Bloody Peugeots, always breaking down on hills.  Stockeau, 1980

Bloody Peugeots, always breaking down on hills. Stockeau, 1980

Velominati Super Prestige: Liége-Bastogne-Liége

by / / 256 posts

We’ve all watched bike races, that’s a given, but how many of us actually listen to a bike race? It’s at this time every year that I’m reminded of something;

The Ardennes Classics sound different.

How does a bike race sound exactly? In the case of L-B-L, it’s the low buzz of the TV helicopter that is ingrained in my psyche. The subliminal hum of the rotors, droning away, overlaid with the monologue of Phil and Paul (or some Dutch or Spanish guy), also droning away, is a trance-inducing concoction not even the likes of Ken Kesey ever experienced.

Be warned, if you’re a Vietnam Veteran watching (and listening to) this clip of Argentin taking his fourth Doyenne may lead to flashbacks.

While the cobbled northern Classics elucidate a mien that takes hold of our hearts and can’t really be explained, the hillier races in the last week of the Spring campaign offer their own charms for us to appreciate. The fragile climbers, who’ve avoided the rough and dirty roads in weeks previous, mix it up alongside a smattering of the Big Men of the Stones who make the crossover to give it one last crack, or to simply help their grimpeur buddies get a slice of their own pie. These are races that can go to any number of riders who are having an on day.

Which doesn’t make picking a winner in this, the final Spring edition of the Velominati Super Prestige any easier. Will a Schleck, any Schleck, stand up (or be countered). What will the reactions be if Veino repeats, will he still be the villain, or is a year a long time in cycling and he’ll be forgiven, cheered and revered?  PhilGil could make his own history and take not only the triple crown of Amstel, Fleche and Liége, but the quadruple with his Brabanste Pijl win thrown in for good measure. Whichever way the cards fall, or whoever plays them right, it’s always a worthy winner who rolls across the line first in Ans.

All that’s left to do is take a look at the start list, use your Powers of Deduction™ to decide your Top V, fill in the blanks and pick up an Obey The Rules bumper sticker for your trouble. It’s a prize older and more coveted than any other cycling-based-website-race-tipping-competition-bumper-sticker-giveaway.

Maybe listening to your heart is the way to go on this one.

Best of Belgian to you.

// Velominati Super Prestige

  1. Sorry that would be the nature of sports…

  2. I am surprised that the Schlecks did not at least try and one / two Gilbert towards the end, even if it did not work, at least they could say they tried something. I picked PG for the win but was yelling at the monitor – Andy what are you doing towing him along like that!
    Mind, no one else was in the “picture” at the end so what does that say about the rest of the contenders for LBL? None of them went with the Schlecks move so good on the Schlecks for trying something at the 21k mark, just need to finish it off now Bros.

  3. Alright Andy I wont write you off just yet but you better be looking a lot more on song come TDF time or I’m going to drop you so dam fast!
    Nice ride by Gilbert it was always going to be a race for 2nd! Find it strange that no one really got up to challenge the first 3

  4. @Marcus
    yeah you are right, i’d just prefer a band of athletes at the top all closer together. It is impressive to see what Contador does, but probably a bit selfish on my part asking for a race as well

  5. In the meantime, last year’s VSP winner, @andy, has quietly moved back into the lead. That’s the real story of the day.

    Still haven’t managed to watch the race, but I’ve got to say, this group here is much more informative than CyclingNews. Great conversation.

    Without having seen the race – and stating categorically that I love the Schlecks unconditionally – this type of riding does seem to come from them pretty regularly, Tourmalet, the track stand climb, l’Alpe in ’07. I can justify it saying they weren’t peaking yet and Gil was and they were cooked, but if it was me, I’d attack until my legs fell off, even if those “attacks” looked like a 1rpm lift in pace. Those finishes are disappointing.

    That said – and not having seen the race yet – to call them pussies after they made the race-winning move and filled out the podium seems a bit out of place.

    The Tour is a great race, but I’m with @Sam on preferring the Giro. Italy is just much better suited for a Grand Tour than France; there are mountains everywhere and a closer field. I love coming into the last few days not knowing who’s going to win.

