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Vuelta a Espana Discussion
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Editorinal Note

With just one race left for PT teams, a good time to set up Vuelta a Espana Discussion, As the route was revealed by MGUCI pre-season, famous Spain explorer and cycling expert jandal made an in dept analysis of the route, you can find it here.


Vuelta a Espana

PT Grand Tour : 11/5 - 31/5, 21 stages total 3157 km





Welcome to the 2019 edition of Vuelta a España, the first Vuelta a España took place in 1935 at the time 14 stages starting and finishing in Madrid. From 2007 onwards the race came under the MG umbrella, making this year’s race edition 13th.
All winners under MG: (*) participates in 2019
2018: Silvio Herklotz (Team Puma - SAP)
2017: Andy Schleck (Vesuvio – Accumalux)
2016: Robert Gesink (eBuddy)
2015: Aleksandr Pluchkin (Metinvest-Dacia) (*)
2014: Jose Alarcon (Simply Red Bull)
2013: Justo Tenorio (Santander) (*)
2012: Angel Madrazo (Santander)
2011: Alejandro Valverde (Cafe de Colombia)
2010: Andy Schleck (Domina Vacanze)
2009: Francisco Mancebo (Eurosport)
2008: Alexandre Vinokourov (Carlsberg)
2007: Francisco Mancebo (Saunier Duval)

As seen from the list, only two rider have won on two occasions, Andy Schleck (10,17) and Francisco Mancebo (07,09). Two riders can attempt to do this in 2019, 2015 winner pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/p4e.png Aleksandr Pluchkin and 2013 winner pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/des.png Justo Tenorio, the two riders both with a fair chance and funny as it may seem both now riding in PCT.

24 teams will attend with a total of 191 riders.
Aker – MOT in my opinion bring the strongest squad, not only the on paper strongest riders pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/akm.png Rein Taaramäe with his second to none climbing and absolutely top end Time Trail but also with a great lieutenant pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/akm.png Fredrik Strand Galta in his own right a rider who could aim for a top 10, if he was a team leader. With support from pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/akm.png Sindre Skjostad Lunke, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/akm.png Serghei Tvetcov and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/akm.png Lorents Ola Aasvold a very frightening setup.

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/akm.png Rein Taaramäe won the tour last season, so there is no need to dig deeper to conclude that he is a superstar and got all it takes to win here.

Team Popo4Ever p/b Nemiroff 2nd in my book, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/p4e.png Aleksandr Pluchkin although not exactly as strong on all parameters as Taaramäe, very close and could easily win very important stages having the best day of the two. Also his team support very good with lieutenant pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/p4e.png Mark Padun, supported by pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/p4e.png Zouzou Andriafenomananiaina and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/p4e.png Volodymyr Dzhus.

As we already know pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/p4e.png Aleksandr Pluchkin have won this race before and there is no reason his team would not aim for a 2nd victory here, despite the fact that Taaramäe have the best odds.

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/des.png Justo Tenorio and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/tti.png Timofey Kritskiy the duo most likely to aim for the last podium, they almost have the same skillset with Tenorio having the edge over Kritskiy with a om paper better ability to survive a long race. Never the less my money is on Team Tinkoff, based on the fact that we will come with a useful although limited support from lieutenant pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/tti.png Novikov where as Desigual will have to rely on pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/des.png Barta or pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/des.png Minguez Ayala, riders that may find it hard to stay with the leader when the race gets tougher.

As mentioned pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/des.png Justo Tenorio have won this race before so no reason to doubt his personal strength. Timofey Kritskiy came 5th in 2018 so need to improve some to aim for a podium.

After those four riders there is a gap down to the next group, if we look at the ability to climb those many hard climbs we are passing here and we must expect that they are not very likely to podium, at least in theory.

Farfetch Pro Cycling’s pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fpc.png Mattia Cattaneo maybe with the best shot at top 5 or better. Not only with very good recovery and resistance but also fine option in the long ITT we are facing. He also got a fine lieutenant in pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fpc.png Carthy, but that said the rest of the squad is way below par and could often lose contact, turning the lieutenant into a water carrier too early. pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fpc.png Mattia Cattaneo is not a puncher and may struggle on the short hilly climbs.

