The 2011 Anti-V Moment of the Year: Paris Roubaix

The 2011 Anti-V Moment of the Year: Paris Roubaix

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While the The V Moment of the Year is the moment during the season when the sport demonstrated the most pure example of spirit of The V, the Anti-V Moment of the Year similarly acknowledges the moment in which all those things that make The V great were ignored. This is more than just cheating or climbing into the broom wagon; this is reserved for under-handed tactics, or wheel-sucking to the win, complaining about dangerous descents, canceling races for bad weather.

The Anti-V is a virus. It starts small, as a nagging doubt perhaps about form or willingness to suffer that day. It replicates and feeds on itself; giving in to doubt is easier when you’ve done it before, and the more you do it, the easier it gets. It manifests itself in an absence of those things we love most about cycling: a combination of guts, class, and panache.

Before I go any further, I’d like to point out that we had even more trouble deciding on the Anti-V moment than we did the V Moment. Bretto made the case for les Fréres Grimpeur, but couldn’t dial in on a specific incident of Anti-V and kept repeating, “Every time they looked around, or when they mounted their TT bikes!” We did the only thing we could do, and had CERN crunch the data for us. They confirmed the Schlecks spent the equivalent of three full weeks rubbernecking and nearly a quarter as much working on their time trialing – too much to mathematically isolate a single moment. Sometimes the best decision in the midst of indecision is simply to make one, and that’s exactly what I did.

At the very instant when Johan Van Summeren was doing a reverse 270 cannon ball into the deep end of the V-Pool to bring us the V Moment of 2011, Jonathan Vaughters was clutching his shoulders as he gingerly waded into the kiddie pool – dragging a handful of race favorites with him.

The race was shaping up beautifully for Garmin-Cervélo. Van Summeren had read the race and left the favorites at the Trouée to join teammate Gabriel Rasch up the road in the day’s breakaway. The plan was to keep Johan in reserve at the front while the Garmin team worked to bring the break back, giving Thor Hushovd an armchair ride to the finish with the considerable advantage of having teammates in the finale. A beautiful plan, and I love it when a plan comes together.

But Garmin’s firepower wasn’t quite enough to bridge up in time, and Faboo wasn’t thrilled about the prospect of riding into Roubaix with Thor getting a leadout from three teammates. In typical style, he took the race into his own hands and left the others to their own devices. Hushovd, Flecha, and Ballan came along for the ride and the four made huge inroads on the gap with Cancellara doing the bulk of the work.

And here the sticky tentacles of the Anti-V set in. Faboo started doubting whether he should really be hauling such a fast finisher as Hushovd up to his teammates and sat up when the gap had gone down to within arm’s reach.

At this point, Garmin’s plan wasn’t as solid as it had been a few dozen kilometers before:

  1. The plan hinged on domestique Vanmarcke doing the work to bridge up to the breakaway, putting four Garmin riders at the front
  2. Vanmarcke wasn’t closing the gap quickly enough, and was dropped by Cancellara’s acceleration
  3. Cancellara was getting the job done, but was unwilling to do the last bit of work to close the break down completely

The plan was in need of some quick-thinking to maintain the upper hand, and everyone knows driving while strategizing is dangerous. So, for safety reasons, Vaughters called in Garmin’s pocket Timid Tactician: His Turtleneck Sweater. New plan:

  1. Double-dip by telling Fabian that Thor can’t work because he has a teammate up the road, despite the fact that his team had been doing the chasing in the first place
  2. Tell Fabian to wait for the slow guy behind who couldn’t keep up and wasn’t bridging quickly enough, so he can take over for Fabian, saving Thor
  3. Instruct Thor to sit back and refuse pulls

Cancellara, Hushovd and Vaughters all had their hand in making this the Anit-V Moment of the year, but Vaughters takes the bulk of the blame not only because his was inflexible and unimaginative thinking, but because he was playing both sides: the rider up front can’t work if he’s got a rider coming up, or the rider coming up can’t work because he’s got a rider up front. Pick one.

But worst of all, there is nothing more Anti-V than two riders within a chance of winning riding along gesturing to each other as they both refuse to take a pull for fear of dragging the other to the win. Certainly, a rider must be sure not to do too much work and place themselves at a disadvantage, but this should never come at the risk of losing the opportunity to win the race in the first place; I’m sure we can all agree it is much more in the spirit of the V to fight and get beaten into second place than to never fight at all and throw your chance away. In this, Cancellara and Hushovd each had a hand in the pie, but Vaughters and his Sweater were were the masterminds behind the stalemate.

