Vuelta guide online

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Vuelta logo

The Inner Ring Vuelta guide is online, see the link at the top of the page or click here. Similar to the Tour de France guide, it contains profiles of every stage, a list of riders and more info.

However, the Spanish roads are not so familiar to me, especially once you go beyond the northern areas of the Basque Country and Catalonia. When I see the profile of a climb, I don’t know the real details like road surfaces and the variability of the gradient. So I can’t provide an informed commentary on each stage but hopefully the profiles speak for themselves. Also, I want to supply more info but the Vuelta website isn’t too good. And a dog ate my notes too.

¡Viva La Vuelta!
Ok, it’s the third grand tour and I’m not just talking about its spot on the calendar; it’s not quite as popular or as prestigious as the Tour de France or Giro. But it’s still a massive race and the best thing is that you don’t have to pick between the Tour and the Vuelta, you can enjoy both and find different things to appreciate.

La Vuelta is playing catch-up. It never got going until years after the Tour and Giro, meaning it has less history. Similarly, Spain was a dictatorship and it wasn’t until the 1980s that the country opened up. The country has great terrain for cycling, with mountains all over the place.

For me the race is shaping up nicely with several contenders for the win and a varied course that provides something for everyone, unless you are a time trial specialist, when you have to make do with just one stage sandwiched between two big days in the mountains. It should be a good race and if my predictive powers aren’t too hot for the race, it should provide plenty of other things to discuss.

For the guide, just let me know if there’s more info you’d like to see and I’ll see what’s possible.

Champs August 20, 2011 at 11:08 am

It’s sad that nobody wants to win the Vuelta. It’s popular as prep for worlds, but anyone aiming for the GC is just taking it as a consolation prize for the Tour, whether they were selected out of it for natural causes or external forces.

It’s the kind of race Damiano Cunego should target.

TG August 20, 2011 at 12:44 pm

Small prizes. How does it compare to a classic?

CAT4Fodder August 20, 2011 at 1:07 pm

The beauty of cycling, is that it is one of the few sports where it is very difficult to be able to tell the level of the competition. So while the Vuelta may be full of second tier GT contenders, while watching the race, it is just as exciting as the Tour or Giro. Rodriguez, Menchov/Sastre, Sagan/Nibali, Wiggens….and I am sure I am missing a few….But this is an exciting group of contenders.

It is why I can go watch a SM3 crit here in the States and still be captivated. As long as the competition includes enough riders who have a chance to win, the race will be exciting.

Jay T August 20, 2011 at 5:51 pm

Everybody, what’s with all the Vuelta bashing? As I posted on Red Kite Prayer yesterday, the whole “The Vuelta is a second-tier race/3rd most prestigious grand tour” seems a tired and depressing attitude to have towards a big European race. Nobody seems to say such things about the Clasica San Sebastian or any number of smaller races. Lots of guys want to win the Vuelta, and it seems that with the exception of Contador, the field at the Vuelta might be stronger or at least mostly comparable to that of the Giro. I’m sure Igor Anton isn’t using it as a prep race for anything, and neither is Denis Menchov.

Every year, the same tired comments; we should be happy there’s a big Spanish race on TV for us to enjoy, right?

Higgins August 20, 2011 at 7:09 pm

I love the Vuelta, its another major race which involves some of the best riders in the world. But hey, I’m excited about the Tour of Britain ..it would be a boring sport that lasted three weeks a year. Inrng, I’m sure your coverage will be as excellent as usual, even if you never rode this one..

STB August 20, 2011 at 10:00 pm

I think this years Vuelta has a strong line-up, and like the Tour de France there are a lot of riders with high hopes at the start. Wiggins, Dan Martin, Peter Sagan, Menchov, Van den Broeck, Anton, Rodriguez, Scarponi, Roche, Nibali, and more.

It is not the all-star line-up of the Tour de France, it never is, and neither is it at the Giro, but for a lot of riders this is a major objective and it will be a competitive race.

The route is very mountainous, and will favour a strong climber so my top three prediction would be Rodriguez, Nibali and Van den Broeck. I am not sure the parcours really suites Bradley Wiggins, but he is a dark horse this year and no one, including himself, probably knows his true form. He could be a revelation, I hope so.

The big climbs come early in the Vuelta, by Tuesday evening we should know who the real contenders are and who has the form.

The Vuelta does struggle for attention as it follows the Tour de France and comes before the World Championships, but it still has a high class field and with a well designed route it should provide an exciting competition.

barbara August 21, 2011 at 9:29 pm

Maybe the Vuelta is this year more interesting than the Giro, because Contador is not riding and there could be a lot of surprises.
Anyway I like to follow it as much as I can, although I won’t take off from work like I did for some stages of the TdF.
I’m also very curious about how the tour of Colorado will evolve and hoping to get some nice covering from somewhere.

About the Vuelta I can’t find a link to the distribution of the bonus seconds. Do you have any idea?

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