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Vuelta 2018 - The Jersey Contenders
« on: August 22, 2018, 10:25 »
#vert Clasificación por puntos

The green jersey in the Vuelta is awarded to the rider who comes first in the points classification. It was first awarded in 1945, but although the sponsor Pirelli said that the classification was a great success, it did not return the next edition. The next time that a point based classification was calculated, was in 1955, and it has been always since. Nowadays it's sponsored by Škoda and in the past years it has often been a close fight between the sprinters and gc contenders. In 2017 for example, overall winner Chris Froome denied Trentin to take the jersey by sprinting to 11th in the final stage of the race

YEAR  1st  2nd  3rd 
2017      *gb Chris Froome      *it Matteo Trentin      *it Vincenzo Nibali
2016      *it Fabio Felline      *co Nairo Quintana      *es Alejandro Valverde
2015      *es Alejandro Valverde      *es Joaquim Rodríguez      *co Esteban Chaves
2014      *de John Degenkolb      *es Alejandro Valverde      *es Alberto Contador
2013      *es Alejandro Valverde       *usa Chris Horner      *es Joaquim Rodríguez

Points are handed out to the riders according to the place they obtain in each of intermediate sprint or stage arrival, based on the following points system:

Points at the stage Finish:

PLACE  1st  2nd  3rd  4th  5th  6th to 15th 
POINTS         25pt      20pt      16pt      14pt      12pt      10pt to 1pt

Points at the Intermediate Sprint:

PLACE  1st  2nd  3rd 
POINTS         4pt      2pt      1pt

the same amounts of points are awarded for each type of stage.

Favorites for the Maillot Verde

Compared to recent years, there are quite a lot of days with a potential sprint ending in this year's Vuelta. Stages 6. 10, 12, 18 and 21 should be almost guaranteed to be a big bunch sprint, and also stages 2, 5, 6 and 7 offer possibilities for sprinters with climbing abilities to place themself high up in the order.

Last year Matteo Trentin made use of exactly this combination of abilities, but with Viviani and Nizzolo in the race, the new European Champion will face stronger competition on the flat this time, and the presence of Peter Sagan is likely to cost him points on the hilly stages as well.

Viviani has won the points jersey in the Giro d'Italia earlier this year, and he can probably be considered to be the quickest rider in this race as well, and with Mørkøv and Sabatini he'll also have a very decent lead out at his side. He is probably the favourite for all the flat sprints, and - although he may struggle on the hillier one - this should automatically give him a chance to fight for the jersey as well.

Giacomo Nizzolo is Viviani's predecessor in taking the Giro glory, having won the jersey in 2016, and although he hasn't had much success since, he should definitely be considered among the candidates. After an injury plagued year, the former Italian Champion has been getting stronger and stronger over the past week, and seems to be hitting his peak at exactly the right time.

Guys like Bouhanni, Consonni, Aberasturi, Walscheid Gibbons or van Poppel will be up there in the sprints as well, but probably not quick or consistent enough to really be a factor in the points classification.

On paper, none of them would have a chance against Peter Sagan anyway of course, but the World Champion seems to regard this Vuelta as more of a preparation race for Innsbruck, and is rumoured not to plan to reach the finish in Madrid at all.

Eventhough, he still could cost the other sprinters valuable points, lacking in the fight against the better climbers in the end. Alejandro Valverde or Simon Yates are first to mention there of course, combining top climbing abilities with a great sprint, but also Michael Kwiatkowski or Jose Goncalves could come into play if they score enough points on the easier uphill finishes.

Also a pure climber stands a chance given that there are eight mountain top finishes in this race, but it would need quite a dominating performance, and less breakaway groups than usual going to the end.

Overall, with the challenging start of the race, it looks likely that a rider like Valverde or Kwiatkowski will hold the jersey after week 1, and then do what it takes to defend it.





#vkom Clasificación de montaña

The mountain classification of the Vuelta a España has a long tradition, first established in 1935, when it was won by Italian Edoardo Molinar. Until 2005 the leader in the classification was awarded with green jersey, before it it turned orange in 2006, and finally white with blue dots in 2010. It's sponsored by the Loterias y Apuestas del Estado.

Over the past year, it was more often won by opportunists rather than gc riders

YEAR  1st  2nd  3rd 
2017      *it Davide Villella      *co Miguel Lopez      *gb Chris Froome
2016      *es Omar Fraile      *fr Kenny Elissonde      *nl Robert Gesink
2015      *es Omar Fraile      *es Rubén Plaza      *lu Fränk Schleck
2014      *es Luis León Sánchez      *es Alberto Contador      *es Alejandro Valverde
2013      *fr Nicolas Edet      *usa Chris Horner      *it Daniele Ratto

The points scheme remains unchanged, there are no double points awarded at the mountain top finishes as in the Tour de France, for example.