    For me, as a spectator, it always comes to the excitement. That’s why people are pissed at the Schlecks; they didn’t make for an exciting enough finish – and that’s fair. But that’s my beef with the Tour as well, it ends too often with someone dominating a few TT’s, floating over a mountain on stage 10, and then 11 stages of watching a team ride on the front. It’s a great race, just not as much fun as the Giro.

  6. And in an instant the Spring Classics Season is ended: MSR, RVV, PR, AGR, LBL.
    I was not very statisfied with the results, but results are not the most important thing for a Classics lover.
    Waiting for the Spring is, the Poggio is, waiting for the Kappel muur is, le Trouée d’Arenberg is, the frantic finale of the AGR is and La Côte de “La Redoute” definitely is.
    Thanks god I’m still waiting for the Giro di Lombardia.

  7. @Pedale.Forchetta
    +1. Sigh: maybe this is why I feel a depression settling in…

  8. @Pedale.Forchetta
    Beautifully said, every word.

  9. @sgt
    Thank you!

  10. @Steampunk
    I was deeply depressed this morning. Now I know why.

    @Pedale.Forchetta
    Lovely, even if I disagree about the results.

    @Marcus
    Fair criticism; it was the copious red wine over dinner talking. All the same, for me the Tour has a hard time living up to lofty expectations.

  11. @sgt
    Nice!

  12. I’ll be interested to see what racers say about the Schleck’s lack of tactics. Maybe everyone is toast after all those hills and that distance but when I saw it was Gilbert against two brothers, two teammates, I assumed it was all over for him. They would work his ass over on the last climb until someone cracked…but no?! Nothing. Aren’t these two supposed to be awesome climbers?

    I was thrilled Gilbert laid the V on them all the way to the finish. Bravo. Monster win.

  13. @Gianni
    I’ve watched the last part of the race (from the Schleckattack to the finish) a couple of times. However nice it would’ve been to see a battle royal between the brothers and PhilGil, I don’t think they had it in them. Both of them looked to be working much harder than the Gilbertantor. There’s a passage where he is seemingly effortless, upper body dead still, arse firmly in the saddle, legs just spinning away up the hill, while the Schlecky ahead of him is up out of the saddle giving it the whole body sway boogie. And when he attacks he is so clearly in control of himself, in contrast to the Schleckies who are clearly fighting (in one case unsuccessfully) to hold on. So, yeah, it would’ve been nice to see them slug it out even if it meant coming to a standstill half way up the final slope, Jens-style. But I find it hard to get too critical that they didn’t. At least they tried an attack. And at least they podiumed.

  14. @G’phant
    Yep, you must be right as it is the only explanation. To quote Albert (Master of the Telecaster) Collins, “Baby I’m too tired to try”.

    Still, I think they had their places on the podium even if Gilbert dropped them both in their attempts to tag-team him. I’d rather see it have ended up like that. That said, it was a great finish as I really didn’t know what was going to happen until that final corner.

    Now I have to figure out some way of watching the Giro whilst being 12 hours out of time zone. Does anyone watch it in NZ?

  15. Gianni :Now I have to figure out some way of watching the Giro whilst being 12 hours out of time zone. Does anyone watch it in NZ?

    I don’t know what TV coverage is planned here for the Giro. Last year the last two hours of each stage of the TdF were replayed from 6am, which suited very well. But I doubt the rugby/league/netball/golf-watching TV Powers That Be will do the same for the Giro. So we’ll be scanning steephill.tv, etc, for internet coverage, then (i) watching the key stages live with bleary eyes (with the result that we are utterly useless in the morning when we should be getting the kids ready for school), (ii) catching up on the highlights of the other stages over our breakfast (with the result that we are utterly useless in the morning when we should be getting the kids ready for school), and (iii) banishing ourselves to our windtrainers in our garages in the evenings to avoid the inevitable (and justified) domestic recriminations for being utterly useless in the morning when we should be getting the kids ready for school. The Classics season is so much easier.

