La Vuelta

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Re: La Vuelta

Postby ribs » September 12th, 2010, 12:24 am

Brilliant performance from Roche on the final climb to take 5th and move up to 5th overall. leader crashed out 6km from the finish and there was an immediate response from the other teams. A tough mountain stage expected on sunday.
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Re: La Vuelta

Postby jezzer » September 12th, 2010, 10:31 am

Bollix. The one stage that I saw nothing of... Fair play young nico.
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Re: La Vuelta

Postby Slipper1 » September 13th, 2010, 10:00 am

Saw this last night on the telly. That looked hard, pissing rain and up the side of a mountain with loads of people getting in your way.

Roche did well (according to Sean Kelly)- finished 12th I think, about 3mins behind leader and moved up to 4th (3rd possibly?) in overall classification.

He tweeted this morning that he wasn't looking forward to today - 3 category 1 climbs in a row.
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Re: La Vuelta

Postby Bosco » September 13th, 2010, 4:26 pm

Roche finished 8th( i think) today attacking at the end, .

He moves up to 5th over all
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Re: La Vuelta

Postby jezzer » September 13th, 2010, 5:53 pm

Very impressive ride from Nico Roche on one of the Vuelta's hardest days. 3 Category 1 climbs in the stage with a mountaintop finish, so really draining stuff.

There was a breakaway of minor riders (ie not contending for General Classification) some of whom stayed away to the end. Frank Schleck got away on the final climb and his lieutenant Kreuzinger did a very good job of keeping the pace in the bunch just high enough that a second break to catch Schleck could have been suicide. As soon as Kreuzinger started to tire, Roche attacked and put a good distance between him and a good few of his immediate rivals. It's been a massively successful day for him, especially considering how punishing a ride it was. He's now fifth, but he's got a minute and a half advantage over the 6th place rider and is only 45 secs behind Schleck in fourth.

Tomorrow is a rest day and then the time trial (race against the clock). Roche isn't the greatest TT'er but he's not the worst either and certainly better than a lot of the "mountain goats" who are in the top 10. Schleck and Nibali are the best TTers of the contenders. Nibali still the hot favourite, though he cracked on the last climb today and could have lost a hatful of time if someone could have attacked sooner. Schleck creeping up on the rails and could really make a bid for the lead with a great time trial.

Nico is looking very good for a top 5, if he can post a better than average time trial. Thurs and Friday are relatively easy days, followed by a ludicrously tough climb on Sat, before the run-in on Sunday.

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Re: La Vuelta

Postby ribs » September 14th, 2010, 1:39 am

Damn tv over here only shows coverage on Sat and Sunday nights (live though). I knew it was going to be a tough day with 3 cat 1 climbs and was really worried for Roche, so looked up the interweb first thing this morning and turns out I was all wrong. Did you say he was attacking on the final climb? Serious plaudits there, he left some great climbers in his wake.

Was looking at the timetrial. It's about 46km's so will take about an hour and a few minutes I guess. Any idea how much he could peg back on the climbers? What about Nibali and Schleck - I hear they are all rounders. Any idea how Roche's TT is versus them? 5% difference would be 3 minutes so it is all to play for - just wish it would be on TV here on Wednesday.

Also, he is looking good for a high placing in the World Championships on Oct 3 over here - might stick a few bob on him for that.
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Re: La Vuelta

Postby jezzer » September 14th, 2010, 10:42 am

I don't know enough to guess time differentials, but he'll almost certainly lose time to Schleck and Nibali in front of him and maybe gain time on Rodriguez and Mosquera. My guess is he's about evens with Tondo and Sastre, don't know about Danielson or Velits. Velits cracked a bit yesterday, so he might have run out of gas as a relative GT novice.

Edit: having just checked the Tour de France time trial, the above is about right. Over 53km, Sastre was c. 15 secs faster, Rodriguez was over 3.5 minutes slower. Nibali and f Schleck almost certainly faster than Nico at TT'ing though.

No F Schleck, Nibali, Mosquera, Danielson, Velits or Tondo in the TDF (which makes Roche's performance all the more impressive). Rodriguez could well fall below Roche in GC after the TT, pushing him up to fourth, but it depends if anyone behind Roche finishes much faster than him. He has a nice cushion, but he's not immune. Nibali likely to take the lead, F Schleck might jump up a place or two and I suspect Mosquera will lose time, but don' t know how much.

Edit #2: Danielson is a very good TT'er and Velits is not shabby either - they'll both probably take time out of Roche. Schleck better than Roche but not by a huge margin, by all accounts.
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Re: La Vuelta

Postby silly punt » September 15th, 2010, 10:11 am

Another interesting article by Nico ahead of todays Time Trial, I really like this guys atttitude, he has ridden a great tour so far & hopefully he can keep it up. I think a top 5 finish would be beyond anyones expectations and announce his arrival as a top cyclist.


