Velominati Super Prestige: Tour de France 2016

A lot has happened in the last ten years of le Tour, and a lot of it stemmed from the race that took place in 2006. At the time it seemed like yet another “Tour of Redemption” as the organisers liked to claim every few years after something had happened to tarnish the race’s image, yet again. In 06, we were coming off the back of a seven year reign of very little in the way of competition, with most of those races decided in the Prologue and followed by a three week procession. 06 was anticipated as the start of a new era, we just didn’t know at the time how significant it would become many years further down the track.

The pre-Tour build-up had fans frothing with anticipation of an Ullrich vs Basso battle, but that was scuppered at the 11th hour by Operacion Puerto, just what incoming Director Christian Prudhomme didn’t need. Also ditched were Fransisco Mancebo, a young Alberto Contador (yet to be considered a GC contender), and one Alexandre Vinokourov (while not one of the Puerto accused, still unable to start as most of his Astana teammates were pulled, leaving him without a sufficient team). With the two favourites out, the race was anyone’s for the taking. Of course, there was more drama to come.

A crazy break was let go and produced a surprise leader in Oscar Pereiro, who then conceded the yellow to Floyd Landis, who then blew to bits and handed it back to Pereiro, before making the biggest comeback since Lazarus the next day and riding away from the race in a solo effort that still ranks as one of the best ever, no matter how juiced he was. I remember watching the stage live and talking to a mate on the phone, and his incredulity at what we were witnessing. As Landis drank with the fervour of an alcoholic and manically poured water over his head during his escapade, my friend (an ex-road racer at a high level himself) professed that Landis was “cooking” from some sort of drug cocktail and was doing his best to dilute whatever concoction he’d taken, and not blow a positive or do a Tommy Simpson on live tv. How prophetic his words proved.

Of course, that was just the beginning, and the resulting fallout became one of the biggest sporting stories of all time. Landis just about brought down the entire sport with his revelations, and no Tour since has been without some form of scuttlebutt, yet not on that scale. The last few years, while tame by comparison to those preceding them, have been pretty well dominated by each winner and not offering too much in the way of exciting competition; although last year’s end result was closer on paper than the actual race was… which once again leaves us in the same state of anticipation that grips us every year in the month leading up to the start, and then promptly lets us down about two weeks after that, and wondering when the Vuelta starts.

This Tour has all the hallmarks of potentially being a great one, with three guys who have to be considered genuine contenders, yet just one who is most likely to win. We really do need a positive test to liven this one up, or someone to juice themselves so comprehensively that the motor in their seat-tube can’t handle the power from their legs and melts the carbon around the bottom bracket and drops onto the road at the summit of Mont Ventoux. Maybe try and blame it on a chimera twin that drank too many whiskeys the night before and left their bike in the team truck with a bag of someone else’s piss strapped to it. That would bring the crowds back. But seriously, if each of the contenders is on form, we could have one of the best races of the last ten years with some real proper drama played out on the roads, not in the labs or courts and not two, three or seven years from now.

We’re giving you plenty of time to ponder the possibilities, and maybe come up with your own hare-brained scenarios as to what may unfold, or what will most likely bring you those precious VSP points and the honour of wearing the Maillot Jaune for the next year. Will you be daring and go out on a limb that doesn’t resemble that of an anorexic spider? Will you take short odds on a short-ass? Will you stake your claims on claims of a steak? Or will you tear yourself apart with internal conflict like a couple of bitchy Italians?

Whatever you do, there is absolutely no excuse to Delgado this one, we’re giving you plenty of time and it’s not like you can claim you didn’t realise that the race was this week… and don’t whinge if this Start List changes before the racing gets underway, it is provisional after all. Good luck and may the best, or second best, man win.

