Velominati Super Prestige: Gent-Wevelgem

Velominati Super Prestige: Gent-Wevelgem

by / / 173 posts

Rain. Cobbles. Bergs. Professional cyclists reduced to mortals who clammer up steep, slick cobbled grades on shoes not made for walking. Gent-Wevelgem is the teaser for the month of April, when the hardmen come to play on the stones of Belgium and Northern France. Personally, I liked it better when it was sandwiched between the two greatest one-day races of the year, De Ronde and Roubaix. On the other hand, Gent has been the Classic’s bridesmaid for long enough and deserves its own weekend, even if that still makes it a warm-up race to be won by someone who’s not enough weeks away from peaking.

The Flemish word for “hill” is “berg”, and to ask any cyclist who doesn’t live there, they’ll tell you Flanders is rife with them. The truth is that most of Flanders is quite flat, save for a ridge which calls itself home to some of the most fearsome cobbled climbs in the world.  Among these is de Kemmelberg, which features as the primary obstacle for Gent Wevelgem. Steep and cobbled, on a dry day it serves as the decisive climb on the finishing circuit of three laps; on a rainy day it will reap havoc on the field.

With that, we kick off the second edition of the 2011 Velominati Super Prestige for Gent-Wevelgem. Like La Primavera, Gent is enough of a wild-card that this is a tough race to call.  It rarely ends in a bunch gallop, but it’s not difficult enough to eliminate sprinters from the finale. The riders targeting Flanders or Roubaix will not quite be peaking yet, but the race isn’t so difficult that a rider two weeks from peaking can’t win. Our advice? Go with the gut, and try to pick people who are actually starting.

The winner of this VSP edition will earn an “Obey the Rules” bumper sticker and all reader’s points qualify towards the final prize of the free personalized Velominati Shop Apron. This year we’ve enhanced the entry mechanism; if you are inclined to enter, simply post your predictions for the top five placings in the designated area above the posts section, bearing in mind that entry/modification of picks closes at 5am Pacific time on the day of the race. Check the Super-Prestige main page for rules and scoring information.

Good luck.

// Velominati Super Prestige

  1. @xyxax
    Congratulations! And welcome to the little one.

    @Frank: given this community’s propensity for breeding and blimping, I suspect a line of velomitoddler wear is in order. With no other option in Cuba, I pasted a bunch of masking tape to my little one’s tummy so that she could sport a V-cog””the tan is starting to fade. Little Ts and baby grows would sell like hot cakes (which are, incidentally, the main reason we blimp after we breed).

  2. Brett:

    punish the pedals:
    @Scuba Steve
    C’mon you would be foolish to not have atleast 1 aussie in your selections! Is there nothing we cant win at the moment?

    The cricket.
    Might be a sign, the Kiwis could be fired up. And if you thought my Aussie Top 5 for M-SR was ridiculous, well… Rouly goes solo, Hendo picks up the gallop from the remnants.

    Touche!

  3. Saw this anecdote on the CyclingTips write-up and thought I should share:

    I was having dinner with a mate of mine named Nick Mitchell a couple weeks ago and he was telling me an interesting story about Boonen in 2009. For the past few seasons Nick has racing in Belgium. Just before the World Championships Boonen was putting the final touches on his preparation and rocked up to the same kermesse as Nick. Boonen was incessantly attacking the peloton and finally a move stuck where Nick was able to follow. As they settled into a 50km/hr pace Boonen flicked his elbow signalling Nick to pull a turn. Nick was able to roll through for a couple of token turns, but that was all (and I know how strong Nick is!). After they got swept back into the bunch Boonen attacked again and managed to stay away with a small bunch for most of the race. Close to the end they got brought back by the peloton but Boonen still won the bunch kick after being in breakaways for almost the full 160km.

    After the race Nick found out that Bonnen had also done 60km of motorpacing earlier that day, and motorpaced another 60km home. 280km for the day – HARD. That’s how hard these top level guys work when they’re preparing for the big races.

  4. Entry for Dictionari Velominari:

    Schadenfreude: noun That unique pleasure found in the fact that Mark Cavendish has crashed more than he’s won this season. And that Mark’s newfound ability to scrub the tarmac coincides with the reunion of Tom Boonen and Gert Steegmans into a well performing sprint train consisting of 2 men. See also: Schadendouche or Cavenfreude.

