Velominati Community Profile Archive

Velominatus: The Grande Fondue

Order: Level 2 Velominatus

@The Grande Fondue's activity:

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...

@The Grande Fondue's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Marianne VOS 2. Emma JOHANSSON 3. Elisa LONGO BORGHINI 4. Eleonora VAN DIJK 5. Ashleigh MOOLMAN »

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...

@The Grande Fondue's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Gilbert 2. Kwiatkowski 3. Valverde 4. Daniel Moreno 5. Carlos BETANCOUR »

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...

@The Grande Fondue's posts:

  1. Woohoo! Finally I get my picks close to being the right order! »

We are the Keepers of the Cog. In so being, we also maintain the sacred text wherein lie the simple truths of cycling etiquette known as The Rules. It is in our trust to maintain and endorse this list.The Rules lie at the beginning of The Path to La Vie Velominatus, not at the end; learning to balance them against one another and to welcome them...

@The Grande Fondue's posts:

  1. @Julian @pakrat Hmm. Someone is taking it way too seriously. I like this. I rarely have time for coffee rides. »

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...

@The Grande Fondue's posts:

  1. Too bad there is no Contador. That would give Saxo a great combination. I hope he races LBL. VSP PICKS: 1. Philippe Gilbert 2. Alejandro Valverde 3. Simon Gerrans 4. Kwiatkowski 5. J Rodríguez »

It’s no secret that I’m prone to riding in the big ring as much as possible, mostly on account of my not being a giant sissy. In accordance with the ISO Non-Sissy Standard, I also never read instruction manuals or ask for directions when lost. I make sure to only rarely ask my VMH to turn up the radio when Adele comes on, usually follo...

@The Grande Fondue's posts:

  1. @Puffy This seems weird to me. According to the abstract the “highly trained” athletes show considerable gains from moderate training, and the low cadence athletes showed nothing? That doesn’t make any sense at all. I don’t have access to the complet… »

  2. So I actually tried this climbing on the drops thing. Took 5 seconds off my best time on a steep (11%) 500m climb. It’s weird – it uses different muscles to normal standing climbing. Normal standing climbing feels like climbing bouncy stairs. This feels … »

  3. @frank They say the girth matters more than the length. Can’t say I’d know, though. »

  4. @freddy Taylor Phinney’s 15cm, -17 degrees stem on his BMC GF01 for Paris-Roubaix. But Andrey Kashechkin is famous for his stem. He had a custom 17cm stem for a long time, but some are reporting 20cm now. Not sure I believe that though.  »

  5. @Buck Rogers Would anyone really argue with this? He’s a fantastic climber and he’s always racing. »

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...

@The Grande Fondue's posts:

  1. Wiggins 9th, ahead of Boonen and with the big pack racing for 2nd. Pretty good effort I thought. Interesting how good Cancellara’s sprint is now. He beat Sagan and Boonen, and it took a pretty serious sprinter (Degenkolb) to beat him.  »

  2. @scaler911 Kristoff dropped out soon after (maybe during?) the forest of Arenberg. 2 flats within a few km and he couldn’t get back on. »

  3. Can’t believe I’m picking Wiggins ahead of Sagan/Phinney/GVA. But he didn’t look terrible in Flanders, and he seems to really want to do well. VSP PICKS: 1. CANCELLARA 2. VANMARCKE 3. BOONEN 4. KRISTOFF 5. WIGGINS »

I had always imagined that de Ronde van Vlaanderen must be hardest race in the world. The way I worked it out – having never ridden the course of either event at the time – was that de Ronde had the same cobbles as Roubaix, but with 20% grades thrown in. It makes enough sense so long as you don’t know what you’re talking abo...

@The Grande Fondue's posts:

  1. @DCR What exactly are you disagreeing with? Cancellara may have done some work to win, but it always[1] takes work to win Flanders. The difference this time is that no one is accusing him of having a motor in his bike – and that’s a pretty big differen… »

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...

@The Grande Fondue's posts:

  1. But maybe now others will start believing Kristoff is the real deal. »

  2. 3 in top 5, again. Not one in the right position. Again. »

One of greatest cycling pleasures is riding with a mate. Riding ten centimeters off each other’s rear wheel for hours; trust is a beautiful thing. You swing over, ease your effort slightly so your mate rides through, you then tuck behind, in the draft, close and fast. It is the best. @Kah touches on this and other transcendent benefits from...

@The Grande Fondue's posts:

  1. Great post. May I also praise the joys of riding with people you don’t really know, except on the bike? Big groups often have people you’ve never spoken more than “hey” to, and yet you trust them completely. You can read the size of the bump ahead by the… »

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...

@The Grande Fondue's posts:

  1. Anyone know why Kwiatkowski isn’t in OPQS’ team? Keeping him for the Ardennes? »

  2. I’d love to see Cancellara win, but… VSP PICKS: 1. Sagan 2. Cancellara 3. Kristoff 4. Boonen 5. 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...

@The Grande Fondue's posts:

  1. Vos is racing at the Sea Otter short course MTB race (in California) on April 11. BTW, she’s looking for some (female) riders to ride with her in Spain: https://www.facebook.com/MarianneVosOfficial/photos/a.1404612619803695.1073741828.1391652451099712/140… »

I just got turned back from a ride. 5k from the house I realized my bits were getting too cold not only for comfort (in which case, apply Rule #5 and move on) but safety (i’ll take my vasectomy in the hospital, thank you very much). It’s a lovely sunny day, the only problems being the minus 12C temp, biting headwind, and leg warmers th...

@The Grande Fondue's posts:

  1. @Marko 46cm is insane. I ride 40cm, and test rode a bike with a wide “42″ and found it really weird. Adam Hansen has gone down to 38cm http://inrng.com/2013/01/whats-new-with-rider-position/ But I guess I’d want the hoods close to my normal position, s… »

  2. @Ccos The rules are in order for a reason. Rule #6 explains exactly what to do in these circumstances. »

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...

@The Grande Fondue's posts:

  1. @Mikael Liddy Yes, you are right: it was the 2013 Cancer Council Classic he was 2nd in. He did win a stage in the equally classic Bay Series Classic this year. So many classics, and he’s done so well in them all. »

  2. @Mikael Liddy He wanted to be a bunch sprinter. 2011 World Championship he finished 2nd to Cav  by half a wheel, and it looked like he could almost match him for speed but was a way better climber. At the tour last year he was getting dropped by Greip… »

  3. Bloody scoring system. 3 out of the top 5, but in completely the wrong order. »