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F. ESCARTÍN'S COMMENT
A similar stage to the final act of La Vuelta 18, although this time the climb up to the Coll de Ordino is in the opposite direction. In turn, the hardest part of Coll de la Gallina and the finish will link La Comella, the first ever appearance of the Engolasters mountain pass, and a new 4 km flat gravel track to the final climb to Cortals d’Encamp. It will be one of the crucial stages for deciding the overall standings.

Stage 9 1st of September - Little JSG turns 9 not sure if is a sign or not, most likely a sign the JSG snr will not be watching  :o :lol

94,4 km you say

Mountain stage you say

Important stage 2018 Vuelta you say

There will be teams on Rollers before the stage you say

What could we be in for, might just about be the stage of the Vuelta




oh la la











Dreams will be broken today and a new legend written

Results from yesterdays stage



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  • Of course, if this turns out someday to be the industry standard integrated handlebar-computer-braking solution then I'll eat my kevlar-reinforced aerodynamic hat.

    Larri Nov 12, 2014

    Mellow Velo

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     I was on the Cortals d'Encamp in 2015 when it featured in this stage, designed by Purito Rodriguez.



    This was the stage when Chris Froome broke a bone in his foot, crashing into a wooden barrier in the neutral zone.





    They did the whole climb, that day. We were right by those first 12% sections and wondering where he'd got to. :D




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  • "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.

    Mellow Velo

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     Looking at La Vuelta's profile, La Flamme's penultimate profile can't be right. 600m of climbing when it should only be 400m.

    This profile is probably closer to the mark.

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  • Drummer Boy

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     *ad *ad *ad *ad *ad *ad *ad *ad *ad

    It's projected to be a very short stage. I'm seeing anywhere from a little over 2.5 to 3.0 hours total.

    I'm also seeing thunderstorms in the forecast for what looks to be the earlier part of the stage.

    It could be an epic day at La Vuelta 2019!  :cool

    Either way, it should be intense and decisive. Lot's of action right from the start, for sure.

     *ad *ad *ad *ad *ad *ad *ad *ad *ad

    Quote
    Technically, three climbs remain after the riders crest the summit of the Gallina with 37km to go. In practice, the day’s final trio of ascents line up to form a sort of triptych, divided by the briefest of respite.

    First up is the category 2 Alto de Comella (4.2km at 8.6%), whose summit comes with 18km remaining.

    After a short descent of scarcely two miles, the road kicks up once again for the category 2 Alto de Engolasters (4.8km at 8.1%), which is followed by a short false flat that takes the race across a 3.5km gravel track and through a short, unlit tunnel.

    On re-emerging into the light, the riders then face a purgatorial category 1 ascent to the finish line at Cortals d’Encamp (5.7km at 8.3%).

    - Barry Ryan
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    I don want to take away too much enthusiasm (and also would welcome a great stage of course), but I'm really not too sure this will turn out well. Usually these short stages work out best, when they come after a couple of hard, long days (so that the domestiques are exhausted) and when the GC is more or less settled already (so that top riders are willing to take risks) - neither of that it the case: yesterday was easy and short, and Lopez, Roglic, Valverde and Quintana are within half a minute in GC.

    Of course you could argue that Lopez is virtually 2-3 minutes behind with the time trial still to come - but that's usually not how it works. Having lost time already and potentially losing time bring two different kind of mindsets.

    At least the stage takes place right before the rest day, so we should still see some strong guys going a bit deeper than usual, but in terms of early action, I'd guess it will be more the likes of Ion Izagirre, George Bennett and Soler instead of Lopez, Roglic and Quintana.
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  • "If this is cycling, I am a banana"

    Mellow Velo

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    I don want to take away too much enthusiasm (and also would welcome a great stage of course), but I'm really not too sure this will turn out well. Usually these short stages work out best, when they come after a couple of hard, long days (so that the domestiques are exhausted) and when the GC is more or less settled already (so that top riders are willing to take risks) - neither of that it the case: yesterday was easy and short, and Lopez, Roglic, Valverde and Quintana are within half a minute in GC.

    Of course you could argue that Lopez is virtually 2-3 minutes behind with the time trial still to come - but that's usually not how it works. Having lost time already and potentially losing time bring two different kind of mindsets.

    At least the stage takes place right before the rest day, so we should still see some strong guys going a bit deeper than usual, but in terms of early action, I'd guess it will be more the likes of Ion Izagirre, George Bennett and Soler instead of Lopez, Roglic and Quintana.

     The similar stage in 2015 came immediately after the rest day and was pretty dramatic. I was on the El Cortals climb, exactly 8kms from the finish and didn't see a group of more than 4 riders. Landa had already flown and Aru launched his attack, right by me, that eventually saw him get second place. Minutes later, Geraint Thomas appeared, towing a broken Froome. Not something you see every day. (except for the towing bit)









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  • « Last Edit: September 01, 2019, 09:35 by Mellow Velo »

    Mellow Velo

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    Roglic also crashed on the gravel section, but was unhurt. Explains how he lost contact, then got back and caught Valverde.
    Ominous.
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    #dimension Ben King's reaction:

    No photo because cameras don’t function in the insanity that was 15-5 km to go. Marble sized hail cracked collarbone, spine, and knuckles. Stop and freeze. So I kept riding up the river in the road to the gravel/dirt turned mud sector. All of this preceded by unending Andorran climbs and hairpin descents. Followed by a ski lift 🚠 ride to the bus which stopped for half an hour on the way down. Followed by a 4 hour transfer to the next hotel. What a day! What a sport!

    https://www.instagram.com/p/B14ZNxylMNv/?igshid=omrr6p5gslgq

    Good stage though. Better than what I expected
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  • Drummer Boy

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    #dimension Ben King's reaction:

    No photo because cameras don’t function in the insanity that was 15-5 km to go.

