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Velominatus: BaltoSteve

Order: Level 4 Velominatus

Location: Baltimore, MD, USA

Gentleman rider

@BaltoSteve's activity:

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...

@BaltoSteve's posts:

  1. Podium places will be close, separated by less than 3 minutes.  Rest of the top  10 is a crapshoot among the 2nd tier favorites.  VSP PICKS: 1. Nibali 2. Contador 3. Froome 4. Talansky 5. Costa »

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...

@BaltoSteve's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. J Rodriguez 2. N Quintana 3. M Scarponi 4. N Roche 5. C Evans »

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...

@BaltoSteve's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Dan Martin 2. Michal Kwiatkowski 3. Jurgen Van Den Broeck 4. Bauke Mollema 5. Rui Costa »

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...

@BaltoSteve's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Bauke Mollema 2. Jurgen Van Den Broeck 3. Roman Kreuziger 4. Philippe Gilbert 5. Michal Kwiatkowski »

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...

@BaltoSteve's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Fabian Cancellara 2. Sep Vanmarcke 3. Tom Boonen 4. Alex Dowsett 5. Greg 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...

@BaltoSteve's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Lucinda Brand 2. Eleonora Van Dijk 3. Emma Johansson 4. Llz Armitstead 5. Evie Stevens »

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...

@BaltoSteve's posts:

  1. In no particular order, just playing the numbers… VSP PICKS: 1. CANCELLARA Fabian 2. SAGAN Peter 3. BOONEN Tom 4. POZZATO Filippo 5. VANMARCKE Sep »

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...

@BaltoSteve's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Peter Sagan 2. Greg Van Avermaet 3. Franco Pellizotti 4. Fabian Cancellara 5. Andre Greipel »

Lucky is the cyclist who has a parent cyclist. Early mentoring about the pain cave, guidance gluing on tires, these are worthwhile lessons a parent could lecture a child on. If one has to listen to a parental lecture, better it be about Eddy Merckx and how you are no Eddy Merckx than balancing your checking account. For the rest of us, our parents...

@BaltoSteve's posts:

  1. Hope my Son reads this  article. »

The most important moment in a man’s life is the first time they have a beer. I place it on the list above sex and having a child because sex usually only happens as a direct result of drinking beer. As for having children, I’m given to understand they are poop factories at first, then promptly become loud, and then obnoxious before the...

@BaltoSteve's posts:

  1. My current favorite recovery beverage – Raging Bitch IPA from Flying Dog, right here in Frederick, MD, USA. »

Last year we read that Philippe Gilbert is riding a 50cm (top tube of 535mm) BMC frame and he is 1.79m (5’10”) tall. Now it’s reported in Cyclingnews that Ritchie Porte’s Pinarello is a 46.5cm frame (top tube of 515mm) and Porte is 1.72m (5’8”) tall. He is no Nairo Quintana but somehow he is on Quintana’s old bike. Porte is just one i...

@BaltoSteve's posts:

  1. Speaking of unique bike fit – »

We reflect on another year of cycling; who has been naughty and who has been nice. The rusty chain award used to go to the biggest tool of the year but that has been folded into the Anti-V award. In years past the rusty chain award usually went to the present day dopers. Multi-year winners like Danilo “triple threat” Di Luca would now be eligib...

@BaltoSteve's posts:

  1. … and Happy New Year to all.  Rock on. »

Forget quick-release skewer, the mechanical derailleur, carbon frames, or disc wheels. Never mind clipless pedals or brake-mounted shifters. Scratch those deep-section road wheels, lightweight helmets, or miracle fabrics.The most important innovation in Cycling had nothing to do with those incremental advances, but rather with the invention of Cycl...

@BaltoSteve's posts:

  1. Oops – trouble loading the pic »

  2. In slide #5, is Mottet riding with a single speed or is that straight-block so tiny my eyes can’t discern individual cogs? »

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...

@BaltoSteve's posts:

  1. Froome & Contador go neck & neck, but the final GC gap is less than a minute.  Everyone else racing for 3rd place. VSP PICKS: 1. C. Froome 2. A. Contador 3. T. van Garderen 4. A. Schleck 5. A. Valverde »

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...

@BaltoSteve's posts:

  1. Phinney solos  to the win, followed shortly by the remnants of the late break.  Greipel survives the cobbles and easily takes the sprint for 2nd. VSP PICKS: 1. Phinney 2. Greipel 3. Cancellara 4. Pozzato 5. Flecha »

Imagine a world without the little things we take for granted; a house without a roof, a pub with no beer, a Keepers Tour without any clothes. The last one is a reality for me at the moment, five days in and still no trace of where the hell between Wellington and Paris my bag (filled with V-Kit, shoes, helmet, everything) is. The other thing that h...

@BaltoSteve's posts:

  1. Griepel impressive up the Koppenberg in the break! »

Finally, we have Milan-Sanremo. I hope pedale.forcetta is ready to shoot some pictures, especially black and white because it will be cold and possibly wet. Throw in a little wind and a race of this distance will weed out the less hardy. Recently, but not too recently, this race would be won out of a decent size field sprint. And yet, besides Fabs...

@BaltoSteve's posts:

  1. Delgado will miss the start but chase frantically along the Ligurian coast road, and catch the small lead group at the base of the Cipressa.  Amazing. VSP PICKS: 1. Sagan 2. Cancellara 3. Bossen-Hagen 4. Pozzato 5. Delgado »

I can’t really call it an obsession. If it was an obsession, I would have commissioned a bloke I’ve never met to build me a set of ultra-light wheels and I would have spent an outrageous amount of money to upgrade my handlebars in an identical shape from aluminum to carbon in an effort to shave a few grams off the top end of my machine...

@BaltoSteve's posts:

  1. Just returned from the first ride of the year here on the USA east coast (much less exciting than Hawaii!!)  A small group, some obviously still in a state of celebration from what for me was last night, but for them was only an hour ago.  Brian seemed es… »

  2. @torvid +1 »

The only thing worse than being two months from peaking and too fat to climb is being two months past peaking and in the middle of the season of rapid weight gain. At least with the former there is something to look forward to as you measure the incremental gains of your training as the almost daily rides of the season accumulate on your Strava pro...

@BaltoSteve's posts:

  1. @Jay  Agreed.  But for me there is one positive oddity that the seasonal change provides.  At the peak of daylight saving time, in the evenings after work I have light late enough for 2 hour rides max.  During winter, my weekday indoor trainer sessions a… »

The first Velominati Scottish Cogal is in the books. Organized and supported by Clan Engine, it looked to be a beautiful Scottish day on the bikes. V-kits and casually deliberate in Callander, this Cogal thing is catching on. VLVV, Gianni Continue reading...

@BaltoSteve's posts:

  1. Nice narrative, great pics.  Any shots of your support crew (aka Mrs Engine)?   »