Nicolas Roche: ‘I’ve fought like a dog to get fifth and I’m keeping it’

Wednesday September 15 2010

After Monday's mountain stage, we had a three-and-a-half-hour transfer to our next hotel and today's rest day. As I sat in the front of the team bus, with my legs stretched across the seats opposite, my dad called from Paris and we had a chat about the rest day.

Normally, I do an hour-and-a-half's ride in the morning with the guys but today I also wanted to ride Wednesday's time trial course in the afternoon on my own.

Dad didn't agree with me, though. He said there was no point in having to go out twice on a rest day and I should just ride the time trial course. In the end, I agreed with him.

After breakfast, I hopped in the team car for a 50-minute drive to the course. The 46km course is on big, wide main roads, with long straights and only five corners on the whole lap.

I did a lap on my road bike first, then another, faster, lap on my time trial bike, to get used to the stretched-out, more aerodynamic position. Then I put in two hard 10km sessions behind the car, which made my legs hurt, and the morning flew by. By the time I was ready for lunch, it was 3.0.

Although it's late in the evening here now, I haven't seen any of the guys on the team yet today. I got up earlier than them and by the time I came back from training, they were already back in their rooms. Some of them never left, except to go down for food.

Even though we're only in the bedrooms beside each other, we're so tired now that we couldn't be bothered walking around. Instead, we just lie on our beds all day, reading, watching TV, surfing the internet or listening to music. We'll see each other at dinner tonight.

I spent this afternoon sitting on the floor, sorting out my suitcase for the time trial.

I have four distinct piles of clothes for Wednesday alone. I have one pile for the morning, one for the warm-up, another one for the time trial itself, and yet another one for after the stage. Wednesday is going to be a pressure day for me, but I have to admit most of the pressure is my own fault.

I came into this Vuelta aiming to take a top-15 placing overall, possibly a top 10. Last week, I thought that I would be fighting for somewhere between ninth and 11th place in this time trial. Now, I'm fighting to stay in fifth place, another big step up.

Now that I'm there, though, I'm not thinking that if I drop a few places I'll still finish in the top 10. Hell, no! I've spent two and a half weeks fighting like a dog through all the mountains to get here, and I'm keeping this spot.

Not only that, I'm thinking maybe I can move up to fourth. If I do one of my best time trials, I think I can overtake Franck Schleck.

The Luxembourg champion will start the stage 45 seconds ahead of me on GC and there is a chance, albeit a little one, that I could take enough time out of him.

It's that little chance that keeps me motivated. He's not the best time triallist in the world, but still took a top-five spot at the Tour de France last year, so I know I will have to pull out a great ride to move up.

The cheeky side of my mind is even thinking that if I ride a great time trial, I could challenge for a place on the podium in this Vuelta.

Focused

There is another side of me, though, saying: 'Stay focused, defend your fifth place as best as possible and make sure that everything goes right. There are another five days to go and finishing fifth would be absolutely brilliant.'

I'm very conscious of the fact that even if I do overtake Schleck after the time trial, we have a really tough mountain stage on Saturday -- with a 20km climb to the finish -- which plays into his hands again.

My team-mate Christophe Riblon will start well before me. He will try to ride the time trial flat-out and give me an indication of what I need to do.

Some days I beat Christophe in these races, some days he beats me. I usually do okay once the time trial is long enough. I did okay at the Vuelta a couple of years ago and even at the Tour this year.

I'm not going to win the stage or anything, but I don't have to. All I have to do is try and gain time, or at least not lose any, to my nearest rivals on the overall classification.

Everybody is encouraging me to stay focused and relaxed and I'm as motivated as I can be. If I'm still in the same position at the end of the time trial, I'll be happy enough
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Re: La Vuelta

Postby jezzer » September 15th, 2010, 5:00 pm

Pretty average TT from Roche and a lot of his rivals got the jump on him. Nico drops to 8th. Velits the standout performance - won it overall. Might be a little suspicious as he's never put in that kind of performance before.

General classification after stage 17

1 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo 71:19:49
2 Ezequiel Mosquera (Spa) Xacobeo Galicia 0:00:39
3 Peter Velits (Svk) Team HTC-Columbia 0:02:00
4 Frank Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank 0:03:44
5 Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha 0:03:45
6 Xavier Tondo (Spa) Cervélo Test Team 0:03:45
7 Tom Danielson (USA) Garmin-Transitions 0:03:55
8 Nicolas Roche (Irl) Ag2R-La Mondiale 0:04:03
9 Carlos Sastre (Spa) Cervélo Test Team 0:04:13
10 Luis-Leon Sanchez (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne 0:05:43

Leader Rodriguez had an even worse TT than expected, he drops to 5th

30 seconds covering 4th place to 9th. All going to be decided on the huge mountain stage on Saturday. Between Nibali (who punctured on the TT and lost about 20secs) and Mosquera for the overall win. Mosquera looking a good bet now.
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