Velominati Super Prestige: Giro d’Italia 2015

This is the most exciting thing that’s happened in Cycling since April. Yes, that’s a full two weeks with nothing exciting happening and its been killing me. I know its been killing you, too.

I love the Giro, the master alchemist of bad weather and big mountains that keeps the racing exciting from the first day through the last. You can generally count on enough climbing in the first week to see the leadership bounce around like one of those singing ping pong balls on Sesame Street. The race has its fair share of provenance as well, with many a legendary battle fought between legendary riders.

This year’s race is also remarkable for the fact that a GC rider is not only racing both the Giro and the Tour, but for Contador’s publicly stated objective of doing the Giro-Tour double, a feat not matched since Pantani crushed it back in 1998. That is an awesome goal, I just wish it was a goal set forth by a rider I could get enthusiastic about. A quick scan of the start list has me wondering who is made of the same stuff Bertie, and I’m coming up short. Uran Uran and Pozzovivo are the standouts; and I have serious doubts about Porte being able to come up with the goods, not to mention my boy Ryder who, despite having actually won the Giro, does not inspire confidence in his ability to repeat the feat. It is looking like energy bars may be Contador’s biggest rival for the title, like in last year’s Tour.

Now that I’ve given you three paragraphs of useless drivel that you’ve probably already skipped over, I feel comfortable getting down to Road Tacks. This is the Giro, people, lots of points at stake. And those points are going towards amazing prizes including a Jaeger frame and a Café Roubaix wheelset. There is plenty of time for you to Delgado the thing, too, so my advice is that you avoid doing that. Give yourself enough time to enter your picks so if something has gone amuck, you have time to hit “reload” or come back V minutes later to try again before the event closes. Remember, your procrastination in this matter will not result in the only Keeper with database skills diving into the backend to enter your picks for you. (And if you do encounter a problem, please be so kind as to take a screenshot and upload it as the descriptor “it didn’t work” doesn’t help us debug the problem.)

The scoring for the Grand Tours is a tad more involved than the one-day races, so look them over before making your prognostications. (One of the best things about the VSP is that I usually get to use the word “prognostication”, an opportunity one should always relish.)

So get your picks in before the countdown clock goes to zero, hit the go button, and good luck.

[vsp_results id=”32941″/]

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545 Replies to “Velominati Super Prestige: Giro d’Italia 2015”

  1. For some reason I don’t know much about Matthews – he just seems to have come out of nowhere the last couple of years. One things for sure though – I like the way he rides. Mixing it up in the sprints when he could be safely in the bunch. Riding on legs and instinct, not on his fucking computer. Kudos to him. I didn’t put him in my top 5, maybe I should have now that it looks like Pozzovivo is hurt.

  2. Yep, that didn’t look good for the Professor. Hoping he’s okay.

    As if baseball caps weren’t bad enough…backwards + the tucked in ears. Ouch, the women’s Tour of California is not looking so slick…Trixi is playing a bad joke on us.

    Embedded image permalink

  3. @rfreese888

    Jayzus – first Uran’s main gregario for the hills breaks a collar bone, and now Pozzovivo gone – my Top 5 is taking a hit and we are only in 3rd stage!!

    Mine, too!  But I shall persevere.  Swap penalties probably aren’t worth it but I am developing a V-algorithm to calculate the risk versus reward.

  4. Pozzivivo in serious but stable condition. He has spoken with this wife as well, airlifted to the hospital. Wow, must have been scary for family and friends watching to have to wait to hear about his condition.

    And this is very, very classy from MM:

    “Unfortunately, I saw Pozzovivo crash because I was four wheels behind him,” Matthews said. “It’s terrible to see something like that and I don’t know what to say. I just hope he’s ok. It breaks your heart to see that, and along with my team, I’d like to dedicate this win to him.”

  5. @Ron

    Yup, that was pretty classy. I saw video of Pozzivivo going in the ambulance. The right side of his face was solid red. Thankfully we didn’t have another Weylandt/Santisteban outcome.

  6. @Ron

    Boy I hope the makes a full recovery. I believe he was also caught up in the fixie crash the day before too. Terrible couple of days for him.

  7. @wiscot

    For some reason I don’t know much about Matthews – he just seems to have come out of nowhere the last couple of years. One things for sure though – I like the way he rides. Mixing it up in the sprints when he could be safely in the bunch. Riding on legs and instinct, not on his fucking computer. Kudos to him. I didn’t put him in my top 5, maybe I should have now that it looks like Pozzovivo is hurt.

