Vuelta last week disappointment thread.

Mar 13, 2009
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So who else was disapponted with the last week of the Giro? GC wise at least I was hoping for more attempts at breaks from guys in the top 20. I can't imagine Contador or Evans being within 5 minutes of the Leaders jersey for 4 days and not killing themselves to take it. Geox had a strong team but were almost left unchallenged in the last week.
 
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karlboss said:
So who else was disapponted with the last week of the Giro? GC wise at least I was hoping for more attempts at breaks from guys in the top 20. I can't imagine Contador or Evans being within 5 minutes of the Leaders jersey for 4 days and not killing themselves to take it. Geox had a strong team but were almost left unchallenged in the last week.
Contador won the Giro.:D
 
Oct 15, 2009
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Do you expect them to get into breakaways risking their precious top 20 positions?

Are you insane? :D
 
Mar 13, 2010
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A very dull final week after a great first two weeks. The course itself was a big factor in this but the teams themselves showed a depressing lack of aggression and self-belief. Team Sky is a case in point. I can't work out if I should be impressed with them for placing 2nd and 3rd on the podium and having a separate sprint stage win, or whether I should be staggered at how they threw away a Grand Tour victory - either via a shocking TTT, a misjudgment in not prioritising Froome earlier than they did (possibly understandably) or by a complete absence of tactical creativity in the final week. I do wonder if a further recruit is required at a senior management level at Sky. I can't imagine someone in the mold of Cyril Guimard having played the final week like Sky did.
 
They didn't want the Basque stages to be too decisive in fear of disruption (in the end, there were some nationalists protesting in Bilbao, but they were mostly ignored by a crowd too drunk on the liquor of victory), and wanted the finishes in big cities too. Bilbao is fine, but it then came to a choice between Gasteiz and Donostia, and Donostia is much more of a centre of national fervour. Unfortunately, Gasteiz has all those flat roads leading into it.

Peña Cabarga is a good finish - relatively short but very steep. The gaps produced by it aren't ever going to be especially big, and that's why it's probably best used as a lead-in to the big mountains like it was in 2010, as it can't really serve as a main event final MTF unless the gaps are really small. Nevertheless it made for a pretty good finish this year. There are always at least a couple of transitional stages in the last week of the Vuelta because of the anticipation of riders leaving for the worlds.
 
Aug 16, 2011
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They should have started it in the basque country and put the big climbs in the final weeks, would have made it much more exciting.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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Libertine Seguros said:
They didn't want the Basque stages to be too decisive in fear of disruption (in the end, there were some nationalists protesting in Bilbao, but they were mostly ignored by a crowd too drunk on the liquor of victory), and wanted the finishes in big cities too. Bilbao is fine, but it then came to a choice between Gasteiz and Donostia, and Donostia is much more of a centre of national fervour. Unfortunately, Gasteiz has all those flat roads leading into it.

Peña Cabarga is a good finish - relatively short but very steep. The gaps produced by it aren't ever going to be especially big, and that's why it's probably best used as a lead-in to the big mountains like it was in 2010, as it can't really serve as a main event final MTF unless the gaps are really small. Nevertheless it made for a pretty good finish this year. There are always at least a couple of transitional stages in the last week of the Vuelta because of the anticipation of riders leaving for the worlds.
I know the course wasn't decisive, I can even understand why it wasn't, that still doesn't explain why noone tried harder to win. Would we have seen the same thing with Vino, Contador or even Cadel sitting 13 seconds down? They would have used themselves and their team to do what ever they could Contador didn't attack with 100km to go because he was thinking of a stage win. 13 seconds even minutes down with 4 stages to go they would have done something.
I know the odds are they would have fought and lost, but they would have tried.
 
Jan 19, 2011
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Was very dissapointed with the last week after two weeks of great racing.

Was also very dissapointed with Skys lack of creativity i thought Wiggins could have been used far more creatively in the last week i know it would have been highly unlikely that they could have taken the win in the last week but it would have been good to see them at least try. They almost seemed resigned to taking 2nd and 3rd as opposed to trying for the win. It must be remembered that Wiggins was only a minute and a half down but he seemed to be counted out in the final week i thought he could have been used as part of a 1-2 punch which would have put far more pressure on Cobo who appeared to just have to watch Fromme.

