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Vuelta Stage 15 *Spoiler" and question
Last Post 09/06/2016 01:21 AM by 79 pmooney. 13 Replies.
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79pmooney

Posts:1735

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09/04/2016 12:33 PM
What was Froome doing off the back 15 minutes into the race?  (Cycling News just says he was but gives no reason.)  Was this a mechanical?  Bladder?  (15 minutes into the race?  Really?  Unless he is sick.)  Back to plan strategy with the team car?  And where was his team?

I have wondered more than once about Sky's priorities with re: to protecting its leaders, esp Froome.  The Tour where he crashed out when he did not have a Postal/Discovery style escort to prevent the crash on the sprinter's stage that meant absolutely zero to a GC man.  The failure to have anyone near Porte in the Giro.  Now today.  Short stage in the Pyrenees with Contador healthy and you let your guard down?  Oops.  (Tat is unless Sky has a really good excuse or Contador is guilty of breaking an unwritten rule, and even then ...)

Ben


79pmooney

Posts:1735

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09/04/2016 12:50 PM
And ... again, just knowing what I have read in Cycling News and VeloNews, why wasn't Froome ditching his companions when the break was just 20 seconds up the road and riding like his career, life, marriage and everything else was hanging on what he could do in the next 10 minutes? This is bike racing. Sometimes that is what you have to do. Yeah, it might not have worked. But not even trying? (Yes, doing that would be truly un-Sky like.)

Ben
longslowdistance

Posts:1474

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09/04/2016 01:01 PM
Sorry I missed this one - a real barn burner. Skybots not up to the task, maybe forgot a trip to the drug store?

Orange Crush

Posts:1996

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09/04/2016 02:14 PM
I am thinking they were still setting up their power meter when today's action began.

Today was an abject fail of power meter racing and a win for what cycling should be. Thank you Contador for lighting the fuse.
Spud

Posts:474

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09/04/2016 02:38 PM
Went out for a ride this morning, so I'm watching the replay now. OC, I think the thanks need to go out to Brambilla for lighting the fuse today. He put the immediate hurt on the pelaton right out of the gate.
79pmooney

Posts:1735

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09/04/2016 03:21 PM
Spud, Brambilla started the day 1/2 an hour down. He was no threat to anyone. But he was 1) a strong rider, very capable of a stage win from a long hard break and 2) an excellent opportunity for the ever opportunist, Mr. Contador. (And Quintana was riding with his eyes wide open.)

I think Quintana has been studying Contador, the master of reading defenses and holding on to the ball for long gains when everyone knows he's going to pass to use a football analogy.

Ben
Cosmic Kid

Posts:2146

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09/04/2016 08:42 PM
This stage was tailor-made for Contador's racing tendencies. I am shocked that SKY didn't anticipate it.

Great weekend of racing, all they way around.
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
79pmooney

Posts:1735

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09/04/2016 11:57 PM
Valverde has gone up another notch in my view. What a teammate! He used his strength to completely undermine Froome. A viscious surge early to ensure the peloton and Froome's teammates weren't coming back, then another on the final climb as Froome was looking over his shoulder for help. Like Contador, some really eyes good eyes open big picture racing.

I know UCI hates "collaboration" but I love the Spanish brotherhood on the road. Here Contador, Valverde and Quintana (well, so Quintana just shares a name and language). Two wily veterans and a new-comer who is learning the game right in my view and learning from both of them. (By "right", both winning ways and in the spirit of great, exciting racing.

Nairo, you brightened this overcast day incredibly!

Ben
79pmooney

Posts:1735

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09/05/2016 12:22 PM
90 riders missed the time cut yesterday - by 20 minutes! In the interests of keeping the race image up, they were allowed to start. All of today's top 10 finishers were in that group yesterday.

I can see letting the riders continue but I feel there should be some real penalties. Those riders didn't even try. I'd like to see something like delaying the start of the pardoned riders say half the time they missed the cut by at the start. That would put some real urgency into the laughing group. Imagine 7 of Froome's teammates not being allowed to start until 10 minutes after the peloton. There would have been two races today, both far more interesting than what we got. From the starting flag, the 2nd peloton trying to rejoin. And Movistar, Tinkoff and Etixx-GS trying to stay away helped by any fast men who made the cut yesterday.

Another incentive that could be used - riders that are pardoned for missing the cut are no longer eligible for jerseys or stage wins, they are now domestiques only. Wouldn't change much for the 7 Skys that missed but all 10 of today's leaders would have had a real incentive to bust their humps a little more yesterday.

Ben
jookey

Posts:169

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09/05/2016 03:14 PM
i like the idea of not being eligible for points or stage placings in the following stage as those who sit back do benefit while others were actually racing. It would put a fire in them to at least ride hard enough to finish.

90 riders finishing 20 minutes behind. That is a joke. As an organizer, I'd tell them to go home. They rode so slow only because they knew with so many, they would be granted a pass. Let's see the next few days of racing with them gone...
Orange Crush

Posts:1996

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09/05/2016 04:38 PM
There need to be clear rules for any decision. There's only one clear rule which is the time cutoff. The basis for exceptions is murky and inconsistent. So they should have been cut.

Would have been interesting to see Froome racing on his own.

What I can see is that with shorter stages and consequently more explosive racing the percentage cutoff from winning time should go up. But that percentage should be clearly defined.
smokey52

Posts:246

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09/05/2016 04:46 PM
Absent extenuating circumstances (eg. land slide, moto crash, or train blocking the route) beyond the riders' control, there really should be few exceptions.
longslowdistance

Posts:1474

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09/05/2016 07:36 PM
#autobus #laughinggroup
79pmooney

Posts:1735

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09/06/2016 01:21 AM
From the Vuelta race director "“This is an exceptional measure. We considered how the stage developed and the effort from the preceding stages. And we have just come off an extremely demanding stage at the Aubisque. Of course, without this exception, we would have eliminated 93 riders.”

But, as we all know, do this once and it will never be exceptional again. Why? Next year there will be precedent. And what made this so exceptional? They spent the past 6 days racing? Isn't this a grand tour? It was hot. August in Spain. Exceptional? Really?

Yesterday's race was only 72 miles. The winning speed was 25.3 mph. The required speed to make the time cut was 21.4 mph. The peloton speed was 19.3 mph! That's a 1976 B-level club race with 9 riders. SKY alone had enough horsepower in their seven riders to average 21 mph.

I can forgive the Movistar riders for not working. Team tactics. Get the whole peloton tossed and Quintana's biggest threat is now unescorted? Those riders might get tossed, but they'd also get a nice bonus! Work really well done!

Of course there's - When is a rule not a rule? When it applies to Team SKY?

Ben
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