Vuelta a España Vuelta a España 2020: Stage 12 (Pola de Laviana > Alto de l'Angliru, 109.4 km)

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I like Soler, and if we (someone) could convince the team and him that he's a stage hunter and not a GC rider it would be a lot easier to really cheer for him.
He's doing a reasonable job of being both. He's been out on the attack and in the break of the day repeatedly despite being a GC relevance - he just doesn't have a sprint at the best of times and because of the need to gain time was driving the breakaway for much more of the time than Gaudu yesterday. Let us remember that Movistar won a Grand Tour as recently as 2019 by having somebody operate the way Soler is doing now. And yes, Carapaz is stronger than Soler, but Abarcá have also won a Grand Tour with Pereiro and podiumed one with Arroyo because of this kind of tactic. Both of those guys were pretty decent stage hunters. Soler is 26, has a couple of years' potential improvement in him. I think he's already a more dynamic threat than Arroyo was, and Arroyo rode the Giro as leader for Abarcá pretty credibly for about five years, mostly finishing around the 10th overall kind of area à la Mikel Nieve.
 
He's doing a reasonable job of being both. He's been out on the attack and in the break of the day repeatedly despite being a GC relevance - he just doesn't have a sprint at the best of times and because of the need to gain time was driving the breakaway for much more of the time than Gaudu yesterday. Let us remember that Movistar won a Grand Tour as recently as 2019 by having somebody operate the way Soler is doing now. And yes, Carapaz is stronger than Soler, but Abarcá have also won a Grand Tour with Pereiro and podiumed one with Arroyo because of this kind of tactic. Both of those guys were pretty decent stage hunters. Soler is 26, has a couple of years' potential improvement in him. I think he's already a more dynamic threat than Arroyo was, and Arroyo rode the Giro as leader for Abarcá pretty credibly for about five years, mostly finishing around the 10th overall kind of area à la Mikel Nieve.
I'd say Soler is a bit similar to Luis Leon Sanchez right now albeit a better climber/GC rider but worse stage hunter. Solid, very multifucntional rider.

Prime real estate for Ineos?
 
I expect a solid borefest without any kind of initiatives nor even breaks on the first four mountains. Domestiques soft pedalling monotonously in front of the intact peleton through the 23% section, delivering Bennet, Ackermann and Philipsen the last 25 meters for a photo sprint finish.

Hope I've jinxed it now.
 
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The forum would never have survived that actually happening.
i did survive Froome doing a Landis and the last week of Tour 2011.

One day, they will change things up and head to Angliru via Cuchu Puercu. I mean, you aren't going to get moves before Angliru from the top guys on GC whatever you do (your best hope will be along the lines of Contador's move in 2017), but let's at least try.

I'm not entirely sure about the descent. It looks shaky, but going uphill from Cordal should be perfectly feasible.
 
I am really excited about this stage, not because of the outcome, I don't expect any upsets, but because I think this will tell what kind of a rider Roglic actually is. If he can win dominantly here, I think all that defensive riding of Jumbo is just a preference because of mentality of either Roglic or the responsible people behind.
If he shows weaknesses we know that the Jumbo concept is tightly knit to the strengths of Roglic and that there are holes in his armour.
I am not really willing to acknowledge any talk of day-form or something for the results we will see.
 
i did survive Froome doing a Landis and the last week of Tour 2011.


I'm not entirely sure about the descent. It looks shaky, but going uphill from Cordal should be perfectly feasible.
This would be the Cobertoria side, so the descent to the base of Angliru would be the same as the one they always take. There are a couple of stretches between the summit and Cordal that probably need some care admittedly which would need sorting before they could race it, however it does look like a lot of them would be more a case of taking care of the vegetation overgrowth rather than anything else.
 

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