2012 Velominati Super Prestige: New Riders, New Races, New Rules

2012 Velominati Super Prestige: New Riders, New Races, New Rules

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Focus groups are forced marches out of the safety of our locked and darkened offices to delve into group work that would certainly be accomplished by one person, namely you, with much more efficiency and elegance. As it happens, the suspicions you’ve had about the dude you’ve successfully avoided conversation with for three years in the break room being a Magic playing cross-dresser are true. Similarly, the hottie from finance you do your damnedest to time your morning elevator ride with will not stop talking about her annual vacations to Sandals and the fact that she’s a “resort certified” scuba diver. Yawn. Can’t these people stay focused so we can get this over with and I can go back to my office and read Velominati?

Who would have thought the VSP Focus Group convened by Frank would be any different? I’ll let you guess who struggles with a gender-identity crisis. Thus began a seemingly endless stream of sometimes focused, sort of productive, and always hilarious emails from a few members of the community with highly ranked badges and long histories of participating in the VSP. Don’t even try to FOIA the emails as they’ve been scrubbed from all the servers and all members of the focus group were sworn to secrecy. With that, we are proud to present to you (sans PowerPoint) the exciting (at least to the loudest of us on the focus group) changes and additions to the Velominati Super Prestige. Pay attention Ron.

New Riders

We’ll begin by highlighting the addition of VVomen’s Road Racing to the VSP. For reasons that go far beyond the fact the the letter V is not used at the beginning of any word to describe the part of the male anatomy, women’s road racing will be included in this year’s VSP. Alpine skiing, tennis, soccer, and golf all surpass our sport on the “better” scale in this regard by not only the including but also the featuring women at the highest levels of competition. That’s wrong – not that women are featured but that those sports are better in some respect than pro cycling. But what’s wronger is that the amount of prestige and attention given to the pro Velominata is not commensurate with the levels of Rule #5 they’re leaving out on the road. So study up people and get to know the women’s pro peloton if you want to be competitive this year. Although there will be jerseys awarded to both the men’s and women’s leaders, the overall VSP will combine the scoring from both categories.

New Races

In addition to the women’s races we’re including more men’s races. Most notably here is the inclusion of il Strade Bianche because it’s badass. Period. You’ll also notice the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal on the list. This race conveniently fills a gap in the fall and serves up competitive racing with great riders at a time when lesser GC men and dopers are gallivanting around Spain for three weeks. Have a look at the VSP Schedule for the full calendar.

New Rules and Scoring

Nobody will be surprised if this is where we receive at once the most praise and the most blow back. Be that is it may, the Keepers have spoken so suck it the fuck up and deal with it. Conversely, if you like the new rules mail 10 bottles of Surly Smoke to Velominati World Headquarters.

  • You will be allotted one (1) rest day to make swaps in grand tours. You pick either the first or second rest day. The penalties for swapping will be lower for the first rest day than the second. This will allow you to swap out a rider(s) who gets hosed in some first week nervous shitshow with a 5 point penalty for each swap. Or make some go for broke/doomed to fail break-away swap on the second rest day for a 10 point penalty each swap. That’s it. You make one swap or five on either rest day for the corresponding 5 or 10 point penalty per swap.

After that you’ve undoubtedly formulated some questions about scoring. So here’s the new points scheme, based on correctly picking the first five places in the race:

  • One-Day Races: 7, 5, 4, 3, 2; plus the usual bonus point system of 1 point per rider in the top five.
  • Stage Races: 10, 8, 7, 5, 3; plus 2 points per rider in the top five.
  • Grand Tours: 20, 15, 10, 7, 5; plus 3 points per rider in the top five and stage VSP’s.

