Velominati Super Prestige: Liege-Bastogne-Liege

Velominati Super Prestige: Liege-Bastogne-Liege

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The inaugural Velominati Super Prestige continues with its last installment of the Spring Classics, Liége-Bastogne-Liége, on Sunday, April 25.   This will be the fourth race in the season-long series and with the unpredictability of the Ardennes classics continuing as it has, the competition is doing nothing to open up but is instead closer now than ever.

Thankfully, the eruption of Eyjafjallaj̦kull has mellowed out and travel seems to be opening up across Europe, so we are not expecting a lot of uncertainly about the start list at this stage Рespecially since most riders who have Liege on their race program have already managed make the journey to Belgium.

Of all the classics, La Doyenne is the most likely to yield a successful breakaway, which lends even more excitement to the possible race predictions.  Rob continues to hold the lead which he took at Roubaix; but much like Contador’s performance on the Mur de Huy corroborated the notion that perhaps he’s off the sauce, Rob’s lackluster performance at La Fleche eases our minds that  he isn’t working within any illegal sooth-saying rings.

This winner of this Super Prestige edition will again earn an “Obey the Rules” bumper sticker  and all reader’s points qualify towards the final prize of the free Velominati Shop Apron.  As always, if you are inclined to enter, simply post your predictions for the top five placings in the comment section.  Check back here or on the Super-Prestige main page for updated rules as we will be introducing a bonus-point program for this edition.

Good luck.

Rules and results are posted Velominati Super Prestige page.

// Velominati Super Prestige

  1. I should just sit this one out, freekin lists, I am so off track. Last try.

    1.) A. Schleck
    2.) F. Schleck
    3.) Evans
    4.) Horner
    5.) Gilbert

    Don’t ask.

  2. Judges relegate me to lantern rouge if it is against the Rules to be such a dorkwad and have 3 goes.

  3. @Rob

    Judges relegate me to lantern rouge if it is against the Rules to be such a dorkwad and have 3 goes.

    In Dutch we have an expression, “Not even a jackass will bump into the same rock twice.”

    But how can we regulate you with a list like that? I mean, that’s pretty close to my fantasy list right there. Well done!

  4. @frank
    Thanks… I think?

  5. There’s definitely doping going on there with Rob! Too much weed?

  6. Most peculiar action for la doyenne. Clearly weirdness is contagious. After spending the better part of the day applying a booze handicap to assist my injured pal on our ride tomorrow, I got the fear of getting dropped and came home for an hour on the turbo…not sure where that fits into the rules. Feel pretty wrongo now though for sure.

  7. To be fair to Rob, Spartacus is on reserve.

  8. After spending the better part of the day applying a booze handicap to assist my injured pal on our ride tomorrow, I got the fear of getting dropped and came home for an hour on the turbo…not sure where that fits into the rules. Feel pretty wrongo now though for sure.

    Oooohhhh….booze and turbo trainer…that’ll clear the ol’ head.

  9. @frank
    Jens! Shit. How did I leave him out of my dream list? On the basis of the multiple dispensations granted to Rob (see how dangerous it can be to set a precedent), and also on the basis that dream lists don’t count for points anyway, I’d lke to modify my dream list to include Jens, as follows: Voigt and Ivanov joint 5th, having been in a two-man breakaway for 240k’s and decided, once they’d been overtaken by the Les Freres Grimpeur, M. Gilbert and Ryder H, to ensure that they cross the line precisely at the same time (just to piss off Tchmil and Sixty).

  10. @brett I wish I could use it as an excuse but it was just nerves and over training…

    @MarkoThanks Marko, I did see that on the third round. It will be funny if he comes in at the last minute – I’m not really sure it is the best course for his skilz though?

    @Geof Hey, Hey did I get dispensations? Or just the same treatment as you all?? At least my shit is in the “real” world not in some fantasy zone – its easy to pick for that one!

    But seriously, obviously I’m just having a hard enough time but it seems the judges have ruled and I guess we could change our picks right up to the start?

