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Pedro50 on 26 Aug 2018

Some views of El Chorro and the Camino. Glad I used to visit before the restoration, it looks a bit soulless now. 

Chris the Tall - on 27 Aug 2018
In reply to Pedro50:

Maybe, but it is now accessible to many more people. I’m glad I did it in the old state, but my wife saw the footage and said it looked appealing. For a truely soulless restoration, go to Via d’amore in cinque terre, Italy. Hard to imagine a less romantic walk.

Meanwhile back at the race, only 2 stages in and the (long) list of potential winners has already been whittled down. Neither Porte or Nibbles were bluffing, and Zakharin also had a bad day. Simon Yates seems to restraining his enthusiasm this time, in contrast to the Giro, but the fact that Adam was back with Porte was curious. Is Quintana now the race favourite? I think that Landa’s abscence may actually help him. After all, It’s only 2 years since he won the race, albeit thanks largely to Contador mugging Froome at Formigal.

nufkin - on 28 Aug 2018
In reply to Chris the Tall:

>  Simon Yates seems to restraining his enthusiasm this time

His enthusiasm seems to have gotten the better of him today.

 

I can't help but think he should consider a different helmet. Obviously it's not holding him back, but it does look like it's designed for someone one-third bigger again

becauseitsthere - on 28 Aug 2018
In reply to Chris the Tall:

I'd say it's the most unpredictable Vuelta for quite a few years. Anyone within a minute has a good chance of the podium if they can keep their form especially that the TT is out the way.  Sky got a bit of a schooling today.  Good viewing. Shame we have to endure a nightly barrage of ads.

Toccata on 29 Aug 2018
In reply to becauseitsthere:

>  Shame we have to endure a nightly barrage of ads.

Pause it and start watching it after ~15 minutes allowing the adverts to be fast-forwarded.

nufkin - on 29 Aug 2018
In reply to becauseitsthere:

>  Shame we have to endure a nightly barrage of ads

Just be grateful you don't have to watch the Watchfinder bloke slowly change gear anymore

GrahamD - on 29 Aug 2018
In reply to nufkin:

I'm thankful that someone sponsors free coverage to be honest, even if it is as unfathomable as a second hand watch merchant.

Chris the Tall - on 29 Aug 2018
In reply to nufkin:

> His enthusiasm seems to have gotten the better of him today.

Maybe, but at the same time there is an argument to say he is better taking time as and when he can. I'm sure he could have taken the race lead had he wanted to, but did the sensible thing and let Sky hang on to it for a bit longer. Stage 7 has a slight uphill finish, but Stage 9 is likely to be the big shake up, so we can expect to see the GC properly taking shape that day.

I would expect to see Yates taking the lead, but the worry is that Aru, Kruiswijk, Kelderman, Uran and Lopez will then all start attacking him in the second week.

And then in the third week, Quintana will emerge, not so much with an attack, but as the last man standing, and steal the race.

 

Chris the Tall - on 29 Aug 2018
In reply to GrahamD:

Agree, but it's surprising there is more cycle specific advertising, or for that matter airlines flying to Spain. 

It's the admiral ads I have to mute...

Dan 74 on 29 Aug 2018
In reply to Chris the Tall:

Dilly Dilly!

Pedro50 on 29 Aug 2018
In reply to Dan 74:

Funeral plans, equity release. It's almost as if they know I'm watching. 

nufkin - on 29 Aug 2018
In reply to Pedro50:

In a way I quite like the ads they put on during the bike race programmes; a gentle if slightly excruciating insight into the lives of normal people who aren't after glossy cars or swanky perfume.

 

 

I don't think I've ever seen a advert for a bike on television though, during TdF/Vuelta coverage or otherwise

GrahamD - on 29 Aug 2018
In reply to nufkin:

I've seen adverts for Chain Reaction and Wiggle, though - but not recently

Hugh Cottam - on 29 Aug 2018
In reply to nufkin:

How many footballs did you see advertised during the World Cup?

Bob Hughes - on 29 Aug 2018
In reply to Pedro50:

> Funeral plans, equity release. It's almost as if they know I'm watching. 

Is it on Eurosport that they have the Alpecin ad with Marcel Kittel? Apart from being tooth-achingly cheesy, it’s pretty good targeting given the number of balding middle aged men who follow the cycling. (I’d include myself in that demographic....)

Pedro50 on 29 Aug 2018
In reply to Bob Hughes:

It's certainly on ITV4 from time to time. I have resisted the impulse to purchase. 

captain paranoia - on 29 Aug 2018
In reply to Hugh Cottam:

> How many footballs did you see advertised during the World Cup?

