2020 Vuelta thread
Last Post 11/07/2020 06:06 PM by Frederick Jones. 52 Replies.
Author Messages
Cosmic Kid

Posts:3614

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10/19/2020 11:31 AM
Starts tomorrow.....coming out hot with the prediction that the race never sees Madrid. COVID is exploding across the EU and definitely in Spain.
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
Orange Crush

Posts:3618

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10/19/2020 12:06 PM
I won't follow along in this prediction. The powers that be seem to be intent on running the course on the races, so unless a higher authority in Spain steps in, the Vuelta will run its course. It sounds like they are applying the ASO protocols from TDF so let's see how well it works in the ever increasingly challenging outside conditions.
Orange Crush

Posts:3618

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10/19/2020 12:08 PM
And that is one brutal course. How many uphill finishes can you pack in one race? Should be good, and the field at start also looks good.
Orange Crush

Posts:3618

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10/19/2020 12:31 PM
On the Covid thing, I will add that what happens in other sports (read soccer) will be crucially important and their issues are in a way larger than cycling.

This is how Amstel Gold got canned. There were issues around soccer fan behaviour (crowding). This let to a "zero fans allowed" edict for all professional sports in NL. Because cycling cannot guarantee zero fans, the race got canned. Meanwhile COVID cases in professional soccer keep rapidly going up; while competitions continue somewhat foolheartedly this cannot go on forever.

Roubaix in turn got canned because the northern France region basically went back into lockdown so holding a race would have been politically tone deaf if you're trying to achieve compliance with lockdown measures. That is other way in which Vuelta could get halted.

Racing in Belgium has continued because they had been proactive and more strict on corona measures relative to FR and NL, so they've been in a slightly better spot to keep things going.
Cosmic Kid

Posts:3614

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10/19/2020 01:06 PM
I will not be upset in the slightest if my prediction turns out to wrong.
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
79pmooney

Posts:2761

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10/19/2020 01:52 PM
It sounds like the race organizers are taking this seriously and will use TdF protocols or maybe tighter, having been witness to the Giro's lessor standards. I hope it can go forward and smoothly. We (the world) need examples of responsibility around this COVID. It can be done, but not in haphazard fashion. (Haphazard - see USA.)
Cosmic Kid

Posts:3614

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10/19/2020 03:07 PM
Quick clarification - my prediction is not based on the Vuelta protocols, but just the rising rate of infections in Spain.

Although I am glad to hear they will be using the TdF protocols.
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
79pmooney

Posts:2761

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10/20/2020 11:01 AM
Fun to see and American really mixing it up! The US riders have generally been the rare superstars, the guys who once in a while ride well for GC (like TJ van Garderen) or are simply pack fodder. Sep Kuss on mountain stages simply gets out there and rips races apart. He doesn't have to podium. Everyone o knows he was there! Helps a lot that with JV his role and abilities match perfectly.
Orange Crush

Posts:3618

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10/20/2020 12:05 PM
With the amount of uphill finishes in this Vuelta Kuss could actually be a dark horse even though he does not want the leadership role. JV would be wise to keep him close in case Roglic falters.

Froome is done. So is Pinot. Also bummer about Woods crashing out. And that is just stage 1.
79pmooney

Posts:2761

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10/20/2020 12:17 PM
OC, the Vuelta has made up its missing first 3 days quite rapidly!

Agree that JV should treat Kuss as a potential leader and keep him up there on GC. But I stlil want to see him out there tearing up stages.
Orange Crush

Posts:3618

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10/20/2020 12:58 PM
Too bad my dentist does not have ability to stream cycling. Missed all the action. Painful.
Cosmic Kid

Posts:3614

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10/20/2020 02:34 PM
Great stage...awesome racing with lots of shakeups on Day 1.