We truly love what Vaughters is trying to do with Garmin by making it their mission to race clean, but racing clean is no excuse for uncorking an entire case of Vintage 2011 Anti-V. Vaughters races his team like they are weak with nary a chance to win, when in fact they are one of the strongest teams in the sport. It is time to wrap the bars in white tape, set aside the underdog tactics, and start racing like leaders. And by all means, fire the Sweater.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cEV1l9i1ec[/youtube]

// Awards // Defining Moments // Etiquette // Racing

  1. @Nate
    Wow, just…wow. That bug was in production for less than 7 minutes. I can prove it from the SVN logs. And you noticed.

    Like I said, wow. I love you guys. An entire community of people possibly more detail-obsessed than me.

    @eightzero
    +1!

  2. @itburns
    I’ll be disappointed if I meet Gianni in person and he doesn’t have a big black nose and a combover.

  3. @frank
    I’ve grown very attached to that jersey. Seeing something else there came as a bit of a shock!

  4. @itburns
    Now if you could adjust this one to show @frank and the elder Schleck staring lovingly into each others eyes…

    @frank
    Will we be transported to and from events on the Keepers Tour in a bus as majestic as the uberbus?

  5. fortunately Der Unst Unst Unst (German techno) is timeless… Der Uberbus could roll on for all eternity.

  6. @marcus

    @frank
    So Gianni should be sure to never take you up on an invitation to go fishing. Or Frank, are you Fredo?

    It’s all a part of life as the Cogsanostra. For all of us, if we don’t look out, we will be sleeping with the down-tube shifters before long.

  7. @frank
    Not too related but I am fucking devastated that Valverde (who has stolen races from Cuddles) took the win at TDU today. Every Aussie rider needs to make sure Gerro takes out the GC…

  8. @Gianni

    Also, I’ll defend Garmin’s tactics for denying George Hincapie’s yellow jersey opportunity too. Screw him, I like George but why should he be handed a jersey he didn’t earn? He could have ridden into it but was mad when another team denied him? Up to then HTC had nothing but great press and victories with Cav and Whitey didn’t need another huge HTC press jolt by having them in the yellow jersey too. I think he did the right thing personally. That’s his job, represent his sponsor and manage his team. Hand outs, what’s the point?

    ^^^^^^^^^
    THIS! They continue to argue and yet metaphorically Gianni has bolted up the road for the win…. Eros Poli eat your heart out.

  9. @frank
    Pick one?? What the hell? Why should he, and what kind of dumb-ass DS would he be if he made that call and got it wrong? He was playing both cards at the same time in a fluid situation and it worked out perfectly for the Team.

  10. @Chris

    @itburns
    Now if you could adjust this one to show @frank and the elder Schleck staring lovingly into each others eyes…

    Frank was there for Fronk during the birth of the first Cervelo. Or maybe this was when the votes for the Anti-V were being counted…

  11. I downloaded the newish Sufferfest vid (Very Dark Place) and what’ya know – one of the intervals is Faboo towing Thor along in last year’s P-R. Kinda ruined the integrity of that effort for me. They should have just put JvS in there and called it a solo break effort instead.

    @itburns
    We shall title this one, wait for it – Pillow Talk.

  12. @Marko
    when I did that sufferfest was too unconscious to notice… those videos are the only thing that make those early am trainer sessions palatable…

  13. @Marko
    I have a couple but I still listen to my own music and just enjoy the visual aspect.

  14. @Zoncolan

    @Gianni

    Also, I’ll defend Garmin’s tactics for denying George Hincapie’s yellow jersey opportunity too. Screw him, I like George but why should he be handed a jersey he didn’t earn? He could have ridden into it but was mad when another team denied him? Up to then HTC had nothing but great press and victories with Cav and Whitey didn’t need another huge HTC press jolt by having them in the yellow jersey too. I think he did the right thing personally. That’s his job, represent his sponsor and manage his team. Hand outs, what’s the point?

    ^^^^^^^^^
    THIS! They continue to argue and yet metaphorically Gianni has bolted up the road for the win…. Eros Poli eat your heart out.

