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PCM.daily » PCM.daily's Management Game » [Cont-Man-Game] General
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Vuelta al Pais Vasco Discussion
cunego59
.
Vuelta al Pais Vasco
--
Preview

The Vuelta al Pais Vasco has dropped from PTHC to HC this year, but it’s nonetheless a prestigeous race with a long history as one of the staples of the MGUCI since its inception. And eventhough it has seen a nominal downgrade, there are still excellent riders on the startlist - including the defending champion, as it happens, but more on that later.

Profile
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/profiles/pthc_pva.jpg

As is tradition, Basque Country is hills country, but for the fifth time in a row, we start with a flat team time trial. A bad performance here can put the win almost out of reach already, so decent team support is a necessity. Stages 2, 3, 5 and 6 have stayed mostly the same - two stage finishes following a longer descent and two that will be decided on the final ascent, which are most likely to produce significant time gaps. The individual time trial on stage 4 now has a profile that is consistently going up and down, emphasizing the hilly nature of the course, but good pure time trialing will still be necessary. So, who has all the tools? Let’s take a look:


Top Favorites
MOHITTSTRSACTTT
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/pol.png Izagirre748177737264*****
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/duo.png Gesink817978757765*****

Umm … so, yeah. That’s not a lot of names. But under normal circumstances, this really should be a two-horse race for the title. pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/pol.png Izagirre and last year’s winner pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/duo.png Gesink are the only two riders who, in addition to being among the very best puncheurs, also have Top 3 TTT support and most crucially ITT skills that are significantly above average. The Dutch is the more complete rider with higher stamina, resistance and mountain stats, while the Polar leader is the better pure puncheur.

Unless the ITT is more hill-heavy than expected or someone pulls off incredibly dominating performances in the other stages, it seems unlikely that any other rider has a realistic shot at the overall victory here. But of course there are a lot of other excellent riders here as well …

Other Contenders
MOHITTSTRSACTTT
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/map.png Buchmann768167737473*****
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/gcn.png Schreurs698167767274****
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/min.png Claeys668263726671****
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/azt.png Chaves767968747372***
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/des.png Yates707968777080***
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/cap.png Slagter787966717371**
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/vvg.png Kanerva647870756976***
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/xr0.png Meurisse747767747478***
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/xr0.png Bazhkou697576737564***
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/lpu.png Oomen807574787769**

Of those, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/map.png Buchmann has the best claim to be wrongly left out of the top tier. He might be the best overall puncheur in this field and Mapei is the third elite time trialing squad next to Polar and Duolingo. It’s just that he’ll likely have to make up a lot of time on the Top 2 because of the time trial.

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/gcn.png Schreurs and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/min.png Claeys are the next best riders and firmly belong into the Top 5 next to the three mentioned so far. Both are terrific puncheurs with great TTT support, but especially Claeys is a really poor time trialist, which almost kicked him out of this tier. But if there’s anyone who’s equiped to overcome his TT limitations, it’s him.

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/azt.png Chaves and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/des.png Yates are, compared to the other puncheurs, somewhat solid time trialists, but a slight step below those above as pure puncheurs and TTT squads. Both have distinct strengths as well though, Chaves with his climbing and Yates of course with his great acceleration and sprint, which might net him some valuable bonus seconds here and there.

Then we come to a few riders with more significant limitations. pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/cap.png Slagter is a pretty well-rounded rider with great climbing and decent secondary skills, but not only is he a poor time trialist himself, Campari also provides the worst TTT support of any of the contenders so far. pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/vvg.png Kanerva on the other hand can claim to be the third best time trialist of any of the tier 1 or 2 puncheurs, but his resistance is subpar and he may not even be the leader in his own team, as we will see in a bit. Xero’s leader pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/xr0.png Meurisse is as well rounded as almost any other contender, but his time trialing leaves a lot to be desired plus he's a step below the others here as a puncheur.

Finally, we have pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/xr0.png Bazhkou and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/lpu.png Oomen as the best time trialists (other than the Top 2) among the better uphill riders here. They have to hope that the road stages won’t be too selective, but they’re also held back by mediocre TTT squads, especially Oomen, who is at least among the favorites for the young riders classification, alongside teammate pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/lpu.png De Plus and Desigual’s pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/des.png Errazkin (see below).