Isostar – LimeBike’s pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/iso.png Martijn Keizer has a very strong time trail, in case he is able to reduce time losses in the mountains he is an outsider for a top result. Like Cattaneo pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fpc.png Mattia Cattaneo may struggle on the short hilly climbs and he won’t fancy the longest stages. Mediocre support from lieutenant pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/iso.png Gilanipoor and the rest of the squad.

SPAR - Siam Cement’s pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ssc.png Stefan Denifl sits quite low on my list, considering that he is a better pure climber that Cattaneo and Keizer, if he can make the best if his pure climbing skills that may be unjustified but with clear lack of TT, limited resistance and acceleration, I just don’t see him as a direct contender for top 5, lieutenant pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ssc.png Brändle and the squad not the strongest either.

Bennelong – Mitchelton comes with pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/bnm.png Jack Haig, his strongest skill to place him as 8th on my list is quite a strong ITT, something that most of the favorites beneath him will not possess. His climbing is not perfect but should be good enough to limit time losses in most situations, it will be crucial for him to have a great day in the long ITT, if he want to get into top 10 or better.

Will mention Aegon – Lavazza a little earlier than their team leader would normally justify, the reason is that they comes not with a single leader but a trio, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/aeg.png Velits, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/aeg.png Olivier and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/aeg.png Keinath, none of those one their own strong enough to suggest a top 10 result, but no matter if the unit to help one leader or ride their own Vuelta a Espana one by one, they should have the option to deliver a nice combined points haul. That said I have no idea how they will do that without stepping on each other’s toes, will be fun for the outsider to watch. With also pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/aeg.png Koep and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/aeg.png van der Hugenhaben quite an interesting squad.

We got another three teams who will have riders realistically aiming at top 10 or better.
Repsol – Netflix with pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/rpn.png Merhawi Kudus, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/rpn.png Roson and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/rpn.png Pedrero as main helpers. Moser – Sygic with pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/mos.png Warren Barguil, got a relative strong support from pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/mos.png Vysna and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/mos.png Kolar. Air France – KLM with pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/afk.png Nairo Quintana with pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/afk.png Salinas as support. All those are top climbers with pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/mos.png Warren Barguil being the unpaper weaker but to compensate he should get stronger at the end of a long race like this. The trio’s main disadvantage is lack of ITT skill.

Then to the large “outsider” group.
T-Mobile with pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/tmo.png Georg Preidler and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/tmo.png Mai as support, with one major issue being a complete lack of ITT, he will have to be very aggressive in the mountains, as he will likely drop after every ITT.
Gazelle with pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/gzl.png Denys Karnulin, having quite strong support in pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/gzl.png Sosnitskiy, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/gzl.png Vervaeke and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/gzl.png Kruijswijk. EA Vesuvio with pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/eav.png Alex Kirsch, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/eav.png Godoy and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/eav.png Kuss as support. Festina – OAKA with pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fes.png Francesco Bongiorno, a homogeny but relative weak squad with pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fes.png Vuillermoz as strongest helper. Evonik – ELKO with pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/evo.png Miguel Angel Lopez with pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/evo.png Sakalou as main support. Generali with pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/gen.png Pierre Latour and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/gen.png Carpenter. Grieg – Maersk with pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/grm.png Sigurd Nesset and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/grm.png Iturria. Fablok - Bank BGZ with pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fab.png Martin Hacecky and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fab.png Pawel Poljanski. Indosat Ooredoo – ANZ with pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ino.png Gregory Brenes, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ino.png Russom and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ino.png Warchol as support. Team Puma – SAP with pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/pum.png Yuriy Vasyliv, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/pum.png Stüssi, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/pum.png Bevin. eBuddy with pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ebd.png Gianluca Brambilla basically without support. All those teams with more or less similar possibilities to aim for a top 15-20 and with a perfect ride maybe a little higher.
Finally we got Podium Ambition, coming to the Vuelta with a squad without GC ambitions, notably the average age just 24.5 years, clearly here to gain experience and hope for some breakaway activity from pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/t3a.png Vliegen, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/t3a.png Altur or pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/t3a.png Novardianto

Now to some lists of the different terrain favorites:

Pure Mountain Stages:
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/akm.png Taaramäe and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/p4e.png Pluchkin with pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/tti.png Kritskiy, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ssc.png Denifl and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/des.png Tenorio as outsiders.
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/akm.png Taaramäe857680797970pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ino.png Brenes797080707365
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/p4e.png Pluchkin857478797866pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/aeg.png Keinath797076767763
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/des.png Tenorio846776797868pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fes.png Bongiorno796977777765
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/tti.png Kritskiy846776787862pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fpc.png Carthy796975767565
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ssc.png Denifl846571767564pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/eav.png Kirsch796773757562
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fpc.png Cattaneo827080807664pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ebd.png Brambilla796373767570
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/rpn.png Kudus827077797967pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/evo.png Lopez787673737470
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/afk.png Quintana826676767761pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/gzl.png Sosnitskiy787377687377
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/mos.png Barguil817577827776pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/p4e.png Padun787373747170
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/iso.png Keizer817379797561pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/gzl.png Karnulin787075777673
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/akm.png Galta816679777870pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/grm.png Nesset786976747768
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/aeg.png Velits816571717262pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/akm.png Lunke786474787669
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/bnm.png Haig807375787667pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fab.png Hacecky777576767167
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/aeg.png Olivier807180777671pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/gen.png Latour777376787873
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/tmo.png Preidler806977767181pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/eav.png Godoy777375757468

Semi Mountain Stages:
Even on the harder hill profiles pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/akm.png Taaramäe top favourite, with pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/evo.png Lopez and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/tmo.png Preidler most likely podium candidates.
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/akm.png Taaramäe78857675807979pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/mos.png Vysna76777168757072
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/evo.png Lopez79787669737374pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fes.png Bongiorno75796969777777
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/tmo.png Preidler78806968777671pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/aeg.png Velits74816570717172
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/des.png Tenorio76846768767978pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/des.png Yates79708074707377
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ssc.png Denifl76846570717675pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/bnm.png Haig74807372757876
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/p4e.png Pluchkin75857474787978pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/p4e.png Padun75787367737471
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/rpn.png Kudus76827069777979pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/gen.png Carpenter76767267717372
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/tti.png Kritskiy75846775767878pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/aeg.png van der Hugenhaben77746170717072
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/aeg.png Olivier76807172807776pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/akm.png Tvetcov75777371717672
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/mos.png Barguil75817570778277pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/gzl.png Tratnik77737071757074
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fab.png Poljanski77777166707670pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/evo.png Sergis76757068737369
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/aeg.png Keinath76797074767677pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ino.png Anuar Aziz80676971716976
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ebd.png Brambilla76796372737675pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fpc.png Carthy74796970757675
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/afk.png Quintana74826668767677pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/eav.png Kirsch74796770737575
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fab.png Benoot77757170747474pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/akm.png Galta73816669797778

Puncher stage
On the hilly profiles without hard climbs pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ino.png Anuar Aziz top favourite, with pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/evo.png Lopez and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/des.png Yates as most likely podium candidates.
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ino.png Anuar Aziz80676971716669pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/des.png Tenorio76846776685979
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/evo.png Lopez79787673696573pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ssc.png Denifl76846571706676
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/des.png Yates79708070747573pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/rpn.png Kudus76827077696279
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/akm.png Taaramäe78857680756079pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/aeg.png Olivier76807180726477
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/tmo.png Preidler78806977685076pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/aeg.png Keinath76797076746276
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/des.png Landa78696969656170pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ebd.png Brambilla76796373726076
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ebd.png Gerts78667080777274pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/mos.png Vysna76777175685370
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fab.png Poljanski77777170666176pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/gen.png Carpenter76767271676673
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fab.png Benoot77757174706974pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/evo.png Sergis76757073685873
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/aeg.png van der Hugenhaben77746171706570pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/p4e.png Laas76747673676773
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/gzl.png Tratnik77737075716170pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fes.png Rabottini76746873706768
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/afk.png Edet77707169676165pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/afk.png Vanendert76706971705469
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/iso.png Kump77668073748180pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/aeg.png Eiking76687473706770
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ssc.png Sirironnachai77667374716470pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ebd.png Lammertink76686973746874
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fpc.png Turgis77657577726969pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/iso.png Bol76686770756274

Sprinter stage
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ebd.png Grosu and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ssc.png Guerao the stand alone favorites on the flat, with pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/iso.png Kump, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/rpn.png Nizzolo likely to get a podiums and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fpc.png Kemboi, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/eav.png Afewerki, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fab.png Stepniak and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/grm.png Bertilsson as outsiders.

