Velominati Super Prestige: Amstel Gold Race 2012

Velominati Super Prestige: Amstel Gold Race 2012

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When people think of the The Netherlands, they generally think of flat lands, windmills, and a topography where people claim to “live at elevation” when their home on the third floor of a building. Never the less, this is not entirely true as The Motherland does, in its most southern reaches, boast quite hilly terrain; the province of Limburg juts out into the Ardennes region which is famous in Belgium for the short, steep climbs typical of a geography hewn from high plains by flowing water. Its the perfect place for a bike race.

This Sunday marks the official end of the Cobbled Classics, and the begging of the Ardennes Classics. The big, heavy riders who go well on the cobbles will take a back seat to lighter but powerful rouleurs who can go uphill quickly for a few kilometers. A Grimpeur may be able to gain the upper hand, but only if they go climb quickly enough to shed the stronger riders with fast finishes. Last year we saw Philippe Gilbert use the Amstel Gold Race to start his astonishing streak of wins, finishing off all the Ardennes races with his fast finish. However, if a Lexicon entry is enough to condemn a rider’s chances, then the recent addition of Gilbackwards should seal his fate. Valverde is back from suspension and going as well as ever, and he could well be the man for this season.

The Ardennes Classics also serve as an indicator for the Grand Tours. The Giro is just around the corner, and the Tour de France only a few months away. Riders will be eager to measure themselves against one another and see who is ahead and who is behind schedule (I’m looking at you, Grimplette). Then there are the upsets and the kamikaze breakaways to consider; Jens Voigt has been close in these hills before, can he close the sale this year?

Check the start list and watch the countdown timer as picks close at 5am Pacific on Sunday; up for grabs is the personalized Velominati Shop Apron to the contestent who wins the season-long competition. Check the Main VSP page for scoring guidelines and rules. Also don’t be alarmed if your post doesn’t show up in the sidebar; in an effort go cut down on the noise caused by the VSP, we’re now filtering out the posts that only contain someone’s picks and no further content; don’t worry – they still count and they’ll still show up in the main feed; they’re just being filtered out of the “Recent Posts” feed.

Good luck.

// Velominati Super Prestige

  1. Freire atatcking? Never thought he’d be a contender in the uphill finish. Dang, knew he wanted to do well to to spite his old team. Wonder if he’ll pull it off?

  2. Wow. Wasn’t expecting that finish!

  3. @Sauterelle

    Wow. Wasn’t expecting that finish!

    No kidding! What was the top 5 Anyways? I think I stunk up this VSP royally!

  4. That was a surprise. Who finished 4th and 5th? Other than with Sagan, is anyone getting VSP points?

  5. 1 Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Astana Pro Team 6:32:35
    2 Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team
    3 Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale
    4 Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa) Katusha Team
    5 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Team Europcar
    6 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team

    Cycling news brief results. Goose egg for me!

  6. Gah! I took out Voeckler for Sanchez.

  7. Provisional results – looked to me like it may have been Voekler over the line before Gilbackwards, but I could be wrong. Stand by.

    Final Race Results
    1. GASPAROTTO Enrico
    2. VANENDERT Jelle
    3. SAGAN Peter
    4. FREIRE GOMEZ Oscar
    5. VOECKLER Thomas

