La Vuelta 21, Sum Up and My Uncertain Life

Embedded image permalinkSorry, I come from a nightmare. As a temporary teacher this is the period of the year  when I find out where and what I'm going to teach, so busy and stressful. This year it has been especially stressing because the Italian Government had launched a big campaign of hiring and settlement, promising to put a end to the uncertainty of our lives. It turn out that it even worsened it, forcing us to decide between a job everywhere in Italy or the definitive unemployement. And that without any regard to the personal or familiar situation. As a consequence a number of teachers - me included - refused and is now waiting to know what is going to happen about their future. 
All has been done in such a messy way that hiring temporary teachers has been necessary once again, so for me this is probabl the last year in the school. Next year - after a degree, three years of specialisation and seven years teaching - I'll be probably jobless. Or maybe no. We actually don't know and you can imagine how you bring on your daily life with such a feeling. As workers we are going to fight for our jobs, as persons... we are broken.
OK: let's focus on La Vuelta. I'm glad because my picks  Joaquim Rodriguez and Rafal Majka stepped in the final podium. I'm not particularly happy with Fabio Aru's victory because he isn't a rider I like and because his team is a team I definitely don't like. I'm not enthusiastic about Aru because I find weird his way to cycling - late start after playing tennis, few races, personal coach, sudden glory... - and I don't like his 'style' on the bike. I don't see here the fabric of a true champion but the a big ambition supported by a rich unscupulous team. I can be wrong. Time will tell.
In this Vuelta  I really liked Esteban Chaves - as modest as strong - and Mikel Nieve - leader for a chance, not at the same level as the others but fighting like a lion untill the last day. In general Team Sky bravely reacted to the lost of its leader Chris Froome. I agree that Tom Dumoulin would have been a nice winner but I was surprised by his results and think that he did even too much.  Louis Meintjes did absolutely great! I'm really sorry that he's going to Lampre next year... another team with money but not a good reputation.
It has been nice to see Romain Sicard and Kenny Elissonde in some good moves and to find them in a good place in the final GC. They are riders I like very much but I suspect they missed something somewhere. Frank Schleck really surprised me, in a good way. I know he's a very hard worker and he compensate his limits with a big determination. Mikel Landa surprised me in a bad way instead: I had expected more by him but probably team jerarchies persuaded him that a stage victory was better aim that a good GC.
Two more young riders I want to name here are Jasper Stuyven and Tosh Van Der Sande. The first one is probably more gifted or blooming earlier but the second one is also a talented sprinter and I see he's improving race after race. And what about Jempy Druker? 3rd in the final stage after an oustanding year. Chapeau!
Sum Up Spaniards can be happy: the Red jersey goes to Fabio Aru but the others remain at home. Alejandro Valverde wins the Points classification, Purito the Combined one and Omar Faile a well deserved King of Mountains jersey. He went collecting its points on a very demanding route!
As far as Teams the most successful one are TFR, GE and Giant with 3 stage victories each. The less successful one Europcar, Etixx - Quick Step, Lotto Soudal, Cofidis, Colombia, Iam Cycling and Fdj that go home emptyhands.
I must admit I like this year Vuelta less than usual. The route was  extreme and honestly badly designed, with a last week 'in calando'. Add the messy start... No. They can do much better than that.