Football fans don't acually play football.

Cycling fans are mostly cyclists...

I chuckled at the adverts on 'Movies4Men' channel the other day; seemed to be exclusively make-up and feminine hygiene products...

As for the adverts for the pisswater in blue bottles, passing itself off as beer: blork.

Chris the Tall - on 29 Aug 2018
In reply to Pedro50:

Meanwhile back at the race, interesting tactic by Sky to cede the red jersey. Seems to imply they have belief in Kwiatkowski’s chances of winning overall. Would almost be worth it just to hear Lappartient whinge! Nice to see stage wins for DD Quebeka and EF Cannondale, or whatever they call themselves this year - two teams with a slightly better moral stance than some of the others.

And I’ve been able to watch on catch up without either Admiral or Bud light - hurrah!

balmybaldwin - on 29 Aug 2018
In reply to nufkin:

Boardman bikes used to be the show sponsor (so twice every ad break) when they first started out

Swirly - on 30 Aug 2018
In reply to Bob Hughes:

The original version of that advert was better: it finished with the tagline "doping for you hair". I think it only lasted a week before being pulled.

I'm a bit of an aficionado of cheesy cycling adverts. I think they reached a pinnacle when Basso and Nibili cooked a pair of Sidi shoes.

nufkin - on 31 Aug 2018

Quite a change of fortune for ol' Nacer there

GrahamD - on 31 Aug 2018
In reply to nufkin:

Couldn't have happened to a nicer chap 

Nice to see Cofidis get something, though, as a long standing sponsor of the sport.

Chris the Tall - on 31 Aug 2018
In reply to GrahamD:

Is it fair to describe yesterday as a stage for the connoisseur? One the face of it a predictable flat stage where the break gets caught and there's sprint finish. Boring. But look a bit deeper and there's some fascinating details - Porte in the break, the sudden nervousness in the peleton as they get wind of the potential for echelons, the peleton fracturing and Pinot and Kelderman getting caught out. And then somehow Quickstep, who pick up so many wins, somehow manage to cock-up having done all the hard work. Add to that the whole Nacer Bouhanni soap opera - should he had been DQed the day before, did he sprint straight, is he unfairly criticised etc etc.

 

becauseitsthere - on 02 Sep 2018
In reply to Pedro50:

For 38 Valverde is performing magnificently.  I wouldn't be surprised if he did it again today. Will Quintana deputise for him? 

nufkin - on 02 Sep 2018
In reply to becauseitsthere:

I think his pieces to camera over the past few days have been the first time I've seen him smile. I always thought he seemed a bit dour before, hidden behind his sunglasses

Chris the Tall - on 02 Sep 2018
In reply to becauseitsthere:

Can’t see Valverde taking the overall win at his age, but then I said that about Chris Horner. And I guess it would be treated much the same. Mind you, not sure the tin foil hat brigade will be too happy if another British asthmatic wins

but actually I have a grudging admiration for Valverde, despite puerto. He does animate races. Unlike Quintana. But I think it’s the latter who will benefit from his efforts. Might have been better for Yates if he had let AV take red today, but he had to limit his loses to NQ. Not seen it properly yet, but bit surprised he got caught out at the end of today’s stage

abr1966 - on 02 Sep 2018
In reply to Chris the Tall:

Agree with all of that Chris...

Ambivalent towards Valverde....impressed by his more recent approach to racing but the history is always there!

Watching it on tv really makes me realise I need to spend more time riding in Spain!

Dave Kerr - on 08 Sep 2018
In reply to Pedro50:

Better racing today I thought.

Bwox - on 10 Sep 2018
In reply to Dave Kerr:

It's looking quite promising for Simon Yates now...

the sheep - on 10 Sep 2018
In reply to Bwox:

Is Quintana a spent force now? He used to make opponents suffer on the climbs and then ride away, he looks now like he is scared to make a move and worries about what everyone else will do.  

GrahamD - on 10 Sep 2018
In reply to the sheep:

Bit early to say he's a spent force but we haven't really seen him on top form for a while.  Remember though that he dug deep at the tail end of the TdF so he isn't going to be the freshest rider in the Vuelta.

For some reason I've never found him easy to warm to.

GrahamD - on 10 Sep 2018
In reply to Bwox:

He's taken over as the bookies favourite

Chris the Tall - on 10 Sep 2018

It's really hard to tell with Quintana. Is he saving himself for the end of the third week, and waiting for Yates to crack, or does he simply not have the legs to attack and is hanging on as best he can ?

