Category Archives: Vuelta a Espana
Note: sorry for the bad sound quality- both of our mics weren’t set up right!
We prove ourselves to be the laziest podcast by talking about races we didn’t watch or follow.
We discuss how a 3 week stage race in the US is a looooong way off.
We wonder if we don’t get Bradly Wiggins because we’re not British.[VeloNation]
We compare Phil and Paul to math teachers who’ve been teaching for 40 years and can’t seem to find a new script.
We get excited about all the young riders having good runs in the US races, PLUS all the younger American riders going to bigger teams next year!
Anna comes up with a clever classification for the GTs: The Giro is sophisticated mother, the Tour is the overbearing father, and the Vuelta is the red-headed stepchild. Anna also confesses her shock that Nibali is actually a winning rider.
The pundits CONTINUE to put Basso as a Vuelta threat and we continue to be amazed by this.
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Jeff is back and we apologize, talk about the book club we’re going to start for Tyler Hamilton’s book, and donate to women’s cycling.
- Pelotonitis pitches in to support women’s cycling. The Unofficial, Unsanctioned Women’s UCI Cycling Blog/Show is raising money for a Social Media “jersey” to donate to the female cyclist that has the best social media outreach! As female cyclist’s make peanuts compared to the men, this is a way to show support of women’s cyclist and let them know we care! Go to their donation page and give what you can. The fundraiser closes in 10 days and they’re really close to $2,000. UPDATE: They’ve reached $2,000! That is pretty amazing. Please go and donate!
TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION!
- We discuss the popular “truth and reconciliation” idea being talked about a lot recently. Inner Ring isn’t convinced it could work in pro cycling. Normally we advice you to stay away from the comments section, but this article has a great comments section, so check that out as well.
- Is it a watershed moment for cycling? And how much is the media guilty of keeping omerta and the myth alive (article)?
NEWS AND RACING!
- We get sidetracked talking about Cav leaving Sky (article) to talk about the Tour, the parcours, why Wiggins won, could he win again, etc.
- Anna impresses with her French accent as we talk about the Gran Prix de Montreal, the Tour of Britain, and the Vuelta.
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Marianne and I do our best Pollyanna attempt and try to look on the bright side of cycling. Also, we declare this a Lance-free episode! But we still can’t escape doping, as Tyler Hamilton’s new tell-all memoir comes out.
Before the show notes, here are all the articles I’ve collected on the Lance developments since our last recording:
- Sheryl Crow questioned in the Lance investigation article
- Why are we, as humans, so opposed to performance enhancement? And where are the boundaries? article
- After Phil Liggett’s apperance defending Lance, Michael Ashenden writes him an open letter article
- Mike Anderson, Lance’s mechanic, talks about life with Lance and how he used his power and influence for evil article
- How Lance is able preserve his image article
- Changing their minds, yet again, UCI says it won’t be afraid to sanction Lance article
- USADA says it’s in possession of positive samples article
- What if Lance would’ve had to testify at Floyd’s trail? article
- For some, the lies overshadow the good article
- We discuss Hamilton’s tell all memoir and how it must feel for him (A Bonnie D. Ford preview)
- We talk about Jorg Jaksche (without butchering his name too badly!) and his reflection of his own experiences doping, and confessing to said doping (article)
- We are concerned by Vaughters’ outing of the doping done by some of his riders- do they know he did that? (based on his Twitter feed, no, he did not mean to out them- he just got carried away)
- Anna wonders if knowing someone doped, or is doping, changes how you feel about watching them race
- As eternal optimists, we hate the idea of “once a doper, always a doper”
- Marianne says “I told you so,” as Andy says he won’t be back racing again (article)
- Contador seems to be playing hardball, by refusing to race the UCI’s baby (the Tour of Beijing) if he won’t earn points there (article)
- Poor BMC- Cadel ends his season (article). But even though their “superstars” are no-hitters this season, many of the B team are doing really well!
- Bradley didn’t enjoy the Tour- neither did we, but for different reasons (article). And Anna talks about how every forgets Nibali did the same thing Contador is doing (albeit with less success).
- We give mad props to Cam Meyer (who’s left to rest up for Worlds) and Thomas De Gendt for being breakaway superstars. We then discuss how the Vuelta is less breakaway friendly than the Tour.
- We love Contador’s attitude about the Vuelta. We wonder how no one had to get off their bikes and walk up some of those gradients and why Rodriguez let Contador get away on stage 17. And other awesome Vuelta things.
Joaquim Rodriguez! Is there anything this guy can’t do?? Every time we think “oh, he probably won’t do well on this stage. The climbing is too long and/or steep for him,” not only does he not crack, but he usually comes back and wins the whole damn stage!
- I don’t understand why Contador seemed to attack Rodriguez so far from the finish. He had to know there was no way he could beat him in a sprint to the finish. Why wouldn’t he just drag Rodriguez to the finish, let him take the stage and not lose any time? By attacking when he did, he provoked Rodriguez to counterattack and cross the finish line 5 seconds ahead of him.