Really glad to see Chavez finish with the front group. Would love to see that kid get a big result after all his bad luck over the years.
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
Orange Crush

Posts:3618

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10/20/2020 02:50 PM
Yes, I found a Sporza recap of entire final climb to watch over lunch. Excellent action.
79pmooney

Posts:2761

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10/21/2020 10:09 AM
Froome - I never particularly cared for him, but I can feel for him. He's living my 1978 post-crash year. His crash happened four months earlier in the year so he gets to be alittle farther along than i was but he also had far more physical injury.

I rode my 1978 season knowing it was my last, that I wouldn't remotely hit the form I had the summer before; that the best I could do was the highest possible place in each race I rode.

CylingNews just reported Froome is in a bunch of three and dead last. Oh a mountain stage where he used to rule. Humbling. I spent that August riding 1-2 criteriums for the training so I could ride the 1-2 Mt Washington road race as my farewell to racing. You guys know I'm not a crit guy at all. 1-2 crit in that level of form? Three laps and I was off the back, TT'ing best I could until I got caught and pulled. Best work out was when I got caught by the lead woman, Lynn Lemaire, Nat TT champ and clubmate. Hung on her wheel for quite a few more laps until we got caught. My day over. She went on to win.

Today's a story Froome can tell his grand kids 40 years from now. That life isn't always a bowl of cherries and sometimes you have to suck it up and be humbled.

Ben
Orange Crush

Posts:3618

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10/21/2020 10:41 AM
Best commentary of the day...a world champs jersey in XL size, that’s not done right?

Second best commentary...without race numbers (the poneys)

Froome - Ben fully agreed. I hope he can pick himself up towards end of race.
Cosmic Kid

Posts:3614

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10/21/2020 05:08 PM
I don't think there is much chance Froome can bounce back during the race....based on the first 2 days, he is woefully behind and needs the Vuelta to just get some high quality miles. At some point, he will need to recover form this in order to realize the benefits.

Now maybe he can ride super-easy in the back for a few days, but this course is so hard, I don't think it will be possible.
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
Orange Crush

Posts:3618

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10/21/2020 05:23 PM
Yes, agreed, the bouncing back is more wishful thinking than reality.

In a way Dumoulin shows what may happen if Froome pushes on. TD was on backfoot in Dauphine and early part of Tour, slowly caught back up on form but had to work hard to get there, and now the tank is empty two days into hardest Vuelta in ages.

Froome has way more catching up to do, so it is a fine balance between getting some racing in and not overdoing it.
longslowdistance

Posts:2451

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10/21/2020 06:20 PM
2 for 2 in terms of racing that is fun to watch.
79pmooney

Posts:2761

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10/21/2020 07:59 PM
I don't call this "catching up" for Froome. This is a rebuilding season. He's not getting "there" until late next season at best. I think he can be good next spring/early summer but not his old self. I knew after my head injury, fall of 1977, I couldn't hit the form I had that previous summer until 1980. 1979 I could have been close. I'm pretty sure Froome's setback is just as big as mine. Doesn't help that each year he gets older while the younger riders come into their best years.
Orange Crush

Posts:3618

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10/22/2020 10:39 AM
Ben - 5.8 to go. Froome gets to head of peloton setting pace. He’s already doing better than I hoped. Brief, 1.5k pace setting but still. Mentally must be great for him.
79pmooney

Posts:2761

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10/22/2020 11:22 AM
I I distanced the 3-4 field right away at Smuggler's Notch mid-June the summer after my accident and crested alone. Caught half way down by 5 riders, then a second bunch soon after the bottom. Just like the year before except the year before I was behind the very strong junior David Lamb. But ... that was a big effort and a place where I shine. Later that race I didn't have much. The rest of the season I spent very little time at the front and never was a factor.

Here Froome got to shine for a mile. Good on him and it will do his head good but it's still going to be a long haul. This short season might actually be a blessing for him. He gets to further his recovery, training and strength without having it rubbed in his face how far he has yet to go.
Orange Crush

Posts:3618

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10/25/2020 10:57 AM
Holy cow what a battlefield.

Roglic and JV going backwards.