CATEGORY  1st  2nd  3rd  4th  5th  6th 
Cima Alberto Fernández (1x)      20      15      10      6      4      2
Categoría especial (2x)      15      10      6      4      2         
1ª categoría (16x)      10      6      4      2      1         
2ª categoría (7x)      5      3      1                                 
3ª categoría (25x)      3      2                                       

In total, a maximum of 320 points are available, 103 of those at the stage finishes. This year's Cima Alberto Fernández is the Lagos de Covadonga, the finish of stage 15.

The stage with the most points available to get is the final one (53pt), but overall the points are widely spread over the race, with the penultimate race weekend standing out the most (#13: 23pt / #14: 38pt / #15: 43pt).

Both Villella last year as well as Fraile three years ago took the jersey as early as day three though, so it's possible for a motivated breakaway rider to defend the jersey throughout the race. With Category 1 climbs on stage 3 and 4 this year, it would be no surprise to see a similar situation unfold this time again.

Favorites for the Maillot es Blanco con Puntos Azules

To name a favorite for the mountain classification used to be very tough after David Mouncoutie's retirement a couple of years ago, but since then Omar Fraile has taken over, winning the jersey two times in a row in 2015 and 2016, and after being strike down by sickness in 2017, he'll surely aim to make it three this time around. Whether he will get the freedom to do so is a different question though.

Riders who should have are Thomas de Gendt, Rafal Majka or Alexandre Geniez, who all have competed for mountain jerseys in the past, and may have an eye on doing so again. The same applies to the Spanish PCT teams of course, with guys like Lluis Mas, Pablo Torres or Mikel Bizkerra probably standing the best chance.

A lot will come down to how the GC teams approach the race though. In the Giro we saw Simon Yates' Mitchelton Scott team chasing down every breakaway for almost the whole race, which stands in big contrast to the more tranquillo way the Vuelta usually is approached, with lots of breakaways staying clear, with even the weakest riders getting the chance to fight for stage wins.

In the end I think it's unlikely that a team takes control in the same way as in the Giro though (especially as it turned out to be not very successful in the end), and with the relatively point-heavy stages 3 and 4 early on in the race a similar scenario as last time when Villella won looks possible to happen. But also the gc riders can come back into contention of course, especially in case the escapees keep snatching away points from each other.

Also Wilco Kelderman, Vincenzo Nibali or Michael Woods come to mind, as they are certainly among the best climbers in the race but had an injury plagued preparation which may prevent them from fighting for GC. If they lose time in week one, they may very well aim for #vkom instead.

If I had to name a favourite, I'd probably say Rafal Majka though. He is a two time winner of the #kom Mountain Jersey at the Tour at least, competitive on every terrain, and (although Buchmann is supposed to lead Bora) usually not too keen to waste too much energy by working for his team mates.




Additionally a third jersey is awarded in the individual combined classification, obtained from the sum of the positions obtained by the riders in the General Individual Time Classification, General Individual Points Classification and General Individual King of the Mountain Classification.

Also a "young rider award" was introduced recently (for the best rider born after January 1st 1993), not rewarded with a jersey though. Miguel Lopez looks like the most likely winner for that one, with Richard Carapaz, Enric Mas, Tiesj Benoot, Sepp Kuss and Tao Geoghegan Hart as potential challengers.
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    Re: Vuelta 2018 - The Jersey Contenders
    « Reply #1 on: August 25, 2018, 07:22 »
    GC star ranking by *fr l'Équipe:

    :*:*:*:*:* -
    :*:*:*:* Quintana
    :*:*:* S. Yates, Pinot, Porte, Zakarin
    :*:* Uran, Aru, Nibali
    :* Kelderman, Lopez, Kruijswijk
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    • World Champion
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    Re: Vuelta 2018 - The Jersey Contenders
    « Reply #2 on: August 25, 2018, 07:33 »
    ...while Richie Porte says, whoever sees him at a favourite, should just have a look at Strava: he has barely trained properly. Yesterday he didn't even get the time trial bike out of the garage

    https://as.com/ciclismo/2018/08/24/vuelta_espana/1535105306_125700.html
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  • Capt_Cavman

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    Re: Vuelta 2018 - The Jersey Contenders
    « Reply #3 on: August 25, 2018, 10:51 »
    GC star ranking by *fr l'Équipe:

    :*:*:*:*:* -
    :*:*:*:* Quintana
    :*:*:* S. Yates, Pinot, Porte, Zakarin
    :*:* Uran, Aru, Nibali
    :* Kelderman, Lopez, Kruijswijk

    It's an interesting list with big question marks against all of them. Some rode the TDF,  some have got high hopes of WC victory, others have lacked form this year. On that basis, I might  put my money on Aru, although I'm most likely to leavre it in my pocket.
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