As the devil falls, so The Little Angel rises
First of all we must congratulate Aru, The Little Angel, who must be a sure thing to lead his team next season. Astana must be thrilled with the win, especially after Nibali’s departure. Aru will want to take more stages next season and possibly another tour if he’s given the support he deserves by Astana’s race director.
Thanks to the Vuelta, we’re talking about cycling again
This tour was dirty and packed full of plot twists – of the right kind. Given cycling’s recent history, it’s good that the speculation has been about who will fill the gaps left by the withdrawal of tour favourites – and not a tedious analysis of individual athletic performances. Vinokourov, the Spanish Tour winner of 2006, credited his Astana team effort for winning the Vuelta – who could disagree?
Dumoulin should choose advice carefully
Aru wasn’t the only cyclist to join the big league this Vuelta. Dumoulin had a stunning tour, but probably wished he hadn’t buried himself with the effort quite so early.
Unexpectedly finding himself leading the peloton after the mountain stages, the time-trialist didn’t quite have enough juice left to finish the job. He should take David Brailsford’s advice, waste no time and go for the Tour de France 2016.
At just 22 years of age, Gougeard will give French cycling fans hope with his aggressive commitment to breaking away from the peloton, before attacking his break away companions. En route to Ávila, there was something of the Merckx in Gougeard’s pathological commitment to breaking those who cycled in his wake.
Even the Spanish police had Vuelta fever
When Orica-Greenedge reported that one of their 12,000 Euro Orica-Greenedge Scott Foil bikes had been stolen, the eagle eyed Spanish police were quick to find it.
Perhaps the 120 Euro price tag the shop keeper had placed on the carbon frame raised the alarm… whatever the reason it seems symbolic of this tour. Cycling has regained something it lost – law, order, and healthy competition.