  5. minion : See also: Schadendouche or Cavenfreude.

    Actually I feel bad for the guy. But these terms are genius. Well played.

  6. Points! Happy days.

    Good that Tomeke’s in form – Cankles is looking ridiculously dominant.

  7. @Gianni

    Oh ye of little faith, no Tomeke anywhere in the top five? Where is the love?

    I’m sick with guilt. The problem there is that I happened to just read an interview with him where he said he doesn’t give a shit about this race anymore. All I got was T-Bone for a point and I called Greipel for 4th, which is almost the same as not getting any points.

  8. @all
    Wow, what a weekend, eh? The two big names from last year have fired off the flares. Should be a great two weeks!

    Here is the VSP G.C., which I forgot to post before in my haste:

    2011 VSP G.C.

    1. Nate (148 points)
    2. seemunkee (130 points)
    3. G'phant (124 points)
    4. Marcus (123 points)
    5. Alex (113 points)
    6. sgt (105 points)
    7. Ron (101 points)
    8. xyxax (100 points)
    9. benjamin (100 points)
    10. Steampunk (99 points)
    11. anotherdownunder (99 points)
    12. CanuckChuck (95 points)
    13. il ciclista medio (95 points)
    14. velomihottie (94 points)
    15. Tony Macaroni (91 points)
    16. LA Dave (90 points)
    17. Harminator (90 points)
    18. brett (88 points)
    19. mcsqueak (86 points)
    20. ramenvelo (85 points)
    21. R00tD0wn (85 points)
    22. Roadslave525 (84 points)
    23. Jeff in PetroMetro (81 points)
    24. Buck Rogers (81 points)
    25. Andrew (79 points)
    26. Bongo (79 points)
    27. RedRanger (77 points)
    28. pakrat (77 points)
    29. ben (76 points)
    30. wiscot (74 points)
    31. Gerard (74 points)
    32. Erik (72 points)
    33. Xponti (72 points)
    34. Ankush (72 points)
    35. Pedale.Forchetta (71 points)
    36. Souleur (71 points)
    37. Roberto Marques (71 points)
    38. Jamin (70 points)
    39. needmoreV (69 points)
    40. Oldschooly (67 points)
    41. Mikeweb (67 points)
    42. bkwentz (66 points)
    43. CJ (65 points)
    44. drsoul (65 points)
    45. Cyclops (64 points)
    46. Sprider (64 points)
    47. heath (64 points)
    48. TomC (62 points)
    49. Netraam (62 points)
    50. Marko (60 points)
    51. ChrisO (58 points)
    52. Bianchi Denti (57 points)
    53. Collin (57 points)
    54. MikeyEyesore (56 points)
    55. Andreas (56 points)
    56. earnest (55 points)
    57. Scuba Steve (53 points)
    58. eightzero (51 points)
    59. ZachOlson (51 points)
    60. mouse (50 points)
    61. olliewm (49 points)
    62. scaler911 (48 points)
    63. RoseCityRolleur (46 points)
    64. Mikael Liddy (46 points)
    65. Rob (44 points)
    66. Chris (44 points)
    67. Oli Brooke-White (43 points)
    68. D-Man (43 points)
    69. Joe (42 points)
    70. GluteCramp (40 points)
    71. frank (37 points)
    72. minion (35 points)
    73. andy (34 points)
    74. Bo (33 points)
    75. usanz (33 points)
    76. Godsight (33 points)
    77. Hawkeye (32 points)
    78. 3cross (32 points)
    79. Leroy (30 points)
    80. Sam (30 points)
    81. Gianni (30 points)
    82. diablo (29 points)
    83. Nathan (28 points)
    84. Paco (28 points)
    85. blaireau (27 points)
    86. pello (27 points)
    87. Jarvis (26 points)
    88. VeloToday (26 points)
    89. Wayne Schimmelbusch (25 points)
    90. Vello Kitty (25 points)
    91. Zoncolan (25 points)
    92. Ian McCulloch (24 points)
    93. Dan_R (24 points)
    94. toomanytreks (22 points)
    95. SterlingMatt (21 points)
    96. snoov (21 points)
    97. Scuba Steve (21 points)
