Wednesday, January 11, 2012

2012 Vuelta a España:

Once again there was a leak of the route details ! Time will come when the savvy journos will not fly into the “ Presentation ” unless they have made important appointments for face to face interviews with the Racers that cannot be done on the phone !

Whilst the amount of Mountain top finishes do not unduly trouble me , I cannot see how I can hitch hike from Barcelona to the North west corner in a day ! It took me all of two days to make it from Innsbruck to Grenada in 2010 and I was in the same vehicle from near Albi in Italy to Grenada for 30+ hours ! That was on motorway most of the journey . Across Spain is somewhat more difficult to get a lift if recollections are correct .

No doubt the racers will be relieved of this task by flying but their support vehicles will no doubt exit Andorra and the team cars will convoy with Police Escort ! The caravan attached to the Vuelta is small compared to the TDF so their non appearance in Barcelona will be no surprise .

Southern Spain usually has warm to hot weather but I recall some fear some storms on the north coast and I wouldn’t bet on Barcelona not having a down pour also !

The route of the 2012 Vuelta a España:

Stage 1, August 18: Pamplona team time trial, 16.2km
Stage 2, August 19: Pamplona-Viana, 180km
Stage 3, August 20: Oion-Arrate (Eibar), 153km
Stage 4, August 21: Barakaldo-Valdezcaray, 155km
Stage 5, August 22: Logroño-Logroño, 172km
Stage 6, August 23: Tarazona-El Fuerte del Rapitán (Jaca), 174km
Stage 7, August 24: Jaca-Motorland (Alcañiz), 160km
Stage 8, August 25: Lleida- Coll de la Gallina (Andorra), 175km
Stage 9, August 26. Andorra-Barcelona, 194km
August 27: Rest day
Stage 10, August 28: Ponteareas-Sanxenxo, 166km

Stage 11, August 29: Cambados-Pontevedra time trial, 40km
Stage 12, August 30: Vilagarcía-Mirador de Ezaro (La Coruña), 184.6km
Stage 13, August 31: Santiago de Compostela-Ferrol, 172.7km
Stage 14, September 1: Palas do Rei-Los Ancares, 152km
Stage 15, September 2: La Robla-Lagos de Covadonga, 186.7km
Stage 16, September 3: Gijón (Villa de Jovellanos)-Cuitu Negro, 185km
September 4: Rest day
Stage 17, September 5: Santander-Fuente Dé, 177km
Stage 18, September 6: Aguilar de Campoo-Valladolid, 186.4km
Stage 19, September 7: Peñafiel-La Lastrilla, 169km
Stage 20, September 8: Palazuelo del Eresma-Bola del Mundo, 169.5km
Stage 21, September 9: Cercedilla-Madrid, 111.9km

Miguel Indurain has already commented that “ With so many tough mountain stages, I would have been stuffed from the start,”

Miguel noted the lack of “ Time Trial Ops” which was his forte :

“This kind of route is exactly what the fans want, and the climbing specialists will have a great chance to win the race,"

The stage distances have been shortened but he thinks :

“they’ve maintained the level of difficulty of the stages.”

This will be a rather novel Vuelta , with the finish in Madrid which is the southernmost point of this Grand Tour edition

“It’s going to be different, because it’s all in the north, and it’ll be quite a nervous race because there are a lot of summit finishes,”

Source :

Sunday, January 8, 2012


Not hard to visualise what took place these last few days , thanks to the commentary from :

ONE OF THESE YEARS I will get to see these efforts live . In past years I have driven through these areas but never cycled them so that will be an interesting experience to enjoy .

Really pleased to see that Simon Gerrans has taken this year’s title since I have seen him win some really important races in Europe and he has always flown the Aussie Flag high regardless of the results from his efforts ! Totally professional racer that I have always enjoyed chatting with over the years .

Mattie Lloyd coming in second for GreenEdge has started his season on a good note and will help him to forget the rubbishy treatment he had to get over during 2011 . Looking forward to seeing him collect a few podiums during this season , hopefully some of them they will come in the Grand Tours which I hope to see live and thus enjoy greeting him after he crosses the finish line .

Richie Porte rounding out the Podium is no surprise as so many people will be looking forward to the day when he wins a Grand Tour , remember well his valiant defence of the Maglia Rosa some seasons back already ! Here’s hoping that 2012 will be another spectacular year for him !

During the year “ Vince ” , the guy that did a post about me , rode parts of the Tour de France for the second time . Latest email regales some of the Championship events and since he reads these posts I will be happy to have him “ ADD ” his experiences as a live observer here in the near future ! Up to you Vince !

Women’s Championships were perhaps more important from my point of view since so many NEW names came to my notice ! The depth of talent available is no surprise and I am looking forward to seeing their victories during the period leading up to London 2012 ! Amanda , Tiffany and Rachel are all new names to me , but I hope that the Tour de Romandie will have a Women’s Time Trial once more this year and thus I will enjoy seeing them in action . World Championship and Olympic Medals are the result of years of hard work and good team work but regrettably it is the luck on the day that decides who gets into the record books ! Team tactics can be very important and Oenone Woods sacrificed her chances of a medal in the Athens 2004 Olympics to ensure Sara Carrigan won the Gold . Coming in fourth she was unlucky to miss the podium but had the satisfaction of knowing that Oz had the gold as a result of distracting the other racers , who were certain that she was the person to mark .