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Old 08-31-13, 01:11 PM   #1
Ken Brown
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Vuelta surprises (spoilers)

There were some surprising gaps in stage 8 today. The main GC contenders were marking each other and I never would have expected Nibali to lose time to Valverde, Rodriguez and Horner. And what is with Mollema finishing 2:33 down and Kreuziger 5:27 down? They finished sixth and fifth at the Tour de France and are presently 25th and 36th in the Vuelta.

What about Carlos Betancur? He finished fifth in the Giro but was down 18:53 today and is 1 hour 10:47 down overall. He must be ailing.

I think the race is going to be exciting over the next 2 weeks as it looks like nobody is going to dominate.
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Old 09-01-13, 03:54 AM   #2
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Early days.

I still expect Nibali to win.
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Old 09-01-13, 01:12 PM   #3
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Yes, me too. So when I look at the standings I see Valverde and Rodriguez gaining on him, consider Roche and Moreno just interlopers. But those two guys are surprises too. Are they real contenders? This is getting very interesting.
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Old 09-01-13, 02:09 PM   #4
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Yes, me too. So when I look at the standings I see Valverde and Rodriguez gaining on him, consider Roche and Moreno just interlopers. But those two guys are surprises too. Are they real contenders? This is getting very interesting.
Roche may get a top five place. I think he's been top ten in the Vuelta before. Still can't TT and will probably suffer in final week.
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Old 09-02-13, 09:35 AM   #5
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Old 09-02-13, 12:52 PM   #6
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Still getting surprises every day. I never thought Horner could ride away from Nibali, Valverde and Fernandez like that. The game is on.
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Old 09-02-13, 07:31 PM   #7
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Still getting surprises every day. I never thought Horner could ride away from Nibali, Valverde and Fernandez like that. The game is on.
An amazing ride, but where did that come from? He's 42 and dark thoughts enter one's mind.
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Old 09-02-13, 11:00 PM   #8
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Horner, whole lotta awesome today! Can't remember the last time there was a legit ride for a marked GC contender, like his today...
given it all, he's prolly under some serious heavy scrutiny... lets hope he comes out standin...
Would also expect he will now get the full attention and respect of the others.
luv the dedication of the team. This is one Radio Shack team I can cheer for.
Hope Fabian can help him in some fashion for Wednesday's TT.
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Old 09-03-13, 05:31 AM   #9
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just the fact that he remained standing and at low cadence for pretty much the entire 4.5 km of that climb makes one wonder how he was producing those watts. His chasers alternated standing and sitting, as you might expect, and as mentioned in the press reports, Nibali was working at considerably higher cadence.
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Old 09-03-13, 09:01 AM   #10
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What's up with his victory salute? He looks like a vulture or something.
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Old 09-03-13, 01:29 PM   #11
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Re Horner's gapping the field in stage 10 - the other GC contendors were marking each other and let him get away, by the time Nibali blasted away from the chasing group, Horner was close to where the climb leveled out, so Nibali was on the steep grade trying to close time on Horner who was on the moderate grade.

Horner is a serious climber, as he's proven in many hilly North American races. Here he is fresh, with the support of his team, and trying to get a contract for 2014 . . .

I love seeing him do so well. I am not sure he can endure for the whole Vuelta. But I really want Horner to get on the podium and sign a 2014 contract.
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Old 09-03-13, 02:20 PM   #12
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Roche may get a top five place. I think he's been top ten in the Vuelta before. Still can't TT and will probably suffer in final week.
7th in 2010 as AG2R leader, 5 minutes behind Nibbles.
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Old 09-04-13, 02:27 AM   #13
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Wow

41 years old too.
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Old 09-04-13, 06:51 AM   #14
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Re Horner's gapping the field in stage 10 - the other GC contendors were marking each other and let him get away, by the time Nibali blasted away from the chasing group, Horner was close to where the climb leveled out, so Nibali was on the steep grade trying to close time on Horner who was on the moderate grade.

Horner is a serious climber, as he's proven in many hilly North American races. Here he is fresh, with the support of his team, and trying to get a contract for 2014 . . .