    98. Aidas (20 points)
    99. AD (20 points)
    100. Colin (18 points)
    101. Durishin (18 points)
    102. Lars (17 points)
    103. AeroLegs (16 points)
    104. Climbuterol (16 points)
    105. Samuel Klontz (15 points)
    106. joker (13 points)
    107. VeloVita (13 points)
    108. Torvid (12 points)
    109. Lepidopterist (11 points)
    110. Harry (11 points)
    111. G'rilla (10 points)
    112. itburns (10 points)
    113. LastBoyScout (9 points)
    114. Patrick Mason (9 points)
    115. wgwalmsley (9 points)
    116. DarkWing (9 points)
    117. al (9 points)
    118. Hawkeye (9 points)
    119. Nof Landrien (9 points)
    120. MikeC (9 points)
    121. doug s (9 points)
    122. Jeff Hagen (9 points)
    123. zalamanda (8 points)
    124. beev (7 points)
    125. roche kelly (7 points)
    126. Mario Arroyave (7 points)
    127. Dr C (7 points)
    128. paolo (7 points)
    129. camh (7 points)
    130. King Clydesdale (7 points)
    131. MJMoquin (7 points)
    132. MasonD (7 points)
    133. ada23 (6 points)
    134. Kiwicyclist (6 points)
    135. JC (6 points)
    136. Wilbur (6 points)
    137. Karolinka (6 points)
    138. jeremy clark (6 points)
    139. Mikel Pearce (6 points)
    140. mblume (6 points)
    141. metalface (6 points)
    142. Jay (6 points)
    143. V.OldGit (6 points)
    144. Jellybean (5 points)
    145. jnunberg (5 points)
    146. pseudotsuga (5 points)
    147. Benny (5 points)
    148. Maximilian (5 points)
    149. Session (5 points)
    150. Mikel Pearce (5 points)
    151. Craig (4 points)
    152. shep (4 points)
    153. ken (4 points)
    154. aleco (4 points)
    155. Spicy McHaggis (4 points)
    156. packfiller (3 points)
    157. Cobblestone (3 points)
    158. the other Farrar (3 points)
    159. rufio (3 points)
    160. hansinator (3 points)
    161. Sprider (3 points)
    162. austin (3 points)
    163. The White Sicilian (3 points)
    164. ash (3 points)
    165. Danny S (3 points)
    166. dqdev (2 points)
    167. ken parkington (2 points)
    168. Cervelo Colnarello (2 points)
    169. LastBoyScout (2 points)
    170. josh (2 points)
    171. Tab Hansen (2 points)
    172. Jim (2 points)
    173. Jonny (2 points)
    174. ralasdair (2 points)
    175. cutters79 (2 points)
    176. mouse (2 points)
    177. huffalotpuffalot (2 points)
    178. stabbsy (1 points)
    179. ken parkington (1 points)
    180. Rudel (1 points)
    181. chrischug (1 points)
    182. Matt (1 points)
    183. MrBigCog (1 points)
    184. fixienatus (1 points)
    185. Francis Clark (1 points)
    186. jimmy (1 points)
    187. draffenator (1 points)
    188. rhys (1 points)
    189. eightace (1 points)
    190. @JakeM (0 points)
    191. 3cross (0 points)
    192. Joshua (0 points)
    193. chubster (0 points)

    194. mouse (0 points)

    Congrats, Buck! You look great!

    @Rob and @ben
    The Vuelta and the Tour had the same color points jerseys, but I’ll make the colors different so you can tell the difference a bit easier. Thanks.

  9. @minion

    Schadenfreude: noun That unique pleasure found in the fact that Mark Cavendish has crashed more than he’s won this season. And that Mark’s newfound ability to scrub the tarmac coincides with the reunion of Tom Boonen and Gert Steegmans into a well performing sprint train consisting of 2 men. See also: Schadendouche or Cavenfreude.

    Has anyone noticed that both he and Thor are looking a bit heavy? I’m actually starting to feel bad for Cav he’s crashing so much. There has to be a measurable amount Cavendouche biomass on the tarmac in all the various races he’s been crashing in.

