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Vuelta a España 2019 stage 9: Andorra La Vella - Cortals d'Encamp > 94.4km

Lopez to attack on penultimate climb, he's not going to wait for the TT just to be outclassed by Roglic. He's strong, he knows he needs to be aggressive if he wants to win this, terrain suits him, i think he will be on the move.
Movistar is a puzzle, who knows what will they do (won't do) tomorrow. I would go with Quintana marking Superman if he makes earlier move, or if Lopez doesn't move then Quintana to attack on Cortals hardest part 3-4 km from the finish, with Valverde shadowing Roglic exclusively, and if he sense some weakness to strike hard.
 
how good or bad is the dirt road between 2 last climbs?
I cycled it a couple of years ago and the surface was absolutely fine. Like one of the good strade bianche, but also completely flat.

I think the bigger problem could be that it is narrow, with some reasonably sharp bends - which could be pretty dangerous at 45km/h. There's a short tunnel as well which is a bit hazardous iirc.
 
Lopez to attack on penultimate climb, he's not going to wait for the TT just to be outclassed by Roglic. He's strong, he knows he needs to be aggressive if he wants to win this, terrain suits him, i think he will be on the move.
Movistar is a puzzle, who knows what will they do (won't do) tomorrow. I would go with Quintana marking Superman if he makes earlier move, or if Lopez doesn't move then Quintana to attack on Cortals hardest part 3-4 km from the finish, with Valverde shadowing Roglic exclusively, and if he sense some weakness to strike hard.
Quintana will probably mark Lopez, while Valverde sits on and doesn't cooperate with Roglic. A lot depends on how long domestiques last.
 
Short, massive, compressed stuff; in theory this just has to be huge. For entertaining level and the classification.
But.... well, not necessarily. I think those stages are little more independent from the team power BTW

If I should say who can be hurt in this my thoughts are sticking with Senior Valverde. And I hope I'm wrong because winning Vuelta would be excellent icing on the cake in his heavy CV.
Lopez is too obvious, Ski Jumper the same; so I will go with Majka and Nairo :)
 
May 11, 2017
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I hope there will be attacks from Majka, Latour, Aru (or whoever feels good from the second line of contenders) on Gallina. Does Valverde struggle in cold and rain?
 
I like the potential of the long but fairly shallow first climb because in the last ten years or so whenever the stage starts with a climb right out of the box with no time for the legs to adjust then carnage occurs and riders ping up the road in small groups constantly and it becomes super hard for the GC leader teams to mark race numbers and regulate who goes up the road.

It not being steep makes it more enticing for riders to attack positively rather than just cling on.

As for some predictions:
  1. The GC favourites group + breakaway to be down to less than 50-60 riders after less than 5 kms of the stage.
  2. At least one GC Guy to have a jour sans and be left to recalibrate to stagehunting. Kelderman is my tip here.
  3. Quintana to outshine Valverde.
  4. Lopez to win the stage.
 

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