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Leadbelly

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Vuelta 2018 General Discussion
« on: January 24, 2018, 09:03 »
https://www.lequipe.fr/Cyclisme-sur-route/Actualites/Pas-de-vuelta-pour-warren-barguil/869651

Not official, but according to L'Equipe's sources the wildcards will be Cofidis and the three Spanish teams.
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    Re: Vuelta 2018 General Discussion
    « Reply #1 on: April 10, 2018, 12:46 »
    confirmed now

    Quote
    The organizers of La Vuelta have chosen the teams that will take part in the 73rd edition of the Spanish Grand Tour. La Vuelta 2018 will start on Saturday the 25th of August and finish on Sunday the 16th of September, from Málaga to Madrid.

    In accordance with Union Cycliste Internationale rules, the following eighteen UCI WorldTeams are automatically invited to the race:

    [...]

    In addition to these eighteen teams, the organizers have awarded the following wildcards:

    #burgos Burgos - BH (ESP)
    #cofidis Cofidis, Solutions Crédits (FRA)
    #cajarural Caja Rural-Seguros RGA (ESP)
    #murias Euskadi Basque Country – Murias (ESP)


    especially #aquablue Aqua Blue will not be happy, and they probably would have deserved to get another invitation after the stage win last year, but I guess from a national point of view it makes sense to reward Burgos and Murias for the risk to go PCT in a very unstable Spanish environment (although both teams don't quite seem to bring what it needs to be GT worthy from a sporting point of view)
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    Leadbelly

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    Re: Vuelta 2018 General Discussion
    « Reply #2 on: April 12, 2018, 18:44 »
    https://twitter.com/zikloland/status/984342854913921024

    Zikloland doesn't think it's so smart to vent your frustrations so publicly.

    One thing I was wondering was, have Aquablue actually done much (or any) racing in Spain barring the Vuelta last year? They did Burgos as a warm up for the GT, but I couldn't see any others on the calendar (for this and last year) on the team's website. It probably wouldn't have made much difference to this year's decision, but it would show willing.
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  • Zam

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    Re: Vuelta 2018 General Discussion
    « Reply #3 on: April 12, 2018, 18:47 »
    I really hope the Basque do well.
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  • Leadbelly

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    Re: Vuelta 2018 General Discussion
    « Reply #4 on: July 16, 2018, 11:54 »
    https://cyclingpro.net/spaziociclismo/tour-2018/tour-de-france-2018-froome-pronto-a-prendere-il-via-della-vuelta/

    Quote from: Portal
    "It will be necessary to see how he feels after the Tour, because the most important thing is to pay attention to his health, but if he wins the Tour he is likely to be at the Vuelta - he explained to the Spanish press - It is something we will talk about after the Tour, but the possibility is there. I think he can win the three great rides in a year , but we can not know how he will feel. He has already won Tour and Vuelta consecutively, so it's something we know how to deal with. I think it can do well. The most important thing is how it will feel ".

    That's a big IF though.
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  • Leadbelly

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    Re: Vuelta 2018 General Discussion
    « Reply #5 on: July 28, 2018, 18:26 »
    https://twitter.com/CiclismoInter/status/1023238885533511680

    They say a repeat of the trident, but in the article it says Valverde is building towards the Worlds and the leadership will be between Quintana and Landa.
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  • rote_laterne

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    Re: Vuelta 2018 General Discussion
    « Reply #6 on: July 28, 2018, 21:12 »
    https://twitter.com/CiclismoInter/status/1023238885533511680

    They say a repeat of the trident, but in the article it says Valverde is building towards the Worlds and the leadership will be between Quintana and Landa.