Carapaz is looking good.
longslowdistance

Posts:2451

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10/25/2020 11:10 AM
Epic!
Cosmic Kid

Posts:3614

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10/25/2020 09:23 PM
Great stage...but really hard to keep track of who was where. Field just shattered!!

Whole new ballgame now....wide open.
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
Orange Crush

Posts:3618

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10/26/2020 08:42 PM
Good to read on Velonews that Kuss feels quite Covid safe in Vuelta. Seems much better done than Giro.

But still Spain entering lockdown will make for interesting times. It’s mostly because for however compliant the Spanish are during daylight hours at night it all falls apart. At least for now it’s not affecting professional sports.

Also more insight on the rain jacket debacle.
Orange Crush

Posts:3618

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10/27/2020 12:22 PM
Woodsey!

Another great racing day. Not much control by any team.
79pmooney

Posts:2761

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10/27/2020 01:02 PM
I was rooting for the old man, hoping he could pull of a win on his home soil. (The old man who has learned how to dress for a grand tour!) Also rooting for the American, hoping he would be given free reign. Seems he got the reign but the race didn't pan out for him. But good on Woods.
longslowdistance

Posts:2451

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10/27/2020 09:14 PM
Yes another excellent stage. Great racing in the Basque country.
I read that chilly weather will continue, as is normal for this region in fall.
PS Valverde kicked some behind today, but was a dollar short. Good effort.
Cosmic Kid

Posts:3614

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10/28/2020 10:51 AM
But the time Valverde gained has completely changed Movistar's strategic opportunities. They now have 3 riders in the Top 10, within ~2 min of the lead. Valverde is obviously the most vulnerable of the 3 (Soler and Mas being the others) but having the option to send him up the road to force others to chase is a good position to be in.
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
Cosmic Kid

Posts:3614

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10/28/2020 10:59 AM
And just like that, there he goes with 6.5km to go!! Not getting very far though....but that is OK. Forcing JV and Ineos to chase.
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
Cosmic Kid

Posts:3614

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10/28/2020 11:24 AM
GREAT STAGE!!!
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
Orange Crush

Posts:3618

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10/28/2020 12:38 PM
Beauty battle, great tenacity of both Roglic and Carapaz. Looks like this is a two horse race. Pretty sure Martin and Carthy will start bleeding more time over weekend.

Not surprised to see Valverde go backwards today. Yesterday was perfect rolling terrain for him but he's no longer at front in these hard long climbs. Movistar will have to try some long-range surprise at some point.
longslowdistance

Posts:2451

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10/28/2020 07:36 PM
Yes agree Great Stage! And further confirmation that Kuss has a good fit with his expectations.
longslowdistance

Posts:2451

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10/29/2020 08:14 PM
Was Sam Bennett's relegation right? Not asking what are the nitty gritty rules, asking what is right. Fighting for position in a leadout train is not for cupcakes. I'll wager we all have some shoulder and bar bumping stories. Is it now a choice of give in or get a DQ?
79pmooney

Posts:2761

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10/29/2020 08:33 PM
Posted By Frederick Jones on 10/29/2020 08:14 PM
Was Sam Bennett's relegation right? Not asking what are the nitty gritty rules, asking what is right. Fighting for position in a leadout train is not for cupcakes. I'll wager we all have some shoulder and bar bumping stories. Is it now a choice of give in or get a DQ?

I was wondering the same thing.  Haven't seen the video.  Is there aerial footage?
longslowdistance

Posts:2451

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10/29/2020 08:54 PM
Oh yes.
Dale

Posts:1467

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10/29/2020 09:07 PM
Posted By 79 pmooney on 10/29/2020 08:33 PM
Posted By Frederick Jones on 10/29/2020 08:14 PM
Was Sam Bennett's relegation right? Not asking what are the nitty gritty rules, asking what is right. Fighting for position in a leadout train is not for cupcakes. I'll wager we all have some shoulder and bar bumping stories. Is it now a choice of give in or get a DQ?

I was wondering the same thing.  Haven't seen the video.  Is there aerial footage?


