paris-roubaix_lrg

Cobbled Classics 2013 Forecast: Hardman’s Valmanac

Cobbled Classics 2013 Forecast: Hardman’s Valmanac

by / / 105 posts

As many of you know, one of my specialties is examining events, imagining trends in them, and then predicting future events by painting with broad strokes based on those findings. I find this approach particularly effective when it pertains to topics of which I know less than nothing. In many ways, this is the same thing meteorologists do, so in that sense it is very fitting that my current prediction is for the weather of the 2013 Cobbled Classics.

I consider Het Volk to be a harbinger of what is to come for the major classics coming about a month later. By ignoring all data points that don’t support my assumptions, my study has conclusively demonstrated the following points:

  • Rare is the case when a rider wins Het Volk and also wins de Ronde or Roubaix.
  • Weather can’t hold a peak any better than a rider can, apparently; dry weather in Het Volk means wet weather in April and vice versa.
  • Riders who race Het Volk in their Flandrian Best generally perform better in the monuments.
  • Racing to the win in too-long a pair of knickers is a specter of failure for future events.
  • Racing with an upturned cycling cap brim will yield a season fraught with spectacular highs and lows.

In light of this, it was with great relief that I noticed that while the weather was cold for Het Volk, it was also dry. Which conclusively shows that the bergs in de Ronde and the trench in Roubaix will be coated in heaps of slippery mud. Thank Merckx, too; it’s been too many years of dry weather for my taste. For those of you smart enough to sign up for Keepers Tour, this will be epic. And yes, I know its not called Het Volk anymore. (We have a few open spots left on the Tour, so get in while the getting’s good.)

// Keepers Tour // Nostalgia // The Hardmen // Tradition

  1. @G’rilla

    MTB XC race #2 tomorrow.

    What’s the etiquette/strategy for passing someone on a course that’s 100% singletrack? Ask verbally? Go around on a hill when they slow down?

    Best way is to ask/suggest “Passing on your left/right, when you’re ready.”  Typically this would happen on a climb where you would power past, or just before a descent.

    Generally, just being immediately behind someone for any period of time should give them the hint that they should give way.  Communication is the key though, and as per the MTBA rules, the rider in front has the right to refuse the pass if they feel it would endanger them in any way.

  2. exception 'ImagickException' with message 'unable to open image `/nas/wp/www/cluster-40013/velominati//wp-content/plugins/dm-albums/php/image.php?degrees=0&scale=yes&width=600&height=700&quality=85&maintain_aspect=yes&rounding=nearest&image=/home/frankdstrack/velominati.com/wp-content/uploads/readers/Dan_R/2013.03.03.22.41.21/1/snow day.JPG': No such file or directory @ error/blob.c/OpenBlob/2638' in /nas/wp/www/cluster-40013/velominati/wp-content/themes/velominati/generics.php:1224 Stack trace: #0 /nas/wp/www/cluster-40013/velominati/wp-content/themes/velominati/generics.php(1224): Imagick->__construct('/nas/wp/www/clu...') #1 [internal function]: dm_replace_image_embeds('

    start_el('?display_element(Object(stdClass), Array, 1, 0, Array, '?@DerHoggz

    @Dan_R

    @Tobin
    Yeah, with a name like Café Roubaix, I felt obligated to open for a few hours today.

    You have Deda frames?!?

    For future VSPs we should do some kind of betting on whether or not the Schlecklette will finish. At the very least, free points!

    But that’s like giving away free points.

  3. @El Segundo

    @Deakus

    Hooray for a snow riddled slushy Roubaix! If only mainstream TV would televise this epic!

    Praise be to Merckx, SBS in Aus. will be televising all the spring classics in their entirety.

    I’ll have to delve deep into “the suitcase of caffeine”. Can’t wait.

    That does depend on where across the country you’re situated…they’ll be live if you’re in the eastern states, central or WA & you’ll be taking big chunks out of your internet data usage streaming it because they don’t want to eat in to their normal schedule.