    Final VSP Results
    1. Bill (7 points)
    2. Tartan1749 (6 points)
    3. Flying Crowbar (5 points)
    4. el gato (5 points)
    5. Lepidopterist (5 points)
    6. Ron (5 points)
    7. San Tonio (4 points)
    8. VeloVita (4 points)
    9. acciaio (4 points)
    10. CanuckChuck (4 points)
    11. Dan_R (4 points)
    12. Roadslave525 (4 points)
    13. Nate (4 points)
    14. JC Belgium (4 points)
    15. Benj (4 points)
    16. moondance (3 points)
    17. Chappy McPappystackings (3 points)
    18. Islandbike (3 points)
    19. Jarvis (3 points)
    20. Belgian Cobblestones (2 points)
    21. Mikael Liddy (2 points)
    22. Fausto (2 points)
    23. Adrian (2 points)
    24. Mason (2 points)
    25. TomC (2 points)
    26. Tomb (2 points)
    27. edukaycheon (2 points)
    28. Markp (2 points)
    29. TOM.NELS2120 (1 points)
    30. Tandjes (1 points)
    31. draffenator (1 points)
    32. Ankush (1 points)
    33. LastBoyScout (1 points)
    34. 936adl (1 points)
    35. packfiller (1 points)
    36. GProsser (1 points)
    37. the Engine (1 points)
    38. King Clydesdale (1 points)
    39. taon24 (1 points)
    40. niksch (1 points)
    41. Azzurri Tim (1 points)
    42. trustnoone (1 points)
    43. calves (1 points)
    44. Dr C (1 points)
    45. Vin'cenza (1 points)
    46. Xponti (1 points)
    47. Heihachi (1 points)
    48. ramenvelo (1 points)
    49. R00tdown (1 points)
    50. Two Ball Billy (1 points)
    51. nico (1 points)
    52. zac (1 points)
    53. ChrisO (1 points)
    54. Lister (1 points)
    55. tony macaroni (1 points)
    56. Anjin-san (1 points)
    57. Papapeno (1 points)
    58. SimonH (1 points)
    59. Chris (1 points)
    60. scaler911 (1 points)
    61. Steampunk (1 points)
    62. Nosyt (1 points)
    63. paolo (1 points)
    64. LA Dave (1 points)
    65. Oldschooly (1 points)
    66. Skinnyphat (1 points)
    67. RayElVis (1 points)
    68. Calmante (1 points)
    69. tjancijr (1 points)
    70. Lukas (1 points)
    71. payaso (1 points)
    72. snoov (1 points)
    73. stenbak (1 points)
    74. Tobin (1 points)
    75. cchern (1 points)
    76. ash (1 points)
    77. dancollins (1 points)
    78. Skip (1 points)
    79. sprider (1 points)
    80. Jonny (1 points)
    81. Noel (1 points)
    82. The Fish (1 points)
    83. kyle (1 points)
    84. xyxax (1 points)
    85. Cyclops (1 points)
    86. gaswepass (1 points)
    87. Blah (1 points)
    88. G'phant (1 points)
    89. seemunkee (1 points)
    90. pakrat (1 points)
    91. rhys (1 points)
    92. sthilzy (1 points)
    93. DaRCrider (1 points)
    94. MJ Moquin (1 points)
    95. Geordi (1 points)
    96. Lee (0 points)
    97. ajn124 (0 points)
    98. Netraam (0 points)
    99. Sauterelle (0 points)
    100. brett (0 points)
    101. Souleur (0 points)
    102. Paco (0 points)
    103. razmaspaz (0 points)
    104. Buck Rogers (0 points)
    105. mtnbikerfred (0 points)
    106. Louutah (0 points)
    107. eightzero (0 points)
    108. itburns (0 points)
    109. mattd (0 points)
    110. roger (0 points)
    111. Jamin (0 points)
    112. RedRanger (0 points)
    113. Simon (0 points)
    114. Dave R (0 points)
    115. mouse (0 points)
    116. Harminator (0 points)
    117. il ciclista medio (0 points)
    118. noiyce (0 points)
    119. Hassan (0 points)
    120. simonsaunders (0 points)
    121. Bianchi Denti (0 points)
    122. blue (0 points)
    123. wiscot (0 points)
    124. smithers (0 points)
    125. jimmy (0 points)
    126. Erik (0 points)
    127. godsight (0 points)
    128. napolinige (0 points)
    129. Sam (0 points)
    130. frank (0 points)
    131. pink (0 points)
    132. Roberto Marques (0 points)
    133. Marko (0 points)
    134. diablo (0 points)
    135. Alex (0 points)
    136. Trobs (0 points)
    137. Mikel Pearce (0 points)
    138. The Oracle (0 points)
    139. Marcus (0 points)
    140. Marcus (0 points)

    141. Rigid (0 points)

  8. That is the beauty of bike racing. I have exactly ZERO points and I loved that finish.

  9. Cool move by Oscarito there at the end. Impressive he held on for 4th.

  10. Are those beer mat skirts the podium girls a wearing?

  11. @Erik

    That is the beauty of bike racing. I have exactly ZERO points and I loved that finish.

    I agree!!

    Ugh, my original picks had Vanendert and Freire in and I took them out!

  12. I’ve not played this time, but I’m happy an Italian won in style.

  13. @Pedale.Forchetta
    I remain convinced that an Italian will win a Monument this year. Nibali next week? Or someone else?

  14. @VeloVita
    That’s what they usually wear:

  15. @Steampunk
    Nibali yes indeed and Cunego, today he looked good before going ‘banana’…

  16. Heh. I told the VMH that apparently I need to be sick every week to help with the picks.

    She wasn’t keen on the idea.

    Nor am I.

  17. Thats a bagel for me.

  18. @Erik

    That is the beauty of bike racing. I have exactly ZERO points and I loved that finish.

    Exactly! For a moment there I was actually rooting for Piti! Man, the VSP makes for strange bedfellows at times.

  19. What a finish to a great race :)

  20. Aaargghh! Missed it by one point! Damn.

  21. I knew Enrico rode well a couple of years ago, but I really did not expect this.

    For me, this was the most exciting finish of a (semi)classic this year.

  22. @Netraam
    Those roads, especially at the end are a real nightmare, you better know very well your bike.
    AGR is not an easy (semi)Classic.

