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  • La Vuelta a España 2023 – discussion and velogames thread (possible spoilers)
  • nbt
    Full Member

    Only a few days to go till La Vuelta 2023 kicks off with a team time trial in Barcelona, and Velogame Spain 2023 is now open.

    https://www.velogames.com/spain/2023/

    https://www.lavuelta.es/en/overall-route

    Will update the thread as time goes on but there are some interesting choices this time – frankly, some of the teans seem to be saying “well we’re not as botherad about this one so we’ll let the little guys have a chance”

    The obvious exception is Jumbo Visma who are sending Vingegaard, Roglic and Kuss, and are obviously aimin to regain the title. Remco Evenepoel is back to try to defend it

    G is racing for the Ineos Grenadiers as the nominal team lead, but I have my eye on Thymen Arensman. He’s been on the berge of a break foir a while, and Ineos recently had a clear out with Dani Martinez, Tao Geoghan Hart and Pavel Sivakov all heading to pastures new for next season, so they must rate Thymen if they’re keeping him

    Anyone else caught your eye? Preferably someone racing, but any obvious names omitted?

    Have any staged piqued your interest as “I MUST make sure I watch that”? Saldy there will be no coverage on ITV4, but it will be covered live on GCN and the highlights show is often broadcast on Quest – will try to confirm when I find out if that’s happening

    EDIT – Cycling News haev a preview here which says that ITV4 are going to show highlights

    https://www.cyclingnews.com/news/how-to-watch-the-vuelta-a-espana-live-tv-and-streaming/

    but ITV4 don’t mention it

    https://www.itv.com/itvcycling/articles/2023-cycling-on-itv4

    You can enter the STW Grand Tours League here : https://www.velogames.com/

    The League code is 727626827

    Anyone who entered the Giro or TDF version will already be entered into this one

    Post up your thoughts, or any interesting articles you find

    t3ap0t
    Free Member

    Not studied the parcours properly but I seem to remember it being extremely climby. Judging by the D-list sprinters on Velogames there aren’t many bunch finishes on the cards.

    Would be great to see Ayuso kick on from last year’s 3rd and enter the top bracket of riders but going to be difficult to even repeat that with Jonas, Rog and Remco there.

    Quite a lot of competition for the GC top ten – as well as the 3 favourites & Ayuso you have Thomas, Almeida,  Mas, Bardet, Carthy, Dunbar, Vlasov, Caruso and then lots of younger prospects too like Lenny Martinez, Poole, Onley, Uijtdebroeks (had to check spelling of that one!).

    Bunnyhop
    Full Member

    It’s hard to pick a velogames team with sprinters I’ve not really heard of, just had to choose the rider I could afford.

    IvanDobski
    Free Member

    Have Ineos “had a clearout” or have riders been moving to greener pastures?

    paule
    Free Member

    <p style=”padding-left: 40px;”>Thanks – team “My Pie Is Class” (poor linguistic nod to a favourite team of the 90s) are in…</p>

    llama
    Full Member

    I picked Pog for the tdf, but I’m picking ving for this one, second and third is anyone’s guess.

    beej
    Full Member

    I’m off for 2 weeks starting Saturday, so I’ve entered a team to keep me more interested in watching. Team BikeyGood (I really couldn’t think of anything clever).

    nbt
    Full Member

    Have Ineos “had a clearout” or have riders been moving to greener pastures?

    Bit of both I expect. I think max squad sizes are smaller next year

    DrJ
    Full Member

    Have Ineos “had a clearout” or have riders been moving to greener pastures?

    My thoughts too. Decent riders not willing to ride in Brexit Bombardiers train to nowhere.

    weeksy
    Full Member

    Brexit Bombardiers train to nowhere.

    Why the stupid names and bringing politics into it ? If you don’t like INEOS then just call them INEOS still, it’s riidculously childish, don’t you see that ? It’s a decent discussion about bikes/racing and people STILL drag agendas into it. Sad sad sad.

    DrJ
    Full Member

    “Keep politics out of sport”. Yes. Rings a bell.

    However, my point was not that – it was that (with some notable exceptions, Tom Pidcock) INEOS seem to ride in a very un-exciting way that is not much fun for the public and is probably not much fun for an attack-oriented rider. I can imagine that TGH will flourish elsewhere.

    stevious
    Full Member

    There’s a bit of a danger that the strength of Jumbo will suffocate the GC race a bit. That said with the parcours it looks like there’ll be good racing for stage wins at the very least.

    DSM and FDJ are both fielding teams full of youngsters – it’ll be interesting to see how they fare.

    paton
    Free Member
    weeksy
    Full Member

    it was that (with some notable exceptions, Tom Pidcock) INEOS seem to ride in a very un-exciting way that is not much fun for the public and is probably not much fun for an attack-oriented rider. I can imagine that TGH will flourish elsewhere.

    That’s more like it… 🙂

    However, i only half agree… in simple terms, they ride now in the only way possible for the team they have available… which is mostly decided by Jumbo and UAE being incredibly dominant. So they’re mostly just ‘hanging on’

    The one thing i don’t get though is partly your point here yes…
    Is it better to try and win 4-5 stages in a race, or try for 3rd overall…

    Personally i think the 4-5 stages is the better plan… but they seem happy trying to hang on for 3rd in GC.

    IvanDobski
    Free Member

    I don’t mind Ineos riding in an unexciting way, it’s no different to what the other teams do when the boot’s on the other foot, and I expect the riders feel much the same.

    Where I do think the riders are having second thoughts is the apparent lack of direction and ambition within the team.

    weeksy
    Full Member

    Where I do think the riders are having second thoughts is the apparent lack of direction and ambition within the team.

