Velominati Super Prestige: La Vuelta a España 2013

The Long Sock Brigade hits the Angliru.
The Long Sock Brigade hits the Angliru

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.

[vsp_results id=”26944″/]

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484 Replies to “Velominati Super Prestige: La Vuelta a España 2013”

  1. @Buck Rogers

    @LA Dave

    No, it’s kind of like the thing where I used to get people asking me why I climbed big mountains. There is really no answer except if you have to ask, you’ll never know.

    Some completely, admittedly, irrational sense of honour that you never leave a man behind, that you stay and dance with whomever you brought.

    But glad to have given you a laugh at least!

    I admire your irrationality and understand completely the questions about why we climb – I get them as well… but there’s a freaking V-Apron at stake!!! All bets are off and I would drop Merckx himself from my VSP if it would help get my hands on one of those beauties.

  2. @Buck Rogers

    @Collin

    GILBERT! He finally got his win. Very happy for him.

    Yes! So much for The Curse!

    Expect Phil Gil To win the worlds and Lombardia now the hex has been lifted.

  3. @eenies

    @Buck Rogers

    @Collin

    GILBERT! He finally got his win. Very happy for him.

    Yes! So much for The Curse!

    Expect Phil Gil To win the worlds and Lombardia now the hex has been lifted.

    Ha!  The Road Race will be BRUTAL, though.  Over 272 k’s with more than 3,000 meters of climbing and grades up to 9%. 

    Sounds like a Chambery, France ’89 course. 

    Wonder if people like Sagan or PhilGil will even have a chance.  Doubt it.  Sounds like a climbers course.

    Pray for rain!

  4. @Nate

    @Buck Rogers Phil has won LBL. Not so different.

    True, but that was two years ago and he has not returned to that form since.  He did win today but today was nothing like what the WCRR will be.

    I do not anticipate adding him to my Top 5 for the WC RR, which probably means that he will win it all!

  5. Very happy for Gilzilla today. Awesome sprint. EBH must have been gutted to lose. If his mojo is back, I’d be wary of writing him off for the WCRR.

  6. @wiscot

    Very happy for Gilzilla today. Awesome sprint. EBH must have been gutted to lose. If his mojo is back, I’d be wary of writing him off for the WCRR.

    One win does not a mojo make.

  7. @Ron

    Who said midgets can’t TT…Pozzovivo was 3rd?!

    I prefer the name he was given a little further back in the thread, Pozzotivo

  8. @Buck Rogers

    @eenies

    @Buck Rogers

    @Collin

    GILBERT! He finally got his win. Very happy for him.

    Yes! So much for The Curse!

    Expect Phil Gil To win the worlds and Lombardia now the hex has been lifted.

    Ha! The Road Race will be BRUTAL, though. Over 272 k’s with more than 3,000 meters of climbing and grades up to 9%.

    Sounds like a Chambery, France ’89 course.

    Wonder if people like Sagan or PhilGil will even have a chance. Doubt it. Sounds like a climbers course.

    Pray for rain!

    Sounds like Vermont.  Pray for dumptrucks.

  9. @xyxax

    @Buck Rogers

    @eenies

    @Buck Rogers

    @Collin

    GILBERT! He finally got his win. Very happy for him.

    Yes! So much for The Curse!

    Expect Phil Gil To win the worlds and Lombardia now the hex has been lifted.

    Ha! The Road Race will be BRUTAL, though. Over 272 k’s with more than 3,000 meters of climbing and grades up to 9%.

    Sounds like a Chambery, France ’89 course.

    Wonder if people like Sagan or PhilGil will even have a chance. Doubt it. Sounds like a climbers course.

    Pray for rain!

    Sounds like Vermont. Pray for dumptrucks.

    Crocodile located. All will be well.

  10. @Steampunk

    Praise be.  I thought Gil the Croc had ended up as golf shoes, your daughter moving on to My Little Scarponi.  Which ain’t right.

  11. @Cyclops

    @wiscot

    Very happy for Gilzilla today. Awesome sprint. EBH must have been gutted to lose. If his mojo is back, I’d be wary of writing him off for the WCRR.

    One win does not a mojo make.

    An isolated win, probably not, but he’s been ascendant for some time, nipping at the throne. He’s nearing full-mojo to my eyes.

  12. @xyxax

    @Steampunk

    Praise be. I thought Gil the Croc had ended up as golf shoes, your daughter moving on to My Little Scarponi. Which ain’t right.

    DAMN!  Well played!

  13. @xyxax

    @Buck Rogers

    @eenies

    @Buck Rogers

    @Collin

    GILBERT! He finally got his win. Very happy for him.

    Yes! So much for The Curse!

    Expect Phil Gil To win the worlds and Lombardia now the hex has been lifted.

