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Jul 19, 2010
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In order to better educate myself about the race I downloaded and read the race rules here:
http://www.lavuelta.com/10/en/resultados/reglamentos.html?e=3

I noticed the monetary award for KOM is 13.000 and for Overall Combined is 11.000. I would have thought that Overall Combined would be more a more difficult competition. Not so?

Another question I have is the time bonuses. It seems these will provide good incentive for top 10 GC contenders to really go for stage wins rather than 'playing it safe'. Is this true?

Thanks,
 
MTDave said:
Another question I have is the time bonuses. It seems these will provide good incentive for top 10 GC contenders to really go for stage wins rather than 'playing it safe'. Is this true?

Thanks,

Not really, in so far as they wont take huge risks just for the 20 second (make that 8 over your closest opponent) bonus. They race pretty much the same, just are more likely to sprint for the line if they are with opponents. If you look at stage 19 in the giro this year, basso and nibali were with scarponi. THey didnt sprint for the win, just let him have it, even though this meant scarponi getting a big bonus on nibali to challenge him for 3rd. On an earlier stage Evans and Scarponi towed Basso to the line while chasing nibali and he took the 2nd place 12 second bonus, while Evans and Scarponi were tired. If they cared about the bonus they would have played it differently, but at the end of the day its not that big a deal compared to the minutes you could potentialy lose by racing the race differently.
1 minor way in which it does change racing style i guess, is that the if someone is strongly favoured for a win on a particular stage (like purito tomorow) other teams will not chase as they want the break to stay away so that j rod doesnt get the 20 second bonus. Or they might try to bluff Katusha into doing all the work by telling them that they have the favourite for the stage so it is their perogative.

I suppose if there were bonuses on the tourmalet contador would not have let Schleck have it, so in those situations they do matter, as they matter in the early stages for people trying to get the leaders jersey, but generaly most people will go for stage wins regardless and few people will take risks for the 20 second bonus, especially the gc contenders.
 
MTDave said:
]

I noticed the monetary award for KOM is 13.000 and for Overall Combined is 11.000. I would have thought that Overall Combined would be more a more difficult competition. Not so?

King of the mountains is always a more important competition. The overall combined is not something anyone targets before the race, whereas the KOM is something climbers and breakaway specialists like Moncoutie will base their gt around The combativity jersey rarely creates more attractive racing, I suppose, since it rewards consistency on all levels, it would more likely motivate rider to stay in the peloton and not take risks. The KOM jersey gets people like Moncoutie into breaks on mountain stages, which always helps the excitment.
 

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The Hitch said:
Not really, in so far as they wont take huge risks just for the 20 second (make that 8 over your closest opponent) bonus. They race pretty much the same, just are more likely to sprint for the line if they are with opponents. If you look at stage 19 in the giro this year, basso and nibali were with scarponi. THey didnt sprint for the win, just let him have it, even though this meant scarponi getting a big bonus on nibali to challenge him for 3rd. On an earlier stage Evans and Scarponi towed Basso to the line while chasing nibali and he took the 2nd place 12 second bonus, while Evans and Scarponi were tired. If they cared about the bonus they would have played it differently, but at the end of the day its not that big a deal compared to the minutes you could potentialy lose by racing the race differently.

I suppose if there were bonuses on the tourmalet contador would not have let Schleck have it, so in those situations they do matter, as they matter in the early stages for people trying to get the leaders jersey, but generaly most people will go for stage wins regardless and few people will take risks for the 20 second bonus, especially the gc contenders.

Well, in Tirreno this year it was brilliant, with the contenders trying to win through sprints. But generally they are only important when riders are really close. It can even ensure more defensive riding in certain cases, as the contenders let the breaks ride on, just to make sure that none of the other contenders get the bonus seconds
 
Barrus said:
Well, in Tirreno this year it was brilliant, with the contenders trying to win through sprints. But generally they are only important when riders are really close. It can even ensure more defensive riding in certain cases, as the contenders let the breaks ride on, just to make sure that none of the other contenders get the bonus seconds

I suppose tireno is similar to the bit i mentioned about riders going for bonuses at the start of a gt, since it does not have big mountains to create the huge time gaps, nor the 3 weeks of racing to create the big time gaps. Also, in the end, a mid race sprint proved decisive with garzeli gettiing back the 1 second needed to win a race, and i dont think we will ever see gc candidates contesting intermediate sprints at gts.
 