But wait, there’s more. It’s called a bike race because the person who wins the race both started and finished the race. Le Grande Boucle may be won on the slopes of L’Alpe but it’s not started nor is it finished there. Therefore, we are abolishing the free DNF swaps; if one of your riders crashes out, DNF’s, or DNS’s, you may swap them out on a rest day with corresponding penalties if you haven’t already used up your one rest day swap. The only exception to this is riders who are booted from a race for a positive test; if your rider is on the juice and gets chucked off the race, you get a free swap of that rider within 24 hours of the disqualification. This is our little way of saying that doping is not considered a legitimate part of our sport. That said, once the race is finished, results are set in stone and if a positive test comes up 18 months later, we will not be changing our results or scoring.

With little more than V days to go until our first VSP – Het Volk  (if you’re confused by this name see Rule #89 as well as the word Niewsblad which contains no V’s) – we also promise to make the effort to post VSP competitions earlier in advance of the race start. This will give you ample time to come with your excuse for pulling a Delgado. We also absolutely love the quirky names we all give riders, many of which are cast in stone over in the Lexicon. But ask yourself before you post some obtuse moniker if the average Keeper mapping the VSP will understand it. If the answer is no, come up with something less clever because if we have to spend more than 5 seconds thinking about it we reserve the right to toss it out. We’re also excited to unveil special commenter badges for the winners of each Monument. Imagine your posts being graced with a little cobblestone if you win the P-R VSP or a tiny Lion of Flanders if you win De Ronde. This shit just gets better and better.

Thanks to all you assholes who wasted everyone else’s time in the focus group. The only noise coming from the Velominati conference room since we finished our work has been Brett screaming something about red kites as he prays to a chubby bicycle rider’s blog. Things are back to normal. And a sincere thanks to all of you who participate in the VSP. It is a labor of love and one of the aspects of our community that makes us who we are. Good luck this year. There’s a shop apron with your name on it if you’re on form.

2012 VSP Schedule

Men

Start End Event Country
25.02.2012 25.02.2012 Omloop Het Volk (fuck that Neiwsblad shit) BEL
03.03.2012 03.03.2012 Strade Bianche ITA
04.03.2012 11.03.2012 Paris – Nice FRA
07.03.2012 13.03.2012 Tirreno-Adriatico ITA
17.03.2012 17.03.2012 Milano-Sanremo ITA
25.03.2012 25.03.2012 Gent – Wevelgem BEL
01.04.2012 01.04.2012 Ronde van Vlaanderen / Tour des Flandres BEL
08.04.2012 08.04.2012 Paris – Roubaix FRA
15.04.2012 15.04.2012 Amstel Gold Race NED
18.04.2012 18.04.2012 La Flèche Wallonne BEL
22.04.2012 22.04.2012 Li̬ge РBastogne РLi̬ge BEL
05.05.2012 27.05.2012 Giro d’Italia ITA
09.06.2012 17.06.2012 Tour de Suisse SUI
30.06.2012 22.07.2012 Tour de France FRA
28.07.12 28.07.12 Men’s Olympic Road Race GB
14.08.2012 14.08.2012 Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian ESP
18.08.2012 09.09.2012 Vuelta a España ESP
09.09.2012 09.09.2012 Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal CAN
23.09.2012 23.09.2012 World Championship – Elite Men NED
29.09.2012 29.09.2012 Il Lombardia ITA
07.10.2012 07.10.2012 Paris-Tours FRA

VVomen

Start End Event Country
25.02. 2012 25.02.2012 Omloop Het Volk – VVomen BEL
01.04.2012 01.04.2012 Ronde van Vlaanderen / Tour des Flandres BEL
18.04.2012 18.04.2012 La Flèche Wallonne Féminine BEL
29.06.2012 08.07.2012 Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile ITA
29.07.12 29.07.12 Women’s Olympic Road Race GB
22.09.2012 22.09.2012 World Championship – Elite VVomen NED

 

// General

  1. 2012 will be my first VSP and I’m looking forward to getting involved.

    I’m going to have to do a bit of research into the VVomens events though…

  2. @Bill
    It’s really not though. All you have to know are the names of five riders and type them into little boxes. We take care of the rest.

  3. no olympics road race?