  4. @Gianni

    Who is bored and needs some video? The sound track is most insane. Enjoy.

    Love the choice of ‘Bad to the Bone’ for le Blaireau!

  5. @G’rilla

    @RedRanger

    @G’rilla you may ruin their trip man.

    No trips will be ruined. I’ve decided to bring the same equipment as last year: Cervelo and 25mm clinchers.

    You are straying from the path, my son! We obviously need to ride together soon. Tubulars, 25mm. Ti SEX frame (thats how I assume CX is pronounced, no?).  Bring the Dugasts as spares incase its chaos. Easy is as easy goes.

  6. @Mikael Liddy

    @El Segundo

    @Deakus

    Hooray for a snow riddled slushy Roubaix! If only mainstream TV would televise this epic!

    Praise be to Merckx, SBS in Aus. will be televising all the spring classics in their entirety.

    I’ll have to delve deep into “the suitcase of caffeine”. Can’t wait.

    That does depend on where across the country you’re situated…they’ll be live if you’re in the eastern states, central or WA & you’ll be taking big chunks out of your internet data usage streaming it because they don’t want to eat in to their normal schedule.

    Thanks for the tip Mikael, it seemed too good to be true. I’m in SA (Victor) so looks like I’ll be burning up my data allowance. Still, it’ll be worth it.

  7. @El Segundo yup, the Cycling Central stream is quite good so they do make up for it.

  8. @G’rilla

    I don’t know what would be more fun: riding 32mm of cotton, rubber, and latex over the cobbles, or watching Brett and Frank go nuts for a week because of it.

    Definitely the latter…

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    start_el('?display_element(Object(stdClass), Array, 1, 0, Array, '?@frank

    @DerHoggz

    @Dan_R

    @Tobin
    Yeah, with a name like Café Roubaix, I felt obligated to open for a few hours today.

    You have Deda frames?!?

    For future VSPs we should do some kind of betting on whether or not the Schlecklette will finish. At the very least, free points!

    But that’s like giving away free points.

    Have you seen the Schleck Clock?

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    start_el('?display_element(Object(stdClass), Array, 1, 0, Array, '?@Marcus

    @frank

    @DerHoggz

    @Dan_R

    @Tobin
    Yeah, with a name like Café Roubaix, I felt obligated to open for a few hours today.

    You have Deda frames?!?

    For future VSPs we should do some kind of betting on whether or not the Schlecklette will finish. At the very least, free points!

    But that’s like giving away free points.

    Have you seen the Schleck Clock?

    Wow, although for some reason I thought he finished some smaller race this season?  As to the free points, there is a small non-zero chance he finishes something, maybe gets caught in Jens’s chain and gets dragged across the line protesting.

  11. @Marcus

    @frank

    @DerHoggz

    @Dan_R

     

    @Tobin
    Yeah, with a name like Café Roubaix, I felt obligated to open for a few hours today.

    You have Deda frames?!?

    For future VSPs we should do some kind of betting on whether or not the Schlecklette will finish. At the very least, free points!

    But that’s like giving away free points.

    Have you seen the Schleck Clock?

    STOP THE CLOCK! Andy did finish one! Schleck happy to have finished the GP di Camaiore

    “Before the start of the GP di Camaiore, new team manager Luca Guercilena, who replaced the ousted Johan Bruyneel, indicated that Schleck has been struggling psychologically after his injury, the suspension of brother Fränk for doping, and the consequent lack of motivation and desire to train.”

  12. If you can account for each and every bruise incurred during today’s race, you’re not riding your MTB hard enough.

    What a painful hour! By the end, my arms were as tired as my legs.

    Let’s do it again next week!

  13. @frank

    @G’rilla

    @RedRanger

    @G’rilla you may ruin their trip man.

    No trips will be ruined. I’ve decided to bring the same equipment as last year: Cervelo and 25mm clinchers.

