I was just playing with VDS numbers and I noticed... well I noticed a lot but the first thing I noticed was that there is a very close race going on for the highest VDS point total. Pre-Veulta, post-Olympics, the top five was:
1. Valverde- 1754 points
2. Evans- 1640
3. Cancellara- 1622
4. Rebellin- 1556
5. Contador- 1365
Now by my projections of the Vuelta, Contador is looking to pick up about 1150 points- the single highest point haul in any race this year (SELLA! had the previous high of 940 from the Giro). In addition, Valverde if he finishes the Vuelta looks to grab 667 or so points (if he doesn't then he gets maybe 300) and Rebellin maybe 200. Add those points and before the final five races (both Worlds, Paris-Tours, Emilia, and Lombardy) you get... well go to the jump to see what YOU get.
Projected Post-Vuelta standings:
1. Contador- 2515
2. Valverde- 2421
3. Rebellin- 1756
4. Evans- 1640
5. Cancellara- 1622
So how might this play out over the final five?
Contador- I would pick him for the Spanish TT team for the Worlds and he'd do well- 100 points or so. But is he being picked?
Valverde- Could do well in the Worlds RR, but the course fits several riders too. He could win Lombardy but usually doesn't ride it. So he could clean up with 400 or so points or he might get zip. Say 200 points.
Rebellin- The Worlds RR, Emilia and Lombardy are right in this guy's wheelhouse, have been for years, and he tends to ride all of them. Easy top five in Emilia and Lombardia and that's being quite conservative. 500+ points are well within reach. He even rides Paris-Tours sometimes (and does well). BUT he also doesn't finish the Vuelta and like Valverde going all 21 stages may hurt his stretch run.
Evans- also should score big-time in the Worlds RR, Emilia, and Lombardia. His reconrd isn't quite as good as Rebellin's partially cause he doesn't always ride Emilia and partially because his results aren't quite Tin-Tin's but still 300+ points are well within reach.
Cancellara- got the World TT to look forward to. 250 points for the win or is he really tired?
Barring something totally weird happening, or Oscar Freire deciding he wants to win stuff like the Worlds RR and Paris-Tours, the above five riders will remain the top five at year's end. (And Freire does have a shot at displacing Spartacus as he's exactly 300 points behind at 1322 post-Vuelta. Kim Kirchen is the only other rider with 1000+ points (1257- actually check that- see the Levi postscript below)) But what will the final order be? Evans and Rebellin need to have a sweep practically to win, Valverde IMO has the best chance- but will the Vuelta wear him out? Contador could go to the Worlds TT and grab some final points to put a nice touch to his great year. What do you think?
PS- For Levi fans, with this Vuelta he's actually doing quite well this year. If he scores the 760 I see him at 1310 points after that race, good for 7th place in the world. He could should score big in the Worlds TT too if he rides it. He won't be top-five but I say he'll finish 7th. Don't cry for Levi!