    @ZachOlson
    What a training regimen! 280km that hard…incredible. No wonder his leggs look like that.

  10. @Marcus
    A-Merckx. The two with the biggest baddest guns served notice this weekend. Bring on de Ronde!

  11. I am more than a little surprised I am doing so well in the VSP considering I didnt start watching cycling till Le Tour last year. cant wait till Sunday(I dont even have to work that day)

  12. Yeah, schade is German slang for shame, as in ‘oh, that’s a shame’, and the freude has the same root as friend, so there is some empathy or kind consideration to the word as I understand it in German. The pleasure in someone else’s misfortune is still there, but it’s a tricky one to translate for sure.
    Last year I was getting a little worn out of his bragaddacio, but at teh Commonwealth Games he rode for teammates from the Isle of Man and put a good dig in for at best continental riders, knowing the course would slay him. Props for that, and he is learning a bitof humility (the hard way) this year. Still have dollars on himfor the tour but.

  13. @frank
    Thanks Frank! Yeah, lucky picks today but I feel so good for Boonen having won. It’s been a while since he won a cobbled race. A lot of podiums but no pave wins since ’09, I think. Also, is this his first Gent-Wevelgem win? If so, that pretty much rounds out all of the pave races for him, doesn’t it?

    Should be an amazing two weeks coming up! This win should give Tomeke the confidence to mentally be with Cancellara, although Cancellara is going to be hard to beat. Such an AWESOME time of year!!!

  14. @Buck Rogers
    Ahh, I see that he had won it once before. Man, he has now multiple wins in all the pave clasics, no?

  15. Hate to be a pain FRANK,

    I show up twice on the leader board (4th and 17th) I scored 5 in round 1 and 8 in round 2. I used the same user name (ScubaSteve) but may have had different log ins or email addresses when entering my yips. Can this be sorted?

    Cheers

  16. Traveling for the weekend and just watched the finish of both races. Oh boy, this is going to be a fun spring!

    As for the dictionary entry of Schadenfreud – eh, not really digging it. That word is kind of like a thorn in my saddle, poking through my bibs. I’d rarely seen the word a year ago and now it is tossed around all over the place. I’m tired of it.

    I’m also tired of people hating Cavendish. I don’t feel much one way or the other, but I do enjoy watching him sprint. It’s just kind of silly for people to form these immovable opinions of some dude they’ve never met and only heard talk mere seconds after busting his arse to cross the line. Eh, maybe he’s a bit of a dick, but so what?

    It’s hard for me to understand anyone who rides a lot to hate someone who is that talented and works that hard on a bicycle.

    Oh well.

  17. But, I do understand that is how most things go with PRO athletes; we don’t know much about them but we form opinions.

    It just seems like hating C-douche is a bandwagon thing. I can understand how he might inspire some anger, but I also think he’s great to have in the peloton. Things would be a lot less exciting without him, whether due to his sprinting or crashing abilities…

    Anyway, it just seems like hating him is the easy thing to do. Maybe hating/loving Cav has replaced hating/loving Armstrong?

  18. Scuba Steve :
    Hate to be a pain FRANK,
    I show up twice on the leader board (4th and 17th) I scored 5 in round 1 and 8 in round 2. I used the same user name (ScubaSteve) but may have had different log ins or email addresses when entering my yips. Can this be sorted?
    Cheers

    DAMN! There goes my jersey! :) (feel like I just got caught with some Spanish beef hanging out of my mouth!)

  19. Ron :
    Traveling for the weekend and just watched the finish of both races. Oh boy, this is going to be a fun spring!
    As for the dictionary entry of Schadenfreud – eh, not really digging it. That word is kind of like a thorn in my saddle, poking through my bibs. I’d rarely seen the word a year ago and now it is tossed around all over the place. I’m tired of it.
    I’m also tired of people hating Cavendish. I don’t feel much one way or the other, but I do enjoy watching him sprint. It’s just kind of silly for people to form these immovable opinions of some dude they’ve never met and only heard talk mere seconds after busting his arse to cross the line. Eh, maybe he’s a bit of a dick, but so what?
    It’s hard for me to understand anyone who rides a lot to hate someone who is that talented and works that hard on a bicycle.
    Oh well.

