Velominati Super Prestige: Amstel Gold Race

Velominati Super Prestige: Amstel Gold Race

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The inaugural Velominati Super Prestige kicks into full swing this week with the Amstel Gold Race to be held Sunday, April 18.   Sunday will be the second race in the season-long series and is an opportunity to unseat current series leader and rainbow cog wearer, Rob, who took the lead last week by predicting two podium finishers.

We are happy to report that all post-prediction samples came back negative for clairvoyance-enhancing substances, although several readers did return samples showing high caffeine and alcohol levels.  Those readers have been issued letters indicating that they have been placed on a watch list and may be subject to further scrutiny.

This week’s winner will earn an “Obey the Rules” bumper sticker  and all reader’s points qualify towards the final prize of the free Velominati Shop Apron.  If you are inclined to enter, simply post your predictions for the top five placings in the comment section.  Good luck.

Rules and results are posted Velominati Super Prestige page.

// General // Velominati Super Prestige

  1. Because Marko is throwin down the glove…
    1. Gesink
    2. Maaskant
    3. Gilbert
    4. Wegman
    5. Hesjedal

    I reserve the right to make substitutions up until race time because some of my favs are not on the start list – like Popovych…

  2. @Marko, @Rob
    Wow, the gauntlet is down! Still working on my list – Gesink is a favorite for sure, Kroon, the Brother’s Grimpeur’s form (Schlecks) is a bit unknown, so I’m shaky on them. I like both your lists. I’ll be formulating my list over the course of day.

  3. @Rob

    Nice Rob. I had a hard time between Gesink and Kroon topping the podium. I couldn’t put them one>two because that would be way overwhelming and too tall an order for the Dutch. So I went with Kroon because Evans will pull him to the last climb and he rides a BMC (not to mention the fact that he’s strong and lives on the course).

    @frank

    Frank is stronger than Andy right now.

  4. @Marko
    Yeah, for sure. And, he’s won it before and wants it again. That’s a motivator.

  5. Well, this is a challenge.

    It’s a challenge for a few reasons, principle among them being that this is really the first of the Ardennes classics, and it’s further confused by my deep, irrational desire to have Dutchmen at the top of the list. The riders have been prep’ing for this race out in the Spanish weeklong tours where the fields have not been uniformly strong, by any stretch of the imagination, so I don’t have a good read on anyone’s form.

    I’ve short-listed about 15 riders who I think can figure into the top 5, and I’m finding it hard to settle on my pick. That said, looking over the list, I see some that are obvious long-shots, and others that are more likely to be there.

    1. Valverde (WTF is this guy still doing racing?)
    2. Cunego
    3. Gesink
    4. Kroon
    5. Horner

    My gut tells me that the Schlecks are going to be peaking for La Doyenne, and won’t be at their best, nor will they be willing to risk it all out on the road. Gesink should figure strongly in the finale, and truly he is my hope for the win, but I have a feeling that the uphill sprint will be just a bit too much for him. Horner is showing good form but is no match for more explosive climber/sprinters like Cunego and Valverde.

    I reserve the right to modify my line-up after the UCI decides to finally suspend Valverde later this week.

  6. F. Schleck (Bjarn needs the wins, and at LBL Frank will be helping Andy)
    R Hesejdal
    P Gilbert
    C Horner
    K Kroon

    P.S. As Brett will confirm, I would’ve picked Spartacus for P-R if I’d known the comp was running. In the unlikely event I’m tied for the apron, I’m going to claim the points. Unless that’s a breach of Rule #5.

  7. @Marko
    Thanks and I like your reasoning but my thoughts are simplistic and I’d have gone with Kroon if you had not picked him. I just like the sound of Maaskant and he is probably hungry from P-R so if he has the legs? Wegman is rested and Hesjedal is just cool. Everybody loves Horner (so do I) but this is a tough little race and he’s American…

    Geof, I am with Frank on the Schlecster.
    Good luck everyone.

  8. @Geof

    I’m not confirming jack!

    Ok, this race looks like a lottery to me, so I’ll roll the dice and…

    1: Cunego
    2: Kroon
    3: Fuglsang
    4: Kolobnev
    5: Efimkin

  9. Ahhhh…I’m rubbish at this.

    1. Gilbert
    2. Valverde
    3. Gesink
    4. Cunego
    5. Kroon

    Am going to preempt the ride with my own equivalent tomorrow morning, 10 climbs in the surrey hills and good achey legs for a bit of rehydration at the pub on sunday.

