Remco Evenepoel keeps passing every test and now leads the Vuelta by over a minute on Enric Mas with Primož Roglič at almost two minutes. Can he keep it up?
A few years ago this blog asked “what’s the point of the Vuelta?“. It wasn’t meant to be rhetorical wisecrack, instead a means to explore the role and purpose of Spain’s grand tour because it has struggled with its identity. In the space of a few years it feels like it’s found its mojo.
The regular look at which teams are sailing into the World Tour and which teams are taking on water in the battle to avoid relegation.
A look at the overall contenders for the Vuelta and it’s a step into the unknown with little to go on when it comes to form, fatigue and motivation. It all makes it more open, there’s a lot to look forward to and the first week of racing should tell us plenty.
Nairo Quintana has been disqualified from the Tour de France following the presence of Tramadol in two blood samples taken during July. Tramadol is a pain-killing opiod that is not a banned substance but the UCI prohibits its use in competition.
Here’s the Vuelta a España guide with all the stage profiles and more on one page. It’s got all the technical information for the different points competitions, time bonuses, time cuts and more in case you need to hand.
Throughout the race you’ll find this page via the menu at the top of the page or visit inrng.com/vuelta
The World Tour promotion and relegation topic ought to be simple with the top-18 teams on the rankings making the cut… but it turns out to be a lot more complicated. For starters there are no official rankings, the rules are spread across disparate few paragraphs inside a 200 page PDF tucked away on the UCI website and more, no wonder people are confused.
I get regular comments about the promotion relegation system in the comments, by email and over on Twitter and if some are asking, a lot more must be wondering. With this in mind, here’s some of the frequently asked questions and a go at the answers.
An update on the promotion and relegation standings with Lotto-Soudal closing in on that crucial 18th place while Israel are making emergency mid-season signings to help win points.
Le Tour de France Côté Verso, by Jean-Louis Pagès
The Tour de France is a travelling circus and while all eyes are rightly on the riders and landscapes, it requires a shadow army of workers, many of whom work overnight. They put up barriers, lay cables, paint finish lines and more. For over 30 years Jean-Louis Pagès was part of this and eventually in charge of it all. This book explains much of the behind-the-scenes work that makes it all happen.
Dylan Teuns has moved from Bahrain to Israel-PremierTech. Pro cycling has a mid-season transfer window from 1-15 August and a move is possible if both teams agree and the UCI approves. He can help in their relegation battle but he’ll have to win big and often.