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From velonews.com:

"Vuelta director Victor Cordero was at the Giro last week to confirm Contador’s presence at the Spanish race in what could be the season’s major showdown among some of the sport’s biggest names. Cordero said others confirmed to race the Vuelta are Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto), Riccardo Riccò (Saunier Duval-Scott), Damiano Cunego (Lampre), Carlos Sastre (CSC) and Oscar Pereiro and Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d’Epargne)."

So . . . The Accountant, Ricco, Cunego, Sastre, Valverde and Evans are going head-to-head. I would think Leipheimer and Kloeden would do the Vuelta after the TdF snub. Would also think DiLuca does the Vuelta as he usually skips the TdF and does the Vuelta. I'm assuming Menchov would sit it out because he's doing the TdF and just did the Giro. Still . . . that's a lot of GC firepower, then throw in L'Angliru, that's a helluva race.
 

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Conti wins it, Ricco second, third up for grabs. Evans has nothing left after the TdF.
 

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justinb said:
Emanuelle Sella?

There's a lot of up in the Vuelta, and that kid can go up.

(Assuming CSF Navigare gets a nod)
Italian continental probably has 0 (zero) chance of being invited. You'll have 18 or so ProTour teams rounded off with maybe Slipstream (ProTour team in hiding) and the rest Spanish Continental teams.

That said, no, it won't be the 2008 TdF. I'd be surprised if Cunego actually raced it for one, and for seconds, most of the TdF competitors are peaking for TdF, not for Vuelta. Not that they couldn't hit a second peak 6 weeks later, but rather unlikely, especially with Worlds and Olympics around that time.
 

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This is the first Vuelta that actually matters in years. I'm very excited. It sets up perfectly for Contador, and either way, it will be cool. If Cunego, DiLuca, Valverde, et al., take it seriously (as opposed to a Worlds warm-up), it will make for some exciting racing. If they don't, then Contador is making history.
 

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ziggurat22 said:
This is the first Vuelta that actually matters in years. I'm very excited. It sets up perfectly for Contador, and either way, it will be cool. If Cunego, DiLuca, Valverde, et al., take it seriously (as opposed to a Worlds warm-up), it will make for some exciting racing. If they don't, then Contador is making history.
Agree. I do think Ricco, Valverde and Sastre will take it seriously. Evans, Cunego and DiLuca will likely use it for World's training (funny how so many guys do a GT to train for a one-day race, but that's a testament to how tuff the Worlds RR is), it is great to see so many big GC names in a non-TdF event.
 

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Why is Contador making history? By doing something that Merckx and Hinault have already achieved in a shorter time span?

Hopefully, if he wins the Vuelta - which I'm sure he will - he does it in more dynamic style than his Giro win.

I'll be surprised if some of the big hitters from the TdF even appear at the Vuelta
 

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Bianchigirl said:
Why is Contador making history? By doing something that Merckx and Hinault have already achieved in a shorter time span?

Hopefully, if he wins the Vuelta - which I'm sure he will - he does it in more dynamic style than his Giro win.

I'll be surprised if some of the big hitters from the TdF even appear at the Vuelta
I don't think it's making history if he does but he'll definitely still be amongst the ones talked about anyway.

I'm sure he'll attack much more etc at the Vuelta since it's his original goal in the first place.

I was surprised Evans is going actually from what is said here. Really?
 

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Bianchigirl said:
Why is Contador making history? By doing something that Merckx and Hinault have already achieved in a shorter time span?
Are you denigrating Contador here or complimenting him? Usually, anytime anybody does something remotely similar to Merckx and Hinault, it's a notable accomplishment deserving of compliment, but I can't tell here.
 

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uzziefly said:
I was surprised Evans is going actually from what is said here. Really?
It won't matter anyway. He'll suck wheels like usual and then get dropped in the mountains, just like he always does.
 

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fornaca68 said:
Agree. I do think Ricco, Valverde and Sastre will take it seriously. Evans, Cunego and DiLuca will likely use it for World's training (funny how so many guys do a GT to train for a one-day race, but that's a testament to how tuff the Worlds RR is), it is great to see so many big GC names in a non-TdF event.

Question: How will potentially peaking for the Olympics affect the Vuelta?
 