I love seeing him do so well. I am not sure he can endure for the whole Vuelta. But I really want Horner to get on the podium and sign a 2014 contract.
It might be tough at 42 to get a contract, why sign a rider who is past it and proven not to be the next best thing, or get an injury and never ride at his best again? (Plus an older riders name may come up in a 12 year old doping case etc... )

Personally I think having an old man in the team is a great thing for your sponsors. If he can blast up a mountain at 42, then your clients who are no spring chickens also see that they are not past it. These riders will keep buying more expensive bike parts rather than saying they are past 30 and are too old for fast cycling. I would like to see him in 5 years time with jens voigt still riding and being in a supportive role for younger members of the teams.
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Old 09-04-13, 11:58 AM   #15
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7th in 2010 as AG2R leader, 5 minutes behind Nibbles.
Thanks.

I was pleasantly surprised by Roche's performance in today's ITT. That 6th place must be his highest placing ever in an ITT stage. Top five is looking achievable and maybe he can dream of a first GT podium.

Nibali is looking more and more like the one to beat.
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Old 09-05-13, 08:25 AM   #16
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It's a pity ITTs are so dull to watch. The are genuinely a test of a rider's ability. There's not much strategy and no teamwork, but just a requirement that you pour out the watts for a solid hour.
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Old 09-05-13, 10:02 AM   #17
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It's a pity ITTs are so dull to watch. The are genuinely a test of a rider's ability. There's not much strategy and no teamwork, but just a requirement that you pour out the watts for a solid hour.
A lot depends on the course, and on how close the finishing times are, and on how much effect it has on the overall. When Tejay was going for the stage win and yellow jersey at the pro classic this year, it went right down to the wire and the commentators actually thought for a minute that Talansky had done enough to win the stage.
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Old 09-05-13, 11:03 AM   #18
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Saturday, Sunday and Monday are going to be big with lots of mountain top finishes. Maybe not all of them will be won by GC guys but the times and bonus seconds will be crucial.

Glad to see Gilbert finally get a stage today.
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Old 09-05-13, 11:40 AM   #19
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Saturday, Sunday and Monday are going to be big with lots of mountain top finishes. Maybe not all of them will be won by GC guys but the times and bonus seconds will be crucial.

Glad to see Gilbert finally get a stage today.
Yeah, the profile for those 3 looks brutal. Then Thursday and Friday have mountain finishes, and then it's the Angliru on Saturday.
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Old 09-05-13, 07:15 PM   #20
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Glad to see Gilbert finally get a stage today.
That was an awesome acceleration at the end. At first I thought he must have had a lead out and just powered past it, but looking at the replay, he built that momentum by himself.
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Old 09-07-13, 09:24 AM   #21
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Touch of the Giro weather hitting the Vuelta today in the Pyrenees.

Nabali proving he's the man for all seasons and Horner too continuing to surprise.

Bad day for Roche but hopefully he can improve over the next couple of days.
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Old 09-08-13, 10:04 AM   #22
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Nibali is looking awfully strong. I'm impressed that Horner is putting in a solid performance, stage after stage, and I'm thrilled that he's likely to podium, but unless Nibali has some misfortune, it's hard to see who will beat him- Can Horner or Valverde really ride away from Nibali on any of the upcoming stages?

And if Nibali pulls off the Giro/Vuelta double, shouldn't Astana plan to get him into the TdF fray next year?
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Old 09-08-13, 01:14 PM   #23
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Nibali is looking awfully strong. I'm impressed that Horner is putting in a solid performance, stage after stage, and I'm thrilled that he's likely to podium, but unless Nibali has some misfortune, it's hard to see who will beat him- Can Horner or Valverde really ride away from Nibali on any of the upcoming stages?

And if Nibali pulls off the Giro/Vuelta double, shouldn't Astana plan to get him into the TdF fray next year?
Barring something unforeseen I don't see anyone beating Nibali. Hope someone has a go though.

If he does go for the TdF next year I doubt he will ride in the Giro.
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Old 09-08-13, 05:43 PM   #24
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Who's the best suited to make it to the top of the Angliru (Stage 20) first? Nibali, Valverde, Rodriguez or Horner?
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Old 09-08-13, 08:17 PM   #25
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Suppose Horner finishes on the podium, 2nd or 3rd? What are his chances of getting a contract for 2014?

Do you suppose Trek might be thinking they already have one >40 rider (Jens).
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