    You are the best! Mention me and Eros Poli in the same sentence and I’m good for the day. I’m dreaming of having Eros lead the 2013 Keeper Tour in Italy…that would be a tour to remember.

  15. @Gianni

    @Zoncolan

    @Gianni

    Also, I’ll defend Garmin’s tactics for denying George Hincapie’s yellow jersey opportunity too. Screw him, I like George but why should he be handed a jersey he didn’t earn? He could have ridden into it but was mad when another team denied him? Up to then HTC had nothing but great press and victories with Cav and Whitey didn’t need another huge HTC press jolt by having them in the yellow jersey too. I think he did the right thing personally. That’s his job, represent his sponsor and manage his team. Hand outs, what’s the point?

    ^^^^^^^^^THIS! They continue to argue and yet metaphorically Gianni has bolted up the road for the win…. Eros Poli eat your heart out.

    You are the best! Mention me and Eros Poli in the same sentence and I’m good for the day. I’m dreaming of having Eros lead the 2013 Keeper Tour in Italy…that would be a tour to remember.

    —and one Tour i would happily swim from New Zealand with my bike on my back for…

  16. I know I’m late on this, but surely vaughters (There is no “V” there) telling Garmin not to ride with Faboo and theVVoodsman a minute up the road in the RVV with the team having done nothing all spring rates as a more anti-V than at P-R.

    At the end of the day, Right Douchebag, Wrong Moment.

  17. @Oli

    @frankPick one?? What the hell? Why should he, and what kind of dumb-ass DS would he be if he made that call and got it wrong? He was playing both cards at the same time in a fluid situation and it worked out perfectly for the Team.

    And things are right in the universe again.

  18. I enjoy this site. Really, I do… But I have never seen such a collection of pussies as the people who contribute stories to this place. The fact that there is a list of rules is so “anti-V” that I fear the irony is lost on most of you. I laugh. At you.

  19. @Calmante
    That’s a contradiction. You can’t enjoy the site and hate the rules. Not possible.

  20. @Calmante

    I enjoy this site. Really, I do… But I have never seen such a collection of pussies as the people who contribute stories to this place. The fact that there is a list of rules is so “anti-V” that I fear the irony is lost on most of you. I laugh. At you.

    Ignorance is bliss. Therefore you must be very happy, Stay, read, and learn. Remember, if you are going to be a jackass, be a funny jackass (Rule #43). If you can’t abide by that just stay off the fucking site and let us happy pussies.

  21. @Oli
    I updated the definition of Anti-V to help you understand that this isn’t about whether he did anything wrong to play both sides, but that it is a perfect example of the Anti-V.

    @Calmante
    You left off “idiots”.

    As a matter of proving that last point, I am unable to understand how if we were to stop contributing stories to this place and took down The Rules, how there would be much left? Maybe you would like us to just put the logo up, and leave it at that. Its an idea, anyway…

  22. Aw, man, and i was thinking about sending in a guest article for consideration. Damn. Guess that makes me an almost-pussy. I laugh. At Robot Chicken.

  23. @Calmante

    I enjoy this site. Really, I do… But I have never seen such a collection of pussies as the people who contribute stories to this place. The fact that there is a list of rules is so “anti-V” that I fear the irony is lost on most of you. I laugh. At you.

    I knew a tranny hooker once called Calmante. Is that you baby?

  24. @frank
    I don’t think JV showed any of the “wheel-sucking, bragging, and poor sportsmanship” attributes you ascribe to him at all. In fact, I think he showed guts and panache in playing the race out as he did, therefore I still utterly dispute your Anti-V call.

  25. Scale911: Tranny? Hooker? Who Calmante?!

    @Calmante

    If The Anti-V is the based on the inverse of Rule #5, the contradiction of claiming that having rules is against the rules is most likely to have caused you to disappear up your own ‘rse.

  26. @Calmante

    I enjoy this site. Really, I do… But I have never seen such a collection of pussies as the people who contribute stories to this place. The fact that there is a list of rules is so “anti-V” that I fear the irony is lost on most of you. I laugh. At you.

