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L'arri

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Stage 2 - Marbella › Caminito del Rey
« on: August 21, 2018, 12:33 »


Stage 2  -  Marbella  ›  Caminito del Rey (163.5km)

There's something a bit artificial about the harbour town of Marbella. With all the posh yachts, tacky villas and unsavoury characters, it's just a bit too Costa del Sol.

During the Franco era, when Spain had no extradition treaties with many other countries, Marbella gained a reputation as a haven for desperate men and women on the run. Even today, in an era when there's no longer impunity on the beach, the authorities don't always seem eager to kick sand in the faces of miscreants and their wealth.

Indeed where once the carefully laid tiles of the town streets were the exclusive province of anglophone angstbringers, the ageing Irish bank robbers and London gangland pensioners are now forced to rub shoulders arrivistes from Ukraine, Poland, Russia and Armenia with witnesses whipped and passports bought.

Until fairly recently, if you troubled the siesta of any of these bees' knees of sleaze, you might have found yourself the victim of a tragic hiking accident in the Caminito del Rey, the infamous gorge walk where Stage 2 ends on an uphill finish. A narrow path of boards and ropes winds along the cliff high above the Gorge of El Chorro and, well over a century old, parts of it fell into disrepair until the local government decided to restore the site to safety as a tourist attraction.

It's a fairly sedate stage with a tricky little finish. None of the GC contenders will want to get caught out but the finish isn't hard enough to expect a pure climber as the winner. Expect an explosive puncheur instead.



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    Leadbelly

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    Re: Stage 2 - Marbella › Caminito del Rey
    « Reply #1 on: August 21, 2018, 13:37 »
    So not the same finale as a few years ago.

    2015 finish:



    2018 finish:



    The blue circle marks the same point in each map and shows where the routes diverge.
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  • search

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    Re: Stage 2 - Marbella › Caminito del Rey
    « Reply #2 on: August 21, 2018, 14:28 »
    looks like this is almost not worth to be categorized as a climb then. Not by Vuelta standards at least
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    search

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    Re: Stage 2 - Marbella › Caminito del Rey
    « Reply #3 on: August 25, 2018, 23:02 »
    looks like this is almost not worth to be categorized as a climb then. Not by Vuelta standards at least

    maybe it's still a bit tougher than I first thought...

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    Re: Stage 2 - Marbella › Caminito del Rey
    « Reply #4 on: August 26, 2018, 17:18 »
    yep, it was actually quite selective in the end...




    #astana Lopez +0:19, #katusha Zakarin +1:01, #uae Dan Martin +1:15, #movistar Carapaz +1:48, #bmc Teuns +2:46, #bahrain Nibali +4:04, #lotto Benoot +4:04, #bahrain Gorka Izagirre +4:42 and Richie Porte (who knows, 10 minutes or so) were among those losing time
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  • Servais Knavendish

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    Re: Stage 2 - Marbella › Caminito del Rey
    « Reply #5 on: August 26, 2018, 19:05 »


    and Richie Porte (who knows, 10 minutes or so) were among those losing time

    Yep what a shakeout ... And Richie lost 13.31 in he end....   :o
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    Re: Stage 2 - Marbella › Caminito del Rey
    « Reply #6 on: August 26, 2018, 19:27 »
    Porte, TJVG, must be something at BMC. I'm no longer expecting any kind of results from either. Uran, Quintana, Yates, Lopez - could still be a good battle.
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    t-72

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    Re: Stage 2 - Marbella › Caminito del Rey
    « Reply #7 on: August 26, 2018, 20:06 »
    The GC list has huge time gaps for this only being 2nd stage, and a lot of the  listed GC candidates from this friday, before the start of stage 1,  are obviously not at all candidates, already!

    #sky Kwiatkowski can take this, he already has a #rainbow jersey so no stress for him to get another one, but this is very likely the best chance he'll get in a long time for winning a grand tour. #movistar Valverde is the guy that already has a #red at home, but needs #rainbow to completeh his collection, so he is the one that can bail midway this time..
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    Re: Stage 2 - Marbella › Caminito del Rey
    « Reply #8 on: August 26, 2018, 20:07 »
    Was it really the monster final ascent that this pic from CN would seem to indicate?



    That looks crazy-steep, and much more than the 7% or so indicated in the video preview above posted by search. Plus, the profile of the final climb seems to indicate that it eases up a bit right before the line, which, again, is not indicative of this photo. I'm confused.
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    Re: Stage 2 - Marbella › Caminito del Rey
    « Reply #9 on: August 26, 2018, 20:12 »
    Porte, TJVG, must be something at BMC. I'm no longer expecting any kind of results from either. Uran, Quintana, Yates, Lopez - could still be a good battle.

    Crumbling teams often produce irregular results, not what you expect. #bmc looked to be melting already in the TdF with Ochowitz' response to Porte DNF'ing the stage 9. "His bags are waiting for him there" - I guess Porte didn't want to do the Vuelta and Ochowitz put him on the list anyway, but now Porte already has a contract with another team for next year, and - payback time? with an excellent Vuelta performance? In interviews before the start he pre-loaded with excuses including the worlds that Porte has no chance at winning (not good enough on the descents, see: Vista Chinesa, Mont du Chat).
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    Re: Stage 2 - Marbella › Caminito del Rey
    « Reply #10 on: August 26, 2018, 20:29 »
    Was it really the monster final ascent that this pic from CN would seem to indicate?