Some of the best puncheurs in the field have not been mentioned as GC contenders yet, which is because of their poor time trialing combined with mostly subpar TTT squads. Let’s take a look at those:


Puncheurs
MOHITTSTRSACTTT
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/adp.png Ulissi668062837175***
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/bgc.png Paulinho758064707275*
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/p4e.png Prevar718062777073***
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/vvg.png Gautier677963757176***
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/lpu.png De Plus767864747372**
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/adp.png Teklit707764757270***
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/bgc.png Afonso667758757370*
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/gcn.png Dowsett658064746971****
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/gcn.png Landa697857706969****
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/cap.png Mutsumine697764737071**
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/des.png Errazkin727768747372***

It’s important to note that these guys aren’t entirely out of the GC conversation, especially if the TT leans more heavily towards puncheurs. But with their low TT stats and mostly average-at-best TTT support, it’s unlikely to see them attack the Top 5 or so. Still, a lower Top 10 or Top 15 position would definitely be in the cards, as well as of course many good stage results.

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/adp.png Ulissi and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/bgc.png Paulinho combine great puncheur qualities with elite stamina for the Italian and solid climbing for the Portuguese. Both also have great acceleration, which could come in handy in the stage finales.

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/p4e.png Prevar and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/vvg.png Gautier are the next biggest names, also very well-rounded without any big weakness, except for their time trialing of course. As we’ve mentioned, the latter either has a strong helper or an internal rival in pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/vvg.png Kanerva.

Speaking of two good riders on the same team, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/lpu.png De Plus might share team leadership with pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/lpu.png Oomen. Although De Plus is clearly the superior puncheur, Oomen might have a leg up after the ITT. The rest of this tier is comprised of luxury domestiques who might challenge for a nice result of their own on a good day, or in the case of pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/des.png Errazkin for the young riders competition.


Team Time Trial
Top 3Top 5Top 7
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/duo.png Duolingo797877
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/map.png Mapei797876
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/pol.png Polar797776
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/min.png Minions777674
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/gcn.png GCN Racing777673
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/sct.png Swisslion Cycling Team767574

There are three clear favorites for the TTT: pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/duo.png Duolingo, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/map.png Mapei and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/pol.png Polar. The differences between them are marginal, so daily form might well be decisive, but the Swiss équipe is the slight betting favorite. pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/min.png Minions, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/gcn.png GCN Racing and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/sct.png Swisslion are the most likely to fight for the remaining Top 5 spots, but there are a quite a few other teams with decent squads as well - we’ll look at that in more detail on stage 1 itself.


Individual Time Trial
TTFLHIMOTTFLHIMO
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/map.png Fiedler82786759pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/min.png Janse van Rensburg78706869
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/gcn.png Sergent80796965pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/duo.png Howson80716559
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/pol.png Viennet80726754pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/map.png Atkins78756854
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/t3a.png Cataford79747072pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/xr0.png Van Niekerk78766761
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/pol.png Mullen79757062pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/cap.png Sterobo78706371
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/duo.png Gesink78717981pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/pol.png Izagirre77718174

There are some very strong time trialists here, but we will have to see if they function as more than key pieces for the opening time trial. That will depend on how much of an impact hill and even mountain skills have on the ITT. If those play a big role, it's again hard to look past pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/duo.png Gesink and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/pol.png Izagirre. Otherwise, guys like pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/t3a.png Cataford, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/pol.png Mullen or even a pure specialist like pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/map.png Fiedler could have a shot.


As always, the Vuelta al Pais Vasco has a lot in store for us. Here’s the complete overview of all riders taking part:

Startlist
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Reports/HC/Vasco/Startlist.jpg
.
Edited by cunego59 on 12-12-2020 15:18
 
quadsas
Big sad that we're not here as Krizalid could've scored a couple stage wins.

