The Long Sock Brigade hits the Angliru.

Velominati Super Prestige: La Vuelta a España 2013

Velominati Super Prestige: La Vuelta a España 2013

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Seriously. Is it almost September? This was not the agreement, this was supposed to be an endless summer. And all you A-Holes down there in the Antipodes are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, enjoying longer days and shorter nights. I don’t need to tell you where you can take that, but it’s dark and it smells. I have no patience for the changing of seasons when it means I’m going to be benching Number One and busting out the headlight.

I’m not going to lie to you; the Vuelta is my least-favorite race of the year. Part of it is the parcours-it’s hard enough to get excited about flat sprint stages in the Tour, but these stages in central Spain that go down a straight freeway for hours are just too much for my brain to find interesting. Hey look! There’s another shrub! Wasn’t he a President at one point? There will be some redeeming points of the race, I’m sure, and the shit-steep climbs they dot along the route are certain to be highlights of the season. But after you do the math, this is the grand tour with the weakest field, the worst route, and-most damning-the strongest signal that Summer is coming to an end on the half of the world that matters.

I can’t be bothered to sort out the route and what stages are going to matter, but I’ll tell you this: for the last few years, the winner of the Vuelta VSP has won the VSP GC. A few years back, @Marcus complained that he only lost the VSP because @Nate used the second Rest Day Swaps to his advantage to take the win, but after heavily increasing the penalties, he kept losing. Typical of a man who posts photos of his todger on a Cycling site. (@Nate, your win was clean according to the VCI.) Speaking of which, at worst the Vuelta will distract from Pat McQuaid and his bid for losing the UCI Presidency.

He has a strong lead in the 2013 Anti-V competition, however.

Check the start list, get your picks in, and don’t Delgado this baby; it could be your ticket to the shop apron. Bon chance.

Final Race Results
1. HORNER Christopher
2. NIBALI Vincenzo
3. VALVERDE Alejandro
4. RODRIGUEZ OLIVER Joaquin
5. ROCHE Nicolas
Final VSP Results
1. RedRanger (32 points)
2. Donnie Bugno (32 points)
3. Nate (30 points)
4. Mike_P (28 points)
5. Collin (28 points)
6. imakecircles (28 points)
7. jeyrod (28 points)
8. Skip (28 points)
9. eightzero (25 points)
10. Lukas (25 points)
11. mbarston (24 points)
12. Giles (21 points)
13. ped (21 points)
14. JohnB (21 points)
15. Erik (21 points)
16. colluphid (21 points)
17. Two Ball Billy (21 points)
18. Al__S (18 points)
19. Yannersan (18 points)
20. seemunkee (18 points)
21. Dan_R (18 points)
22. the Engine (18 points)
23. Bill Chris (18 points)
24. Buck Rogers (16 points)
25. bretth (16 points)
26. TOM.NELS2120 (16 points)
27. sthilzy (16 points)
28. meursault (16 points)
29. Marco (16 points)
30. taon24 (16 points)
31. mouse (16 points)
32. stickyjumper (16 points)
33. SimonH (16 points)
34. hurricane_josh (16 points)
35. dancollins (16 points)
36. Chica (15 points)
37. Chris S (13 points)
38. Duende (13 points)
39. Tobin (13 points)
40. Franklin (13 points)
41. bunji (13 points)
42. Facetious_Jesus (13 points)
43. xyxax (13 points)
44. ChrisO (13 points)
45. gladoe (12 points)
46. leadout (12 points)
47. TomC (12 points)
48. Skinnyphat (11 points)
49. Bat Chainpuller (11 points)
50. unversio (10 points)
51. Gino (10 points)
52. napolinige (10 points)
53. Harminator (10 points)
54. V-inden (10 points)
55. ten B (9 points)
56. CanuckChuck (9 points)
57. titirangisi (9 points)
58. Barracuda (9 points)
59. UptheTrossachs (9 points)
60. Ptyrer13 (9 points)
61. MrJolly (9 points)
62. Charlie (9 points)
63. Alex (9 points)
64. Velocitractor (9 points)
65. Deakus (9 points)
66. Chris (9 points)
67. JCM (9 points)
68. moondance (9 points)
69. atomicmanatee (9 points)
70. scaler911 (9 points)
71. batchuba (9 points)
72. VeloVita (9 points)
73. The Grande Fondue (9 points)
74. simonsaunders (9 points)
75. Dr C (9 points)
76. fignons barber (9 points)
77. anotherdownunder (9 points)
78. AndyH (9 points)
79. simon (9 points)
80. torrefie (9 points)
81. R.J. (9 points)
82. Adrian (9 points)
83. graham d.m. (9 points)
84. Dave Brand (9 points)
85. tony macaroni (9 points)
86. Jay (9 points)
87. Rigid (9 points)
88. ramenvelo (9 points)
89. Islandbike (9 points)
90. freddy (7 points)
91. wiscot (7 points)
92. Steampunk (6 points)
93. Gervais (6 points)
94. Tom (6 points)
95. Mikael Liddy (6 points)
96. Mirko (6 points)
97. chrismurphy92 (6 points)
98. Patrick (6 points)
99. razmaspaz (6 points)
100. Sabastian (6 points)
101. efguerrero (6 points)
102. @colossal (6 points)
103. Smithers (6 points)
104. il ciclista medio (6 points)
105. Sauterelle (6 points)
106. HMBSteve (6 points)
107. Kyle (6 points)
108. TBONE (6 points)
109. oneninefiveninesix (6 points)
110. Gianni (6 points)
111. el gato (5 points)
112. Fausto (3 points)
113. Don Amedo (3 points)
114. gallilano (3 points)
115. VirenqueForever (3 points)
116. motor city (3 points)
117. Jaundo (2 points)
118. LA Dave (2 points)
119. San Tonio (2 points)
120. Alex (2 points)
121. starclimber (2 points)
122. strathlubnaig (0 points)
123. Bianchi Denti (0 points)
124. sprider (0 points)
125. piwakawaka (0 points)
126. snoov (0 points)
127. eenies (0 points)

