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Velominatus: RondeVan

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@RondeVan's activity:

The modern day Pro cyclist has many disadvantages stacked against them by comparison to their forefathers. They have to ride plastic bikes with little or no distinguishing character or discernible caché; they must willingly or perhaps unwittingly subject their body to an array of questionable “training techniques”; and they have to sp...

@RondeVan's posts:

  1. The Mapei kit is was one of the best, these Gents are stylin’ on the Atala prisoners kit. »

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...

@RondeVan's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. P. Gilbert 2. B. Mollema 3. D. Martin 4. A. Valverde 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...

@RondeVan's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Marianne Vos 2. Emma Johansson 3. Elisa Longo Borghini 4. Emma Pooley 5. Ellen van Dijk »

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...

@RondeVan's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Phillippe Gilbert 2. Michal Kwiatkowski 3. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte 4. Daniel Moreno Fernández 5. Bauke Mollema »

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...

@RondeVan's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Philippe Gilbert 2. Simon Gerrans 3. Michal Kwiatkowski 4. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte 5. Joaquim Rodríguez »

Have you ever been told to take a good look at yourself? Usually it infers that you need to smarten up your ideas, get your shit together, shape up or ship out. If Viagra eyedrops had an advertising campaign, (or indeed existed), their tagline would be: “Take a long, hard look at yourself.”Most Cyclists need to take a long hard look at...

@RondeVan's posts:

  1. @wiscot The absurd head wear was relevant to the topic but I guess some would say Rebellin as a podium accessory is equally unwelcome. If I’m honest, I only stumbled upon this pic as I was watching De Brabantse Pijl and during the pre-race segment they sh… »

  2. There is something to be said for maintaining appearances on the podium as well. »

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...

@RondeVan's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Cancellera 2. Terpstra 3. Stybar 4. Vanmarcke 5. Kristoff »

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...

@RondeVan's posts:

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

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...

@RondeVan's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. T. Boonen 2. F. Cancellara 3. Z. Stybar 4. S. Devolder 5. P. Sagan »

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...

@RondeVan's posts:

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

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...

@RondeVan's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Cancellera 2. Stybar 3. Van Avermaet 4. Sagan 5. Devolder »

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...

@RondeVan's posts:

  1. Gerrans out and all change. VSP PICKS: 1. Sagan 2. Gilbert 3. Cavendish 4. Degenkolb 5. Cancellara »

  2. VSP PICKS: 1. Sagan 2. Kwiatkowski 3. Gerrans 4. Cancellera 5. Gilbert »

Not one to subscribe to the slew of text speak or acronyms that permeate the modern vernacular (well, not too much, I guess YJA is one used fairly regularly), I am harbouring a severe case of FOMO right now. And the catalyst for this? The lack of a KT14. Shit, I did it again. WTF?As Gianni wound up the excitement and anticipation for the real start...

@RondeVan's posts:

  1. The marketing spiel reminds me of the Peterman catalogues. “It’s a hot night. The mind races. You think about your knife, the only friend who hasn’t betrayed you, the only friend who won’t be dead by sun-up. Sleep tight, mates, in your quilted chambray n… »

I have no dog in this fight but @Henrik does. I can’t swim in the serious ‘stache growing gene pool. And yes, it’s already Vajanuary, we left Mo’vember with nary a nod, why, because it’s stupid. Rule #50 could have included having the last name Freuler and wearing the prison stripped Atala kit as the second exception...

@RondeVan's posts:

  1. @livingminimal Merckx and Strummer in the same sentence? You just broke the Cool-O-Meter. »

What is the best pro team kit ever? I’m talking team kit only, not a leader’s jersey, national team jersey or the national champion jersey. Not the worst either, for those are legion and worthy of a much longer article than this. @wiscot and I exchanged emails about Urs Freuler and the fantastic Atala kit which led to quick discussion o...

@RondeVan's posts:

  1. @jimmy Someone has to put this right. »

It was Frank’s recent post that started all this. Mentioning Breukink always makes me think of my friend’s saying, “I have a Breukink in my Van Hooydonk” as his excuse for coming up short on a long training ride. Maybe that’s only funny during a long training ride. That phrase put me back onto Van Hooydonk, a rider I a...

@RondeVan's posts:

  1. @Unica Those larger Colnago frames are called Freuler geometry, after Swiss rider Urs Freuler. »

Does a bike have a soul? I can’t make that argument, I don’t think I do either, actually. But we do invest a lot of emotion, pride and dare I say love in our bikes. We form emotional bonds to inanimate objects all the time. My favorite old dead car had to sit in the driveway for another year falling further into rusty disrepair before...

@RondeVan's posts:

  1. @frank Thank you for this, if you didn’t post it I would have.The honest exception to the rule, a C40 in 7700 just looks right, especially in Mapei livery. With a pedigree including the aforementioned Apostle, Ballerini, Tafi, Olano, Steels, VdB, Barto… »