    You are straying from the path, my son! We obviously need to ride together soon. Tubulars, 25mm. Ti SEX frame (thats how I assume CX is pronounced, no?). Bring the Dugasts as spares incase its chaos. Easy is as easy goes.

    Promise not to laugh at my GP 4000’s?

  14. @G’rilla

    If you can account for each and every bruise incurred during today’s race, you’re not riding your MTB hard enough.

    What a painful hour! By the end, my arms were as tired as my legs.

    Let’s do it again next week!

    I did a MTBX race yesterday – 1 hour on my 29er – thought it was open trails, but turned out to be fully technical – bloody hell am I sore today – like a different sport – 1 hour of anaerobic pain – sadly I didn’t finish, as my daughter sprained her ankle watching me race, halfway round the last lap, and I had to stop to attend to her – wimmin, ruin everything (sorry V-ladies, sweeping unfair generalisation format acknowledged)

  15. @the Engine

    ride what you like chap, I put a set of Vittoria Open Pave on last year and they flatted on the first set of cobbles last year – stray sniper shot I think

  16. @Dr C

    @the Engine

    ride what you like chap, I put a set of Vittoria Open Pave on last year and they flatted on the first set of cobbles last year – stray sniper shot I think

    Always a danger in Belgium…

  17. @frank is there a list of KT13 attendees?

    There are seven bikes, including mine, booked on the 08:04 from London to Lille on 29 March. Do any of them belong to KT13 attendees?

  18. @Dr C It’s no wonder it hurt after your 95km epic on Saturday. Strong work.

    Shame it’s not on Strava, I dread to think what my heart rate would hit doing laps of a technical course on my MTB!

  19. @G’rilla I can’t even imagine. My arms felt like jello after one hour on Saturday. That’s just from keeping the bike on a line.

  20. @Chris

    @frank is there a list of KT13 attendees?

    There are seven bikes, including mine, booked on the 08:04 from London to Lille on 29 March. Do any of them belong to KT13 attendees?

    Have you been drinking plenty of red wine to get that gout fully active to maximise your suffering on KT13?

  21. How about a V-plonker prize to go along with anti-V and V-moment prizes

    First up is Philip Potato in the Roma Maximus – what a tube – actually felt quite embarrassed for him

    Potential V-moment in same race for Biel Gadret for his solo from 40K out, esp give the last 25K were on the flat, with 5 chasers working well together and a charging field up their chuffs and they still couldn’t catch him – pure class!!!!

  22. @Dr C I’m confused now, I thought that as an anti-oxidant, red wine was supposed to make me strong and healthy.

    To be honest I’ve been the model of abstinence since I flushed out any remnants of last years form on a cocktail binge in New York. I’ve just devised a new “Peak in One Month Training Program” it’s top secret but the Pavé Cycling Classics broom wagon driver will be able to to tell you how successful it was on 30 April.

  23. @Dr C

    @Chris

    @frank is there a list of KT13 attendees?

    There are seven bikes, including mine, booked on the 08:04 from London to Lille on 29 March. Do any of them belong to KT13 attendees?

    Have you been drinking plenty of red wine to get that gout fully active to maximise your suffering on KT13?

    Don’t joke!  As a long term gout sufferer that shit is worse than childbirth!…..Having said that 2 Allopurinol a day now ensure I can ride and drink vast quantities of hop related beverages in complete relaxation without the fear of a momentary lapsing causing an attack lasting 3 weeks and the associated damage to joints (the big toes in my case)!

  24. @Deakus It’s a long running joke between @Dr C and I. My left knee is not quite the joint it used to be and was diagnosed as having a spot of gout, a smattering of arthritis, plenty of scar tissue and a lack of cartilage. I’ve never suffered from the debilitating attacks that many people speak of but there is a background level of pain there that certainly gets worse with alcohol consumption.

