Velominati Super Prestige: Vuelta a España 2012

Nibbles wins the 2010 edition of the Vuelta. Photo: Cyclesport Mag

One of the loveliest things about the Grand Tours is that you get a feel, by the nature of the route, of the country’s landscape and physical qualities. Italy is littered with mountains and coasts, France is bordered by mountains with large swaths of open landscape throughout, and Spain is like Tatooine; mostly desert with some rocky outcroppings. I might be oversimplifying here, but it seems like every edition of the Vuelta features a week or two of riders cutting through open desert on a freeway and then finishing it off with some climbs that require a buzz-saw gear to get up. Of the three Tours, this one is my least favorite, but it’s a bike race and I loves me a bike race.

The Vuelta also stands apart as being the event which generally decides the Velominati Super Prestige GC and the personalized Shop Apron that goes with it; in past editions, we’ve even had newcomers to the event debut at the Vuelta and win the overall, as was the case last year with @Nate’s performance. Unless I have that wrong, in which case I don’t really care. The important point here is that even though there is less interest in this event than others, it matters quite a bit to the year-long VSP, so you better be paying attention, corporal.

No fancy prizes on offer as we did at the Tour, but we do have our customary Symbol Pack up for grabs, in addition to second and third places winning a pair of Handlebar Cufflinks each when they come available in a few weeks. So, check the race details, get your picks in by the time the countdown clock goes to zero (5am Pacific time on Saturday), and buckle in for the ride. Regular GT VSP rules apply. Good luck.

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411 Replies to “Velominati Super Prestige: Vuelta a España 2012”

  1. Unbelievable – I thought J-Rod had it in the bag. Contador is just a terrier.

    I was stuck at work listening to the radio but to be honest I hadn’t made much effort to get home and watch this stage – I figured it was all over.

    Then the news headline said Contador had won the stage and I thought he must have taken a consolation stage win. I nearly drove off the road when the full report said he had the leader’s jersey and had attacked with 60km to go.

    Is J-Rod turning out to be the Poulidor of this generation.

  2. While respective of his talent, I have not been an overall fan of Contador historically.  Got to give it up to El Pequeño Toro as he has attacked at every opportunity and then some.  Honestly, he deserved the win today and congrats to him on the GC as well.  Very exciting Grand Tour.

  3. @Dr C

    “Rabobank climbers Robert Gesink and Laurens Ten Dam, sixth and eighth on general classification, were horrified at their experience. “I have never seen anything as hard than the Cuitu Negru,” Gesink said on the team’s homepage after the stage. “This last climb is hell, for a fact. The Angliru is also very steep, but it’s more regular. The last three kilometres were horrible. It was steeper than the Angliru. I almost fell off the back of my bike.”

    Ten Dam echoed his sentiments. “It was perhaps a great show for the spectators, but not for the riders. When I came down again, I saw other riders still going up, and it was just unbelievable to watch, terribly steep. I rode with a compact cassette for the very first time in my life. And in the end, I needed it! It was no fun, I was in a cave of pain. Horrible.”

    Damn, a lot of you have sparked my desire to tune in to this. Been busy with work lately, a bit tired out at this point of the race calendar, and not even finding enough time to ride my own bikes. BUT, sounds like a great race.

    As for the above – WOW! That’s wild from Ten Dam. The first time in his life he’s been brought to his knees, a PRO reduced to the realm of the compact. That’s crazy & scary.

  4. @RedRanger @ChrisO Wow, this Vuelta has been such an exciting race so far (and it’s not over yet). I actually missed most of the stage today as I wanted to get a ride in before having to head in to the office for a couple of meetings. I got home just in time to watch Contador ride the last 3kms.

    I agree with Chris. I thought Rodriguez had this one more or less wrapped up. And I certainly wasn’t expecting to miss such an exciting stage when I left for my ride this morning. Watching Rodriguez ride that last 5kms or so, my heart really went out to him. After all that he did to parry each of Contador’s attacks over the past week or so, it must have been just gutting to ride that last portion of the race today alone and in full knowledge of the fact that he had just lost a whole whack of time to the guy (and to Valverde for that matter). The battles in the mountains between Rodriguez and Contador were so exciting to watch. And Rodriguez really did put in some special rides. I feel for the guy.