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ebd.png Grosu838073707974pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ebd.png Brus787871697874
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ssc.png Guerao837674648171pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ino.png Krasnov787772677572
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/iso.png Kump818074738076pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fes.png Weber777773697174
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/rpn.png Nizzolo807973677170pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ssc.png Hsu777773687274
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fpc.png Kemboi798078778174pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/iso.png Kalaba777772717570
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/eav.png Afewerki798073708177pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/evo.png Eislers777475757274
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fab.png Stepniak797972707570pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/evo.png Dzamastagic767878727676
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/grm.png Bertilsson797773717672pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fes.png Ackermann767871707873
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/evo.png Liepins787973687773pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/eav.png Sanikwathi767670667468
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/gen.png Martinelli787871707773pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/des.png Yates758074707377

There is no flat Time trail in this edition so have to look for more than a tempo riders to find favorites for the three ITT’s, this is my estimate:

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/akm.png Taaramäe7985818079pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ssc.png Brändle7976797372
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/iso.png Keizer8181817979pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/bnm.png Haig7780777578
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/p4e.png Pluchkin7985797879pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/aeg.png Keinath7579757676
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/des.png Tenorio7984807679pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/akm.png Lunke7678737478
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/tti.png Kritskiy7984807678pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/gen.png Ciccone7775696971
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fpc.png Cattaneo7982798080pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fpc.png Kemboi8160637781

Week two ITT:
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/akm.png Taaramäe8185807970pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/rpn.png Kudus7282777967
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/des.png Tenorio8084767968pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/eav.png Wirtgen7674727164
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/iso.png Keizer8181797961pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ssc.png Denifl7284717664
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/p4e.png Pluchkin7985787966pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fab.png Nareklishvili7868746958
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/tti.png Kritskiy8084767862pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/bnm.png Dyball7576717264
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fpc.png Cattaneo7982808064pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/aeg.png Velits7381717162
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ssc.png Brändle7976737268pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/mos.png Danacik7672727467
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/bnm.png Haig7780757867pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/akm.png Lunke7378747869
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/grm.png WĂĽrtz8065777472pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/bnm.png Canty7575717365
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/aeg.png Keinath7579767663pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/p4e.png Andriafenomananiaina7476747664
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/akm.png Galta7381797770pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/akm.png Tvetcov7477717664
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/akm.png Vangstad7772757474pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/afk.png Quintana7182767661

Week three ITT
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/akm.png Taaramäe8581807970pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/afk.png Quintana8271767661
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Aegon - LavazzaFablok - Bank BGZMoser - Sygic
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Air France - KLMFarfetch Pro CyclingPodium Ambition
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Aker - MOTFestina - OAKARepsol - Netflix
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Bennelong - MitcheltonGazelleSPAR - Siam Cement
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DesigualGeneraliTeam Popo4Ever p/b Nemiroff
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EA VesuvioGrieg - MaerskTeam Puma - SAP
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eBuddyIndosat Ooredoo - ANZTeam Tinkoff
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ebd.png Brambillapcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ino.png Brenespcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/tti.png Kritskiy
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Isostar - LimeBike
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Vuelta a Espana


Málaga Prologue 8,4 km

The opening stage of Vuelta a Espana 2019 will be the prologue in Málaga, the route is quite undulated with a hill climb, approx. 1.5 km with slopes up to 9.9%, with a total altitude gain of about 130 meters.


Stage 2: Benidorm – Calpe 194.3 km

The stage is quite undulated but the harder climbs come early and we must expect it to be raced as a puncher stage unless the pace is very high from the beginning. The highest summit of the stage is 963 m above sea level and the last KoM approx. 22 km from the finish line. Another possibility is a reduced sprint from a group of punchers favoring the puncher/sprinters due to the fact that we do not have an uphill finish.



