The bunch climbs the Mur de Huy

The bunch climbs the Mur de Huy

Velominati Super Prestige: Men’s La Fleche Wallonne 2016

by / / 219 posts

Don’t these race organizers understand how confusing it is when races are held mid-week? It means we have to have to manage against unrealistic expectations like realizing what day of the week it is and then do the sums on how much lead time we want to give on the VSP.

Which is obviously too much to expect. Of me, anyway. I have a lot of big deals cooking, you see. Its very complicated and important. I could tell you about it but you probably wouldn’t be able to handle it all.

So. That leaves us with about 20 hours for VSP picks entry. Sorry about that. Hopefully you’ve already been prognosticating on the start list and have your game together already. If not, I hope you do well under pressure. Don’t forget there are awesome prizes on offer: Don Walker is giving away a free custom steel frame, Café Roubaix is giving away a carbon wheelset, and we are giving away a free V-Kit.

Good luck!

Final Race Results
1. VALVERDE Alejandro
2. ALAPHILIPPE Julian
3. MARTIN Daniel
4. POELS Wouter
5. GASPAROTTO Enrico
Final VSP Results
1. ojhart (13 points)
2. taon24 (12 points)
3. CanuckChuck (12 points)
4. Wietse Verbrugghe (12 points)
5. Father of Four (12 points)
6. xyxax (12 points)
7. RedRanger (12 points)
8. Quasar (12 points)
9. Snowy (12 points)
10. Kevin (12 points)
11. Steampunk (12 points)
12. bwjosh (12 points)
13. Minnesota Expat (12 points)
14. Heusdens (12 points)
15. Canucklehead (11 points)
16. LawnCzar (11 points)
17. Teocalli (10 points)
18. Monti Martani (10 points)
19. Yagerbomb (9 points)
20. chuckp (9 points)
21. Fabshiddenmotor (9 points)
22. the Engine (9 points)
23. R00tdown (9 points)
24. Buck Rogers (9 points)
25. imakecircles (9 points)
26. Haldy (9 points)
27. Phillip Mercer (9 points)
28. mulebeatsdrums (9 points)
29. dancollins (9 points)
30. Barracuda (9 points)
31. Two Ball Billy (9 points)
32. JCM (9 points)
33. hudson (8 points)
34. RobSandy (8 points)
35. Vbikes (8 points)
36. brett (8 points)
37. tony macaroni (8 points)
38. Rom (8 points)
39. Kunanyi (8 points)
40. Chica (8 points)
41. Quadzilla (8 points)
42. Skip (8 points)
43. aaus (8 points)
44. Kay_Jay (8 points)
45. LavaPupil (7 points)
46. universo (7 points)
47. Byron (7 points)
48. moondance (7 points)
49. LeoTea (7 points)
50. Lebowski Achiever (7 points)
51. John Irvine (6 points)
52. MikeK (6 points)
53. Cameron W (5 points)
54. GoldenGorilla (5 points)
55. Duende (3 points)
56. red_riviera (3 points)
57. Iain Taggart (3 points)
58. wiscot (3 points)
59. oldensteel (3 points)
60. CJ@178 (3 points)
61. Erik (3 points)
62. bsqueeze (3 points)
63. Radar (3 points)
64. Nicholas (3 points)
65. ramenvelo (3 points)
66. Bart (3 points)
67. osbk67 (3 points)
68. 1860 (3 points)
69. Rigid (3 points)
70. Harminator (3 points)
71. il muro di manayunk (2 points)
72. Stefan (2 points)
73. BacklashJack (2 points)
74. plynie (2 points)
75. freddy (2 points)
76. Jed (2 points)
77. Pierre Couderc (2 points)
78. Rusty Gramm (2 points)
79. Pot Belj (2 points)
80. Peyton (2 points)
81. BenAndo (2 points)
82. gilly (2 points)
83. Luis Gee (2 points)
84. Bianchi Denti (2 points)
85. Lukas (2 points)
86. JohnB (2 points)
87. sthilzy (2 points)
88. Alex_Todo (2 points)
89. Tom Mc (2 points)
90. ziggy (2 points)
91. seemunkee (2 points)
92. bea (2 points)
93. wilburrox (2 points)
94. cycleman3000 (2 points)
95. Giotto (2 points)
96. dpalazzo (2 points)
97. portemat (2 points)
98. Clingon (2 points)
99. chris (2 points)
100. Slowtrane (2 points)
101. BaltoSteve (2 points)
102. Neil (2 points)
103. DVMR (1 points)
104. VbyV (1 points)
105. MangoDave (1 points)
106. AJ (1 points)
107. Matthew M (1 points)
108. VirenqueforeVer (1 points)
109. SamV (1 points)
110. TheVid (1 points)
111. Hansen (1 points)
112. Chickenmcnasty (1 points)
113. Al__S (1 points)
114. Mikael Liddy (1 points)
115. dyalander (1 points)
116. oneninefiveninesix (1 points)
117. dinosaurJR (1 points)
118. piwakawaka (0 points)