  16. @sgt
    RRRRRAAAAADDDDDD!!!!!!!!

  17. Once again, our friend over at BRR manages in a sentence what takes up pages over here. Classic BRR right here.

  18. Gilbert on drugs

    un victoire sans dopage – as it should be
    you wouldn’t believe the stick pro cycling gets over here in Germany for drug use

    btw I prefer my plain carbon Canyon to his white one but each to his own :)

  19. Well, I’ll just be watching the Giro live on my television. (It helps to live in europe)

    @Steampunk
    No, I just really, really, really, desperately hope that Schleck wins this tour. I said to my dad 4 years ago that Schleck would win the tour, and now we got a €50,- bet on it.

  20. Don’t care what the Grimpeurs say, the Elder hadn’t done a tap since Younger came back after Saint Nicolas, he just didn’t try.

    One other point to note, look at who came fifth. Seems like Sky did a great deal over the winter. Uran is only young, just wonder what race he is aiming for. Perhaps the Vuelta if Sky ride this year

  21. @Jarvis
    Just watched the last 10k again and it looked to me like the plan was for Andy to ride for Frank. Clearly they were both pretty cooked but when Gilbert’s attack on the Saint Nicholas dropped Andy they didn’t have a plan B. Frank tried to sit in but then he missed the jump (was half asleep) at the final left hander and outclassed in the sprint anyway.

  22. I have been browsing online more than 2 hours today, yet I
    never found any interesting article like yours.
    It is pretty worth enough for me. In my opinion, if all webmasters and bloggers
    made good content as you did, the web will be a lot more useful than ever before.|
    I could not refrain from commenting. Exceptionally well written!|
    I will immediately take hold of your rss feed as I can not find your email subscription hyperlink or newsletter service.
    Do you’ve any? Please permit me recognise so
    that I could subscribe. Thanks.|
    It’s the best time to make some plans for the future and it’s time to be happy.
    I have read this post and if I could I wish to suggest you some interesting things or tips.
    Perhaps you could write next articles referring to this article.
    I desire to read more things about it!|
    It is perfect time to make a few plans for
    the longer term and it is time to be happy. I’ve read
    this submit and if I may just I wish to recommend you few interesting things or advice.

    Perhaps you could write subsequent articles relating to this
    article. I wish to read more things approximately it!|
    I have been browsing on-line greater than three hours today,
    but I never found any attention-grabbing
    article like yours. It’s pretty value sufficient for me.
    In my view, if all site owners and bloggers made excellent content material as you did,
    the net can be a lot more helpful than ever before.|
    Ahaa, its pleasant discussion concerning this paragraph here at this blog, I have read all that, so at this
    time me also commenting at this place.|
    I am sure this post has touched all the internet people,
    its really really fastidious article on building up
    new webpage.|
    Wow, this paragraph is fastidious, my younger sister
    is analyzing these kinds of things, so I am going to inform her.|
    bookmarked!!, I like your site!|
    Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you writing this
    write-up and the rest of the site is very good.|
    Hi, I do think this is a great website. I stumbledupon it ;) I will come back yet again since i
    have bookmarked it. Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich
    and continue to help others.|
    Woah! I’m really digging the template/theme of this site.
    It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s tough to get that “perfect balance” between user
    friendliness and appearance. I must say you’ve
    done a awesome job with this. Also, the blog loads very quick for me on Safari.

    Superb Blog!|
    These are actually enormous ideas in regarding blogging.
    You have touched some good points here. Any way keep up wrinting.|
    Everyone loves what you guys are usually up too.
    This sort of clever work and reporting! Keep up the good works guys I’ve you guys to my blogroll.|
    Hi there! Someone in my Myspace group shared this website with
    us so I came to look it over. I’m definitely loving the information.
    I’m bookmarking and will be tweeting this to my followers!
    Excellent blog and amazing style and design.|
    I love what you guys are up too. This sort of clever work and exposure!

    Keep up the excellent works guys I’ve incorporated you guys to my own blogroll.|
    Hey would you mind stating which blog platform you’re working with?

