Joaquim Rodriguez was quoted during the week as saying that he thought he could win the 2013 Vuelta,despite having just finished 3rd at the Tour de France.
This got me thinking about the chances of a rider being able to do the Tour and Vuelta successfully.There are a number of riders trying to do so this year,so I thought it needed a closer look.
I am going to restrict myself to looking at 3 year trends,instead of going further back into the history books.
Some riders choose to ride both the Giro and the Vuelta.The end of the Giro and the beginning of the Vuelta are separated by almost 3 months,so it gives the riders a chance to recover,train and then race in the lead-up to the Vuelta at the Tour of Poland and/or Vuelta a Burgos.
The riders only have 1 month between the Tour and Vuelta,which gives some recover time and a tiny bit of training but no chances to ride stage races.
The last 3 years are not full of riders being successful in both races.I am defining success as finishing in the top 10 of both races.
In 2010,Vincenzo Nibali finished 3rd in the Giro and won the Vuleta.
Carlos Sastre finished 8th in both the Giro and the Vuelta,incredibly he actually finished 19th in the Tour as well.
Joaquim Rodriguez finished 4th in the Vuelta after being 8th in the Tour and Luis Leon Sanchez finished 10th in both Tour and Vuelta.
2010 Vuelta results in more detail:-
1.Nibali – 3rd in Giro
2.Mosquera – only grand tour
3.Velits – only grand tour
4.Rodriguez – 8th in Tour
5.F.Schleck – did not finish stage 3 of the Tour
6.Tondo – did not finish stage 19 of the Giro
7.Roche – 14th in the Tour
8.Sastre – 8th in Giro
9.Danielson – only grand tour
10.LL Sanchez – 10th in Tour
In 2011,3 riders managed to finish in the top 10 of the Giro and Vuelta but none did the Tour/Vuelta.
2011 Vuelta results:-
1.Cobo – only grand tour
2.Froome – only grand tour
3.Wiggins – did not finish stage 7 of Tour
4.Mollema – 69th in Tour
5.Menchov – 7th in Giro
6.Monfort – 28th in Tour
7.Nibali – 2nd in Giro
8.Van Den Broeck – did not finish stage 9 of Tour
9.Moreno – 28th in Giro
10.Nieve – 10th in Giro
In 2012,1 rider did the Giro/Vuelta top 10 double and 1 the Tour/Vuleta.
2012 Vuelta results:-
1.Contador – only grand tour
2.Valverde – 20th in Tour
3.Rodriguez – 2nd in Giro
4.Froome – 2nd in Tour
5.Moreno – 20th in Giro
6.Gesink – did not start stage 12 of Tour
7.Talansky – only grand tour
8.Ten Dam – 28th in Tour
9.Anton – only grand tour
10.Intxausti – 38th in Giro
Averaging these 3 years tells us that 2 riders do the Giro/Vuelta top 10 double and 1 the Tour/Vuelta.
Riders who have achieved a top 10 in the Giro and riding the Vuelta are:Nibali,Scarponi,Betancur,Majka,Intxausti and Pozzovivo.
From the Tour we have:Rodriguez,Kreuziger,Mollema,Fuglsang and Valverde.
So what am I saying?
If Rodriguez thinks he’s going to win the Vuelta he is kidding himself on!
Chris Froome finished a brilliant 2nd at the Tour in 2012 and possibly would have won if team orders had been different,he went to the Vuelta and finished 4th,way down on the top 3.Froome is a unique athlete with the amazing strength of being able to maintain his form for long periods of time.If he couldn’t maintain a top 3 finish then I can’t see how Rodriquez can.
Nibali is the only winner in the last 3 Vuelta’s that rode another grand tour.He knows what it takes and is able of doing so again.
I would think twice before predicting the top 10 of the Vuleta!
My bets are:-
Konig 2 points at 7/1
Geniez 2 points at 33/1
De Weert 1 point at 40/1
Landa 1 point at 9/1
- Movistar dedicates team to Valverde in Vuelta a España, believes in his chances of final victory (velonation.com)
- Sergio Henao gets his chance at the head of Sky Procycling Vuelta squad (velonation.com)
- Nibali: I’m no Superman (sykose.com)