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The Hitch said:
I suppose tireno is similar to the bit i mentioned about riders going for bonuses at the start of a gt, since it does not have big mountains to create the huge time gaps, nor the 3 weeks of racing to create the big time gaps. Also, in the end, a mid race sprint proved decisive with garzeli gettiing back the 1 second needed to win a race, and i dont think we will ever see gc candidates contesting intermediate sprints at gts.

No, that's true. But still, I myself rather have the bonus points, with the possibility that people will go for them and that they might be decisive, than races without them, were there is no GC incentive for a GC contender to really win a stage, or even attampt to come second or third
 
Barrus said:
No, that's true. But still, I myself rather have the bonus points, with the possibility that people will go for them and that they might be decisive, than races without them, were there is no GC incentive for a GC contender to really win a stage, or even attampt to come second or third

yes, i do prefer time bonuses, for the reason that it can give riders who are otherwise too far back, hope and keep the race going, and for hope that it will prompt people to take risks for the bonus. I suppose there are some examples were bonuses have motivated riders to go for it, and this is also why i want them kept. like Grand Bornard 04. Without bonuses the heads of state would have just rolled in together, but since there were bonuses, kloden went for it from 1km out to get the bonus. In the end they finished together anyway though.

Its just rare
 
Jul 16, 2010
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It's kind of stupid with Valverde though. He's also a sprinter, so he can take more bonus seconds on a lot of stages while not actually being the best at all. I haven't done the calculations, but I think Sanchez could've won the Vuelta last year without bonus seconds.
 
No, last year bonuses dind't play a part in the GC. But they were the main reason why almost every mountain stage was won by a breakaway: everyone was scared of Valverde getting all the time bonuses.

But if you do the math, Contador won the 08 Vuelta by the exact same seconds that he bonused over Levy.

I HATE time bonuses. They encoureg people to stay in the pack and just make a little effort to get them, so they don't have the need to attack hard and far from the finish line. Specially with so many uphill and mountain top finishes. It's just easier to wait for the sprint, and 20'' is a enormous reward for that.

GC should be always about real racing time.
 
Jul 16, 2010
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Viskovitz said:
No, last year bonuses dind't play a part in the GC. But they were the main reason why almost every mountain stage was won by a breakaway: everyone was scared of Valverde getting all the time bonuses.

But if you do the math, Contador won the 08 Vuelta by the exact same seconds that he bonused over Levy.

I HATE time bonuses. They encoureg people to stay in the pack and just make a little effort to get them, so they don't have the need to attack hard and far from the finish line. Specially with so many uphill and mountain top finishes. It's just easier to wait for the sprint, and 20'' is a enormous reward for that.

GC should be always about real racing time.

I've read an article that Contador without bonus seconds was still leading by 3 seconds. But let's be honest here, Leipheimer was never close to the victory there. He was just lucky Contador didn't see him as a treat because he was on his team and supposed to be working for him(which he did).
 
Viskovitz said:
No, last year bonuses dind't play a part in the GC. But they were the main reason why almost every mountain stage was won by a breakaway: everyone was scared of Valverde getting all the time bonuses.

This years tour had no bonuses and no valverde but almost every mountain stage was won by a breakaway also.
 
Hitch - the point was that, if the bonuses were there in the Tour, maybe people would have taken it to the line and chased down those breakaways. There was no incentive to chase them down because there was no bonus to be gained from doing so.