    There was a lot of discussion on another place that Remco is the plan… getting rid of TGH and getting Remco in as the GC contender. It’s been a weird few seasons for INEOS as they were the superstars for ages, but now, you don’t see them at the battles at all. Even with Thomas being flying at times, the rest of the team were a bit, well, meh.

    nbt
    Full Member

    There was a lot of discussion on another place that Remco is the plan… getting rid of TGH and getting Remco in as the GC contender.

    That’s out of the the window though as Remco has now stated he’ll honour the contract he signed till 2026.

    However there are (admittedly quite farfetched) rumours of a possible merger between Ineos and Soudal-Quickstep…

    BadlyWiredDog
    Full Member

    have my eye on Thymen Arensman. He’s been on the berge of a break foir

    Sixth in last year’s Vuelta, sixth in this year’s Giro, so I think he may already have ganaged a break foir of sorts, but yeah, flying a little under the wadar I guess.

    dudeofdoom
    Full Member

    I’m gutted as they aren’t coming down my way as I always liked catching a live stage 🙁

    BadlyWiredDog
    Full Member

    Where I do think the riders are having second thoughts is the apparent lack of direction and ambition within the team.

    I’m not sure it’s lack of ambition. I’d agree they don’t have the edge they did over some other teams, but mostly it feels like there’s a limited supply of super-human GC contenders and the closest they have to that, Egan Bernal, rode into the back of a bus at 60kph and it still getting back to something hopefully closer to his best. That said, he’d still lose out to Pog or Vin in a time trial.

    I guess you could say that’s a recruitment failure, but realistically there are only so many physiologically super-gifted options out there. If you think about it, the whole Team Sky / INEOS era of dominance essentially came down to Chris Froome being stronger than anyone else. You can do so much with super strong support riders, but ultimately you need a leader to finish things off.

    Anyway, it’ll be interesting to see where Tom Pidcock focuses next and I’ve got my fingers crossed for Egan. When you consider how smashed up he was, it’s incredible that he’s still riding at that level and still improving too.

    DrJ
    Full Member

    I’m not sure it’s lack of ambition. I’d agree they don’t have the edge they did over some other teams, but mostly it feels like there’s a limited supply of super-human GC contenders

    I can’t help thinking that if they’d had ambition to attack, G might have been able to win the G-ro. As it was they let Roglic stay within striking distance for a stage he was ideally suited to.

    eckinspain
    Free Member

    I’m gutted as they aren’t coming down my way as I always liked catching a live stage

    Where’s that?

    Bunnyhop
    Full Member

    Got ‘Team tutti frutti into our STW league (thanks nbt for organising).

    Vingegogo – is probably the favourite to win, however one never knows if he’s completely ‘overdone’ it this season and Evenepoel is going to come up with the goods. But ‘G’ hopefully still has a great opportunity and with a decent team I’m not ruling him out.

    The wonderful Thomas DeGendt is a favourite of mine and hopefully he will entertain us as usual (remember Belgium day?).

    Lots of youngsters coming up through the ranks, wanting to show what they’re made of. It’s going to be an interesting race.

    anagallis_arvensis
    Full Member

    Why the stupid names and bringing politics into it ? If you don’t like INEOS then just call them INEOS still, it’s riidculously childish, don’t you see that ? It’s a decent discussion about bikes/racing and people STILL drag agendas into it. Sad sad sad.

    Well I think Oily Jim’s Greenwash Bombardier’s are going to struggle. Don’t think the old diesel Thomas has it in him unfortunately.

    I hope Remco can give the Jumbo pair a run for their money. Not sure he’ll hang on up the big climbs though.

    Bunnyhop
    Full Member

    Check your velogames teams, I’ve just noticed Simon Carr is now not riding.

    nbt
    Full Member

    An article considering the contenders…

    VELOGAMES SPAIN 2023 PREVIEW

    nbt
    Full Member

    Bump, if you’re bored and browsing on a Friday evening why not put a team roster together on velogames? You have till 17:45 on Saturday: an evening kick off with a team time trial of just over 14km

    welshfarmer
    Full Member

    Done. Back with “Ride to the Hills” heading for mid field mediocrity.

    stevious
    Full Member

    Just built a team inspired by this tweet:

    https://twitter.com/friebos/status/1694989748882813013?s=20

    Not possible to use only riders from that list so made a few educated guesses to try and have highest elevation possible for my team.

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    The weather is abysmal! Jayco-Alula have crashed as an entire team. It’s pitch bloody dark, spray going everywhere.

    Jumbo Visma are 30+ seconds down at the half way mark.

    Pouring rain – I think it was hoped there’d be a nice sunset, dusk light etc but it’s just **** miserable. 😳

    hightensionline
    Full Member

    Got sent that off Twitter earlier!

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    Are they ever going to finish Sagrada Familia?
    There were cranes around it when I was there in 2009, still cranes around it now.

    Also, I’m going to say again how shit that weather looks.

    beej
    Full Member

    It’s mildly moist. And dark. Great ride by the movie stars, conditions have got worse and worse.

    hightensionline
    Full Member

    When the bikes need lights you know it’s grotty.

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    Team DSM?! Wow.
    Movistar did well especially the near pitch dark as they finished.

    beej
    Full Member

    Ooo, I have a DSM rider in my team! And two EF-EP.

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    Ineos confirm that Laurens de Plus is out following his crash in the TTT.

    stevious
    Full Member

    That was visually quite different to your normal Vuelta stage

    Not surprising to see Scotland’s first Vuelta stage win for a while.

    anagallis_arvensis
    Full Member

    That was **** shit. I agree with Remco.

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