the spanish armada — BikeRadar
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the spanish armada
edited July 2007
I've never really bought into the two speed peloton stuff, but there are a hell of alot of spaniards in the top 20
40 spaniards started (20% of the field)
6 in the top 10
10 in the top 20
They are a major cycling nation. Also, one of the teams has a Basque only employment policy, which skews the numbers slightly, I expect.
Having said that, I don't entirely disagree with you that it's a bit suspect
off the back
But to be fair they only do week long stage races in Spain. There are censored all 1-day races. So there riders are brought up on tough hilly 1 week plus stages races. This is a major contributing factor. Outside of that they have a cycling fed with about as much bite as a sardine!
But think of the top 10/20 before Astana (Kloden/Vino/Kaschechkin etc)/Rasmussen got kicked out. More of a mix then (but still prescious few French/Italians in GC contention).
Some of the Italian riders don't do the Tour in addition to the Giro, or if they do it is too soon after the Giro to be competitive, so that might also skew the figures in favour of another strong cycling nation.