  11. Er, Rule #5?

  12. Geof :Er, Rule #5?

    Your Right, I am chastised, sorry…

  13. @Geof
    Very apre pos on the precedent thing, although there is a loosely accepted convention already in place (first exercised by me) that if you pick someone not on the start list that you can make a change. That said, if anyone starts doping their start list to buy themselves more time, we’ll have to enforce some regulations.

  14. Everybody settle down…I should have El Pistolero, Valverde and Vino on here somewhere but I just can’t. Still, it really is a remarkable line up for this race. Too bad American TV won’t show it for a week. Losers. Too much bull riding to show the American public.!?@!#

    1. Gilbert, it has to be
    2. A. Schleck, he is fit but not quite 2009 fit
    3. Ryder Hesjedal, he is cool and he has CVD as domestique
    4. Pretty Good Evans
    5. Horner

    boom, that’s it.

    but who I would like to see win
    1. Horner because he is old and tough
    2. Hesjedal because he is young and tough
    3. Jens Voigt because he is old and super tough

  15. @john
    To steal a phrase, “good on ya boyo.” Nice one, when you wake up out there in them pineapple fields you can really pickem. And I think were calm now… certainly I feel that I did no wrong unless stoopid is wrong? But if I am missing some arcane twist in the rules of the competition please, anyone, clue me in! Good luck everybody!!

  16. @all
    Remember you can run over to and catch the race live:

  17. @Rob
    You’re good, laddie! No worries.

  18. So this picking the “what I’d like to see” list is a new development. It’s like fantasy-fantasy cycling I think. I don’t know how that fantasy football shit works, nor do I care, because football is not a hardman sport. But I digress. What I’d like to see in my fantasy-fantasy:
    1. De Vlameanck
    2. Merckx
    3. De Wolf
    4. Ballerini
    5. Hampsten

    as long as were dreaming right?
    But for real tomorrow fantasy
    1. Jens
    2. Kloden
    3. Horner
    4. A. Grimpeur
    5. F. Grimpeur

  19. @frank
    For Fleche there was a sweet link to some south African channel that worked well

  20. @Rob
    No, Rob, you’re right. I was wrong to suggest that you had received dispensation and that you may have inadvertently overlooked Rule #5. I apologise. By way of (modest) atonement, in the extremely unlikely event that any of my lists prove the most successful, I think you should have the bumper sticker. Unless that’s inconsistent with the Rules.

  21. Ok, no more fantasy shit… keep it REAL!

    I’m revising my list here… we can do that, right?

    LL Cool Sanchez

  22. Oh, and Geof, it’s delayed telecast on Sky from 9am to 12.30 Monday morning… oh yeah, my day off!

  23. @Rob
    Dinna fasch yerself laddie, it made for good reading. Third time is the charm.

    And thanks for the URL Frank, I will get up at 0 dark-30 and see if the race is still going. I hope it’s in Dutch. As long as Vino doesn’t win, that would be awful.

    Good luck all.

  24. @Geof
    No biggie, it sort of felt like I was transgressing something, but maybe that was because I was in such a state? No attonement needed – the folks here are having trouble wrapping their tiny minds around one bumper sticker 2 would just plain freak them out…

    “Ok, no more fantasy shit… keep it REAL!”
    Thank you, another time and place, you know top 5 hard man list, world champions, all time best ever list that could be fun… in a dorky sort of way but here and now “fantasy” is just using your left hand too much, if you know what I mean.

  25. @brett
    Sorry mate, you can’t change it unless someone on your list is not on the start list. Gotta keep it real!

  26. @all
    I’ll be tallying the points today. Christ that sucked.

  27. @john
    What were you saying about Vino?

  28. @Geof
    Does that mean your world has ended?

  29. @Jarvis
    Yeah, that was awful. Vino is awful though he won it fair and square. Never heard from Horner or Ryder at the front. Hmmmmmm…should be an interesting tally from Frank as no one picked the winner, again.