    Bling won’t go top 5, he’s no climber when the hills get big. That being said he’s no flash in the pan, won the U-23 worlds in 2010 ahead of Degs & Mini-Phinney. He struggled with Rabo in 11/12 because he was still pretty nervous in a bunch gallop & kept getting boxed out of position (think MSR finish this year). OGE seem to have earmarked him as their next one day man after Gerro & seems to be learning pretty well at the master’s feet.

  8. @Mikael Liddy

    @wiscot

    For some reason I don’t know much about Matthews – he just seems to have come out of nowhere the last couple of years. One things for sure though – I like the way he rides. Mixing it up in the sprints when he could be safely in the bunch. Riding on legs and instinct, not on his fucking computer. Kudos to him. I didn’t put him in my top 5, maybe I should have now that it looks like Pozzovivo is hurt.

    Bling won’t go top 5, he’s no climber when the hills get big. That being said he’s no flash in the pan, won the U-23 worlds in 2010 ahead of Degs & Mini-Phinney. He struggled with Rabo in 11/12 because he was still pretty nervous in a bunch gallop & kept getting boxed out of position (think MSR finish this year). OGE seem to have earmarked him as their next one day man after Gerro & seems to be learning pretty well at the master’s feet.

    Correct, no flash in the pan at all !    It was just race craft and age stifling him.   Maybe Robbie Mc has instilled a bit of mongrel in him at OGE and he’s now surfing the bunch with more confidence.

    Playing angry chess at 60km/h surely takes some getting used to !

  9. @Rob

    @RobSandy

    I call whinning, is there a Rule? I feel your pain, you had me at the snapped spoke but then it just got ugly, you sound like a geriatric who’s lost the V.

    Feel better so you can get in some long km’s.

    I’m not whining, I’m just grumpy. Whining is making excuses. I got my wheel fixed, saw my physio, got on the lemsip and am racing tonight. That’s not whining, that’s Rule #5 motherfucker.

  10. Whole Giro feels very open ended – interesting to see if Bertie goes on the attack today.

  11. I flipped a coin between Uran and Pozzovivo as my Number 4 (with a wildcard in 5th); so glad I did that! Obviously, the VSP is not all-consuming, and I hate to see riders go down like that.

    Also, re this:

    “Unfortunately, I saw Pozzovivo crash because I was four wheels behind him,” Matthews said. “It’s terrible to see something like that and I don’t know what to say. I just hope he’s ok. It breaks your heart to see that, and along with my team, I’d like to dedicate this win to him.”

    What a gent! Bling has gone up in my estimation. Although I still do not forgive him for having the nickname ‘Bling’.

  12. @Barracuda

    Aussie Craft brewers ahead of the game with a fine IPA for the man in pink !

    Is that what is traditionally eaten while imbibing Bling? Rabbit food?

  13. @Julez

    I flipped a coin between Uran and Pozzovivo as my Number 4 (with a wildcard in 5th); so glad I did that! Obviously, the VSP is not all-consuming, and I hate to see riders go down like that.

    Also, re this:

    “Unfortunately, I saw Pozzovivo crash because I was four wheels behind him,” Matthews said. “It’s terrible to see something like that and I don’t know what to say. I just hope he’s ok. It breaks your heart to see that, and along with my team, I’d like to dedicate this win to him.”

    What a gent! Bling has gone up in my estimation. Although I still do not forgive him for having the nickname ‘Bling’.

    I like your sophisticated strategy for picking riders. Might try that as the throwing darts while blindfolded  hasn’t worked very well for me so far.

  14. Overheard in Kazakhstan…

    “Alexander Nikolaevich, we are very lucky to be starting the Giro after that govnosos mandavoshka* Cookson was nearly taking our licence.”

    “Boris Ivanovich do not worry. I say to Cookson ‘Brian pizda ti jopglazaya **. Shut the fuck up. You want Astana licence OK ostosi, potom prosi. ***”

    “Nu ti dajosh Alexander Nikolaevich. You so macho. He is your petookh oppooscheny#. What did he say?”

    “He say ‘No problem Mr Vino, no problem for you.  But ne ssi v kompot, tam povor nogi moet.@ Just take it easy in the Giro and will be all forgotten.

    “So what happen today? I just turn on Eurosport for highlights and… hooy na ny+ we put man in break and whole team on front to smash race? Boris Ivanovich you sobakayob shluha vokzal’naja. Shob tebe deti v sup srali.^”

    *shit sucker cunt louse

    **you are vagina with eyes on your ass

    *** blow my cock then make a wish

    #prison bitch

    @don‘t piss in the punch, the cook is washing his feet in it

    +no fucking way

    ^dog fucker train station whore. I hope your children shit in your soup..

  15. @wiscot

    @Julez

    I flipped a coin between Uran and Pozzovivo as my Number 4 (with a wildcard in 5th); so glad I did that! Obviously, the VSP is not all-consuming, and I hate to see riders go down like that.

