, gives you a guy a clue on what happened?

I think everything Movistar did today (getting Quintana in the break, pulling from the front group, raising the pace in Roglič's group to disrupt the chase and drop the domestiques) was perfect. It's a pity the payoff wasn't bigger due to Astana's dumb conservative tactics, because Movistar deserved an even better result: Quintana in red with a dangerous gap.
What the heck was conservative about Astana's tactics? They did what they had to do.

Movistar move didn't payoff more because Izaguirre, Fulgsang and Cataldo were very strong. That's all. Nothing to do with tactics.


I agree with those above, and think Lopez should have left Roglic and Pogacar work together. They could have cracked and he might have been able to attack late in the stage or had a more effective attack tomorrow of a tired Rog-Pog.
Why on earth would Roglic or Pogacar work at all, even to the point of cracking(!!!)??

Why wouldn't they simply wait for their teammates (who weren't too far away, and Pogacar had one available to drop in the breakaway), join forces with Bora and just go from there?

And once they do that, and not some lalaland crazy "let's chase ourselves) stuff they'd only do if they were positively blotto, how would MAL benefit from that, except by locking himself out of the podium most likely?

People are basically saying MAL should have given up his chances at a podium in the chance that Roglic and Pogacar were deeply intoxicated and decided to act flat out absurdly.

Some of the comments in this thread ... how on earth do people who participate on a cycling forum write them? It's mind-boggling.
 
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Jumbo's and Astana's domestiques should suffer tomorrow. Roglic will probably be isolated again then it's up to Movistar how they want to play it. Tactically Jumbo have been caught out again as they were in the Giro. Roglic could have easily lost the race today if the tactics in the chase group were a little different.
Tactically, Jumbo did nothing wrong. Their riders just didn't have the legs. This has nothing to do with tactics. Not everything that happens on the road is about tactics; in fact, almost nothing is.

Quintana's legs won't be worse than anyone in the chase group. It was a large break and even though Quintana was working, the chasers were probably working harder.
The chasers didn't work at all, they just followed wheels (the GC chasers of course) - but that's mostly a non-factor.

More importantly, a stage like yesterday's, flat and raced at a furious pace, will always take more out of Quintana than guys like Roglic or Valverde, simply because he's smaller. Quintana has to go much deeper to sustain those crazy power outputs for over 200kms.

It's often a weapon used against lightweight riders in stage races. Froome and Sky did it a couple of times to Quintana himself in the Tour - not just flat stages but also Mont Ventoux. Hinault used to do it all the time to the Colombian midgets back in the day.

Of course, Quintana might be stronger than anyone else today, either because he's just stronger at this point of the race, or having a good day, or the others having a bad day. More likely, in practical terms it won't even matter. But ceteris paribus, yesterday's stage was more of a hit on Quintana than the other guys, purely on a biomechanical and physiological base.
 
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But what do you think would happen if Soler/Valverde and Lopez with his men started attacking simultaneously, after he was left isolated?
Nothing would happen. He'd just keep closing gaps and following wheels until his teammates were back. And this scenario is already based on some unhinged fantasy scenario where teams forego their own ambitions in order to work for some other. Cycling is a race of all against all. It's not a race of all against the leader. Anyway, it wouldn't even work. The belief MAL and Valverde were capable of creating gaps to Roglic on that sort of terrain (let alone with a strong tailwind) isn't reality based (absent Roglic having some sort of collapse). That's just not how road cycling works.

