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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This year is only 18 stages due to not racing the opening 3 in Denmark and not replacing them. So far 2 states and crazy action.

Movistar actually showed up with some decent form.

For Movistar Enric Mas definitely has better form and has a real shot at a podium in this Vuelta. Although Valverde and Soler lost a bit of time on stage 1, they both were much better on stage 2 with Soler getting the team's 2nd win of the season. Valverde looked better, although it does look as if he has started his decline. However, he did finish with the lead group (in 4th in the group) a few seconds behind Soler. So although starting a decline, he's still capable of racing with all the young kids. Speaking of which, to me after the stage and he and Mas were celebrating with Soler, he looked like a proud father.
 

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The only thing I know so far is that Froome is really struggling, I'm not a fan-boy of his but Holy Cow, what a drop in performance. Really feel bad for the guy. I know everyone was saying he wouldn't come back to the same level but damn!
Didn't think so many others would be so far back like Dani Martinez, Pinot, Gesink, Dumoulin but it's still early.
Nice ride from Soler today.
 

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The only thing I know so far is that Froome is really struggling, I'm not a fan-boy of his but Holy Cow, what a drop in performance. Really feel bad for the guy. I know everyone was saying he wouldn't come back to the same level but damn!
Didn't think so many others would be so far back like Dani Martinez, Pinot, Gesink, Dumoulin but it's still early.
Nice ride from Soler today.
Pinot was no surprise. He said before the Vuelta started that his back problems weren't completely gone and that he would be targeting stages. But, yeah, was definitely expecting more from Froome. I didn't figure he'd stand a chance of winning, but not so much time in the first 2 stages.

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The only thing I know so far is that Froome is really struggling, I'm not a fan-boy of his but Holy Cow, what a drop in performance. Really feel bad for the guy. I know everyone was saying he wouldn't come back to the same level but damn!
Didn't think so many others would be so far back like Dani Martinez, Pinot, Gesink, Dumoulin but it's still early.
Nice ride from Soler today.
Pinot has a bad back. Dumoulin said he is empty. Dani Martinez crashed. Without the crash I think he'd have been better.

I expected Froome to be bad, as in no way he can compete for a top 20 in GC. However, he's even worse than I expected.

From high to low so easily in this sport. Soler wins stage two (which the team desperately needed) and then ends up with a mechanical at almost the worst possible time. Chaves' mechanical was actually at an even worse time than Soler's. Soler at least managed to get back to the lead group right as things started to explode and he and Valverde dropped at the same time.
 

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In re: Froome

He's taking up a valuable spot on Ineos. Wouldn't team management have had access to his training files? He's clearly one of the weakest riders in the peloton and should not have been given a spot on this team.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Formigal delivers yet another great stage.

This time in Oct with rain and cold, but still crazy.
 

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This Vuelta is becoming a real battle of attrition- even more than normal. I think the winner might be the last man standing. Another week an a half or so of this pace will kill the legs of some of the leaders, assuming COVID-19 doesn’t get in the way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
This Vuelta is becoming a real battle of attrition- even more than normal. I think the winner might be the last man standing. Another week an a half or so of this pace will kill the legs of some of the leaders, assuming COVID-19 doesn’t get in the way.
I think the race finishes as it appears the Spanish Govt is in full support of finding a way to finish the race (even if not in Madrid). Also the organizers appear to have a competent bubble which also helps.
It appears some riders were expecting a full out race everything. Valverde actually said he fully expected every single stage to be raced as if it were a one day race.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
This article/interview is in Spanish, but we now have an explanation as to why Movistar tactics/strategy doesn't always many any sense.


Apparently, according to Pablo Lastras the team is racing for Enric Mas, HOWEVER, they have asked both Soler and Valverde to do whatever they can to stay as high in GC as they possibly can because they think that is one of the best ways to help Mas. So the reality is Soler and Valverde are not racing to win overall, but are racing for top 10 because that's what the team wants. So I guess we're back to the insanity of trying to have any idea of what the heck Movistar tactics actually are.


https://www.marca.com/ciclismo/vuelta-espana/2020/10/29/5f9abe8ce2704ed4608b45f7.html
 

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My guess is it will all get cleared up on the road and days like Stage 13 (ITT) should help. Valverde is like 3:44 down on Carapaz and Roglic, so I don't see his campaign as much more than a talented support rider having a good grand tour, he's not a realistic threat for the win right now. Even Mas is almost two minutes down on the leaders and Soler, despite having a good day today, is still a minute behind Mas. So, is Movistar having a solid Vuelta, sure. Are they are threat to do more than they are doing right now, probably not.