// Velominati Super Prestige

  1. REDNECK!!!!!!

  2. Chaos. Pure chaos. Loving this race…the crowd is manic the riders are at their limit, camera motos stalling, where are the leaders? Another Frenchman gets a win…and the nice guy finishes first – absolutely broken.

    What an amazing example of the beauty of this sport!

  3. OK, I stand corrected. This has been a pretty fucking rad GT. That last battle was absolutely a cracker.

    Anyone else notice that Horner sounds exactly like the Road Runner?

  4. Wow, I never thought I’d see Chris Horner’s name at the top of a GT GC on the second-last day. Congrats to RedRanger for taking the win in a tie over Donnie Bugno (who gets a commendation for an awesome handle).

    Provisional Race Results
    1. HORNER Christopher
    2. NIBALI Vincenzo
    3. VALVERDE Alejandro
    4. RODRIGUEZ OLIVER Joaquin
    5. ROCHE Nicolas

    Provisional VSP Standings
    1. RedRanger (32 points)
    2. Donnie Bugno (32 points)
    3. Nate (30 points)
    4. Mike_P (28 points)
    5. Collin (28 points)
    6. imakecircles (28 points)
    7. jeyrod (28 points)
    8. Skip (28 points)
    9. eightzero (25 points)
    10. Lukas (25 points)
    127. eenies (0 points)

  5. Hot damn that was a hell of a race. Pure mayhem.

    I was watching it with someone that had never seen a bike race before, trying to explain what was happening as motos were crashing and people were blowing up everywhere was, say, interesting?

  6. how the fuck did that happen?

  7. @frank

    OK, I stand corrected. This has been a pretty fucking rad GT. That last battle was absolutely a cracker.

    Anyone else notice that Horner sounds exactly like the Road Runner?

    As ever Frank you are a long way ahead of me….i was about to berate you for your laclustre approach to this GT once again and demand a retraction…..your self awareness and humility have once again denied me my moment of feeling righteous….but….once again the TdF has proved to be 3/3 for entertainment on the grand tours for the second year in a row….

    VLVV (vivre la vuelta velominati)

  8. @RedRanger

    Well done, mate!

  9. @Steampunk

    @RedRanger

    Well done, mate!

    Thanks. Calling Rule #5 on myself and not doing any rest day swaps really payed off. Also the red shirt is very apropos.

  10. @JohnB

    Horner. Must be beetroot juice.

    that beetroot juice, and porridge in the mornings, job done.

  11. I am watching todays stage again but on ITV4 with speshul guest common tater, Jens Voigt, should be interesting.

  12. @Buck Rogers

    I am really the only guy who has followed cycling for the last 27 plus years that is convinced this is not a “natural ride” around here???