Well if Poga worked, surely Lopez would have needed to work as well. If Astana stopped, I think only Rogla would have worked in front and that would have been GG from that point on after dropping his domestiques on the climb. Sure, would have been a big gamble for Astana and it would have looked weird when they were 5, but after a while they could maybe have attacked him along with Poga and Valv/Soler. There were many opportunities, but sadly they played it very conservative. Which I understand to some degree, but it would just have been a much, much more interesting stage this way around. That could have put the Vuelta in completely jeopardy and if they somehow cracked Roglic, who knows. We will never know because they took this approach and as I said before, acted as usefull fools and 100% dedicated helpers for Roglic. Unfortunately...
The point is the following. If Astana stopped working, even though Quintana is no danger to anyone, He could have been in red by far today unless Roglic and Pogacar worked real hard together. Otherwise Quintana walks to the red Jersey. The worse that would have happened is the same but with a completely worn out Roglic and Pogacar. There is no way in the universe that Roglic and Pogacar alone would have been any challenge to DCQ/MOVI/Sunweb working together at the front.
Okay, the number of comments positing this nonsense is aggravating.

First, why on earth would Astana not pull? Are they riding for Movistar? How exactly would MAL benefit from having Quintana gaining even more time on him? He'd have made it even more difficult to podium.

Second, and more importantly, why on earth would Roglic (and Pogacar, for whatever reason) put his chest on the wind? Roglic chasing? How do people even get these ideas? I can't even understand the rationale. Why on earth would Roglic (or Pogacar, or Valverde, or MAL for that matter) get in front on a situation like that - I guess except for a few kms and conservatively?

Roglic would just sit on and wait for his teammates to get back. When Movistar stopped their pull, there were like 3 Rabbobanks within 2 minutes. Gesink was less than 1 minute away. There was still Polanski in the group too. Why are people talking about as if those guys were eliminated or something? That's not how road cycling works. They're still there in the road. Why would Roglic start a hopeless chase 50kms to go when he had like 4 teammates a couple of minutes away?

Here's what happened if, for some bizarre reason, Astana hadn't pulled: you'd have Gesink, Powless, Kuss, Drucker, Marcato and I think I'm forgetting someone else joining the chasing group. Molano would be ordered to drop down if necessary. Maybe Quintana would have gained a bit more ground, but not nearly enough to get within a minute of the red. But probably enough to fend off MAL for the rest of the race. So MAL's chances to podium would take a severe hit...for what? For the sake of Quintana?

Even if Astana had stopped pulling in the last 10kms when Rabbo doms had stopped pulling, then Roglic/Majka/Pogaçar/Polanski would pace themselves those last few kms without much problem. They'd give away 30 seconds or so to Quintana. That would be it. But so would MAL. And why on earth would he want that? I don't get it. People are talking about this as if Movistar and Astana are twin teams or something.

Movistar tactic was excellent. They were looking for Astana/Rabbo/UAE to panic like Astana did in the Albi stage of the Tour, when Lutsenko idiotically shed everyone from the favourites group and they ended up losing almost 2 minutes when they were 15 seconds away. In hindsight, it didn't work because Astana domestiques were strong enough to not be dropped. It was worth the effort, it still benefited Quintana - if they had allowed Jumbo/Astana/UAE/Bora to work together after that climb with the wind on their back, I doubt the gap for the breakaway would have been larger than 3 minutes.

Movistar did what they had to do; Astana did what they had to do. There was no tactical blunder whatsoever. Roglic would have never committed suicide by chasing a 20 men breakaway for 40kms by himself. Astana could have waited a bit for the Rabbo/UAE/Bora doms and then work together; or do what they did. IMO, they did the right thing - they had enough legs to do the work by themselves + Polansky.

This thread has given me brain cancer.

I guess this forum's reputation is well deserved.
 
What the heck was conservative about Astana's tactics? They did what they had to do.

Movistar move didn't payoff more because Izaguirre, Fulgsang and Cataldo were very strong. That's all. Nothing to do with tactics.
In a situation where Roglič had become isolated, in the middle of an insanely hard stage and despite Astana having the strongest team, they decided to defend their position instead of attacking Roglič's. That's textbook conservatism.
 
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In a situation where Roglič had become isolated, in the middle of an insanely hard stage and despite Astana having the strongest team, they decided to defend their position instead of attacking Roglič's. That's textbook conservatism.
Saying "it was conservative because they didn't attack" is just an empty, meaningless, tautology.