    I can’t run on it but it seems to function perfectly well for cycling – the pain even starts to reduce when I am cycling a lot on a consistent basis. I need to get it looked at again by someone who actually gives a fuck but in the meantime, I couldn’t possibly go wrong with diagnosis by internet from @Dr C, could I? The effect is somewhat spoiled by the fact that I’ve actually met him, but I’ve no real idea whether he’s an actual doctor or not.

  25. @Chris

    @Deakus It’s a long running joke between @Dr C and I. My left knee is not quite the joint it used to be and was diagnosed as having a spot of gout, a smattering of arthritis, plenty of scar tissue and a lack of cartilage. I’ve never suffered from the debilitating attacks that many people speak of but there is a background level of pain there that certainly gets worse with alcohol consumption.

    I can’t run on it but it seems to function perfectly well for cycling – the pain even starts to reduce when I am cycling a lot on a consistent basis. I need to get it looked at again by someone who actually gives a fuck but in the meantime, I couldn’t possibly go wrong with diagnosis by internet from @Dr C, could I? The effect is somewhat spoiled by the fact that I’ve actually met him, but I’ve no real idea whether he’s an actual doctor or not.

    Well I feel for you if you have even a smattering of it…you should remember that every gout attack damages the joint (it is related to rheumatoid arthritis in that way).  I started out just taking heavy doses of anti inflammatories but as soon as the attacks became regular I went straight on to preventative medicine, which works an absolute treat.  Alcohol always used to trigger it with me (not food) and in the end I figured out it was closely related to dehydration…

    Anyway enough of my schleck like whingeing….I will now politely recede from my intrusion in to the internal joke!

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    start_el('?display_element(Object(stdClass), Array, 1, 0, Array, '?@DerHoggz

    @Dan_R

    @Tobin
    Yeah, with a name like Café Roubaix, I felt obligated to open for a few hours today.

    You have Deda frames?!?

    For future VSPs we should do some kind of betting on whether or not the Schlecklette will finish. At the very least, free points!

    Yeah, we got Deda in the house! I brought in 2 Nerissimo frames for the display, but I can get them all. Being surrounded by all this crazy bike porn everyday has not sated my own lusts. It is worse.

  27. @Deakus

    Alcohol always used to trigger it with me (not food) and in the end I figured out it was closely related to dehydration…

    The doctor reckoned mine might have been the result of dehydration suffered on holiday in Spain. My knee did swell up a fair bit after a long hot ride. However, to say that it’s not alcohol related wouldn’t be entirely accurate, there was a lot of Pedro Ximinez sherry consumed the night before. Lovely stuff but the hangovers are on a similar scale to port.

    @Deakus

    I will now politely recede from my intrusion in to the internal joke!

    Gout’s no fun if you’re not going to joke about it. Carry on.

  28. Placed 13 of 39. Four fewer falls and I would be in the top ten!

  29. @Chris

    @Deakus

    Alcohol always used to trigger it with me (not food) and in the end I figured out it was closely related to dehydration…

    The doctor reckoned mine might have been the result of dehydration suffered on holiday in Spain. My knee did swell up a fair bit after a long hot ride. However, to say that it’s not alcohol related wouldn’t be entirely accurate, there was a lot of Pedro Ximinez sherry consumed the night before. Lovely stuff but the hangovers are on a similar scale to port.

    @Deakus

    I will now politely recede from my intrusion in to the internal joke!

    Gout’s no fun if you’re not going to joke about it. Carry on.

    heavy consumption = dehydration….you were probably half way to the attack before you ever got on the bike!

  30. @G’rilla that’s some fun looking trail. I would love to ride some of that.

