Velominati Super Prestige: Vuelta a España 2016

The Vuelta is my least favorite Grand Tour. I say this every year, I know. And every year, circumstances make it look an awful lot like I could be wrong about that. Circumstances like, for instance, the fact that the GC almost always comes down to a nail-biting final few days, or someone comes from far down the classification to upset the standings on a transition stage, like Contador did a few years back.

Still, there is no denying that it has the least prestige of the three Grand Tours; any rider who has won the Tour de France would have no trouble finding a contract for years to come, and the same goes for the Giro to a lesser extent. Yet, I can think of two Vuelta winners – if not three – in the last decade who were without a contract the following year or were forced to resign themselves to racing on a lower-ranked team.

I blame my dislike for the Vuelta on Spain’s geography; those rains in Spain that fall mainly in the plains are also the plains in Spain that host stages on roads so flat and straight that you get the idea half the peloton would be happy to wrap a bungee cord around their handlebars and take a nap. Yet, some of the most brutal climbs are found along its parcours and those brutal climbs make for some wildly fantastic racing.

So I’m not saying I’m changing my mind about the Vuelta, but it can’t be worse than the Tour was this year.

Anyway, don’t mind this grumpy old man; prognosticate on the start list, get your picks in, sit back, and enjoy the racing. Good luck!

[vsp_results id=”73002″/]

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217 Replies to “Velominati Super Prestige: Vuelta a España 2016”

  1. Fixed error in 2. place.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Chris Froome
    2. Alberto Contador
    3. Esteban Chaves
    4. Steven Kruijswijk
    5. Andrew Talanski
  2. VSP PICKS:

    1. Contador
    2. Esteban Chavez
    3. Joe Dombrowski
    4. Miguel Angel Lopez
    5. David Arroyo Duran
  3. VSP PICKS:

    1. Alberto Contador
    2. Alejandro Valverde
    3. Nairo Quintana
    4. Esteban Chaves
    5. Chris Froome
  4. VSP PICKS:

    1. CONTADOR, Alberto
    2. FROOME, Chris
    3. CHAVES, Esteban
    4. QUINTANA, Nairo
    5. KRUIJSWICK, Steven
  5. VSP PICKS:

    1. QUINTANA Nairo
    2. FROOME Christopher
    3. CHAVES Esteban
    4. KRUIJSWIJK Steven
    5. LOPEZ Miguel Angel
  6. VSP PICKS:

    1. Alberto Contador
    2. Chris Froome
    3. Steven Kruijswijk
    4. Esteban Chaves
    5. Miguel Angel Lopez
  7. Brett – WOW!!! The Running Man. Such an awesome nickname, such a damn good movie. I had an older brother so while friends were watching Disney movies and shit, I was watching The Running Man, Rambo, Commando, Mad Max, The Warriors, and Maximum Overdrive.

    Strong work outta you right there.

    And…wanna know if Frank and his Banesto Boy are moving in that lead photo? Check out the gear ratio on p2. Fack. Two guys on the flat and he’s either in or might close to the Big Dog. Goddamn, a little reminder of why racers are racers.

  8. Does Bertie get that snap in his legs back for the climbs? Can The Running Man sustain form for this long? Is Chaves ready to ride when he’s a favorite? Can Malmerde somehow manage to podium in yet another big damn race? How much did that high speed smash into the snow bank take outta Stevie K? (those Bianchis with classic tyres look fackin sweet)

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Contador
    2. Froome
    3. Valverde
    4. Chaves
    5. Kruijswick
  9. Yeah… Froomes Columbian Shadow… That would be Quintana. I think I confused the VSP generator with that. Can I get a do over?

  10. Crickets in here. Wow.

    Just watched today’s finish…I opted for “ambient noise” over the NBC highlights with Paul and Phil…silence sounded much better.

  11. @Ron

    Crickets in here. Wow.

    Just watched today’s finish…I opted for “ambient noise” over the NBC highlights with Paul and Phil…silence sounded much better.

    I an not sure if the cause is cycling saturation or that the race to date seems a bit disjointed to date, but I feel….eh. I have greatly enjoyed La Vuelta in the past but this year it seems a bit of a consolation price after the TdF and Olympic races.

    I am watching Paul and Bobkie Roll call the race and they aren’t bad. Bobkie is a much better analyst than Paul and Paul is better at calling the race than Phil. So together Paul and Bob do a solid job.

  12. @fignons barber

    No snowbank. Just a post in the road with no warning or protection! http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/unprotected-post-in-vuelta-a-espana-stage-5-finale-raises-hackles/

  13. @KogaLover

    @fignons barber

    Krashwijk goes down, without snowbank this time! Out of Vuelta.

    Bad year for the Dutch. Kruijswijk certainly earned his nickname…

    God damn it! I was gonna say that!

    Looks like I need a rest day swap for good old Krashy, then…

  14. Goddamn, two GTs, two bad crashes for Stevie K. Fuck, I feel for that dude. He looked to be in serious pain. Jaysus, motos and unmarked bollards…this is bad. Imagine a futboller breaking an ankle walking out of the tunnel because someone forgot to clean up some stray gumballs? If it was Neymar or Messi, they’d kill all organizers involved before they got out of the stadium.

  15. @Ron

    BTW to answer your previous post in a thread I can’t find anymore, regarding Nibbles hitting the deck. He crashed in the very wet 2013 World Championship RR won by Rui Costa.

  16. One thing I have learned in this Vuelta: Riders have reputations for a reason! Krashwick, crashes, Van Garderen fades (he faded early to beat the rush in this race), Valverde always seems to be in the thick of things, and few have heard of M. Angel Lopez (my pick for 5th) for a reason.

    I picked Contador to win because I thought he would be rested from his early TdF exit and skipping the Olympics. However, his new MO may be that he falls behind early and never catches up.

  17. As far as my VSP/ fantasy team picks are concerned, Bertie’s grand tour career is over. I suspect it’s the same in real life.

  18. @Rick

    I am watching Paul and Bobkie Roll call the race and they aren’t bad. Bobkie is a much better analyst than Paul and Paul is better at calling the race than Phil. So together Paul and Bob do a solid job.

    They are doing a solid job. Another reason to give Phil a “pink slip”. Bob is providing solid analysis, much less the ‘goofball’ (Bobke) role he plays during the TdF broadcasts.

  19. @Minnesota Expat

    @Rick

    I am watching Paul and Bobkie Roll call the race and they aren’t bad. Bobkie is a much better analyst than Paul and Paul is better at calling the race than Phil. So together Paul and Bob do a solid job.

    They are doing a solid job. Another reason to give Phil a “pink slip”. Bob is providing solid analysis, much less the ‘goofball’ (Bobke) role he plays during the TdF broadcasts.

    I agree on Bob being less of a goofball, he is doing an excellent job of analysis. Although I am watching on a delay, and therefore am not sure if the commentary is live or filled in later, Bob gives insightful comments about what is about to happen. I enjoy his insights and comments on tactics.

    No doubt the worst cycling commentator I have heard is Todd Gogulski. He has no clue on tactics nor race situation. Thankfully he is calling fewer races these days.

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