    The funny thing about the Rules is that it is the litmus test for getting this site and I do mean the funny thing… So even though you have failed the first test there is a slight possibility of redemption – of course for true redemption you have to love Bob Marley – “Who are you to judge the life I live? I know I’m not perfect and I don’t live to be. But, before you start pointing fingers, make sure your hands are clean.”

  27. So his rider wins PR and gets The V award and yet you award his DS with The Anti-V?
    Cycling has changed a lot over the years and telling the DS today that he should play only one card hence one rider leaves a lot to think about.Really you could have picked different moment for The Anti-V.
    Moving on anybody heard about recent UCI helmet ban?Here’s more:

    http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/cavendish-with-illegal-helmet-in-world-championship-race

  28. @TommyTubolare

    Yes well the whole aero thing has been a typical UCI mess for a while now.

    How do you permit shoe covers but not a cover on a helmet vent ?

    Why permit aero skin suits but not the Bont Crono shoes ?

    They really wouldn’t know their arse from their elbow, and would almost certainly ban one of them.

  29. @ChrisO

    I think the UCI has come in for the greatest number of criticisms in this post, after Frhank for picking what he did… possibly something telling there. @Marcus

    @Calmante

    I enjoy this site. Really, I do… But I have never seen such a collection of pussies as the people who contribute stories to this place. The fact that there is a list of rules is so “anti-V” that I fear the irony is lost on most of you. I laugh. At you.

    I knew a tranny hooker once called Calmante. Is that you baby?

    Just because it goes Baa doesn’t mean you get to call it whatever you want. Calmante’s a rediculous name for a sheep.

  30. With the exception of Anjin-san, those were all pretty hilarious responses, and that’s why I enjoy this site.

    However, the vast majority of the rules are ridiculously anti-V and make riders look like a bunch of whiny ass bitches, not hardmen. How about a recall of most of the rules? It’s not too late to salvage them.

    More relevantly, though, is that Vaughters has a lot of panache and doesn’t deserve this distinction. Secondly, the very act of calling someone anti-V is, in and of itself, anti-V. Can’t you see that? Harden the Fuck Up, for Pete’s sake! It’s fine to recognize V moments, but the whining, oh man, the whining… Vaughters may be one of the greates directeurs to ever grace the sport.

    @chris Above all else, Rule V, right? Why are most of the rules about image, though? They seriously need to be culled, starting with the wussiest.

    It’s funny, this obsession with looking pro, because pros are some of the most vain, insecure people I know. Saddle height, bar drop, bar reach, hood angle (oh, hood angle!) is set as arbitrarily as it is by the greenest noob. I love reading cyclingnews.com for the pro bike features, where you get these millimeter-accurate measurements, many of which are simply made up, as if there was some miracle formula that they used. Retul? BG Fit? It’s for chumps with money to spend, not pros. That was a tangent… Maybe I’m just a bitter old man at this point.

  31. Additionally, I’d like to apologize for being a jackass, especially an unfunny one.

  32. @Calmante
    JV, you shouldn’t post after drinking all of that wine. Oh, I mean “Calmante”.

  33. @Calmante
    Well done, it takes some stones to apologize in a public forum. That said, I may just be a redneck from North Carolina, but where I am from when you poke your head into a new group of people and call them pussies you can generally expect a cold reception if not an ass whoopin. So harden the fuck up, or go cry somewhere else. What I like about this site, the previous statement notwithstanding, is that we talk cycling and pick on the prima donnas of our sport (who deserve all the shit we give them because they are not Jens Voight), not each other. All that said, if you can ride as well as you talk shit, I couldn’t hold your wheel for 30 seconds ; )

  34. @Oli

    @frank
    I don’t think JV showed any of the “wheel-sucking, bragging, and poor sportsmanship” attributes you ascribe to him at all. In fact, I think he showed guts and panache in playing the race out as he did, therefore I still utterly dispute your Anti-V call.

    You’re not the only one. And you’re still wrong!

    @TommyTubolare

    So his rider wins PR and gets The V award and yet you award his DS with The Anti-V?

    You’re missing the point. First off, the blame is not entirely on JV – also on Faboo and Hushovd. And, it has not so much to do with the race or the result, but with the specific MOMENT – which is why it is called the Anti-V Moment of the year and not the Anti-V Race/Rider/Minute/Hour or any other unit.

    Two riders sitting around allowing the race to go up the road while a DS tells them they should wait for the dropped guy is just oozing Anti-V.

