Vuelta 2008 - Part I
13 Sep 2008
On the ramps of the famous Angliru climb (12 km at 10.2% average gradient) Alberto Contador confirmed himself as the best climber of his generation, easily dominating his adversaries: 41'40" was his time (VAM=1764 m/h), with the last 7 km (12.5% average gradient) done in 27'40" (VAM= 1895 m/h).
Only Roberto Heras in 2002 was able to do better : 40'59" (VAM = 1800 m/h)
An excellent performance by Contador then, especially if we consider that the stage was 210 km long, had several climbs and was done at an average speed of over 35 kph: assuming a body weight of about 60 kg, the Astana captain expressed an average power output of 5.9 w/kg on the Angliru.
Just like team CSC dominated the Tour in July, Astana seems to be clearly superior to all the other teams, so much that Contador's main rival may be Levi Leipheimer: Alberto will have to try and gain as much time as possible during the next mountain stages, simply because a minute lead might not be enough for the final time trial...