1 John Degenkolb (Ger) Team Giant-Alpecin 2:34:13
2 Danny Van Poppel (Ned) Trek Factory Racing
3 Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) BMC Racing Team
4 Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica GreenEdge
5 Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal
6 Maximiliano Ariel Richeze (Arg) Lampre-Merida
7 Nikolas Maes (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step
8 Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) MTN - Qhubeka
9 Kévin Reza (Fra) FDJ.fr
10 Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Team LottoNL-Jumbo
1 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 8:36:13  
2 Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha 0:00:57  
3 Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:01:09
4 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:01:42
5 Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica GreenEdge 0:03:10  
6 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin 0:03:46
7 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:06:47
8 Mikel Nieve (Spa) Team Sky 0:07:06  
9 Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Team Katusha 0:07:12
10 Louis Meintjes,  (RSA) MTN - Qhubeka 0:10:26
11 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 0:11:10
12 David Arroyo (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 0:13:29
13 Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Etixx - Quick-Step 0:15:26
14 Bart De Clercq (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:16:34
15 Romain Sicard (Fra) Team Europcar 0:16:46  
16 Kenny Elissonde (Fra) FDJ.fr 0:17:07  
17 Fabrice Jeandesboz (Fra) Team Europcar 0:17:10
18 Andre Cardoso (Por) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team 0:23:31
19 Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar Team 0:36:19
20 Diego Rosa (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:43:27
21 Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre-Merida 0:44:24
22 Sergio Luis Henao (Col) Team Sky 0:44:30
23 Haimar Zubeldia (Spa) Trek Factory Racing 0:45:19
24 Frank Schleck (Lux) Trek Factory Racing 0:48:48
25 Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Astana Pro Team 0:51:30  
26 Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team Sky 0:53:38
27 Maxime Monfort (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:54:37
28 Maxime Bouet (Fra) Etixx - Quick-Step 1:00:14
29 Carlos Verona Quintanilla (Spa) Etixx - Quick-Step 1:02:49
30 Daniel Navarro (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 1:06:08
1 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team
1 Omar Fraile (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
1 Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha 16
1 Movistar Team 256:44:38 1 stage  + Jersey
2 Team Sky 0:29:47  1 stage
3 Team Katusha 0:35:44  1 stage + Jersey + Podium
4 Astana Pro Team 0:48:24 1 stage + Victory
5 Team Europcar 1:11:00
6 Caja Rural-Seguros Rga 1:20:44 Jersey
7 Tinkoff - Saxo 1:40:58 Podium
8 Etixx - Quick Step 1:43:44  
9 Lotto Soudal 1:55:17  
10 Cofidis, Solutions Credits 2:36:11  
11 Team Cannondale - Garmin 2:51:12  1 stage
12 Colombia 2:56:21 
13 Ag2R La Mondiale 3:07:42 1 stage
14 Trek Factory Racing 3:13:22  3 stages
15 Lampre - Merida 3:36:14  2 stages
16 Team Giant - Alpecin 4:00:15 3 stages 
17 Bmc Racing Team 4:20:42 2 stages
18 Iam Cycling 4:30:43  
19 Mtn - Qhubeka 4:36:14  1 stage
20 Orica Greenedge 5:15:38  3 stages
21 Fdj 5:21:51  
22 Team Lotto Nl - Jumbo 6:24:41 1 stage
22.08 Stage 1 (TTT) BMC Racing Team VELITS Peter 7.4
23.08 Stage 2 - Alhaurín de la Torre › Caminito del Rey CHAVES Johan Esteban CHAVES Johan Esteban 158.7
24.08 Stage 3 - Mijas › Málaga SAGAN Peter CHAVES Johan Esteban 158.4
25.08 Stage 4 - Estepona › Vejer de la Frontera VALVERDE Alejandro CHAVES Johan Esteban 209.6
26.08 Stage 5 - Rota › Alcalá de Guadaíra EWAN Caleb DUMOULIN Tom 167.3
27.08 Stage 6 - Córdoba › Sierra de Cazorla CHAVES Johan Esteban CHAVES Johan Esteban 200.3
28.08 Stage 7 - Jódar › La Alpujarra LINDEMAN Bert-Jan CHAVES Johan Esteban 191.1
29.08 Stage 8 - Puebla de Don Fadrique › Murcia STUYVEN Jasper CHAVES Johan Esteban 182.5
30.08 Stage 9 - Torrevieja › Cumbre del Sol. Benitachell DUMOULIN Tom DUMOULIN Tom 168.3
31.08 Stage 10 - Valencia › Castellón SBARAGLI Kristian DUMOULIN Tom 146.6
02.09 Stage 11 - Andorra la Vella › Cortals d´Encamp LANDA Mikel ARU Fabio 138
03.09 Stage 12 - Escaldes-Engordany › Lleida VAN POPPEL Danny ARU Fabio 173
04.09 Stage 13 - Calatayud › Tarazona OLIVEIRA Nelson ARU Fabio 178
05.09 Stage 14 - Vitoria › Alto Campoo. Fuente del Chivo DE MARCHI Alessandro ARU Fabio 215
06.09 Stage 15 - Comillas › Sotres. Cabrales RODRIGUEZ Joaquim ARU Fabio 175.8
07.09 Stage 16 - Luarca › Ermita de Alba. Quiros SCHLECK Fränk RODRíGUEZ Joaquim 185
09.09 Stage 17 (ITT) - Burgos › Burgos DUMOULIN Tom DUMOULIN Tom 38.7
10.09 Stage 18 - Roa › Riaza ROCHE Nicolas DUMOULIN Tom 204
11.09 Stage 19 - Medina del Campo › Ávila GOUGEARD Alexis DUMOULIN Tom 185.8
12.09 Stage 20 - San Lorenzo de El Escorial › Cercedilla PLAZA Rubén ARU Fabio 175.8
13.09 Stage 21 - Alcalá Alcalá de Henares › Madrid DEGENKOLB John 98.8

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