Vuelta a España 2021 route rumours

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The climb named Collado de los Ballesteros in the stage to Pico Villuercas is actually the North side of Villuercas. 400m of climbing in 3km. This is longer and just slightly easier gradient than Muro di Sormano. The road surface, though...



Is this good enough for a long range attack?
Well, that's because what they climb is the Collado de los Ballesteros, that's the pass just beneath Pico Villuercas. It's like how they climb Venta Luisa rather than Cálar Alto at the end of week 1.
 
I have big problems to understand why they do not finish stage stage 14 in Guadalupe after 110 km. One would have this killer wall and then a fast 12 km descent to the finish. It would offer a little variation and would probably lead to half an hour of spectacular racing.
Not to mention, Guadalupe is a very beautiful town with a UNESCO World Heritage monastery.
 
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I have big problems to understand why they do not finish stage stage 14 in Guadalupe after 110 km. One would have this killer wall and then a fast 12 km descent to the finish. It would offer a little variation and would probably lead to half an hour of spectacular racing.
A few years ago we would have had something like _/
If they are doing both sides of the climb is a small step in a positive direction. Only Picón Blanco is a flat stage with a MTF at the end. All other MTFs have a decent amount of meat before, even if most of the time there's a lot of flat between climbs.

Well, that's because what they climb is the Collado de los Ballesteros, that's the pass just beneath Pico Villuercas. It's like how they climb Venta Luisa rather than Cálar Alto at the end of week 1.
I know. During the official presentation they've shown a video of the climb from Guadalupe but they haven't shown or talked of the muro. It's like they're adding more mid-stage climbs but they only care about the last one.

Not seen in the profiles, stages 2, 4 and 5 are on windy roads. Actually, the Z bend in the last 50km of stage 5 looks to me like they want to get wind no matter what direction blows that day.
 
Shame that a Pyrenean grinder finishing downwards or a Catalan tt instead of one of the Huy-like finales were impossible to fit in in this parcourse.
However, I like the route. Both, the racing and the sightseeing, should be amusing.
 
I do wish there was a categorised climb somewhere in one of stages 2, 4 or 5 to give some incentive for the break to form. I fear something like a couple of the early Tour de France stages last year if the wind doesn't play ball, since going in the break will be so thankless, even if the finish at Picón Blanco on stage 3 means that the GPM will probably be being looked after for the leader of the race for most of week 1 as a result. At least stage 2 is in the Burgos team's backyard so they'll probably send somebody out there to do the lonely job that Javier Chacón or José António López Gil used to do for Andalucía.
 
Roglic was faster by 42 seconds across 3 ITTs.
And yet he wasn't the best ITT'er in that Giro.

You forget that when Roglic rode the ITT it was raining which made the course slower.
It started raining when Campenaerts rode. He may have started while it wasn't, but rain came down long before he finished. Some parts had actually already dried up partly when Roglic was riding, while other parts were getting more wet.
 
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And yet he wasn't the best ITT'er in that Giro.


It started raining when Campenaerts rode. He may have started while it wasn't, but rain came down long before he finished. Some parts had actually already dried up partly when Roglic was riding, while other parts were getting more wet.
This is such a homer take. I'm not sure how can anyone seriously not consider Roglič the best TT rider of that Giro. He won 2 of the 3 ITTs. The first one in dominant fashion. Campenaerts won none of the three.

Also what you say in the last paragraph is partly true, but you twisted it in the way, it helps your argument, while excluding other facts. The reality is that Campenaerts started on completely dry roads. It started raining when he was on the uphill section towards the end. He finished in light rain. One could say the rain didn't even affect his performance at all.
On the other hand, Roglič started when it was raining pretty heavily and on completely wet roads. That's why he lost around a minute in the first part where the speed was higher, therefore braking and cornering had a bigger impact on the performance. He finished his ITT in even heavier rain. Video evidence below:

View: https://youtu.be/6gU7emFA-Y0
 
You guys never get it. A GT should crown and reward the best allrounder, not the best pure climber. That is the hsitory of cycling. Rewarding the ability to ride in the flat has alwas been apart of GT tacing. For the first 50 xears it was by far the most important aspect. The only way to test this quality today are TTs. Hence every GT should have a decent amount of TT. Plus TTs encourage agressive riding and not 1km uphill sprints. All you guys care about is small gaps. Oh oh oh but but but, gaps will be too big.... For god`s sake go watch track racing there you have small guys. People like you have destroyed the once great sport of cyling. Snowflake mentality in life, snowflake mentality in cycling. Thanks for that.
 
