Velominati Super Prestige: Liege-Bastogne-Liege 2016

We were descending for a while before I saw Roche’s name painted on the road. It was one of those little bridges over a river that you only seem to find in the Benelux; just a little too ancient and just a little too arched, and just a little too perfectly flawed to be anywhere else.

The trouble was that the sportive was run in the summer after the race had already taken place; Roche had retired the year before, so it seemed really strange that his name would be painted on the road. What we didn’t appreciate was that the previous year’s sportive had used blue arrows to mark the route, and this year’s sportive was using white arrows. After a year in Belgium, blue paint tends to start looking an awful lot like white paint; it was only a matter of time before we took a wrong turn.

Another concerning clue was the fact that we hadn’t seen another rider in much longer than one sees another rider during a sportive event as popular as this one. Neither my dad nor I are dumb people but you didn’t need to be smart to realize there was something horribly amuck with how abandoned the roads were.

We turned around and climbed back up the serpentine route we had gleefully descended into the valley. If memory serves, which I am fairly confident it doesn’t, we added something like 100km to the prescribed route.

The route from Liege to Bastogne is relatively easy, if you consider lots of climbing of short, steep côtes “easy”. On the way back, they pack the climbs in fast and furious, the steeper the better. The Prophet, Eddy Merckx, has his statue at the top of the Stockeu; this is a gratuitous climb if ever there was such a thing. The road wings off the main road to the right and flies up a 21% gradient for just over a kilometer before taking a hard left and swinging right back down to the same point in the road; a loop of suffering added purely for the sake of suffering. When we rode it with Johan Museeuw, he tried to convince us not to ride it, “You don’t need to ride it for me…” When I rode it with my dad, all I remember is woods and suffering.

Liege will be held on Sunday, and I’m done trying to predict the weather in a country where I don’t live except to say I predict there will be weather; either sunny or rainy or stormy, or snowy. As far as winners go, the smart money is on the Valve Cap, which is very disappointing to me and why I’m going with the “dumb” money. Hopefully something exciting will happen instead. So check the start list, and stock up on points for the Don Walker custom frame, Cafe Roubaix wheelset, or V-Kit.

Mercxkspeed.

[vsp_results id=”41898″/]

Related Posts

223 Replies to “Velominati Super Prestige: Liege-Bastogne-Liege 2016”

  1. VSP PICKS:

    1. Alejandro Valverde
    2. Julian Alaphilippe
    3. Michal Kwiatkowski
    4. Dan Martin
    5. Simon Gerrans
  2. VSP PICKS:

    1. Alejandro Valverde
    2. Julian Alaphillipe
    3. Simon Gerrans
    4. Vincenzo Nibali
    5. Dan Martin
  3. VSP PICKS:

    1. Alejandro Valverde
    2. Michal Kwiatkowski
    3. Dan Martin
    4. Vicenzo Nibali
    5. Sim Gerrans
  4. VSP PICKS:

    1. Alejandro Valverde
    2. Dan Martin
    3. Michal Kwiatowski
    4. Roman Kreuziger
    5. Simon Gerrans
  5. Two French Monument winners in one year. What are the odds on that?

    Kangert has good form.

    Froome will fall off, so Poels will fly the Sky flag.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Alaphillippe
    2. Valverde
    3. Kangert
    4. Poels
    5. Ulissi
  6. Great to see Woods getting into the picks. Awesome athlete. Not sure if he’s got the tactics and positioning down yet, but he’ll get there quick.

  7. Seeing what this looks like in black and sickly gray or whatever the background color of this website is called (cadaver penis?)

    ; If Drs. S Punk and B Rodgers believe that it will be more Dan FUCKING than Dan FALLING, then a re-think may be order.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Valverde, Al
    2. Martin, DAN FUCKING
    3. Gerrans, Simon
    4. Laphillipe, Jules
    5. Costa, Rui
  8. Valverde’s race to lose but my fingers just cannot type his name in the picks box.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Gerrans
    2. Martin
    3. Alaphillipe
    4. Gesink
    5. Woods
  9. Placeholder. Because after spending mucho dinero today on my Jaegher buildout, I need to spend time the next two days with my VMH. I’m still fighting a rear action on a request for diamonds and gold jewelry.

