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Old 09-04-2012, 05:24 AM   #81 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Cycling discussion thread

It's come down to one last finishing climb, hasn't it? After all the attacks Contador put in on Cuitu Negru only to be passed at the finish again, I think he may have to settle for second or below, should he opt for an all or nothing day on stage 20. He and his team don't appear able to ride long and hard enough to tire Purito, who has already put what looks to have been his biggest challenge, the ITT, behind him.
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Old 09-05-2012, 10:23 AM   #82 (permalink)
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Old 09-05-2012, 10:29 AM   #83 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Cycling discussion thread

Well, well, well....

What a result!!!!

I actually had a premonition/strange feeling Bertie would try to get in the break as a last roll of the dice. I wish i thought a bit deeper and checked the betting odds as he was around 18/1 to win today's stage.

1 Alberto Contador (ESP) Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank 68h 07' 57"
2 Alejandro Valverde (ESP) Movistar Team + 1' 52"
3 Joaquim Rodríguez (ESP) Team Katusha + 2' 28"
4 Chris Froome (GBR) Team Sky + 9' 40"
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Old 09-05-2012, 11:35 AM   #84 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Cycling discussion thread

Looks to be all over now barring a major spanner in the works, a little sad we don't get to see one last big stage to finish it off. Who was counting Bertie out? I always believed, honest
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Old 09-05-2012, 11:42 AM   #85 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Cycling discussion thread

We've talked about Purito right from the start, we all knew he had hugely improved lately and that he was in fine form, it was just a case of whether or not he would be able to keep this up right to the end. Yet again, he falters and one stage has cost him the race. It may have even cost him 2nd from Valverde, although i'm not sure how much he cares about that, it just goes to show how much today has made an influence on the standings. I do feel quite sorry for him, but this is racing and you have to suck it up and come again, he should take a lot of heart from this, regardless of what happened here.
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Old 09-06-2012, 06:54 PM   #86 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Cycling discussion thread

I'm blown away by this edition of the Vuelta. This is easily the best stage race of the year, probably one of the better ones I've ever watched. Contador's unexpected move on what was supposed to be an unremarkable day was one of those career-defining moments. Love him or hate him, the guy animates the big races like no other active gc rider.

And it's still not over. A couple of days ago, I thought Purito was almost a certain winner. Now he's not even second. There's still Saturday's stage to create another possible surprise. I'm done with ruling any of the top three out now.
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Old 09-06-2012, 08:38 PM   #87 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Cycling discussion thread

We've seen twists and turns and exciting stages right the way through, and just when it was looking like it might have slipped away for Contador he springs an inspired move to virtually win the race after the rest day on a near innocuous stage. It's a totally fitting way to take the jersey. Alberto HAD done his homework and got the break exactly right, he caught him off guard, put him under that pressure early which hadn't happened before. Purito's team was tested, he was tested and he didn't rise to the challenge. Considering Valverde rode back to Alberto and made up time while he didn't, he was found wanting, but without being put in that situation he would never had suffered this loss. The luck just doesn't look like it will roll for him.

Yet this doesn't discount or take anything away from the huge effort and risk Alberto took, and he should be praised for winning, not Purito losing. Regardless of the inevitable questions that were always going to come with (potentially) winning this tour after coming back, he's made this tour what it is. Incredibly exciting.

Like you say, it's not over yet. Alberto still has to hold on, barring a big turnaround, a lot of variables still, who knows?

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Old 09-06-2012, 08:40 PM   #88 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Cycling discussion thread

On to today, huge agony for Ben Swift getting pipped to the sprint on the line, a good but not the best ride and leadout he could have possibly had, but he's getting awfully close.

Tomorrow:


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Old 09-07-2012, 09:24 PM   #89 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Cycling discussion thread

Another great win for Gilbert today, his 2nd at La Vuelta this year. Looks like he's finding form at just the right time.

Okay, onto Stage 20, The final decider, and the Bola Del Mundo:



- Last 200m:



Distance: 169.5km

Highest point: 2,252m

Category: High mountains

The Vuelta’s high point

The last summit finish takes the race back to the Bola del Mundo to the north of Madrid. Two years ago, Vincenzo Nibali fought off attacks from Ezequiel Mosquera on the Bola del Mundo’s thrilling debut in the race. Rising 3km to the TV masts that look out over the Navacerrada and the Madrid sierra, the narrow road averages almost 12 per cent and features ramps that are almost double that gradient. Add in four more categorised climbs, three of them cat 1, and it’s clear that this penultimate stage has the potential to turn the race upside down. The race leader is likely to find himself under attack all day.

Igor Anton: "After the success of this stage finish in 2010 and the battle for the title between Mosquera, who won the stage, and Nibali, who took the overall, this will be a good and very tough finish again. It’s much the same style as the Cuitu Negru."
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Old 09-08-2012, 09:17 PM   #90 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Cycling discussion thread

News of what we all knew would happen, Cav leaving Sky:
http://au.eurosport.com/cycling/cave...81/story.shtml

Cav/Brad go in the Tour Of Britain starting today.
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