  31. @G’rilla

    You don’t look like the mild mannered chap I remember in those photos – worth hanging those snaps in your bathroom where you can enjoy them in peace

  32. exception 'ImagickException' with message 'unable to open image `/nas/wp/www/cluster-40013/velominati//wp-content/plugins/dm-albums/php/image.php?degrees=0&scale=yes&width=600&height=700&quality=85&maintain_aspect=yes&rounding=nearest&image=/home/frankdstrack/velominati.com/wp-content/uploads/readers/topfunky/2013.03.04.20.35.35/1/mtb-1.jpg': No such file or directory @ error/blob.c/OpenBlob/2638' in /nas/wp/www/cluster-40013/velominati/wp-content/themes/velominati/generics.php:1224 Stack trace: #0 /nas/wp/www/cluster-40013/velominati/wp-content/themes/velominati/generics.php(1224): Imagick->__construct('/nas/wp/www/clu...') #1 [internal function]: dm_replace_image_embeds('

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    @G’rilla

    Placed 13 of 39. Four fewer falls and I would be in the top ten!

    OH HELLYEAH! Nice pics. What’s great about the pics is they don’t show how slow you’re going.

    I also like how you put on leg warmers that look just like skin and muscle.

  33. @frank Don’t tell Brett that I was running 2 inch tires.

  34. @G’rilla I’m running 2.0 also. i was running 2.3 and it’s a pretty big difference. Everything feels faster. Running at about 28-30 psi.

  35. @G’rilla photo #1 is a properly good ‘oh shit’ face.

  36. @El Segundo

    @Mikael Liddy

    @El Segundo

    @Deakus

    Hooray for a snow riddled slushy Roubaix! If only mainstream TV would televise this epic!

    Praise be to Merckx, SBS in Aus. will be televising all the spring classics in their entirety.

    I’ll have to delve deep into “the suitcase of caffeine”. Can’t wait.

    That does depend on where across the country you’re situated…they’ll be live if you’re in the eastern states, central or WA & you’ll be taking big chunks out of your internet data usage streaming it because they don’t want to eat in to their normal schedule.

    Thanks for the tip Mikael, it seemed too good to be true. I’m in SA (Victor) so looks like I’ll be burning up my data allowance. Still, it’ll be worth it.

    Victor, as in Victor Harbor ?

  37. exception 'ImagickException' with message 'unable to open image `/nas/wp/www/cluster-40013/velominati//wp-content/plugins/dm-albums/php/image.php?degrees=0&scale=yes&width=600&height=700&quality=85&maintain_aspect=yes&rounding=nearest&image=/home/frankdstrack/velominati.com/wp-content/uploads/readers/Dan_R/2013.03.03.22.41.21/1/snow day.JPG': No such file or directory @ error/blob.c/OpenBlob/2638' in /nas/wp/www/cluster-40013/velominati/wp-content/themes/velominati/generics.php:1224 Stack trace: #0 /nas/wp/www/cluster-40013/velominati/wp-content/themes/velominati/generics.php(1224): Imagick->__construct('/nas/wp/www/clu...') #1 [internal function]: dm_replace_image_embeds('

    start_el('?display_element(Object(stdClass), Array, 1, 0, Array, '?@Dan_R

    @Tobin
    Yeah, with a name like Café Roubaix, I felt obligated to open for a few hours today.

    Aside from the snow and the associated temperature, what a great looking “office” you have

  38. @G’rilla

    @frank Don’t tell Brett that I was running 2 inch tires.

    @RedRanger

    @G’rilla I’m running 2.0 also. i was running 2.3 and it’s a pretty big difference. Everything feels faster. Running at about 28-30 psi.

    You guys are nuts. Do you want to make your ride suck?

    I run Ardents, 2.4 front/2.2 rear at 18-20psi. Grip city, rolls like butter.

    G’rilla… two words: Dropper post.

  39. @brett that seems a bit much. i got mine based on the recommendation from one of the topshops in town. I guess it depends on the kind of trails, no?

  40. @brett My joke was lost in a rounding error. I also run Ardent 2.4/2.2.

    After taking a saddle to the stomach several times per lap, a dropper post sounds like a good idea.

    And, all joking aside, thanks for the advice on the Yeti last June. I love it more every time I ride it!