In the Giro, Scarponi wasn't challenged because it was a deal the two Liquigas guys had cut - they knew full well that Scarponi would beat them in a sprint to the line, so they offered him the stage win in return for doing his share to distance Arroyo (and thus helping him in his attempt at the podium), as Liquigas needed to distance Arroyo and feared that a united attempt behind with Evans and Vino trying to get on the podium may help Arroyo hold on (as it turns out, a disorganised chase and everybody letting Arroyo do the work meant that Liquigas got the maglia rosa then comfortably), so wanted to enlist Scarponi's help.

At last year's Vuelta, it's worth noting that when Evans was in the maillot oro, the GC contenders did get involved in the scrap for bonus seconds, with Valverde picking up the lead thanks to them. Once he was in the lead, however, Caisse were happy to let the breakaways hoover up the bonus seconds as it didn't threaten Valverde's lead at all and they felt they could keep him close enough, and the other contenders knew that if they sprinted to the line Valverde would beat them anyway, so weren't so willing to work to catch the breakaways. Mosquera and Gesink took a fair few bonus seconds from their attacking the group, but didn't catch any of the stage winners.

The same was the case in the 2009 Giro, when di Luca's superior sprint made for other teams not being willing to chase down breakaways; LPR were willing to do that job to help extend his lead/cut back his deficit to Menchov, however, whereas Caisse felt more secure in Valverde's lead in the Vuelta.
 
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El Pistolero said:
It's kind of stupid with Valverde though. He's also a sprinter, so he can take more bonus seconds on a lot of stages while not actually being the best at all. I haven't done the calculations, but I think Sanchez could've won the Vuelta last year without bonus seconds.

I disagree. Why shouldn't Valverde be rewarded for being able to sprint as well? Even if Sanchez was stronger on the climbs (don't think he was), or faster in the TT (he was), if Valverde has a better sprint that should count for something. Just like in the tour this year where people were advantaged/disadvantaged due to ability on the cobbles.
 
MTDave said:
In order to better educate myself about the race I downloaded and read the race rules here:
http://www.lavuelta.com/10/en/resultados/reglamentos.html?e=3

I noticed the monetary award for KOM is 13.000 and for Overall Combined is 11.000. I would have thought that Overall Combined would be more a more difficult competition. Not so?

Another question I have is the time bonuses. It seems these will provide good incentive for top 10 GC contenders to really go for stage wins rather than 'playing it safe'. Is this true?

Thanks,


The other reason for the Overall Combined being worth less is that to win the Overall Combined you have to be well up in the other competitions which would lead you receive a fair amount of cash there too. So THe Overall Combined is just handing out prizes to those that have already won several of the other prizes.
 
Jul 16, 2010
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Bumeington said:
I disagree. Why shouldn't Valverde be rewarded for being able to sprint as well? Even if Sanchez was stronger on the climbs (don't think he was), or faster in the TT (he was), if Valverde has a better sprint that should count for something. Just like in the tour this year where people were advantaged/disadvantaged due to ability on the cobbles.

Because that was the most boring GT ever. He's not a good climber at all compared to some of the best. He was just super lucky that everyone had mechanicals or dropped out because of some accident.
 
Jun 22, 2009
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Viskovitz said:
No, last year bonuses dind't play a part in the GC. But they were the main reason why almost every mountain stage was won by a breakaway: everyone was scared of Valverde getting all the time bonuses.

But if you do the math, Contador won the 08 Vuelta by the exact same seconds that he bonused over Levy.

I HATE time bonuses. They encoureg people to stay in the pack and just make a little effort to get them, so they don't have the need to attack hard and far from the finish line. Specially with so many uphill and mountain top finishes. It's just easier to wait for the sprint, and 20'' is a enormous reward for that.

GC should be always about real racing time.

yep, thus the reason we always get these hugely active stages in the tour ey.
 
Apr 26, 2010
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El Pistolero said:
Because that was the most boring GT ever. He's not a good climber at all compared to some of the best. He was just super lucky that everyone had mechanicals or dropped out because of some accident.

