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Volta a Catalunya
« on: March 19, 2018, 08:11 »
Volta a Catalunya

Monday, March 19th to Sunday, March 25th

A race thread, as loveless as the race design. Or the poster... :D








It could get interesting though if an outsider (in other words: not Valverde) somehow manages to lead after stage 3.

~pdf startlist
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  • "If this is cycling, I am a banana"

    Arb

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    Re: Volta a Catalunya
    « Reply #1 on: March 19, 2018, 10:33 »
    So no precipitation but are they really going to go above 2000m on Wednesday in these temperatures?

    https://www.yr.no/place/Spain/Catalonia/Vallter_2000/forecast.pdf

    (2,382m but you get the idea)
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  • LukasCPH

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    Re: Volta a Catalunya
    « Reply #2 on: March 19, 2018, 11:05 »
    So no precipitation but are they really going to go above 2000m on Wednesday in these temperatures?

    https://www.yr.no/place/Spain/Catalonia/Vallter_2000/forecast.pdf

    (2,382m but you get the idea)
    :o :=B

    I predict that they will go up there, and on stage 5 every third rider will abandon with a heavy cold.
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    Re: Volta a Catalunya
    « Reply #3 on: March 19, 2018, 11:10 »
    looks like a good course for Duarte. No matter the weather :P
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  • Arb

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    Re: Volta a Catalunya
    « Reply #4 on: March 19, 2018, 11:36 »
    Agreed.
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    Re: Volta a Catalunya
    « Reply #5 on: March 19, 2018, 12:09 »
    so, with the designated winner already found, we can look at the competition it's really about: the best Catalan. Unfortunately there's no jersey anymore - nor any kind of financial reward - but as well know, it's still one of the most reputable prizes you can win in cycling.

    This year the list of competitors include:
    • #movistar Marc Soler
    • #movistar Antonio Pedrero
    • #burgos Jordi Simon
    • #murias Eduard Prades
    So it could be quite exciting for two days at least ;)
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  • Leadbelly

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    Re: Volta a Catalunya
    « Reply #6 on: March 19, 2018, 18:44 »


    How are the comms getting on with the Hodeg pronunciation? I did see a clip of the finish at the Handzame Classic and Hatch was going with Hoe-deg.
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    Re: Volta a Catalunya
    « Reply #7 on: March 19, 2018, 20:52 »
    don't know, but the correct pronunciation seems to be something like "Hodge"?

    that's what it sounds like in the Colombian stage summary at least (first time mentioned after around ~2 minutes)

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  • « Last Edit: March 19, 2018, 21:02 by search »

    Leadbelly

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    Re: Volta a Catalunya
    « Reply #8 on: March 19, 2018, 21:26 »
    Yeah that's what I picked up from watching Oro y Paz.

    Here are some other entries.



    Alvaro "Hoss" at 0m47

    Some comments from a different YouTube video:

    Quote
    pronounced "Joch" but he says most pronounce it "jodech"

    His surname is pronounced with "j" and being of Scottish origin (Alvaro Jock!?), we pronounce it "Hodge" which is surely the way he arrived in the country and at some point in history, some Colombian official registered him as "Hodeg". But its pronunciation would be [hɔʤ].

    Mario Sabato says Alvaro Joth so pronounced here understand pronounced "Jodch"

    pronounce josh

    Somebody agrees with my British miner theory. :P
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    Re: Volta a Catalunya
    « Reply #9 on: March 20, 2018, 08:12 »
    any chance to still get him in for the Commonwealth Games? :D

    Today we have the usual Valls finish...



    ...which turned out to deliver very different results over the past years:









    At the moment it's hard to say which team (apart from Movistar, maybe) could be interested in setting a hard pace to drop the sprinters. I guess some kind of sprint sounds like the most likely outcome, especially with the hard day to come tomorrow
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    Re: Volta a Catalunya
    « Reply #10 on: March 20, 2018, 10:37 »
    Bouhanni DNS, Not recovered yet from his bronchitis that prevented him from being lined up for MSR :lol

    https://twitter.com/TeamCOFIDIS/status/976039217095741440
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    Re: Volta a Catalunya
    « Reply #11 on: March 20, 2018, 18:20 »
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  • « Last Edit: March 20, 2018, 18:31 by search »

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    Re: Volta a Catalunya
    « Reply #12 on: March 20, 2018, 18:31 »
    so this should be the new finish for tomorrow:



    with maybe an additional 4 or 5km of flat in the end
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  • Mellow Velo

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    Re: Volta a Catalunya
    « Reply #13 on: March 20, 2018, 20:15 »
     So not just taking out the high finish, but a complete change of parcour.
    Could be much the same personnel as today and Valverde to win from a small group sprint rather than leaving everybody behind on the mountain.
    The pure climbers must be frustrated.
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    L'arri

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    Re: Volta a Catalunya
    « Reply #14 on: March 20, 2018, 20:30 »
    So not just taking out the high finish, but a complete change of parcour.
    Could be much the same personnel as today and Valverde to win from a small group sprint rather than leaving everybody behind on the mountain.
    The pure climbers must be frustrated.

