2023 Vuelta a Espana Thread

The first stage was ridiculous

I thought they were all on strike in support of the women’s national soccer team.

The cyclists were on strike?

I hadn’t heard/read that. But I could have missed it. A Google search of “cyclists strike women’s soccer Spain” is not yielding results that suggest as much. Do you have a source?

The grand tour riders come from all over the world though. Only a handful of riders in La Vuelta a España are actually Spanish and they’re on different teams.

No. It was more tongue-in-cheek than anything else.

I did see that the men’s soccer team were making statements in support, though.

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Just watched highlights of first 3 stages. Given the debacle of the first stage and the ending of the third stage (they should have had a longer slowing down section) and all the crap in the Spanish football hierarchy, I wonder if Spanish sports only allows mor-ans to make organizational decisions. Nincompoops!

Woohoo, what a win by Sepp Kuss. USA #1 ahahahahaha.


Glad to see him get a win. He’s been crucial to their TDF success

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He won a stage in the TDF a few years ago. That was pretty exciting.

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Gotta love Roglic’s interview response:

How many GC riders does Jumbo Visma have?

At least three now no? But maybe still now somebody is coming.

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Random facts b/c work is annoying me:

Sepp Kuss was 14th in the Giro and 12th in the Tour. Only 35 riders have finished all 3 Grand Tours in a single season, and of those, only 4 have finished in the top 15 in all 3 of them (Valverde in 2016 placed 3/6/12 in Giro/Tour/Vuelta, Chozas in 1991 was 11/10/10, Nencini in 1957 was 1/6/9, and Gemiani in 1955 finished 4/6/3). So he’s on track for a pretty exceptional on year.

Only 10 people have won 2 Grand Tours in a calendar year, and we have 2 legit contenders to do so this year.

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It’s pretty rare to win 2 Grand Tours in a calendar year because a rider of that caliber will almost always enter the Tour. If they’re going for GC in the Tour, they generally won’t risk entering the Giro beforehand. Also, if they do win the Tour, it’s rare that they have the energy left to even enter the Vuelta. Froome is the only one in recent memory that was able to do the Tour/Vuelta double. I was surprised to see Vingegaard entered in the Vuelta, but he still has a shot.

In 2018 Froome won the Giro and then attempted to win the Tour, only to be bested by his teammate Geraint Thomas, coming in third in the Tour only 2:24 behind.

That was quite the Tour. I remember watching in disbelief as Geraint Thomas rode off on a mountain stage leaving Froome in his dust.

(IIRC Thomas was already in yellow, having also bested Froome in a ITT, but the assumption had always been that at some point the jersey would move over to Froome.)

Chris Froome at the time was also the defending champion of both the Tour and the Vuelta, was going for his 4th grand tour in a row.

Pantani was the last successful Giro / Tour double. In fact, most doubles are from when cycling was much less regimented, with Anquetil, Merckx, and Hinault all having done it.

Oh I forgot he’d also won the Vuelta in 2017 and thus, three consecutive grand tours.

Guy was amazing. Too bad injury cut his career short. And (potentially) cost him the 2014 Tour de France as well. Not to take anything away from Nibali, but had Froome not crashed out that year he certainly had a great chance of winning.

Well it looks like it’s all uphill from here, and Kuss is a climber, so…

Man that TT must have been tough, everyone looks like they aged 10 years at the finish.

Going to be an exciting few mountain stages with Roglic back in the mix for GC. He had a great ride today, and Sepp crushed it, maintaining his red jersey.

I can’t see Sepp winning. He’s very competitive in the mountains but against the other three he’s likely to lose 20 seconds or so (plus bonus seconds) in the last km of each mountain stage because they all have that extra finishing speed that he doesn’t have. I believe there are still 5 mountain top stages left. Happy to be wrong.

He should give jumbo a very good chance though because Remco will have to mark all three of them (similar to the problem that Pogacar had in the 2022 tour).

Watching Roglic and Vingegaard tag team attacking Pogacar in the 2022 Tour (when Roglic was presumably not actually in contention but Pogacar obviously didn’t know that for sure) was a thing of beauty: perfect tactics and teamwork.