Velominati Community Profile Archive

Velominatus: Duende

Order: Level 2 Velominatus

Location: Ottawa, Ontario

@Duende's activity:

Midweek in Belgium in Spring is a wonderful thing. Hordes of people come from seemingly nowhere to fill the bars and line the roadsides when presumably they’d usually be working, or at school, or some such. That the only ones who appear to be working are the bartenders and frites dispensers reinforces my belief that Belgium is the greatest co...

@Duende's posts:

  1. Oops, apparently Geschke’s not riding. VSP PICKS: 1. Philippe Gilbert 2. Tom Jelte Slagter 3. Michael Kwiatkowski 4. Rui Costa 5. Alejandro Valverde »

  2. 4 out of the top 5 in PR, with none in the right placing. 3 out of the top 5 in Amstel Gold, again with none in the right placing. Let’s see if we can change the channel here! VSP PICKS: 1. Philippe Gilbert 2. Simon Geschke 3. Michael Kwiatkowski 4. Rui… »

Wednesday sees the return of the women to the VSP. More notably, we see the return of Marianne Vos to the road. She’s won this race five of the last seven years. It makes me wonder if the rest of the field have already resigned themselves to racing for second. On the other hand, Vos hasn’t been racing of late and may not be as sharp as...

@Duende's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Emma Johansson 2. Lizzie Armitstead 3. Anna Van Der Breggen 4. Elisa Longo Borghini 5. Marianne Vos »

The Amstel Gold Race, 251 km from Maastricht to Valkenburg, the hard way. There appears to be no flat sections longer than ten meters. There are thirty-four mean little climbs to ruin the legs. We have moved on from the real Spring Classics. There is no rest in this VSP; The Ronde and Roubaix were amazing but we must continue. Legs that are smoked...

@Duende's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Alejandro Valverde 2. Romain Bardet 3. Philippe Gilbert 4. Michael Kwiatkowski 5. Tom Jelte Slagter »

It has been a brutal week for us Keepers, having decided not to hold a Keepers Tour this year. Watching the action from half a world away has been almost too much for us to bear, and I know most of the participants from last year must be feeling similarly. On Sunday, we would be escorted by our friends and guides, William and Alex of Pavé Cycling...

@Duende's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Cancellara 2. Stybar 3. Vanmarcke 4. Degenkolb 5. Van Avermaet »

This needs no introduction. The Spring Classics are truly upon us. The course has been modified yet again, it is tougher? The riders make the race and the 2014 Ronde van Vlaanderen is loaded with racers who could win or make the Velominati VSP placings. Just to pick the winner will not be nearly as easy as it has been recently. There are small clo...

@Duende's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Fabian Cancellara 2. Peter Sagan 3. Zdenek Stybar 4. Sylvain Chavanel 5. Sep Vanmarcke »

Vlaanderen. Its no accident the Flemish word for Flanders starts with a V; there is nothing simple or easy about riding a bike here. If it isn’t wind, its steep bergs. If it isn’t tarmac, its cobbles. Most of the time, its all three. Oh, and the weather there sucks. In fact, Flanders doesn’t have weather – it has VVeather.De...

@Duende's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Emma Johansson 2. Elisa Longo Borghini 3. Anna van der Breggen 4. Lizzie Armitstead 5. Giorgia Bronzini »

The Kemmelberg is a brute. In my opinion, its the hardest of the cobbled climbs in the Spring Classics; it has a high speed tarmac approach that saps the guns of their snap. The transition from tarmac to cobbles is awful, the stones are very badly laid throughout and if you don’t hit it just right, you’ll come to a standstill. The cobbl...

@Duende's posts:

  1. @Steampunk Yup, he only lost out to Degenkolb by a moustache! »

This is the kick off of the VSP for women’s racing, though the women have already kicked it off with the Ronde van Drenthe in the Netherlands. Now it’s down to Northern Italy, Varese, by Lago Maggiore, but this is a climbers course, more in the mountains than by the lake. And yes, Sunday is also Gent-Wevelgem for women but Trofeo is par...

@Duende's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. E. Johansson 2. E. Armitstead 3. T. Worrack 4. A. van Vleuten 5. E. Longo Borghini »

The Kemmelberg is a brute. In my opinion, its the hardest of the cobbled climbs in the Spring Classics; it has a high speed tarmac approach that saps the guns of their snap. The transition from tarmac to cobbles is awful, the stones are very badly laid throughout and if you don’t hit it just right, you’ll come to a standstill. The cobbl...