  10. @Joe
    Spot on, mate! I’m doing the hill circuit here in Seattle. I like your choices.

    Can someone please tell me why Valverde is still racing? He’s making a mockery of the UCI and WADA, not that they need the help.

  11. @frank
    He’s banked clean pee and blood samples or has an evil twin?

  12. @Marko
    Disappearing twin? The stories they will tell…I’d really hoped that the UCI would move quickly to extend his ban, but I guess they’re just not that serious about this stuff…

  13. I got nothing. Gesink will crash out, as per usual. Cunego will finish in 80th place.
    1. P. Gilbert
    2. B. Leukemans-isn’t he always up there lately?
    3. F. Schleck-tries to win it for the baby but to knackered from lack-o-sleep
    4. A. Valverde-too shagged out after long drive from Espana
    5. C. Horner

    I believe I’m in for a cruel, senseless ride: fun, long descent that goes on for twenty miles and then a slog back, no pub at end.

  14. @john
    Ha ha Valverde driving! He might be the dark horse though?

    Check out the Amstel Gold Race site and they have a couple of live feed cameras, one on a climb – its a nice sunny day and the dutch Freds are out as well as some girls and boys in proper kit following all the rules – wish i was there…

  15. @Rob
    Valverde’s Scoda broke down and he is not starting! Massive reshuffle of Velominati betting pool. Interesting that nobody picked Wiggins for anything, he is a no show too but not getting any respect here.

    I have to see if there are any good live video feeds of the race, so I can watch it at 4 am.

    1. P. Gilbert
    2. B. Leukemans-isn’t he always up there lately?
    3. F. Schleck-tries to win it for the baby but to knackered from lack-o-sleep
    4. S. Gerrans
    5. C. Horner

  16. @Geof
    Wow, I love someone with the balls to put Frankie boy on the top of the list. One of my favorites year in and year out. Well done!

  17. @Rob
    Why don’t more races do that? That is so cool!

  18. @john
    If Cunego finishes in 80th place, I’m giving you a special prize. I love the confidence in that statement.

  19. OK, due to riders failing to show, I’m reformulating my list. Since my top pick is (thankfully) out of the race, it will change the entire dynamic of the race and as such I need to rethink the whole thing. I’ll check back shortly with my picks.

  20. OK. Put this in your pipe, bitches.

    1. Gilbert, taking a flyer a km or so from the line and holding them off
    2. Gesink, unleashing his amazing monkey-like climbing skillz
    3. Frank Schleck, overtaken just before the top by the flying Dutchman
    4. Horner
    5. Gerrans

  21. @frank
    Gerrans. Outstanding. Glad someone picked him. Reluctantly crossed him off my list, but have wondered since whether I should’ve deleted someone else instead. Be nice to see him take second place to the proud new dad.

  22. @frank
    OK, Gesink to place eh? No Dutch victory? For shame you Dutch Monkey. This really is a lottery and should be interesting to see if any of us score any points.

  23. Gerrans has been in my mind all week… maybe I should back the Aussie lad.

  24. @frank
    nice call.

  25. @Geof
    No cigar this time around, but I think this is his kind of race. Kind of seems like he doesn’t win races unless he’s got something to prove though, eh? I think he’ll win this one eventually, just needs to be pissed off.

    Maybe John can bitch him out next season and say he’s a girlie little Aussie bitch. Seems like the kind of thing John could muster up at the right moment.

  26. @john
    Well, as a Dutchman, I’m hopelessly optimistic while at the same time being painfully realistic. Jim refers to this as being “Typically Dutch: awkward but accurate.”

    That spritely youngster is brewing some big wins in those skinny little legs; but he can’t go up against a guy like Gilbert at this stage.

  27. @brett
    He had a big fan base in Aspet where we holiday routinely. He’s a talented, if moodly, little bastard. Kinda hard not to like him. I like those enigmatic riders.

  28. @Marko
    I’m not the only one; I’ll have to score everyone’s results today and see if anyone overtook Rob as the Super Prestige leader. It’s going to be close going into la Fleche.

  29. Maaskant – wtf was I thinking – DNF.
    But hey Ryder Hesjedal 2nd! If only I had switched them. Then you’d all think I really was a genius…

    I think i lost the jersey. Congrats to Joe, John and Frank on calling it!