    I hope Carapaz is on the rooster too....
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  • Leadbelly

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    Re: Vuelta 2018 General Discussion
    « Reply #7 on: August 15, 2018, 18:20 »
    #lotto

    http://www.biciciclismo.com/es/lotto-soudal-anuncia-su-ocho-de-la-vuelta-15-08-2018

    Sander Armée
    Tiesj Benoot
    Thomas De Gendt
    Bjorg Lambrecht
    Tomasz Marczynski
    Maxime Monfort
    Tosh Van der Sande
    Jelle Wallays
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    Re: Vuelta 2018 General Discussion
    « Reply #8 on: August 18, 2018, 11:30 »
    Looking forward to this, the last few weeks have been horrendously busy, can’t wait until August and the bank holiday’s over and things return to normal.

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    Re: Vuelta 2018 General Discussion
    « Reply #9 on: August 18, 2018, 13:37 »
    #lotto

    http://www.biciciclismo.com/es/lotto-soudal-anuncia-su-ocho-de-la-vuelta-15-08-2018

    Sander Armée
    Tiesj Benoot
    Thomas De Gendt
    Bjorg Lambrecht
    Tomasz Marczynski
    Maxime Monfort
    Tosh Van der Sande
    Jelle Wallays

    Marczynski is out now with some kind of sickness, replaced by Campenaerts
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    Re: Vuelta 2018 General Discussion
    « Reply #10 on: August 21, 2018, 09:56 »
    And #sunweb Walscheid will replace Bauhaus

    Quote
    Max Walscheid will replace Phil Bauhaus at the Vuelta a España, who is unable to start the race due to slow recovery from sickness. Walscheid will take over the role of sprinter from Bauhaus with the team to continue their sprint focus in Spain. More here.

    Team Sunweb coach Aike Visbeek (NED): "It's too bad for Phil, who was our designated sprinter for the Vuelta, but with Max we have a strong replacer with who we can continue our sprint focus into the Vuelta. It will be the first Grand Tour for Max, and a new experience for him in a challenging environment. The Vuelta will be good for his long-term development and we will give it our all.

    Also Teunissen (obviously) hasn't fully recovered yet from his crash in Poland, but is still supposed to start, as far as I can see.

    Seeing the Team start the Deutschland Tour and Great War race with 5 riders each only, there also can't be many potential replacement riders left, in case Teunissen doesn't make it
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  • M Gee

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    Re: Vuelta 2018 General Discussion
    « Reply #11 on: August 22, 2018, 14:03 »
    I hope Carapaz is on the rooster too....
    On the rooster? Oy. :dizzymew

    Never mind. Back to why I dropped in today:
    https://www.velonews.com/2018/08/vuelta-a-espana/porte-dennis-confirmed-for-bmc-at-vuelta-van-garderen-left-off-roster_476104

    Porte? Hasn't he had enough from Och? No? Ok, then. On paper, BMC looks exceptionally strong for this Vuelta. It would be nice, IMO, to actually watch that strength pan out into a victory. I won't be holding my breath.
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    t-72

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    Re: Vuelta 2018 General Discussion
    « Reply #12 on: August 23, 2018, 22:16 »
    I was browsing twitter and noticed the UAE Emirates team photo for the Vuelta today. Just below was the image of the team at the team presentation.


    Team's official picture on the left - live from the team presentation on the right.

    Can it be that one of the riders is ... ehm ... should I say "downsized" in official communication?    :lol
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  • LukasCPH

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    Re: Vuelta 2018 General Discussion
    « Reply #13 on: August 25, 2018, 11:27 »
    I was browsing twitter and noticed the UAE Emirates team photo for the Vuelta today. Just below was the image of the team at the team presentation.


    Team's official picture on the left - live from the team presentation on the right.

    Can it be that one of the riders is ... ehm ... should I say "downsized" in official communication?    :lol
    Yeah, we did the same at #0711 last year. It doesn't look great stylistically if one rider is head and shoulders above the others on the team card - so that is what you do.
    Of course, it is also rather misleading to have long Laengen be the same size as tiny Dan. :S
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    M Gee

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    Re: Vuelta 2018 General Discussion
    « Reply #14 on: August 25, 2018, 19:27 »
    Yeah, we did the same at #0711 last year. It doesn't look great stylistically if one rider is head and shoulders above the others on the team card - so that is what you do.
    Of course, it is also rather misleading to have long Laengen be the same size as tiny Dan. :S