  5. Holy romoly, just watched todays stage – couldn’t work out what was happening for the first 10 mins of the last 30K – they rolled in nearly an hour ahead of schedule because they wer rodgering J-Rod so hard from the outside – poor Purito, got a bit of a shoeing….

    Chapeau to the COTHO, he was crying like a baby when his team mates came in to see him – I think I have now forgiven him for his sins…..am I mad?

     

  6. Big shuffle. Thanks Tommy for the reminder that the Vuelta is still going on!

    Provisional Race Results

    1. CONTADOR VELASCO Alberto
    2. VALVERDE Alejandro
    3. RODRIGUEZ OLIVER Joaquin
    4. FROOME Christopher
    5. MORENO FERNANDEZ Daniel
    Provisional VSP Standings

    1. San Tonio (47 points)
    2. ten B (38 points)
    3. gaswepass (37 points)
    4. Skip (37 points)
    5. Heihachi (36 points)
    6. Deakus (33 points)
    7. tony macaroni (33 points)
    8. Steampunk (33 points)
    9. Sauterelle (33 points)
    10. sthilzy (33 points)
    11. meursault (33 points)
    12. Rigid (33 points)
    13. Nosyt (33 points)
    14. harminator (33 points)
    15. VeloVita (33 points)
    16. Duende (33 points)
    17. Blah (33 points)
    18. Buck Rogers (33 points)
    19. dancollins (33 points)
    20. Daccordi Rider (33 points)
    21. Markp (33 points)
    22. Gino (33 points)
    23. RayElVis (33 points)
    24. Nate (33 points)
    25. Smithers (33 points)
    26. G’phant (33 points)
    27. Tobin (33 points)
    28. Mikel Pearce (33 points)
    29. Mikel Pearce (33 points)
    30. taon24 (31 points)
    31. Skinnyphat (31 points)
    32. RedRanger (30 points)
    33. imakecircles (30 points)
    34. Ankush (29 points)
    35. Jay (29 points)
    36. pakrat (29 points)
    37. scaler911 (28 points)
    38. Trobs (26 points)
    39. stickyjumper (26 points)
    40. Mikael Liddy (26 points)
    41. eightzero (26 points)
    42. graham d.m. (26 points)
    43. King Clydesdale (26 points)
    44. ramenvelo (26 points)
    45. unversio (26 points)
    46. velomihottie (26 points)
    47. CanuckChuck (26 points)
    48. seemunkee (26 points)
    49. VirenqueForever (26 points)
    50. drewPjohnson (26 points)
    51. Mason (26 points)
    52. MJ Moquin (26 points)
    53. Bianchi Denti (24 points)
    54. xyxax (24 points)
    55. Flying Crowbar (23 points)
    56. Xyverz (23 points)
    57. minion (23 points)
    58. Matt (23 points)
    59. farzani (23 points)
    60. The Oracle (23 points)
    61. Chappy McPappystackings (23 points)
    62. Chris Schneider (23 points)
    63. brett (23 points)
    64. blue (16 points)
    65. calves (16 points)
    66. napolinige (16 points)
    67. Giles (16 points)
    68. snoov (16 points)
    69. TomC (16 points)
    70. The Fish (16 points)
    71. moondance (16 points)
    72. LA Dave (14 points)
    73. Cyclops (13 points)
    74. Benny (13 points)
    75. il ciclista medio (13 points)
    76. motor city (13 points)
    77. razmaspaz (12 points)
    78. itburns (12 points)
    79. Lindrop (12 points)
    80. Gianni (12 points)
    81. Islandbike (11 points)
    82. Dashiell (9 points)
    83. TBONE (9 points)
    84. TOM.NELS2120 (9 points)
    85. R00tdown (9 points)
    86. mouse (9 points)
    87. Fausto (9 points)
    88. SimonH (9 points)
    89. Noel (9 points)
    90. 2000dB (9 points)
    91. Grant Henninger (9 points)
    92. Simon (9 points)
    93. wiscot (9 points)
    94. Adrian (9 points)
    95. Two Ball Billy (9 points)
    96. Roadslave525 (9 points)
    97. simonsaunders (9 points)
    98. Ron (9 points)
    99. Barracuda (9 points)
    100. noiyce (9 points)
    101. erik (7 points)
    102. Oli (7 points)
    103. el gato (7 points)
    104. Anais Ninja (6 points)
    105. Jellybean (6 points)
    106. the Engine (6 points)
    107. mxlmax (6 points)
    108. GProsser (6 points)
    109. Dr C (6 points)
    110. Enoch (6 points)
    111. Jonny (6 points)
    112. Gerard (6 points)
    113. sprider (6 points)
    114. Lepidopterist (6 points)
    115. DerHoggz (6 points)
    116. Marko (0 points)
    117. Lukas (0 points)
    118. ChrisO (0 points)
    119. Souleur (0 points)
  7. Cotho won big time today. Not keen on the guy but full credit for riding aggressively. A note on the bright side: the “pistolero” salute was not deployed. Maybe consigned to the old, pre-ban Cotho? We shall see . . .

