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Velominatus: R00tdown

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@R00tdown's activity:

It has been many years (25!) since professional female cyclists have raced on the cobbles of the Champs Elysées. While running the Giro Donne concurrently with the Tour de France makes no sense to me, this Sunday’s women’s race does make sense. It should be the model for a Women’s Tour de France: the route, infrastructure, roadsi...

@R00tdown's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Vos 2. Wild 3. Bronzini 4. Armistead 5. Johansson »

Attention all Velominati. The Tour VSP is going on line and it should be a good one. Sure, between Froomy and Bertie a person could hedge their bets but Moviestar is all in for Valverde, BMC for TeeJay, Astana for the Shark and Garmin is finally committing to a team leader in Talansky. Some other teams (ahem…Trek Factory Racing for one) have...

@R00tdown's posts:

  1. \m/ >< \m/ VSP PICKS (1st Rest Day Swaps): 1. Nibali 2. Porte 3. Valverde 4. Kwiatkowski 5. Talansky »

  2. Memorable stage indeed.  As Cancellara said, “Chapeau to Astana”.  I have not been a big fan, but that was a solid display to honor the yellow jersey. »

Why are women’s races run concurrently with men’s races? I would get it if it was the women’s Tour de France, but I don’t get it when it is the women’s Giro in July. Since the Tour de Swiss there has been a lack of stage racing (in my TV watching schedule) and seemingly a perfect time to present a women’s stage r...

@R00tdown's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Vos 2. Borghini 3. Armistead 4. Johansson 5. Bronzini »

Attention all Velominati. The Tour VSP is going on line and it should be a good one. Sure, between Froomy and Bertie a person could hedge their bets but Moviestar is all in for Valverde, BMC for TeeJay, Astana for the Shark and Garmin is finally committing to a team leader in Talansky. Some other teams (ahem…Trek Factory Racing for one) have...

@R00tdown's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Froome 2. Contador 3. Nibali 4. Kwiatkowski 5. Talansky »

For the simple reason that the Cobbled and Ardennes Classics are behind us, I have not alternative but to get back on my soap box about the Giro being the best of the three Grand Tours. Well, usually, at least. Last year’s race sucked the big one (even if it was supremely Rule #9), but for the most part it is the race that is the most c...

@R00tdown's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Evans 2. Rodriguez 3. Quintana 4. Martin 5. Uran »

The 100th running of Liège-Bastogne-Liège takes place this Sunday. Danny-boy Martin will be marked heavily as the defending champion. Malmerde, and Phil Gil have shown they are peaking too. Froomy has thrown his hat into the ring, as he did last year but after last years 26th place, maybe it’s training. 263 kms, past winners include a long...

@R00tdown's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Nibali 2. Martin 3. Mollema 4. Kwiatkowski 5. Valverde »

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...

@R00tdown's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Johansson 2. van Dijk 3. Vos 4. Armistead 5. Borghini »

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...

@R00tdown's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Rodriguez 2. Nibali 3. Gilbert 4. Kwiatkowski 5. Valverde »

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...

@R00tdown's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Valverde 2. Gilbert 3. Kwiatkowski 4. Nibali 5. Rodriguez »

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...

@R00tdown's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Vanmarke 2. Cancellara 3. Terpstra 4. Stybar 5. Van Avermaet »

  2. VSP PICKS: 1. Vanmarke 2. Cacellara 3. Terpstra 4. Stybar 5. Van Avermaet »

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...

@R00tdown's posts:

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

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...

@R00tdown's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Cancellara 2. Sagan 3. Boonen 4. Vanmarcke 5. Stybar »

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...

@R00tdown's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Borghini 2. Armistead 3. Johansson 4. Stevens 5. 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...

@R00tdown's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Boonen 2. Vanmarke 3. Boasson Hagen 4. Paolini 5. Cancellara »

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...

@R00tdown's posts:

  1. Switching the order of things… VSP PICKS: 1. Peter Sagan 2. Fabian Cancellara 3. Edvald Boasson Hagen 4. John Degenkolb 5. Andre Greipel »

  2. VSP PICKS: 1. Fabian Cancellara 2. Peter Sagan 3. Edvald Boasson Hagen 4. Andre Greipel 5. John Degenkolb »

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...

@R00tdown's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Froome 2. Contador 3. Evans 4. Rodriguez 5. Van Garderen »

Twiggo is dreaming of a Giro-Tour double. He has sent out mixed messages about his Tour ambitions. Will he use the Giro as the ultimate Tour preparation or will be burn all his matches in May and hope he can find another pack for July? He has abandoned his successful 2012 Tour run-up strategy of winning every stage race he entered the previous spri...

@R00tdown's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Wiggins 2. Nibali 3. Hesjedal 4. Evans 5. Scarponi »

There is something to love about a race that makes a deviation to its route for the simple joy of sending a fleet of professional riders up a fiendishly steep and narrow ramp. The Cote du Stockeu offers zero benefit to the route from a logistical standpoint – in fact, all it does is complicate things. On the way down from the Cote de Wanne &#...

@R00tdown's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Valverde 2. De Gendt 3. Costa 4. Henao 5. Gilbert »

Last year we saw Evelyn Stevens out-last Marianne Vos at the top of the Mur de Huy. The take home message is don’t start one’s charge too early. Vos should know this finish, having won it four times already. It’s hard to know who is on form in the professional women field as the races are too far apart to infer much from the last...

@R00tdown's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Vos 2. Borghini 3. Armistead 4. Johansson 5. Van Dijk »

We came tantalizingly close to adding a foray up the Mur de Huy during our excursion to Liege-Bastogne-Liege during this year’s Keepers Tour. But good sense and the Anti-V prevailed, as they are wont to do, and only two of us were left wanting a dig at the most notorious finishing climb in the Classics season.I write this, then, woefully igno...

@R00tdown's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Sagan 2. Contador 3. Gilbert 4. Gerrans 5. Valverde »

Yes it is a race named after a barely drinkable Dutch beer. I have enjoyed Amstel beer, brought to our table by a nice waitress, sitting outside in the Dutch spring. Atmosphere is everything. Do the Dutch brew awesome beer? I drank some good stuff in Amsterdam last spring but I’m pretty sure it was Belgian.Now we begin the Ardennes three race...

@R00tdown's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Sagan 2. Gilbert 3. Nocentini 4. Moser 5. Hesjedal »

It looks so easy on the television. Well, no, actually it looks pretty bloody hard. We think we have some understanding of how they suffer, how their bodies can take the continual beating. But we don’t really know. Not even by riding these abominations they call roads twice in the space of a few days can we understand the scale of the thing...

@R00tdown's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Cancellara 2. Stannard 3. Roelandts 4. Chavenel 5. Phinny »