Vuelta a España Vuelta a España 2021: Stage 5 (Tarancón - Albacete, 184.4 km)

Sadly for this type of stage the weather has to play ball. Like with some of the Tour's early stages this year, the organisers did what they can. A stage into Albacete is usually sufficient enough to show an attempt to create some intrigue, since it's an area notorious for generating trial-by-echelon racing back in the old days. It's less common nowadays however, for a variety of reasons including the calendar change in the 90s and the increased professionalism, especially as back then most of the strongest domestic teams would be based in the north and be put to the sword by overseas teams from the Netherlands and Belgium, well-versed in this type of racing, taking advantage of the Spanish teams' naïveté. The area does still tend to be windy so it's a safe bet if the organisers are looking for a difficult, high-tempo flat stage, but sadly this time the weather forecast doesn't look like helping them out.
 
We can't blame organizers for not trying.
The zig-zag from the intermediate shows the idea.

Maybe if they'd stop trying something would happen.
Like the Tour stage this year with, about, 100 roundabouts... and no wind for the first time since... forever.
Thanks for pointing out the zig-zags mid course to try to set up cross winds in at least one cardinal direction. I would not have realized why there are those sharp changes of direction.
 
Reactions: Sandisfan
The last few years there have been attempts by GTs to design crosswind stages. But us stalwart echelon fans seem to be always cursed with light wind on those days. It almost seems that lately, if the organizers used historic data and designed all GTs to reduce as much headwind racing and to make 4 to 5 possible crosswind stages each GT, that crosswinds devotees would probably get mostly headwind stages and maybe one or two crosswind stages but with enough wind blocking to make it unsatisfying. :( I will hope as usual for some echelons but not expecting it.
 
I love how quickly breakaway groups form in the Vuelta. It seems like an unwritten rule of 3 Spanish riders at kilometre zero & voilà, the day's escapees are established.

In the Tour meanwhile it's total chaos for anything up to 100km (in some cases). Perhaps something to do with the live broadcast of the entire stage in the Tour.
 
Reactions: Sandisfan
I love how quickly breakaway groups form in the Vuelta. It seems like an unwritten rule of 3 Spanish riders at kilometre zero & voilà, the day's escapees are established.

In the Tour meanwhile it's total chaos for anything up to 100km (in some cases). Perhaps something to do with the live broadcast of the entire stage in the Tour.
The Giro was also broadcasted in full and there we had the same story as in the Vuelta. Likely more to do with how many more people watch the Tour than any other race and the overall level of the riders in the different races.
 
I love how quickly breakaway groups form in the Vuelta. It seems like an unwritten rule of 3 Spanish riders at kilometre zero & voilà, the day's escapees are established.

In the Tour meanwhile it's total chaos for anything up to 100km (in some cases). Perhaps something to do with the live broadcast of the entire stage in the Tour.
#freemikel

Wrong one though.
 

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