[vsp_results id=”49193″/]

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585 Replies to “Velominati Super Prestige: Tour de France 2016”

  1. VSP PICKS:

    1. Nairo Quintana
    2. Alberto Contador
    3. Romain Bardet
    4. Fabio Aru
    5. Richie Porte
  2. VSP PICKS:

    1. Alberto Contador
    2. Chris Froome
    3. Nairo Quintana
    4. Fabio Aru
    5. Alejandro Valverde
  3. Okay – defence of the jersey time and there’s no clear favourite. Fairly sure of a podium place for Froome but other than that this may be the year for a couple of real outsiders to make their mark.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Froomedog
    2. Nairo Quintana
    3. Alberto C*ntador
    4. Fabio Aru
    5. Richie Port
  4. @Steve Trice

    I gather it’s a business designed to play on his reputation/ notoriety and sense of humour (and rebelliousness). Apparently they will be wholesalers rather than retailers and are working on some new kind of vaping technology. It will be interesting to see how it goes and although it’s not aimed at cyclists it might get some traction there (perhaps more so in the mountain biking world) given Landis’ connection to the sport.

    What would kill in Colorado would be a sports nutrition edible. I would munch on infused macaroons on my way up Independence Pass. No need to credit me Floyd, just send me a few when I visit….

  5. If my picks don’t publish, I am going to come back later and try again. Since Floyd’s product affects the short term memory, I made a note…

    1. Quintana

    2. Froome

    3. Aru

    4. Contador

    5. Porte

  6. @hudson @tony macaroni

    You can’t put in duplicate picks. Your duplicates have been deleted, so you have to get back in here and put in some new choices. Thanks.

  7. I was going to say: “Now, we wait”.  But I thought better.  A movie quote came to mind.  “No. We breathe. We pulse. We regenerate. Our hearts beat. Our minds create. Our souls ingest. 37 seconds [or three weeks in this case], well used, is a lifetime.”

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Froome
    2. Quintana
    3. Contador
    4. Aru
    5. Porte
  8. Froome and Sky look unbeatable. He’d have to fall off to lose, and when was the

    last time that happened…?

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Froome
    2. Quintana
    3. Aru
    4. Contador
    5. Pinot
  9. Just going with the favs…

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Alberto Contador
    2. Chris Frome
    3. Nairo Quintana
    4. Fabio Aru
    5. Richie Porte
  10. VSP PICKS:

    1. Nairo Quintana
    2. Alberto Contador
    3. Romain Bardet
    4. Thibaut Pinot
    5. Tejay Van Garderen
  11. VSP PICKS:

    1. Nairo Quintana
    2. Alberto Contador
    3. Romain Bardet
    4. Fabio Aru
    5. Thibaut Pinot
  12. VSP PICKS:

    1. Chris Froome
    2. Alberto Contador
    3. Nairo Quintana
    4. Thibout Pinot
    5. Romain Bardet
  13. VSP PICKS:

    1. Quitana Nairo
    2. Froome Chris
    3. Van Gaarderen Teejay
    4. Pinot Thibout
    5. Contador Alberto
  14. already second guessing…

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Nairo Quintana
    2. Thibaut Pinot
    3. Romain Bardet
    4. Diego Rosa
    5. Warren Barguil
  15. As my top 4 is the same as 80% of the rest of you, I need a point of difference. So Bert will now fall off (and come back to win the Vuelta), while

    TjvG will stamp his authoritah all over Richie.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Froome
    2. Quintana
    3. Aru
    4. van Garderen
    5. Pinot
  16. Changing my mind a little.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Froome
    2. Quintana
    3. Contador
    4. Aru
    5. Dan Martin
  17. VSP PICKS:

    1. Nairo Quintana
    2. Alberto Contador
    3. Chris Froome
    4. Thibaut Pinot
    5. Adam Yates
  18. VSP PICKS:

    1. Froome, Christopher
    2. Quintana, Nairo
    3. Contador, Alberto
    4. Zakarin, Ilnur
    5. Van Garderen, Teejay
  19. Predicting the first Giro/Tour Double since Pantani in ’98 and it is going to be an EPIC bitch fest in the Astana camp with Aru saying he never gets a spaceship, never!

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Nibbles
    2. Quantanna Roo
    3. Froome Wagon
    4. Aru
    5. Contadooooooooor

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