// Velominati Super Prestige

  1. Shit. 2 out of 5 and they’re in the wrong places. That f*cker Valverde sure knows how to climb the Huy. Danny Boy shot his bolt a bit early and Jules just didn’t have it.

    Those hills in the last 15k are just horrendously steep.

  2. @wiscot

    Shit. 2 out of 5 and they’re in the wrong places. That f*cker Valverde sure knows how to climb the Huy. Danny Boy shot his bolt a bit early and Jules just didn’t have it.

    Those hills in the last 15k are just horrendously steep.

    Yup, if fuck’in Danny-Boy could have held on to 2nd I would be sitting pretty nice. Oh well, LBL should be super!

  3. @Teocalli

    @chuckp

    I’m just learning now (as race is underway) that Henao was pulled by Sky over biological passport irregularities. FFS! If possible, I want to substitute Alaphilippe for Henao.

    With the posts immediately above any generosity for being asleep is out!

    Yeah, while I am not on “The Committee” that makes the calls on VSP disputes, I have never seen anyone allowed to swap a rider out once the race has started, for any reason.

    Might just be a case of a broken wheel on the Hem section while in the break, i.e. shit-out-of-luck.

  4. @Buck Rogers

    had martin not blown himself to bits on the last stretch of the huy, i’d be sitting pretty too…vavlerde! i had him pegged for the two slot

  5. I don’t get Etixx. I really don’t. Is there any other team that consistently gets to implement their strategy perfectly only to shit the bed at the finish line? It looked to me as though the set-up guy was the stronger of the two. We’ll never know, but it seems as though Alaphilippe setting up Martin might have yielded the better result. I’m not complaining: I had Valverde first and Martin third. But they always seem to get to do what they want and still not win (I know this is one of the biggest and winningest teams, but still…).

  6. @Buck Rogers

    @Teocalli

    @chuckp

    I’m just learning now (as race is underway) that Henao was pulled by Sky over biological passport irregularities. FFS! If possible, I want to substitute Alaphilippe for Henao.

    With the posts immediately above any generosity for being asleep is out!

    Yeah, while I am not on “The Committee” that makes the calls on VSP disputes, I have never seen anyone allowed to swap a rider out once the race has started, for any reason.

    Might just be a case of a broken wheel on the Hem section while in the break, i.e. shit-out-of-luck.

    I don’t expect an exception will be made. Just making my case. I literally found out about Henao when I got to work this morning (0800 EDT in USA). I don’t know when the announcement was made, but obviously sometime between when I went to sleep last night and when I got to work this morning. Yes, shit out of luck. Just sucks that eleventh hour circumstances having nothing to do with the race itself eliminates a pick. But I am happy with 3 out of 5 with 2 in the correct place.

  7. @Steampunk

    I don’t get Etixx. I really don’t. Is there any other team that consistently gets to implement their strategy perfectly only to shit the bed at the finish line? It looked to me as though the set-up guy was the stronger of the two. We’ll never know, but it seems as though Alaphilippe setting up Martin might have yielded the better result. I’m not complaining: I had Valverde first and Martin third. But they always seem to get to do what they want and still not win (I know this is one of the biggest and winningest teams, but still…).

