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2011 Vuelta Stage 15

Old 09-03-11, 11:01 PM
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2011 Vuelta Stage 15



It all comes down to this. Can Wiggins ride as well as he did on Stage 14? Can Nibali and/or Rodriguez come back? Can Mollema make a move on Wiggins?
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Old 09-04-11, 12:10 AM
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I've looked at this profile probably a dozen times and it still makes me giggle. That Cat 1 looks like a joke compared to l'angrilu. I was curious how this compared to Mont Zoncolan, so I put the links below. Both easily outdo Ventoux.

Nibali just had a bad day, but Rodriguez looks horrible in general, but with a stage like this, anything is possible. It'd be awesome to see somebody attack as early as the penultimate climb. I'm really curious how devoted Wiggins and Froome are to the "climb at threshold" tactic. If someone like Mollema or Cobo attack are the Sky guys really just gonna keep chugging at their own pace?

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Old 09-04-11, 04:02 AM
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Cobo.
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Old 09-04-11, 04:10 AM
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I was amazed at how well Froome and Wiggins went yesterday. If Wiggins can hold his form, he must now be favourite for the GC and if he can't, I wouldn't bet against Froome, who looks amazingly strong. The Sky management must be pinching themselves.

As for the climbing at threshold, it's interesting. It is very reminiscent, to me, of what Armstrong used to do regularly with USPostal etc., namely ride at such a tempo that it is virtually impossible to mount an effective attack. It is different in the hills, of course, but the principle remains the same. The true explosive climbers can accelerate away from you but they can't sustain it indefinitely, and Wiggins being a world-class TT man has a massive engine and grinds them down. And it has become a practicable proposition now that he is down (I believe) to 68kg - about 147lbs - despite being 6'3".

My tentative view is that this strategy is less likely to work on the Angliru simply because the gradients are too steep to allow one to get into the sort of rhythm Wiggins wants. He's likely to be disrupted and find it more difficult to manage a consistent power output. So I'd predict that if Cobo can stick with him until the last few kilometres he might be able to blast away and put enough time into Wiggins to make it a seriously interesting finish. Whether Cobo can do that after yesterday's exertions is moot, of course, and he has to dispose of Froome as well. Very very interesting and one of the most enjoyable GTs of recent years.
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Old 09-04-11, 06:05 AM
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^^^ makes sense, though i can see everyone struggling up there on the limit - if anyone does have the legs to attack will be awesome to watch!
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Old 09-04-11, 06:51 AM
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Wiggins looked like he was absolutely spent yesterday. Froome looked like he could have gone on for a little while longer at least. This should be a very interesting stage will probably decide the Vuelta this year.
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Old 09-04-11, 09:51 AM
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ouch - that looked painful
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Old 09-04-11, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by s70rguy View Post
Cobo.
Indeed! I thought he would have been tired after yesterday. Just an awesome ride from him. He looked so comfortable out there.
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Old 09-04-11, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Roland Skala View Post
ouch - that looked painful
Ouch indeed. That hill wasn't made to be raced over, was it? Can't really see anyone taking it back from Cobo now, though Froome must be cursing the 20 second bonus for the stage win.

Great climb from Cobo. Just too steep for Wiggins to TT his way over it. Another fine performance from Froome, and Nibali and the rest are toast.
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Old 09-04-11, 12:38 PM
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What! No spoiler warnings?!?!
Just kidding. Can't wait to see the reply tonight.
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Old 09-04-11, 01:13 PM
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This has been a pretty exciting Vuelta. I have to believe that on 'normal climbs' like we see in the TDF, Wiggins probably would have been able to hold on. This was just a monster. It was so steep that 2 motorcycles broke down and the only camera still functional was the one following Cobo. It hurt me watching it, and I was on my couch with a cold drink in my hand!

I think Froome should be the new leader for team Sky. It's unlikely to happen, but if he gets a 20 second time bonus for a stage win he will be even with Cobo on GC.
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Old 09-04-11, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by SouthFLpix View Post
It hurt me watching it, and I was on my couch with a cold drink in my hand!
Hahaha
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Old 09-04-11, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by SouthFLpix View Post
This has been a pretty exciting Vuelta. I have to believe that on 'normal climbs' like we see in the TDF, Wiggins probably would have been able to hold on. This was just a monster. It was so steep that 2 motorcycles broke down and the only camera still functional was the one following Cobo. It hurt me watching it, and I was on my couch with a cold drink in my hand!

I think Froome should be the new leader for team Sky. It's unlikely to happen, but if he gets a 20 second time bonus for a stage win he will be even with Cobo on GC.
Sky have an embarrassment of potential leaders. Wiggins, Boasson- Hagen, Thomas not far behind, now Froome - and Cavendish, if he, as expected, has signed up.

I agree it has been the best Vuelta for many years, and that on an ordinary Alpine climb Wiggins, and some of the others, could have hung on. Horrible, horrible hill.
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Old 09-04-11, 05:18 PM
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Sky sacrificed Froome the day after Froome took the leader's jersey, causing Froome to lose over 30 seconds. Given that Froome has so little history of results in grand tours, I'm not second-guessing the decision to back Wiggins, but you know they'd like to have those 30 seconds back.
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Old 09-05-11, 03:43 AM
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Slightly off topic (well maybe not as this was about the fans on the stage), but what do we all make of the nutters up there on the mountain?

