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. Chris Froome
    3. Alberto Contador
    4. Tejay van Garderen
    5. Richie Porte
  2. Blatant plagiarism for the win. Froomie’s not going to make it and Bertie will be struggling in the mountains.

    And no rest day swaps.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Nibbles
    2. Quintana
    3. Plan G
    4. Contador
    5. Bardet
  3. So, apparently his Nibs is going to ride “carefree” while Aru wears the leader’s number. Hmmmmm. Might we see another Lemond-Hinault tete-a-tete this year? Or another Wiggo-Froome scenario?  I think they might not need the a/c on the Astana bus – the atmosphere may be a tad frosty all by itself.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Nairo Quintana
    2. Fabio Aru
    3. Chris Froome
    4. Romain Bardet
    5. Daniel Martin
  4. VSP PICKS:

    1. Nairo Quintana
    2. Alberto Contador
    3. Vicenzo Nibali
    4. Romain Bardet
    5. Thibaut Pinot
  5. VSP PICKS:

    1. FROOME Christopher
    2. QUINTANA ROJAS Nairo Alexander
    3. CONTADOR VELASCO Alberto
    4. ARU Fabio
    5. PORTE Richie
  6. Cold and a crash will rue Froome’s tour, methinks.

    VSP PICKS:

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

    1. Nairo Quintana
    2. Chris Froome
    3. Fabian Aru
    4. Alberto Contador
    5. Thibault Pinot
  8. time for the Big Jaune.

    Prefer Quintana as a fan but it’s hard to ignore the Stem Spider.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Froome
    2. Quintana
    3. PeeNo
    4. Contador
    5. Bardet
  9. @dancollins

    @xyxax

    I’d like to think great minds think alike, but I am guessing it may be the blind leading the blind. Didn’t this happen last year one time too?

    It did! Could it be that we are infected by the same punditry?  To be honest, I couldn’t figure this shit out on my own without an internet connection and lax supervision at work.  If I’m anywhere near you or Muro de Manny Yuck, then job done!

  10. VSP PICKS:

    1. Nairo Quintana
    2. Chris Froome
    3. Alberto Contador
    4. Thibault Pinot
    5. Romain Bardet
  11. Just another permutation on the same theme…

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Quintana
    2. Froome
    3. Contador
    4. Pinot
    5. Van Garderen
  12. VSP PICKS:

    1. Froome, Chris
    2. Quintana, Nairo
    3. Contador, Alberto
    4. Pinot, Thibaut
    5. Bardet, Romain
  13. The FROOMANTULA will win because he has one bad a** motor Stannard on his very strong team to sheppard

    him thru beginning stages. Still… just no fun picking him. Aru will find himself dropped by Vincenzo in a mtn stage. The BMC thinking will be WTF after a couple of weeks.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. QINTANA ROJAS Nairo
    2. CONTADOR Alberto
    3. NIBALI Vincenzo
    4. BARDET Romain
    5. PINOT Thibaut
  14. In an unfortunate incident, someone on Sky leaves the power connected to the wrong light bulb in Froome’s hotel room on the first rest day, and he has to withdraw after a severe

    electric shock to a rather sensitive body part…

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Nairo a go-go
    2. Bertie Beefsteak
    3. Any Porte in a storm
    4. Oh Danny Boy
    5. I’ll have the ’90 Pinot
  15. Stoked to see Sylvain Chavanel on the start list, and hoping he goes on the attack and takes a stage. I keep second guessing and changing it up in my head, but can’t afford to Delgado when the VSP is separated by a handful of points and count backs on time. Ride like hell for leather, lads – I need the points!

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Chris Froome
    2. Nairo Quintana
    3. Alberto Contador
    4. Romain Bardet
    5. Thibaut Pinot
  16. This is the best time of year for watching sports! Le Tour! A consolation for the heat index in Houston. And the fact that Ted Cruz is one of our senators. Good luck to the riders and to all of you ladies and gentlemen of the road. May the cycling gods be good to all.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Froome
    2. Quintana
    3. Contador
    4. TVG
    5. Bardet
  17. VSP PICKS:

    1. QUINTANA Nairo
    2. FROOME Christopher
    3. ROLLAND Pierre
    4. BARDET Romain
    5. POELS Wout
  18. @AJ

    @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….

    Pretty sure on launch he offered a 10% discount to any customer who showed their US Cycling racing licence.

  19. @Bianchi Denti

    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

    that’d be two years ago when it got a bit wet…

  20. VSP PICKS:

    1. QUINTANA Nairo
    2. FROOME Chris
    3. CONTADOR Alberto
    4. PINOT Thibault
    5. VAN GARDEREN Tejay
  21. Allez!

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Froome, Chris
    2. Quintana, Nairo
    3. Contador, Alberto
    4. Nibali, Vincenzo
    5. Rolland, Pierre
  22. VSP PICKS:

    1. Chris Froome
    2. Nairo Quintana
    3. Fabio Aru
    4. Alberto Contador
    5. Romain Bardet
  23. Cav with his, & Dimension Data’s, first ever Maillot Jaune. Great piece of sprinting to keep out of the wind as long as possible.

    Hope no one is too injured from the crashes.

  24. Can anyone confirm who the Sky rider was who went down in Contador’s crash?

  25. Wow, 70kmh+ from 3km out, 100kmh through the flame rouge, I think the commentator (Carlton-Eurosport) must have wet himself, seriously OTT, for a guy who has 28 tour victories, how you could say he came from no where (Sagan’s wheel actually), whilst screaming like a banshee is beyond me.

  26. @Mikael Liddy

    He wasn’t the only one to crash…you make it sound like he’s some shitkicker who can’t handle a bike, but they all go down at some point, it’s just a matter of when!

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