  8. I feel really bad that Purito can’t seem to close the deal, however, I genuinely like the way Contador races. I can’t wait for him to go on a tear next year. Watch out for him at Lombardia, he’ll be my top pick there.

  9. Something not right here. Six months off then rides away from the peloton? Sure the other riders are tired but something stinks about this.

    All the noise about Riis right now isn’t helping either. Admittedly I haven’t seen the stage and am making some ungenerous assumptions but it’s not like there’s no smoke.

  10. @minion

    So by that logic, Purito is on the gear too, as Conti couldn’t drop him on repeated stages with repeated attacks. I think it’s a sign that Conti is clean(er), but one of the most attacking, persistent riders out there. Can’t wait to see him stitch Wiggo up next year in France.

  11. @minion El Pistolero made a bold, calculated move and it paid off.  He has always been a beast in the mountains and I think it was more that J-Rod cracked.  Contador has helped perpetuate this sentiment but it still makes me sad to see people assume the dirty rider card on a big performance.

  12. @brett

    @minion

    So by that logic, Purito is on the gear too, as Conti couldn’t drop him on repeated stages with repeated attacks. I think it’s a sign that Conti is clean(er), but one of the most attacking, persistent riders out there. Can’t wait to see him stitch Wiggo up next year in France.

    totally agree with everything you just said.

  13. Pretty dissappointed to see my name at number 99 on the list……   however just confirms my suspicion that Im shit at picking winners other than ones in my own nose…..

    Damn you failed riders of whom I have placed my faith.

  14. @minion

    You are harsh on Dirty Berty. He has done it the hard way. Imagine the relatively shitty drugs he was given in 2009 when he rode with COTHO. And he still pantsed the field. 

    Would be kind of amusing if Berty is actually now clean. He is probably lying in his hotel room – without a blood-filled IV in his arm for the first time in a GT (or maybe the 2010 Tour was his first time) thinking, “Fuck, I really didn’t need that shit anyway!”

    NB. I submit that COTHO should only apply to Lance – because his level of C is higher than the others – but I still loved his racing. 

     

  15. Madre! Froome, you weak thin pussy, you have ruined my VSP. I bet against Bertie and now I’m paying the price. I just didn’t think he would have been so well “prepared”.

  16. And just like that my VSP is shot. First to third to one hundred and third. them’s the breaks but man what an incredible race today. It was brutal watching Purito in those last few KM,  just putting his head down and trying to limit his losses.

  17. Gesink, get on that horse and muscle up back to 5. I know u can, dammit. Please?

  18. @brett

    @minion

    So by that logic, Purito is on the gear too, as Conti couldn’t drop him on repeated stages with repeated attacks. I think it’s a sign that Conti is clean(er), but one of the most attacking, persistent riders out there. Can’t wait to see him stitch Wiggo up next year in France.