    Ah, yes, there is the height component, but I rather thought the comment had something to do with SIX riders in one photo vs EIGHT riders in the other, eh? But, thinking on the matter, you are probably right.
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    Re: Vuelta 2018 General Discussion
    « Reply #15 on: September 10, 2018, 00:34 »
    I'm not exactly sure where to put this, but putting it needs to be done. A great read. A brilliant counterpoint - today vs yesterday, and an exciting remembrance. WELL WORTH READING.

    https://pelotonmagazine.com/features/luis-ocana-the-only-man-to-humble-eddy-merckx/
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    Re: Vuelta 2018 General Discussion
    « Reply #16 on: September 15, 2018, 04:30 »
    Looking back over this years GTs, I have to think we've had the best crop of GT action that we've seen in ages. The Giro was non-stop, and got turned on its head. I hated the results, but there was plenty of action.

    The Tour. Once again, I wasn't happy with the ending, but it was a lot better than it might have been. And it WAS a competition for a change.

    This Vuelta. Here we are, with only the penultimate stage left to decide GC. Action from day 2. Teams winning who haven't had a win in ages and ages. All the big GC names notable for their absence of contention. Lots of attacking - even some crazy tactics. Not exactlly a dull race, eh?

    So, yeah. It's been a good year for GT action, I think.
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    Re: Vuelta 2018 General Discussion
    « Reply #17 on: September 15, 2018, 09:37 »
    in today's Guardian

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    Re: Vuelta 2018 General Discussion
    « Reply #18 on: September 15, 2018, 13:22 »
    It might be premature, just a little, to say Yates has conquered this Vuelta. Like Geraint, he is still unproven as a GT winner, and his gap today could easily turn on its head. Still, great cover!

    But he has to be the fav today, and he's earned this one!
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    Re: Vuelta 2018 General Discussion
    « Reply #19 on: September 16, 2018, 20:43 »
    Well... now it is definitively Yates' red jersey. And the ugliest trophy in cycling  :-x



    Can we have a little post-vuelta discussion in here?

    What is it we have seen in this vuelta that we haven't sen before.
    1. A new generation GC podium: #mitchelton Yates, #quickstep Mas, #astana Lopez
    2. #movistar Movistar's GC ambitions failing first plan A Quintana, then plan B Valverde
    3. The Grand Tour of soft pedaling - on mountain stages, while the sprint stages were often quite hard racing from first breakaway attempt.
    4. Should #fdj Pinot just stop racing for GC? Once again we see he is more the man for a big stage, as long as it finishes uphill...
    5. What happened to the ITT skills of #cannondale Uran, #astana Lopez and #fdj Pinot?
    6. Spain needs a new generation great riders, I hope all their young best riders feature in next year's Vuelta (Enric Mas vs Marc Soler please :) )
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  • AG

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    Re: Vuelta 2018 General Discussion
    « Reply #20 on: September 17, 2018, 01:03 »
    It was an odd Vuelta

    so many top class GC riders ... who failed miserably.

    Aru, Quintana, Valverde, Nibali, Uran, Pinot, Zakarin


    Nibali was recoering from Injury but the rest did relatively poorly compared with previous results that they have achieved.  Even with many of them being tired from the Tour ... that is often the case

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  • Capt_Cavman

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    Re: Vuelta 2018 General Discussion
    « Reply #21 on: September 17, 2018, 08:43 »
    But we know it's incredibly hard to do. Froome won both having been undercooked for the Tour and overcooked for the Vuelta.  He had his moments of crisis in both, AND that's with a team that is way better than anyone else's. The problem here is people, and i include team bosses, now assume anyone can be competitive in successive GTs. The evidence says otherwise.
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  • t-72

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    Re: Vuelta 2018 General Discussion
    « Reply #22 on: September 17, 2018, 22:01 »
    2. #movistar Movistar's GC ambitions failing first plan A Quintana, then plan B Valverde

    I have seen so much twitter messages and forum posts (mostly in other forums) bashing #movistar Quintana for his less than sparkling performance. He got all the support he could ask for (with Valverde closing all the gaps for him on the Lagos de Cowabunga stage), and yet he plain and simple didn't have the legs to ride in the rojo for Movistar. According to some this is truly disappointing and Quintana should go back to Colombia and start working on his father's farm or something like that.

