2013 Vuelta A Espana


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2013 Vuelta A Espana

Postby jazzcyclist » Mon Sep 02, 2013 12:58 pm

How 'Bout that Horner? A week ago Chris Horner became the oldest guy (41 years, 10 months) ever to win a grand tour stage and today he repeated that fete in epic fashion. With 4.5K to go on a mountain top finish stage on a climb that pitched up to 18% gradient, and the peleton down to four riders, Horner got out of the saddle, took off and danced on the pedals all the way to the finish in a style reminiscent of Marco Pantani, another cyclist who could ride out of the saddle for kilometers at a time. Now he wears the leader's jersey with nearly a one minute lead. If he can limit his losses in the time trials and wear red all the way to Madrid, it would have to go down as the greatest "old-man accomplishment" in the history of sports.
Last edited by jazzcyclist on Sat Sep 14, 2013 8:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2013 Veulta A Espana

Postby 26mi235 » Mon Sep 02, 2013 10:34 pm

Quite a ride; this one was a bit different than his earlier victory because it was hard throughout and had a major finish. Lightweight, stand-on-the-pedals guys might have the advantage on this kind of climb. I wonder how he will time-trial in two days?
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Re: 2013 Veulta A Espana

Postby lapsus » Tue Sep 03, 2013 7:37 am

Nibali is not doing badly considering his plan was to only reach peak form after the middle of the Vuelta, and I think Rodriguez is also one of those riders who tends to be very strong in the third week. Horner should be much too old to hang on to this kind of form through three weeks of having to ride hard almost every day, but could perhaps get a podium place if he finishes.
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Re: 2013 Veulta A Espana

Postby 26mi235 » Wed Sep 04, 2013 12:11 pm

The ITT today put Nabali back in to the lead with three close (33, 46, 46) and the best climber, Rodriguez fifth at 2:33. Also, what more in the surprise category might we see from Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita, AG2R La Mondiale 0:02:44) who was third in the ITT behind two multiple-times World Champs in the TT.
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Re: 2013 Veulta A Espana

Postby jazzcyclist » Sun Sep 08, 2013 4:59 am

Horner's podium prospects are looking pretty good after yesterday. Here's the top five in the G.C. classification:

    Nibali
    Horner @0:50
    Valverde @1:42
    Rodriguez @2:57
    Pozzovivo @3:43
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Re: 2013 Veulta A Espana

Postby odelltrclan » Mon Sep 09, 2013 6:01 pm

Chris Horner now down by only 28 seconds. Who would have thunk it for the 42 year old?! Podium looking probable and a possible overall still possible.
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Re: 2013 Veulta A Espana

Postby 26mi235 » Tue Sep 10, 2013 10:48 am

Given the finish on the Alto de L´Angliru on Saturday, I doubt things will be settled until then. I think that the 4/5/6/7 riders will attack from one climb out at least one day (if they have a strongish team, especially). At this point, no one is going to gain 4 minutes, but several could easily lose that much.
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Re: 2013 Veulta A Espana

Postby jazzcyclist » Thu Sep 12, 2013 9:42 am

Horner put 25 seconds into Nibali today and he's now only 3 seconds from the lead. By the way, I don't ever recall a grand tour in which there were so many ridiculously steep climbs - 17%, 26%, 19%, etc. Today, Horner cracked Nibali on a 20% climb. I don't think I've ever been on a climb that steep in my life, and I probably wouldn't be keep the bike upright if I did.
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Re: 2013 Veulta A Espana

Postby JumboElliott » Thu Sep 12, 2013 11:45 am

Nibali is going to need to attack tomorrow, because Saturday looks like a killer.
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Re: 2013 Veulta A Espana

Postby DrJay » Thu Sep 12, 2013 12:53 pm

jazzcyclist wrote:Horner put 25 seconds into Nibali today and he's now only 3 seconds from the lead. By the way, I don't ever recall a grand tour in which there were so many ridiculously steep climbs - 17%, 26%, 19%, etc. Today, Horner cracked Nibali on a 20% climb. I don't think I've ever been on a climb that steep in my life, and I probably wouldn't be keep the bike upright if I did.


Pretty impressive that they can get a paving machine to do 20% or better.
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Re: 2013 Veulta A Espana

Postby bambam » Thu Sep 12, 2013 4:24 pm

jazzcyclist wrote:Horner put 25 seconds into Nibali today and he's now only 3 seconds from the lead. By the way, I don't ever recall a grand tour in which there were so many ridiculously steep climbs - 17%, 26%, 19%, etc. Today, Horner cracked Nibali on a 20% climb. I don't think I've ever been on a climb that steep in my life, and I probably wouldn't be keep the bike upright if I did.