    Yeah whatever.

    And you were whinging about Sky doping during the tour. IMO Contador’s gonna get caught again somewhere, but that’s neither here nor there. Sounds like you’re of the opinion that you want exciting racing which means doping, which is OK – but it’s not OK for Sky to dope because they’re boring.

    Lets be honest we all LOVE speculating about this stuff, it makes us feel as if we have some insight into the sport, and we are addicted to the sugar rush/doping crash of  supporting riders who are cheats. It’s partisan emotive fandom at it’s worst, but it is what it is.

    Strategically the stage sounds like masterful bit of racing, and I hope he is clean.

  19. @minion

    Lets be honest we all LOVE speculating about this stuff, it makes us feel as if we have some insight into the sport, and we are addicted to the sugar rush/doping crash of  supporting riders who are cheats. It’s partisan emotive fandom at it’s worst, but it is what it is.

    Can I go on record & say I can’t stand it?

    The more often any impressive ride is immediately questioned by the tin foil brigade online (thankfully not present all that much here), the more & more I find myself agreeing with Beaker & his expletive laden rant.

    I burned half an hour reading through JV’s attempts to explain their decision to have nothing to do with Jorg Jakshce on the CN forums where he was basically smashing his head against a brick wall of conspiracy theorists that couldn’t care less what he said unless they could use words to prove that people are still completely jet fueled.

    It’s depressing to think that those people probably claim to be fans of cycling yet seem to be just as determined to discredit the few people within the peloton who seem to have an interest in cleaning things up as they are actually solving the problem.

  20. @ramenvelo no idea, and he seems to realise he’s made something of a mistake in doing so.

    I think his biggest problem is in trying to do things openly & honestly he ends up causing more problems for himself & his team than good.

  21. @ramenvelo

    @Mikael Liddy What the hell was JV thinking out active riders on his team?

    My bet is that the fellas he mentioned (Danielson and VDV) will be the ones who were forced to give evidence against Lance. If I was Danielson I would be just as upset at having been characterized as some sort of fucking pansy with performance anxiety.

  22. @Mikael Liddy

    @minion

    Lets be honest we all LOVE speculating about this stuff, it makes us feel as if we have some insight into the sport, and we are addicted to the sugar rush/doping crash of  supporting riders who are cheats. It’s partisan emotive fandom at it’s worst, but it is what it is.

    Can I go on record & say I can’t stand it?

    The more often any impressive ride is immediately questioned by the tin foil brigade online (thankfully not present all that much here), the more & more I find myself agreeing with Beaker & his expletive laden rant.

    I burned half an hour reading through JV’s attempts to explain their decision to have nothing to do with Jorg Jakshce on the CN forums where he was basically smashing his head against a brick wall of conspiracy theorists that couldn’t care less what he said unless they could use words to prove that people are still completely jet fueled.

    It’s depressing to think that those people probably claim to be fans of cycling yet seem to be just as determined to discredit the few people within the peloton who seem to have an interest in cleaning things up as they are actually solving the problem.

    I agree.

  23. @San Tonio

    CONTADOR you beautiful bastard you just saved my VSP !!!

    Moi Aussi!..On the subject of conspiracy theorists…well the sport is full of conspiracies..teams make deals each day, stage wins are handed by stronger riders to weaker ones for sponsorship deals, team cars give other team riders drinks and food..I mean I don’t hear uproar about that?  For what it is worth my observation on yesterday was.  Contador is riding himself in to form after a restful season.  Froome is dog tired.  Valverde is not quite strong enough and Rodriguez has blown himself in beating the rest on the previous two stages in the age old mistake off tying to hold on the red jersey after taking it on so early in a long hard race.  I think he blew his legs the day before on that assassination attempt of a climb, combined with noone wanting to help him on this stage  Actually it is nice to see a spaniard being ridden against for once (I’m thinking Robert Millars lost Vuelta).  Why does it always have to be about drugs?  Logic dictates that a rider who has just come back from a doping ban would be a complete brain dead idiot to dope again…it just does not make sense especially after having just seen Pharmstrong stripped of 7 titles retrospectively…Apparently Rodriguez spent his whole rest day in bed rather than going out for a training ride like he usually does.  He was spent, he made an immense tactical faux pas not chasing down Contador when he was 14s ahead, but maybe, just maybe…he was on a bad day…it happens!

