Vuelta a Espana 2009
Alejandro Valverde deserved to win this edition of the Vuelta, which presented plenty of mountains and was made particularly harder by the quick changes in weather and temperature.
Valverde showed to posses excellent recovery skills, choosing pedaling cadences that were a bit higher than his usual both in climbing and time trialing, surely aided by a prudent racing strategy, a very good team and the wise guidance from Eusebio Unzue.
There was much balance among the leaders in all the climbs of this Vuelta, no one being so far above the others: Valverde, Sanchez, Evans, Basso, Gesink, Mosquera have all expressed a good level of performance in any case.
Liquigas and Caisse d' Epargne kept a high pace on the ascents (Szmyd, Kiryenka and Moreno were truly impressive), while the leaders never really exposed themselves before the last 3-4 km of the final climb of the stage.
Here are some remarkable VAM's on the most important mountains, although they were performed drafting almost all the way up, behind the domestique's:
- ALTO DE VELEFIQUE: 13.3 km at 7.5% in 34'30", VAM=1739 m/h, equal to 6.32 w/kg
- ALTO DE MONACHIL: 8.6 Km at 9.1% in 25'24" , VAM=1854m/h, equal to 6.39 w/kg
- SIERRA DE LA PANDERA: 8.4 km at 8.0% in 23'30", VAM=1736m/h, equal to 6.20w/kg
Performances that can be compared to the ones seen at this year's Giro and Tour, apart from Alberto Contador's.