    As we said in the live chat: I hope somebody's cameras were working.

    What a tremendous shame if they design an epic course, we get epic weather on top of it, and there are no pictures to document any of it.
     :o

    Here's hoping that some footage emerges. :pray
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  • LukasCPH

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    that #lotto Hagen dude is doing very well btw. With basically only eight or so guys left to fight for the Top 10, who knows where this journey may end... :cool
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  • t-72

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    that #lotto Hagen dude is doing very well btw. With basically only eight or so guys left to fight for the Top 10, who knows where this journey may end... :cool

    I was on a train for the entire race day today, missing out on everything, both Plouay and the Vuelta, but once I noticed on sketchy intermittent internet via cell phone high in the Norwegian mountains how well Carl Fredrick Hagen was doing, at least I got the chance to think about how I was going to cook up a little post about his performance, including highlights from our discussions before the starting TTT. I remember a very sober and skeptical German guy discussing with a Norwegian who was getting a little carried away.
    And then, as I am composing the post you counter-attacked buy admitting #lotto Carl Fredrick Hagen is actually doing quite well.  :angry

    What can I say, I am thoroughly beaten by this clever tactic  :S so I will just post this instead. I never thought I would see anything like this final line here, so Calles racing so far is currently exceeding my expectations: great job in the breakaway yesterday and then also with enough left in the tank to not collapse on today´s difficult climbing stage.



    With #wanty Eiking´s victory on the Storheia stage in the Arctic race, #unox Tobias Foss winning the Tour de l’Àvenir and #lotto Calle now doing a good job on a very hard mountain stage in the Vuelta, I think we can finally declare that the curse of the mountain-monkeys is now broken: the *no Norwegians can climb with the best again! (No-one could, since Willman in the early 80s.)
    Calle is even ahead of the best Dane in the GC (this is totally unheard of!  :o)

    What I haven´t told you about him is that he is a frequent guest expert with the Eurosport commentaries in Norway when he's not busy training or racing, so he is already a household name with the cycling fans here. However, his advance this year is beyond everything we expected from him even though it has been suspected for a few years that the #joker race schedule, dominated by classics and flat and moderately hilly stage races, could «hide» a climbing talent with the endurance needed for big mountains, by disguising him as a hilly classics rider that can´t sprint for the line (thus #riwal Alexander Kamp or Rasmus Guldhammer wins instead).  Hagen needed a different stage and Lotto seems to have done everything right for him so far this year, with the Swiss WT races and now the Vuelta as opportunities for him to prove himself.

    I am not getting a little carried away here,  I am so far up I can´t get contact with ground control!  :cool

    (Expect him to lose a couple of minutes or maybe more on the ITT, he is not good at that, lost contact with the rest of the team in the TTT early etc. However, he isn´t going to get Roglic anyway and there are some guys in the 5-15 range that aren’t known as lightning when on a TT bike, so I don’t Think he will drop back to 20th or thereabout (where the Norwegian commentaries expected him to end up) without a major collapse on a road stage. He’s got about 10 minutes on #movistar Soler in the 20th on GC and he is not losing that in one ITT. 
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  • Drummer Boy

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    I came across this just now:


    Tweeter translate (which is notoriously terrible) gives me this:

    Quote
    Removing penguins is against safety, but putting them through sweepers is very healthy.
    :slow :S  :D




    We really did miss out on what would've been some truly memorable live coverage though.  :(

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    LukasCPH

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    here is some kind of footage from the Roglic crash. Looks like he somehow collided with the neutral service moto (which was not standing though, as some had reporded earlier on)

    https://twitter.com/Packdeltoro/status/1168435634127720448

    hard to blame anyone, under those conditions. The moto was probably struggling to stay upright as well
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  • LukasCPH

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    (Expect him to lose a couple of minutes or maybe more on the ITT, he is not good at that, lost contact with the rest of the team in the TTT early etc. However, he isn´t going to get Roglic anyway and there are some guys in the 5-15 range that aren’t known as lightning when on a TT bike, so I don’t Think he will drop back to 20th or thereabout (where the Norwegian commentaries expected him to end up) without a major collapse on a road stage. He’s got about 10 minutes on #movistar Soler in the 20th on GC and he is not losing that in one ITT.

    yeah, surely not.

    And at the moment, in the Top 10 there are basically only 7 "real" gc guys left + Edet, Hagen and Teuns, who ended up in there due to breakaways. Edet and Pernsteiner (in 12th) will probably have similar plans as Hagen, to hang on, as long as they can - not sure about those other guys. Nieve may give the GC a go, Teuns or Higuita looks more likely to go for stages instead, Chaves as well I guess, Bennett, Soler, Izagirre and Fuglsang are on team duties, Oscar Rodriguez and Guerreiro don't look strong enough... so we are probably down to less than 15 guys who really care about the GC.
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    #dimension Ben King's reaction:

    [...]Followed by a 4 hour transfer to the next hotel.!

    Astana arrived at the hotel at half past 5 this morning by the way :o

    https://www.cyclingweekly.com/news/racing/vuelta-a-espana/vuelta-riders-stuck-andorra-5am-crash-holds-transfer-436216
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