Michael Woods won no friends as he sat on for the last several KM of stage 7 at the Vuelta joined by Valverde, Guilliame Martin, Omar Fraile, and Nans Peters.
An interview on the rest day with Sepp Kuss paints a more optimistic picture for Primoz Roglic who showed signs of cracks on stage 6 and fell 30 seconds back from Richard Carapaz on the GC. It wasn’t just the mechanical that tied up Jumbo Visma but also time wasted trying to sort out their jackets to keep them warm before the descent.
Closing up on the Giro, Dave Brailsford has some revisionist history to claim his strategy is to have a team of racers not robots, and the Giro Director calls for sanctions on Jumbo Visma and EF.
Tao Geoghegan Hart enters British cycling lore riding himself into the Maglia Rosa at the conclusion of the Giro in Milan. An incredible Giro for Ineos who won 7 stages and took the overall win. Sunweb flanked Tao taking 2nd and 3rd places overall as Kelderman gets his first grand tour podium finish of his career. Arnaud Demare quietly took home the Maglia Ciclamina in after the sprint free final week sewed up the jersey for him and his 4 stage wins.
The Vuelta has been blown apart after a rainy day in the mountains. Ion Izagirre writes himself into the record books with his stage 6 win which puts him on the list of riders who have won a stage in all three grand tours. The stage win of the Vuelta was the one that escaped the him in his home country. Todays attacks left Primoz Roglic unresponsive, allowing Richard Carapaz to move into the red jersey and Roglic dropping to 4th. We’ll see a new look on the roads Tuesday when the race returns as Ineos will have to defend and Jumbo Visma will need to be on the offensive, looking for opportunities to claw back Roglics 40 second defecit.
The Maglia Rosa competition is tied heading into the final stage for the first time in history. Geoghegan Hart and Hindley go into the final days time trial with a head to head battle for the jersey after going blow for blow on stage 20. It’s like deja vu all over again with these two riders finishing over each others shoulders three times in the past week.
Over at the Vuelta a crash involving Dan Martin inside 3km, fortunately did not result in time gaps as the GC stays put on a hilly stage before heading back to the mountains in stage 6. The riders will not climb the Tourmalet as planned in France and instead will stay in Spain for a longer, albeit less steep climb that should keep Roglic in a strong position to maintain the overall lead.
The Maglia Rosa changes hands to Wilko Kelderman on the Stelvio as the podium sorts itself out. Sunweb sit 1-2 with Kelderman leading and Hindley just 12 seconds behind. Just another 3 seconds back, however, if Ineos Tao Geoghegan Hart who is hungry for more than just the third step on the podium. Some questionable race tactics as Sunweb took a gamble to leave Kelderman to fend for himself on the final climb as Hindley sat on Tao and only overtook him on the last sprint to the finish. It will be a battle between these three on stage 20’s climb and then the decisive TT finale on Sunday in Milan.
At the Vuelta Roglic continues to show his strength with a win and two 2nd place finishes on the opening three stages but it is only enough for a 5 second lead over Dan Martin who took stage honors today with Carapaz just a dozen seconds back. Froome showed signs of life pulling at the front inside 6km to go. Dumoulin fell back even further, raising questions of what is going on with his health and Thibaut Pinot abandoned before the start of the stage dealing with his ailing back injury from the opening stage of the Tour de France.
La Vuelta a Espana kicks off and it was a stage of far bigger consequence than anyone predicted. There were some non suprising things like Jumbo Visma controlling the group up the final climb and Primoz Roglic taking the stage win and red jersey. But there were some big suprises with Thibaut Pinot and Chris Froome both losing more than 10 minutes, ending their vuelta before it really starts. Guillame Martin, Aleksander Vlasov Wout Poels and Tom Dumoulin also lost big chunks of time.
Meanwhile at the Giro Fernando Gaviria tests positive for COVID-19 for a second time. Let’s keep an eye on this to verify this is not a false positive like Michael Matthews but he has been removed from the tour and is isolating. Slovenian rider Jan Tratnik took the stage for Bahrain Mclaren, their biggest stage win of the year and 9 overall this season. This must be the first time in history that two Slovenian riders won a grand tour stage on the same day.
Race preview of the 18 grueling stages of the 2020 vuelta a espana. We breakdown the favorites for the GC, the best teams and who’s out for the points jersey. Eyes are mostly on two teams, Jumbo Visma with returning champion Primoz Roglic as well as win hungry Tom Dumoulin who are coming with a stacked team including Sepp Kuss, Robert Gesink and George Bennett. Eyes are also on the Ineos Grenadiers and Chris Froome’s last race on the team, he will be flanked by Richard Carapaz who is looking to redeem his season after not having the opportunity to defend his Giro title.
The Giro rolls on to the stage 14 ITT in Conegliano. Joao Almeida will look to extend his lead for the Maglia Rosa and even content for stage honors against the likes of favorite Filippo “Top” Ganna and Rohan Dennis. If one of the Ineos riders wins it will be 4 stage wins for Ineos at this years Giro. We evaluate some of the near historic results that have already happened at this years Giro.
The Tour of Flanders will surely be fireworks as we watch the continuation of the battles between Alaphilippe, Van Aert, MVDP, Kwiato and Mads Pedersen…it’s anyone’s guess who will take this one on the line.
The Giro gets to rest day 1 and we collectively hold our breathe to see if the race will continue. Assuming it does we take a look at the racing for the week ahead as the peloton rolls north up the eastern coast of Abruzzo and Emilia-Romagna before reaching Veneto on Friday.
In other racing it is a great day to be a Pedersen with Casper Pedersen winning Paris-Tours and Mads Pedersen winning Belgian Classic Gent-Wevelgem after everyone got distracted focusing on WVA and MVDP.