    Before I forget, a BIG

     shout out to @Frank, the Keepers, and Jaegher for the opportunity to compete for and win a custom hand made and painted Interceptor (Super Stiff in my case) frame!

    Pictures to follow.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Alejandro Valverde
    2. Dan Martin
    3. Julian Alaphilippe
    4. Simon Gerrans
    5. Tim Wellens
  10. VSP PICKS:

    1. GERRANS Simon
    2. ZAKARIN Ilnur
    3. MARTIN Daniel
    4. VOECKLER Thomas
    5. CLARKE Simon
  11. Woods in for good measure

    VSP PICKS:

    1. A. Valverde
    2. D. Martin
    3. J. Alaphilippe
    4. E. Gasparotto
    5. M. Woods
  12. Wild card at #5. Fuck knows, I’ve been pretty awful so far

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Alaphilippe
    2. Valverde
    3. Bardet
    4. Gerrans
    5. Froome
  13. VSP PICKS:

    1. Martin, Daniel
    2. Valverde, Alejandro
    3. Rodriguez, Joaquim
    4. Woods, Michael
    5. Gasparotto, Enrico
  14. VSP PICKS:

    1. Tim Wellens
    2. Alejandro Valverde
    3. Julian Alaphillipe
    4. Michael Kiakowsky
    5. Roman Kreuziguer
  15. 1deg at the start warming to a Badgeresque 6deg later. Snow flurries on the cotes and a headwind all the way  home. No fucking way am I picking Froomey

    for this one.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Malmerde
    2. Danny boy Martin
    3. Rui Da Costa
    4. TIMMY Wellens
    5. Alaphilippe
  16. I think this race is all about the points from the places 2-4, too many people name the same winner.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Valverde
    2. Alaphillipe
    3. Gerrans
    4. Gasparotto
    5. Bardet
  17. VSP PICKS:

    1. Joaquim Rodriguez
    2. Julian Alaphilippe
    3. Bouke Mollema
    4. Alejandro Valverde
    5. Simon Gerrans
  18. Slight change up due to Froomeys dislike of  poor weather (or as we northerners call it: “weather”). 

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Valverde
    2. Dan “not tony” Martin
    3. Gallopin’ Tony
    4. Fair Weather Froome
    5. Wout Poels
  19. @Steampunk

    @xyxax

    This is pretty much my VSP strategy at this point.

    I consider…

    “They can buy anything, but they can’t buy backbone. Don’t ever let them forget it.”

    a sort of sermon on Rule #5.

  20. Provisional so as to avoid the Delgado, etc.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Alejandro Valverde
    2. Julian Alaphilippe
    3. Daniel Martin
    4. Michal Kwiatkowski
    5. Tim Wellens
  21. @Bianchi Denti

    Two French Monument winners in one year. What are the odds on that?

    Kangert has good form.

    Froome will fall off, so Poels will fly the Sky flag.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Alaphillippe
    2. Valverde
    3. Kangert
    4. Poels
    5. Ulissi

    Hoping if Froome does fall off he takes out Malmerde

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Dan F Martin
    2. A Yates
    3. Alaphilipe
    4. Wellens
    5. Gasparotto
  22. Lads, the weather is by no account going to be apocalyptic. A couple of showers, but mostly dry and fresh.

    I’m envisioning Dano & Alpha Dog working over Malmerde in the final after stretching him (if that were possible) on the Stockeau, but every dog will have their day in the sun. This is Dano’s favourite race after all.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. DAN Martin
    2. Valverde
    3. Alaphilippe
    4. Kwiato
    5. Ulissi
  23. Yet another change. Think I’m happy with this order now. Dano to win by 8″ or thereabouts. Alpha Dog to beat a tired Alejandro to the line for 2nd. Or maybe this is just pure fantasy on my part!

    VSP PICKS:

    1. DAN Martin
    2. Alaphilippe
    3. Valverde
    4. Kwiato
    5. Ulissi

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.