Who Will Win The Vuelta España?

A star-packed field contenders and pretenders for the Vuelta with seven grand tour winners and a long list of rivals. But as any astronomer knows, look up at the stars and you’ll see powerful blue giants also a few white dwarfs.

We watched the Tour de France to see a duel between Chris Froome and Alberto Contador but were denied, now they’re back and there’s Nairo Quintana to contend with. Time to point the telescope to Jerez for a look at who can win the Vuelta.

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The Moment The Race Was Won: Il Lombardia

Joaquim Rodriguez Lombardia Lecco

They say there are too many repeats on TV these days and Sunday’s Il Lombardia had an air of déjà vu as Joaquim Rodriguez attacked in the same place on the Villa Vergnano climb as last year to win solo. This was the moment the race was won.

But as repeats go this was still worth watching thanks to a cameo role from Thomas Voeckler and the ongoing rivalry between Rodriguez and Alejandro Valverde whilst a cast of new names like Dan Martin, Rafał Majka made the race happen.

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The Moment The Race Was Won: The Worlds

Joaquim Rodriguez Florence 2013

Four ride into Florence. Joaquim Rodriguez attacks on the final bump of the day and Vincenzo Nibali chases with Alejandro Valverde and Rui Costa following. Soon they will round the final bend and Costa will take off and to close in on Rodriguez. The acceleration is enough to isolate Valverde and close the gap to Rodriguez leaving a two man sprint. This was the moment the race was won.

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Katusha Chaos


A quick post to examine what’s next for the sport after the Court of Arbitration ruled last Friday that the Russian teams should go back in World Tour.

The ruling might have left the team celebrating their good news but there’s still a smoky veil of uncertainty over what comes next and a headache for the UCI and others. If they are promoted will someone get relegated? And how can a professional sport have promotion and relegation scenarios that get decided during the season by Swiss court hearings?

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Will Joaquim Rodriguez Stay or Go?

Joaquim Rodriguez new team

…and where could he go?

With the Katusha team struggling for a licence Joaquim Rodriguez and his agent Angel Edo have been shopping around for a new team. Rodriguez agreed new terms with the Russian team at the end of last season but these were based on the premise of riding in World Tour. He has stated his prime target for 2013 is the Tour de France.

Rider contracts are like collarbones, they’re easily broken in the right circumstances. And Katusha not being a registered UCI team can mean a clean break clause. So will Rodriguez go and if so, where can he land?

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The Moment The Race Was Won: Il Lombardia

Joaquim Rodriguez Lombardia

Joaquim Rodriguez has attacked on the Ello climb to Villa Vergano and pulled out a slender lead over Alberto Contador and Rigoberto Uran. Look closely in the photo and you can see the crowd in the background looking at the chasers as they approach the corner. But by now Rodriguez has the advantage. This was the moment the race was won.

The Muro di Sormano. The first Spanish winner of the race. The race moved to September. The new world champion crashing out. For all the novelty and action this year’s edition might also be remembered for the rain that poured almost all day long.

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