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Garden Kitty
08-26-2010, 08:09 PM
The race starts on Saturday and although it's traditionally seen as the least prominent of the three grand tours, it's position towards the end of the cycling calendar guarantees some interesting storylines.

First the start lists (http://www.cyclingnews.com/features/vuelta-a-espana-start-list). Menchov is touted as the favorite, but other big names include the Schleck brothers, Carlos Sastre and VendeVelde.

Frank Schleck and Christian VandeVelde had early exits from the TdF and would love to highlight their season with a win here. But both have missed training and may not be in form.

Menchov has a podium finish at the TdF and wins at the Giro and the Vuelta. While he isn't often a showy rider he rarely has a very bad day and his consistency works well in the grand tours.

Andy Schleck is finishing off his Sexy Back career, and a GT win would help get some nice press for the new team he's forming with brother Frank. But Andy went all out at the TdF, and there is some discussion he's riding more to support Frank in this race. Liquigas's Nibali is a promising rider looking to make a big statement on a team crowded with GT talent and he had a great showing in his last minute entry into the Giro . Roman Kreuziger is also looking to make a splash before his transfer to a new team, and (with the exception of Menchov who is always a threat), this race is wide open and a "rider of the future" could make a statement.

Big GT riders missing from this race are Cadel Evans (BMC not invited), Contador (not in form after the TdF), Basso (two GT's in one year are enough for him) and all of Radio Shack (also not invited).

The sprinters will be out in force, although many of them may drop out part way through so as not to tire themselves out with big mountains before Worlds. Cavendish (minus Renshaw), Farrar (also coming back from injury at the TdF), Hushovd (looking for a contract if Cervelo folds as expected) and Bennati (what nice scenery) will all be there. Petacchi is in town and wants to race, but it remains to be seen if his recent visit to Coni to discuss how his name got on some wiretaps involving questionable doping activities will impact whether he's allowed to start the race.

However, the parcours is light on sprint stages at the beginning and has many of their flat stages in the last week which is a little unusual. It will either entice the sprinty types to stick around, or result in sprints with a lot of top talent missing.

The Stage List is here (http://www.cyclingnews.com/races/65th-vuelta-a-espana-his/stages) as well as a route analysis. (http://www.cyclingnews.com/features/vuelta-a-espana-route-analysis)

The race kicks off in style with a night time trial in Seville - should be interesting, although the course isn't very long.

Young USA rider Tejay van Garderen tackles his first Grand Tour with HTC-Columbia so it will be interesting to see how he does.

Universal TV has daily coverage on tape delay. They also have live interent coverage for a price (I recall $15 for the race) but I'm sure Cyclingfans (http://www.cyclingfans.com/) will have some links to coverage as well.

kedrin
08-26-2010, 08:30 PM
nice overview. thanks, GK.

itsartemis
08-27-2010, 03:58 PM
Thank you for this GK. :)

I am looking forward to the TTT - it's going to be pretty (at least I hope it will be).

And this race is wide open. I love it when there are no clear favorites.

sweetsparky
08-27-2010, 08:40 PM
Great preview Garden Kitty :)

I also think that this race is very open, although Menchov and Frank Schleck are being presented as the big favourites

lash
08-27-2010, 10:47 PM
Thanks GK! :cheer2:

Can't wait for the TTT tomorrow :D

Garden Kitty
08-28-2010, 05:08 AM
It looks like there's a lot of useful info here (http://www.ciclismoafondo.es/caf/competicion/contenido/noticia/sigue-la-vuelta-a-espana-2010-en-ciclismoafondoes/2c90a89c2ab2e046012ab3527f95004e.html?visita=true) , if you can read Spanish.

sweetsparky
08-28-2010, 08:50 AM
There is also the official web (http://www.lavuelta.com/) itīs not only in Spanish but English and French

Garden Kitty
08-29-2010, 12:15 AM
Fun stage, although I was a little surprised at how some of the teams rode. Sexy Back didn't look like the usual, organized Sexy Back, and Garmin usually rocks the TTT. Vande Velde tweeted that Julian Dean crashed hard on a sidewalk in the dark in the warm up before the race and that may have made some of the team a little cautious.

