Lets hope there are no random hosepipes like the last TTT in 2019 which was the first of Primoz’s random unlucky crashes…women with signs, hay bails etc…if he’s fit he should still win he’s the best GC rider in the race…IF he’s fit
Well, Nairoman won’t get to live out his dreams of a Gerraint Thomas-inspired podium spot, I guess….
JV and Ineos are going to make this a two horse race afte today. 23km for a flat TTT is going to produce enough time gaps that “contenders” such as O’Connor and others are going to get eliminated straight off.
I don’t see anyone touching Roglic, TBH…assuming he has healed fully after his Tour mishaps. (And assuming he keeps the rubber side down).
Think Roglic will take the GC but Hindley will push him hard. Not sure on Carapaz. But most of all it will be interesting to see how Evenepoel gets on. For all his success in one week races, I still don’t rate his climbing ability over long climbs in a grand tour. But I do expect him and Quickstep to smash the TTT this afternoon.
Hah…I was just thinking on my commute to work today that this could be a great route for JA…only 1 HC climb, QS can keep him close in the TTT and he can turn a good day in a ITT when motivated (see TdF 2019).
Lefevere did drop the odd comment that he doesn’t pay JA to win the Worlds…perhaps that was cryptic hint.
Yeah but that article doesn’t say that Alaphilippe is their GC pick, just that he is the “star rider”. Right below it says they think QS race goals are a better GC finish for Remco plus some stage wins for Alaphilippe.
Race goals: A more successful Vuelta debut for Evenepoel than his damp squib of a Giro debut last year – although the ingredients look to be there: the Belgian is on stellar form and this is a route that really plays to his strengths. Alaphilippe will also hope to signal his return to Grand Tour racing with a stage win on one of the punchy uphill finishes.
I think TJV wouldn’t be sending Roglic if he wasn’t in shape to contend for the win. You don’t send a multiple GT champion as your leader if he’s not in shape, or close to in shape. Just bad PR all around
Also making GC predictions complicated is the Carapaz departure from Ineos at the end of the season. If their team was fully dedicated to him I’d be prone to put him on the podium, possibly the top step. It’s hard to imagine Ineos screwing up and doing multiple leaders to their detriment - but I see no clear indications on who they are riding for yet, so its really hard to guess
I’d love to see Remco have three week capabilities, but he hasn’t demonstrated them yet. However, almost every climb here benefits riders like him and Roglic - more aero, slightly heavier, riders. There aren’t a ton of climbs that will punish them as long as they can stay in the group.
So…Roglic, Remco, and who knows who from Ineos on the third step.
Vuelta is always a crap shoot, and unless Roglic is in true top form then this seems a wide open field where there are a half dozen or more potential winners