    ...(the photo is 2 posts above so omitted here)

    That looks crazy-steep, and much more than the 7% or so indicated in the video preview above posted by search. Plus, the profile of the final climb seems to indicate that it eases up a bit right before the line, which, again, is not indicative of this photo. I'm confused.

    The climb was more of a long drag to the finish and nothing crazy steep even though Valverde won it. There was trains (Sky and Movistar) riding like it was a sprint finish and only in the final few 100 meters we saw the captains battle for it.

    Having said that, no-one should thrust the Vuelta roadbook, it is the least reliable in the business, especially for stage profiles and climbs -  according to Norwegian TV2 commentary - so your question was certainly justified.   :)
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  • LukasCPH

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    Re: Stage 2 - Marbella › Caminito del Rey
    « Reply #11 on: August 26, 2018, 21:58 »
    Having said that, no-one should thrust the Vuelta roadbook, it is the least reliable in the business, especially for stage profiles and climbs -  according to Norwegian TV2 commentary - so your question was certainly justified.   :)
    I'm pretty sure I've seen worse.
    At least this race holds intermediate sprints etc. at the distances indicated in the roadbook, unlike a certain race that is considered the women's only Grand Tour. :shh
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    t-72

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    Re: Stage 2 - Marbella › Caminito del Rey
    « Reply #12 on: August 26, 2018, 22:05 »
    I'm pretty sure I've seen worse.
    At least this race holds intermediate sprints etc. at the distances indicated in the roadbook, unlike a certain race that is considered the women's only Grand Tour. :shh

    TV2 only cover women's NM (national championship), Vårgarda and Ladies Tour of Norway plus the world championship, so they would not have seen the Giro Rosa ones.
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    Re: Stage 2 - Marbella › Caminito del Rey
    « Reply #13 on: August 26, 2018, 23:16 »
    #sky Kwiatkowski can take this, he already has a #rainbow jersey so no stress for him to get another one, but this is very likely the best chance he'll get in a long time for winning a grand tour.

    he is yet to win a GT stage... he should have a good chance to get that one off the list, but GC?! I can't see it happen tbh
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    Re: Stage 2 - Marbella › Caminito del Rey
    « Reply #14 on: August 27, 2018, 02:45 »
    he is yet to win a GT stage... he should have a good chance to get that one off the list, but GC?! I can't see it happen tbh
    Well, you might be right, but t-72 is CERTAINLY right on this. Kwiat has perhaps the best chance of his career to take the GC. He's got consistency, and experience. He might be able to put this all together.

    Mmmeeeh, could be!
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  • t-72

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    Re: Stage 2 - Marbella › Caminito del Rey
    « Reply #15 on: August 27, 2018, 06:37 »
    he is yet to win a GT stage... he should have a good chance to get that one off the list, but GC?! I can't see it happen tbh

    Surely it would be a step up for him to win. Most likely he has been racing too much lately to last the full three weeks, and a Yates-like collapse in week 3 wouldn’t be surprising. That collapse came after 2.5 weeks of very entertaining racing, so let’s not worry about that.  :)

    Apart from the fatigue, who’s to say that a world champion (won in Spain), a monument winner and small tour specialist, with great all round skills and a reasonably good team supporting him can’t graduate to Vuelta winner? Geraint Thomas?

    In one or two years with #sky Kwiatkowski focused exclusively on the classics and small tours, and that may have branded him as a classics rider. Before that, for omega-pharma- #quickstep, riding basically unsupported as a GC rider in typical quickstep style, he finished 11th in Tour de France. Comparing him to the GC winner with somewhat similar credentials, his qualifications are not identical to Nibali in 2010, but he’s more experienced, better in almost every discipline except the longest climbs if compared at day 1 and 2010 Nibali yet had to win monuments.

    Also, let’s just assume Kwiatkowski can have learned something from being ace domestique in the tour, two years in a row
    .
    He could win, right? It wouldn’t be a shock “transformation” that many like to complain about. It would be one of the best cyclists in the world winning a three week race.
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    Re: Stage 2 - Marbella › Caminito del Rey
    « Reply #16 on: August 27, 2018, 07:26 »
    for me it would be. He has shown no indication that he can handle a race like this. When it became mountainous, over the past years he wasn't even able to hang on in smaller stage races.

    Having almost no multi mountain stages in this Vuelta is in in his favor of course, but for me de la Cruz has a far better chance to reach a good result for Sky. He has deserved this leadership role.
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    Re: Stage 2 - Marbella › Caminito del Rey
    « Reply #17 on: August 27, 2018, 08:28 »
    I'm in the no camp on Kwiar's chances of holding on to red. While respecting his ability and versatility,  he isn't an Ace mountain domestique imo. More like a Jack or Queen, he's not been used as the key last man in the TDF, like: Froome, Porte, Rogers, Thomas, Poels, Landa and now Bernal. I don't think Uran ever performed that role and maybe Henao did but I can't remember it. Quite a list for Bernal to join so young but that's a different topic.
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    L'arri

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    Re: Stage 2 - Marbella › Caminito del Rey
    « Reply #19 on: August 27, 2018, 10:59 »
    It reminded me of that Planche des Belles Filles Tour stage that Froome won, possibly the Wiggins year (I forget), where almost every GC contender got smoked on the first mountain stage that should have been a no-brainer. Except this wasn't a mountain stage.

    That last climb wasn't hard at all but they rode it at a crazy speed. Still not alien though because of plenty of fairly modest performers didn't lose much time. Just a shocker for Porte and Nibali.
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