  4. Okay, okay to our friends in Canada (which I can see from my house btw), the reason why I didn’t put Quebec and Montreal in is because they seem like the same damn race. They’re held two days apart, in the same province, and are both 12k-ish circuit races. Live a little Canada! Make one a point to point road race and we’ll talk.

    With that being said, why don’t all of BOTH of you pick one, host country’s choice, and we’ll include that one.

  5. @sgt
    Awesome. Chapeau. Have a great cogal.

  6. @motor city
    Fucking Olympic years. Everytime I hear about the Olympics these days it has something to do with Mitt Romney and I tune out. But you raise a good point as this is a major goal for riders. Funny, it never came up in the Focus Group either. Now we’ll have to re-convene.

  7. @Marko
    Olympics added for men’s and women’s.

  8. I suppose I’ll give it a shot, even though I don’t think I can guess too well.

  9. @Marko
    cheers Marko. Its impossible to avoid the olympics build up in the UK, particularly this weekend with the velodrome being used for the first time. Some great pictures here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/gallery/2012/feb/17/cycling-olympics-2012-pictures#/?picture=386122425&index=0

  10. @motor city

    @Marko
    cheers Marko. Its impossible to avoid the olympics build up in the UK, particularly this weekend with the velodrome being used for the first time. Some great pictures here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/gallery/2012/feb/17/cycling-olympics-2012-pictures#/?picture=386122425&index=0

    Beautiful looking facility. Chris Hoy is looking tough again.

  11. Looking forward to my first full season in the VSP. Very excited!

    Is @Nate a Gilbert fan and was that part of why he won last year?

    Good luck everyone.

  12. Holy Mercx! I’ve got a grey cog!

  13. @Marko
    …or since it’s a crapshoot anyway, just do one VSP pick that carries over both of the races and you can pick up points anytime your riders show in either one.

    Seriously, though””and I know you were poking fun””I think the circuit is the secret to their success. Fans get to see the racers multiple times on an exciting course and organizers can put on a big event without the race being stretched over 200km. Probably the way to go in North America to help build the sport. The Quebec crowd rejected the idea of going for the World Championships (a la Richmond), because they wanted to build a sustainable event that would continue to generate revenue and interest. By all accounts, they seem to have done an excellent job.

  14. @snoov

    Holy Mercx! I’ve got a grey cog!

    And spell Merckx like that again, and you’ll be relegated back to 4 and blocked from the site…

  15. @Steampunk

    I realised that mistake as I hit the Submit Post button, I am completely mortified and ashamed of myself. I just got so excited.

  16. Great Job on this Keepers. Can’t wait to get it rolling.

  17. I think I’ll take he “throw darts at the wall” approach and see what happens.

  18. @frank

    @all
    Small mistake in the scoring section; 2 bonus points for the right name/wrong place in Stage Races, and 3 bonus points for Grand Tours.
    @scaler911, @Calmante
    Awww….look at you two.
    @Anjin-san

    That said, including a race in States would be good- Tour of California or USA Pro Cycling Challenge… Maybe next year.

    Meh…we kick ToC around every year, and every year they do something Anti-V like cancel a stage because the riders donnawanna that day.
    Seriously, though, we tried to stay away from races that tend to field “training” rosters and focus on the races where the bulk of the riders show up fit and ready to race. The Tour de Suisse is the exception to this, but mostly because while it does field a healthy bunch of prep riders, it always ends up being a massive nail-biter. Its just too badass a race to leave out. You’ll also notice we omitted the Tour of China or whateverthefuck.
    If the US Pro Cycling Challenge goes badass, we could see that one in there – it was off to a promising start. I would like to see them rename it to the Coors Classic. Sounds like a good name for a race.

    Feel your point on the Tour of Cali. Though I do think the canceling of stage 1 could easily be understood after the Weylandt tragedy only a week earlier. Interested to see how the new route spices things up.

