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Velominatus: Duende

Order: Level 2 Velominatus

Location: Ottawa, Ontario

@Duende's activity:

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...

@Duende's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Emma Johansson 2. Marianne Vos 3. Alena Amialiusik 4. Anna van der Breggen 5. Mara Abbott »

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...

@Duende's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Alberto Contador 2. Alejandro Valverde 3. Vincenzo Nibali 4. Andrew Talansky 5. Rui Costa »

Anecdotal research suggests that people are being let off-leash without adequate training to perform basic activities such as walking on sidewalks or through airports and busy city centers. I’m assuming this expands to shopping malls, but I never go there so I can’t be sure. It’s easy to blame the mobile phones which apparentl...

@Duende's posts:

  1. @Ron Learning to hold your line on a bicycle might help with this sort of situation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1pgm8I0B8bY »

The Bike. It is the central tool in pursuit of our craft. A Velominatus meticulously maintains their bicycles and adorns them with the essential, yet minimal, accoutrement. The Rules specify the principles of good taste in configuration and setup of our machines, but within those principles lies almost infinite room for personal taste.It seems in s...

@Duende's posts:

  1. @Steampunk If the cogal happens after the June 7-8 weekend and before the beginning of July, I might well be able to make it. Need to do something about the fact that I’m currently batting .000 on Canadian cogal attendance! »

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...

@Duende's posts:

  1. A Canadian in Pink! »

  2. VSP PICKS: 1. Joaquim Rodriguez 2. Nairo Quintana 3. Rafal Majka 4. Cadel Evans 5. Domenico Pozzovivo »

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...

@Duende's posts:

  1. Or “Valverde.” Not enough coffee this morning. VSP PICKS: 1. Philippe Gilbert 2. Alejandro Valverde 3. Tom Jelte Slagter 4. Danny Moreno 5. Jelle Vanendert »

  2. VSP PICKS: 1. Philippe Gilbert 2. Alejandro Valderde 3. Tom Jelte Slagter 4. Danny Moreno 5. Jelle Vanendert »

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 »