    No.

  13. @brett

    @Buck Rogers

    I am really the only guy who has followed cycling for the last 27 plus years that is convinced this is not a “natural ride” around here???

    No.

    Are we going to be able to enjoy seeing a ‘Murican in Red in Madrid tomorrow, without talking about how he got there, when up to now, he’s passed all the doping controls? Can we just be happy for him? Can we consider that there’s the possibility that perhaps during the EPO years he was actually one of the most talented racers in group that was clean the whole time? Or are we going to do the guilty until proven innocent thing? It’s not like he won by 10min. It was close.

  14. Amazing. I am the only guy to pick Horner from the start. I swap out an DNF Dan Martin. And I only have 21 points.

    Have I offended thee? V? I shall go and flog myself under the watchful eye of the Man with the Hammer.

    And, @scaler911 — thank you.

  15. Horner seems like one of those guys who’s said before that he could win a grand tour and until now subsequently crashed out or suffered injury in them.  Maybe this time, luck was just on his side.  Of course, I don’t have all the data, yada, yada, and Horner may be doped to the gills in some new way, but that was exciting racing.  Nibbles went down swinging, too.  Great conclusion to a grand tour.

  16. Ridiculously exciting finish to that one!

    It’s a shame that my reaction is tempered with suspicion of wrong doing.  It really shouldn’t be that way.   It makes me mad and somewhat sad.

    Superb performance though…really top notch.

  17. I really enjoyed the moments when the racers had ascended into the fog. The moto was stuck behind the commissar’s car, so no one knew what was happening. They stayed with that moto once it was clear, so the suspense of seeing what the positioning would be was fantastic. First, J-Rod, then Valverde, and finally Horner and Nibali. Fabulous.

  18. @frank

    Wow, I never thought I’d see Chris Horner’s name at the top of a GT GC on the second-last day. Congrats to RedRanger for taking the win in a tie over Donnie Bugno (who gets a commendation for an awesome handle).

    Provisional Race Results
    1. HORNER Christopher
    2. NIBALI Vincenzo
    3. VALVERDE Alejandro
    4. RODRIGUEZ OLIVER Joaquin
    5. ROCHE Nicolas

    Provisional VSP Standings
    1. RedRanger (32 points)
    2. Donnie Bugno (32 points)
    3. Nate (30 points)
    4. Mike_P (28 points)
    5. Collin (28 points)
    6. imakecircles (28 points)
    7. jeyrod (28 points)
    8. Skip (28 points)
    9. eightzero (25 points)
    10. Lukas (25 points)
    127. eenies (0 points)

    What’s Lantern Rouge in spanish? Nil points but it’ been a thoroughly entertaining race. Well done to RedRanger and Old Man Horner. I believe both were clean and their red jerseys will stand the test of time.

  19. @scaler911

    @brett

    @Buck Rogers

    I am really the only guy who has followed cycling for the last 27 plus years that is convinced this is not a “natural ride” around here???

    No.

    Are we going to be able to enjoy seeing a ‘Murican in Red in Madrid tomorrow, without talking about how he got there, when up to now, he’s passed all the doping controls? Can we just be happy for him? Can we consider that there’s the possibility that perhaps during the EPO years he was actually one of the most talented racers in group that was clean the whole time? Or are we going to do the guilty until proven innocent thing? It’s not like he won by 10min. It was close.

    No we’re not, because he was clearly fingered in the USADA report.

    Rider 15, calling Rider 15… you are one lucky doping bastard.

  20. I didn’t go deep enough into the USADA report to comment, but I have always though Horner was a stud that up until the last few years was getting cheated out of what he should have been getting. How long did he ride in the shadows of doping’s greats just to find maybe a bit of justice and perhaps a leveler playing field?

    Nothing level about the road today! Insane

  21. @Buck Rogers

    @wiscot

    @Buck Rogers Do you really believe that Cobo was clean??? He’s more believable than Horner on paper! And when Valverde won it???

    Oh come on! Cobo’s win was a joke. Other than one Tour stage in 2008, his few other wins (9) were all in the Iberian peninsula. Horner’s palmares way outweigh Cobo’s.

    Your cheery picking one of the MANY points that I have made. Good Lord.