    Ultimately I think the US Pro has a better shot at being relavent because of it’s timing. Maybe they should get daring and move the Tour of Cali to August and connect the two… They could call it the Coors Amgen US Pro Tour of California Cycling challenge classic presented by Quiznos.

  19. @Marko

    @motor city
    Fucking Olympic years. Now we’ll have to re-convene.

    Wait, I’ll find my “potty mouth” a la Steamy and be right there!

    Maybe we can rehash the no swaps under ANY circumstances and the talk of throwing the women’s races out as well???

  20. @frank

    @all
    Small mistake in the scoring section; 2 bonus points for the right name/wrong place in Stage Races, and 3 bonus points for Grand Tours.
    @scaler911, @Calmante
    Awww….look at you two.
    @Anjin-san

    That said, including a race in States would be good- Tour of California or USA Pro Cycling Challenge… Maybe next year.

    Meh…we kick ToC around every year, and every year they do something Anti-V like cancel a stage because the riders donnawanna that day.
    Seriously, though, we tried to stay away from races that tend to field “training” rosters and focus on the races where the bulk of the riders show up fit and ready to race. The Tour de Suisse is the exception to this, but mostly because while it does field a healthy bunch of prep riders, it always ends up being a massive nail-biter. Its just too badass a race to leave out. You’ll also notice we omitted the Tour of China or whateverthefuck.
    If the US Pro Cycling Challenge goes badass, we could see that one in there – it was off to a promising start. I would like to see them rename it to the Coors Classic. Sounds like a good name for a race.

    unfortunately I agree with you re: ToC. Pro Cycling Challenge has the potential, but the promoters are going to have to do something different, like share revenues with teams, to get the big boys to show up with their big name riders. I am thinking of heading to Colorado to watch this year. A bunch of my mates went last year and had a ball- they were shocked at how big the crowds were… the high mountain stages looked like the TDF.

  21. @harminator

    VSP Overall Picks.
    1. Tommy Tub Tub
    2. Cyclops
    3. Nate
    4. Il ciclista medio
    5. Adrian

    no, no, no… Anjin-san starts with an “A”…

  22. Perhaps not the right thread, but as the title for this thread says “new rider” I came to think of an article I just read about an “old rider” who can’t stop racing…


    http://road.cc/content/news/52765-french-cyclist-breaks-age-group-record-hour-100-years-old

    Live Long and Prosper!

  23. Any start lists for Het V out there? I searched a bit but did not find any.

  24. Wow, so many places here to put my 2 cents in, great conversation so far.

    Overall I like the new format, much more a Rule #5 way of doing things. I also like that the ladies get involved, making research and giving them their do required.

    When it comes to the American Races, I feel either the USA Pro or the Tour of Utah should have made the list. Both races are high quality. This year’s USAPro will be much more exciting then last years, the time trial on the last day alone already transforms the feel of the race. The Tour of Utah calls itself the toughest stage race in America, and after watching last years edition I have trouble disagreeing, especially with how the Colombians animated the event.

    As for the exclusion of the GP cycliste de Quebec, I understand that the Canadian events appear similar (Montreal is the harder of the two races though, so good pick there). But only having one of the two Canadian races could have opened a spot up for an American race to bring a little more of North America into the picture.

    Also, I think the format of the Canadian races is spot on. It’s a blast to actually go to. The start finish line is a great place to hang out, the big screen lets you see the TV coverage so you’re never out of touch (although everything is in French, so it helps to know some of that), the sign in and award presentation are both right there at the start/finish so you see both, in person. In Montreal, the route goes down Avenue de Park, turns around at the bottom of the hill, and climbs up, meaning you get to see the finish as it develops, down the hill, around the corner, and then the finishing kick. And climbing the mountain by foot or bike for a few laps gives you the opportunity to see the riders up close going at a speed you can really appreciate them. Of course the decent down the other side was great too. The girlfriend was amazed by the decent. All in all she had a blast too, and she really doesn’t like much about sports. So if you can’t tell, I think the event is perfect the way it is. The only thing that could be done different would be maybe to start on the Avenue but finish on-top of the Mountain, but there’s not a ton of space up there, and the current finish is quite the punch.

