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  #4911  
Old 25.07.2017, 08:28 AM
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Froome is the first Tour winner not to win a stage since 2006, when Oscar Pereiro did it. Pereiro was the accidental winner. Seen as no threat to GC, he was allowed to get into a breakaway that ended up finishing 30 minutes ahead of the main bunch! Pereiro's lead was gradually eroded away by the big guns until he was overhauled ultimately by Floyd Landis and he finished 2nd. But Landis was subsequently disqualified and Pereiro was crowned the winner. Not your standard Tour winner, then.
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  #4912  
Old 30.07.2017, 09:33 AM
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Entertaining edition of Clasica San Sebastián yesterday. If you can find the last 25km or so on YouTube it's worth a watch. Won't say the result on here for that reason. I'm heading out to watch the London race today. Not too many of the huge Tour names racing it but should be a nice day out anyway
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  #4913  
Old 30.07.2017, 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by European Bob View Post
Entertaining edition of Clasica San Sebastián yesterday. If you can find the last 25km or so on YouTube it's worth a watch. Won't say the result on here for that reason. I'm heading out to watch the London race today. Not too many of the huge Tour names racing it but should be a nice day out anyway
I look forward to watching the Clasica, I just hope Eurosport play ball.
The London Surrey Classic was a good race, it was nice to see Kristoff pull off the win, considering how much of a torrid time he had at the tour. I just wish the commentary team livened up the event (note to BBC - why were your commentators using lip microphones, even though they were in an enclosed booth?? They should have used headsets only - lip mics went out with Richard Dimbleby and David Coleman!!!), although I now know what makes for a "dead road" thanks to Mark Cavendish. Full credit to Cav as well, for talking about Peter Sagan without having to grit his teeth throughout.
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  #4914  
Old 09.08.2017, 09:46 AM
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The Vuelta lineup is now taking shape. Seems to be a boycott en masse by the sprinters! Froome, Bardet and Aru are in from the Tour contenders, Uran is not. Contador is in and it is his last ever race he has announced. The organisers are giving him race bib number 1 in honour since last year's champ Quintana won't be there. Nibali, Zakarin and Kruiswijk are in from the Giro crew, but Dumoulin has decided to do the Classics to build up to the World Championships instead. Keldermann will lead the line for Sunweb. Others riding in Spain include Majka, David de la Cruz, both Yates brothers (though Adam will ride for GC and Simon will not apparently), Esteban Chaves and talented young Colombian Miguel Angel Lopez. Watch out for young Spanish climber Enric Mas who rides for Quick Step. I was super impressed with him at last week's Vuelta a Burgos where there were 2 summit finishes atop very difficult climbs and he was really close to the level of Landa on both occasions. Which is saying something. Marc Soler of Movistar is another very promising youngster that you might want to get on board with now before the bandwagon gets going. The Vuelta starts on 19 August.

Elsewhere in cycling, we have the Belgium/Holland Tour (called BinckBank Tour this year) this week - mixture of flat stages and short sharp classics style hills. Autumn one day classics (world tour/world champs races in bold)

Sun 20 August: Cyclassics Hamburg - Hamburg, Germany
Sun 27 August: Bretagne Classic Ouest-France - Brittany, France

Sat 2 September: Brussels Classic (used to be called Paris-Brussels) - Brussels, Belgium
Sun 3 September: GP de Fourmies - Fourmies, north-eastern France
Fri 8 September: GP Quebec - Quebec City, Canada
Sun 10 September: GP Montréal - Montreal, Canada

Sun 24 September: World Championships Road Race - Bergen, Norway
Sat 30 September: Giro dell'Emilia - Bologna, Italy
Tue 3 October: Tre Valli Varesine (the 3 valleys of Varese) - Varese, Italy
Wed 4 October: Milan-Turin - Turin, Italy
Thu 5 October: Paris-Bourges - Bourges, France
Sat 7 October: Giro di Lombardia - Lombardy (Como), Italy
Sun 8 October: Paris-Tours - Tours, France