  24. Looked pretty straight forward to me

    VV and Cotho attacked at 40km and were reeled in, then again at 80km, and dropped J-Rod, who was then forced with only one man, to chase them down, which he was never goin to do – Cotho goes off on his own after the Interm sprint, and nearly gets caught on the line by VV – in the past VV wouldn’t have caught him

    All looks pretty clean to me

  25. From VSP 1st to 81st, what a meltdown!  How did this happen, I mean Purito loosing the Giro on the last day in a time trial was almost expected and acceptable but to flush it all away on a low mountain stage?  Where was his squad?  Did they all spend the rest day just drinking Rioja and laying by the pool?  I would think Rodriguez would need to be put on suicide watch but his comments all week and after the stage have sounded like a person who was expecting this all along.  Wow.

  26. Delighted to see Bennati get a win. He’s so close, so often. Always seems to up there but just not getting the win. Well deserved indeed.

  27. Another nice win for Philbert, he seems to be rounding into shape nicely for the worlds and the Giro Di Lombardia (or Il Lombardia as the case may be…).

    http://www.rtve.es/alacarta/videos/vuelta-ciclista-a-espana/gilbert-gana-decimonovena-etapa-sprint/1522999/

    He owes a big debt of thanks to Ballan for helping to bridge that gap in the last few K though…

    Also looks like Gerrans is also in fine shape for the late season prizes… maybe he’ll have another chance to show some panache?

    http://www.cyclingnews.com/races/grand-prix-cycliste-de-quebec-2012/results

  28. LA Dave – I watched the “Call me Maybe” song and dance from Green Edge and wondered why Gerro wasn’t in it. Didn’t realize it was all filmed at the Vuelta…and that Gerro was off winning in Quebec!

    Great finish to today’s stage. It’s truly shocking to see such talented riders dissolve into turning squares like that. Definitely know the pitch was crazy, but they still always seem beyond breaking.

    Nice win for Dennis!

  29. I gave gesink all week to make up that 30second gap to take back 5th. It wasnt too much to ask, except it was.  I mean, didn’t he want me to win the vsp? Jeez.

  30. Mucho Gracias to Alberto Contador and his fingerbang for winning the Vuelta and for dragging me to the top with him.  I just watched the last 50k of today’s stage online and that mountaintop finish was amazing.  Really regretting that i haven’t had more time to watch this years Vuelta but what I have watched has been spectacular.

    A stripped jersey next to my name is awesome as hell too

  31. @Ron

    LA Dave – I watched the “Call me Maybe” song and dance from Green Edge and wondered why Gerro wasn’t in it. Didn’t realize it was all filmed at the Vuelta…and that Gerro was off winning in Quebec!

    Great finish to today’s stage. It’s truly shocking to see such talented riders dissolve into turning squares like that. Definitely know the pitch was crazy, but they still always seem beyond breaking.

    Nice win for Dennis!

    For anyone who hasn’t seen it. Imlac had a little moan up on ITV4 highlights, saying it’s un-professional for a team that hasn’t won much. Don’t agree though, looks good team building to me.

  32. @Tartan1749

    While respective of his talent, I have not been an overall fan of Contador historically.  Got to give it up to El Pequeño Toro as he has attacked at every opportunity and then some.  Honestly, he deserved the win today and congrats to him on the GC as well.  Very exciting Grand Tour.

  33. To celebrate what should be a 4th place finish in the VSP for me, I went to see the stage in person today.  Here are some pics. Sorry, no podium girls, as I’m not VIP enough to get good access.

    [dmalbum: path=”/velominati.com/wp-content/uploads/readers/Skip/2012.09.09.16.17.25/”/]

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