  41. @Barracuda

    @El Segundo

    @Mikael Liddy

    @El Segundo

    @Deakus

    Hooray for a snow riddled slushy Roubaix! If only mainstream TV would televise this epic!

    Praise be to Merckx, SBS in Aus. will be televising all the spring classics in their entirety.

    I’ll have to delve deep into “the suitcase of caffeine”. Can’t wait.

    That does depend on where across the country you’re situated…they’ll be live if you’re in the eastern states, central or WA & you’ll be taking big chunks out of your internet data usage streaming it because they don’t want to eat in to their normal schedule.

    Thanks for the tip Mikael, it seemed too good to be true. I’m in SA (Victor) so looks like I’ll be burning up my data allowance. Still, it’ll be worth it.

    Victor, as in Victor Harbor ?

    @Barracuda Yes indeedy

  42. @Mikael Liddy

    @G’rilla photo #1 is a properly good ‘oh shit’ face.

    I was wondering whether it was that or an adrenalin fuelled race face.

  43. @G’rilla Great photos. You’re hands don’t look entirely comfortable on the bars there, especially the right hand. Might just be the gloves making it look that way but try one finger braking.

    I need to put my mountain bike back together.

  44. @Chris

    @G’rilla Great photos. You’re hands don’t look entirely comfortable on the bars there, especially the right hand. Might just be the gloves making it look that way but try one finger braking.

    I need to put my mountain bike back together.

    What he said… those XT levers are made for one-finger braking, and you have an inch or two of bar sticking out the end there. Maybe try moving your hands outboard and the one finger.

    @G’rilla

    @brett My joke was lost in a rounding error. I also run Ardent 2.4/2.2.

    After taking a saddle to the stomach several times per lap, a dropper post sounds like a good idea.

    And, all joking aside, thanks for the advice on the Yeti last June. I love it more every time I ride it!

    Glad you like it, they’re a great bike… (one that will come alive with a dropper post!)

  45. @brett

    @Chris

    @G’rilla Great photos. You’re hands don’t look entirely comfortable on the bars there, especially the right hand. Might just be the gloves making it look that way but try one finger braking.

    I need to put my mountain bike back together.

    What he said… those XT levers are made for one-finger braking, and you have an inch or two of bar sticking out the end there. Maybe try moving your hands outboard and the one finger.

    or moving your levers in-board until the lever sits in a position that feels natural for one finger braking with your hands in the middle of the grip – you’ve got plenty of straight bar there to play with.

    If your shifters are in-board of your levers you may want to swap them round otherwise you’ll be stretching your thumbs to get to them. I’ve got similarly long bars and there’s quite a gap between the shifter and lever mounts.

  46. @Chris

    @brett

    Your attention to detail is impressive.

    I do operate those stubby brake levers with one finger but probably slipped momentarily due to having just ridden downhill over a large root (and shortly over a few more to the jeers of the spectators).

    I also need new lock-on grips since giving mine to my son who ripped through his flimsy child-grade grips within a few weeks of receiving his bike.

    I’ll experiment with different brake placements. I’m definitely still figuring it out. An MTB feels like a jumbo jet with all the adjustments to make on the fly: front shift, rear shift, brakes, fork, shock.

  47. @G’rilla

    Ok, sounds like you’re fiddling too much… is your fork a CTD? Leave it in Trail or Descend mode, never lock it out. Rear shock the same if it’s CTD, or run without ProPedal if not. Front shifting, go single ring! Throw out the lock-ons and use these. Oh yeah, tubeless if you aren’t already, absolutely essential (and you can run those low pressures).

  48. @brett I will agree. ESI grips rock. I’m running 1×10 and it’s tits. I have a basic from fork so I just keep the preload up and never lock it out. Tubeless is the way to go. It’s a no worry deal.

  49. Snow forecast in the Roubaix area this week! Doubt it’ll last but the UK is in crore the same cold snap. Bit of snow to liven up the early morning rides.

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