  35. @Calmante

    It’s funny, this obsession with looking pro, because pros are some of the most vain, insecure people I know. Saddle height, bar drop, bar reach, hood angle (oh, hood angle!) is set as arbitrarily as it is by the greenest noob. I love reading cyclingnews.com for the pro bike features, where you get these millimeter-accurate measurements, many of which are simply made up, as if there was some miracle formula that they used. Retul? BG Fit? It’s for chumps with money to spend, not pros. That was a tangent… Maybe I’m just a bitter old man at this point.

    It really goes beyond Looking Pro – and has a lot more to do with Looking Fantastic, which a subset of Pros do. Just because a Pro does something doesn’t make it look good. Quite on the contrary, in fact. But many Pros serve as a great example of exactly how to Look Fantastic, and that’s where we take inspiration from.

    Is it vain? Yes, absolutely. Does it make it more fun to wander out to your bike, in the pouring rain, knowing you look the fucking business in your knickers that are adjusted exactly the right way, with your arm warmers and gilet – with your cap under your helmet perfectly placed and your glasses perched in your helmet? Hell yes.

    Do you feel better climbing that twenty km climb with your jersey unzipped completely, flapping in the wind like a badass? Hell yeah.

    Looking Pro serves as a motivation to ride better, harder, and stronger – and have more fun doing it. If you can ride just as hard and have just as much fun with a YJA, hairy guns, and wearing tennis shoes, there is not one single reason why you should care about The Rules.

    On the other hand, if you can laugh at yourself, admit you’re having a ball, and find motivation through looking the business and getting out on your bike, then you are in the right place.

  36. @Calmante

    With the exception of Anjin-san, those were all pretty hilarious responses, and that’s why I enjoy this site.
    However, the vast majority of the rules are ridiculously anti-V and make riders look like a bunch of whiny ass bitches, not hardmen. How about a recall of most of the rules? It’s not too late to salvage them.
    More relevantly, though, is that Vaughters has a lot of panache and doesn’t deserve this distinction. Secondly, the very act of calling someone anti-V is, in and of itself, anti-V. Can’t you see that? Harden the Fuck Up, for Pete’s sake! It’s fine to recognize V moments, but the whining, oh man, the whining… Vaughters may be one of the greates directeurs to ever grace the sport.
    @chris Above all else, Rule V, right? Why are most of the rules about image, though? They seriously need to be culled, starting with the wussiest.
    It’s funny, this obsession with looking pro, because pros are some of the most vain, insecure people I know. Saddle height, bar drop, bar reach, hood angle (oh, hood angle!) is set as arbitrarily as it is by the greenest noob. I love reading cyclingnews.com for the pro bike features, where you get these millimeter-accurate measurements, many of which are simply made up, as if there was some miracle formula that they used. Retul? BG Fit? It’s for chumps with money to spend, not pros. That was a tangent… Maybe I’m just a bitter old man at this point.

    I’ve thought this site is about the best in cycling, not the worst, which is why I agree in principle with your point about the anti V not being in the spirit of things round here. I do, however, think it’s handy for calibration of expectations: with out the anti – V, we’d have a harder time knowing what the V is when we see it.

    So long as you’re not Australian, welcome aboard. If you are, see my above response to @Marcus

  37. @minion
    How can you have the V without the Anti-V? Two halves of a whole. The forces of Good and Eveeeeeaaaal.

    Balance, Pedalwan. Balance.

    As a matter of course, last year’s Anti-V was also the subject of much more debate than was the V. Interesting the people are much more willing to argue about criticisms than they are about praise. Which is also about balance, incidentally.

    @Anjin-san

    That said, I may just be a redneck from North Carolina, but where I am from when you poke your head into a new group of people and call them pussies you can generally expect a cold reception if not an ass whoopin.

    G’phant said it best when a similar situation occurred a while back (and I paraphrase/quote):

    How did you introduce yourself to your neighbors when you moved in?

    Hey, cuntface! Trim ya fuckin’ hedges and paint ya fuckin’ trim! I don’t like the look of ‘em!!

    Incidentally, my new neighbor took almost that same approach.

  38. @frank
    Whoa! Settle down Fabio, or else some wag while end up superimposing your face on Zoolander for all to see ;)

    Well said.