    I used Cobo as an example of someone who was not at all credible but he was a hell of a lot younger and could conceivably be peaking later in a three week GT than a 41 tear old who has done shit for 3 years, never has peaked late in a GT and all the other too many points that I made to remember.

    I really need to stop championing this cause. It is getting too depressing. Please, believe what you want. I wish I still believed in Santa and the Easter Bunny, too.

  22. @blaireau

    @Buck Rogers

    @wiscot

    @Buck Rogers Do you really believe that Cobo was clean??? He’s more believable than Horner on paper! And when Valverde won it???

    Oh come on! Cobo’s win was a joke. Other than one Tour stage in 2008, his few other wins (9) were all in the Iberian peninsula. Horner’s palmares way outweigh Cobo’s.

    Your cheery picking one of the MANY points that I have made. Good Lord.

    I used Cobo as an example of someone who was not at all credible but he was a hell of a lot younger and could conceivably be peaking later in a three week GT than a 41 tear old who has done shit for 3 years, never has peaked late in a GT and all the other too many points that I made to remember.

    I really need to stop championing this cause. It is getting too depressing. Please, believe what you want. I wish I still believed in Santa and the Easter Bunny, too.

    Ack – hit return on the last one before typing.  Anyone remember Horner in the late 90’s on Mercury?  He was racing domestically and was so much stronger than anyone else that he just rode away from races laughing.  Now, admittedly, this was after his brief stint in Europe, so he probably learned some “tricks of the trade” there.  BUT, it makes the point that he is an exceptional athlete – doping can add a little edge, no doubt, but it can’t make an everyman into a superman.

    But, it’s worth considering that 1) drug testing is incredibly effective these days – they don’t just test for the agents, but also for their effects (like changes in RBC counts).  There’s just not much you can do, even if you have some secret sauce that no-one knows about.  2) Horner has raced very little this year, due to knee issues (welcome to your 40’s, Chris), which means he’s fresh, and maybe should have more in the tank than guys who’ve already done one or more GT’s this year.  3) he’s f-ing ripped!  Horner looks 5-7 lbs lighter than I’ve even seen him before.  That makes a huge difference in a race that’s being contested second by second on super-steep climbs.

    Bottom line – I’m happy to see an old guy (not as old as me, but close enough to identify with) making some waves at the end of his career.  I’m hoping he keeps it up next season.

  23. @RedRanger

    @Steampunk

    @RedRanger

    Well done, mate!

    Thanks. Calling Rule #5 on myself and not doing any rest day swaps really payed off. Also the red shirt is very apropos.

    Awesome!  Love that you did not do any rest days swaps!!Contrarians, Mate!

  24. @kixsand

    Ridiculously exciting finish to that one!

    It’s a shame that my reaction is tempered with suspicion of wrong doing. It really shouldn’t be that way. It makes me mad and somewhat sad.

    Superb performance though…really top notch.

    I agree.  Fuckin great racing, no matter what!!!

    Nibbles won my heart today, that guy gave it ever shred that he had.

    Definitely one of the top GT’s in recent years for me.

  25. @Buck Rogers

    @RedRanger

    @Steampunk

    @RedRanger

    Well done, mate!

    Thanks. Calling Rule #5 on myself and not doing any rest day swaps really payed off. Also the red shirt is very apropos.

    Awesome! Love that you did not do any rest days swaps!!Contrarians, Mate!

    Fuckin autocorrect!  Should be congratulations!  Not contrarians or centurions or whatever the duck it changes it to!

  26. @Buck Rogers

    @Buck Rogers

    @RedRanger

    @Steampunk

    @RedRanger

    Well done, mate!

    Thanks. Calling Rule #5 on myself and not doing any rest day swaps really payed off. Also the red shirt is very apropos.

    Awesome! Love that you did not do any rest days swaps!!Contrarians, Mate!

    Fuckin autocorrect! Should be congratulations! Not contrarians or centurions or whatever the duck it changes it to!

    Duck???  What the hell!?!?  Just not my night I guess!

  27. I’ll just say one more thing about the “he has to be on something” thing: y’all know that I love this place, and all y’all, but it’s curious to me that we let Pantani slide, Ullrich, Gaul, Anquetil,  Zoetemelk, Pollentier, and our King: Merckx (among many others). Lance is a dick that ruined other peoples lives, which is why I don’t give him a pass.