In New Hampshire, I ride a climb that finishes at 16-17% after about 1 mile of gradually increasing climb and I have to walk it probably 1/2 the time. Rode it last week and I'm in pretty good shape after riding all summer and I did get up it, but its a killer. I doubt I would be able to get up a 20% climb - certainly not 26% - that is ridiculous. The Vuelta has become notorious in the past decade for adding steeper and steeper climbs.
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Re: 2013 Veulta A Espana

Postby DrJay » Thu Sep 12, 2013 7:28 pm

Doesn't look so bad on paper, does it?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Grades_degrees.svg
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Re: 2013 Veulta A Espana

Postby jazzcyclist » Fri Sep 13, 2013 10:17 am

Horner gained six seconds on Nibali today and now leads him by three seconds, with Valverde 1:06 back and Rodriguez 1:57 back. Tomorrow is going to be epic. The only thing that could make it better would be if Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwin were calling the race, because nobody can animate a race like they can.
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Re: 2013 Veulta A Espana

Postby DrJay » Fri Sep 13, 2013 6:41 pm

Have paid no attention at all the la Vuelta (fishing in AK a week ago) till jazz's post o the 10th. Looked at tomorrow's stage profile. What a finish!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alto_de_L'Angliru

"The top of the climb is 1,573 metres (5,161 ft) above sea level. The height difference is 1,266 m (4,154 ft). The climb is 12.5 kilometres (7.8 mi) long, an average of 10.13%. It is near 24% at its steepest. The first 5 km (3.1 mi) are an average of 7.6%— stiff but not over-demanding for world-class cyclists. The sixth kilometre lessens to 2.1% and has a short descent. The last half of the climb is more severe. From six kilometres to the summit, it averages 13.1%. The steepest part, the Cueña les Cabres at 23.6%, is 3 km (1.9 mi) from the summit. There are two later ramps at 18% to 21% (sources vary)."

Not everyone likes it:

"Patrice Halgand, a French rider, said, '...because on the Angliru the guys go too pitifully for the climb to have any sporting interest. Even the winner goes up in slow motion. There's no attacking. From front to rear, everyone just gets up as best he can.'"
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Re: 2013 Veulta A Espana

Postby jazzcyclist » Sat Sep 14, 2013 5:04 am

DrJay wrote:Not everyone likes it:

"Patrice Halgand, a French rider, said, '...because on the Angliru the guys go too pitifully for the climb to have any sporting interest. Even the winner goes up in slow motion. There's no attacking. From front to rear, everyone just gets up as best he can.'"

This is just the type of climb that Horner has thrived on over the last three weeks. I expect him to dance on the pedals from 3K out. Normally I watch ESPN's College Gameday on fall Saturday mornings, but this morning, the Vuelta is must-see TV for me as Horner tries to close the deal on what IMO would be the greatest old-man fete in the history of sports. One thing that's worth mentioning about Horner is that he's the ONLY American cyclist of note that wasn't caught up in USADA's dragnet that brought down Lance Armstrong.
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Re: 2013 Veulta A Espana

Postby jazzcyclist » Sat Sep 14, 2013 8:13 am

It's all over but the shoutin' now. Tomorrow Chris Horner will become the first American to win the Vuelta A Espana. What an epic stage! It was surreal watching the best cyclists in the world climb up into the clouds on roads so steep that most people wouldn't be able to keep their bikes upright for more than a few pedal strokes before falling over, but Horner danced on the pedals as he's been doing for the last three weeks whenever the roads tilted up to double digit gradients. I didn't realize until today that there were 11 mountain top finishes in this race! :shock:
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Re: 2013 Vuelta A Espana

Postby lapsus » Sat Sep 14, 2013 8:21 am

Impressive. Nibali tried many attacks, could not get rid of Horner. Was the mountaintop finish even more chaotic than usual, or did it just seem like it because of the fog? I was actually really worried that some idiot spectator would decide the race by crashing into Nibali or Horner.

