Monday, September 5, 2011

The Angliru and other thoughts

The Angliru!
Though I had mentioned that the Vuelta is the "ugly sister" of the grand tours, it has some climbs that really are spectacular. The most iconic of the climbs is the Angliru... a beast of a climb in northern Spain that marked the summit finish of Stage 15 yesterday. The overall climb is 12.5km with an average of 10.1%. Think that sounds bad? Well, the final 6km of the climb average over 13% with ramps of 23%. Even the pros use mountain bike gearing to get up climbs like this. There are many climbs in Europe that I want to tackle... this is not one of them. To be perfectly honest, I wouldn't be able to ride up the entire climb and would certainly have to walk parts of it.

I won't dwell on the results of the stage from yesterday. I'll just say that Cobo's climb was impressive. Impressive enough that some people are questioning him and his authenticity. I can't say that I agree with them... their doubts are simply based on the fact that Cobo hasn't lead a grand tour in the past. Unless some evidence comes up that suggests that something is suspicious, I'd prefer to think that Cobo actually earned the right to wear the leader's jersey

Froome leading his captain.
One thing that I will mention is that I've been incredibly impressed with Chris Froome. Designated as a domestique for Bradley Wiggins, Froome has ended up second on the GC classifications after Wiggins cracked on the Angliru stage. Froome actually would've had a great chance to be wearing the red jersey if he had been given the freedom to follow after Cobo instead of having to protect his captain. The fact that he's "ended up" second on the GC after doing so much work to protect Wiggins says a lot about his strength. The more interesting question now is... does Sky now protect Froome? Or Wiggins? I'd say Froome since he's been the stronger and more consistent rider. But that's just me.

I took a few friends out to a climb at High Tor State Park today. I don't know if the climb itself is called Little Tor, High Tor, or just Tor... but it's a really cool climb that I've been wanting to try for a while. It's only 0.8 miles long but averages 10% with sections approaching ~20%. It's a good way to put a burn in your legs if you're in the NYC area.
High Tor
I'd been looking forward to the Escape New York ride this year but it looks like I'll be occupied with other business... specifically, my friend's son's first birthday. In Korean culture, the first birthday (also called "dol") is really important. So I'll be there.

Oddly, the next "event" I'm looking forward to isn't even a cycling event. It's the NYC Mud Run. I hope I don't hurt myself....

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