The guys at the front are both former grand tour winners with tons of talent and are in their prime. I suspect one of them will end up your winner barring a serious accident or mechanical. Martin and Carthy look like they are in pole position for the final podium spot right now. A lot should be sorted out by the next ITT and climbing stages though.

https://www.cyclingnews.com/races/vuelta-a-espana-2020/stage-11/results/
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Truthfully I'm impressed D. Martin hasn't had issues like crashing in this race yet, which is usually his issue more than anything else. Carthy has always been inconsistent and it appears today was the first signs of issues for him.

Mas was a bit better today not losing anything in the final meters.

If Valverde does a decent/good ITT he should get his GC top 10, just don't think regardless of his form at this point he can do much more than he currently is doing to help Mas. I think his knowledge and experience are more important for Mas than much of anything else.

With Soler, I'm more and more thinking he could be an excellent stage hunter, but not really a GC rider.
 

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Great stage today with the Angliru.

This afternoon I put together a mini-Angliru on one of my regular dirt climbs. It's about 3km long and for the last 1/2km, I took an alternate route that has a couple of 24% or steeper ramps, as measured on my bike GPS while descending. I made the first steep ramp but the 2nd one got me. I couldn't get into a rhythm and started swinging side to side. In the loose dirt, that spells loss of traction. I walked to the top of that ramp and then managed to make the rest of the ~15-20% ramps on the rest of that section. First time I've ridden up that section of trail, have only descended it before because it's so steep.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Congrats to Roglic on the overall win.

Valverde now has his 20th GT GC top 10. His comment about those top 10s saying they are not easy to get.

Then he said he can't wait to go home and meet his new daughter. (She was born during the first week of la Vuelta). He said he's going to enjoy time with his family and he'd be back next season.
 

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Credit to the Vuelta staff. The GT was well organised to handle the Covid-19 issues and well policed. Credit also to the Spanish public for their adherence to the rules.

Glad to see Roglic win especially after his TdF disappointment. Carapaz deserved a stronger Ineos team to support him. He was on is own during the final part of many stages

Carthy did very well as did EF as a team

In overall terms I’m very surprised but also very please that we got 3 GTs held and completed this year given Covid-19

Hopefully 2021 will be more normal
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Credit to the Vuelta staff. The GT was well organised to handle the Covid-19 issues and well policed. Credit also to the Spanish public for their adherence to the rules.

Glad to see Roglic win especially after his TdF disappointment. Carapaz deserved a stronger Ineos team to support him. He was on is own during the final part of many stages

Carthy did very well as did EF as a team

In overall terms I’m very surprised but also very please that we got 3 GTs held and completed this year given Covid-19

Hopefully 2021 will be more normal


We can't give la Vuelta organizers enough credit for their handling of Covid protocols and of course the Spanish people as well. La Vuelta was the only GT without a single positive after the teams were brought into the bubble.

I totally agree, hopefully 2021 things will be more normal. At least to start 2021 other races will have la Vuelta's bubble protocols to help them. It sounds like Valencia is already looking into installing that bubble for their race, and Mallorca will likely be doing so as well.
 

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Credit to the Vuelta staff. The GT was well organised to handle the Covid-19 issues and well policed. Credit also to the Spanish public for their adherence to the rules.

Glad to see Roglic win especially after his TdF disappointment. Carapaz deserved a stronger Ineos team to support him. He was on is own during the final part of many stages

Carthy did very well as did EF as a team

In overall terms I’m very surprised but also very please that we got 3 GTs held and completed this year given Covid-19

Hopefully 2021 will be more normal
This is pretty much how I feel after all was said and done. I know they aren't TdF wins, but two grand two victories and a TDF near miss over a couple of years is nothing to sniff at for Roglic. I love the way Carthy rode and I am extremely happy for him and the team. Ineos definitely has some thinking and planning to do, but they have reloaded so much that they should be right there again. Good stuff all around.
 
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