    Man, I think Cavendish is awesome, esp whenever he opens his mouth. The guy has NO FILTER at all and is really refreshing. If given the option of hanging out with him or Cuddles, I’d Cavendouche anyday. Sure the guy can complain, and cry like a little girl on the podium, but he is REAL and for that, I like him!

  20. @Ron
    Cav rode past Cipo pedaling one-legged. That sort of shit can never be forgotten or forgiven.

    As for being quick to judge people on relatively scant evidence, my ability in this area extends beyond sportspeople to any member of society.

  21. @Buck Rogers
    thank god you all don’t hate him, he’s our only world class rider. We’ve got a few lads promising (Swift, Kennaugh, Thomas), but we need a basis for the sport in our country grow. And about the straight forward nature of his statements, it’s just a feature of anybody from the north of Britain (Manx counts as its intrinsically linked with Liverpool), got a load of americans with me a uni and how straight forward i put things threw them for a few weeks

  22. @Ron
    Yeah, I lived in Germany and so my first exposure to the word was there, where it has a different context, which is what I was trying to explain. English speakers only really apply it to celebritards/sportspeople they don’t like, wheras the way it was used when I encountered it being used in German had a context of freindliness and admiration.

  23. @ Buck Rogers – The lack of a filter on Cav is what I really like about him. I’ve come to cycling from other sports, mainly American ones, where all anyone says anymore is something stupid and boring. Maybe he is a bit over the top some days, but at least I hear what is on his mind instead of what he is coached to say, lest he lose a sponsor or two.

    @ Marcus – ha, ha, ha, Yeah, you gotta judge people sometimes. And it is even fun to do. Nothing wrong with forming an opinion on someone.

    @ minion. I actually like the word/idea/sentiment. I am just always a bit jarred when something comes out of nowhere and is suddenly everywhere. I was just being cranky. Good work on the dictionary entries!

    Damn, just watched the finish of both races again. Oooh, so excited for this weekend. Cancellara just…rode away and stayed away. Boonen used his team and showed some finishing speed. Awesomeness.

    Those photographers need to stay off the course though.

  24. I’d like to draw attention to Faboo’s casually deliberate kit adjustment at 6:30…

    http://www.steephill.tv/players/youtube3/?title=E3%20Prijs%20Vlaanderen%20Highlights%20Part%202/Finish&dashboard=uci-cycling-calendar&id=1ctkUu72jnc&yr=2011

    He really is off the scale. No-one will match him when he goes this w/e.

  25. @Buck Rogers

    Like being caught by the peleton in velodrome of Roubaix… sorry mate!

  26. Yesterday (was it only yesterday?) Cavendish was, briefly, Cav-in-ditch.

  27. Watching today’s race: Greipel gets a lot of deserved criticism to be sure, but the man has a pretty impressive engine. That was quite a finish.

  28. @minion

    Yeah, schade is German slang for shame, as in ‘oh, that’s a shame’, and the freude has the same root as friend, so there is some empathy or kind consideration to the word as I understand it in German. The pleasure in someone else’s misfortune is still there, but it’s a tricky one to translate for sure.

    Actually, “freude” means pleasure, so it means, literally, pleasure in someone else’s misfortune. The word you’re thinking of having to do with friends has an “n” in there, as in Freunden (friends).

    But who’s counting.

  29. Scuba Steve :
    Hate to be a pain FRANK,
    I show up twice on the leader board (4th and 17th) I scored 5 in round 1 and 8 in round 2. I used the same user name (ScubaSteve) but may have had different log ins or email addresses when entering my yips. Can this be sorted?
    Cheers

    DAMN! There goes my jersey! :) (feel like I just got caught with some Spanish beef hanging out of my mouth!)

    Sounds like Scuba Steve is the one who’s been doing the email doping! Indeed, picks are based on email address, not screen name (anyone can enter the same screen name, but email addresses are unique)…I’ll sort it for you here as soon as I can get to it.

    Sorry Buck, you had a good run. I’ll even post a screen shot for you so you can have it for posterity.

