Monday, September 01, 2014

It's Your Vuelta a Espana Rest-Day Uno Roundup! #LaVuelta

Okay, so it's 8 stages in with the GC-destroying individual time trial yet to come tomorrow, so before that completely jacks everything, what've we learned? Buckets!

1. The GC: Well, if there was any doubt that wee ingenue Nairo Quintana wasn't gonna let his big brother/tormentor Alejandro Valverde grab the red jersey and apologize that he had to because Nairo just didn't have the legs, Quintana's now smacked *that* (and Alejandro) down--the boy's got the lead, and while he'll almost surely give it up (perhaps more than once), Valverde's stuck playing nice to his jailbait team boss for now. Might as well attack him--uh, go for a coupla more stage wins then, Alejandro! As for Contador, he's clearly been bull!@#$ing everybody, and though he may not have the finishing punch to take out Purito and Nairo just yet, it's apparent that fear of Oleg Tinkov breaking his damn legs is bigger'n the pain he's got in the one he's currently busted. And go to hell, Samuel Sanchez is only 1:35 back, he's just chillin' while those show-offs burn themselves out! Froomey? Still can't figure out how he climbs so well careening about like a punch-drunk bat, but the time trial oughta make up some of the damage from yesterday, tho' for my dough, Purito's looking easily the steadiest of the bunch, and if he can limit the carnage tomorrow, his consistency may be able to hold off the flashier competitors for at least a podium. *So* close Purito--we're rooting for you for the big one this Vuelta, you're being very gentlemanly about the frustrated Tour dropouts spoiling your sweet-sixteen party!

2. The Sprints: okay, like we really care, but there are some, and I gotta concede, when Nacer Bouhanni's not being a big whining toddler deprived of his turn at the playground, he's really got it going this year. Watch out Mark Cavendish, while you were snarking about other guys only winning "!@#$ races" a season or so ago I bet you never figured this kid would have to be on your radar! In the meantime, guys like Michael Matthews excepted, it's still the Bouhanni-Degenkolb show--unless Roberto Ferrari decides to jam somebody into the barriers or stick a bidon into somebody's wheel with 200 meters to go and then get all outraged when he's relegated!

3. The Maligned: and, it's kinda nice to see Damiano Cunego, who's seemingly not being offered a renewal at Lampre next season, at least trying to justify a continued paycheck with a decent breakaway performance, though I do think it's time for the ambivalent if highly photogenic Pippo Pozzato to decide to either focus on his selfie modeling career full time or ride his damn bike like he means it. Fickle climbing talent Carlos Betancur, meanwhile, has apparently decided to kiss and make up with the highly irritated AG2R, which presumably thinks it's found a way to (1) get him to lay off the Haagen-Dazs and (2) keep 'im happy enough so he won't runaway home and actually show up in Europe for some of his scheduled races in 2015. Good luck with that--he seems to have a need for some serious coddling! As for Peter Sagan, though he did push for an admirable third place the other day, here's hoping that his ennui fades before he hits the Worlds, even though I'm seriously hoping for we love Tom Boonen (no, I *don't* care if the course isn't particularly suited to him) kicks his !@#. I'm assuming Oleg Tinkov is gonna be able to motivate dreamy-eyed Sagan next season anyway--or else!

Well, almost time for Purito to get hosed in the individual time trial--just stay up Froomey, and it's likely the GC day will be yours!

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