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Vuelta 2012 - Stage by Stage


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#81 Strategy

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 01:15 PM

A picture that from today that will stay with me for a while: Valverde powering up the road in the distance, with Rodriguez struggling resignedly with Hernandez on his wheel. That was just heartbreaking to watch.

#82 The Rake

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 01:55 PM

Would love to say it was great to watch, but because of the speed Eurosport only caught the last 17km or so!!

Even then I could see Contador in the break and Harmon was talking about a completely different list of riders.
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#83 crockett

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 03:22 AM

Would have loved to see how Contador got away as my tv coverage picked it up too late. Jrod had been so attentive to Contador until yesterday Today should be very interesting as all 3 dug extremely deep yesterday.

#84 Strategy

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 05:55 AM

I don't think the Vuelta organizers have any pictures from AC's attack. All coverage I've seen so far has started at the point where AC has already built up a 114 seconds gap. Just brilliant TV from Unipublic. :P

#85 N.B.O.L.

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 06:17 AM

Universal Sports coverage picked up with Contador already 28 seconds up or so. Granted there was still a little excitement left in the stage, but all of the tactics to set up the move missed. I don't know if that is as soon as coverage was available to anyone, but better than 114 up for sure.

Edited by N.B.O.L., 06 September 2012 - 06:20 AM.

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#86 Strategy

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 12:49 PM

Someone on CN found a clip from the second-last mountain, which records what must be shortly after Contador has attacked.



It shows the peloton scattered all over the mountain, with no less than 3! SBTB riders in the front group (along with Tiralongo and Losada), Contador attacking, and Rodriguez completely isolated. Seeing that, it is not hard to see how the situation got so bad for JR.

#87 micomico

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 05:24 AM

Someone on CN found a clip from the second-last mountain, which records what must be shortly after Contador has attacked.



It shows the peloton scattered all over the mountain, with no less than 3! SBTB riders in the front group (along with Tiralongo and Losada), Contador attacking, and Rodriguez completely isolated. Seeing that, it is not hard to see how the situation got so bad for JR.


Nice, thanks. This will go down as one of the Grand Tour classic stages. JR had been dropped once in the first 40K, so he was already showing heavy chains. Hard to be in a DS shoes, but Katusha should have put some riders in that large break to protect Purito.

Nice to see Bennati win. That guy has performed below expectations and been under a lot of pressure. The next Ale Jet, which did not pan out.

Edited by micomico, 07 September 2012 - 05:30 AM.


#88 Mark

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 08:35 AM

Gilbert! Really strong finish there. His form seems to be coming around nicely for Worlds. :helmet:

#89 Strategy

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 09:39 AM

Aaand it's all over, bar the obligatory parade to Madrid.

I feel bad for Purito. It is rare that the winner of a GT is not also the strongest rider in the race, but I feel that this is actually one of those rare cases. He beat Contador on pretty much every stage - except the one that really mattered. And - from all accounts - it sounds a lot like he pretty much lost it himself. Breschel was reported as saying that Rodriguez appeared way too nonchalant early on in stage 17 (something he clearly was when he did not immediately respond to AC's attack), and apparently it was not just him, but in fact the entire Katyusha team that did not bother to ride their bikes during the rest day. That may explain why stage 17 was also the only stage where Moreno was not able to support Rodriguez properly (where today he was brilliant again).

That being said, Contador (or Riis - the st17 attack was a trademark Riis attack) was clearly the smartest, and the one who wanted this win the most. It was clearly part of the tactics today to only dig as deep as needed and not risk a full-scale bonk which could have cost the race. Majka rode brilliantly in support, and the fact that he was able to lead Contador so far up the climb without a doubt helped to ensure that Rodriguez and Valverde did not try to attack very much earlier. This race has surely been Majka's breakthrough (I look forward to seeing him given a free hand in a future GT), but after a somewhat weak start, the Saxobank team really showed their quality in the last half of the Vuelta. More than most GT wins, this one was a team victory.

Just a pity that there were so few following it this time around. This was surely a much more interesting GT than the snooze-fest we were served in July.

Oh .. and Menchov shows he still has it, when he doesn't need to ride for a team captain. A great stage racer, but I'll have to say I won't ever like him. His lack of ability to set his ego aside has been demonstrated so many times... <_<

Edited by Strategy, 08 September 2012 - 09:41 AM.


#90 Burkni

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 11:28 AM

Great race ... Although I for one have had a hard time getting decent video/streaming of it.

Agree on all points re:Contador and J-Rod ... I now fear that the latter will never win a GT, this one had embarrassingly many of his trademark finishes, bonus seconds AND an amazingly suitable TT. Oh well, he should have a couple of decent years in him.

As for Menchov, this was a nice thing after last year's Geox debacle, probably his last pro win. Not the best team player, that's for sure, but he has made some contributions, he definitely worked for Rasmussen (albeit reluctantly) in the 2007 Tour for instance.
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#91 crockett

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 04:15 AM

This was a great tour, and I agree with strategy on all accounts. Katusha's failure on stage 17 was puzzling. It really seems that willpower overcame form and strength this time. Ialsoloved the course selection. Those finishes on the 20 percent ramps are great to watch.

#92 micomico

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 10:16 AM

This was a great tour, and I agree with strategy on all accounts. Katusha's failure on stage 17 was puzzling. It really seems that willpower overcame form and strength this time. Ialsoloved the course selection. Those finishes on the 20 percent ramps are great to watch.


I agree. He got dropped very early on in the race, so he may have simply had a bad day on 17, apart from the questionable team tactics.

#93 VdB

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 01:24 AM

I was absolutely convinced Contador would come back to win the Vuelta, but I was beginning to doubt my prediction very much when I saw Jrod stick to Contador's wheel like it had been me trying to ride away from him on every mountain stage. :P 'Happy' to see the attacker come away with the victory in the end though. I never was a big Contador fan when he rised to the top, but he has been showing so much grit, mental fortitude and the ability/willingness to lay it all down on the line and go balls-out in the last few years that I can't help but respect the man. What a difference from so many of his rivals, like those sorry wannabes at the Tour this year.
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