    I’m planning to start my own blog in the near future but I’m
    having a tough time choosing between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal.
    The reason I ask is because your design and
    style seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something completely unique.
    P.S Sorry for getting off-topic but I had to ask!|
    Hey would you mind letting me know which webhost you’re using?
    I’ve loaded your blog in 3 different internet browsers
    and I must say this blog loads a lot faster then
    most. Can you suggest a good web hosting provider at a fair price?
    Kudos, I appreciate it!|
    Everyone loves it when individuals get together and share thoughts.
    Great website, keep it up!|
    Thank you for the good writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it.
    Look advanced to far added agreeable from you! By the way, how could we communicate?|
    Hey just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The text in your
    article seem to be running off the screen in Ie.
    I’m not sure if this is a formatting issue or something to do with browser compatibility but I figured I’d post to let you know.
    The style and design look great though! Hope you get the
    problem fixed soon. Kudos|
    This is a topic that is near to my heart… Cheers! Where are your contact details though?|
    It’s very easy to find out any matter on web as compared to books, as I found
    this paragraph at this web site.|
    Does your website have a contact page? I’m having trouble locating it but, I’d like to send you an email.

    I’ve got some ideas for your blog you might be interested in hearing.
    Either way, great website and I look forward to seeing it improve over time.|
    Greetings! I’ve been reading your site for a while now and finally got the courage
    to go ahead and give you a shout out from Porter Texas!
    Just wanted to tell you keep up the fantastic
    job!|
    Greetings from Carolina! I’m bored to tears at work so I decided to check out your blog on my
    iphone during lunch break. I enjoy the knowledge you present here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home.
    I’m surprised at how fast your blog loaded on my mobile .. I’m not even
    using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyways, superb blog!|
    Its such as you learn my thoughts! You appear to know so much about this, such as you
    wrote the book in it or something. I think that
    you simply can do with a few % to drive the message
    home a bit, but instead of that, that is great blog.
    A fantastic read. I will certainly be back.|
    I visited multiple sites however the audio quality for
    audio songs existing at this web site is actually fabulous.|
    Howdy, i read your blog from time to time and i own a similar one and i was just curious if
    you get a lot of spam responses? If so how do you stop it, any plugin
    or anything you can suggest? I get so much lately it’s driving me
    mad so any help is very much appreciated.|
    Greetings! Very useful advice in this particular post!
    It is the little changes that produce the most important
    changes. Thanks for sharing!|
    I absolutely love your site.. Very nice colors & theme. Did you build this website yourself?
    Please reply back as I’m attempting to create my own website and
    would love to find out where you got this from or just
    what the theme is called. Thanks!|
    Hello there! This blog post could not be written much better!
    Looking at this post reminds me of my previous roommate!
    He always kept talking about this. I am going to send this information to him.
    Fairly certain he’ll have a very good read. I appreciate you
    for sharing!|
    Whoa! This blog looks just like my old one! It’s on
    a completely different subject but it has pretty much the same layout and design.
    Outstanding choice of colors!|
    There’s certainly a great deal to learn about this subject.
    I like all the points you have made.|
    You made some decent points there. I looked on the internet to learn more
    about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this
    web site.|
    Hello, I read your blogs on a regular basis. Your writing style is awesome, keep doing what you’re doing!|
    I just could not leave your website prior to suggesting that I really
    enjoyed the standard info a person supply to your visitors?
    Is going to be again continuously to check up on new posts|
    I needed to thank you for this very good read!! I absolutely
    enjoyed every bit of it. I have got you saved as a favorite to look at new
    stuff you post…|
    Hi, just wanted to say, I enjoyed this article.
    It was funny. Keep on posting!|
    I drop a leave a response when I appreciate a article on
    a website or I have something to contribute to the
    conversation. Usually it is caused by the sincerness communicated in the
    article I looked at. And on this post Velominati › Velominati Super Prestige: Liége-Bastogne-Liége.

    I was actually moved enough to post a thought ;-) I actually do have some questions for you if it’s okay.
    Is it just me or does it appear like a few of these remarks come across like they are left by brain
    dead people? :-P And, if you are writing at additional places, I’d like to follow you.