Well, Horner got me thinking about other impressive old-man (40+ year old) performers in endurance sports. I came up with:
Miruts Yifter (if born in 1938)
Maurilio De Zolt
Dave Scott
Harri Kirvesniemi (ya I know)

Any others that come to mind?
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Re: 2013 Vuelta A Espana

Postby DrJay » Sat Sep 14, 2013 8:28 am

Caught the last half-hour. Quite the battle! So Horner is the oldest to win a Grand Tour stage, to lead a Grand Tour, and will be the oldest to win one, barring disaster tomorrow. Also, only the third American to win a Grand Tour (Greg Lemond 1986, '89, and '90 Tour de France, Andy Hampsten 1988 Giro d'Italia.)
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Re: 2013 Vuelta A Espana

Postby jazzcyclist » Sat Sep 14, 2013 8:38 am

lapsus wrote:Impressive. Nibali tried many attacks, could not get rid of Horner. Was the mountaintop finish even more chaotic than usual, or did it just seem like it because of the fog? I was actually really worried that some idiot spectator would decide the race by crashing into Nibali or Horner.

I think those repeated attacks hurt Nibali because it's like doing intervals. Notice that Horner responded to these attacks with long steady accelerations which don't sap your energy as much as short violent accelerations. Horner seemed totally aware of what he was capable of and determined not to push himself too far into the red zone, while Nibali seemed desperate, which I think was a mistake since he could have conceivably taken back the red jersey with a time bonus. After Nibali's first attack didn't succeed, I think he would have been better served by just riding on Horner's wheel and outsprinting him for the time bonus.

As for the chaos, it does seem that the race organizers should have had barriers protecting the last 3 or 4K of the race instead of just the last 1K. In all my years of watching bike racing, I've never seen such a chaotic finish to a race. The tifosi were totally out of control. but fortunately they didn't affect the outcome of the race.
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Re: 2013 Vuelta A Espana

Postby jazzcyclist » Sat Sep 14, 2013 8:43 am

DrJay wrote:Also, only the third American to win a Grand Tour (Greg Lemond 1986, '89, and '90 Tour de France, Andy Hampsten 1988 Giro d'Italia.)

I heard the announcers say this, but that's total bullshit IMO. If Bjarne Riis, Jan Ullrich and Marco Pantani are still recognized as the winners of the 1996, 1997 and 1998 Tours respectively, because of the statute of limitations, the same rules should apply to Lance Armstrong.
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Re: 2013 Vuelta A Espana

Postby DrJay » Sat Sep 14, 2013 8:49 am

:oops:
jazzcyclist wrote:
DrJay wrote:Also, only the third American to win a Grand Tour (Greg Lemond 1986, '89, and '90 Tour de France, Andy Hampsten 1988 Giro d'Italia.)

I heard the announcers say this, but that's total bullshit IMO. If Bjarne Riis, Jan Ullrich and Marco Pantani are still recognized as the winners of the 1996, 1997 and 1998 Tours respectively, because of the statute of limitations, the same rules should apply to Lance Armstrong.


No argument with that. I debated putting Lance in but decided to go with the official record books.
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Re: 2013 Vuelta A Espana

Postby 26mi235 » Sat Sep 14, 2013 10:57 am

It played out as I had hoped. I read the 'live' feed from CyclingNews even though the race was over and was a bit surprised at the success of Nibali's first attack. I agree with Jazz on the winning of Tours - if the prior abusers are left with their spoils, Armstrong deserves to be accorded the same as those guys.

I had to depart with the stage still a long way from the end. I had to take my son to a class and went riding while he was busy. When I was on some hard sections I just tried to think of the racers and how it felt for them.

I have been riding on hillier terrain again after about 5 years of very little and have found age and lung issues have really caught up with me even though I my riding weight is close to 60kg now (below my 62-64 of long ago).
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Re: 2013 Vuelta A Espana

Postby bambam » Sat Sep 14, 2013 4:33 pm

DrJay wrote:only the third American to win a Grand Tour (Greg Lemond 1986, '89, and '90 Tour de France, Andy Hampsten 1988 Giro d'Italia.)


I know what the rulings say, but I think we can count Lance and Floyd Landis too. Everybody else on the podium and in the top 10 behind them every year was doping, too.
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Re: 2013 Vuelta A Espana

Postby bambam » Sat Sep 14, 2013 4:34 pm

jazzcyclist wrote:Nibali seemed desperate, which I think was a mistake since he could have conceivably taken back the red jersey with a time bonus. After Nibali's first attack didn't succeed, I think he would have been better served by just riding on Horner's wheel and outsprinting him for the time bonus.


They have time bonuses in the Vuelta still? They stopped that in the Tour a few years ago.
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Re: 2013 Vuelta A Espana

Postby JumboElliott » Sat Sep 14, 2013 4:55 pm

bambam wrote:
DrJay wrote:only the third American to win a Grand Tour (Greg Lemond 1986, '89, and '90 Tour de France, Andy Hampsten 1988 Giro d'Italia.)