@Duende's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Cancellara 2. Kristoff 3. Stybar 4. Van Avermaet 5. Sagan »

Het Volk (it will always be Het Volk to me) and now the Strade Bianche may well mark the sentimental beginning to the season, but those are specialized, pre-season races that appeal mostly to riders who are preparing for bigger objectives later in the year, such as the Cobbled or Ardennes Classics. Same goes for Tirreno Adriatico and Paris-Nice; t...

@Duende's posts:

  1. @G’rilla Agreed! I’m definitely looking forward to seeing what he can do this year in P-R (if he can stay clear of the spectators!) »

  2. @Captainsideburns Gerrans is out. »

  3. Looking forward to another exciting VSP. MSR appears wide open this year! VSP PICKS: 1. Kristoff 2. Paolini 3. Stybar 4. Sagan 5. Chavanel »

Oh brothers and sisters, we find ourselves here again. It was but a few moments ago when the Milan-Sanremo VSP went up. Racers fought the sleet, producing an unforgettable start to the Velominati VSP season. Cancellara, Nibali, Froome and, and Horner were all big points winners for our astute and well informed audience. But now it has come to Paris...

@Duende's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Warren Barguil 2. Sylvain Chavanel 3. Henrich Haussler 4. John Degenkolb 5. Gerald Ciolek »

Il Lombardia, this is the race of the fallen leaves. This fall classic is a beautiful race in a beautiful region of Italy. The arduous route may change year to year but what does not change is the Italian need to win this thing. There is some national pride at stake here after the Italian men finished off the podium in Firenze. Bergamo to Lecco, 24...

@Duende's posts:

  1. @xyxax A fine illustration of the distinction between possible and plausible. »

  2. @RedRanger I first read it on inner ring. @xyxax Anything is possible! »

  3. A small change in response to the report that Mollema is out with an injury. VSP PICKS: 1. Vincenzo Nibali 2. Joaquin Rodriguez 3. Robert Gesink 4. Carlos Betancur 5. Dan Martin »

  4. VSP PICKS: 1. Vincenzo Nibali 2. Joaquin Rodriguez 3. Bauke Mollema 4. Carlos Betancur 5. Dan Martin »

The world championship road race stands out among all other one-day races as the one where the winner is awarded both a curse and a jersey to carry for the next 12 months. It also inspires way too many riders to wear white bibs, which is an alarming trend in itself and one which I hope Brian Cookston, the new UCI President, prioritizes over the dop...

@Duende's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Fabian Cancellara 2. Peter Sagan 3. Rui Costa 4. Vincenzo Nibali 5. Nairo Quintana »

Where: Montecatini Terme to Firenze, ItalyWhen: September 28 Continue reading...

@Duende's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Marianne Vos 2. Emma Johansson 3. Joelle Numainville 4. Claudia Hausler 5. Annemiek Van Vleuten »

There is something about a time trial that lets you go spelunking in undiscovered caverns of The Cave. Contort your body into the sleekest position you can, make the bike as uncomfortable as possible, and then rev your cardiovascular system up to the anaerobic threshold for as long as possible. Its food for legend.Being a diesel helps, churning the...

@Duende's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Van Dijk 2. Borghini 3. Johansson 4. Stevens 5. Villumsen »

Seriously. Is it almost September? This was not the agreement, this was supposed to be an endless summer. And all you A-Holes down there in the Antipodes are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, enjoying longer days and shorter nights. I don’t need to tell you where you can take that, but it’s dark and it smells. I have no patien...

@Duende's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Joaquim Rodriguez 2. Sergio Henao 3. Alejandro Valverde 4. Carlos Betancur 5. Roman Kreuziger »

Since it appears that the descents are where the action is in this year’s Tour de France, we thought we’d forgo our usual Mountain-Top Finish for the Stage VSP and instead go for what I’m guessing might be a real cracker of a stage into Le Grand Bornand. In 2009, the Schleck Tandem hadn’t yet discovered their collective dra...

@Duende's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Tom Danielson 2. Pierre Rolland 3. Alejandro Valverde 4. Jakob Fuglsang 5. Joaquim Rodriguez »

This is the women’s Giro and it just happens to take place in early July, bad timing or good timing, at least the Italians step up and do a mini-Grand Tour. Here is the start list. Unfortunately we cannot be giving away more bikes and wheels for this race, but bragging rights and points are useful. Do I have any insightful things to say about...

@Duende's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Vos 2. Stevens 3. Bronzini 4. Borghini 5. Cromwell »

The early eighties saw the tide change in the European Peloton. Components were taking on a new, curvy shape as they left their boxy forms behind. The glint of toe clips in the sun would become a rarer sight as the move towards clipless pedals would take hold in 1985. English speakers were winning the big races classically won by continental Pros.T...

@Duende's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Contador 2. Froome 3. Valverde 4. Porte 5. Quintana »