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Einstruzende said:
Italian continental probably has 0 (zero) chance of being invited. You'll have 18 or so ProTour teams rounded off with maybe Slipstream (ProTour team in hiding) and the rest Spanish Continental teams.

.../QUOTE]

I know, but it makes me sad. That parcours is built for Sella. I loved his style in the Giro.
 

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Bianchigirl said:
Why is Contador making history? By doing something that Merckx and Hinault have already achieved in a shorter time span?

Hopefully, if he wins the Vuelta - which I'm sure he will - he does it in more dynamic style than his Giro win.

I'll be surprised if some of the big hitters from the TdF even appear at the Vuelta
I think it would be minor history making-- it bucks the recent trend of the top riders concentrating only on one race (even though thats what contador originally wanted to do and his hand is forced), and it hasn't happened for a long time. Won't he be only the 5th rider to have won all 3? Thats worth something in the history books. It's a refreshing change in my opine...
Since he will have time to prepare I would imagine it will be a bit more lively.
 

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Well, I think Worlds are more important than a Vuelta win to pretty much everyone. I'd be willing to bet Valverde would rather win Worlds than the Vuelta.

Anyway, my point is that you will not see a hungry DiLuca or Ricco or Cunego in the Vuelta. If they're even there at all, it'll be training. Contador will be racing hard, as he hasn't shown that he is on par with Valverde in a single day race, so he probably is one of the few that will actually aim for Vuelta instead of Worlds.

Just some rambling.
 

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Agreed - it is only the presence of Contador, and the possibility/probability that he will win all 3 GTs by winning the Vuelta that is elevating the race from its usual position at the bottom of the GT pile. Not for nothing is the Triple Crown of cycling the Giro/Tour/Worlds in one season - the Vuelta would be best served by being reduced to a 2 week mountain tour.
 

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Bianchigirl said:
Agreed - it is only the presence of Contador, and the possibility/probability that he will win all 3 GTs by winning the Vuelta that is elevating the race from its usual position at the bottom of the GT pile. Not for nothing is the Triple Crown of cycling the Giro/Tour/Worlds in one season - the Vuelta would be best served by being reduced to a 2 week mountain tour.

No way the Vuelta would be reduced to a 2 week mountain tour as the organizers won't want to 'concede' that their GT is the least favored and all that.

They'd want to try and spice it up rather than reduce it IMHO.

As for the Worlds, I don't think Alberto can win it with punchers like Bettini and Cancellera all also gunning for it along with Boonen and such. That is also why he'd go for the Vuelta.
 

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uzziefly said:
No way the Vuelta would be reduced to a 2 week mountain tour as the organizers won't want to 'concede' that their GT is the least favored and all that.

They'd want to try and spice it up rather than reduce it IMHO.
For sure, there's no way that the current organisers would want to shorten the Vuelta. That's not to say that it isn't a good idea though - those who've been suggesting that this years Vuelta will be more important than the Tour, are forgetting how dull many of the stages are.

Maybe the new owners will have some different opinions on how it should be run though: http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/news/Tour_to_purchase__49_percent_of_Vuelta_article_257858.html
 

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Bianchigirl said:
Why is Contador making history? By doing something that Merckx and Hinault have already achieved in a shorter time span?

Hopefully, if he wins the Vuelta - which I'm sure he will - he does it in more dynamic style than his Giro win.

I'll be surprised if some of the big hitters from the TdF even appear at the Vuelta
Nope. He would be making history by doing it in the shortest amount of time.
edited to add,
Bernard Hinault currently holds the record for claiming all three within the shortest time @ 26 months.
Contador can possibly do it in 14 months.
If he can go till then without getting injured, there is no way anyone will be able to beat him as really no one is focusing solely on the Vuelta. It seems to be everyones "plan B".
 

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mtbbmet said:
Nope. He would be making history by doing it in the shortest amount of time.
Um. Hasn't Bianchigirl already addressed this. Merckx and Hinault have already done it, AND they did it in a time-span shorter than that possible for Contador. (Note, I haven't checked this - I'm just going by what Bianchigirl has already said. Another note - nonetheless, it would be a fantastic achievement by Contador).
 
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