What we know almost halfway through the Vuelta

  • By Andrew Hood
  • Published Aug. 27, 2012
  • Updated Oct. 30, 2014 at 10:15 AM EDT
Joaquim Rodríguez is playing a coy game of chess to keep his chances alive after Wednesday's time trial. Photo: Graham Watson |

Purito might have a chance

Joaquim Rodríguez just might be in with a chance to win this Vuelta. Through nine days of racing, he’s by far been the most consistent and the most savvy. Not only has he won a stage and finished second in two others, he’s also picked up valuable time bonuses that will certainly play a decisive role in the final order of the podium and perhaps the overall winner.

Rodríguez admits he’s not going to drop Contador and take a minute on a climb, but he’s been riding astutely to create a rather sizeable lead going into Wednesday’s ever-important time trial. In Sunday’s stage, for example, he pounced with Gilbert and gained 12 seconds on Froome and Contador, not to mention an eight-second bonus. Twenty seconds in today’s ever-tightening GC battle is a lot of time to gain over a third-category climb. As always, time trials will be Rodríguez’s Achilles heel. If he can limit his losses to Contador and Froome to around two minutes, he will only be about one minute off the lead. And then he can start chipping away again, and perhaps finally win a grand tour.

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FILED UNDER: Analysis / News / Road / Vuelta a España TAGS: / / / / / /

Andrew Hood

Andrew Hood

Andrew Hood cut his journalistic teeth at Colorado dailies before the web boom opened the door to European cycling in the mid-1990s. Hood has covered every Tour de France since 1996 and has been VeloNews' European correspondent since 2002.

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