    Also, re this:

    “Unfortunately, I saw Pozzovivo crash because I was four wheels behind him,” Matthews said. “It’s terrible to see something like that and I don’t know what to say. I just hope he’s ok. It breaks your heart to see that, and along with my team, I’d like to dedicate this win to him.”

    What a gent! Bling has gone up in my estimation. Although I still do not forgive him for having the nickname ‘Bling’.

    I like your sophisticated strategy for picking riders. Might try that as the throwing darts while blindfolded  hasn’t worked very well for me so far.

    Don’t get too excited; my VSP score isn’t the strongest. I was in third overall at one point, then Delgadoed a Women’s race and haven’t recovered yet.

  16. Hmm: there’s a lesson about picking wild cards. Zakarin lost 17 minutes today. Maybe not the best pick for fourth place. Insert crack about Kazakh sauce being stronger than Russian juice here. They made hay about Uran getting dropped, but he’s only a minute down. Did he crack or just get caught out of position?

  17. Looks like Jagger had no team mates to help him out when Aru upped the pace with c. 11km to go. Not surprising given they are two guys down inside 4 days of racing.

    If it is a one off blip, then a minute should be recovered (and more) across the ITT. If it is the start of things to come, then up and over the Mortirolo is going to be miserable for him.

  18. My #4 pick is not showing up, presumably because it’s Pozzivivo.  Does anyone else have the same thing going on?

  19. @Nate

    My #4 pick is not showing up, presumably because it’s Pozzivivo.  Does anyone else have the same thing going on?

    Nope, mines showing up, but in third place.  Hows that working out for me

  20. My GC is Pozzotively turning to crap. First Pozzovivo crashes out, and now Uran is losing time. Sheesh

  21. @wiscot

    @Barracuda

    Aussie Craft brewers ahead of the game with a fine IPA for the man in pink !

    Is that what is traditionally eaten while imbibing Bling? Rabbit food?

    II could  be  wrong  but those  might be hops squashed into pellets

  22. @PT

    @wiscot

    @Barracuda

    Aussie Craft brewers ahead of the game with a fine IPA for the man in pink !

    Is that what is traditionally eaten while imbibing Bling? Rabbit food?

    II could  be  wrong  but those  might be hops squashed into pellets

    Sheep droppings come to mind?

  23. @Teocalli

    @PT

    @wiscot

    @Barracuda

    Aussie Craft brewers ahead of the game with a fine IPA for the man in pink !

    Is that what is traditionally eaten while imbibing Bling? Rabbit food?

    II could  be  wrong  but those  might be hops squashed into pellets

    Sheep droppings come to mind?

    If it’s sheep droppings, then it’ll be an Anheuser-Busch product or possibly a Miller product. Actually, I take that back, sheep droppings might give their beers some flavor.

  24. @Nate

    My #4 pick is not showing up, presumably because it’s Pozzivivo.  Does anyone else have the same thing going on?

    I still have Pozz showing up in 4th place.  Ghostly.

    @Steampunk

    I was just thinking about Zakarin, because one does, and looked to check on his placing.  If he was trying to deflect any suspicion from his Romandie exploits, he’s done a good job.

    I read some commentary that said that Aru should attack these opening stages because he risks losing so much on the TT.  To the extent that Uran was not really ready yet to hit the gas this early in the proceeding seems like a payoff for that strategy.  Thankfully he only dropped a bit relative to final GC guys but it is not a good sign for my #2 as it also isn’t likely to be his only bad day.

  25. @xyxax

    I have Uran for second as well. I’m confident that he can make up Zakarin-like deficits against Aru in the TT. But I’m more concerned about how he is supposed to leapfrog Porte. Unless Porte becomes Porte and has a whale of a bad day…

  26. Yeah I reckon Jagger will struggle jumping jack flashing (sorry had to do it) over the Tasmanian Devil. Espesh coz he’s lost his Keith Richards and is relying on Woods and Watts like riders to stay in it.

  27. Wildly impressed that Port and Aru could respond to Contador’s attack there. And then both had the matches left to attack.

    Not to mention that Aru got a teammate back.

    Didn’t see that coming.

  28. Finally! A race where it looks I might have picked the right contenders (Pozzovivo’s unfortunate faceplant aside, but at least he’s ok), cracking stage today although I’m still stuck in the age-old rut of looking at teams putting in strong performances and wondering just how genuine it is.