    Dragging the “possibility” that Chris doped to win the Vuelta is a bummer and a distraction. I might add, that until he does test positive, take this up over at cyclingnews. There’s plenty of haters over there.

    Peace out.

  28. OK, so the reports state that Horner did 1967 VAM on Pena Cabarga, which
    is 9.6% average grade. From 53×12.com, the multiplier for 10% is 1.22X,
    so that gives:

    ((1967 m/hr)/(3600 sec/hr))*(9.807 m/sec^2)*1.22 = 6.54 m^2/sec^3

    A watt is a kg*m^2/sec^3, so that’s 6.54 w/kg :-).

    Breaking it out a bit, the first 3 terms calculate the rate of potential
    energy gain in a 9.807 m/sec^2 gravitational field (i.e. on the surface
    of planet Earth). This is the amount of power required to raise a
    kilogram at 1967 m/hr with no allowance for losses from rolling
    resistance or aerodynamics. The “1.22” is Ferrari’s fudge factor to
    approximate those losses at 10% gradient. For reference, the equivalent
    fudge factor at 7% grade (Mont Ventoux) is 1.35, which is why VAMs are
    only comparable between climbs of similar steepness.

    The climb was only 16:00 long, so 6.5 is believable in my opinion. Where
    people like Vayer are screwing this up is by comparing to longer climbs
    like the Alpe and Ventoux. There’s a big difference between a 16 min
    “uphill sprint” and a 40-60 min grind. At 16 minutes we would expect a little more than a 5% decrement to establish a FTP between 6.1 a 6.2 watts/kg.

    also his power data on SRM for his second stage seemed reasonable. Maybe he is on the hot sauce but wouldn’t it be cool if he wasn’t?

  29. Super happy with my 2 points. No way Horner is on any ‘known’, and thus illegal, dope. Unless he’s a total fucktard who ‘just had to know’ what it was like to win a grand tour, and that doesn’t seem to be his style. Me, equivocate? Heh.

  30. Jensy is a born pundit.  5 minutes in to the ITV4 highlights and he has already come out with a jensyism “all this researching climbs is overrated.  If the legs hurt and you are going slow it must be uphill.  If you are going fast and the legs do not hurt you must be going downhill”!

    the man is a genius!

  31. Totally agree! Have you seen this soundboard? : http://teamjva.com/jens-voigt-soundboard/

  32. @scaler911

    I’ll just say one more thing about the “he has to be on something” thing: y’all know that I love this place, and all y’all, but it’s curious to me that we let Pantani slide, Ullrich, Gaul, Anquetil, Zoetemelk, Pollentier, and our King: Merckx (among many others). Lance is a dick that ruined other peoples lives, which is why I don’t give him a pass.

    Dragging the “possibility” that Chris doped to win the Vuelta is a bummer and a distraction. I might add, that until he does test positive, take this up over at cyclingnews. There’s plenty of haters over there.

    Peace out.

    Boom!

    Well spoken, Bruce.

  33. @scaler911

    I’ll just say one more thing about the “he has to be on something” thing: y’all know that I love this place, and all y’all, but it’s curious to me that we let Pantani slide, Ullrich, Gaul, Anquetil, Zoetemelk, Pollentier, and our King: Merckx (among many others). Lance is a dick that ruined other peoples lives, which is why I don’t give him a pass.

    Dragging the “possibility” that Chris doped to win the Vuelta is a bummer and a distraction. I might add, that until he does test positive, take this up over at cyclingnews. There’s plenty of haters over there.

    Peace out.

    I have to agree.

    Enjoy the race.  Critique the performances.  But, don’t shit in the pool – we’re all swimming here!

  34. @kixsand

    @scaler911

    I’ll just say one more thing about the “he has to be on something” thing: y’all know that I love this place, and all y’all, but it’s curious to me that we let Pantani slide, Ullrich, Gaul, Anquetil, Zoetemelk, Pollentier, and our King: Merckx (among many others). Lance is a dick that ruined other peoples lives, which is why I don’t give him a pass.

    Dragging the “possibility” that Chris doped to win the Vuelta is a bummer and a distraction. I might add, that until he does test positive, take this up over at cyclingnews. There’s plenty of haters over there.

    Peace out.

    I have to agree.

    Enjoy the race. Critique the performances. But, don’t shit in the pool – we’re all swimming here!