    I haven't seen anyone mentioning that last year Quintana clearly suffered from overtraining, already in the early stages in the 2017 giro we saw that he lacked the ability to just float away on the major climbs that he had in 2013 - 2016. He did attack early and he did win on the Blockhaus but he wasn't able to keep a higher pace than the other climbers (#fdj Pinot / #sunweb Dumoulin all the way up. His earlier self could have done that.

    Overtraining can set athletes back years, and some never recover - and although the athletes themselves carry some responsibility for how hard they push themselves, when you are paid to train and others are paid to train you I will say the trainer and thus the team (if the trainer is employed by the team and it isn't a personal trainer)  has a large part responsibility for not overtraining their athletes.

    In other words: in my opinion #movistar Movistar overtrained Quintana for the 2017 GCs preparation  (and maybe over-raced him too) and it seems that Quintana is still suffering from those mediocre decisions in one way or another. It's like he's missing a gear he once had, and it seems to have effect on Quintana's self confidence too. However, #movistar seems to stand by their man in an admirable fashion, they are supporting him while he is revocering (if he will recover remains to be seen) and they are not sending him off to ride for #postobon or #boyaca.   In these aspects, movistar is an honorable team, and you never know, next year the Condor may be back flying. We know he can podium any GC in good shape, and win with a favorable course, tactical option or polemica working for him. He can even win a couple of more GTs, if he is able to shake of the overtraining issues completely.


    And there's nothing wrong with not being the best all the time, Nairo can still be a great athlete without the GC win rate many hoped he would get. Great athletes come back from troubles.


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  • M Gee

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    Re: Vuelta 2018 General Discussion
    « Reply #23 on: September 18, 2018, 01:43 »
    I have seen so much twitter messages and forum posts (mostly in other forums) bashing #movistar Quintana for his less than sparkling performance. He got all the support he could ask for (with Valverde closing all the gaps for him on the Lagos de Cowabunga stage), and yet he plain and simple didn't have the legs to ride in the rojo for Movistar. According to some this is truly disappointing and Quintana should go back to Colombia and start working on his father's farm or something like that.

    I haven't seen anyone mentioning that last year Quintana clearly suffered from overtraining, already in the early stages in the 2017 giro we saw that he lacked the ability to just float away on the major climbs that he had in 2013 - 2016. He did attack early and he did win on the Blockhaus but he wasn't able to keep a higher pace than the other climbers (#fdj Pinot / #sunweb Dumoulin all the way up. His earlier self could have done that.

    Overtraining can set athletes back years, and some never recover - and although the athletes themselves carry some responsibility for how hard they push themselves, when you are paid to train and others are paid to train you I will say the trainer and thus the team (if the trainer is employed by the team and it isn't a personal trainer)  has a large part responsibility for not overtraining their athletes.

    In other words: in my opinion #movistar Movistar overtrained Quintana for the 2017 GCs preparation  (and maybe over-raced him too) and it seems that Quintana is still suffering from those mediocre decisions in one way or another. It's like he's missing a gear he once had, and it seems to have effect on Quintana's self confidence too. However, #movistar seems to stand by their man in an admirable fashion, they are supporting him while he is revocering (sic, recovering) (if he will recover remains to be seen) and they are not sending him off to ride for #postobon or #boyaca.   In these aspects, movistar is an honorable team, and you never know, next year the Condor may be back flying. We know he can podium any GC in good shape, and win with a favorable course, tactical option or polemica working for him. He can even win a couple of more GTs, if he is able to shake of the overtraining issues completely.


    And there's nothing wrong with not being the best all the time, Nairo can still be a great athlete without the GC win rate many hoped he would get. Great athletes come back from troubles.


