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Vuelta Stage 21: Arroyomolinos → Madrid - 118km

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Re:

Ruby United said:
As I wrote earlier, I have always endured the Froome and Sky criticism here because I perfectly understand - and sometimes even feel - the frustration of the SkyBots choo-chooing.
But to criticize him for trying to win a major classification!!??
That's beyond ridiculous.
To be honest, I am ambivalent about the role of the secondary classifications in modern cycling. The weighting of points competitions at the Tour heavily in favour of flat stages make it artificial compared to the Vuelta's, which is explicitly to reward consistency (clasificación de la regularidad), but at the same time the trend toward youtube cycling with a dozen hilltop finishes mean that this then means it is frequently won by a GC contender almost accidentally. I don't mind so much if somebody who falls from being able to win the GC and is in the position to take the secondary classification as a consolation prize - like Valverde a few years ago - is contesting it, or if Froome had made it clear that he was determined for the additional classifications by doing things like coming in ahead of Poels yesterday to prevent Trentin from having the option.

Similarly, the Tour's incredibly artificial over-valuing of MTFs (where a stage with four cat.1s - one of which was a summit finish - had the same number of points available as a single HC MTF) means that I don't rate Froome's polka dots, which he won almost by accident as a by-product of winning the PSM MTF and then not cracking like an egg, as highly as somebody like Barguil clearly honouring the classification (this isn't to say that Froome dishonoured the GPM, but that it was clearly of little concern to him given the GC, but the way ASO structured the competition meant he won it almost by default. The fault was ASO's, not Froome's). At the same time, the "king of the breakaways" element that comes from the more stingy points awarded (the Vuelta uses the same format as the Giro did pre-2012, only the Giro used to have an additional "MTF" category which ranked summit finishes higher, in line with the points for an ESP in the Vuelta) makes it hard to look at many of the recent winners like Omar Fraile, Nicolas Edet, Simon Clarke and now Davide Villella, and say they were the kings of the mountains in the race in the same way as Mikel Nieve, Mikel Landa, Rafał Majka or Warren Barguil.

Ultimately, if Froome had won the race by picking up red at Cálar Alto or something, or hadn't won the Tour, then I don't think there would have been the same divisiveness about him sprinting for secondary classification points to deny somebody else. Sky have, however, held yellow almost every day from the middle of week 1 in the Tour, held red every day from early in week 1 in the Vuelta (this is the longest an overall winner has held the leader's jersey in a GT since Rominger went coast to coast in 1994 - Jalabert held it from stage 3 to stage 21, same as Froome, a year later, but there was a prologue as well as 21 full stages that year. So he held it the same number of days, but not as much of the race, percentage-wise), controlling everything thoroughly and still having more domestiques left than anybody else - and they won't even relinquish control enough that somebody else can get a look in. I don't think people realistically expect Froome to give out gifts that way, but more that they're a bit miffed that he, and Sky, are so bent on control that they will squeeze the race down to the secondary classifications. Because it was far from certain that Trentin would win the stage.

Also, some people don't particularly find Cannibal-like assertion of dominance to be an attractive or likable trait, so have no real feelings on it being right or wrong that Froome is contesting a minor classification that means little in the context of his palmarès, but are turned away by it for that reason. Especially because, in general, the less control is exacted on a race, the more enjoyable it is to watch, so the team that's already held a stranglehold over the race for almost its entire duration (and of course, the fact that that team is Sky plays a large part too, let's not pretend it doesn't) doing it meant it was received less positively than it might otherwise have been.
 
Good point in the end LS. It makes it seem that Sky are even more ruthless and less likable.

And the classifications are a joke in many ways anyway. I love that Barguil won the KOM jersey this year, it was well deserved. But when Anthony Charteau won it was a proper joke. And that's a jersey that's supposed to mean something as opposed to the KOM jerseys in the Giro and Vuelta.
 
So, so great that they got the whole team on the podium for Contador's goodbye. One last year in a great, friendly team, the ultimate goodbye, the ultimate *** you to Oleg Tinkov.

The team spirit shown by Trek-Segafredo is worth many times what Tinkov payed Contador
 
Imho, the points classification of the 3 GT should be a battle between sprinters and GC riders, so the hybrid system of the Vuelta is the best thing we can have. When the rule is "hybrid", the entertainment is here.
 
Re:

Armchair cyclist said:
I suspect AC would have been given this even if he had ridden like Meintjes.

Looks odd having the whole team up for the most combative rider award though, or those guys who have only been with him this year, and only in a couple of races, to be part of his retirement podium.
Yea, would have been good if they brought some of the band together again. Although maybe that's for the party later. I'd expect them to bring a few of the old guard back in to say goodbye with him. May see a few guys like Dani Navarro (I mean, he's even at the Vuelta), Sérgio Paulinho, Benjamin Noval, Paolo Tiralongo, Matteo Tosatto...
 
Re: Re:

SKSemtex said:
Forever The Best said:
Armchair cyclist said:
5 of the top ten today should not have been allowed to start, top 5 legitimate riders were Andersen, Garcia, Modolo, Schwartzmann and Hoelgaard.

I consider Villella's KoM title to be invalid, as would Trentin's green have been.

Not acceptable to simply decide that the rules will not be applied: that is not sporting.
This.
This. It is not fair to be allowed to sprint against the guys who finished with the limit.
I wonder how Trentin sprint would be if he had to work harder yesterday.


They didn't make the time limit?
 
Libertine Seguros said:
Yea, would have been good if they brought some of the band together again. Although maybe that's for the party later. I'd expect them to bring a few of the old guard back in to say goodbye with him. May see a few guys like Dani Navarro (I mean, he's even at the Vuelta), Sérgio Paulinho, Benjamin Noval, Paolo Tiralongo, Matteo Tosatto...

I can imagine that would've been very nice :)
 
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Re:

Red Rick said:
So, so great that they got the whole team on the podium for Contador's goodbye. One last year in a great, friendly team, the ultimate goodbye, the ultimate **** you to Oleg Tinkov.

The team spirit shown by Trek-Segafredo is worth many times what Tinkov payed Contador

This x100