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Once upon a time there was a young man called Chris who lived in a castle in the magical land of Monaco. Every summer he would travel around Europe in a big black bus and enter bicycle races. He was very good at them because he was so thin and his bones were hollow as they had been nibbled away by snails.

He won many races but really wanted to win one called the Vuelta a España because he had come second so many times... [Sorry can't keep this up.]

What do you think of the bonus seconds situation? They brought it into the Tour a few years ago but it didn't effect the overall too much, reason being that many of the flat stages get taken by breaks and sprints. There are fewer uphill finishes and a good amount of timetrialling. That is more than enough to neutralize the bonuses. Although that sprint on the runway had Froome rattled.

The problem with the Vuelta is every other day is a wall to finish. his rivals just need to mark him then outsprint him. There aren't enough TT miles and the team TT rather equalizes the top teams. Does Froome have much chance of winning if he is followed by a Spanish gaggle that will gang up on him? Is it a fact that he would have already won apart from the bonuses?

TL/DR bonus seconds format doesn't suit Froome.

4 comments

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alansmurphy [1832 posts] 11 months ago
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I would think that a complete rethink of his training this year to peak around 15th July rather than the 1st will massively help. Going without G and Landa and having the strength they have is a massive advantage, hoping we'll see last year's Ian Stannard smashing the air on the front. Chris has worked so hard on all the aspects that his chances have to be good - there's lots of up and coming competition for tdf in the coming years that this may be his only chance of the double. I'm sure big Dave Brown will have plan a b c all thru to z sorted and there will be a couple of surprise attacks somewhere that will give him a minute...

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davel [2390 posts] 11 months ago
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I think they've got a stronger team this year than they've had previously - it's seemed a bit like the Vuelta got Sky's remnants before. Add Poels, Lopez, Knees, Nieve, Moscon... Decent team, to protect him against other weakened teams. There isn't the Movistar focus on Quintana doing the Vuelta and Contador hasn't got the form or team he has had in previous years... Are there any other teams focusing on this Vuelta (Nibali could be relatively fresh but can Bahrain-Merida face down a half-decent Sky?)? Orica-Scott look tidy - not sure whether they're backing a leader yet or just seeing how it pans out. Could be open enough for either Yates or Chavez to have a proper go.

Contador's form (though it being his last race could make some stages fruity); no Quintana; Aru, Bardet and Barguil all going for it at the TdF... I'd agree with Alan that it's Froomey's last decent crack at the double.

Looking forward to it.

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jollygoodvelo [1716 posts] 11 months ago
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If he doesn't win this Vuelta he's missed the biggest open goal ever.  Nibali will be fresh and strong but has a mediocre team, Chaves is an unknown quantity but looked some way off form last month, who else is there - and there's a 40km TT where he'll get a couple of minutes on literally everyone (except possibly Brohan).

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crazy-legs [1014 posts] 11 months ago
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Well in 2011 Froome should have won except he was held back on domestique duties for Bradley when he should have been let off the leash. He actually completed the course in a faster time than Cobo but because of the time bonuses Cobo won and Froome was 2nd by just 13" with Brad 3rd.

Another example of Sky refusing to change the plan "on the hoof", in spite of in being obvious by 2/3rds of the way through the race that Froome was the stronger rider out of the two of them.