    Really? Don’t shit in the pool? That’s remarkably similar to a phrase the David Walsh quotes Pharmstrong as using a lot “Don’t spit in the soup”, i.e., don’t ask too many questions or put our livelihoods at risk.

    It’s difficult to say where the line should be drawn in terms of what or who should be questioned but whilst I was unimpressed at the level of baseless questioning of Wiggins and Froome’s achievements, I can’t help myself from raising an eyebrow at Horner’s win.

    If you look back at Wiggo and Froome there’s been a build up to the wins and in a history of achievements in Wiggo’s case or people who’ve known Froome for a long time saying that he had the potential but it took an organisation like Sky to draw it out. Horner just doesn’t seem to have that behind him and his age is against him.

    I’d be delighted to be proved wrong. About Horner, obviously not Wiggo or Froome.

  35. @Chris

    @kixsand

    @scaler911

    I’ll just say one more thing about the “he has to be on something” thing: y’all know that I love this place, and all y’all, but it’s curious to me that we let Pantani slide, Ullrich, Gaul, Anquetil, Zoetemelk, Pollentier, and our King: Merckx (among many others). Lance is a dick that ruined other peoples lives, which is why I don’t give him a pass.

    Dragging the “possibility” that Chris doped to win the Vuelta is a bummer and a distraction. I might add, that until he does test positive, take this up over at cyclingnews. There’s plenty of haters over there.

    Peace out.

    I have to agree.

    Enjoy the race. Critique the performances. But, don’t shit in the pool – we’re all swimming here!

    Really? Don’t shit in the pool? That’s remarkably similar to a phrase the David Walsh quotes Pharmstrong as using a lot “Don’t spit in the soup”, i.e., don’t ask too many questions or put our livelihoods at risk.

    It’s difficult to say where the line should be drawn in terms of what or who should be questioned but whilst I was unimpressed at the level of baseless questioning of Wiggins and Froome’s achievements, I can’t help myself from raising an eyebrow at Horner’s win.

    If you look back at Wiggo and Froome there’s been a build up to the wins and in a history of achievements in Wiggo’s case or people who’ve known Froome for a long time saying that he had the potential but it took an organisation like Sky to draw it out. Horner just doesn’t seem to have that behind him and his age is against him.

    I’d be delighted to be proved wrong. About Horner, obviously not Wiggo or Froome.

    Ha!  Funny how the wheel keeps turning and turning.

    Now to quote that great American philosopher Rodney King, “Why can’t we all just get along”.

    As for me and my doubts, I loved the race and I am moving on.

  36. @scaler911

    I’ll just say one more thing about the “he has to be on something” thing: y’all know that I love this place, and all y’all, but it’s curious to me that we let Pantani slide, Ullrich, Gaul, Anquetil, Zoetemelk, Pollentier, and our King: Merckx (among many others). Lance is a dick that ruined other peoples lives, which is why I don’t give him a pass.

    I don’t. I think I have pretty consistently objected to the fetishism around riders like Pantani, Ullrich, Museeuw and others. I wince every time I see another piece of Pirata-worship.The older riders i.e. pre EPO don’t fall under the same heading in my view.

    So by that score I’m perfectly justified in not giving Horner a pass.

    You believe what you want, I’ll say what I want – not to be contrary or rain on your parades, but to make sure non-objection is not taken as acquiescence. That’s how a lot of this mess developed in the first place.

  37. @Chris

    @kixsand

    @scaler911

    I’ll just say one more thing about the “he has to be on something” thing: y’all know that I love this place, and all y’all, but it’s curious to me that we let Pantani slide, Ullrich, Gaul, Anquetil, Zoetemelk, Pollentier, and our King: Merckx (among many others). Lance is a dick that ruined other peoples lives, which is why I don’t give him a pass.

    Dragging the “possibility” that Chris doped to win the Vuelta is a bummer and a distraction. I might add, that until he does test positive, take this up over at cyclingnews. There’s plenty of haters over there.

    Peace out.

    I have to agree.

    Enjoy the race. Critique the performances. But, don’t shit in the pool – we’re all swimming here!

    Really? Don’t shit in the pool? That’s remarkably similar to a phrase the David Walsh quotes Pharmstrong as using a lot “Don’t spit in the soup”, i.e., don’t ask too many questions or put our livelihoods at risk.