    It's been a rough Spring so far. Snow is quite common in this race, as I recall, and they organisers are prepared but this does seem like a bit of a radical shift.
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    Re: Volta a Catalunya
    « Reply #15 on: March 20, 2018, 21:07 »
    https://twitter.com/MuriasTeam/status/976163925157965825

    Route change or not it's Valverde's race to lose.
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    t-72

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    Re: Volta a Catalunya
    « Reply #16 on: March 20, 2018, 22:00 »
    Sorry for late post but I just watched my recording of today's stage. I can't see anyone else commenting on it, so I take the opportunity to ask the judges in the panel here: does #bora Jay McCarthy loose this stage because he wobbles like drunk man on the way home in the sprint? Take a look (youtube link to low-res version here, jump to ~47 seconds for the sprint)



    Compare the path of #bora McCarthy to that of #movistar Valverde: 
    • #bora McCarthy seems to wobble on the brink of control, he's using all the width of a 2 meter if not 3 meter wide lane down the center. It's not just his weight transferring from side to side, his wheels are all the way out there, tracing out a longer route on the ground as well. He goes shoulder to shoulder with the cyclist to the his right (again, viewer's left in this video).
    • #movistar Valverde is cycling in a straight line with some but very limited wobble. He also crosses slowly in from the cyclits's left hand side (viewers right hand side) of the road towards the center, shutting the door on McCarthy

    Valverde wins because McCarthy can't cycle in a straight line?
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    Re: Volta a Catalunya
    « Reply #17 on: March 21, 2018, 08:20 »
    hard to say how much it influenced his speed, but yeah, it certainly wasn't a perfect sprint.

    Here is a better version of today's profile:



    It even has a 2k tunnel within the last couple of km :fp

    If they hadn't just drawn a line in the middle of nowhere (without telling anyone in advance) the last time this happened, I would be pretty sure to say that this in the worst alternative they could have found ;)
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  • L'arri

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    Re: Volta a Catalunya
    « Reply #18 on: March 21, 2018, 08:30 »
    Sorry for late post but I just watched my recording of today's stage. I can't see anyone else commenting on it, so I take the opportunity to ask the judges in the panel here: does #bora Jay McCarthy loose this stage because he wobbles like drunk man on the way home in the sprint? Take a look (youtube link to low-res version here, jump to ~47 seconds for the sprint)



    Compare the path of #bora McCarthy to that of #movistar Valverde: 
    • #bora McCarthy seems to wobble on the brink of control, he's using all the width of a 2 meter if not 3 meter wide lane down the center. It's not just his weight transferring from side to side, his wheels are all the way out there, tracing out a longer route on the ground as well. He goes shoulder to shoulder with the cyclist to the his right (again, viewer's left in this video).
    • #movistar Valverde is cycling in a straight line with some but very limited wobble. He also crosses slowly in from the cyclits's left hand side (viewers right hand side) of the road towards the center, shutting the door on McCarthy

    Valverde wins because McCarthy can't cycle in a straight line?


    I noticed McCarthy's weird sprint too. I thought he had won it there but he was all over the place. I seem to recall that, as the camera followed Valverde while he got his swanny hugs, there was a bit of a discussion in the background between another #mov and a #bora who might have been McCarthy. Perhaps there were a few words said about the Australian's erratic wobbles.
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    Re: Volta a Catalunya
    « Reply #19 on: March 21, 2018, 18:20 »
    a bit of a strange stage today. Valverde would have been the clear favourite in a reduced sprint, but instead Soler disrupts the chase by attacking over the top of the final climb, closely followed by Quintana (I think - Eurosport was on an endless adbreak). Is he sick or something?!