    Not only that, but they chased with Jungels in the break. If break was going to be caught (and it would’ve been), they should’ve let another team do the work.

  8. @chuckp

    @Teocalli

    Crikey 3 out of 5 and 2 in the correct places. I may have peaked.

    Blimey! You and me both! Although I’m sure I won’t be allowed my plea to sub Alaphilippe for Henao upon learning about Henao’s w/d (although my plea was with like 40-50km to go so well before the race was decided), I could potentially have 4 out of 5 with 2 in the correct places.

    No chance! You can’t even swap out for free during a GT if a rider crashes out, let alone if a rider gets pulled for dodgy biological data in a midweek classic. Mind you, having the option to make switches with 10k to go would be fun but will not happen as a) frank won’t allow it and b) it would crash the site.

    Damn, those European roads looks so smooth! Unlike the friggin farm tracks and shitty roads here in WI . . .

  9. @wiscot

    Shit – define European or maybe Brexit is so that UK roads can be excluded from that category.

  10. @wiscot

    @chuckp

    @Teocalli

    Crikey 3 out of 5 and 2 in the correct places. I may have peaked.

    Blimey! You and me both! Although I’m sure I won’t be allowed my plea to sub Alaphilippe for Henao upon learning about Henao’s w/d (although my plea was with like 40-50km to go so well before the race was decided), I could potentially have 4 out of 5 with 2 in the correct places.

    No chance! You can’t even swap out for free during a GT if a rider crashes out, let alone if a rider gets pulled for dodgy biological data in a midweek classic. Mind you, having the option to make switches with 10k to go would be fun but will not happen as a) frank won’t allow it and b) it would crash the site.

    When a team pulls a rider after the VSP picks have closed but before the race has started is a completely different circumstance than crashing out or changing picks mid-race because something happened to your rider during the race. Unique circumstance. Don’t know that it’s ever happened before. And we’re not all in the local (or even close to local) time zone to be able to know/do something about it (if that’s a possibility).

    I know @frank won’t allow it.

  11. Strangely, it appears that VSP was open this morning even after the race had started. I almost got a Henau swap in under the wire, but it closed on me. But that was well into the race, (if not the broadcast.)

    In any case, I’m happy to have 3 in the top five, and third exact.

  12. @John Irvine

    Strangely, it appears that VSP was open this morning even after the race had started. I almost got a Henau swap in under the wire, but it closed on me. But that was well into the race, (if not the broadcast.)

    In any case, I’m happy to have 3 in the top five, and third exact.

    That’s the Keeper’s stealth test for breaches of the Petit Principle.

  13. I make my VSP picks and go bed early to make sure I’m rested for this evening’s team ride… first thing I see this morning is that Henao is out. Crap.

    (shrug)

    That’s bike racing.

  14. @chuckp

    I know! The tone of my comment would have been much easier to convey if emoticons were allowed!

  15. @wiscot

    @chuckp

    I know! The tone of my comment would have been much easier to convey if emoticons were allowed!

    And I know I shouldn’t complain. I got #1 and #5 right plus picked Dan Martin to be in the top 5.

  16. @chuckp

    That was weird, too. Although, I’m perfectly willing to accept that Jungels would probably have finished third if that trio had stayed away. His job was to soften, but it was strange nevertheless.

  17. @Teocalli

    @Buck Rogers

    @Minnesota Expat

    Just a reminder to the VSP newbies. From UPS yesterday. This is real.

    No. I don’t live in Australia.

    HOL—EEEE-FUCK!!!

    Jeeezhus, man! Where are the pics of the opened box!!! Don’t leave us hanging like this!!!

    I can imaging sitting and staring at that for all of 0.75 Sec before reaching for the Stanley Knife.

    I wish, but I’m on the road for work. The VMH did take a peak and it’s all wrapped up and bound with orange Jaegher tape. I want a roll of that tape!

    Almost as fun, is pulling the trigger on a big component order for the build. Nice big fat tax return landed in the bank account yesterday, time for some shopping tonight!