I do feel he is overrated - his giro win hinged on an attack when others thought the race was neutralised, his vuelta win owed much to Contador. At the Tour de France he has seemed happy with a podium place rather than attacking in order to go for the win. And yet he still has an impressive palmares and the time gaps so far are negligible. Plus we should remember he is only 2 years older than Yates and just 4 older than Lopez, he just look likes a old man !  

I think the simmering feud between MTS and Movistar is fascinating, it seems that everyone has got so used to Sky controlling races that the vacuum has caused all sorts of issues. I think MTS were wise to let Herrada take the race lead for a couple of days, and make Movistar do some of the work. But you can also tell that Yates is champing at the bit and getting wound up by Quintana's wheel sucking. And yet that is just as valid a tactic in the circumstances. And by keeping Valverde in the mix, they have an extra card to play.

Apparently Yates' downfall at the Giro came after he went too deep in the TT, so I expect he'll be happy to match Quintana and Lopez tomorrow. And if it does come down to the final mountain stage in Andorra, at least he will be on familiar roads as he and his brother live there  

Meanwhile I'll just point out that on Aug 1st I predicted a podium of Yates, Lopez and Landa. Obviously the tea leaves only showed me the jerseys !

GrahamD - on 10 Sep 2018
In reply to Chris the Tall:

> Meanwhile I'll just point out that on Aug 1st I predicted a podium of Yates, Lopez and Landa. Obviously the tea leaves only showed me the jerseys !

No one likes a smart arse ! 

Chris the Tall - on 10 Sep 2018
Pedro50 on 10 Sep 2018
In reply to Chris the Tall:

Good summary thanks for the heads up. 

Chris the Tall - on 14 Sep 2018
In reply to Pedro50:

So what's Spanish for deja vu ?

Simon Yates goes into stage 19 with a lead of just under 30 secs, and the guy in third place is looking a bit of danger too. 

The good news is that todays stage is officially flat. The bad news is that the vuelta's idea of flat includes a 17k climb to over 2000m at the finish. OK I think we can sure Quintana isn't bluffing about his form, but today's long steady gradient might suit him and allow him to put Yates under pressure. And yesterdays finale show that Quick-step are putting their efforts behind Mas.

I reckon today will be another day for the breakaway, and then all hell will be let loose on tomorrow's short but punchy stage.   

GrahamD - on 14 Sep 2018
In reply to Chris the Tall:

Another good bit of news for Simon Yates is that Adam looked to be showing some form the other day.

nufkin - on 14 Sep 2018

It was nice to see the breakaway take the win yesterday, but part of me was also rooting for Peter Sagan to storm through and take it in the closing metres

Chris the Tall - on 14 Sep 2018
In reply to GrahamD:

I wonder if Adam will be the favored rider at the Worlds ? Hard to know if he has been struggling in this race, or has been deliberately held back in order to be ready for Andorra. Likewise we just don't know if Simon's loss of 8 secs was the start of the slump or just conserving energy. I reckon it's more likely that he'll win one of these 2 stages than crack as he did in the Giro, but you just never know. 

 

Chris the Tall - on 14 Sep 2018
In reply to Pedro50:

Another good thing about yesterdays stage is that I now know how to pronounce Lleida . Quite impressed that they have managed to find so many flat roads for today's stage !

Pedro50 on 14 Sep 2018
In reply to Chris the Tall:

And Simon Yates was imperial (sic)!

the sheep - on 14 Sep 2018
In reply to Pedro50:

He was a star, trooper you could say....

 

Bwox - on 14 Sep 2018
In reply to Pedro50:

>  And Simon Yates was imperial (sic)!

I'll imagine him with a purple cloak flapping from his shoulders tomorrow

Chris the Tall - on 14 Sep 2018
In reply to Pedro50:

Yates to take the stage win tomorrow? Question is which one ? I reckon both have been riding within themselves throughout and will finally free the shackles. They should also benefit from the battle for podium places - wouldn’t be surprised if both Kruijswijk and Mas, maybe even Lopez, leapfrog Valverde.

abr1966 - on 15 Sep 2018
In reply to Chris the Tall:

Great stage today....really pleased for Yates especially after the Giro.

3 brits with the 3 grand tours....the French will love it!!

elsewhere on 15 Sep 2018
In reply to Pedro50:

Final climb on Saturday.

Amazing to see GC leader completely alone but completely relaxed.

Never seen that before. Normally if the GC leader is alone they're desperately going for GC gains or desperately chasing a GC threat. 

Great stuff yet again.

