Wednesday, July 28, 2021
HomeVV SelectsLa Vuelta 2010, Stage 16 - VV Selects

La Vuelta 2010, Stage 16 – VV Selects

-

The Vuelta starts in a few day’s time and so in this week’s “VV Selects” we look back at our last day covering the race nine years ago, La Vuelta 2010, when the stage began in Gijón.

We conducted the now-popular ‘chat at the team buses’ to hear some thoughts from DS’s Gert-Jan Theunisse, Dimitri Konyshev, Hendrik Redant and Rik Van Slycke, and various riders such as on-form Carlos Barredo, Greg Van Avermaet and the late Wouter Weylandt.

* * *

This article first ran on September 15th, 2010

La Vuelta a España, Stage 16: Shooting the Breeze in Gijón

Santander airport, the queues are horrible and we’ll have another one for the Stansted to Prestwick flight, no doubt. After yesterday’s grim weather we’re bathed in beautiful sunshine today. The stage start was in Gijón so we rattled up from Cangas de Onís for our last look at the 2010 Vuelta.

La Vuelta 2010
Gijón University hosts the start today.

We went for a ‘last words’ approach and trawled the bus park for quotable quotes – some of the buses were in ‘lock down’ mode, the riders only dashing out for the start.

Saxo, Columbia and Rabobank in particular were all very quiet…

The mood was light at QuickStep with friends and relatives on hand for Barredo, all proud as punch of ‘their’ boy.

Carlos himself was happy to chat and pose for pics.

La Vuelta 2010
Yesterday’s hero Barredo greets his pal.

QuickStep DS Rik Van Slycke had plenty of time to chat to us; I remember him from his days as a rider at the Gent Six.

La Vuelta 2010
Rik and Martin.

He was a strong road rider too, no huge wins but solid palmarès and always there over the cobbles when the wind blew and the heavens opened.

Wouter Weylandt was our next ‘victim,’ and again, he was happy to chat – a stage win does that to a team.

La Vuelta 2010

Wouter was coy about his next team; word is that he’s headed for Luxembourg; ‘it’s possible!

We plucked up the courage to approach Gert-Jan Theunisse, former mountain king and still looking skinny and ‘well-ard.’

La Vuelta 2010
As Ed said, in a fight, you’d need to use a cattle prod on Gert.

But appearances can lie and he’s actually soft spoken, polite and articulate – he was so nice I didn’t even mention Roy Sentjens.

Katusha DS and former Worlds medallist Dimitri Konyshev is a man who back in his racing days managed to escape disciplining from management by explaining that his being arrested in a brothel along with some new pros on the squad was an ‘exercise in team bonding’ – you have to respect the man.

La Vuelta 2010
Dima Konyshev was a little reticent at first.

He wasn’t saying much to start but we ribbed him a little, he laughed and gave us a few quotes, one of which was that Joaquin Rodriguez is a ‘terrible’ time trial rider.

The mood at Lotto was good too, with two men in the break and there at the death on Covadonga, not forgetting Gilbert’s stage win and stint in red, it’s a happy ship.

Gijón
Ed chats to GVA.

Greg Van Avermaet was happy to talk whilst Gilbert chatted and posed for pics in the background.

Johnnie Walker over at Footon has become a ‘regular’ with us and he’s very quotable, particularly his one about wanting to live up on Covadonga because it’s ‘so peaceful, with the lake and all.

Gijón
We’re turning into big fans of the Footon kit, but Johnnie and Martin still prefer the VeloVeritas design (we used to be called VeloResults).

Footon-Servetto get a hard time from some elements of the media – not us.

They put men in the breaks and race with bravura; more than could be said for some teams we could name.

Gijón
Thor is quietly confident about the Worlds.

Thor Hushovd wasn’t too chatty, but we were ‘locked on’ and eventually elicited a few words.

The last man we spoke to doesn’t need to be cajoled, he loves to talk, and to talk about Scotland in particular – Lotto DS Hendrik Redant is a big happy bear of a man but it’s not so long since he was winning pro races and the young riders all respect him.

Gijón
Hendrik Redant always has a lot of time for us Scots.

Roll out time – as our Dave always says at this moment; ‘your creds are no good to you, now!’ Indeed.

We looked up the stage result on our BlackBerrys when we got to Stansted – another cracker of a race.

Euskaltel could have rolled up into a ball after Anton’s unfortunate exit – but not a bit of it.

Nibali will leapfrog Rodriguez in the Wednesday time trial and maybe Mosquera will too, but Ezequiel has Schleck and Roche to worry about doing the same to him.

The test will shuffle the pack but they’ll probably end up even closer together than they are now.

It will all come down to stage 20 from San Martin de Valdeiglesias 172.1 kilometres with a 3rd and two 1st category climbs en route to a massive mountain top finish at Bola del Mundo.

The stats? The finish climb distance is 22 kilometres, finish altitude is 2,247 metres, a rise of 1,352 metres, average gradient is 6.1% and maximum gradient is 20% – and that’s at the top.