    My bikes are in boxes to be sent to Australia. Fuckity fucken what the hell do I do now?

  39. @frank
    Point made.

    @everyone else
    I’ll be better. I promise.

  40. @all
    One last point that I’ll make because I think there’s a fundamental misunderstanding – one that I’m myself coming to understand as a matter of course of the discussion.

    The Anti-V is within all of us, and it is the reason why the V is great. If it didn’t exist, we wouldn’t have to fight to be tough and ride strong – it would be natural.

    To that end, that JV, Faboo, Hushovd, or any other rider exhibited the Anti-V for a moment doesn’t make them week or pussies or lame or anything else. It just means that for a moment during the race, they lost the V and that was remarkable it was the Perfect Storm of Anti-V.

    Now, some people seem to give in to the Anti-V more often than others and that’s a lot of what’s been discussed here on this thread – which riders/DS’s show a chronic lack of V. That’s really not what this article is about. This is about a moment of bad racing – regardless of what happend before or after.

    Even if I do think Garmin won the race with JVS through JVS’s ingenuity and almost in spite of JV’s directing – but that’s another subject altogether.

    @Calmante
    Actually, you’re doing great, and having these things come up for us to talk about is better than having you come by, think what you thought, and leave. Thanks for speaking your mind. And thanks for having an open one. I suspect you might be Dutch.

  41. @ Frank

    I get it Frank. I truly do. Men behaving like babies…if only for a moment. Not tactics, not the entire race, not how they rode. The moment. 4.52 on the vid. I want to puke!!

    That said I think what you meant to say was that it doesn’t make them “weak”. Because let’s face it, it would take at least seven days to make them “week”.

    @calmante

    JV is a pretentious douche bag…

    Looking pro and the rules..it’s not an obsession. Nobody really thinks there’s a magical formula. It’s fun. And it’s fun to have fun. That’s all.

  42. @frank

    @Calmante

    It’s funny, this obsession with looking pro, because pros are some of the most vain, insecure people I know. Saddle height, bar drop, bar reach, hood angle (oh, hood angle!) is set as arbitrarily as it is by the greenest noob. I love reading cyclingnews.com for the pro bike features, where you get these millimeter-accurate measurements, many of which are simply made up, as if there was some miracle formula that they used. Retul? BG Fit? It’s for chumps with money to spend, not pros. That was a tangent… Maybe I’m just a bitter old man at this point.

    It really goes beyond Looking Pro – and has a lot more to do with Looking Fantastic, which a subset of Pros do. Just because a Pro does something doesn’t make it look good. Quite on the contrary, in fact. But many Pros serve as a great example of exactly how to Look Fantastic, and that’s where we take inspiration from.
    Is it vain? Yes, absolutely. Does it make it more fun to wander out to your bike, in the pouring rain, knowing you look the fucking business in your knickers that are adjusted exactly the right way, with your arm warmers and gilet – with your cap under your helmet perfectly placed and your glasses perched in your helmet? Hell yes.
    Do you feel better climbing that twenty km climb with your jersey unzipped completely, flapping in the wind like a badass? Hell yeah.
    Looking Pro serves as a motivation to ride better, harder, and stronger – and have more fun doing it. If you can ride just as hard and have just as much fun with a YJA, hairy guns, and wearing tennis shoes, there is not one single reason why you should care about The Rules.
    On the other hand, if you can laugh at yourself, admit you’re having a ball, and find motivation through looking the business and getting out on your bike, then you are in the right place.

    A-fuckin’ Merckx. Preach it, brother.

  43. @frank

    @all
    The Anti-V is within all of us, and it is the reason why The V is great. If it didn’t exist, we wouldn’t have to fight to be tough and ride strong – it would be natural.
    To that end, that JV, Faboo, Hushovd, or any other rider exhibited The Anti-V for a moment doesn’t make them week or pussies or lame or anything else. It just means that for a moment during the race, they lost The V and that was remarkable it was the Perfect Storm of Anti-V.
    Now, some people seem to give in to The Anti-V more often than others and that’s a lot of what’s been discussed here on this thread – which riders/DS’s show a chronic lack of V. That’s really not what this article is about. This is about a moment of bad racing – regardless of what happend before or after.