Please; Valverde is a good climber. He can stay with the best when he's in form, and just look at his palmares. If you win the Vuelta and multiple Dauphines you can climb. No argument there. And sure, he had his worse days that he got dropped (Hautacam 08 jumps to mind), but he was a good climber. He simply took maximum advantage of the time bonuses. He was a more complete rider than say, Sanchez, which is also a reason why he won the Vuelta last year.
 
Jun 22, 2009
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El Pistolero said:
Because that was the most boring GT ever. He's not a good climber at all compared to some of the best. He was just super lucky that everyone had mechanicals or dropped out because of some accident.

you obviously didn't watch the tour last year :)

and yeah, it was a good gt, and valv. was a worthy winner, and climbed very well.
 
Jul 16, 2010
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Vonn Brinkman said:
Please; Valverde is a good climber. He can stay with the best when he's in form, and just look at his palmares. If you win the Vuelta and multiple Dauphines you can climb. No argument there. And sure, he had his worse days that he got dropped (Hautacam 08 jumps to mind), but he was a good climber. He simply took maximum advantage of the time bonuses. He was a more complete rider than say, Sanchez, which is also a reason why he won the Vuelta last year.

Good climber? Yes. Good climber compared to some other guys of his generation? No. He doesn't make my top ten of( currently active cyclists) best GT(one day races is something else) contenders anyway.

And about that maximum advantage thingie. Of course he took advantage of it and of course it's fair for him to do so, but without the bonus seconds in that Vuelta we would have most likely seen a more interesting GT. I will always see his victory there as a fluke though because of the mechanicals and bad luck his nearest opponents had, but that's not his fault. + some clinic issues with him as well.
 
Vuelta '08, Pla de Beret, Valverde was the only man who could go with Contador. Igor Antón went with them for a bit but yo-yoed off afterward. Angliru, Valverde was 2nd on the stage, and he and Rodríguez were the only people who could follow Contador. OK, he paid for it the following day on San Isidro, but Valverde is one of the best climbers out there, and was only put in difficulty once in the race, and then he was able to come back from it convincingly.

Oh, and there's one good reason he shouldn't be in the list of top 10 GT contenders active at the moment - he's not active. But that's the only reason he shouldn't be in that list.
 
Jul 19, 2010
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Thanks Carl, that makes sense about the combined.

It seems there will always be as many opinions on time bonuses as people you ask. I think that at the most they do not detract from the race. The race organizers obviously feel they are important to generating racing excitement otherwise they would just leave it at the prize money.

Something I thought about last night was, when were time bonuses first used in a grand tour, and was that before riders had radios? I could see a top 15 contender surprising the race leaders more easily without radios, grabbing the time bonuses and really moving up.

Thanks all for the replies,
 
Jul 16, 2010
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Libertine Seguros said:
Vuelta '08, Pla de Beret, Valverde was the only man who could go with Contador. Igor Antón went with them for a bit but yo-yoed off afterward. Angliru, Valverde was 2nd on the stage, and he and Rodríguez were the only people who could follow Contador. OK, he paid for it the following day on San Isidro, but Valverde is one of the best climbers out there, and was only put in difficulty once in the race, and then he was able to come back from it convincingly.

Oh, and there's one good reason he shouldn't be in the list of top 10 GT contenders active at the moment - he's not active. But that's the only reason he shouldn't be in that list.

Gt= 3 weeks

And not a few days. And with active I mean retired or not retired. Valverde will come back after his ban.

And let's see... Contador already rode in the Giro and won it. Leipheimer was second and also rode the Giro that year. Carlos Sastre was third and rode the Tour that year(winning it).
 
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theyoungest said:
So? Your point was Valverde is not an A-list climber in a GT. Well, he is. Very much so. Don't be misled by the fact that he also has a sprint.

Added black part was my point. To be a good GT climber you need to be consistent on all mountain stages. Dropping out on one climb in every GT= damage has been done especially if you lose a lot of time in one stage like Valverde has done numerous of times. Just saying he doesn't make it in my top 10 of GT contenders. I'm not saying he's far away from it though. And I definitely consider him an A climber in important one day races like LBL, fleche Wallone, classica San Sebastian and Giro di Lombardia.