    It’s difficult to say where the line should be drawn in terms of what or who should be questioned but whilst I was unimpressed at the level of baseless questioning of Wiggins and Froome’s achievements, I can’t help myself from raising an eyebrow at Horner’s win.

    If you look back at Wiggo and Froome there’s been a build up to the wins and in a history of achievements in Wiggo’s case or people who’ve known Froome for a long time saying that he had the potential but it took an organisation like Sky to draw it out. Horner just doesn’t seem to have that behind him and his age is against him.

    I’d be delighted to be proved wrong. About Horner, obviously not Wiggo or Froome.

    I agree with you for the most part.  Someone needs to be questioning and vigilant.  I just don’t think that it should be the fans of the sport.  Have your doubts and I will have mine.  I choose to keep mine to myself knowing how it sullies the experience of those around me.  

  38. Final results – RedRanger officially takes it. Great one, mate!

    Final Race Results
    1. HORNER Christopher
    2. NIBALI Vincenzo
    3. VALVERDE Alejandro
    4. RODRIGUEZ OLIVER Joaquin
    5. ROCHE Nicolas

    Final VSP Results
    1. RedRanger (32 points)
    2. Donnie Bugno (32 points)
    3. Nate (30 points)
    4. Mike_P (28 points)
    5. Collin (28 points)
    6. imakecircles (28 points)
    7. jeyrod (28 points)
    8. Skip (28 points)
    9. eightzero (25 points)
    10. Lukas (25 points)
    127. eenies (0 points)

    And @dancollins holds a strong lead over @Chica in the GC.

    P.S.

    Anyone saying Horner’s ride is jetfuelled is speculating.

    Anyone saying its believable is speculating.

    Just watch the race and enjoy it for fucks sake. Or don’t enjoy it. A comment here and there is fine, but keep the endless rehashing of the same old doping speculation over on RBR or CN forums.

  39. Onto more important discussions here: looks like all jersey winners are Rule #15 compliant, with the possible exception of Nibbles who might be wearing a bizarre non-standard bib, its hard to tell in this shot.

    I’m feeling ready to issue a extension, by the way, that applies to helmets being team-issue as well. All these guys wearing matching helmets look like they were dangled in a pool and plucked back out by their feet like Achilles by his mother.

    I’m also still very torn by this fucking Specialized Evade. Its a really cool looking helmet but I am very uncomfortable liking a Specialized product.

  40. @frank

    I’m also still very torn by this fucking Specialized Evade. Its a really cool looking helmet but I am very uncomfortable liking a Specialized product.

    I hear you, and for a long time I refused to consider anything made by them but lately three major things from Big Red have caught my attention right in a row.

    (1) A S-Works Prevail replaced my last helmet and is the most comfortable brain bucket I’ve ever worn.

    (2) A few guys in my riding group recently got S-Works Venge(s) around the same time and they are pretty drool inducing.  Not enough to make me ride anything other than Italian steel, but still.

    (3) After demoing an S-Works Enduro recently, I’ve decided that it will be the next fat tire purchase.  The thing is a 26 pound 160mm travel spaceship/tank/beast.

    So I guess what I’m saying is, I’ve become fine with it as long as it’s S-Works.

  41. @frank

    Onto more important discussions here: looks like all jersey winners are Rule #15 compliant, with the possible exception of Nibbles who might be wearing a bizarre non-standard bib, its hard to tell in this shot.

    I’m feeling ready to issue a extension, by the way, that applies to helmets being team-issue as well. All these guys wearing matching helmets look like they were dangled in a pool and plucked back out by their feet like Achilles by his mother.

    I’m also still very torn by this fucking Specialized Evade. Its a really cool looking helmet but I am very uncomfortable liking a Specialized product.

    Other shots of Nibbles seem to show a standard bib but that fugly Astana turquoise looks very pale from some angles – the team leg warmers just look plain wrong in combination with anything.

    Wonder how Achilles would have got on with a bike? Would Zeno still have come up with his paradox?

  42. @Buck Rogers

    I wish I still believed in Santa and the Easter Bunny, too

    Both are known dopers. No way they can get all the way round the planet in 1 day to deliver their goods at their ages…

  43. @brett

    @Buck Rogers

    I am really the only guy who has followed cycling for the last 27 plus years that is convinced this is not a “natural ride” around here???

    No.

    Definitely not.