I know what the rulings say, but I think we can count Lance and Floyd Landis too. Everybody else on the podium and in the top 10 behind them every year was doping, too.

If you were a GC contender and were not doping during that period, I kind of question how much you wanted to win.
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Re: 2013 Vuelta A Espana

Postby jazzcyclist » Sat Sep 14, 2013 5:26 pm

JumboElliott wrote:
bambam wrote:I know what the rulings say, but I think we can count Lance and Floyd Landis too. Everybody else on the podium and in the top 10 behind them every year was doping, too.

If you were a GC contender and were not doping during that period, I kind of question how much you wanted to win.

i don't think there were any clean GC contenders in the "EPO era", because of how dramatic the benefits of EPO were. As a matter of fact, I think a totally clean rider would have probably struggled to make the time limit on certain days. There's no way to know for sure without getting a confession from everyone who rode in the peleton, but Jonathan Vaughters believes that starting in 1996, the peleton was close to 100% dirty if not 100% dirty.

However, I wouldn't put Landis in the same class with the others because he doped to the point of getting caught while others kept their doping below the limit of detection. The reason he was able to pull off that superhuman ride in 2006 is because he got desperate and went beyond what was the acceptable doping protocol, which means that he got an unfair advantage over the riders who stayed within the protocol.
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Re: 2013 Vuelta A Espana

Postby bambam » Sat Sep 14, 2013 5:50 pm

jazzcyclist wrote:However, I wouldn't put Landis in the same class with the others because he doped to the point of getting caught while others kept their doping below the limit of detection. The reason he was able to pull off that superhuman ride in 2006 is because he got desperate and went beyond what was the acceptable doping protocol, which means that he got an unfair advantage over the riders who stayed within the protocol.


While that's true to a degree the conventional wisdom is that Landis's superhuman effort that day was the result of what Hamilton called in his book an "echo positive." Landis blood doped after he had bonked the day before and lost time and the blood he used had been stored from his training when he was doping, and when it was infused it turned up positive at that time. While he wasn't as careful as he should have been, not quite desperate when one considers blood doping was fairly common in that era.
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Re: 2013 Vuelta A Espana

Postby 26mi235 » Sun Sep 15, 2013 1:08 pm

Not sure whether I am more with bambam or jazz on this. Certainly those that were doping at a low enough level not to hit the meter were more careful, which likely means that their level was lower; they were not getting nailed despite improved testing vis a vis 1990s.
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Re: 2013 Vuelta A Espana

Postby jazzcyclist » Mon Sep 16, 2013 10:57 am

Story on front page:

Vuelta winner Chris Horner misses doping test after hotel mix-up

This sounds like an innocent snafu, but this kind of news is the last thing the sport needs right now.
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Re: 2013 Vuelta A Espana

Postby 26mi235 » Mon Sep 16, 2013 2:35 pm

Is is not even a snafu; they sent the change in location in the morning before (have multiple documents showing what and when sent) and the agency did not pay attention to the memo.

The RadioShack-Leopard team has criticised the Spanish anti-doping inspectors and intends to seek compensation after they apparently leaked information to the Spanish media, claiming that Vuelta a Espana winner Chris Horner had missed an early morning out of competition test requested by the ...USADA.

The team claims that Horner did not miss the test but the problem occurred because the Spanish anti-doping inspectors had the wrong hotel address. They arrived at the team address, while Horner stayed a different hotel with his wife. It seems that by the time the correct hotel was located, the testing window [6-7am] had already been missed and Horner was on the way to the airport.

The team issued a screenshot copy of an apparent email exchange between Horner and USADA that shows Horner correctly updated his ADAMS whereabouts information on Sunday morning before the start of the final stage of the Vuelta, detailing the name, address and even room number of the hotel where he would stay.
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Re: 2013 Vuelta A Espana

Postby jazzcyclist » Mon Sep 16, 2013 3:01 pm

26mi235 wrote:Is is not even a snafu; they sent the change in location in the morning before (have multiple documents showing what and when sent) and the agency did not pay attention to the memo.

I meant it was a snafu by the drug testers, not Horner. I also think this story should have never been reported to the media, since many people won't read past the headline and it unfairly tarnishes Horner.
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Re: 2013 Vuelta A Espana

Postby 26mi235 » Mon Sep 16, 2013 4:51 pm

Which is why RadioShack is suing them. This was leaked immediately and against the rules, in part just for such situations where it is the testing bodies that are at fault.
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