Toccata on 15 Sep 2018
In reply to Pedro50:

I wonder if we’re becoming numb to British cycling success. To me this is up with Wiggo’s Tour success. So Sir Brad was the first but he had the behemoth of Sky to help him. Simon’s done it from a classic team structure, tight margins, and simply out-cycled everyone else. Classic racing and my sporting moment of the year.

elsewhere on 15 Sep 2018
In reply to Pedro50:

Another amazing thing - Yates has gone from immature youth to tactical perfection within this season.

David Millar pretty much called him a genius today.

Chris the Tall - on 16 Sep 2018
In reply to Toccata:

Great tweet from Daniel Friebe:

In 2005 Great Britain had two riders in the Giro (@wegelius 46th on GC, Wiggins 123rd), none in the Tour and one in the Vuelta (@wegelius 60th on GC). Thirteen years ago.

==============

My only regret is the extent to which Yates had to restrain his attacking impulses to get this win, to avoid a repeat of his Giro collapse. Logical but less exciting. Apparently he wants to go back to the Giro next year to finish the job, should be a great battle with Thomas.

Makes you wonder when a non-Brit will next win a grand tour......

Bob Hughes - on 16 Sep 2018
In reply to Chris the Tall:

The commentators on Spanish TV were saying yesterday that Yates was showing a very un-English style of bike racing. I think Sky at the Tour is giving us a bad name....

Chris the Tall - on 16 Sep 2018
In reply to Bob Hughes:

What I liked about the Vuelta was that MTS didn’t try to imitate Sky, they played a nice game of brinkmanship with the other GC teams. And on Friday Movistar proved that a doing a Sky is futile unless you have the riders who can back it up. Which is why a Yates - Thomas battle at the Giro could be fascinating. 

And as for the notion that Sky are always boring, I still contend that stage 19 of the Giro was the most exciting day of racing in recent years

GrahamD - on 16 Sep 2018
In reply to Bob Hughes:

> The commentators on Spanish TV were saying yesterday that Yates was showing a very un-English style of bike racing. I think Sky at the Tour is giving us a bad name....

I think some people don't like efficient winners. Personally I really like seeing a good team plan executed ruthlessly and efficiently

GrahamD - on 16 Sep 2018
In reply to elsewhere:

I'm guessing the team has learnt a lot as well. Great for Simon Yates and also great for Mitchelton Scott. A team I've always had a soft spot for in its various guises.

Ex Poster 666 on 16 Sep 2018
In reply to GrahamD:

> I think some people don't like efficient winners. Personally I really like seeing a good team plan executed ruthlessly and efficiently


That's what I don't like about top level sport these days, it's become more and more about the science rather than man vs man.  It's all becoming a bit soulless.

Chris the Tall - on 16 Sep 2018
In reply to Ex Poster 666:

> That's what I don't like about top level sport these days, it's become more and more about the science rather than man vs man.  It's all becoming a bit soulless.

Absolutely. I’m hoping that one day the entire peloton will simultaneously forget the science of aerodynamics and energy conservation and just try to go flat out from the start. Likewise let’s have less of energy gels and go back to a simple diet of bananas and brandy! And don’t get me started on derailleurs.

yours sincerely 

H. Desgrange 

elsewhere on 17 Sep 2018
In reply to elsewhere:

> Another amazing thing - Yates has gone from immature youth to tactical perfection within this season.

Although comment from the team is that in the Giro against Dumoulin and particularly Froome with Skye strength in depth they had to try unorthodox tactics (that almost worked).

nufkin - on 17 Sep 2018
In reply to Ex Poster 666:

>  That's what I don't like about top level sport these days, it's become more and more about the science rather than man vs man.  It's all becoming a bit soulless.

But that's a nice thing about the Grand Tours - teams can't factor for all the possibilities (weather, accidents, other teams' plans etc) so there's still excitement to be had. The GC of the Vuelta was turbulent right up to the end of Saturday's stage

Bob Hughes - on 17 Sep 2018
In reply to Chris the Tall:

> What I liked about the Vuelta was that MTS didn’t try to imitate Sky, they played a nice game of brinkmanship with the other GC teams. And on Friday Movistar proved that a doing a Sky is futile unless you have the riders who can back it up. Which is why a Yates - Thomas battle at the Giro could be fascinating. 

> And as for the notion that Sky are always boring, I still contend that stage 19 of the Giro was the most exciting day of racing in recent years

Agree with all of that! 

Bob Hughes - on 17 Sep 2018
In reply to GrahamD:

> I think some people don't like efficient winners. Personally I really like seeing a good team plan executed ruthlessly and efficiently

Up to a point. 3-weeks of it for five years in a row gets a bit tedious. It's why the Giro and the Vuelta are suually more fun to watch.


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