Vuelta a Espana 2015
After 3 weeks of battling, what Fabio Aru needed was drafting behind a "motorbike" (Landa) in order to finally crack an excellent Tom Dumoulin, on the penultimate climb of the twentieth stage of a very eventful edition of the Vuelta: the initial small gap of about 20 seconds was too much for the Dutch to close all by himself, eventually resulting in a delay that will expand dramatically thanks to the excellent teamwork of Astana.
The Spanish race in the early stages showcased the talents of Esteban Chaves and the Great Legs of Tom Dumoulin, thanks to which he was able to drop all the favorites on the short climbs of Caminito Del Rey and Cazorla with the excellent VAMs of 1984 m/h and 1955m/h (7.34 w/kg, 6.74 w/kg).
With Nibali and Froome forced to exit the race early on, the event seemed to favor Aru and Purito Rodriguez, who were able to express on longer climbs VAMs between 1764m/h and 1816 m/h (6.12 to 6.30 w/kg, depending on the gradient).
Quintana and Valverde showed uneven performance throughout the whole 3 weeks, whereas Dumoulin was able to contain the gaps to a few seconds even on the harder ramps.
The absolute domination in the time trial instantly put the Dutch rider as the absolute favorite for the finally victory, while a great Aru showed his progress in the discipline and determined the basis for what would come in the following days.
Fabio Aru confirmed himself once again as a young talent for three-week stage races: while he keeps showing excellent recovery, explosive attacking skills in the uphill sections and noticeable improvements in his time trialling, he should perhaps try and refine tactically in the management and distribution of energy.
Tom Dumoulin, left too alone in the difficult moments, set the stage for future Tour de France editions as a pretender to the podium in Paris.