There are a lot of very old, prestigious races amongst that lot. Milan-Turin is the oldest and dates back to 1876, the Brussels classic under its former name Paris-Brussels to 1893, Paris-Tours to 1896, Lombardia to 1905, the Giro dell'Emilia to 1909, Paris-Bourges to 1913 and the Tre Valli Varesine to 1919. The World Championships is the biggest of them all as you get to be crowned world champ and wear the rainbow jersey for a year, but the race itself is a little younger (1927 as a pro race) and of course unlike the rest it changes venue each year and is raced as national teams rather than trade teams. The race is taking place in Yorkshire in 2019, exact towns to be confirmed.
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  #4915  
Old 09.08.2017, 08:08 PM
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Any outside tips/shouts for a podium on the Vuelta Bob? It usually throws up a few outside the box contenders who hit form, for me the most exciting grand tour of the three
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  #4916  
Old 09.08.2017, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Ollyrules View Post
Any outside tips/shouts for a podium on the Vuelta Bob? It usually throws up a few outside the box contenders who hit form, for me the most exciting grand tour of the three
I think I would go for David de la Cruz or Rafal Majka. They are both talented GC guys and what I like about each is that they don't have the fatigue of a grand tour already in their legs this year (in Majka's case he crashed out fairly early in France). You always need a bit of luck with this stuff though - good form of course but it's also about whether you can stay on your bike when your rivals crash out, fall sick or suddenly go off the boil. Nobody had Uran down for 3rd at the Tour.

Cruz was 7th in last year's Vuelta and won a stage. He looked pretty good at the recent Vuelta a Burgos (3rd overall) which as I said in my post above had 2 very hard (HC level) summit finishes despite the fact it's not a World Tour race. He also was decent earlier in the year with stage wins in Paris-Nice and Basque Country (and 4th overall in the latter). He is 100/1 to win it at Paddy Power, so 25/1 to make the podium.

Majka already finished 3rd at the Vuelta two years ago, and was 5th at the Giro last year too and has won multiple Tour de France stages. He clearly can stay the course of a 3-week race then and climb well, and as I say a crash in the Jura meant he avoided most of the tough days in this year's Tour race and should be fresher. Despite the crash he looked good at the Tour of Poland last week finishing 2nd overall and missing the win by just 2 seconds. He's 33/1 to win at Paddy Power (1/4 odds for the podium).

I also want to see what Esteban Chaves does. He's a real wildcard as injuries and poor form earlier in the year meant he's been nowhere near doing anything and he was totally anonymous at the Tour de France. But he made the podium of the Giro and Vuelta in 2016 and won two stages in the Spanish race in 2015 as well so he's got the pedigree and can handle the tough climbs. If he was using the Tour this year for training rather than really just being bad then he might be able to ride himself into this one where most of the others will be fighting against a decline in form you would think. Chavez is 25/1 to win it - not great odds considering the total lack of results this year.

Then Marc Soler is another one who could be an outside bet. He's 66/1. He might be too young for this year, 23, but you never know, Valverde made the Vuelta podium at the first time of asking in 2003. There isn't a best young rider jersey at the Vuelta but if there was Soler would be a decent bet.

Obviously the bigger names from Tour or Giro are shorter odds. Froome is odds-on favourite. I'm not sure about that. I guess he is favourite in the sense that I can't think of anyone more worthy right now for the honour but the truth is he wasn't that convincing in winning the Tour nor has he been all season. The question marks will centre on whether that was a deliberate ploy to keep something in the legs for Spain - which he clearly seems to be motivated for - or whether he just isn't as good this year.

Overall, the Vuelta is usually the easiest of the 3 grand tours and as I've said in other posts the Tour-Vuelta double seems easier to me than the Giro-Tour double as the Giro is the hardest of the 3 routes almost every year. By easier I mean lengths of stages, intensity of racing, and severity of climbs across the totality of the race. That said, when it comes to the really hard stuff, the impossibly steep ramps and such, the hardest climbs in Spain are definitely tougher than anything France has to offer. None more so than the Angliru on the penultimate day. Ridiculously long and steep - 12.5km at average 10.1% (but the final 6km average 13% and reach 24% in places!). A strong team (and Froome will probably still have the strongest) will only get you so far there - it's going to be man against man. And Froome didn't look great in that scenario the one time it happened in the Tour, up to Peyragaud.

I think the one thing we've definitely learned over the years is that you should never expect the pecking order in the Vuelta to mirror that of the Tour several weeks earlier, even among those who did both races. Quintana was quite a way off Froome in France last year but beat him in Spain. And for the Giro guys while it's easier for them to peak twice that far apart, more often than not the 2nd peak of the season isn't quite at the same level as the first. But it does not always need to be as often nobody else at quite at the top of their game either. That's why I say to watch out for the ones who haven't raced other grand tours yet this year.