  30. Funny story: I know this really smart guy, see. And one day I asked him “Hey Peter, what’s that German word…” that’s as far as I get when he says “Schadenfreude”. I say “How did you know that that was the word I was talking about?” He says “Knowing you, that’s the only German word you’d ever be concerned with.”

  31. I’m on the board! I got a (1) point!

    Yes. I suck. But wait until we come to the mountains. Yeah. The mountains. I’m sure I’ll shine there. I’m a grimpeur. I climb well for my weight, I think. You betcha.

    Oh, who the fuck am I kidding?

    Does anyone have a Spanish rancher’s email address? Frank’s not drug testing (that I know of), and I need a little help. Muchas gracias.

  32. @Cyclops
    +1

  33. @Jeff in PetroMetro
    Been doing mucho hill repeats on the levees?

  34. @frank
    Correct. Retract and slink into corner.

  35. @Nate
    I actually drove my truck an hour north of Houston to ride 110km of rolling “hills”. It’s pathetic that I have to drive 160km round-trip just to get a little elevation. To me, that defeats the purpose of riding a bike in the first place. I WANT to leave the automobile and ride my bike–not drive my bike somewhere so I can ride it.

    As for my ability to achieve in the VSP, I’m so bad it’s starting to bother me.

  36. @all
    The VSP Jury has ruled on our first adverse analytical finding for the use of performance enhancing email addresses. Buck Rogers has been stripped of his striped tunic and Scuba Steve has taken the lead. Because there was no evidence that Buck used performance-enhancing email addresses during the VSP Gent Wevelgem edition, he does retain his results and points.