    I’m looking at you Astana…

  29. @xyxax

    I suspect the issue is that I had a brainwave when I entered my picks, and put in the names with a Wodehousian twist.  E.g., Bertie Wooster, “Gussie” Porte-Bottle, and, in the case of my missing rider, Catsmeat Pozzovivo-Pirbright.  Amazingly, the VSP database successfully processed four of my five eccentric entries, but it must have choked on my entry for Pozzovivo.  In the event, it makes no difference, as I had him 4th and could at best break even by subbing him for another rider on the first rest day swap.

    Nice jersey, by the way.

  30. Must remember to harden the fuck up about Pozzovivo. I was almost ready to whine about the point penalty that I would take for swapping him out on the rest (if I were to swap him out on the rest day).  I think I will leave it as is.  Take my lumps as they come. I don’t think Uran can recover fully against Porte and Contador.  I perhaps should have put Aru on the podium and not fourth.

    Great day at the races though.

  31. Stage 8 is another summit finish (Cat 1 this time), so potential for some more fireworks….should be quite quiet otherwise until the ITT and then 4 high mountain stages after that

    Really hope that they don’t all get dominated by one rider; would love to see a real tussle and back and forth to them.

  32. @wiscot

    @Teocalli

    @PT

    @wiscot

    @Barracuda

    Aussie Craft brewers ahead of the game with a fine IPA for the man in pink !

    Is that what is traditionally eaten while imbibing Bling? Rabbit food?

    II could  be  wrong  but those  might be hops squashed into pellets

    Sheep droppings come to mind?

    If it’s sheep droppings, then it’ll be an Anheuser-Busch product or possibly a Miller product. Actually, I take that back, sheep droppings might give their beers some flavor.

    I can safely say that they are hops.    Very fine craft brewers

  33. Great racing, I’m sure Porte is happy for Tinkoff to look after the Magila Rosa, seems like he is going to have to fight a lonely battle against the yellow and blue trains, but he looks great and up for it, excellent to see these young riders at the Giro and TOC, and Sagan getting a win today

  34. Have loved seeing the different racing that’s come in these last two days, over shorter stages (~150k). Unfortunately I doubt we’ll see the same over the next two days with 180 & 260 respectively…might let me catch up on some sleep.

    Also have to say, I’m struggling to get enthused by watching Astana smashing the front of the race with a team that’s somehow a level or two above everyone else. I have a nagging feeling they may continue being extremely strong, while the other teams burn themselves out trying to keep up…

  35. @Mikael Liddy

    Have loved seeing the different racing that’s come in these last two days, over shorter stages (~150k). Unfortunately I doubt we’ll see the same over the next two days with 180 & 260 respectively…might let me catch up on some sleep.

    Also have to say, I’m struggling to get enthused by watching Astana smashing the front of the race with a team that’s somehow a level or two above everyone else. I have a nagging feeling they may continue being extremely strong, while the other teams burn themselves out trying to keep up…

    Agree re the first few days racing.

    As Ive said before, the photos ive seen of As-tarn-Ah on the front look positively glowing !?!   Ummm

  36. @Nate

    Amazingly, the VSP database successfully processed four of my five eccentric entries,

    Where does one see one’s picks processed or not on the VSP database?

    PS – love Jeeves and Wooster, especially when there are prized pigs and the Drones club in the plot

  37. @rfreese888

    @Nate

    Amazingly, the VSP database successfully processed four of my five eccentric entries,

    Where does one see one’s picks processed or not on the VSP database?

    PS – love Jeeves and Wooster, especially when there are prized pigs and the Drones club in the plot

    actually i can see now on the drop down doo dads

  38. Saw this from Cipollini this morning:

    “I don’t understand why a rider like Cunego who is form, or others, don’t attack Contador when he stops to change his bike.” Cipollini said. “I’d attack and make him chase for all of the climb. In our day that’s what would have happened. He’d perhaps think twice about doing if you attacked him every time.”

    Errr . . . when did Cipo ever attack on the climbs and make riders like Contador chase? He was usually in the grupetto smoking and eating biscotti wasn’t he?

    I’m no big Bertie fan, but the talk of motors in the bikes is pure pish.

  39. @wiscot

    Saw this from Cipollini this morning:

    “I don’t understand why a rider like Cunego who is form, or others, don’t attack Contador when he stops to change his bike.” Cipollini said. “I’d attack and make him chase for all of the climb. In our day that’s what would have happened. He’d perhaps think twice about doing if you attacked him every time.”

    Errr . . . when did Cipo ever attack on the climbs and make riders like Contador chase? He was usually in the grupetto smoking and eating biscotti wasn’t he?

    I’m no big Bertie fan, but the talk of motors in the bikes is pure pish.

    I’m not saying that they’re definitely there, but this article does give a pretty good run down about how easily they could be there assuming someone had the money & motivation…

    http://cyclingtips.com.au/2015/04/hidden-motors-for-road-bikes-exist-heres-how-they-work/

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