  30. At least I had Kreutziger. Pretty pathetic overall though as far as I’m concerned. Congrats to the winners. Now I have some work to do for Fleche to get back on the podium.

  31. @Rob
    Thanks Rob, all my other guesses were insane though I toyed with Gasparotto as a pick but since he hasn’t done squat for ages I didn’t. Grrrrrr, should have.

    Maakant and Van Summeren have sucked this spring but Ryder could be da man in Liege. I believe he made top ten last year and he is a Maui-boy so I have to back him.

    Gilbert really put some serious distance on everyone in the last 300m, he is a real powerhouse and he worked like crazy to chase down breaks. Excellent win.
    You tube of last few Km-Amstel 2010

  32. @Geof
    Nice work on Ryder in 2nd place. Beauty call. That’s 4 points. And I would have picked Spartacus last week too…except I picked that f’ing Dane who didn’t finish. Who would be against Spartacus?! Me, what a world, what a world…

  33. @john
    Ah – all my 5 got top ten, but in retrospect it does seem a bit foohardy to expect Frank to outpower Philippe. Well done on not falling into that trap. LBL shaping up to be a beauty – so long as there’s a(nother) volcano which keeps Alejandro away …

  34. @all,
    I tallied the points (and I welcome anyone to double-check my numbers) but it apprears we have a very close race for the overall Super Prestige leadership.

    Amstel was a crap-shoot, with only four Velominatus scoring points:

    Amstel Gold Race, 18 April 2010

    1. Frank, 5 points
    2. John, 5 points
    3. Joe, 5 points
    4. Geoff, 4 points
    5. Rob, Marko, Brett, James, Dan O, Jim 0 points

    However, the overall is very close, with Rob maintaining his lead by the virtue of him choosing the winner of an earlier race. He and I are separated by no points, with Marko, John, and Joe tied for third place, with Brett and Geof tied for sixth:

    1. Rob, 7 points
    1. Frank, 7 points
    3. Marko, 5 points
    3. John, 5 points
    3. Joe, 5 points
    6. Brett, 4 points
    6. Geoff, 4 points
    8. James, Dan O, Jim, 0 points

    This is anyone’s race.

  35. However, the overall is very close, with Rob maintaining his lead by the virtue of him choosing the winner of an earlier race. He and I are separated by no points, with Marko, John, and Joe tied for third place, with Brett and Geof tied for sixth:

    1. Rob, 7 points
    1. Frank, 7 points
    3. Marko, 5 points
    3. John, 5 points
    3. Joe, 5 points
    6. Brett, 4 points
    6. Geoff, 4 points
    8. James, Dan O, Jim, 0 points

    This is anyone’s race.

    @frank

    Oh contrere! Even though I would like to take the honor; you have the lead because I did not pick first (for Pari-Rober, Marko did) so you now can have the poxy little cog lite up by your name – take it I am an imposter…

  36. @Rob
    The true sign of a champion is that s/he is always willing to admit defeat, even when it is not his/hers. Merckx, Hinault, LeMond; all refused to wear the Yellow feece during the Tour when leadership fell to them through means other than victory. Rob, you are a champion.

    Perhaps I did not state clearly enough; you were in the lead before we tied; in the typical aggregate competition, leadership falls to the one who held it first. In stage races, the ties are broken through aggregating hundredth-second results of the previous stages – we don’t have this luxury. Then, if that still proves to be a tie, it is broken through cumulative placings on previous stages. The leadership is yours. For now.

    But I won’t back off. Not for a second. And, after the “form data” gleaned from today’s stage, I will be stronger than ever before. The rainbow cog is yours, but watch your back. I’m coming on strong. But so is everyone else. If anything, the competition is narrowing down. Best get your affairs in order.

  37. “I was good, I was good, I was good and then I was bad” – C Evans, 18 April 2010. Though not as memorable as his canine-protection outbursts, a good effort from the little Ausssie battler nonetheless. (And curiously apt in respect of that other Australian cyclist, Brett, and his dive in form in the Velominati Super Prestige…)

  38. Thems fightin words, Geof!

    Are we tipping for Fleche? I think we should…

    Cadel has a win coming, either Wednesday or Sunday…

  39. Morning Gentlemen,
    1 out of 5 not bad (glad the rat I had in 2 was a DNS)…lovely ride from Gilbert too, might tip him for the LBL double…
    Feeling less than magesterial today. Whether it was an aggresively paced hill ride, or the aggressively paced post ride refreshment that’s scuppered me, I’m not sure. On the refreshment side, Cadel said it best…”I was good, I was good, I was good and then I was bad…”
    J.

