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Velominatus: Bat Chainpuller

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@Bat Chainpuller'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...

@Bat Chainpuller's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Contador 2. Froome 3. Nibali 4. Valverde 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...

@Bat Chainpuller's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. C Evans 2. N Quintana 3. R Uran 4. D Pozzovivo 5. J Rodriguez »

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...

@Bat Chainpuller's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. A Valverde 2. D Martin 3. J Vanendert 4. M Kwiatkowski 5. S Gerrans »

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...

@Bat Chainpuller's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. M Vos 2. E Borghini 3. E Armitstead 4. E Stevens 5. E Johannsson »

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...

@Bat Chainpuller's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. D Moreno 2. A Valverde 3. Dan Martin 4. J Rodriguez 5. P Gilbert »

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...

@Bat Chainpuller's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. A Valverde 2. M Kwiatkowski 3. T Slagter 4. P Gilbert 5. J 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...

@Bat Chainpuller's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. F Cancellara 2. S Vanmarcke 3. A Kristoff 4. G Van Avermaet 5. T Phinney »

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...

@Bat Chainpuller's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. P Sagan 2. N Terpstra 3. S Devolder 4. G Thomas 5. F Cancellara »

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...

@Bat Chainpuller's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. E Johansson 2. E Armitstead 3. E Longo Borghini 4. E Van Djik 5. E Stevens »

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...

@Bat Chainpuller's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. P Sagan 2. A Greipel 3. A Kristoff 4. J Degenkolb 5. A Demare »

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...

@Bat Chainpuller's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. E Johansson 2. E Longo Borghini 3. T Cromwell 4. E Van Djik 5. E Armitstead »

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...

@Bat Chainpuller's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Sagan 2. Cavendish 3. Degenkolb 4. Cancellara 5. Greipel »

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...

@Bat Chainpuller's posts:

  1. Bugger. »

  2. VSP PICKS: 1. J Degenkolb 2. A Demare 3. G Van Avermaet 4. T Farrar 5. G 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...

@Bat Chainpuller's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Rodriguez, Wack 2. Nibali, Vinni 3. Valverde, Alec 4. Gilbert, p 5. Martin, Dan »

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...

@Bat Chainpuller's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Cancellara 2. Sagan 3. Gilbert 4. Nibali 5. Valverde »

Where: Montecatini Terme to Firenze, ItalyWhen: September 28…...

@Bat Chainpuller's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. M Vos 2. E Johansson 3. E Stevens 4. E Borghini 5. G Bronzini »

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...

@Bat Chainpuller's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. E Stevens 2. E Van Dijk 3. E Johansson 4. E Borghini 5. L Gunnewijk »

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...

@Bat Chainpuller's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS (1st Rest Day Swaps): 1. Nibali 2. Rodriguez 3. Valverde 4. Henao 5. Nicolas Roche »

  2. VSP PICKS: 1. Nibali 2. Rodriguez 3. Betancur 4. Henao 5. Dan Martin »

Once again the metal grate is rolling up in front of the VSP lotto window. It’s bettin’ time. The Route de France is an eight day women’s stage race consisting of a prologue and seven road stages. The route stays away from any serious mountains so daily victories could go to sprinters or those willing to drive a breakaway. To make...

@Bat Chainpuller's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. G Bronzini 2. E Johansson 3. M De Vries 4. E Stevens 5. T Cromwell »

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...

@Bat Chainpuller's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Froome 2. Quintana 3. Dan Martin 4. Rodriguez 5. Contador »

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...

@Bat Chainpuller's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS (1st Rest Day Swaps): 1. C Froome 2. A Valverde 3. J Rodriguez 4. C Evans 5. Dan Martin »

  2. VSP PICKS: 1. C Froome 2. C Evans 3. R Porte 4. A Valverde 5. Dan Martin »

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...

@Bat Chainpuller's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. M Vos 2. E Longo Borghini 3. G Bronzini 4. E Johansson 5. L Gunnewijk »