  44. OK, I’m pretty stoked on my first top 10 finish in a grand tour VSP.  So for all of you who couldn’t be there for the finish in Madrid (which I assume means all of you because every time I post something about organizing a Cogal anywhere on the Iberian Peninsula I can hear a pin drop), here are some photos I took from the 180-degree turn at Plaza Colon. Apologies that my photographic abilities pale in comparison to Pedale Forchetta’s and his coverage of the Italian races.

    Slideshow:

    Fullscreen:

  45. @Chris

    It’s difficult to say where the line should be drawn in terms of what or who should be questioned but whilst I was unimpressed at the level of baseless questioning of Wiggins and Froome’s achievements, I can’t help myself from raising an eyebrow at Horner’s win.

    If you look back at Wiggo and Froome there’s been a build up to the wins and in a history of achievements in Wiggo’s case or people who’ve known Froome for a long time saying that he had the potential but it took an organisation like Sky to draw it out. Horner just doesn’t seem to have that behind him and his age is against him.

    I’d be delighted to be proved wrong. About Horner, obviously not Wiggo or Froome.

    Still hanging onto the Wiggins fan-boy love eh? Whilst I am not saying he is a doper, to use his career progression as some evidence of cleanliness isnt a great argument. He was a super-talented pursuiter with an abysmal track record in grand tours. He then has one of the greatest single years for any GC rider in history. No pursuiter has ever made this transition. And he has done nothing since…

    As for Horner, its interesting to wonder how many grand tours during his career he has been designated team leader. And then how many of those weren’t after working in earlier season tours as a domestique. My guess is close to zero.

    Fuck it was a great race – Nibali showed the very best way to come second.

  46. @frank

    Onto more important discussions here: looks like all jersey winners are Rule #15 compliant, with the possible exception of Nibbles who might be wearing a bizarre non-standard bib, its hard to tell in this shot.

    I’m feeling ready to issue a extension, by the way, that applies to helmets being team-issue as well. All these guys wearing matching helmets look like they were dangled in a pool and plucked back out by their feet like Achilles by his mother.

    I’m also still very torn by this fucking Specialized Evade. Its a really cool looking helmet but I am very uncomfortable liking a Specialized product.

    @frank – get on board a Romin and you may change your mind about specialised

  47. @Marcus It’s a good point you make about Horner never having raced a grand tour as a leader.

    Wiggo may have had a poor record but I suspect that you could say the same of his time at Confidis as you can of Horner’s chances in GTs when riding as a domestique. I suspect that Confidis at that time operated in the old school style of a few training camps and leaving their riders to get on with it rather than pushing innovative training and nutrition, the complete oposite of Sky. He’s also always shown strength in time trialling and was gifted a TT heavy parcours in 2012.

    Horner’s past suggests potential as a classics rider but theres a lack of really strong results outside of America with the exception of his 2010 Vuelta al País Vasco (I’m excluding his 2000 Tour de Langkawi win).

    Anyway, I’m a David Millar fanboy. He’s definitely always been clean.

  48. Holy Cow, I came in 4th.  How on Earth did I manage that?  Only two points from the podium without turning a pedal.  Happy man now ha!

    I’m absolutely with Buck on the whole Horner thing, but what a great race it was overall.  Ride of the Vuelta for me was Tony Martin on Stage 6.  I reckon the Panzerwagen will be on fire at the World’s.

    Most disappointing aspect of the race, the paltry number of people who were there to see the final podium presentations.

  49. @frank

    A comment here and there is fine, but keep the endless rehashing of the same old doping speculation over on RBR or CN forums.

    Speaking of Cycling News and not wanting to rehash old speculation, I’m sure Horner would have been fine if he had been tested.

  50. @Skip

    OK, I’m pretty stoked on my first top 10 finish in a grand tour VSP. So for all of you who couldn’t be there for the finish in Madrid (which I assume means all of you because every time I post something about organizing a Cogal anywhere on the Iberian Peninsula I can hear a pin drop), here are some photos I took from the 180-degree turn at Plaza Colon. Apologies that my photographic abilities pale in comparison to Pedale Forchetta’s and his coverage of the Italian races.

    I took a 180-degree turn at the Plaza Colon one time and nearly shat my pants.

    (Nice pics, Skip. I thought you were an Aussie for some reason. A Iberian Cogan sounds fuckin’ incredible but I’m saving my piastres for Keepers’ Tour…

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