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No, the problem with ITTs isn't the result (gaps) but entertainment. Long, flat ITTs were fine in an the ancient era in which people would just read results in the next day's newspaper but not when stages are aired live in their entirety. 150 cyclists riding over the same roads over-and-over is boring. The result is interesting but the actual event is not. Even on boring flat stations, the broadcaster can show 14 different chateaux, 5 bridges and an aqueduct.
 
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You guys never get it. A GT should crown and reward the best allrounder, not the best pure climber. That is the hsitory of cycling. Rewarding the ability to ride in the flat has alwas been apart of GT tacing. For the first 50 xears it was by far the most important aspect. The only way to test this quality today are TTs. Hence every GT should have a decent amount of TT. Plus TTs encourage agressive riding and not 1km uphill sprints. All you guys care about is small gaps. Oh oh oh but but but, gaps will be too big.... For god`s sake go watch track racing there you have small guys. People like you have destroyed the once great sport of cyling. Snowflake mentality in life, snowflake mentality in cycling. Thanks for that.
I agree with your general opinion although you are being a little too aggressive towards the end of your post. It's not the opinion of the guys on this forum that you need to change. Some of them like mountain stages and climbers more, so normally they like when there's less TT kilometers around in a GT. But the general view from the objective posters around here has been for quite some time, that there aren't enough TT in a GT nowadays. The problem is that the casual fan doesn't care about how a GT route should reward the ability to ride on the flat. They care about head to head battles in the mountains, preferably with small differences and the battle for the leaders jersey to be open till the end. That's what TV ratings show the GT organisers and they act accordingly.
 
You guys never get it. A GT should crown and reward the best allrounder, not the best pure climber. That is the hsitory of cycling. Rewarding the ability to ride in the flat has alwas been apart of GT tacing. For the first 50 xears it was by far the most important aspect. The only way to test this quality today are TTs. Hence every GT should have a decent amount of TT. Plus TTs encourage agressive riding and not 1km uphill sprints. All you guys care about is small gaps. Oh oh oh but but but, gaps will be too big.... For god`s sake go watch track racing there you have small guys. People like you have destroyed the once great sport of cyling. Snowflake mentality in life, snowflake mentality in cycling. Thanks for that.
For the first 70 years of the history of GTs there wasn't any live TV, so all they had to do was making up whatever they wanted to fill newspapers pages. With live TV and audience figures, GT organizers start getting feedback to do what they think is best for their business.
Regarding the Vuelta most recent history, there is a dramatic turning point: 2007.
 
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You guys never get it. A GT should crown and reward the best allrounder, not the best pure climber. That is the hsitory of cycling. Rewarding the ability to ride in the flat has alwas been apart of GT tacing. For the first 50 xears it was by far the most important aspect. The only way to test this quality today are TTs. Hence every GT should have a decent amount of TT. Plus TTs encourage agressive riding and not 1km uphill sprints. All you guys care about is small gaps. Oh oh oh but but but, gaps will be too big.... For god`s sake go watch track racing there you have small guys. People like you have destroyed the once great sport of cyling. Snowflake mentality in life, snowflake mentality in cycling. Thanks for that.
Give me a freaking break.
 
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You guys never get it. A GT should crown and reward the best allrounder, not the best pure climber. That is the hsitory of cycling. Rewarding the ability to ride in the flat has alwas been apart of GT tacing. For the first 50 xears it was by far the most important aspect. The only way to test this quality today are TTs. Hence every GT should have a decent amount of TT. Plus TTs encourage agressive riding and not 1km uphill sprints. All you guys care about is small gaps. Oh oh oh but but but, gaps will be too big.... For god`s sake go watch track racing there you have small guys. People like you have destroyed the once great sport of cyling. Snowflake mentality in life, snowflake mentality in cycling. Thanks for that.
This is utterly ridiculous. First of all almost none of us want only small gaps or murito finishes. That is one big and fat strawman argument. The only thing I really care about in GTs are hills and mountains. I want a lot of these, and preferably different kind of hilly and mountain stages, not only the murito finishes we've seen more and more of the last few years. But I really don't care about the time trialing. Sometimes it's useful to add more TT to encouarge attacks in the mountains and get better mountain stages, but that requires you have a very certain type of set-up in the GC. And that doesn't happen very often.

But destroyed the sport because you don't have a shitload of time trialing. You're completely delusional. I've watched cycling for about twenty years. Several of the worst versions of Grand Tours have been when they were completely dominated by one team and their top rider were a top time trialist and diesel engine. Like Wiggins and Thomas. I really do not want Grand Tours to a much larger degree facilitating for these kind of riders.
 