    Ha! The Road Race will be BRUTAL, though. Over 272 k’s with more than 3,000 meters of climbing and grades up to 9%.

    Sounds like a Chambery, France ’89 course.

    Wonder if people like Sagan or PhilGil will even have a chance. Doubt it. Sounds like a climbers course.

    Pray for rain!

    Sounds like Vermont. Pray for dumptrucks.

    Now that I think of it, it does!  I pitty the fools that have to ride that sucka this September!!!

  14. What was that I was saying about PhilGil yesterday???  I guess his stock IS rising after all!

  15. HEY!!!  Just realized that I am leading the Vuelta VSP!!!  Wooo-hooo!  Living it up while it lasts!!!

  16. You don’t want to be watching this – some descending that would make Andy Schleck blush.

  17. Valverde slipping?  Man, I need more than a live update ticker!!!

  18. @Buck Rogers

    Eurosport just started re-transmitting.  Weather too crappy for live feed earlier.

    Wonder how Pinot is descending?

    Basso out,  LL Sanchez out.

  19. Pinot appears to be OK, staying with the Nibali group I think. They aren’t pushing it – no danger from the riders ahead so they’ve been playing it safe before the final climb.

  20. @xyxax

    @Buck Rogers

    Eurosport just started re-transmitting. Weather too crappy for live feed earlier.

    Wonder how Pinot is descending?

    Basso out, LL Sanchez out.

    Got it.  What the HELL is Horner riding on, anyways???  That Dude is truly unbelievable!

  21. Slammy Sammy climbing up the standings!  Roche slipping.  Wonder how the GC will fall out tonight.

  22. @Buck Rogers

    @ChrisO

    Ye olde carnage.  I’m still wondering if Little Chris Horner can do it for the full 3 weeks.

    Good on Pinot and Valverde for overcoming their respective difficulties.

  23. Riders all over the mountain today. That was a seriously messy stage. Basso is gone. Roche is done. Valverde and Purito dropped quite a bit. Are we down to Nibali and Horner?

  24. @Buck Rogers

    Yep. The Count has failed to deliver yet again. He’s taken the last of my VSP votes. I thought he had one last peak in him. I was wrong.

  25. I’m worried about the kids! Ratto’s descending “style” leaves a little to be desired, Don’t try this at home kids!

  26. @Harminator

    @Buck Rogers

    Yep. The Count has failed to deliver yet again. He’s taken the last of my VSP votes. I thought he had one last peak in him. I was wrong.

    Apparently it was hypothermia that did him in, given I’ve been concerned about a slight cough I’ve been carrying all week I can’t imagine trying to ride with that!

  27. With the exception of Uran I’ve got the top 5 names on GC correct after stage 15. Unfortunately, in entirely wrong order!

  28. @Buck Rogers

     

    Got it. What the HELL is Horner riding on, anyways??? That Dude is truly unbelievable!

    Don’t ask, don’t tell… he’s on fire!

  29. @Harminator

    @Buck Rogers

    Yep. The Count has failed to deliver yet again. He’s taken the last of my VSP votes. I thought he had one last peak in him. I was wrong.

    Ha!  Took me a bit to figure out who The Count was but now that I figured it out, love it!

    Pretty much just today and Saturday’s monster stage to decide the final outcome.  I do not see the rest of this week prior to Saturday shaking up the GC.  But, then again, look what happened on a supposed Sprinter’s stage at the tdf.

    Can Old Man Horner, who has obviously found the fountain of youth, hold on?  Can Roche creep back into it???  And come on Slammy Sammy!!!

  30. Uran finally shows us his race face….great photo finish and Nibbles nearly loses the lead!

  31. @Deakus Absolutely, both the fight for the stage win and the fight amongst the GC riders had drama.

    With the gap only 28 seconds, the Angliru is going to be a cage match.

  32. @Collin

    @Deakus Absolutely, both the fight for the stage win and the fight amongst the GC riders had drama.

    With the gap only 28 seconds, the Angliru is going to be a cage match.

    Absolutely!  Nibbles showing some weakness.  This is definitely not over yet!

  33. This could get interesting. I can’t wrap my head around Horner fighting for GC on a grand tour.

    Provisional Race Results
    1. NIBALI Vincenzo
    2. HORNER Christopher
    3. VALVERDE Alejandro
    4. RODRIGUEZ OLIVER Joaquin
    5. POZZOVIVO Domenico
    Provisional VSP Standings
    1. Facetious_Jesus (42 points)
    2. Tobin (37 points)
    3. Buck Rogers (33 points)
    4. bretth (33 points)
    5. TOM.NELS2120 (33 points)
    6. sthilzy (33 points)
    7. meursault (33 points)
    8. Marco (33 points)
    9. taon24 (33 points)
    10. mouse (33 points)
    127. Lukas (0 points)
  34. @Beers

    @Buck Rogers

    Got it. What the HELL is Horner riding on, anyways??? That Dude is truly unbelievable!