In the past folks would stand in the way, and obviously there are more than a few stories of legend of tangles between fans and riders.

But what I notice happening more and more is that fans aren't just standing in front of riders and then running alongside. Now there are more "get ups" and larger flags - meaning a greater likelihood someone will get tangled and fall in the way.

Also, more and more often folks are standing in the middle of the road - looking into a cell phone to take a pic - leaving the rider with no idea of where the "crowd will part". Without being able to ride an obvious seem, I saw more than a few riders get caught on the wrong side of a fan.

That plus the motorbikes having to come to a halt to avoid fans (I think even Cobo had to shift around a bike on one steep section.

All in all the fans seem to be getting worse - more concerned about their time on TV or that one great "in the moment" shot.

What will it take before the sport is confronted with a rider losing his/her place to a stupid fan? I think organizers should work with police, much in the same way they do in football (soccer to most of you) and leverage TV footage to give out fines.

Set a rule that states fans must respect a one meter distance from the riders or be subject to a 100 Eur fine. Would only happen a few times before they caught on.

Also would be a good way for local communes to raise a few thousand Euro!
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Old 09-05-11, 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by DXchulo View Post
Indeed! I thought he would have been tired after yesterday. Just an awesome ride from him. He looked so comfortable out there.
and for what its worth, my 'Cobo.' post was a prediction, about an hour before the broadcast on steephill.tv (in Spanish) started. My, I wish I'd put some some money on that somewhere ...
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Old 09-05-11, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by luxroadie View Post
Slightly off topic (well maybe not as this was about the fans on the stage), but what do we all make of the nutters up there on the mountain?

In the past folks would stand in the way, and obviously there are more than a few stories of legend of tangles between fans and riders.

But what I notice happening more and more is that fans aren't just standing in front of riders and then running alongside. Now there are more "get ups" and larger flags - meaning a greater likelihood someone will get tangled and fall in the way.

Also, more and more often folks are standing in the middle of the road - looking into a cell phone to take a pic - leaving the rider with no idea of where the "crowd will part". Without being able to ride an obvious seem, I saw more than a few riders get caught on the wrong side of a fan.

That plus the motorbikes having to come to a halt to avoid fans (I think even Cobo had to shift around a bike on one steep section.

All in all the fans seem to be getting worse - more concerned about their time on TV or that one great "in the moment" shot.

What will it take before the sport is confronted with a rider losing his/her place to a stupid fan? I think organizers should work with police, much in the same way they do in football (soccer to most of you) and leverage TV footage to give out fines.

Set a rule that states fans must respect a one meter distance from the riders or be subject to a 100 Eur fine. Would only happen a few times before they caught on.

Also would be a good way for local communes to raise a few thousand Euro!
I'll be the first to admit that I don't know much about how fans reacted in the past, but I was thinking the same thing as you when I watched it. On those kind of grades, it would be disaster for anyone to go down just because fans were over excited. Not sure how you curb it though.
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Old 09-06-11, 06:08 AM
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Agreed that the fans are out of control and it is just a matter of time before one will seriously impact an outcome. They were just as bad at the Giro.
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Old 09-06-11, 06:11 AM
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Originally Posted by SouthFLpix View Post
It was so steep that 2 motorcycles broke down and the only camera still functional was the one following Cobo..
I was wondering what happened. One seemed to go down just after Wiggins cracked, and I wondered whether a fan brought the motorcycle down.
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Old 09-06-11, 06:50 AM
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The trouble is with so many fans they are going sooooo slowly (to avoid running into them) that they loose the clutch. And we've all tried to do the "release clutch-release brake-rev gas" thing on a hill in a car so I can only imagine what it would be like on a motorcycle with a Clyde on the back holding another 40 kilos of gear!

Once you falter all you can do is not fall - and once the riders scurry around you the crowds re-engulf you so that the pictures are worthless from there on out ....
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Old 09-06-11, 02:26 PM
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I'd imagine that having all of those hooligans breathing your precious oxygen and blowing CO2 in your face while you redline is also annoying.
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Old 09-06-11, 07:44 PM
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I read Cobo was pushing a 34x32 gear, everyone else was pushing 34x28 or 34x29. No wonder he looked so much more comfortable out there! Nobody had a triple, sadly.
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Old 09-06-11, 08:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Johnny Rebel View Post
I read Cobo was pushing a 34x32 gear, everyone else was pushing 34x28 or 34x29. No wonder he looked so much more comfortable out there! Nobody had a triple, sadly.
34x32 is lower than a triple (30x28).
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Old 09-07-11, 12:50 PM
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I should call up some of these teams, see if they're willing to spare some of those gears now that the Angliru is passed. I could use a 34x32 for the tiny hills where I live...
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Old 09-07-11, 03:49 PM
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I ride SRAM Apex with 34x32, and I could still use another gear or two. Having to stay seated to keep traction on a 19% gravel road sucks.
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