  18. Odd Christian Eiking (FDJ) came in 124th place at La Fleche Wallone

  19. @Steampunk

    @chuckp

    That was weird, too. Although, I’m perfectly willing to accept that Jungels would probably have finished third if that trio had stayed away. His job was to soften, but it was strange nevertheless.

    The break was never going to stay away. Red meat for the hounds. They might have gotten caught later had Etixx not chased, but they were going to get caught. Movistar played it right. Izaguirre in the break and just sitting in, and they let other teams take up the chase. Jungels never had a chance. He got spit out the back almost immediately after the peloton swallowed them up. So why Etixx wasted energy is beyond me. It’s like Etixx just finds ways to not win.

  20. Oh no, it did “delgado” and now I am too late :-)

  21. Purito looked pretty good until he didn’t. I presume he just sat up once he realized the gig was up. As exciting as it is to watch them tear up the Mur de Huy, the last couple of years have been a little anti-climactic. Valverde gets to the front and everyone more or less just follows him up. Kudos to Martin for trying to animate, but I miss Gilbert and his fireworks.

  22. @Steampunk I wonder if he pulled the pin when he saw how easy his “mate” was doing, given their history I don’t think he’d be all that keen to be seen to assist Malmerde in any way unless he was a real chance at the win himself.

  23. @chuckp

    @wiscot

    @chuckp

    @Teocalli

    Crikey 3 out of 5 and 2 in the correct places. I may have peaked.

    Blimey! You and me both! Although I’m sure I won’t be allowed my plea to sub Alaphilippe for Henao upon learning about Henao’s w/d (although my plea was with like 40-50km to go so well before the race was decided), I could potentially have 4 out of 5 with 2 in the correct places.

    No chance! You can’t even swap out for free during a GT if a rider crashes out, let alone if a rider gets pulled for dodgy biological data in a midweek classic. Mind you, having the option to make switches with 10k to go would be fun but will not happen as a) frank won’t allow it and b) it would crash the site.

    When a team pulls a rider after the VSP picks have closed but before the race has started is a completely different circumstance than crashing out or changing picks mid-race because something happened to your rider during the race. Unique circumstance. Don’t know that it’s ever happened before. And we’re not all in the local (or even close to local) time zone to be able to know/do something about it (if that’s a possibility).

    I know @frank won’t allow it.

    The race rolled out at 11:40 CEST; VSP picks closed at 13:00 CEST. Obviously it sucks for those on the US west coast, but those with an eye on the news sites would have known about Henao before picks closed.

    Just sayin’.

  24. Hmm – my picks aren’t loading – I picked Martin for third – but it must have mapped Tony instead of Dan, which would be on me for not being specific enough.

  25. @mulebeatsdrums

    The race rolled out at 11:40 CEST; VSP picks closed at 13:00 CEST. Obviously it sucks for those on the US west coast, but those with an eye on the news sites would have known about Henao before picks closed.

    Just sayin’.

    1300 CEST is 0700 my time (EDT). For those of us who have real jobs, at that hour I’m getting ready to go to go to work (and taking my daughter to school) not checking anything on my computer. I don’t know when the news broke about Henao, but likely while I was asleep. So I’m just sayin’ too.

  26. @frank Shouldn’t I have 10 points? 7 for picking Valverde to win. 2 for Gasparatto in 5th. Plus 1 for picking Martin to be in the top 5.

  27. @chuckp

    @mulebeatsdrums

    The race rolled out at 11:40 CEST; VSP picks closed at 13:00 CEST. Obviously it sucks for those on the US west coast, but those with an eye on the news sites would have known about Henao before picks closed.

    Just sayin’.

    1300 CEST is 0700 my time (EDT). For those of us who have real jobs, at that hour I’m getting ready to go to go to work (and taking my daughter to school) not checking anything on my computer. I don’t know when the news broke about Henao, but likely while I was asleep. So I’m just sayin’ too.

