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The VV View: It Was The Best Of Years!(0)

September 21, 2009 • by Al Hamilton

Ed Hood is a sad old git who is stuck in the minutia of cycling facts and figures! The trouble is that so am I, maybe even worse! Ed was very excited by the book (Tu vueltas) I sent him with all the details of all La Vuelta a España’s from 1935 to 2008, lots of info for us sado’s.

Ed touched on some details earlier, but two specific years caught my eye.

A Good Vuelta?(3)

September 19, 2009 • by Al Hamilton

Barring accidents or a dreadful time trial on Saturday it looks like Alejandro Valverde has stitched up his first Grand Tour (at last!). At the end of all of the big stage races we need to ask some questions and La Vuelta a España throws up some thought-provokers!

I think it was a good Vuelta – the start in Holland was a great success, personally I was wrong about the time trial on a closed circuit, it had a big crowd as did all the Dutch roads, and it was the same in Germany and Belgium.

All To Play For(0)

September 12, 2009 • by Al Hamilton

Talking to people who had been to the start in Holland and the stages through Belgium and Germany it was a great success which attracted bigger crowds than expected, if they could only have moved the Spanish weather there it would have been perfect.

The stages up there were not expected to affect the eventual overall out-come, but the next week in the area of Valencia were, and did!

The VV View: Contract Negotiations and Grand Tour Podiums(1)

September 11, 2009 • by Ed Hood

I was coming down the ‘parachutes’ in the Transit on Friday – the old East 25 course – when I got the text message from Dave; ‘Garcia and Hesjedal away with two K to go.’

I was talking to Ryder only last night-about his great ride on stage 9, when he was second to Simon Gerrans; then the next text came in; ‘Your man has won!’

Heaven is… Tus Vueltas!(0)

September 8, 2009 • by Ed Hood

It was like Xmas, hustling the Transit across town to John Anderson’s shop – to get my ‘Vuelta presie’ courtesy fellow ‘Pezzer’ Al Hamilton.

The last one was my Vuelta gillet; only used abroad, somehow a Vuelta gillet doesn’t work at Wallyford.

Anyway; it was a book, packed with stats on every Vuelta from the first one in 1935 up ’til last year – heaven! Let’s browse!

The Aitana today…(0)

September 6, 2009 • by Ed Hood

“Today the 204.7km eighth stage from Azlira to Alto de Aitana tackles seven rated climbs before the finish-line summit at the Aitana climb, rated ‘especial’ in the Vuelta as a stage ending atop a climb.

At 21.7km long with an average grade of 5.7 percent, the Aitana climb will give a first good indication of who’s up to winning the race.”

I couldn’t have put it better me self; but that’s what the Cervélo: press release had to say tonight.

Hands Up Who Knows Anything About Borut Božič(0)

September 4, 2009 • by Ed Hood

Borut Božič, no, I didn’t know much about him either, ’til I checked him out.

He turned pro in 2004 with Perutnina Ptuj (Ptuj being the capital of Slovenia) and took four wins that year-a stage in the Jadranska Magistrala in Croatia; two stages in the Tour of Slovenia and a stage in the Tour of Serbia.

Everyone a Winner, Greipel – Columbia again!(0)

September 1, 2009 • by Ed Hood

Greipel – Columbia again !

It’s been quite a season for the US team, the wins started and have never stopped.

Griepel takes another stage.That was what Adam Hansen cited as the main difference between the old T-Mobile and the new High Road-Columbia; “now, we win races!”

At La Vuelta 2009 in the Low Countries(0)

September 1, 2009 • by VeloVeritas

– Reported by Alasdair Maclennan –

I’ve been out here for the weekend, and I thought more people would have made the easy journey from the UK to Holland for a Grand Tour depart but so far the only ones we’ve bumped into are Neil and Maria Martin who are here for obvious reasons.

I had my doubts about the Assen TT before we arrived but it turned out to be a spectacular venue with at least half the course visible from the stands.

Another Columbia Win!(0)

September 1, 2009 • by Ed Hood

Dave was giving me the SMS updates on stage 2; when it came together I decided that it was between Tyler and Tom – wrong again.

Greg Henderson, another Columbia boy made good – how many wins is that, now? 70-odd!

He was working for Greipel, looked back saw he wasn’t there, looked up, saw the line, sprinted – and won his first Grand Tour stage; simple as that.

Will the Vuelta be Scandal-Free?(0)

August 31, 2009 • by Al Hamilton

A Clean Vuelta?

I hope so, but let’s look at the facts:

The Spanish sports papers quote Oscar Freire; “Rabobank want a stage win in Holland” and I’m sure all the other teams want the same, but the Dutch bank have spent a lot of money bringing La Vuelta a España to Holland for the race start.

About Iñigo and Gerard(0)

August 30, 2009 • by Ed Hood

Sunday, I did my hour on the bike this morning; had my shower, washed me vest and hat – time to amble down to the newsagents to pick up The Observer.

Just to see the prologue result in print; there might even be a paragraph or two, but no – “nada.”

As far as the press goes, there’s the Tour and the Olympics – and drugs, of course.

La Vuelta a España, in Holland?(1)

August 30, 2009 • by Al Hamilton

La Vuelta a España in Holland!

So, La Vuelta a España started on Saturday in the Dutch town of Assen, joining in with the other Grand Tour by starting outside its borders. The Spanish Tour has done this once before, but it was still on the Iberian Peninsula; Lisbon in Portugal.

Anyway, here are my (rhetorical) questions: Why did it start in Assen? And why have an opening TT on the motor racing circuit?

Two Outa Three(0)

August 29, 2009 • by Ed Hood

Fabian Cancellara – I got that one right; and I said that Tyler Farrar would be right up there, as Meat Loaf would say; “two outta three ain’t bad!”

Tom Boonen in second was a surprise; it’s good to see him back.

I like Boonen, I don’t condone his cocaine use – he’s meant to be a roll model – but he’s young, full of fun and human.

The VV View: Politics and Cycling(0)

August 28, 2009 • by Ed Hood

I did a Vuelta preview the other day; I mentioned the Castillan (Spanish), Basque, Catalan and Galician languages.

But Al Hamilton has put me right; “Spain has five languages registered at the EU; Castillano, Basque, Galician, Catalan and Valenciano.”

It reminded me of what they say about Belgium; “there’s no such place as Belgium.” It’s a conundrum, that diversity is what makes Spain the country it is.

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