Yay for HTC and Cav who looks nice in red. (http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/0fOH0l53Wref5/x610.jpg). Universal indicated they gave sprint points for the stage, which would explain why they had Cav cross the line first, although it's odd to have sprint points on a TTT

Champagne fun (http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/071kaEm6A85dd/x610.jpg)

Liqui and Benna race for the finish line (http://d.yimg.com/a/p/sp/getty/80/fullj.35d8405210ed90e140ea8934ed0a4a29/35d8405210ed90e140ea8934ed0a4a29-getty-cycling-esp-vuelta.jpg)

Theatregirl1122
08-29-2010, 06:39 AM
HTC :cheer: Cav :cheer: Three more weeks of Cycling :cheer:


I think that it was O'Grady who was off the front of Sexy Back which is just really confusing. No idea what was going on there.


Champagne fun (http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/071kaEm6A85dd/x610.jpg)

The video of this is actually hilarious because two of the other guys are trying to spray the champagne and failing utterly so Cav takes it from them and sprays the crowd/his team.

lash
08-29-2010, 06:44 AM
The video of this is actually hilarious because two of the other guys are trying to spray the champagne and failing utterly so Cav takes it from them and sprays the crowd/his team.

Im downloading the Eurosport UK broadcast now, will watch tomorrow. Hopefully it will include podium antics. Do you get Universal Sports? I am so jealous :( Tho I quite enjoy the UK commentators. Magnus Backstedtis one of them, don't know who the other one is.

Also, I was looking at the results and my favorite, Eisel, :swoon: was shown as finishing :38 down and NOT with the rest of HTC :fragile: Poor Bernie :(

Theatregirl1122
08-29-2010, 03:30 PM
Do you get Universal Sports? I am so jealous :(

Also, I was looking at the results and my favorite, Eisel, :swoon: was shown as finishing :38 down and NOT with the rest of HTC :fragile: Poor Bernie :(

I keep getting into mini arguments with the Universal Sports commentators. I like to argue with commentators anyways, but these guys are amusing me.

Yeah, I don't quite know what went on with Bernie. The commentators didn't seem to know either. I saw him peel off and do a bunch of waving (for the cars to pass him maybe?) but who knows.

Garden Kitty
08-29-2010, 03:47 PM
Lash, it will be a bit delayed, but if there are any stages that you want me to tape for you from Universal, just let me know.

Garden Kitty
08-29-2010, 05:06 PM
Wow, that was a surprise ending. Looks like the bunch jumped too early, but you still don't usually see Cav getting pipped at the line.

Theatregirl1122
08-29-2010, 05:39 PM
Wow, that was a surprise ending. Looks like the bunch jumped too early, but you still don't usually see Cav getting pipped at the line.

Yeah, that was weird. I couldn't get a replay early enough to see where he came from. But it looks like he came around Cav later and had fresher legs? I couldn't tell. I was watching it like WHERE DID YOU COME FROM?

itsartemis
08-29-2010, 11:32 PM
Cav said he was suffering the whole stage and vomited a few times (http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/cavendish-suffers-in-the-heat-but-holds-vuelta-lead)- that could explain the surprise win by Hutarovich.

I do feel sorry for the riders though - that scorching heat is relentless. :(

Not quite organized, organizers? (http://www.lavuelta.com/10/imgwebimg/VE_2010_0200_LIV05.jpg) :rofl:

That kind of explains the points classification after today's stage:
1 Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) FDJ - 25 pts
2 Mark Cavendish (GBR) Team HTC-Columbia - 20 pts

Seems they realized (although a wee bit late :rolleyes:) that it was stupid to give out points on the TTT.