    We will see tomorrow I guess, when we come to la Molina, where no one could come even close to challenging Valverde last year
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  • « Last Edit: March 22, 2018, 18:32 by search »

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    Re: Volta a Catalunya
    « Reply #20 on: March 22, 2018, 18:30 »
    turns out Valverde was just playing with the kids



    good performance by Bernal, and also by Latour - another 5 to 10 years and they may be able to challenge Valverde. Hard racing right from the start took its toll for some riders though, Formolo & Visconti 9 minutes behind, Aru 12 minutes, Woods in the grupetto. Hodeg and Walscheid (among others) missed the time cut
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    Re: Volta a Catalunya
    « Reply #21 on: March 22, 2018, 19:36 »
    tomorrow's finish is new, as far as I can see:

    here is an interactive profile via @raffilpt:



    so the descent isn't technical at all, nor particularly steep, but Mohoric will still give it a go I guess
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  • t-72

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    Re: Volta a Catalunya
    « Reply #22 on: March 22, 2018, 22:33 »
    tomorrow's finish is new, as far as I can see:

    here is an interactive profile via @raffilpt:



    so the descent isn't technical at all, nor particularly steep, but Mohoric will still give it a go I guess

    I have been down that road before. It is a long time ago and it might have been improved but I seem to remember something about a long narrow steep descending tunnel at the top before the drop into Vielha? EDIT: it's 5 kilometers long! I hope they require lights on the bikes. The good news is it looks like it has been widened since I was there (more lanes going into the mountain).  However, if they use the old tunnel it is a quite creepy one, but still it drops a lot less than I remembered (only ~200 meters).


    PS: They should have extended the stage slightly and had another MTF at Baqueira-Beret. Would have been a lot more interesting and could replace the W2000 finish that they dropped. This stage is just a Valverde sprint.
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    Re: Volta a Catalunya
    « Reply #23 on: March 22, 2018, 22:54 »
    PS: They should have extended the stage slightly and had another MTF at Baqueira-Beret. Would have been a lot more interesting and could replace the W2000 finish that they dropped. This stage is just a Valverde sprint.

    I think Movistar will struggle to keep things together - nor to find many allies in that task. But yeah, if it doesn't turn out to be a breakaway stage, Valverde may get another win
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  • t-72

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    Re: Volta a Catalunya
    « Reply #24 on: March 23, 2018, 21:32 »
    To my surprise, almost a Norwegian win - always happen when I am not watching!  :(
    Great work by #uae Stakan, but he will have to ask *no Aksel Lund Svindal for a downhill lesson or two.
    Of course, #trek Pantano is even better at this! (stage reminds me of Tour de Suisse stage into Davos that Pantano won a few years back.)

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    Re: Volta a Catalunya
    « Reply #25 on: March 24, 2018, 09:38 »
    it's snowing at start at the moment, so I guess we may get to see another altered stage design today - and maybe a last chance for the remaining sprinters then

    Post Merge: March 24, 2018, 11:07
    yep, officially shortened now:

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  • « Last Edit: March 24, 2018, 11:07 by search, Reason: Merged DoublePost »

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    Re: Volta a Catalunya
    « Reply #26 on: March 24, 2018, 11:08 »
    just in case there's nothing else turning out to be excited about today: we have a nice sum of positions fight for 10th in gc :win

    Pto. Pais Nombre Equipo hh:mm:ss Ptos.
    10º      DEN      HANSEN Jesper      ASTANA PRO TEAM      a 01:28      210
    11º      NED      KRUIJSWIJK Steven      TEAM LOTTO NL - JUMBO      a 01:28      215
    12º      BEL      HERMANS Ben      ISRAEL CYCLING ACADEMY      a 01:28      297
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  • t-72

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    Re: Volta a Catalunya
    « Reply #27 on: March 24, 2018, 11:49 »
    maybe a last chance for the remaining sprinters

    If this Bala Verde guy didn't DNF in the mountains I reckon he'll have a chance today!  :D
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    Re: Volta a Catalunya
    « Reply #28 on: March 25, 2018, 21:27 »
    the great Montjuic stage delivered again today, dozens of attacks each lap, must have been close to 100 in total - and half of them by Matej Mohoric :D

    Too bad it wasn't rewarded with a win, but he was just to tired to follow Yates and Soler in the end



    Unfortunately Bernal crashed out today when Rojas slipped in front of him - but before that he also was among the most active riders, trying to drop Valverde at every possible moment to take the GC.



    With Bernal out of the race the 3rd podium spot was up for grabs and Letour took it with the four bonus seconds for 3rd, winning the sprint from the favourites group. In the end he secured it by 2 positions in total over 1 week of racing (154-156).

    The fight for 10th between Hansen and Kruijswijk turned into fight for 8th btw (as Hugh Carthy was dropped on the circuit), and Kruijswijk made up 3 positions yesterday and another four today, ending up two in front.
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