Velominati Community Profile Archive

Velominatus: Islandbike

Order: Winner of the Velominati Super Prestige Milan San-Remo

@Islandbike's activity:

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...

@Islandbike's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Gilbert 2. Kwiatkowski 3. Valverde 4. Slagter 5. G.Thomas »

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...

@Islandbike's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Fabian 2. Vanmarcke 3. VanAvermaet 4. Stybar 5. Kristoff »

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...

@Islandbike's posts:

  1. Coffee and Waffles, here we go! »

  2. VSP PICKS: 1. Fabian 2. Sagan 3. Boonen 4. Roelandts 5. Stybar »

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...

@Islandbike's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Ellen Van Dijk 2. Evelyn Stevens 3. Emma Johansson 4. Armistead 5. Wild »

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...

@Islandbike's posts:

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

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...

@Islandbike's posts:

  1. Just like Cav in the TDF, I’m only borrowing the leaders jersey. VSP PICKS: 1. Degenkolb 2. Sagan 3. Farrar 4. Kristoff 5. Phinney »

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...

@Islandbike's posts:

  1. Yow! What a race!  Loving Nibbles, just knew he would try to blow things up but when Luca Paolini didn’t jump with him I started thinking that Kristoff was strong and they were holding their cards.  Got another race win with my knack for picking the 5th p… »

  2. VSP PICKS: 1. Sagan 2. Cancellara 3. Simon Clarke 4. Kristoff 5. Cav »

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...

@Islandbike's posts:

  1. What do you think the over/under would be for people actually finishing this race? VSP PICKS: 1. Nibbles 2. Martin 3. Rodriguez 4. Uran 5. Scarponi »

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...

@Islandbike's posts:

  1. Not too sure on my picks but I feel that just like last year this will be the most exciting grand tour. I mean really, how about a little action?  Pedaling for podiums in the Vuelta?  Who cares? This ain’t the Tour (thank goodness) people are riding for… »

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...

@Islandbike's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS (1st Rest Day Swaps): 1. Froome 2. Valverde 3. Evans 4. Contador 5. Rodriguez »

  2. My personal suitcase of courage is only a carry on but I feel my line up will be pushing the pedals in anger and releasing cats into pigeon coops.  Very grippy indeed. VSP PICKS: 1. Froome 2. Teejay 3. Porte 4. Contador 5. Rodriguez »

We’re heaping coals on the Giro frenzy that’s burning in all corners of the Cycling world by issuing the second installment of the monthly BigRingRiding Sur la Plaque series while at the same time kicking off the Six Days of the Giro series where we’ll post six articles on the subject of this, the best Grand Tour of the year. Y...

@Islandbike's posts:

  1. I must confess that I fail to obey Rule #33 about 30% of the time. Furthermore I must confess that at the moment of this post I am currently in violation of Rule #33.  I am able to marginally justify shaving to my spouse during shorts season but during th… »

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...

@Islandbike's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Hesjedal 2. Wiggo 3. Nibali 4. Betancur 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 &#...

@Islandbike's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Nibbles 2. Gilbert 3. Dan Martin 4. Iglinskiy 5. Moreno »

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...

@Islandbike's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Neben 2. Vos 3. Johanson 4. McGrath 5. Brand »

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...

@Islandbike's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Quintana 2. J-Rod 3. Porte 4. Valverde 5. Hesjedal »

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...

@Islandbike's posts:

  1. Oops, wrong email.  That’s better. »

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...

@Islandbike's posts:

  1. Going out on a thin limb here.  Looking for the double and need to make up a lot of ground after being spit out the back.  Phinney & the Frenchman will get away early and duke it out in the velodrome, Fabio will drag a group with him to the finish but… »

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...

@Islandbike's posts:

  1. Dr C, I will try to do it justice.  I have already learned that I score a lot more points when I get my picks in on time! (MSR, Ghent, etc…) The Lion looks great and I’m happy to have it, just wish I hadn’t dug myself such a whole in the overall. In ot… »

  2. Waffles & Ale brunch Sunday!! VSP PICKS: 1. Faboo 2. Sagan 3. Chavanel 4. Kristoff 5. Van Avermaet »

Il Grillo gives it some stick in 06. Photo: actionplus sports images[/caption]Lombardia is a beautiful race. Taking in the majestic shoreline of Lake Como and climbing past the shrine to the Madonna del Ghisallo, its stunning Italian-ness bookends the Monuments along with Milan-San Remo which started them way back in March. And it’s a coming...

@Islandbike's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Gilbert 2. Voekler 3. Uran 4. Zaug 5. Nibbles »

One of the loveliest things about the Grand Tours is that you get a feel, by the nature of the route, of the country’s landscape and physical qualities. Italy is littered with mountains and coasts, France is bordered by mountains with large swaths of open landscape throughout, and Spain is like Tatooine; mostly desert with some rocky outcropp...

@Islandbike's posts:

  1. From VSP 1st to 81st, what a meltdown!  How did this happen, I mean Purito loosing the Giro on the last day in a time trial was almost expected and acceptable but to flush it all away on a low mountain stage?  Where was his squad?  Did they all spend the … »

  2. I’m hoping Moreno will continue to  blow himself up working for Purito and my man Talansky can slide into fifth for a perfect VSP Vuelta pick!  Either way this has been the best grand tour I’ve ever watched and I’m looking forward to the last week of acti… »