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You guys never get it. A GT should crown and reward the best allrounder, not the best pure climber. That is the hsitory of cycling. Rewarding the ability to ride in the flat has alwas been apart of GT tacing. For the first 50 xears it was by far the most important aspect. The only way to test this quality today are TTs. Hence every GT should have a decent amount of TT. Plus TTs encourage agressive riding and not 1km uphill sprints. All you guys care about is small gaps. Oh oh oh but but but, gaps will be too big.... For god`s sake go watch track racing there you have small guys. People like you have destroyed the once great sport of cyling. Snowflake mentality in life, snowflake mentality in cycling. Thanks for that.
I see what you're getting at. Right now it snows outside and looking out my window warms my heart. Snowflake mentality.
Of course pro road cyclists of the past would just have shovelled the snow away with their bare hands, since they used to be real men, withstanding weather, nature, weakness, for hours and days. They needed way bigger cycling shorts, which were made of jeans, then, because they had way bigger balls, hanging between their legs like grapefruits. Notice, the grapefruits of the past, which were sour, not the sweet, sugary kind of today.
 
No, the problem with ITTs isn't the result (gaps) but entertainment. Long, flat ITTs were fine in an the ancient era in which people would just read results in the next day's newspaper but not when stages are aired live in their entirety. 150 cyclists riding over the same roads over-and-over is boring. The result is interesting but the actual event is not. Even on boring flat stations, the broadcaster can show 14 different chateaux, 5 bridges and an aqueduct.
Are long ITTs any more boring than short ones? Was the San Marino ITT more boring than the Bologna prologue?

I also highly doubt that the general takeaway from last year's Tour was that the ITT was the most boring stage.
 
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I'm not gonna get back to state why ITTs are important, or why I think BR in principle is right (you know, apart from the snowflake rambling at the end). If you wanna read a LS-style essay on the matter, it's here

But I just wanna address a couple things. First of all, the claim that ITTs are disappearing because of TV ratings is completely baseless. Not only TVs have existed from long enough that any such effect would have happened long before the beginning of this century, but simply ITTs always have (and had) good TV ratings. Not as high as mountain stages, granted, but still significantly better than, for example, mass sprint stages, of which we keep having at least 5-6 in every GT, without any organizer or media bothering too much about it. Whatever the reason for the TT decline is, it's not TV ratings.

I think part of the problem is, as already mentioned, the fear of big gaps and subsequent lack of public interest that ITTs may (and sometimes did) generate. But I also think that this fear is coming specifically from a very limited number of examples (those being the SKY train in the '10s, US Postal in the 00's, and Indurain in the 90's, although the latter domination has also produced arguably the three best stages in modern history, so it was not that much of a snoozefest...). What I mean with this is that I believe this fear is mostly irrational and hinges on very little evidence. The latest big ITTs in the Giro (i.e. 2009, 2013, 2015) have not made any such disasters.

Another reason is the fact that climbers are seen as more popular and thus more marketable. I suspect this phenomenon has its roots in the age when pure climbers were underdogs, and people would cheer for them because they were such. Riders like Fuente, Bahamontes, Chiappucci, Pantani and many others were crowd pleasers because they were seen as the David against Goliath kind of heroes, fighting the odds to win a competition they normally would have no business in winning. And in fact, all of these did not win much, relatively speaking. I would say they would not have been this popular, had they dominated half a decade of GTs like they would in this age. I do think this trend is slowly reversing, as now fans start seeing rouleurs as underdogs instead. Not only the organizers but also the media have a big part of the blame here, as they are still happy to ride a hatetrain that imho they could easily stop if they wanted. But I'm confident that in time the trend will reverse clearly enough that the media will suddenly switch narrative and the whole thing will swing back to the opposite direction.

However, what I suspect is perhaps the biggest reason of TTs downfall is logistics. The organizers really don't seem to like them. I think the only possible reason is that they are more expensive to produce (so media don't like them), they isolate a whole area for quite a long time (so locals don't like them), and they require a lot of equipment that road stages don't normally do (more motos, more cars, and the longer the TT is, the more you need to cover everybody). If this is true, then we have a whole different problem on our hands, without a clear solution. But it begs the question: why only now? Would these reasons apply also to all other ages? Is equipment more expensive today? Is production more costly? I don't think so. Maybe ITTs always were a logistical nightmare (at least in modern times, with tv production and all), but organizers saw the chance to limit them only now that the public doesn't mind.
 
Coudn't also be a problem that the organizers just don't want to create as tough stages as in the earlier days? If you have a large amount of ITT, you need an equally large amount of mountain stages to balance this, and they are less inclined to these kind of stages due to the doping problem
 
Coudn't also be a problem that the organizers just don't want to create as tough stages as in the earlier days? If you have a large amount of ITT, you need an equally large amount of mountain stages to balance this, and they are less inclined to these kind of stages due to the doping problem
If so, their perception of what a balanced route looks like is horribly skewed.
As for the doping problem, no, it has nothing to do with how much mountains a route has.
 

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