- Froome came in 38 seconds down. He’s seems to be more of slow and steady racer this time around than in the Tour. He was much more explosive during the Tour, following all of Nibali’s attacks. This time, he seems to be clawing himself back to the lead group, more than following attacks. So, while things aren’t looking great for Froome, I don’t thing things aren’t over yet for him. He has to limit losses and hope he can attack somewhere. Honestly, though? I think he’s going to have to fight with Valverde to even get on the podium.
- It’s funny how everyone thought this would be a race between Froome and Contador but it’s turning into a race between Rodriguez and Contador.
- I’m impressed with how Valverde didn’t give up after his crash. He could’ve just given up after his crash, and gone for top 10 or stage wins, but he’s fighting back for a podium! And now he’s tied with Froome for 3rd.
This week I am joined by a guest host in my very own time zone, Marianne! Don’t worry, Jeff is still my bestest co-host and will be back before long. Marianne is here to help me breath some new life into the tired topic of Lance. But first, we must find out who her peloton crushes are. [Note: Apologies to those of you using headphones, but Marianne’s side was only recorded in mono. Our bad!]
- Liquigas acquires new management (article)
- George Hincapie retires
- We agree with Chrisophe Bassons and Frankie Andreau when they say Armstrong needs control.
- We discuss the lack of comment from riders and the non-response response from some (Hushovd, Geraint). Inner Ring has thoughts on why riders don’t comment. And when riders do comment, but not the way we want them to, we get upset (Hayden Roulston)
- Great article by Science of Sport about the case- the potential fallout and issues often brought up about the case.
- Just because Lance won’t go to arbitration, doesn’t mean the evidence won’t come out (article)
- We discuss who we think has the best chance at winning, John Degenkolb’s dimples, how Valverde’s stage 8 win seemed like a bike F-U, Bert acting strangely, and Froome showing vulnerability.
Sorry for the hiatus, folks. I was busy taking a vacation!
A pretty basic, boring stage up until the last 3km. But boy, did it get crazy. The best part about this race is how a stage like today hasn’t been the exception- it’s been more a rule.
- Cam Meyer and Thomas De Gendt are really doing their best to hot up this race! I hope one of them is able to win a stage before the end. However, with all the time bonuses available, I think this is going to be a big ask. Most of the top GC guys are going to need every bonus second they can get, so they’ll be less inclined to let the break succeed- unlike at the Tour.
- The gradients those guys were riding up were so brutal! I keep waiting for someone to get off and walk.
- I was reeeally rooting for Contador, but it wasn’t a surprise that Rodriguez took the stage win. Damn him and his mastery of the short, steep climbs!
- I excited to see Anton attack. I’m doubtful his efforts will lead to anything in this race, especially since there are so many heavy hitters this year, but it would be nice to see him take a stage win. But like I said before- I think the bonus seconds are too precious to allow a breakaway to scoop up.
- Chris Froome. He’s lagging. I don’t think his demise is quite eminent, as maybe the longer climbs will suit him better. But it certainly doesn’t bode well for him.
Not much to say about today’s stage.
- It was interesting to see a circuit race stage in a Grand Tour.
- I always admire the lone escapee. It has to be hell riding like hell all alone off the front, knowing that you’ll probably never make it.
- I kinda like that the usual sprinting suspects aren’t around. It lends a bit more mystery and suspense to the sprints. Even though John Degenkolb and his dimples has won both sprints so far, the run in and the trains are a bit crazier than normal. I like it mixed up!
And there you have it. Today’s stage in a nutshell. Not really.
Should you stay or should you go? That’s always the question when a big crash happens. Should those at the front of the race ease off the pace and let those who crashed catch up, or should they continue to ride and/or attack? I’m of the mind that it depends on the situation. If the leader crashes, then you should wait, especially if it’s a large crash with lots of people. If it’s a mechanical (*cough*Andy*cough*) or a solo fall, it’s less clear to me, but I’m generally okay with continuing to ride- this is a bike race, not a summer camp. If the leader isn’t in the crash, but it’s still a big one with lots of people- that one really has no right or wrong answer for me.
Today, after watching the crash and subsequent chase, it’s a bit hard for me to criticize Sky and those who pushed the pace after the crash too much. The crash happened right after Sky attacked- Sky didn’t attack once the crash happened. It was a large crash, so Sky couldn’t know right away that Valverde was in the crash. Why they didn’t slow down after they found out, I don’t know. But then other teams were coming to the front to push the pace. I think it got to a point where the pace and wind and the echelons had broken up the peloton so much, they couldn’t afford to slow down.
- It’s pretty awesome watching echelons form and reform. I’m sure it sucks to ride it, but it’s fun to watch.
- When the Spanish commentators say “Froome,” it sounds like “Froomey.” And “Roche” sounds like “roach.”
- In terms of GC, the last climb of the day wasn’t nearly as exciting as yesterday. There were a few little attacks, but mostly they just marked each other.
- Oh you know what’s super awkward? A guy sprinting for 6th or something and thinking he’s won. That’s awkward for everyone involved.
- And that’s all I have for today.