How exactly were they going to attack Roglic? Seriously, what does that even mean in the real world? Flat terrain, 40kms to go, their best GC rider was 4 minutes away from Roglic and is a far less powerful rolleur. What does "attack Roglic" even mean in this context?

Is this another fantasy where Roglic has a brain aneurysm mid-race and goes all out in front instead of sitting on and wait for his teammates?
 
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They didn't need to attack Roglic. Just stop working. That's all.
Why? To help Quintana while sacrificing MAL's podium? Seriously, what would be the point? Jumbo, Bora and UAE doms would still come back and chase - how much more would Quintana have gained? 1 minute, 2 minutes?

So in that alternative universe where Astana are dumb MAL would:

Keep the same time gap to Roglic
Keep the same time gap to Valverde
Keep the same time gap to Pogacar
Have a larger time gap to Quintana, possibly locking himself out of the podium!

To save his doms legs for 40 kms on flat terrain. Utterly absurd.


This forum is a twilight zone.
 
The objective being that they could sit back and bluff Roglič until he feels he has to work to defend his lead from Quintana, with the aim that Roglič would then get tired working alone against the four Movistar riders up front plus the stagehunting Deceuninck riders, and then once he is tired, THEN Astana kick into full gear, fresh and with probably a good 20-25km left to mitigate losses, plus potentially gaining time on a Roglič that would have had to spend 15km in the wind. You know, remember the 2010 Giro and how it ended up with Vino and Scarponi and Evans taking pulls in the remainder of the péloton while Porte and Arroyo still had domestiques up front? The bonus is that Pogačar was also isolated so they could have potentially had the same fortune against him. We saw today that yesterday's exertions cost Quintana, who had been looking weak in the mountains at the weekend. Surely they'd fancy their chances of taking 3 minutes from Quintana more than their chances of taking the same amount of time from Roglič on the evidence of the last two weeks?
 
Why? To help Quintana while sacrificing MAL's podium? Seriously, what would be the point? Jumbo, Bora and UAE doms would still come back and chase - how much more would Quintana have gained? 1 minute, 2 minutes?

So in that alternative universe where Astana are dumb MAL would:

Keep the same time gap to Roglic
Keep the same time gap to Valverde
Keep the same time gap to Pogacar
Have a larger time gap to Quintana, possibly locking himself out of the podium!

To save his doms legs for 40 kms on flat terrain. Utterly absurd.


This forum is a twilight zone.
I have no idea how you come to these conclusions. Really, what makes you think that these are the events that would happen. Roglic would have been forced to ride otherwise his race would have been over. Very simple.
And not to mention his teammate Pogacar. He would have been buried so deep.
 
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I have no idea how you come to these conclusions. Really, what makes you think that these are the events that would happen. Roglic would have been forced to ride otherwise his race would have been over. Very simple.
And not to mention his teammate Pogacar. He would have been buried so deep.
I don't think you people understand the race situation. You can't "force" a rider "to ride" just because you want to. It needs to make sense for the rider to ride. And in that case it'd make no sense whatsoever for Roglic to ride instead of simply waiting for his team. Even if he had lost a minute or two, why would he care that much - his race wouldn't be over by any stretch of the imagination. He could afford to lose another 2 minutes to Quintana, even lose the red, and he'd still be the overwhelming favourite. Now, he could lose the race if he decided to go on a 40kms ITT, sure - and that's why he'd never do it. And yet, here you are, claiming he'd just do that because it's the only way of making that "Astana shouldn't work" nonsense work.

Let's do it this way: you present a coherent, rational, explanation on why Roglic "would be forced to ride" instead of merely waiting a minute for his teammates (plus the UAE and Bora guys who were just riding behind the group).

And then you explain why on earth would that benefit MAL and Astana. Why on earth would MAL and Astana ride to give time to Quintana?
 

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