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!

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

  1. Can’t even remember my picks. Fairly nonplussed with the top two, but thrilled that Chaves got third. I watch the Orica “behind-the-scenes” stuff and he seems like a really nice guy. Great smile, great attitude.

    Great Vuelta for Orica and a bit of a stealthy ride by Talansky with 5th place overall. Hopefully a sign of things to come now that TJvG seems to be emerging as a super-domestique/stage hunter rather than a GC man.

    True to form, Quintana transformed himself into the red turd for the final stage to match his pink turd showing from his recent Giro win. The thought of him winning the Tour is too ghastly to contemplate.

    Interesting comments by Farrar the other day regarding how hard the race is/was. On one hand, the organizers want a great race with amazing stages that make for dramatic viewing on TV. On the other hand, at some point you drive the peloton to the point of destruction. There’s a reason there used to be pure “transition” stages, and a reason why having a patron like Hinault was necessary – it stopped the race from ripping itself to shreds. It’s a balancing act for sure.

  2. I’ve got that jersey, bibs, socks, mitts and even the bandana – if I didn’t have a full head of hair and weigh two Pantanis I would be his identical double.

  3. @DVMR

    Damn – every now and again that bike gets posted and reminds me that I stupidly sold one of those before I saw the light.

  4. @Oli

    I’ve got that jersey, bibs, socks, mitts and even the bandana – if I didn’t have a full head of hair and weigh two Pantanis I would be his identical double.

    I think that should be the new, official weight measurement for Velominati. How many Pantanis do you weigh? I’m likely about one-and-a half.

  5. @wiscot

    @Oli

    I’ve got that jersey, bibs, socks, mitts and even the bandana – if I didn’t have a full head of hair and weigh two Pantanis I would be his identical double.

    I think that should be the new, official weight measurement for Velominati. How many Pantanis do you weigh? I’m likely about one-and-a half.

    Love it. I’m 1.47 Pantanis.

  6. I should be right around 1 Pantani, but with a 4 month old I blame the baby boy on my 1+ Pantani weight. Not enough time to ride! Time to scale back the intake.

  7. @Ron

    I should be right around 1 Pantani, but with a 4 month old I blame the baby boy on my 1+ Pantani weight. Not enough time to ride! Time to scale back the intake.

    I have recently gone from 1.6 Pantanis to 1.4 Pantanis. Climbing is more Pantani like but there is still much room for improvement.

    I do also wear a bandana under my Giro to keep from getting helmet vents tanned into my Pantani like pate. I doubt that I will ever sport the Pantani like facial hair despite the fact that it would be Rule #50 compliant in my case.

  8. @wiscot

    @Oli

    I’ve got that jersey, bibs, socks, mitts and even the bandana – if I didn’t have a full head of hair and weigh two Pantanis I would be his identical double.

    I think that should be the new, official weight measurement for Velominati. How many Pantanis do you weigh? I’m likely about one-and-a half.

    Hehe, brilliant!

    1.12 Pantanis all day long.

  9. @Teocalli

    @DVMR

    Damn – every now and again that bike gets posted and reminds me that I stupidly sold one of those before I saw the light.

    Ouch!

    @Teocalli

    @DVMR

    Damn – every now and again that bike gets posted and reminds me that I stupidly sold one of those before I saw the light.

    Yikes. That’s got to hurt.

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