    All in all I’m excited for this years VSP, first full time participation, but did well last year when I did get involved.

    Here’s the finish from last years race in Montreal:

  25. @Calmante

    Speaking as a newcomer, I have no idea what’s going on. How do I play? I’m getting tired of my plain grey little icon… I could use a jersey.

    To build on @Scaler’s input, here are some screenshots of the views you’ll get above the posting box when the VSP events are active.

    You start with an empty form, enter names (nicknames are OK) and then after the race is over, you’ll see the results and how your picks were mapped to riders and earned points. From there, you can dispute if you disagree. Of course, we reserve the right to refuse any dispute.

  26. @TommyTubolare

    @Buck Rogers
    There you go Buck!
    http://tour.cyclingfever.com/editie.html?detp=view&_ap=startlijst&editie_id=23104

    Damn, thanks yet again Tommy-T!

  27. Bring it on… MUCH improved rules, awesome events (I was wrong… including the VVomen is inspired, and a great decision).. I simply cannot wait. Six days to go.

    For 2012, am offering my services as a super domestique… anyone need a lead-out man in the VSP, I’m your man.

  28. @pmoll

    Perhaps not the right thread, but as the title for this thread says “new rider” I came to think of an article I just read about an “old rider” who can’t stop racing…

    http://road.cc/content/news/52765-french-cyclist-breaks-age-group-record-hour-100-years-old
    Live Long and Prosper!

    What a great clip! I hope I’m still riding that strong at 70, much less 100.

    Between that guy and Jeannie Longo it seems the French have some longevity gene going. Maybe it’s their new strategy. Since they haven’t won a Grand Tour in ages, just keep riding until all the other competitors have retired or died.

  29. @motor city, @Marko
    For what its worth, I have lost interest in the Olympic Road Race since they opened it to Pros. It was a cool event when it was for amateurs. We’ll include it since people want it, though. And yeah, pick a Canadian race and petition your government to not hold them two days apart if you want more events in the VSP!

  30. Digging the changes…warming up the crystal ball!

  31. @Skip Since they haven’t won a Grand Tour in ages, just keep riding until all the other competitors have retired or died.

    That’s my strategy to get the UCI Age Group Champs Jersey. Hopefully I will still be riding when every one else has given up.

  32. @Skip

    Between that guy and Jeannie Longo it seems the French have some longevity gene going.

    Longo might have something beyond good genes. Her hubby admitted to spending shietloads of Euros on EPO in the last few years. Hmmmmmm, I don’t know what kind of sports he is into, the finger of suspicion must be swinging over towards her. Am I wrong people?

    But yes, that old dude rules.

  33. @Gianni

    @Skip

    Between that guy and Jeannie Longo it seems the French have some longevity gene going.

    Longo might have something beyond good genes. Her hubby admitted to spending shietloads of Euros on EPO in the last few years. Hmmmmmm, I don’t know what kind of sports he is into, the finger of suspicion must be swinging over towards her. Am I wrong people?
    But yes, that old dude rules.

    No Gianni, he stated in the police interview that the EPO was for his own use. Phew, for a moment there I thought that Jeanne might actually have used PED’s during her fifty nine years of winning every event she ever entered.

  34. @snoov
    Gilbert: Yes.

    @Anjin-san
    I don’t think you were around for Adrian. You don’t want to be confused with him.

  35. Wow, the beauty of the internet. I just watched some racin’ at the Volta ao Algarve. Watching Edvald and Richie Porte race, seeing way more of Portugal than I’ve ever seen, and getting really excited to watch some Classics racing.

    I’m a happy fella! Oh yeah, and I put in a few hours in crazy weather today. Rain, wind, hail. A lot of punishment in the saddle, but the rest of the day has seemed like heaven. Funny how a few hours of fun mixed with some numb hands & toes can make things out-of-the-elements seem very, very pleasant.