  40. This volcano problem is gonna make Fleche harder. I’m guessing we’ll see a start list when riders actually line up at the start.

  41. @frank
    Thank you, in the light of day I can see the logic of it all and I accept your graciousness in letting me lead. Can my last post be deleted? Never again will I post drunk. My spell check does not correct French. Plus my catty little comment about the cog is not up to this sites standards. Really I am proud to have it at least for one more week!

    You all nipping at my heals is wearing on me but volcano or no there is no rest and I’m thinking that one of the Schlecks should be coming into form for a short hilly race, no?

  42. @Geof, @Joe

    Ah, poor old Cadel. Back to the same ol’, same ‘ol. The only rider in the race who cruelly was struck by a bout of fatigue. It must be a conspiracy, for surely he was the only rider to be struck by the Man with the Hammer, yes?

  43. @Rob
    Ah, how glorious the drunk post is. I’m guilty of a few myself. I for one, though, wouldn’t want your spelling any better than it was. In fact, I was amazed by the cleverness of the misspellings.

    As for the pithy remark, we’ll write it off as the jealous remarks of a man who believed he had lost his coveted fleece.

    Stand by for a reshuffling as we have decided to alter the means by which we score, giving bonus points for naming riders to the top 5, but not necessarily in the correct order.

  44. Updated results and standings. Rob now remains the clear leader, but the race is still very close.

    Amstel Gold Race, 18 April 2010

    1. Frank: 5 points
    1. John: 5 points
    1. Joe: 5 points
    1. Geoff: 5 points
    5. Rob: 2 points
    6. Marko: 1 point
    7. Brett, James, Dan O, Jim: 0 points

    Current Standings:

    1. Rob: 10 points
    2. Frank: 8 points
    2. John: 8 points
    2. Marko: 8 points
    5. Brett: 6 points
    6. Joe: 5 points
    6. Geoff: 5 points
    8. James, Dan O, Jim: 0 points

    Scoring rules and updated results are posted on the Velominati Super Prestige page.

  45. @frank
    Frabjous Day!! I had been fantasizing about talking to the VSP judges about just that plan! What glory, I now feel I have broken away a la Cancellara. You guys will never, ever catch me now! Remember my stroke is awesome and I will be peaking in May. Whooeee – bring it on!

    “What? Oh yea, sure Honey, just a minute I’m almost finished, yes I’ll take the garbage out… jeese”.

    Sorry, I was just about to say that I received the Veliminati Super Prestige award in the mail today and the little Honda fit now announces to all the Hummers here on Long Island to “OBEY THE RULES”! Yea baby, lets see how they react to that one!!

  46. @Geof, @Joe
    The panel is looking into a fair means to break the tie between the two of you for the Obey the Rules bumper sticker. You both scored 5 points and while Geof posted his picks before Joe, Joe scored all his points through picking the winner rather than relying on bonus points.

    It is currently under discussion and we will post our decision here.

  47. Frank,
    I’m happy to concede this battle and have Geof carry the bumper sticker. Chiefly (and in abolute accordance with Rule #4) as I don’t have a bumper from which to display it!
    It’s all about getting the message out there…
    Cheers,
    Joe.

  48. @Joe
    What a bunch of good sports we have here at the Velominati! But after all, I suppose we all subscribe to Rule #5, don’t we?

    As noble as your position is, the panel has decreed that you are indeed the winner, as choosing the winner of the race outright is always a more difficult task than missing the winner and earning additional points through bonuses. Not to knock Geof’s great performance – both of you did very well with your picks – but in a tie-breaking scenario, we have to set a precedent and rule as we have and name you the winner.

    You’re welcome to ask us to ship it to Geof if you have no use for it, but the prize is rightfully yours. Congratulations, Joe! Geof, better luck at La Fleche!

  49. @Frank. Splendid news. I will happily accept the points jersey for this stage. The season is long and on subsequent form, it looks like I’ll need every one of them….A spot on my fridge awaits the exhortations. Could I e-mail you my address?

  50. VSP PICKS:

    1. Gilbert
    2. Ryder
    3. Frank
    4. Kreder
    5. Cunego

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