Stage 3: Ibi - Alicante 186 km

The stage is mainly flat and although we got two climbs in the 2nd half, we must expect all the top sprinter to survive them, making the most realistic scenario a traditional mass sprint. There is almost 40 mainly downhill km from the last KoM to the finish line. The highest point is 815 m above sea level.



Stage 4: Cullera - El Puig 177.2 km

The stage is mainly flat we got just one relatively easy KoM climbs The Puerto del Oronet. We must again expect all the top sprinter to survive and get mass sprint finish. There is about 45 km from the top of the last KoM to the finish line. The highest point is 507 m above sea level.



Stage 5: L'Eliana - Observatorio AstrofĂ­sico de Javalambre 166.3 km

The stage is the first real challenge for the GC favorites, far from the hardest we will ride in this Vuelta, as there is neither many nor very extreme climbs, but it is hard enough to filter the strongest from the fillers, and maybe also hard enough to see one or two of the better climbers get into serious trouble if having a bad day. Maybe a top rider with late attack taking some time on his closest rivals.

The stage is composed from two main obstacles, the very early and relative gentle but long climb to Puerto de Alcublas, and the much harder summit finish at Sierra de Javalambre to Observatorio AstrofĂ­sico de Javalambre, 1950 m above sea level. On paper the climb is 7.7%, but that is based on the fact that the first 3,5 km is very gentle, and the last 8 km often above 10% with sections above 19%.

The total height difference is 3.617 meters



Stage 6: Mora de Rubielos – Ares del Maestrat 195.3 km

On stage 6 we haven’t got profiles images, but we got this info from the Vuelta officials. May not expect the stage to shake the GC too much, but we might see a few semi-favorites lose time on a bad day, or maybe even minor time losses between the best.

Puerto de Nogueruelas. 9 km at 4.5%
Puerto de Linares: 7.7 km at 5.7%
The Puerto de Culla 4.4 km at 5.8%
Ares del Maestrat (summit finish) 7.9 km at 5%.

The total height difference is 3.256 meters, highest point 1660 meters above sea level.


Stage 7: Onda – Mas de la Costa 183.8 km

The stage is another semi-mountain stage with a relative short punchy final climb, with brutal slopes. We start with a long flat section taking up about 40% of the stage before we hit a series of three KoM climbs cat.3 – cat.2 – cat.3


The cat.2 climb The Salto del Caballo, which is also called Mas del Moro comes up rather late, within the last 30 km, making for quite a hard finish.


The total height difference is 3.040 meters, the altitude at the summit finish 1129 meters

The final summit finish, Cat 1:



Edited by Tamijo on 18-03-2020 07:57
Vuelta a Espana


Stage 8: Valls – Igualada 158.4 km

The official profile says the stage start in Reus but that is a mistake, the route start in Valls and finish in Igualada, anyway the profile is otherwise correct.

Today’s stage is if not directly flat, at least not very hard and the organizers regards this as a sprinter friendly stage. Never the less we got a 9.2 km climb at an average 5.8% with summit 20.7 km from the finish line, so it is questionable if this will end in a traditional mass sprint finish. This is the kind of transition stage where “Other rider” might turn out to be the bookmaker favorite.

The total height difference is 2.105 meters, the highest point 802 m above sea level.



Stage 9: Andorra la Vella – Cortals d’Encamp 88.2 km

Just like yester there is a mistake in the official profile, the stage does not finish at Coll de la Gallina, that is a mid-stage HC climb, the stage finish at Cortals d’Encamp

This is expected to be one of the hardest stages of this year’s Vuelta, not because it is long and have the most uphill km, quite the opposite, this stage is short and explosive with almost no flat sections and several brutal mountains one after the other.

If you are not between the absolute top climbers you will lose a lot of time today and we must also expect to see race defining gaps between the best riders.

With more than 36 km climbing and a total height difference is 3.431 meters we are climbing at 41.4% of today’s route. The summit finish 2.111 m above sea level.



Stage 10: Bilbao ITT 51.4 km
With the length of the time trail we must expect it to have a huge impact on the general classification with top climbers losing minutes rather than seconds today.

The profile is considered flat, and yes we got a flat finish, but we also got a 4 km climb with slopes at 6-7%, so expect to see that a riders with a good mix of time trail ability and climber / puncher skill will be stronger on this profile than the pure tempo rider.