    The Anti-V was strong in this one last night. Didn’t have a great day, nothing really wrong with it but nothing really went right. Didn’t get the kids to bed until much later than usual for one reason or another but once they were out of the way, rather than setting up the rollers for an hour of intervals, I slobbed out on the sofa to watch a couple of episodes of Luther with the remains of Sunday’s roast dinner and a big bowl of rice pudding. On the plus side, I did resist finishing off the bottle of red that was left over from Sunday.

    @Calmante
    It is indeed all about The V but there’s no point in The V if you lose sight of the fact that ultimately it’s all about the same feeling of joy, excitement and freedom that we got tearing around on bikes as kids.

    I think a lot of people who stumble onto this site from other bike forums tend to be take being a roadie too seriously (whether it be by sticking to strict training plans, diets and living by their power meters or trying hard demonstrate that that they’re not serious by their casualness) to realise that whilst we’re passionate how we look and act, we’re not actually taking things that seriously. You only need to search Velominati on roadbikereview to see what I mean.

    Looking fabulous is obviously the Holy Grail but there’s as much irreverence and flippancy going on amongst the ranks.

  44. Interview with Vaughters published today @ Velochrono. On the subject of Garmin’s sweetest victories of 2011 (P-R and TTT at the TdF), he says:

    Pour moi, la plus belle des victoires, c’est celle où l’ensemble de l’équipe peut changer tactiquement le sens de la course. C’est bien plus intéressant que lorsqu’un grand leader se cache et ne fait la course que sur la fin. Mais la victoire de Vansummeren sur Paris-Roubaix a une saveur particulière, car elle porte cette marque de l’équipe. Ce qui vaut certes aussi pour le contre-la-montre par équipes du Tour.

    He says that P-R was special because the win was marked by the influence of team tactics (my imperfect translation).
    Velochrono doesn’t mention his anti-V award which is clearly a journalistic oversight.

  45. @xyxax

    Pour moi, la plus belle des victoires, c’est celle où l’ensemble de l’équipe peut changer tactiquement le sens de la course. C’est bien plus intéressant que lorsqu’un grand leader se cache et ne fait la course que sur la fin. Mais la victoire de Vansummeren sur Paris-Roubaix a une saveur particulière, car elle porte cette marque de l’équipe. Ce qui vaut certes aussi pour le contre-la-montre par équipes du Tour.

    For me, the most beautiful victories, are ones where the whole team can change the tactical direction of the race. It’s much more interesting than when a great leader is hiding and only races at the end. But Vansummeren’s victory at Paris-Roubaix has a special flavor, for it bears the mark of the team. That is true also of the TdF Team Time Trial.

  46. @Chris
    Thanks for that. Actually the direct translation was not the problem but what the sub-text was in light of the V and anti-V award discussions here. He says essentially that it was a victory arising from the influence of team tactics on the race, which contradicts the opinions of the anti-V post.

  47. @xyxax, @Chris
    Great perspective, very interesting. It could be my creative interpretation, but it almost seems like he’s supporting my notion that JVS’s win was not so much the team tactic, but something that happened. It also agrees with my notion that the last-minute leader’s move is getting long in the tooth.

    I hope they do more racing from the front – not just Garmin, but all the teams. That’s what I love seeing. Here’s to 2012!

  48. I’ve been meaning to inquire about this since the article came up, but I didn’t want to be asking a stupid question. But…here goes.

    I’m confused about the JV telling Cancellara stuff. He’s not his director. So do you mean simply yelling out the car at him? Or what?

    Sorry, this part had me lost. (Being relatively new to watch PRO racing, especially in comparison to many of you, I don’t always follow the inner workings of tactics, racing savvy, etc.).

  49. IIRC Cancellara came over to the Garmin car, presumably because Hushovd was telling him that the team had ordered him not to work, so he decided to complain directly to the management… or to tell them that if they weren’t going to work then he wasn’t going to work.

    I agree, it was not the finest moment for all concerned, but JV/JVS won, and Cancellara had been a red-hot favourite.

  50. Alright, two things here:

    1) After rewatching the video I can see where JV says “we ain’t gonna help” and then Mr. Thighs says, “What?!”!:!”

    2) Please remind me of how the Tete de la Course got away. With so many races this past year, I can’t recall why Thor, Fabian, and Alessandro are chasing. How’d they get put back?

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