Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Vuelta has Begun

A big day in sports. Not only has the EPL started but so too has the Vuelta a Espana bike race, which is one of the big three grand tours. The favorites for the overall seem to be Alberto Contador (fresh off his ridiculous, back-dated 2-year ban, which seemed more like a 3-month ban) and Chris Froome, who served as Brad Wiggins' chief lieutenant in the Tour de France. It's hard for me to imagine Froome maintaining the great form he displayed throughout the Tour and into the Olympics for another three-week marathon around Spain, especially with all the climbing in this year's edition. Advantage Contador, I say.

The race began today with a 16 km  team time trial. Somewhat surprisingly, Movistar, the team of last year's champion Juan Jose Cobo, dominated the stage, taking a 10-second advantage over second place Rabobank. I had expected Team Sky - the dominant team throughout this season - to win the TTT. Shows what I know.

Here's the route map for this year's Vuelta, which focuses on the mountainous north of the country:

Mapa_crop_exact

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