The hill is about 210 meters up to an altitude of 241.6 meters


Stage 11: Saint-Palais – Urdax 169 km

The route “naming” on the profile is not correct, the stage runs from Saint-Palais in France to the mountain village Urdax in Spanish Pyrenees, some 50 km east of San Sebastián.

The first and hardest of two transition stages before the next GC challenge we will get on stage 13., today is a typical semi-mountain stage with some relative hard climbs spread over the route, but still not hard enough for the GC favorites to be able to attach each other.

A rather easy late uncategorized hill will be a kickoff if a puncher attempts to break free for the stage win, either from the peloton if things are close, or from the breakaway if the pack is taking an extra rest day.

The highest point on the route is 675 meters, finish line at 83 meters altitude.
Total height difference is 3.140 meters



Stage 12: Circuito de Navarra – Bilbao 174.8 km

The second transition stages in a row, today is a flatter profile than yesterday, but even though the profile say “flat” it does not look like a sprinter stage with the three sharp hills close to the finish. It seems more realistic to point towards a strong puncher able to attack on one of the climbs and keep a gap to the finish line, or a smaller group of punchers breaking free.

The highest point on the route is at 889 meters above sea level, finish line 6 meters above sea level. total height difference is 1.994 meters


Stage 13: Bilbao – Alto de los Machucos 164.1 km

Stage 9 to Coll de la Gallina was tough regarding the amount of climbing, but ended with little separation between the best climbers, today we can hope for a different scenario.

We got a longer route with many climbs and what will be a very hard finish, the Alto de los Machucos is just 7.4 km at 8.9% but it is a very uneven climb with sloped above 20%, the short brutal climb could be favoring a punchy climber with a kick, able to get a gap on one of the hardest sectors.

Some riders may worry if they can make it within the time limit, with so much climbing today.

The highest point on the route is at 918 meters above sea level, the total height difference is 4.120 meters.



Stage 14: San Vicente de la Barquera – Oviedo 180.1 km

The last stage of the 2nd week will be another transition stage between the two hard Mountain stages. The profile says “flat” but not many of those Vuelta stage are really flat and this one is also a bit undulated.

If the peloton can and will keep things together, we are in for a sprinter finale favoring the punchy sprinter with the last 3 km uphill at 2.8%. The bookmakers are quite undecided favoring a mix of different rider types from a true sprinter like Grosu over puncher/ sprinter Kump, to pure punchers like Yates, Gerts and even Kritskiy.

Again, there is “other rider” option, as we may well again see a large breakaway and many top teams mostly looking at the GC very willing to take an easy day off, giving it to the breakaway.

The highest point on the route is at 330 meters above sea level, the total height difference is 2.126 meters.


Edited by Tamijo on 27-03-2020 10:17
Vuelta a Espana


Stage 15: Tineo – Santuario del Acebo 151 km

To open the final week we start with a high mountain stage, not the highest nor the longest climbs, but should not underestimate a day like this, not only will we pass three KoM climbs evenly spread out over the route, but we will also have a very tough summit finish at the Santuario del Acebo. The climb is just 8 km but with average gradient of 9.7% it will definitely be able to create some race defining gabs.

Only the best climber will be at the bookmakers list of favorites today.

The highest point on the route is 1390 meters,
Total height difference is 3.814 meters
Max slope 17.2%






Stage 16: Pravia – Alto de la Cubilla 152.7 km

The 2nd mountain stage in a row, and this one very tough with first 2 relatively small cat 3. starters both just 4 - 6 km, after those a 10 km false flat at 1-3 % directly follow by the 11.9 km ascent up to Puerto de Marabio a very uneven climb at 6.3%, with an almost 3km mid-section above 10%.

The downhill finish with 57 km km left, and we slowly start a 2nd undulated false flat reaching the foot of Alto de la Cobertoria with 48 km left. 8.1 km at 8.9% again with section at double digits.

After a very steep 7 km downhill we start climbing again, at first just leg testing but getting tougher and tougher and the official final start after about 5 km, 27.7 km at 4.8%, at first just 3% but after another 5 km the real fun begins with very uneven sections sometimes up to 10% sometimes almost flat, but most of the time from 5 to 7%.

This is only a stage for the very best climbers and there is almost no limit to how much time you can lose, if you have an off day.

