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. Interesting times. Is Sammy Sanchez really the leader for BMC, or is that just to take pressure off TJ who will flourish riding under the radar? S

    urely a clean Valverde can’t challenge for GC on 3 GTs in one year. Talansky has a strong team, and probably needs a good result to keep his salary. Was the Giro form of Kruiswijk and Chavez real, or was it just again low grade opposition? Can Froome at 80% still win? Is Miguel Lopez the new Nibali/Vino?


    1. Quintana
    2. Chavez
    3. Froome
    4. Kruiswijk
    5. Talansky
  2. @TheVid

    I reckon if you only focus on who wins the Tour overall you miss much of the point of it – it’s a three week unfolding episodic drama full of an amazing cast of diverse athletes racing through incredible landscapes, not just a race.

  3. I’m really looking forward to this one. A Bertie seeking revenge and to protect his record. Chaves is now a proven performer and the route suits him. Very good undercard for this fight as well.


    1. Contador
    2. Chaves
    3. Kresiweg
    4. Froome
    5. Quintana
  4. Really just making up the numbers here. Hopefully a Columbian 1 – 2.


    1. Smiling Esteban Chaves
    2. Casual Nairo Quintana
    3. Froome Doggy Dog
    4. El Pistola
    5. Louie Louie Meintjes
  5. Quintana fully recovered from whatever upset his TdF destiny. Kruijswijk fully rested after the crash which upset his Giro destiny. Father Time has caught up with Contador, as it will with Froome, who will struggle to win another TdF and is due a rest. Another strong performance from Valverde, who remains spared the pressure of team leadership. And Leopold Konig to outlast a strong group fighting for fifth to tenth placings… But I really should spare a look at the course.


    1. Quintana
    2. Kruijswijk
    3. Contador
    4. Valverde
    5. Leopold Konig
  6. I went for the non-TdF guys except for Malmerde who I’ve learned never to bet against.


    1. Kruijswijk
    2. Chaves
    3. Lopez
    4. Meintjes
    5. Valverde
  7. How many of the last grant tours were set up to be epic battles between highly fancied contenders? And how many actually turned out that way again? And yet here are my tips with a bunch of highly fancied contenders. I’ll be amazed if they all make it to the finish – but the beauty of the grand tours is such that I’ll probably be amazed even when they don’t.

  8. There’s a lot of other names which are very close to being included in this list. Looking forward to a close race.


    1. Contador
    2. Froome
    3. Quintana
    4. Chaves
    5. Kruijswijk
  9. Just can’t see past Froome for this. He was on another level in July.



    1. FROOME Christopher
    2. Froome’s Colombian Shadow
    3. Clenbutador
    4. MEINTJES Louis
    5. KRASWIJK Snowman
  10. VSP PICKS:

    1. Nairo Quintana
    2. Alberto Contador
    3. Steven Kruijswijk
    4. Esteban Chaves
    5. Gianluca Brambilla
  11. VSP PICKS:

    1. Nario Quintana
    2. Alberto Contador
    3. Samuel Sanchez
    4. Esteban Chaves
    5. Andrew Talansky
  12. VSP PICKS:

    1. Alberto Contador
    2. Nairo Quintana
    3. Esteban Chaves
    4. Chris Froome
    5. Steven Kruijswijk
  13. Actually I’d really like to see J-Rod on the top step but…


    1. C*ntador
    2. Froomegump
    3. Nairo Quintana
    4. Esteban Chaves
    5. Purito
  14. David Millar says at Cyclingnews that Contador is the man to beat. Contador says that Valverde is the favorite. I’m going to disagree with both of them still. But I will admit to being worried that Quintana may be having a bad season. It happens.

  15. VSP PICKS:

    1. Alberto Contador
    2. Nairo Quintana
    3. Estaban Chaves
    4. Steven Kruiswijk
    5. Chris Froome
  16. @Erik

    David Millar says at Cyclingnews that Contador is the man to beat. Contador says that Valverde is the favorite.


    Ha ha, Bertie’s attempts at gamesmanship and mind games are becoming so clumsy and brazen they’re not even vaguely believable to me. Agree about Quintana, I can’t see how he can have recovered and improved enough to be comparatively better than his rivals after his ride at the Tour.


  17. Please wake me for Il Lombardia.


    1. Contador, Alberto
    2. Valverde, Alejandro
    3. Froome, Chris
    4. Chaves, Esteban
    5. Kruijswijk, Steven
  18. @Ron

    Harsh. We’ve all been so busy deliberating over our vuelta picks and then picking the same five guys as half the world to be paying attention to and commenting on articles. Rraoww*

    *that cat noise that people do.

  19. VSP PICKS:

    1. Chris Froome
    2. Alejandro Valverde
    3. Esteban Chaves
    4. Steven Kruijswijk
    5. Andrew Talanski

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