  30. @john
    Veino, Piti bookending the podium. The UCI might as well give up on dope controls or trying to enforce any kind of punishment based on the results. Anyone else notice how close all the races are and how the attacks just keep coming and coming? Seems the boys might be on a new jet fuel.

  31. Nathan Edwards :@GeofDoes that mean your world has ended?

    Geof doesn’t live here anymore. He ran, screaming, from the house, saying something about only watching “real” sports like WWF from now on. He also said “Fuck” quite a lot.

  32. Oh dear. And I cheered Gilbert so loudly….Just too late.

  33. Fucking AWESOME! Veino, legend! He’s done his time, let him be. He’s an awesome rider who lights it up.

    EVERYONE is doped, don’t go on about it. F Schleck paid 5000 Euros to Fuentes, so you can’t hold him up as a good guy. Millar, did his time, and some of you hold him up as a good guy too. What about Zabel, Boonen? They get your support too…

    It’s naive to think that there are only some riders who are the bad guys.

  34. @brett
    I disagree. Everyone might have been doped in the late 1990s, earlier in this decade but I don’t think that is the case now. But Veino strikes me as a man who never admitted his doping and could well be doping now, I don’t trust him. Millar I trust for the same reasons; he publicly admitted it, did his time(a full 2 years) and has been vocal and thoughtful about the anti-doping cause.

    Am I a fool to think this? Possibly. I defended f’ing Hamilton for much too long. But I’m an ex-chemist(of sorts) and I think it’s impossible for everyone to be fooling the doping controls that successfully.

  35. john :@brett

    Am I a fool to think this?

    Yes. Extract your cranium from your rectum. “Hey, what’s that I can see? The light! Oh shit, they are all doping!”

    Go back as far as you like, Coppi, Merckx, Hinault, LeMond, Indurain, Riis, Pantani, oh my God even Armstrong… all dopers.

    I don’t care… let em jam needles into their eyeballs, fuck, as long as the racing is as good as what we saw today, I don’t care, let em drink pure fucking EPO!

  36. Having said that, if they are all clean, and Veino is too, then still good fucking on him for a great ride.

    I was cheering for him because of all the whiners who condemned him, but hold a torch up for Pharmstrong still. Fucking hypocrites.

  37. I think Brett has to be listened to – it looks close between him and Frank, so he must know something we don’t?
    This one was fun, the lead up, the run in and now good conversation about did they didn’t they. I think they have all done something, roids at the least and blood shite or more. So is it still fun to watch or does it ruin it for you?

  38. @john
    I’m with John. Brett, I hope you’re wrong about the “everyone”. But even if you’re right, “everyone cheats so it’s OK” doesn’t work for me. Sporting competition is not just about winning, it is about winning within the rules. Whether or not those rules are arbitrary (as they often are – excluding “The Rules”) or broken by others (as they often are – including “The Rules”) is not relevant to what is besically a moral issue. People like Millar, who show genuine regret and become determined ambassadors for doing it clean, are of course different (unless and until they do it again, which I trust will never happen with DM). But the “I’ve done my time, so let’s move on” attitude which Vino seems to display, seemingly without any real and ongoing acknowledgment of the immmorality of the offending, strikes me as almost as cynical and corrosive as the cheating in the first place. Unless and until he does a Millar, I won’t be cheering for him.

  39. @Geof
    Thanks Geof, that’s what I wanted to say.

    I won’t argue that they haven’t all done something(past tense), but I don’t thing that are all doing something(present tense). I just don’t buy it. If I thought they were all cheating it would ruin it for me, but I don’t think that so I dig it the most. I would argue for the lifetime ban, first offense, who wouldn’t?

    Oh I’ll listen to Brett, but a man with tan lines like this can’t be right all the time.Brett’s Head

  40. I’m not saying cheating is right, it’s not, but cycling is a cheats sport, plain as that. Everyone that has ever won anything has been on something. You can’t not realise that.