  36. @TommyTubolare

    @Buck RogersThere you go Buck!
    http://tour.cyclingfever.com/editie.html?detp=view&_ap=startlijst&editie_id=23104

    Finally looking through the list. Holy smokes! Did anyone else check out BMC’s squad??? Talk about one of the most impressive Classics teams going? Man, hard to pick who will even be the designated leader out of those guys!

    Only V days to go until the Spring Classics kick off!!!

  37. @King Clydesdale

    giving them their do required

    I hope your don’t mind King, but I see this now and then and I realise that it comes about because of the way the word is pronounced in the States but it should be spelled differently. I think it comes from the idea that one pays what is due or pays ones dues. As a well educated meteorologist or climatologist I’d expect it to matter to you.

    In the UK we pronounce it more like d’you. We pronounce dew the same way too, like the French word adeiu.

    Apologies up front if this is douchebaggery.

  38. @snoov

    @King Clydesdale

    giving them their do required

    I hope your don’t mind King, but I see this now and then and I realise that it comes about because of the way the word is pronounced in the States but it should be spelled differently. I think it comes from the idea that one pays what is due or pays ones dues. As a well educated meteorologist or climatologist I’d expect it to matter to you.
    In the UK we pronounce it more like d’you. We pronounce dew the same way too, like the French word adeiu.
    Apologies up front if this is douchebaggery.

    You are correct, I meant “due”.

    I may be educated but my I’ve never been a strong English student. In fact they have editors where I work that look for those types of mistakes because when push comes to shove, the detail of spelling takes a back seat to more pressing matters. However having an editor for that stuff can make one lazy and careless.

  39. Fuck yeah!

    And while the focus group was going on, eightzero and mrs/dr eightzero were cycling the big island of Hawai’i. Behold the mighty V kit after an early season (imperial) century. Yes, those are palm trees in the background. And yes, that’s a rental bike. I tried my best to keep rule breakage to a minimum.

    Can’t wait to do this pose in my shop apron next fall. Suckas.

  40. Thank Merckx, it is on.

    For the women I go with 1. Vos. 2. Vos. 3. Vos. 4. Vos. 5. Vos.

    Vos starts with V.

  41. @Erik

    “Jet VVildeman” from RC Jan van Arckel for the women.

    Now that is a handle any cyclist could be proud of with a double dose of VV!!!

  42. VSP! VSP! VSP! When’s this thing gonna be up and running? Not like the Keepers have jobs or anything!

  43. @scaler911

    VSP! VSP! VSP! When’s this thing gonna be up and running? Not like the Keepers have jobs or anything!

    Don’t worry, you can start losing tomorrow, when the VSP goes up.

  44. @Dino Not to mention “Jet”

  45. @Dino

    @Erik
    “Jet VVildeman” from RC Jan van Arckel for the women.
    Now that is a handle any cyclist could be proud of with a double dose of VV!!!

    Yup, that one just about trumps the Aussie sprinter “Steele von Hoff” for best name in the peloton.

  46. @frank

    @scaler911

    VSP! VSP! VSP! When’s this thing gonna be up and running? Not like the Keepers have jobs or anything!

    Don’t worry, you can start losing tomorrow, when the VSP goes up.

    I’m sensing a site crash about 10 minutes after you put up the Het V VSP. Hopefully all eight arms will be running smoothly!

  47. did i miss something, why was there no vsp for the Tirreno-Adriatico which started today?

  48. @zac

    did i miss something, why was there no vsp for the Tirreno-Adriatico which started today?

    Didn’t miss a thing. It was pulled and wound up in the schedule here by accident. Over on the VSP page, the schedule is correct. Tirreno just isn’t a cool enough race and we don’t want too many concurrent VSPs running confusing the shit out of us.

  49. Isn’t a cool enough race? Ooookay. I can understand you not wanting to create more work for yourself, but that’s a slap in the face of the history of cycling that isn’t deserved.

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