I'm sure everybody already studied the course of de Ronde van Spanje, Vuelta a Espana, the most predictable course this year! Because SPOILER ALERT! The race will be won by Mikel Nieve. You heard it here before. Sorry for ruining 3 weeks fun! Miguel Indurain the second has shown excellent climbing skills in the Giro and is quietly preparing to dominate the Vuelta as only Luis Ocana could dominate a Grand Tour.
But to continue with the purpose of this post. How is the Vuelta going to look like? Is it hard, easy, for the time trialers, for Thor Hushovd? I've seen a little. The trend is going on. Lot's of difficult stages, less and less sprinters stages.. Almost need a loop to find them.
ps: Now I've typed it. Not to informative. But always handy to have the profiles in one place.
A Team Time Trial in Benidorm. 13.5km. Has a little bump in it. Should get Cavendish in the golden leadersjersey. Specially desined to get the Carrots a false start. And Skil!! Should be fun to watch them.
Get your loop! Look at the profile.. See! You've spotted the first sprint stage. As flat as you can get it in Spain. Maybe we get the endless roads here. I dunno. I only look at profiles. The first batlle for the mountainsjersey should be on here. It's not a giveaway. For the win? The best sprinter on the earth!
Cavendish Kittel.. D'uuh
This is the trend, or so I've been told. Easy stages and to fuck, hehe it's not in the header, the sprinters they plant(?) a mountain before the finish. (Did you know there is some crazy funny Dutch journalist who's trying to create a artficial mountain in the Netherlands so we have our own Alpe d'Huez? Crazy Dutch! Support the idea here) Hushovd is going to win here! Oh no, he doesn't. Evil evil sideburns..
Mountains. Day four and the Sierra Nevada is dooming. The GC riders should be on top of their form from really early. I've just learned the highest asphalt way of Europe! Moncoutie was the last one to win here in 2009. 30km. 5.8% Not supersteep.. But well. Sort of long
Spanish flat. Perfectly doable for sprinters! Till the last kms. A little bump of 27%. Why in the hell would you make a road so steep? (I knew someone who bought some land in the middle of nowhere to build a house. Only problem. There was no house. So in order to build to a house there a road of 30% had to be built. She was.. fucked..) I hope Cavendish is studying the roadbook.. Or maybe not... We could hear him say "Fuck you!" all the way in Holland if he studies it just one night before. The finish has Joaquim Rodriquez all over it. Because really.. 27%? Even Super Duper Sagan will have some trouble going vertical. Last 3km. Profile:
Hehe.. Flat.. Oh well.. Till that last climb 15 km from the end. Is going to be a close one. (I'm getting predictable don't I?) I will give the edge to the Freire's of the world. Because the second best sprinter in the world Cavendish climbing skills seem not so Norwegian this year.
We all hail.. Kittel of course.
What to mae of this profile? It seems a graphic for the oil price. A lot of peaks. Or while I say that. A fallen Christmas tree. A very hard stage and the mountain jersey will be beattled here. And have I already said we are following a trend here? Another classic finish. But don't worry. This one is even harder than well, any I have seen. To quote the Vuelta site:
They seem to think there is really just one way. The way up.. Another day for the climbers. The less explosive but the more "tempoklimmers" like Menchov, Nibali, Anton. 19.9km á 5.8%, doesn't that look familiar?
A completely flat Time Trial, is a little hilly. After all the climbing the TT"ers will go flat out in the TT. With 47 km it is pretty long. Comparable with the TT last year which was won by Peter Velits. Mosquera was the GC man who lost the most time. 2 minutes. Not that shocking. Oops. Frank Schleck of course was here too. 4 minutes his lose. And bose above bose. Rodriquez 6 minutes. He lost the Vuelta here! It is shocking..
The red profiles really create the idea of ways to hell.. Especially if they are going up. The third finish in Spain on a real mountain. Not some crazy bump of 27%. Cartes are shuffled. Purito is going to try to make some time up, I'm guessing here!, And the favorites are slowly getting more visible. Again not too steep but long. Last km's are 7.2, 7.9 and 8.2% So probably have to wait a little before the firework. Profile?
Halfway! What do you think? Second part probably tomorrow.