  23. Ah, and a photo…

  24. @Bill
    @Rigid
    I’m sick as a dog at my brother’s place in Scotland. And I also blame @Gianni. Still, got to watch Amstel live at a hospitable time, which was nice…

  25. Damn that was close and intially I put Vanendert in second. I will get my revenge at Liege (the only certainty at Fleche Wallone is that only the last 500m matter).

  26. Wow, that was probably the best spectating at any of the races this tour… great atmosphere on the Cauberg and then in the town later, and awesome hanging out with @harminator Rick and Sarah, and David from Melbourne (but not really from Melbourne).

  27. @brett

    Aren’t you ever going home?

  28. We had the perfect spot. Great view up & down the Cauberg. Beer stand: 2 metres. Frites and squirrel dog stand 3 metres. Port a loo 10 metres (critical!). Met Brett, Dave was drawn to the gold marsupial…

    The beer was called Amstel Gold: The only words we recognised over the PA all day.

    Main group lap 1:

    Cuddles rode like his dog but looked immaculate:

    The Cat went for glory:

    Terpstra chased:

  29. Yeah, he chased. We had no idea who won. Just watched the finish – great win for Gasparotto. (Who?)

  30. @Harminator
    Amazing photos! Any others to share?

  31. And then, as the crowds made there way down from the hill, the winner already on the podium, a lone figure appears through the gloom.

    “Oh look, it’s a Schleck” someone joked. But then we realised it was indeed a Schleck, and then it was just a bit sad.

  32. Almost as sad – this old bloke whose wife can’t bear to look at him anymore…

    Steampunk – I got alot of chaff. This is the wheat.

  33. This

  34. Why the hell did we send Frank home with the Vlag? Bretto and Harminator needed it today!

  35. And the awesome photos continue to roll in! Thanks lads for the great shots. Still feeling as if I’m in Europe for the third week in a row!

    Pedale – love that shot – the calm, cool dude in the middle of a turbulent pre-race sea!

  36. @Pedale.Forchetta

    Ah, and a photo…

    Where is that photo from? Not AGR 2012 I assume – wrong number, kit etc…?

  37. @Harminator

    @Pedale.Forchetta

    Ah, and a photo…

    Where is that photo from? Not AGR 2012 I assume – wrong number, kit etc…?

    That is some serious Rule #33 compliance! They are beyond smooth and clearly won him the race as there is zero drag factor.

  38. @Harminator
    You are right, this portrait is from the 2010 Milano-Sanremo.

  39. @Bianchi Denti

    @Bill
    @Rigid
    I’m sick as a dog at my brother’s place in Scotland. And I also blame @Gianni. Still, got to watch Amstel live at a hospitable time, which was nice…

    I told you not to make out with him so relentlessly, tempting as it is. Believe me, I know.

  40. @Harminator

    This

    Been thinking the same thing! SHIT!

    @wiscot
    I think he is. Wearing tits tights, no?

  41. @Sauterelle
    I had Oscarito on my short list. Shoulda gone with him. It was a beautiful breakaway.

  42. Steered clear of the interwebs this morning apart from downloading the Eurosport coverage as the painkillers took hold last night & sent me to the land of nod well before the streams even came on.

    That’s an encouraging enough finish for me to think that might be the last we’ve seen of Gilbackwards this year, I’m expecting at least one of this week’s races to see the return of Phast Phil.
    Chapeau to both he & Freire for taking it by the balls & trying to beat the race in to submission despite neither being strong enough.
    Lastly, when is someone going to teach Sagan how to time his finishes?

  43. @frank

    @wiscot
    Either he’s in tights or he has one weird arse tattoo on his left outer calf.

  44. @brett
    I’m afraid to say I fell about laughing when I saw that photo and your description. How the mighty have fallen, although he is probably afraid of peaking to early for the tour and we will be laughing on the other side of our heads later. I’m starting to wish I had gone to the race with you but hanging out with a hot German lady is adequate compensation

  45. @frank
    We the slow incubators of disease – I’m sick too. Who would have known – was it part of the cost of admission to the Keepers Tour? Or was Group viral sickness thrown in.
    Not that I’m complaining – I didn’t catch Fronk’s venereal disease

  46. @brett

    And then, as the crowds made there way down from the hill, the winner already on the podium, a lone figure appears through the gloom.

    “Oh look, it’s a Schleck” someone joked. But then we realised it was indeed a Schleck, and then it was just a bit sad.

    That’s hilarious. And a bit sad. Pauvre Grimplette.

  47. @Buck Rogers

    @frank

    @wiscot
    Either he’s in tights or he has one weird arse tattoo on his left outer calf.

    I think you’re right. They must be one weird color that looks like flesh in B&W. I think you can see a seam on the inside of the right leg. Whatever. Astana have a history of dodgy colored kit.

  48. @Steampunk
    I took out Freire for him.

  49. La Flèche Wallonne ?? April 18

  50. Especially for the Australian fans, Amstel Gold Race 2012 at Cauberg

    Slideshow:

    Fullscreen:

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