    I think it has been a bit longer than just last year and this, but you raise an excellent point. And you've made diamond-sharp observations. Chapeau. Overtraining could definitely have been, still be, whatever, an issue.

    Now, I've already said I'm knocking him down a star or even two in any future estimations of viable performance. So you may count me in the negative nabobs. I would hope I am wrong, and that he is able to prove me wrong.

    The mental aspect is another angle: headology. Froome got inside Quintana's head, I think, and not in a good way. Froome has come back several times when he shouldn't have been able to. So the mental aspect may be playing a part.

    I have to say, I thought it was exceptionally honorable and respectful for Q to fall back and attempt to help Valverde on stage 20, when V was failing and falling. That showed character. And, it also says something for the character of the team that they continue to support their riders.

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  • t-72

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    Re: Vuelta 2018 General Discussion
    « Reply #24 on: September 18, 2018, 22:49 »
    Well... now it is definitively Yates' red jersey. And the ugliest trophy in cycling  :-x



    Can we have a little post-vuelta discussion in here?
    ...
    1. A new generation GC podium: #mitchelton Yates, #quickstep Mas, #astana Lopez

    While this was the first time they were all on the podium together, these younger riders didn't come from out of nowhere. Looking at this season alone Lopez also podiumed in the Giro, Mas put in solid rides both in the Itzulia and Tour de Suisse whilst Yates dominated the Giro until the third-week-weakness got the better of him.
    It may be a bit of coincidence that all these younger riders are on the podium together, but now it seems like it can hardly be surprising that any one of them is there, and if you tell me you predicted that sometime before the 2017 world championship, I would be surprised. None of them looked the next GC winner last year, and all of them do now.

    The least surprising may be #astana Lopez, because his team has been riding for him for years already and their hopes and expectations for the tiny superman has been so clear that after a while it is reflected from us, the spectators. I think his results this year are easy to understate: only #sunweb Dumoulin and #sky Froome has better results in two grand tours combined. Let it be for a while that Lopez didn't race the tour - could he actually have won the Vuelta if he skipped the giro? It does seem like a little more time for time trial practice should do him good, he was miles down on his 2015 Tour de Suisse performance this time.

    The less well known of these riders is #quickstep Enric Mas, but considering his earlier results which are good on the steep one-week races both at WT and U23 level - he always had it coming. He was racing for Klein Constantia in 2016 and it is worth looking at their lineup back then cause it is a definetly an a-list with more than 50% of the riders now not just riding world tour but becoming protagonists in important races.

    Yates seem to be have been born into his current role as the new man in the rojo, but like the others these results are hardly unexpected and despite some setbacks there is a rising curve through his results this season, and compared to results from past years as well. In the Vuelta he mastered the longer climbs that lost him the Paris-Nice (OK, inn better weather conditions).  He mastered the day-today pacing and tactics that cost him the Giro.

    I can already see that Yates is getting some of the same accusations as Nibali got after winning the tour in 2014 ("he only won because the other best riders were not in the race anymore").  I think that was unfair for Nibali, both Contador and Froome started the race trying to beat him. I think it is unfair for Yates too. At least keep in mind that he beat Lopez, and, all riders considered, only Froome and Dumoulin has better GC results this year. If you are better than the 3rd best in the world, even for just one race, it is possible you're doing something better than almost everyone else!

     
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  • M Gee

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    Re: Vuelta 2018 General Discussion
    « Reply #25 on: September 19, 2018, 13:59 »
    . . .
    It may be a bit of coincidence that all these younger riders are on the podium together, but now it seems like it can hardly be surprising that any one of them is there, and if you tell me you predicted that sometime before the 2017 world championship, I would be surprised. None of them looked the next GC winner last year, and all of them do now.

    The least surprising may be #astana Lopez, because his team has been riding for him for years already and their hopes and expectations for the tiny superman has been so clear that after a while it is reflected from us, the spectators. . . .

    The less well known of these riders is #quickstep Enric Mas,  . . .