    Fucking Millar, he wouldn’t have said shit if he hadn’t been caught red-handed. His “genuine regret” only applies to the regret that he got caught; otherwise he’d still have a world TT medal by ill-gotten gains, and his mouth shut.

    You guys seem to think the Schlecks are gods gift, but they should be held under as much suspicion as Valverde, who you all condemn. Valverde has only had his name linked to Fuentes, nothing more, and F Schleck was caught paying large sums of money to Fuentes. Where’s the difference? Has he ever said he regrets paying Fuentes for ‘training advice’?

    Ok, are you listening? I DON”T condone cheating. But don’t vilify some when the others you support are just the same.

  41. @brett, @john, @Geof, @Rob

    Wow. I get on a plane for a couple hours and that’s when the Velominati jump into the émission de la dopage? Christ.

    The simple truth is that this is one fucking complicated matter, and all of us are right and all of us are wrong.

    Brett and Rob, you’re right that everyone is on the sauce. You can’t compete at this level, distance, and speed without a little external support; the excitement comes from the racing, not from whether or not they’re clean – otherwise we might as well go shopping in the neon glow of the mall where everything is nice and controlled. And today’s racing was bike racing at the highest levels. The fact is, I hate Veino and Piti and that made it a result I wasn’t hoping for. But it’s nothing against the racing.

    Geof, you’re right that saying “that’s the way it is” is not an excuse to accept it. Doping is cheating and accepting that everyone does it does nothing to lessen that fact. I think big steps have been made recently in the fight against doping (not to eradicate it, but to tame the jetfuel), but, to label it a moral issue is grossly oversimplifying matters. These aren’t kids with college educations (for the most part); they’re youngsters who are brought up through the ranks by their mentors who show them the ropes and introduce them to the “methods”. Then, they become the mentors and the mentors the directors. And so the cycle continues. I don’t know if you can say that these 18 year old, under-educated kids can understand that what they’re doing is making a moral decision. They’re being told what to do, and they are doing it. I don’t think it’s much more complicated than that, but it’s still cheating. It’s like when Brett drinks a soy fucking latte and breaks the Rules.

    John, I’m with you on why Millar = Good and Veino = Bad. It’s a matter of acknowledgement. I hate Pharmstrong for the same reason I hate Vino and Piti. There’s an arrogance in their attitude that I think is much worse than doping or cheating. It’s that George W Bush mentality of “don’t you dare question me” that infects everything those people touch. It’s unsportsmanlike behavior. Ullrich, topped up on EPO, still waited for Pharmy after he idiotically rode so close to a fan that he fell on her fucking Musette bag – a mistake anyone should loose a Tour for. Drugs or not, that was sportsmanlike behavior and that’s what I love to watch.

    And that takes me to why it doesn’t change the sport if they’re doping or not. It’s not the drugs. It’s the lack of sportsmanship displayed by these guys and the fact that we know (or are pretty sure) they’re on drugs is just an easy thing for us to point at.

    I don’t care about amphetamines or ‘roids. I care about the drugs that make thoroughbreds out of donkeys. The ones that change the races. That make a team so strong they control a race from start to finish and it sucks the excitement out of the race. Like Postal, Discovery, Astana.

    When it comes down to it – anyone who says they will stop liking a sport if the athletes are on drugs might be watching the sport for the wrong reasons. Sure, it sucks that I’m not about to compare my split riding up Alpe d’Huez against the big boys knowing it’s not apples to apples (aside from the other factors like “fitness” and not exhibiting the property of being “fat”.) But what matters is the sportsmanship between the athletes and the spectacle of these brutes beating themselves and each other to shit on cobblestones and over the highest mountains.

    Show me a good fight and I’m hooked. Spit in someone’s eye, and I’ll hate you until you at least pretend to show some remorse. In the end, drugs don’t have much to do with it.

  42. @brett
    Just for fun, I tallied your “revised” score and you had a worse pick than you originally did. Still sticking with the first, official one, though. Lucky for you.