Bazhkou being mentioned with favorites is an out of season April Fools joke I assume
Manager of the greatest team in the world
DK Žalgiris
 
Gustavovskiy
Top-notch preview, thanks cunego. Duolingo is not portuguese though Pfft

This event is one of our season goals. Hopefully our preference of TT-prowess over hills-strength pays up. There's nice competition, Izagirre being a local should prove tough to beat.
Manager of pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/duo.png Duolingo pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/duo.png
 
cunego59
Gustavovskiy wrote:
Top-notch preview, thanks cunego. Duolingo is not portuguese though Pfft

Huh. Not sure how I got that in my head Grin Fixed now.

quadsas wrote:
Bazhkou being mentioned with favorites is an out of season April Fools joke I assume

It's a bit of a stretch, granted, but I wanted to highligh the better TTists among puncheurs and there just ... weren't that many Pfft
 
redordead
No mention of Nepomnyachsniy here, probably due to his lower hill stat, so I'm hoping the mountain stat comes in handy. The TT should suit him well and it's nice to see us mentioned for the TTT. I guess that bodes well for the future, as our young TT talents that still have developing to do Smile

I have no idea how this race will pan out for us, but I hope for some points at least. Thanks for the preview Cunego Smile



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pcmdaily.com/images/mg/Awards2020/mghq2.png


"I am a cyclist, I may not be the best, but that is what I strive to be. I may never get there, but I will never quit trying." - Tadej Pogačar
 
Marcovdw
Didn't want to sent Claeys to HL-TT combos as he is not going to be a contender, but needed to fill his racedays so took a punt here. The TTT squad is good and I might even expect more from JvR à la Danmark last season.
Manager of Minions
 
ivaneurope
Meh race will be for us
i.imgur.com/rrQH4R2.png
i.imgur.com/KoxIGiG.png
 
Luis Leon Sanchez
Hoping for some strong riding from Ulissi and Borisavljevic here!
 
Ollfardh
Oomen has never let me down! Yes, I know I just jinxed it.
Changed my sig, this was getting absurd.
 
beagle
Race of the season for Polar!

Win goal, but with Gesink (Buchmann?) being here, it's gonna be incredibly hard to succeed. Still, anything but podium would be disaster for the team.

Thanks cunego 59 for detailed preview.
Manager of Polar in Man-Game
 
Sykkel_Freak
Pretty similar team here as in Catalunya and we basically have the same ambitions. Gallopin could be in with a shot of a top 10 if we don't lose too much time on the TTT, but our main target will be to be active in breakaways and try to go for stage wins and the KoM jersey. Would love to see Vichot replicate his Catalunya performance!
 
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Kentaurus
Swapped Eastman for Chaves basically in this one as we had to split the racedays somehow and this seemed more suited for the punchier rider (as Eastman struggles in the hilly terrain). Did well to not lose much on the TTT, but had a reasonably strong support for Chaves there. The ITT will be more telling.
AZTECA - NBCSN pcmdaily.com/files/Micros16/azt.png
 
Marcovdw
Good TTT from the boys, gives us many options going forward for the GC!
Manager of Minions
 
Ollfardh
Predicted 15th, finished 14th. I call this a win!
Changed my sig, this was getting absurd.
 
Heine
Win!

Quite happy about that, a bit risky to send Buchmann here with the TT, but decided there was enough Hill-stages to make it worth it. And starting with the TTT-win was fantastic!
 
Gustavovskiy
Ouch that was close. It would have been neat to have taken the win, but this stage is probably not going to be decisive.

Still a good haul of points which everyone would envy. Congrats Heine!
Manager of pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/duo.png Duolingo pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/duo.png
 
redordead
Expected a bit more from the TTT, but the next two hill stages will ultimately decide our fortunes in this race.

Congrats to Heine on the win Smile



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"I am a cyclist, I may not be the best, but that is what I strive to be. I may never get there, but I will never quit trying." - Tadej Pogačar
 
Sykkel_Freak
Pretty happy with that performance. Losing less than 40 seconds to the winning team doesn't set us back too much. Hopefully the next couple of stages won't be too selective. Gallopin should be able to advance a lot in the GC after the ITT if that's the case.
 
fintas
Expected result for this stage. From now on, things can only get better. Now I hope my riders are free to join breaks.
pcmdaily.com/files/Micros17/bgc.pngManager of Berg Cyclespcmdaily.com/files/Micros17/bgc.png
 
Ollfardh
Oomen looking really strong there, good racing!
Changed my sig, this was getting absurd.
 
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