    Yates seem to be have been born into his current role as the new man in the rojo, but like the others these results are hardly unexpected and despite some setbacks there is a rising curve through his results  . . . from past years . . . He mastered the day-today pacing and tactics that cost him the Giro.

    I can already see that Yates is getting some of the same accusations as Nibali got after winning the tour in 2014 ("he only won because the other best riders were not in the race anymore").  I think that was unfair for Nibali, both Contador and Froome started the race trying to beat him. I think it is unfair for Yates too. At least keep in mind that he beat Lopez, and, all riders considered, only Froome and Dumoulin has better GC results this year. If you are better than the 3rd best in the world, even for just one race, it is possible you're doing something better than almost everyone else!


    OF COURSE I predicted this! Didn't you see me winning the Prediction Game!? :lol :cool  The Yates and Lopez have been on a lot of GC radars for 2-3 years now. Enric Mas wasn't, but isn't he the youngest? He's also the most recent to enter the pro ranks, right? So, no surprise that he was a surprise.

    And I can only say how GLAD I am that we didn't see a repeat of the 2013 podium.  :-x

    One of the problems the Yates have both suffered from on their way up is late fading. Mitchelton-Scott got it right this time, and played it close to the chest.

    Personally, I don't see people dissing Yates' Vuelta the way they have Nibali's Tour. Before we were even halfway into Nibali's Tour, the big-name contenders were gone, DNF. OTOH, Nibali, Quintana, and Porte finished this Vuelta. Oh, and Aru.

    But I have a feeling the Yates brothers will always have to struggle against a 3rd week fade. It has been a pattern for them, in past years, and was a pattern in this year's Giro. Armstrong even noticed how much extra Yates was putting out in the 1st two weeks of the Vuelta - and he called that a mistake early. So I would think that pattern likely to continue, eh? IMO, whomever is riding herd on Yates, in the future, will have to rein in his attacking tendencies in the early days, just as they did at this Vuelta.

    Will either one of the Yates be as dominant a GC rider as Froome, or Contador? I don't think so, but who knows? We do know Simon is just as good as all the rest: Aru, Porte, Thomas, Quintana. Actually, at this point, better than Porte. And maybe just a little behind Nibali yet, although I think Nibali seems to be past his GT peak, so next year I'd put them pretty close in any GT predictions.
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  • t-72

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    Re: Vuelta 2018 General Discussion
    « Reply #26 on: September 19, 2018, 17:14 »
    Will either one of the Yates be as dominant a GC rider as Froome, or Contador? I don't think so, but who knows? We do know Simon is just as good as all the rest: Aru, Porte, Thomas, Quintana. Actually, at this point, better than Porte. And maybe just a little behind Nibali yet, although I think Nibali seems to be past his GT peak, so next year I'd put them pretty close in any GT predictions.

    To be fair, results-wise, and maybe in terms of potential rather than how they'd fare if another GC was starting tomorrow:
    Porte is not as good as Aru and Thomas and Quintana.He is not a GC winner.
    Thomas bagged a TdF which objectively should be higher ranked than the Giro and the Vuelta.[1]
    Quintana has won to GTs but not the TdF.
    Nibali is in a different league, he has won all three GT's and that includes two Giri and on top of that he's got his monument wins.
    I am sorry, he is up there with Froome when it comes to the currently active riders.

    The comparison you are not making, but which may become the theme in many future tours is Yates vs Dumoulin. The climbers-climber vs the more classic stage-race-time-trial-climber. It's 1-1 between them now (if not head to head) but for sure it'll be a pleasure to see who's on top come 2023 :) 
     1. subjectively I put the Giro in front of the other two for GC :)
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  • M Gee

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    Re: Vuelta 2018 General Discussion
    « Reply #27 on: September 19, 2018, 18:31 »
    To be fair, results-wise, and maybe in terms of potential rather than how they'd fare if another GC was starting tomorrow:
    Porte is not as good as Aru and Thomas and Quintana.He is not a GC winner.
    Thomas bagged a TdF which objectively should be higher ranked than the Giro and the Vuelta.[1]
    Quintana has won to GTs but not the TdF.
    Nibali is in a different league, he has won all three GT's and that includes two Giri and on top of that he's got his monument wins.
    I am sorry, he is up there with Froome when it comes to the currently active riders.