Anything more egregious would have been a felony. Bennett really slammed him. Premeditated and did it twice. Relegation was the correct call.
longslowdistance

Posts:2451

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10/29/2020 09:18 PM
Thanks. May I assume that premeditated hargey bargey is illegal?
Dale

Posts:1467

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10/30/2020 08:35 AM
You decide.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8d03CR7-Yiw
Cosmic Kid

Posts:3614

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10/30/2020 10:52 PM
For two flat out boring stages, they certainly both produced exciting finishes!!
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
79pmooney

Posts:2761

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11/01/2020 10:39 AM
Wow! Gripping racing in slow motion! (Angulira - a relay race where each rider hands off to his thoroughbred tortoise at 6 1/2 km to go.)

I was hoping for a scenerio where Kuss could get the green light but oh, well. (Like if the leaders were together and Roglic was one of the strongest but needed a spark to draw things out.) But I'll settle for inspiration watching Valverde. Men that old aren't supposed to be losing just 2:56 and finish 12th on a climb of Mt Washington proportions. (Reminds me of Ned Overend.)
Orange Crush

Posts:3618

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11/01/2020 10:50 AM
Epic battle in slow motion.

And yes Valverde still going strong. It’s taken him much longer than usual to get things going this season but he’s there now.
Orange Crush

Posts:3618

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11/01/2020 11:13 AM
Some good humor from Roglic "this climb was too hard for a sprinter" in reference to being leader of points jersey.
Cosmic Kid

Posts:3614

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11/02/2020 09:59 AM
I'm surprised the gaps weren't bigger coming out of yesterday's stage...if anything, things have tightened.

Rog will almost certainly take the jersey back tomorrow and Carapaz seemed to know he did not get enough of a time gap to win the whole thing. He'll need to attack relentlessly to the end, but his opporuntiies are dwindling.
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
Dale

Posts:1467

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11/02/2020 10:23 AM
^ This. With a steep a gradient I would have anticipated a total shelling of the top several places.
79pmooney

Posts:2761

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11/02/2020 10:54 AM
Yup. With a rest day, then time trial coming up, the skinny light guys had to put distance on the more solidly built like Roglic. Riding the Angliru as a very hard finish to two days of mountain isn't enough. They had to ride it like this was the whole three weeks. (The Pogacar approach a couple of months ago; leaving nothing on the table.)
Orange Crush

Posts:3618

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11/02/2020 02:29 PM
I don't think much was left on the table yesterday; just a very evenly matched group of contenders. The only one who might have put minutes in them possibly was Kuss, as the only fly weight present in group. Fascinating stretching and shrinking of various elastics.
Cosmic Kid

Posts:3614

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11/02/2020 02:49 PM
Kuss looked like he was in complete control the whole way....had he not been on daddy duty, I think he would have won the stage with ease.
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
Orange Crush

Posts:3618

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11/02/2020 03:14 PM
As I put elsewhere it is always hard to tell with Kuss. Even when he's at limit he looks so at ease, and then without warning he can go backward. But yesterday was perfect pitch for him and at bottom of climb I noticed he was taking some time to check out the kickass scenery. Everyone looked to be suffering at the first 20% section but he was casting sideways glances at the valley below, looking a little bored behind his JV teammate.
longslowdistance

Posts:2451

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11/02/2020 04:07 PM
Mountain bike race gradients and scenery, his happy place.
79pmooney

Posts:2761

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11/05/2020 03:47 PM
What a concept - oil on the road in the closing kilometers. So they just moved up the time-taking to before the oil and it was a non-issue. I guess they learned their lesson after the slippery as ice dscent at the Tour.
Orange Crush

Posts:3618

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11/07/2020 10:15 AM
Carapaz made it interesting but Roglic takes it home.

And that too is Kuss. Flyweights apparently don’t handle headwind climbs very well. Fortunately there was Hofstede.
longslowdistance

Posts:2451

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11/07/2020 06:06 PM
Another good stage, another entertaining GT.
All three GTs completed, some imperfections but overall well done. A vote for optimism.


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