It promises to be a memorable day – we’ll be in Belgium on that day for the Championship of Flanders, but we’ll find a bar with Eurosport, for sure – see you there?

We hope you enjoyed our ‘mad breenge‘ to Covadonga and back.

¡Hasta pronto!

Ed Hood and Martin Williamson
Ed and Martin, our top team! They try to do the local Time Trials, the Grand Tours and the Classics together to get the great stories written, the quality photos taken, the driving done and the wifi wrestled with.

Related Articles

La Vuelta a España 2012 – Stage 20: Faisanera Golf – Bola del Mundo 170.7 km

The rain stings past the entrance to the ski lift at 45 degrees and tries its damnedest to puncture the metal sheets on the roof; thunder roars in and echoes around the concrete walls, lightning sparks across the dark sky, the air temperature has dropped from a pleasant Spanish summer's afternoon to January on Porty Prom. Welcome to the Bola del Mundo; they say it's the toughest climb in European cycling - we believe it. We've been up to Covadonga a time or two and the Angliru, plus most of the Giro and Tour 'biggies', but this is evil.

La Vuelta a España 2012 – Stage 16: Gijón – Valgrande-Pajares Negru Cuitu 183.5 km

Dario Cataldo (QuickStep & Italy) took the biggest win of his life in Valgrande-Pajares Negru; Thomas De Gendt (Vacansoleil-DCM & Belgium) had his heart broken; Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha & Spain) took a huge step towards winning his first Grand Tour; Chris Froome (Sky & GB) realised you really can’t race the Tour and Vuelta to win in the same season.

La Vuelta a España 2014 – Stage 5; Priego de Cordoba – Ronda, 182.3 km. John Degenkolb Again

We have to start betting ‘each way’ – yesterday we said; ‘Michael Matthews’ and he was third, today we said; ‘Nacer Bouhanni’ and he was second. And much as we admire the wiry Frenchman, John Degenkolb was 100% correct when he said of Bouhanni’s complaint about the German shutting the door on him; ‘on the right side there was only the barriers.’

La Vuelta a España 2014 – Stage 9; Carbonera de Guadaza – Valdelinares, 181 km. Winner Wins and Chad Chats

Stage Nine to Valdelinares; a horrible day after the baking heat of Andalucía - but joy at last for Lampre with Anacona after the Ulissi and Horner debacles. But where the hell is Pippo? Perfect tactics from Movistar; "we’ve got a man in the break, why would we chase?..." And they keep the jersey – and despite the best efforts of the Media to rustle up a feud, Quintana and Valverde seem to us to be working a perfect ‘one – two.’

All To Play For

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.

La Vuelta a España 2014 – Stage 4; Mairena del Alcor – Cordoba, 172.6 km. Degenkolb Distances

We weren’t so far away with our tip for the win in Cordoba, Michael Matthews the GreenEDGE Aussie was third and held on to his race lead; but we should slap out own wrists for not mentioning Germany’s Giant, John Degenkolb – the man to watch when gravity is involved and rains on the ‘pure’ fast men's parade.

At Random

George Berwick – Scottish Ultra-Distance Legend Still Going Strong at 80

A cold Friday night during the winter of 1971/72. My Kirkcaldy & District CC club mate, Rab Speirs and I are walking up the A93 near the infamous ‘Devil’s Elbow’ hairpin en route the Braemar youth hostel. Behind us we hear the sound of bike tyre on tarmac, two figures totting enormous saddle bags heave past us; Mr. George Berwick, who was reigning Scottish 12 Hour Champion at the time....

John Archibald – Reflecting on his World Championship Pursuit

Here at VeloVeritas whilst we have the utmost respect for John Archibald and his performances we didn’t seek any pre-Worlds interviews from him, his sister Katie, Neah Evans or Mark Stewart. We felt that the ‘they just need to turn up and ride then bring home the rainbow jerseys’ vibe was putting them under pressure – of which they would experience more than enough in the cauldron of Pruszkow. We let the dust settle post-Worlds, gave John a call and found how it went...

James McCallum – Rapha’s ‘Busiest and Oldest’ Pro

We caught up with James McCallum after a busy weekend which combined the British Madison Championships, a Revolution meeting and a cyclo-cross.

14th International Critérium de Levallois 2010

It was a typical cold grey Scottish autumn day for the 14th International Critérium de Levallois - even though we were in Paris.

Ryan Roth – Tro-Bro Léon 2012 Winner

Steve Bauer’s Spider Tech team pulled off the team's biggest win of the season so far with victory in the cult 206.4 kilometre UCi 1.1 Tro-Bro Léon in Brittany by Ryan Roth.

Mark Stewart – Team Pursuiting to a World Cup Bronze!

Picking up the baton of Scottish international success from Katie Archibald in the pursuits and Callum Skinner in the kilometre, British Points Race Champion, Mark Stewart came away from the recent UCI World Cup in Cali with a bronze medal in the team pursuit. Riding with Germain Burton, Chris Latham and Matt Gibson the GB Academy team rode a 4:03 in the second round to set a new record for an Academy squad. We had a word with him when he got back to the UK...