    The comparison you are not making, but which may become the theme in many future tours is Yates vs Dumoulin. The climbers-climber vs the more classic stage-race-time-trial-climber. It's 1-1 between them now (if not head to head) but for sure it'll be a pleasure to see who's on top come 2023 :) 
     1. subjectively I put the Giro in front of the other two for GC :)
    Quintana has been a no-show for a long time now. So I won't adjust that. I'll accept some adjustment to my assessment of Nibali, but I'm not convinced he's up there with Froome. I'd like him to be, but he's never managed, has he? Still, he is one of my favorite riders.

    Ah, and we come to Dumoulin! Well, anybody who was around here this spring, during the Giro, knows where I'll be standing when it comes time to cheer THAT race! Dumoulin, I think, is still unproven to an extent. Meaning I think he may well have a number more GT wins in his legs. I know there are others who believe the same of Yates, but I'm not on that bandwagon quite yet. We'll see!

    BTW, speaking of surprises at the Vuelta podium, it's occurred to me that QS must have been quite surprised, themselves! After all, they came seeking stage wins, not GC standing! Kind of interesting, watching them focus on classics and sprints, and fall into a good GC standing simply by acquiring a young and very talented rider. A bit of luck![2]
     2. Except it wouldn't really have been luck, at all, would it!
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  • L'arri

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    Re: Vuelta 2018 General Discussion
    « Reply #28 on: September 21, 2018, 10:40 »
    I didn't see the last week of the Vuelta but it looks like Yates rode pretty well and didn't burn too many matches while Valverde ebbed away after that strong start like people always seem to forget he does.

    Even if the TT didn't have so much of an impact on this edition, Yates also has his TT improvements to thank for getting into serious contention (and winning) GC races. He is now a pretty capable rider against the clock.

    Hope he continues with his current style though. Attacking while wearing the leaders jersey has become a dying art.
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    Capt_Cavman

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    Re: Vuelta 2018 General Discussion
    « Reply #29 on: September 21, 2018, 12:44 »
    I think a little too much has been made of Yates's tactics and spectacular blow up in the Giro.

    He came into it, probably as number two to Chaves, he donated the Etna stage to Chaves who ran top 3 for a while. So having unexpectedly got into the pink jersey, the team needed a plan to keep it all the way. And that cunning plan was to win every single climbing stage there was until he had enough of a buffer on Tom Dumoulin to cover any ITT losses. What he attempted was outrageous, the fact that he failed isn't nearly as significant as the fact that he got so far with it. Personally I think it was trying to beat Froome on the Zoncolan that was the critically wrong decision, too far into the red for too long.

    Although a lot has been made in commentary of the importance of stage 19, I disagree; the most important lesson Yates learnt was that he can take on anyone when the road goes uphill and what we saw in the Vuelta wasn't conservatism due to fear of repeating his failure, but confidence in knowing that he could afford wait for the opportunities because he was good enough to capitalise when they came.


    While I'm raking over the past, my take on the 3 GTs is that the toughest competition was in the Giro, where Dumoulin was the best rider but got weakened by Yates's continual attacking and then fell to a Sky/Froome sucker punch. If Dumoulin was riding for Sky, I think he would have ended up with both Giro and Tour. Although Thomas is an incredibly likeable rider, I think his win owed more to the strength of Sky continually making life difficult, if not impossible for the already Giro-weakened Dutchman, who was often isolated with many climbs to go. The Vuelta, with its contrived uphill sprints and waiting for the third week and a foreign country for real endurance climbs, was always going to be an odd one, impossible to pick out a winner beforehand from a list of tarnished candidates (I picked Aru), although Yates's victory makes sense in retrospect.
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