    Don’t ask, don’t tell… he’s on fire!

    The Dude has got to be on something. 

    Coming into this race he had no team for next year and was lamenting that he still wanted to race even though he’d be 42 and that he really had to have a good result or he would not have a team next year. 

    He has nothing to lose and has always been such a fuck’in goofball I totally would not put it past him to be doing something as he knows if he does not produce here, he will not be racing next year anyways so fuck it, who cares of he gets caught.  Chance a big result and hope not to get busted.

    Oh well, makes for exciting racing!

  35. @frank See my, I’m sure, much hated, “Come the FUCK ON everybody, he HAS to be doping” post above.

    Wish I had that CPT Picard meme where he is doing the whole “Oh come on people” pose.

  36. A couple thoughts I’ve had about Old Man Horner’s performance, based mostly around the fact that I really like the guy, so I’m thinking from that aspect:

    1.)This parcours is ideal for a climber like him. He lost a bundle of time in the ITT, but for the TTT he had Faboo to haul him around. He performs well in the lumpy races, winning Pais Vasco a couple years back.
    2) Due to his knee issue, he has many fewer race miles in his legs this year. Everyone he is riding against already has a GT in their legs. Perhaps he’s just fresher and that helps him to recover better on these tough stages.

  37. @Buck Rogers

    @frank See my, I’m sure, much hated, “Come the FUCK ON everybody, he HAS to be doping” post above.

    Wish I had that CPT Picard meme where he is doing the whole “Oh come on people” pose.

    From zero to hero out of the blue…..I hope this is a final blast from him pre-retirement but really?  Surely if it was possible at his age Jensy would be doing this?

  38. @Deakus

    @Buck Rogers

    @frank See my, I’m sure, much hated, “Come the FUCK ON everybody, he HAS to be doping” post above.

    Wish I had that CPT Picard meme where he is doing the whole “Oh come on people” pose.

    From zero to hero out of the blue…..I hope this is a final blast from him pre-retirement but really? Surely if it was possible at his age Jensy would be doing this?

    Sorry to open this can of worms, guys!  But, for me, it comes down to what I said above:  The guy is desperate.  He is DYING to ride next year and has not team and will be 42 for FUCK’s SAKE.  He has nothing to lose.  Hell, after further reading he was supposedly #15 in the redacted thingy for the Lance Armstrong investigation and will not admit it when everyone else did.  Besides, the guy has always been out in left field. 

    Oh well, RACE ON!

  39. @Buck Rogers

    @Deakus

    @Buck Rogers

    @frank See my, I’m sure, much hated, “Come the FUCK ON everybody, he HAS to be doping” post above.

    Wish I had that CPT Picard meme where he is doing the whole “Oh come on people” pose.

    From zero to hero out of the blue…..I hope this is a final blast from him pre-retirement but really? Surely if it was possible at his age Jensy would be doing this?

    Sorry to open this can of worms, guys! But, for me, it comes down to what I said above: The guy is desperate. He is DYING to ride next year and has not team and will be 42 for FUCK’s SAKE. He has nothing to lose. Hell, after further reading he was supposedly #15 in the redacted thingy for the Lance Armstrong investigation and will not admit it when everyone else did. Besides, the guy has always been out in left field.

    Oh well, RACE ON!

    Okay. I think I said something like this about one thousand posts ago. This too comes from a, “I just like the guy perspective.” Horner didn’t ride for Armstrong during the EPO hey-day. He rode for Cadel Evans.  Horner wasn’t given the nod for the US Olympic team. USA cycling didn’t like him. I’d like to think the fact that he is such a goof freed him up from some things. Or, at the least, no one trusted him with the drugs or any organized program.  Anyway. I’m operating under the presumption that he is clean right now.  He’s finally off the leash.

  40. Today’s stage reminded me how lonely it can be in the leader’s jersey.  Nibali and lieutenants fending off attacks from multiple riders, first to isolate him.  Then J-Rod attacks and Nibali fails to respond, the others sensing blood in the water, attack him one by one.  The question is, as Purito pointed out post race, whether this is Nibali’s lone jour sans of if he’s getting worn down.

  41. Well, he hasn’t put 5 minutes into the favourites on a climb yet, so I’ll give Horner the benefit of the doubt. Shame Basso hasn’t learned how to dress for poor weather yet.

  42. Henao out Horner in

    VSP PICKS (2nd Rest Day Swaps):

    1. Valverde
    2. Horner
    3. J-Rod
    4. Nibali
    5. Dan Martin

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