The highest point on the route is 1700 meters,
Total height difference is 4.398 meters
Max slope 17.0%



Stage 17: Aranda de Duero – Guadalajara 200.3 km

Today a single flat between a lot of mountain stages, the route is still a bit undulated but should be a good option for the sprinter teams if they can avoid a larger breakaway getting to much time. Grado del Pico (or Alto de Carrascosa) cat 3., uneven 7.9 km at 3.7% comes quite early and should not have any impact on the result. The only obstacle in the final is the uncategorized hill up to the points sprint at Jadraque with 37 km left.

The highest point on the route is 1418 meters,
Total height difference is 1.938 meters
Max slope 9.6%



Stage 18: Colmenar Viejo - Becerril de la Sierra 178.6 km

A challenging mountain stage, with four quite similar climbs of 10-11 km each with average slopes at 5.5 - 6.5%. The only thing that separates this from a top challenge is the fact that we finish after a long downhill, making it less tempting to attack if you belong to the best placed riders in GC, but we may easily see early and/or late attacks from riders sitting a little further down the leaderboard, and who knows if one of the podium candidates will play this all in ? against the odds.

The highest point on the route is at 1871 meters
Total height difference is 3.871 meters
Max slope 17.9%



Stage 19: Monasterio de Veruela – Borja ITT 34.5 km

The climb in this ITT is 5 km, mainly with slopes around 6%, after that the next 29 km is basically downhill. Hard to say exactly how the climbing v tempo ration will be but I guess not far from 50-50.

Max slope 6.9%
Max altitude 1055m
Total height difference is 470 meters


Stage 20: Arenas de San Pedro – Plataforma de Gredos 186.4 km

A very heavy mountain stage, to set the final scores.

The highest point on the route is 1919 meters,
Total height difference is 4.758 meters
Max slope 20.0%





Stage 21: Fuenlabrada – Madrid

The highest point on the route is 714 meters,
Total height difference is 1.590 meters
Max slope 10.6%


Edited by Tamijo on 06-04-2020 09:08
Thanks for the preview Tamijo!

This should become a battle between Taaramäe and Pluchkin. Madrazo's chances in the Tour have just gone up.

We're mostly here looking for stage success and hopefully a KoM campaign. Other than that, getting some guys in or around top 20 would be great.
Probably the wrong GT to send such strong climbers, while the Giro Startlist surely would have seen me doing a lot better with them.

Anyway. One of them hopefully fights for the top10 spots or just after with the others making a top15-25.

Also team rankings and in especially stage performances are wanted here as having three of those, surely should help in the 3rd week mountains in the fight for KoM and stage wins.

Van der Poel might participate in 1-2 sprints but not necessarily planned or expected.

Taaramae, Pluchkin, Tenorio for the win/podium. Let`s see who does it the best.
Excellent preview! Let's continue the PCT tradition to take away big points from the PT teams in grand tours Pfft
Changed my sig, this was getting absurd.
Thank you Tamijo, very cool preview.

It's not gonna be a really high scoring GT for us at all. It's mostly my 2nd-3rd stringers here, with Latour here to lead the team to either a Zubeldi-esque top 30 or to an eventful fight for the KoM jersey.

Break wins are gonna be key to a solid GT here for us, Latour, Carpenter, Sequera, even Krizek have a perfect stat combo for that, plus I'm not gonna be too bothered if PCM 18's random sprints somehow work to our advantage.
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Hoping for some good stage results from Preidler, if he could win a stage and get top 15 that would be awesome.

Other than that, rooting for Rein Grin
We brought a similar squad to the Giro and that ended horribly. Can't see this to be any other than a repeat. The Tour can't get here quick enough, as we've got Wellens there for the GC. Here I don't think either Poljanski or Hacecky got what it takes

Rein’s race to lose really (no pressure Smile). Other than the top 3-4 a very open startlist. Probably our worst squad in GT’s here, but looking at the field Brenes could sneak a top-15 or like Konig, a few breaks. Anuar Aziz has been hopeless as expected, maybe he can perfect his bottle carrying technique here for future races :lol:

Thanks for the preview!
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Happy to have received a wildcard in our home Grand Tour. Really hope Tenorio can show up the PT guys. Should be a fun one. Great preview.
I was expecting a much stronger field than this, and now Cattaneo is set up to disappoint me even worse than I could imagine Pfft

Still with Carthy here to go for the KoM and stage wins, Turgis for the hilly stages and Kemboi looking to do as well as he did in the Giro, this could be a nice race for us. Fantastic preview by the way Tamijo!