    2011 VSP G.C.

    1. Nate (148 points)
    2. seemunkee (130 points)
    3. G'phant (124 points)
    4. Marcus (123 points)
    5. Alex (113 points)
    6. sgt (105 points)
    7. Ron (101 points)
    8. xyxax (100 points)
    9. benjamin (100 points)
    10. Steampunk (99 points)
    11. anotherdownunder (99 points)
    12. CanuckChuck (95 points)
    13. il ciclista medio (95 points)
    14. velomihottie (94 points)
    15. Tony Macaroni (91 points)
    16. LA Dave (90 points)
    17. Harminator (90 points)
    18. brett (88 points)
    19. mcsqueak (86 points)
    20. ramenvelo (85 points)
    21. R00tD0wn (85 points)
    22. Roadslave525 (84 points)
    23. Jeff in PetroMetro (81 points)
    24. Buck Rogers (81 points)
    25. Andrew (79 points)
    26. Bongo (79 points)
    27. RedRanger (77 points)
    28. pakrat (77 points)
    29. ben (76 points)
    30. wiscot (74 points)
    31. Gerard (74 points)
    32. Erik (72 points)
    33. Xponti (72 points)
    34. Ankush (72 points)
    35. Pedale.Forchetta (71 points)
    36. Souleur (71 points)
    37. Roberto Marques (71 points)
    38. Jamin (70 points)
    39. needmoreV (69 points)
    40. Oldschooly (67 points)
    41. Mikeweb (67 points)
    42. bkwentz (66 points)
    43. CJ (65 points)
    44. drsoul (65 points)
    45. Cyclops (64 points)
    46. Sprider (64 points)
    47. heath (64 points)
    48. TomC (62 points)
    49. Netraam (62 points)
    50. Marko (60 points)
    51. ChrisO (58 points)
    52. Bianchi Denti (57 points)
    53. Collin (57 points)
    54. MikeyEyesore (56 points)
    55. Andreas (56 points)
    56. earnest (55 points)
    57. Scuba Steve (53 points)
    58. eightzero (51 points)
    59. ZachOlson (51 points)
    60. mouse (50 points)
    61. olliewm (49 points)
    62. scaler911 (48 points)
    63. RoseCityRolleur (46 points)
    64. Mikael Liddy (46 points)
    65. Rob (44 points)
    66. Chris (44 points)
    67. Oli Brooke-White (43 points)
    68. D-Man (43 points)
    69. Joe (42 points)
    70. GluteCramp (40 points)
    71. frank (37 points)
    72. minion (35 points)
    73. andy (34 points)
    74. Bo (33 points)
    75. usanz (33 points)
    76. Godsight (33 points)
    77. Hawkeye (32 points)
    78. 3cross (32 points)
    79. Leroy (30 points)
    80. Sam (30 points)
    81. Gianni (30 points)
    82. diablo (29 points)
    83. Nathan (28 points)
    84. Paco (28 points)
    85. blaireau (27 points)
    86. pello (27 points)
    87. Jarvis (26 points)
    88. VeloToday (26 points)
    89. Wayne Schimmelbusch (25 points)
    90. Vello Kitty (25 points)
    91. Zoncolan (25 points)
    92. Ian McCulloch (24 points)
    93. Dan_R (24 points)
    94. toomanytreks (22 points)
    95. SterlingMatt (21 points)
    96. snoov (21 points)
    97. Scuba Steve (21 points)
    98. Aidas (20 points)
    99. AD (20 points)
    100. Colin (18 points)
    101. Durishin (18 points)
    102. Lars (17 points)
    103. AeroLegs (16 points)
    104. Climbuterol (16 points)
    105. Samuel Klontz (15 points)
    106. joker (13 points)
    107. VeloVita (13 points)
    108. Torvid (12 points)
    109. Lepidopterist (11 points)
    110. Harry (11 points)
    111. G'rilla (10 points)
    112. itburns (10 points)
    113. LastBoyScout (9 points)
    114. Patrick Mason (9 points)
    115. wgwalmsley (9 points)
    116. DarkWing (9 points)
    117. al (9 points)
    118. Hawkeye (9 points)
    119. Nof Landrien (9 points)
    120. MikeC (9 points)
    121. doug s (9 points)
    122. Jeff Hagen (9 points)
    123. zalamanda (8 points)
    124. beev (7 points)
    125. roche kelly (7 points)
    126. Mario Arroyave (7 points)
    127. Dr C (7 points)
    128. paolo (7 points)
    129. camh (7 points)
    130. King Clydesdale (7 points)
    131. MJMoquin (7 points)
    132. MasonD (7 points)
    133. ada23 (6 points)
    134. Kiwicyclist (6 points)
    135. JC (6 points)
    136. Wilbur (6 points)
    137. Karolinka (6 points)
    138. jeremy clark (6 points)
    139. Mikel Pearce (6 points)
    140. mblume (6 points)
    141. metalface (6 points)
    142. Jay (6 points)
    143. V.OldGit (6 points)
    144. Jellybean (5 points)
    145. jnunberg (5 points)
    146. pseudotsuga (5 points)
    147. Benny (5 points)
    148. Maximilian (5 points)
    149. Session (5 points)
    150. Mikel Pearce (5 points)
    151. Craig (4 points)
    152. shep (4 points)
    153. ken (4 points)
    154. aleco (4 points)
    155. Spicy McHaggis (4 points)
    156. packfiller (3 points)
    157. Cobblestone (3 points)
    158. the other Farrar (3 points)
    159. rufio (3 points)
    160. hansinator (3 points)
    161. Sprider (3 points)
    162. austin (3 points)
    163. The White Sicilian (3 points)
    164. ash (3 points)
    165. Danny S (3 points)
    166. dqdev (2 points)
    167. ken parkington (2 points)
    168. Cervelo Colnarello (2 points)
    169. LastBoyScout (2 points)
    170. josh (2 points)
    171. Tab Hansen (2 points)
    172. Jim (2 points)
    173. Jonny (2 points)
    174. ralasdair (2 points)
    175. cutters79 (2 points)
    176. mouse (2 points)
    177. huffalotpuffalot (2 points)
    178. stabbsy (1 points)
    179. ken parkington (1 points)
    180. Rudel (1 points)
    181. chrischug (1 points)
    182. Matt (1 points)
    183. MrBigCog (1 points)
    184. fixienatus (1 points)
    185. Francis Clark (1 points)
    186. jimmy (1 points)
    187. draffenator (1 points)
    188. rhys (1 points)
    189. eightace (1 points)
    190. @JakeM (0 points)
    191. 3cross (0 points)
    192. Joshua (0 points)
    193. chubster (0 points)

    194. mouse (0 points)

  37. @Jeff in PetroMetro
    Pantani was dead-last in the Prologue of the ’98 Tour. Then he attacked on the Galibier and blew the race open. The season is long; lots of opportunity to stop sucking so much.

