vrijdag 31 augustus 2007

Vuelta Preview

Tomorrow the Vuelta a España 2007 starts and with what happened in the Giro and mainly in the Tour de France the biggest question is : Will there be more doping cases ? The organisation did everything they could to prevent this, more controls, no Astana and no Mancebo and other Spanish doping ghosts.

The profile
The organisation of the vuelta has made the parcours and profile much easier than the other years, with less kilometres, less mountains and less time trial kms. The vuelta starts with a normal stage from Vigo to Vigo and the first big climbs will already come in the fourth stage to the Lagos de Covadonga. The most important stage will be the tenth on to Andorra where the riders get four though climbs but I also think stage 19 will be a good one for someone who still wants to win the Vuelta at the end. The time trials are much shorter than usually, the first one to Zaragoza is 49km long and the second one in Villalba only 25km.

Top Favourites
I think for the victory we have five main contestans Sastre, Sanchez, Evans, Pereiro and Menchov but there are lots of others who might surprise us like Cunego, Luis Leon Sanchez, Devolder, Danielson, Brajkovic, Zubeldia, Schumacher, Garate, Bertagnolli and of course Gomez Marchante so we probably will get a race with lots of attacks from those people. In the sprint we will get a duel between Tom Boonen and Petacchi and this should get some spectacular sprints if Alessandro is already recovered from his doping troubles.

Euskaltel has one of the strongest teams this year and I really think they can make something great from this vuelta.
Samuel Sanchez : He will be the leader of the team and will try to get on the podium. I also see him winning a stage but it's not necessary, just following is enough sometimes.
Haimar Zubeldia : He will be the big helper for Samuel and if he has the same shape as he had in the tour he will be able to get a top10 spot in the general rank himself. He also said he would try and win a stage if he saw a chance.
Igor Anton : Not sure in wich shape he is now after his disappointing Tour but I hope he can do the same thing as last year, winning a stage, and also getting more experience in riding for stagerides.
Koldo Fernandez : He will try to get some top 10 spots in the sprints, of course I hope for more but if he can prove himself as a good sprinter and sprint constantly in the top 10, he can maybe get lots of confidance and win a stage at the end when Boonen and others wont ride anymore.
Dionisio Galparsoro : Trying to get in escapes and maybe helping Samuel a bit
Aitor Hernandez : Trying to get in escapes and Helping Samuel
Inaki Isasi : I hope he can show himself once again in some sprints and otherwise he will lead the sprint for Koldo
Inigo Landaluze : Like he always does, picking his stage, going in an early escape and trying to win it. He will also be a good help for Samuel
Alan Perez : Escapes

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