Thinking about it, I wonder who will be at the Tour now of the 81+ MO brigade. I have it as:


In which case, I may fail my top 10 in all GTs goal after spending all season believing the Tour would have a weaker field. You can't make it up Pfft
That's a very surprising startlist. Taaramae could've been an easy win at the Tour with Herklotz and Spilak not there, and Phinney avoids the Phinney tour. In terms of quality the Tour will be the weakest one by far Shock

Also I hate to see Grosu here. The race is made for Kump, we avoid all the big hilly sprinters and then that Romanian guy comes upSad at least somebody else that has to work here

I really fancy the chances of Keizer to get into the top8, which should be the goal with the expected no-show at Le Tour.
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No GC hopes for Brambilla with that startlist, so here's hoping he will go for breakaways and be a bit more successful than Aru was at the Giro.

Taaramae being here definitely opens up another podium spot at the Tour for Dombrowski. The American hasn't been looking spectacularly this season so far, but I'm still hopeful.

At least Grosu looks set for a couple of stage wins here.
This is it, season defining race.

To send Taaramae here or to the Tour was a difficult decision, but the chance to collect some big points early in the race made the Vuelta very attractive. Seeing the startlist, the goal must be to get the red jersey in the opening prologue, and to be honest, there's no reason we shouldn't be able to keep it all the way to Madrid, looking at our line up and the opposition.

That has to be the goal now before the race, and we also need to chase stage wins with Taaramae and not see many breakaways run away with them. That was the thinking for bringing such a team here, that it would help Taaramae fight for stage wins instead of top 10 placings on the difficult stages. Seeing how breakaways got a lot of chances in the Giro, I'm not confident we'll manage that, despite the fact that our team should be more than capable looking at their abilities.

Looking at the startlist, Taaramae should have all opportunities in the world to win or podium every mountain stage as long as it's a battle between the GC favourites, and I must say I like the look of his chances on the stages rated hilly as well. It seems like we've got a very good chance to score big with several stage wins and big GC points.

And that really is a critical thing for us here. Considering how the season has been up to this point regarding points scoring, we need a huge race here. It's a lot to ask, but I can't expect less than a top 15 from Galta and top 30s from Lunke and potentially Tvetcov. Hopefully they'll bring home decent GC placings due to good positioning and having key domestique roles for Taaramae as long as possible in the mountains.

Obviously I can't wait for this to get started. Fingers crossed! Smile
Solid reasoning, ember. Hope you succeed!
Hoped to avoid the better puncheurs by sending lopez here which succeeded. This gives me hope that he might have good odds on the hillier stages. Hoping to get stage wins here and additionally hope that lopez attacks the KoM jersey. My best gt gc should be possible too - lost the count but probably means a top 100 result. Sakalou, Sergis and Egger should fit well as support for him if we can get them together into breaks. Big expectations Grin

Also hoping for my sprinters trio to have an impact in the sprints - particularly in the last week.

Cheering for Taaramae here. Shame its not in the "right jersey" Pfft
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Week one - stage by stage route preview uploaded in the 2nd post

Probably a mistake to send Kudus here given the startlist. Hopefully this opens up chances for breakaway, which was our demise in Giro, having an underperforming leader together with no serious breakaway attempts because Alarcon was considered a top favourite. Nizzolo as one of the top sprinters is great, though there aren't many chances for him, he should be able to bring some valuable points for us.

For the prologue we have Gonzalez Salas, though i don't have much trust on him at this point, and the long TT is too hard and too late into the race for him to get a big result.

Then a team that basically will have to get in breakaways; Barbero and Mosca should be great ones for the semiflat/hilly ones, and Pedrero, Roson for the mountains.

We really need a big home race seeing the latest rankings, and that Alarcon at Tour, while startlist will be very favorable, with no Taaramae, Spilak or Herklotz, i can't trust him to get into the podium seeing what happened at Giro
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