  38. @Jeff in PetroMetro

    I’ve been to Dallas/Ft Worth/Plano but never Houston, I can’t believe there are places so pan flat for so far.

    Any 10+ story parking garages you could climb? Ha…

  39. frank:
    @Jeff in PetroMetro
    Pantani was dead-last in the Prologue of the ’98 Tour. Then he attacked on the Galibier and blew the race open. The season is long; lots of opportunity to stop sucking so much.

    Not dead last, 181st out of 189.

  40. @frank
    I burn for the sweet taste of victory.

  41. @mcsqueak
    Try Lubbock, TX. I think the musician, Joe Ely, said something about how you could look any direction in Lubbock and see for 25 miles. Then step up on a tuna can and see for 50 miles. I’ve been there, and it’s true.

    Parking garages are pretty good for longboarding, but not so much for cycling. There are a couple of overpasses that work. But if I want to get into some rollers, I have to drive out of town.

  42. @frank
    I’ve retained Howard Jacobs, Landis’ lawyer from back in ’06, as council and will be setting up a Defence Fund (cash only please–feel free to send it to my home address, or even gift certificates to Competetive Cyclist would work) to fight these egregious accusations!

  43. @Jeff in PetroMetro @mcsqueak
    I have a friend who described Brandon, Manitoba as so flat you can stand on a chair and watch your dog run away for three days.

  44. Jeff in PetroMetro :
    @mcsqueak Try Lubbock, TX. I think the musician, Joe Ely, said something about how you could look any direction in Lubbock and see for 25 miles. Then step up on a tuna can and see for 50 miles. I’ve been there, and it’s true.

    And the musician Nancy Griffith (on “One Fair Summer’s Evening” – one of my favourite country albums), relating how her great aunt Netty-Mae lived in Lockville, TX, explains that Lockville is near Lubbock “but not too close to Lubbock – nobody wants to get TOO close to Lubbock”. Nanci then goes on to explain that it blew so hard in Lockville that Netty-Mae was sometimes afraid to go to sleep at night in case she woke up in the morning in Oklahoma “and she, by God, didn’t want to live in Oklahoma”. Now, I know from “Oklahoma” (the musical) that Oklahoma (the state) is a place where the wind comes whistling down the plains. And I know from Nanci Griffith that Texas has a similar issue. So those of you who chose to live and cycle there have both my sympathies and my respect. But I won’t be coming to visit. Unless Nanci is there. And Lance isn’t.

  45. @Jeff in PetroMetro
    Don’t worry JiPM, my VSP is certain to be like my climbing on a group ride. Near the front at the start followed by the inevitable fade to the back as the grade and kms mount. Wave when you pass by.

    Anyway, we’re all fucked because Scuba Steve has an apparatus and it’s self-contained.

  46. @Steampunk
    That’s hilarious. I’m stealing that one.

  47. @G’phant
    I had the most wicked crush on Nanci when I was at UT Austin in the late 80’s.

    Her grandmother’s story about Oklahoma is pretty funny. The running joke about Oklahoma is, “How come Texas doesn’t fall into the Gulf of Mexico? ‘Cause Oklahoma sucks.” In truth, parts of Oklahoma are absolutely stunning. Hilly, lush, just gorgeous. So’s Arkansas. In fact, Competitive Cyclist is based out of Little Rock, Arkansas. Pretty excellent cycling communities in both states. But the drivers aren’t too friendly–what’s new?

  48. @xyxax
    Yeah. But it’s got to feel good to kick some ass early in the season.

    I keep telling myself I train properly, and my training log says I will be peaking in two months. So I should just settle into a rhythm and let the peloton come back to me.

    Uh-huh.

  49. @Jeff in PetroMetro
    Next time you head north, stop in Nacogdoches where my brother is head track and field coach at SFA. Maybe he can do you some motorpacing while poking at you with a javelin. Good times.

  50. @xyxax
    Cool! Go Lumberjacks!

    I still have NCAA eligibility. Does he offer a scholarship for the javelin catch? I think I’d have a real talent for it.

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