Vuelta a España Vuelta a España 2021: Stage 6 (Requena - Montaña de Cullera, 158.3 km)

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For Movistar it wouldn't have made sense to use Mas or Lopez to make a selfless effort for Valverde. First of all, he did not seem to have anything left today. Secondly, they can't afford to lose any time in GC with either Mas or Lopez.
Yeah, fair enough, if Bala had the legs he would've gone with Matthews and/or Rogla.

Still, the situation was screaming out for someone to take control, and they had the guys right there with gaps forming behind. If you're not going to impose yourself then, then when?
 
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It's still early, but Movistar looks to be the biggest challenger to Roglič (with Bernal) ATM. Mas looks good, but I don't believe in him. Lopez looks more scary to me to be honest. He is the only rider in the world that has dropped a top form healthy Roglič on a climb multuple times in the past. Not Pogačar, not Bernal or anyone else, Superman is that guy.
Now I’m biased and have taken a liking to Mas, but I don’t see how he could be written off at this point. He’s finished higher than Lopez in just about every GT where both were on start line over the last 4 years. He hasn’t been an explosive or attacking rider, but Lopez is inconsistent over 3 weeks. I think they complement each other quite well. I see more “untapped potential” with Mas. I’m fine with either of them winning, but don’t see how anyone could say they “don’t believe in him” when his last two Vueltas has seen him finish 2nd and 5th (after a weird year where he competed in 2 GTs for the first time). It looks like the Vuelta is just a better fit for him with the steeper terrain. Plus, when he is on top form he is a better TTer than a top form Lopez (though Lopez hasn’t been bad recently).
 
Well yeah, but whoever stuck their head up to be the guy to do that, would get caught and passed. To catch Cort needed a team to have numbers in the finale, working in unison with a common goal, and someone to make a selfless effort, to set up one rider with a strong finishing kick.

And I can't think who that team might be. Did any team finish with, say, 3 riders in the top 10?
I get what you are saying, but last I checked Roglič is not riding for Movistar. Valverde is no match for Rogla in these type of finishes nowadays and he was no match for a handful of other riders today either.

In the end it played out well for Movistar. Primož didn't get 4 more boni seconds for the win and the three amigos didn't lose much and are still close in GC.
 
I get what you are saying, but last I checked Roglič is not riding for Movistar. Valverde is no match for Rogla in these type of finishes nowadays and he was no match for a handful of other riders today either.

In the end it played out well for Movistar. Primož didn't get 4 more boni seconds for the win and the three amigos didn't lose much and are still close in GC.
Yeah the only one who had a reason to try and close the gap earlier was Matthews and he did so.
All of the others were either on the limit or knew Roglic would smoke them easily come the final 500mt.
 
Now I’m biased and have taken a liking to Mas, but I don’t see how he could be written off at this point. He’s finished higher than Lopez in just about every GT where both were on start line over the last 4 years. He hasn’t been an explosive or attacking rider, but Lopez is inconsistent over 3 weeks. I think they complement each other quite well. I see more “untapped potential” with Mas. I’m fine with either of them winning, but don’t see how anyone could say they “don’t believe in him” when his last two Vueltas has seen him finish 2nd and 5th (after a weird year where he competed in 2 GTs for the first time). It looks like the Vuelta is just a better fit for him with the steeper terrain. Plus, when he is on top form he is a better TTer than a top form Lopez (though Lopez hasn’t been bad recently).
I'm not writing him off. I see him almost a sure thing for a top5, but in my opinion he lacks that little bit of extra to be a GT winner in this field. He's been very consistent, always as a 4th, 5th, 6th best climber in the race, but I never saw him do a performance that would set him apart from the others, a performance where he could make a difference. His best climbing performance was probably in my opinion from his stage win in Pais Vasco (2018 I think it was), but nothing extraordinary since then.
Lopez on the other hand has a couple of performances every GT (not in this years Tour though) when you go "wow, this guy is the best climber in the race". He is very inconsistent, that's true and I agree. I also agree that they both compliment each other very well. I think in one vs one situation against Roglič, they can't beat him (considering the ITT). If they work together as a duo they have a chance.

Edit:
Or even better as a trio with Valverde.
 
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When has it ever payed off to help a favourite back once he has shown obvious signs of weakness? I can't think of examples (only when it's been crashes).
I'm pretty sure there were plenty of occasions in the past where riders looked off form in 1st week but by 3rd week they were in such a form that they were fighting for top5 overall. I remember Hesjedal and Kruijswijk were getting better with each day during 2015 Giro after losing 5 and 8 minutes respectively on the first hilly stage.
Chances are not great but it doesn't hurt to try to minimise the losses just in case.

Btw. when the splits occured some 30kms to go Carthy was very far back with his 4 team mates but they didn't even work to bring him back! You could see right then that they were probably already aware that he was not in GC form.
 
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It's still early, but Movistar looks to be the biggest challenger to Roglič (with Bernal) ATM. Mas looks good, but I don't believe in him. Lopez looks more scary to me to be honest. He is the only rider in the world that has dropped a top form healthy Roglič on a climb multuple times in the past. Not Pogačar, not Bernal or anyone else, Superman is that guy.
He's also 'that guy' that will lose about 3 months on the last TT.
 
I'm pretty sure there were plenty of occasions in the past where riders looked off form in 1st week but by 3rd week they were in such a form that they were fighting for top5 overall. I remember Hesjedal and Kruijswijk were getting better with each day during 2015 Giro after losing 5 and 8 minutes respectively on the first hilly stage.
Chances are not great but it doesn't hurt to try to minimise the losses just in case.

Btw. when the splits occured some 30kms to go Carthy was very far back with his 4 team mates but they didn't even work to bring him back! You could see right then that they were probably already aware that he was not in GC

The times I saw them they were trying to bring him back but he kept losing contact off the back so they had to slow down. When they were getting close to the peloton you could see that his 3 teammates were all fairly upright and more relaxed while he was in a tight aero position behind them struggling get get every iota of a draft he could. He fought hard, but be even more empty tomorrow.
 
I'm not writing him off. I see him almost a sure thing for a top5, but in my opinion he lacks that little bit of extra to be a GT winner in this field. He's been very consistent, always as a 4th, 5th, 6th best climber in the race, but I never saw him do a performance that would set him apart from the others, a performance where he could make a difference. His best climbing performance was probably in my opinion from his stage win in Pais Vasco (2018 I think it was), but nothing extraordinary since then.
Lopez on the other hand has a couple of performances every GT (not in this years Tour though) when you go "wow, this guy is the best climber in the race". He is very inconsistent, that's true and I agree. I also agree that they both compliment each other very well. I think in one vs one situation against Roglič, they can't beat him (considering the ITT). If they work together as a duo they have a chance.

Edit:
Or even better as a trio with Valverde.
Probably the stage he won in Andorra, no? I remember that stage very well since Valverde shipped all that time, but it was a great stage and Mas convinced me right there and then that he had the potential to be a future winner of the big tours. The last couple of years he has been good, not amazing, but its still early days. Who says he cant replicate that performance from that race (where he just got better and better) or even surpass that this year? Wouldnt surprise me - but then again, he might just finish 4th without doing that much, but at this point (still very early obviosly) I would be a bit disappointed not to see him in top 3.
 

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