  43. @all:

    The results are in for the Liege edition of the Super Prestige:

    Liège-Bastogne-Liège, April 25, 2010

    1. Frank: 6 points
    2. Brett: 4 points
    3. Rob: 2 points
    3. John: 2 points
    3. Joe: 2 points
    3. Geoff: 2 points
    7. Marko: 1 point
    8. James, Dan O, Jim: 0 points

    Geof takes his second sticker by merit of heeding Rule #5 and throwing his picks into the game first. Well done, mate.

    Current Standings:

    1. Frank: 16 points
    2. Rob: 14 points
    3. Brett: 12 points
    3. Marko: 12 points
    5. John: 11 points
    6. Joe: 8 points
    6. Geoff: 8 points
    8. James, Dan O, Jim: 0 points

    The V-Cog that my name bears as a Keeper of the Cog takes precedent over a leaders’ cog, which means that while Rob is no longer officially the leader, he will continue to wear the Rainbow Cog with dignity and honor as the second-ranked Velominatus in the competition.

    The competition is still wide open and as we finalize the schedule for the remainder of the season and the scoring criteria for the upcoming Stage Races, the Super Prestige is still for anyone to claim.

  44. @brett
    You’re right about Millar, but whatever the reason, he’s on the road now, and I respect it. Who has ever lied and owned up to it before getting caught?

    As for my boy Frank; I do believe he admitted it was wrong and the whole story is pretty cloudy, but he paid someone associated with Fuentes and when the connection was made, he bailed out. But, he didn’t admit it until he was caught, and that’s also idiotic.

    Finally, as for Piti, the Italians actually did tie his DNA not only to blood from the Fuetes circle, but blood that had EPO in it. That’s a double-hit. The only thing keeping him from serving a suspension is a weak UCI and a sand-bagging Spanish Federation.

    While on the subject, I say the UCI should go and fuck themselves. They are completely incompetent and complacent and then play innocent when the other shoe drops. They’re like the Catholic Church and this pedophile business.

  45. frank :

    You’re right about Millar, but whatever the reason, he’s on the road now

    Jesus, he’s on the roids now? Can’t trust that fucker…

  46. Oh no, Brett, say it ain’t so. Not the soy latte. No …

  47. Maybe cycling is like politics and religion. We like the characters and personalities we identify with, chastise the ones we don’t, and the powers that be understand all this and manipulate it all to their advantage because it makes us feel like we need them. Eg:

    Veino = Putin. He’s a badass, we’re scared of his capabilities, don’t really like him but respect him because of what he’ll do to us if we don’t.

    Cancellara = Switzerland. Coolest guy around, stays out of controversy, everyone wants to be like him but nobody can because we weren’t born like him.

    Millar = Clinton. Fucked up bigtime, caught with pants down, makes heartfelt apology, wins people over again and is a really likeable guy so we route for him but he’ll never really do anything again because he needs to be oh-so-dirty to win

    Cunt-odor = alter-boy: His boyish squeaky-clean image belies secrets

    Pharmstrong = The Pope: Everyone knows he knows everything and probably is guilty himself but he’s so insulated he’s untouchable

    Valverde = Berlesconi: He’s guilty, he even flaunts it, and understands what the paradigm is and isn’t afraid to let it all hang out, that’s his nature and it gets him laid

    Any Belgian rider = Holland: Once the rulers of a great and powerful empire who still inspire passion about what once was but will never rise to greatness again.

    UCI = U.N.: Trying desperately to bring order out of chaos but ultimately have no control over anything and lack the teeth to impose any modicum of justice.

    Merckx = Jesus: Because who else is there for a bunch of people who can’t think for themselves?

    Pick your truth fellas. It’s the only one that counts. It’s all just a matter of interpretation.

  48. Marko, brilliant!

    PS the soy thing… I only drink long blacks. Take that any way you want.

  49. @Marko
    Again I ask, why does everybody say you are so dumb? That is fucking genius. That actually makes twisted sense. Maybe leave it at that until we get into the drunken slap fight in Belgium next year, arguing about this and Merckx’s Hour Record.

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