    I don’t like the insinuation that I don’t have a “real job” (I do), but having read back my original post, it is extremely arsey in tone, which was not at all my intention. Apologies for any offence caused. I was just pointing out that the news was public prior to picks closing.

  28. @mulebeatsdrums

    We’re all good. If I offended you, apologies. In the end, it is what it is. Not life or death.

  29. @chuckp

    I’m guessing, like me you just put “Martin” in as your selection. As there were two Martins racing it probably mapped Guillame instead of Dan.

  30. Sooo….do you think Paris-Roubaix sucked all the V out of western Europe?

  31. @Harminator

    I think La Fleche is traditionally a bit of a lull – you know, just something to keep the guns turning over between Paris-Roubaix and L-B-L. Personally I like to think of La Fleche as the “Ginger Stepchild of the Classics”… But then again I think of a lot of things…

    I predict that there will be V a plenty at Liége, at Bastogne, at Liége again and all the little places in between, though.

  32. @Teocalli

    @Ron

    Ahem…

    In case it’s not on your calendar, today is Dutch American Friendship day. What is that? Well it goes back to 1782 when John Adams was the US President and when he paid a formal visit to The Hague. Our first embassy in the Netherlands opened on this day and it’s been apple pie and stroopwafels ever since.

    I recently discovered the proper way to treat/eat a Stroopwafel is to use it as a lid for your coffee (or tea) to warm and soften it before eating. We were gutted to crack the lid to our Stroopwafel jar recently so replacement on the list when we go to Eroica Limburg.

    This is the truth!

    Got a box of stoopwafels on my desk right now.

  33. The Fleche has moved me up to 10th overall. I have learned that the best way to keep a steady tick of points in the VSP is to make sure you NEVER DELGADO.

    And also to pick Valverde sometimes even when you hate his guts. I’m not proud of myself but I want some new wheels…

  34. @dyalander

    @chuckp

    I’m guessing, like me you just put “Martin” in as your selection. As there were two Martins racing it probably mapped Guillame instead of Dan.

    I also just put Martin thinking Dan was the only Martin in the race, but checking my picks just now, it seems to have mapped Tony Martin! Ok, hands up, I should have just typed three more letters and this problem would have been avoided, but can I have my point please. It will increase my massive haul for this race by 100%!

  35. @RobSandy

    The Fleche has moved me up to 10th overall. I have learned that the best way to keep a steady tick of points in the VSP is to make sure you NEVER DELGADO.

    And also to pick Valverde sometimes even when you hate his guts. I’m not proud of myself but I want some new wheels…

    Exactly! (well, at least about picking Malmerde–I have no delusions of grandeur that I’ll be on the podium at the end of the year but he was such a shoo-in for the win I could not NOT pick him–but, at least in a sporting sense, I HATE that guy’s fuck’in guts as well)

  36. @DVMR

    @dyalander

    @chuckp

    I’m guessing, like me you just put “Martin” in as your selection. As there were two Martins racing it probably mapped Guillame instead of Dan.

    I also just put Martin thinking Dan was the only Martin in the race, but checking my picks just now, it seems to have mapped Tony Martin! Ok, hands up, I should have just typed three more letters and this problem would have been avoided, but can I have my point please. It will increase my massive haul for this race by 100%!

    But really … Anyone who picked just Martin meant Dan Martin. He’s the only Martin with a chance in a race like Fleche. I want my f**ing point, dammit!

  37. @dyalander

    @chuckp

    I’m guessing, like me you just put “Martin” in as your selection. As there were two Martins racing it probably mapped Guillame instead of Dan.

    Yeah, I got caught out by that in a previous VSP. When the last name is Martin you have to be specific on whether it’s Dan or Tony. Same goes for the Yates boys or the Sagans if they’re both racing.

  38. @Harminator

    Sooo….do you think Paris-Roubaix sucked all the V out of western Europe?

    The subsequent races have most certainly been lacking in panache, based on previous editions, this isn’t an issue I see changing this weekend either.