    Would you make a list all of your shared sites like your
    linkedin profile, Facebook page or twitter feed?|
    Hello, I enjoy reading through your article post.
    I like to write a little comment to support you.|
    I always spent my half an hour to read this webpage’s articles or reviews
    all the time along with a cup of coffee.|
    I constantly emailed this webpage post page to all my associates, for the reason that if like to
    read it next my links will too.|
    My developer is trying to persuade me to move to .net from PHP.
    I have always disliked the idea because of the expenses.

    But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using
    WordPress on various websites for about a year and am anxious about
    switching to another platform. I have heard great things about blogengine.net.
    Is there a way I can transfer all my wordpress posts into it?
    Any help would be really appreciated!|
    Hi there! I could have sworn I’ve visited this blog
    before but after looking at some of the articles I
    realized it’s new to me. Regardless, I’m definitely
    pleased I came across it and I’ll be book-marking it and checking back frequently!|
    Terrific article! This is the type of info that
    are supposed to be shared across the internet. Shame on Google for not
    positioning this post higher! Come on over and seek advice from my site .
    Thank you =)|
    Heya i am for the first time here. I came across this board and I find It
    really useful & it helped me out a lot. I hope to give
    something back and aid others like you helped me.|
    Hi, I do think your blog could be having web browser compatibility problems.

    Whenever I look at your blog in Safari, it looks fine however, if opening in Internet Explorer, it’s got some overlapping
    issues. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up!
    Besides that, wonderful blog!|
    A person essentially assist to make seriously articles
    I would state. That is the first time I frequented your website page and to this
    point? I surprised with the analysis you made to make
    this actual post amazing. Magnificent task!|
    Heya i’m for the first time here. I found this board and I to
    find It truly useful & it helped me out a lot. I hope to give
    one thing again and aid others like you aided me.|
    Good day! I just wish to give you a big thumbs up for your great info you have got here on this post.
    I will be returning to your blog for more soon.|
    I every time used to study paragraph in news papers but now as I am a user of web so from now I am using net for articles or reviews, thanks to web.|
    Your means of explaining the whole thing in this post is really nice, every one be capable
    of without difficulty be aware of it, Thanks a lot.|
    Hi there, I discovered your blog via Google whilst looking for a comparable topic, your site came up, it seems to be good.
    I’ve bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.
    Hi there, just turned into aware of your weblog thru Google, and located that it is truly informative.
    I am going to be careful for brussels. I will be grateful for those who proceed this in future.
    A lot of other people will probably be benefited from your writing.
    Cheers!|
    I’m curious to find out what blog platform you have been utilizing?

    I’m experiencing some minor security issues with my latest website and I’d
    like to find something more safeguarded. Do you have any solutions?|
    I am extremely impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your weblog.
    Is this a paid theme or did you modify it yourself?
    Anyway keep up the excellent quality writing, it’s rare to see a great blog like
    this one today.|
    I am really inspired along with your writing talents as smartly
    as with the format to your blog. Is that this a paid subject or did you customize it your self?
    Either way stay up the excellent quality writing, it’s uncommon to see a great blog like this one these days..|
    Hi, Neat post. There is a problem together with your website in web explorer,
    may check this? IE still is the marketplace leader and a huge part of folks will omit
    your magnificent writing because of this problem.|
    I’m not sure where you’re getting your information, but great topic.
    I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding more.
    Thanks for fantastic info I was looking for this info for my mission.|
    Hello, i think that i saw you visited my weblog so i came to “return the favor”.I’m trying to find things to enhance my web site!I suppose its ok
    to use a few of your ide
    \

  23. We’ve been offering Nearly a dozen litecoins to our
    lucky winner of a blog post operator with the targeted prize discount code.
    The results shall be available in 4-weeks time. Your own prize code is:
    FPBOZ7

  24. authentic jerseys,all sports jerseys

Leave a Reply

Sorry, entry/modification for this VSP event is currently closed. If you already entered, enter your email address to view current picks.