In the Vuelta... and also for me. I spent two days in Forte dei Marmi doing NOTHING, just sunbathing, reading a bit of philosophy, walking on the beach and... watching cycling.
Af far as la Vuelta is concerned, I think we still have to see the last of it. Today Cyclingnews lists the following riders are 'favourites':
1. Nairo Quintana (Movistar)
2. Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo)
3. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)
4. Chris Froome (Team Sky)
5. Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha)
6. Fabio Aru (Astana)
7. Rigoberto Uran (Omega Pharma-Quick Step)
8. Samuel Sánchez (BMC)
9. Dan Martin (Garmin-Sharp)
But in the actual top 10 there are also:
10. Johan Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) Orica GreenEdge
11. Robert Gesink (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team
12. Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Giant-Shimano 0:01:02
13. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 0:01:06
La Vuelta is demonstrating once again to be a very open race and I think you can't exclude yet riders 1' down, especially when they are very good climbers AND quite good cronomen. Wilco Kelderman for exemple. Of course the first 9 are more likely to win the overall... but you never know.
In Italy the weather is really weird this summer, in Spain it looks better but still riders have to face a big temperature excursion in mountains stage and an awful heat in the flat ones. Then there is the wind, that - we have already seen - can play a very important role.
Tomorrow there is a crucial ITT so today riders and staff went to see it. My man in Spain said it's hard. That can be an advantage for strong cronomen and a risk for the others. Chris Froome lost 1' to Contador but he can easily get it back there if he's fit. The question is: is he fit? I think he is. We have seen it on La Zubia. Contador keeps saying he is not or at least that he doesn't know exactly how he is... He looks very good but it's true that he could suddenly crack if his condition isn't perfect: it's a long hard race.
|The view from my room in the country|
I think Rigoberto Uran can show all his class in the last week, don't believe that much in Quintana - maybe it's just me - and I'm curious about Fabio Aru. People don't talk much about him but he's already there: 6 overall. Don't underrate him.
Disappointing so far TFR Arredondo, while the young Bob Jungels was once again consistent and strong: watch him tomorrow in the ITT!
As far as me... I'm back to my country home: I love this place! it's already quite cold but so beautiful!