  39. @Teocalli

    Thanks for posting and love the interview with the Badger. As much of an SOB as he could be at times, I like the part where he gives a shout out to the other riders who finished that day, saying no-one ever talks about them. From what I’ve read on Hinault, when it was a race HE wanted to win, it was all about him, but if not, he was a very keen and generous teammate. The b&w pic they use at the beginning of the piece shows Sean Kelly who abandoned. That’s how tough it was!

  40. @Teocalli

    Influence for the weekend…….

    http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/news/racing/liege-bastogne-liege-raced-snow-bad-weather-set-hit-ardennes-221750?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=Social

    Brilliant video. Should be required viewing for all Velominati and hell, all pro riders, esp the point he makes at 1:02. “No one is obliged to finish a race.”

    Le Blaireau, fuckin hard as nails.

  41. Also love his big damn smile at the start, while the reporter is asking him some questions. Tells you how proud he is to have won that day and how insane the conditions were!

  42. @Buck Rogers

    @Teocalli

    Influence for the weekend…….

    http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/news/racing/liege-bastogne-liege-raced-snow-bad-weather-set-hit-ardennes-221750?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=Social

    Brilliant video. Should be required viewing for all Velominati and hell, all pro riders, esp the point he makes at 1:02. “No one is obliged to finish a race.”

    Le Blaireau, fuckin hard as nails.

    Indeed. When he won Roubaix in 81, he crashed and punctured several times in a race he detested. Most riders would have chucked it. He didn’t. He got back with the leaders (Moser, DeVlaeminck, DeMayer, Van Calster and Kuiper) and beat them in the sprint on the velodrome.

  43. @chuckp

    Aye, we’re good. The nature of the anonymous forum that is the internet makes is all jackasses in the end. It’s our job to Rule #43 it!

  44. @wiscot

    @Buck Rogers

    @Teocalli

    Influence for the weekend…….

    http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/news/racing/liege-bastogne-liege-raced-snow-bad-weather-set-hit-ardennes-221750?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=Social

    Brilliant video. Should be required viewing for all Velominati and hell, all pro riders, esp the point he makes at 1:02. “No one is obliged to finish a race.”

    Le Blaireau, fuckin hard as nails.

    Indeed. When he won Roubaix in 81, he crashed and punctured several times in a race he detested. Most riders would have chucked it. He didn’t. He got back with the leaders (Moser, DeVlaeminck, DeMayer, Van Calster and Kuiper) and beat them in the sprint on the velodrome.

    Fotheringham interview RD about that win for his recent Badger biography. RDV was still astounded by Hinault that day. Said when they got to the velodrome he thought Hinault went too early and was going to lead him out, but he just kept kicking faster and faster…no-one got close.

    RDV also compare Hinault to Merckx, saying something like ‘I raced Eddy a lot and beat him sometimes, no-one could get near Hinault that day.’ The footage is probably some of my favourite ever cycling racing on film.

  45. @wiscot

    @Buck Rogers

    @Teocalli

    Influence for the weekend…….

    http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/news/racing/liege-bastogne-liege-raced-snow-bad-weather-set-hit-ardennes-221750?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=Social

    Brilliant video. Should be required viewing for all Velominati and hell, all pro riders, esp the point he makes at 1:02. “No one is obliged to finish a race.”

    Le Blaireau, fuckin hard as nails.

    Indeed. When he won Roubaix in 81, he crashed and punctured several times in a race he detested. Most riders would have chucked it. He didn’t. He got back with the leaders (Moser, DeVlaeminck, DeMayer, Van Calster and Kuiper) and beat them in the sprint on the velodrome.

    Fuck it, any chance to watch this.

    They get to the velodrome at 5:00, and from then on the Badger mercilessly crushes their souls.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdjP4TFwDEc

  46. @RobSandy

    @wiscot

    @Buck Rogers

    @Teocalli

    Influence for the weekend…….

    http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/news/racing/liege-bastogne-liege-raced-snow-bad-weather-set-hit-ardennes-221750?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=Social

    Brilliant video. Should be required viewing for all Velominati and hell, all pro riders, esp the point he makes at 1:02. “No one is obliged to finish a race.”

    Le Blaireau, fuckin hard as nails.