Last edited by European Bob; 09.08.2017 at 09:24 PM.
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  #4917  
Old 11.08.2017, 12:49 PM
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Cheers Bob - will have a look at those guys, and some others and see if I can make some profit!
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  #4918  
Old 12.08.2017, 07:06 PM
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The Arctic Race of Norway looks quite tasty - but why are the captions in French? They used to be in English not long ago - oh, wait, it's an ASO race and everyone speaks French according to them...
The Benelux tour is quite entertaining as well, what with their Golden Kilometres and their choice in sponsors (Binck Bank? Really?), and made even more entertaining with good old Carlton Kirby on commentary duty along with Brian Smith, Eurosport's very own Frankie Boyle tribute act.
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  #4919  
Old 14.08.2017, 08:43 PM
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I like the captions to be in French, Italian, Spanish or Dutch. These are the traditional languages of cycling. English is not. Until fairly recently every single rider in the peloton would speak at least one of those 4 languages, and pretty much every single native English speaker would speak the language of whichever country they lived in during the cycling season. Almost unheard of among English speakers in other facets of life. Starting to change now - I'm not sure that Thomas or Cavendish are very good in any other language for example. Cav speaks very basic Italian. But Wiggins, Millar, Armstrong, Stephen Roche for example spoke excellent French.
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  #4920  
Old 16.08.2017, 10:25 PM
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What's the prize money worth at the 3 grand tours? Here is your answer. These are all for the 2017 race. I guess the thing I found most interesting was that even though the prize bucket for the Tour is roughly double the others, this doesn't always translate into everything being twice as well rewarded. In some cases you get way more than in the other races, in other categories it's more or less the same or even less.

The other point is that it just emphasises the detachment between prize money on the one hand and (a) rider salaries and (b) what it costs to run a cycling team on the other. Especially when you think that the teams and riders don't get gate receipts or TV money either, and we the viewer pay extremely little money to watch our favourite riders, races and teams. It all relies on sponsorship. So go buy a Sky subscription, a Bora kitchen, a Trek bike and play the French, Dutch and Belgian lotteries!


Total prize fund:
Giro d'Italia - €1,377,210
Tour de France - €2,285,950
Vuelta a Espana - €1,120,230

Winner and podium places:

Giro
1st - €115,668 + €90,000 special prize* = €205,668
2nd - €58,412 + €50,000 special prize = €108,412
3rd - €28,801 + €20,000 special prize = €48,801
GC prizes for the top 20 (20th gets €2,863) but the special prizes are only for the top 10

Tour
1st - €500,000
2nd - €200,000
3rd - €100,000
Prizes decrease down to 19th (€1,100). Every other finisher gets €1,000

Vuelta
1st - €150,000
2nd - €57,000
3rd - €30,000
10th-20th all get the same, €3,800

Stage win
Giro - €11,010. Prizes for top 20 each day (€276 for 10th-20th)
Tour - €11,000. Prizes for top 20 each day (€300 for 20th), plus €500 for best young rider that day
Vuelta - €11,000. Prizes for top 20 each day (€360 for 10th-20th)

Winning the points jersey
Giro - €10,000
Tour - €25,000
Vuelta - €11,000

Winning the mountains jersey
Giro - €5,000
Tour - €25,000
Vuelta - €13,000

Winning the young riders jersey
Giro - €10,000
Tour - €20,000
(Vuelta does not have one, but the combination jersey wins you €11,000)

Winning the team classification
Giro - two competitions, time and points, winning €5,000 each.
Tour - €50,000
Vuelta - €12,500

A day wearing the leader's jersey
Giro - €1,000
Tour - €500
Vuelta - €500

Aggressive riding
Giro - 3 different types of competition with winner getting €4-5,000 per category
Tour - €20,000 for overall winner
Vuelta - €3,000

There are loads of other prizes too: mountains, intermediate sprints and other weird and wonderful competitions, e.g. in Italy the best placed Italian at the end gets another €5,000. The Giro definitely has the most competitions nobody has ever heard of - hidden ways to make extra cash.

* No idea why the Giro has 2 different prize pots for GC but my best guess is that they don't want to set a precedent in guaranteeing the main prize at the higher amount if they are unsure about getting sponsors in for future years. So what you do is keep the main prize modest and then offer an additional bonus pot in years where you get a sponsor in who will chip in for that. And if you don't, no bonus pot but the regular prize money remains the same.
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