Having said that looking back from the start of the race i think sky can be happy with a 2nd and 3rd considering in the lead up those of us who were tipping Wiggins to be a genuine chance were laughed at for suggesting something so ludicrus let alonge add on the fact of the emergence of Fromme.

I don't know a whole lot about Fromme but for those who do, was this performance just a flash in the pan or has he been building for a breakthrough result like this for a while?
 
Jun 22, 2009
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buster1 said:
I don't know a whole lot about Fromme but for those who do, was this performance just a flash in the pan or has he been building for a breakthrough result like this for a while?
his level of progress never indicated this.
 
karlboss said:
I know the course wasn't decisive, I can even understand why it wasn't, that still doesn't explain why noone tried harder to win. Would we have seen the same thing with Vino, Contador or even Cadel sitting 13 seconds down? They would have used themselves and their team to do what ever they could Contador didn't attack with 100km to go because he was thinking of a stage win. 13 seconds even minutes down with 4 stages to go they would have done something.
I know the odds are they would have fought and lost, but they would have tried.
But Contador and Vino are already highly decorated riders, and could live with losing a few GC positions if it didn't work, because they have so many other results to fall back on. Many of the GC mix at the Vuelta were trying to protect what they had because a GT top 10 looks good on the palmarès and many didn't have that kind of result. Rodríguez was consistently trying to win back his time with far-fetched methods. Wiggins needed a good finish to justify his salary and to prove himself as a GT man again, while Froome did attempt to gain time a couple of times - first on Peña Cabarga, and then on El Vivero on the way into Bilbao. You can be disappointed that he gave up after one go, but then he isn't a great descender, so he really needed the gap to come then. What annoyed me was them letting Zubeldia and Nerz go away and take the remaining bonus seconds once it was clear Antón was going to stay away (I think the crowd in Bilbao ceased to care one iota about the GC mix there though).
buster1 said:
Was very dissapointed with the last week after two weeks of great racing.

Was also very dissapointed with Skys lack of creativity i thought Wiggins could have been used far more creatively in the last week i know it would have been highly unlikely that they could have taken the win in the last week but it would have been good to see them at least try. They almost seemed resigned to taking 2nd and 3rd as opposed to trying for the win. It must be remembered that Wiggins was only a minute and a half down but he seemed to be counted out in the final week i thought he could have been used as part of a 1-2 punch which would have put far more pressure on Cobo who appeared to just have to watch Fromme.

Having said that looking back from the start of the race i think sky can be happy with a 2nd and 3rd considering in the lead up those of us who were tipping Wiggins to be a genuine chance were laughed at for suggesting something so ludicrus let alonge add on the fact of the emergence of Fromme.

I don't know a whole lot about Fromme but for those who do, was this performance just a flash in the pan or has he been building for a breakthrough result like this for a while?
Froome has not been building at all, he's been stagnating for about three years, not really looking like becoming anything more than a half-decent mountain domestique of around the level of someone like Jesús Hernández or Nicki Sørensen. Then this. His performance on La Covatilla was what we felt was a very, very good day for him at the time. You'll see some quite active talk about Froome's emergence and Cobo's renaissance in the Clinic.

As for using Wiggins more creatively in the final week, yes it was a possibility, but was it realistic? Wiggins is not an explosive rider at all, especially not uphill. He is a grinder, who sets painful tempos and shells the others one by one. We're still uncertain about him when it's steepest - he was broken on Anglirú, and you can bet the gap would likely have been bigger once he had broken had on form contenders like Contador, Evans and Sánchez been there. The climbs of the Cantabrian coast and the Basque country really aren't suited to him; he was never going to be zipping off the front and putting the pressure on Geox. And even if he did, Menchov looked pretty comfortable out there as the race wore on. If he hadn't lost time due to bad luck and bad positioning in week 1 it could have been a comfortable win for him rather than a close win for Cobo.
 

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