    Indeed. When he won Roubaix in 81, he crashed and punctured several times in a race he detested. Most riders would have chucked it. He didn’t. He got back with the leaders (Moser, DeVlaeminck, DeMayer, Van Calster and Kuiper) and beat them in the sprint on the velodrome.

    Fotheringham interview RD about that win for his recent Badger biography. RDV was still astounded by Hinault that day. Said when they got to the velodrome he thought Hinault went too early and was going to lead him out, but he just kept kicking faster and faster…no-one got close.

    RDV also compare Hinault to Merckx, saying something like ‘I raced Eddy a lot and beat him sometimes, no-one could get near Hinault that day.’ The footage is probably some of my favourite ever cycling racing on film.

    Yeah, That’s what makes champions champions. Not just physical ability but mental ability. When BH wanted to win and set his mind to it, he was virtually unstoppable. I’m reading the Kelly bio Hunger and even though Kelly (in our eyes I think) became a peer of The Badger and quite unafraid of other riders, he was still intimidated by the Frenchman. Guimard reckoned he had more talent than Merckx.

    BTW Hunger, by Kelly, is a great read. Wonderfully casual in tone, never forgets a name, he was clearly in the sport to make money. The fame he got used to, but from the start making a better living than bricklaying was the goal. Very frank on his strengths and weaknesses and a thorough examination of cycling that doesn’t exist now. Total pro as he tells of tactics and getting worked over in the 84 Ronde. Training camps? Forget that shit. His DS De Gribaldy basically starved him nutritionally and raced him instead of training. Thoroughly recommended.

  47. @wiscot

    @RobSandy

    @wiscot

    @Buck Rogers

    @Teocalli

    Influence for the weekend…….

    http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/news/racing/liege-bastogne-liege-raced-snow-bad-weather-set-hit-ardennes-221750?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=Social

    Brilliant video. Should be required viewing for all Velominati and hell, all pro riders, esp the point he makes at 1:02. “No one is obliged to finish a race.”

    Le Blaireau, fuckin hard as nails.

    Indeed. When he won Roubaix in 81, he crashed and punctured several times in a race he detested. Most riders would have chucked it. He didn’t. He got back with the leaders (Moser, DeVlaeminck, DeMayer, Van Calster and Kuiper) and beat them in the sprint on the velodrome.

    Fotheringham interview RD about that win for his recent Badger biography. RDV was still astounded by Hinault that day. Said when they got to the velodrome he thought Hinault went too early and was going to lead him out, but he just kept kicking faster and faster…no-one got close.

    RDV also compare Hinault to Merckx, saying something like ‘I raced Eddy a lot and beat him sometimes, no-one could get near Hinault that day.’ The footage is probably some of my favourite ever cycling racing on film.

    Yeah, That’s what makes champions champions. Not just physical ability but mental ability. When BH wanted to win and set his mind to it, he was virtually unstoppable. I’m reading the Kelly bio Hunger and even though Kelly (in our eyes I think) became a peer of The Badger and quite unafraid of other riders, he was still intimidated by the Frenchman. Guimard reckoned he had more talent than Merckx.

    BTW Hunger, by Kelly, is a great read. Wonderfully casual in tone, never forgets a name, he was clearly in the sport to make money. The fame he got used to, but from the start making a better living than bricklaying was the goal. Very frank on his strengths and weaknesses and a thorough examination of cycling that doesn’t exist now. Total pro as he tells of tactics and getting worked over in the 84 Ronde. Training camps? Forget that shit. His DS De Gribaldy basically starved him nutritionally and raced him instead of training. Thoroughly recommended.

    I love the story he tells of the croissant shaped stains on the tablecloth every morning at breakfast, because de Gribaldy used to go around the tables and remove them before the riders got out of bed. The poor fuckers were half starved!

  48. I was just thinking, you’ve got to fucking hate Malmerde, but you know what, he finished 3rd in last years tour as well as all this one day shit. The guy is a 100% fucking hitter. Sometimes wish he would OTB in the neutral zone as well… something about getting his face smacked in appeases me..

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