Velominati Super Prestige: Men’s World Championship Road Race 2016

Three riders stand out in this photo: Sagan, Van Avarcan’t*, and Deggencobble in the drops, crushing it up the stupid-steep cobbled final climb at the 2015 Worlds in Richmond, Virginia. I’ve never thought much of Virginia, if at all, and I certainly never thought of Virginia’s many cobbled climbs. Goes to show that not everything below the Mason-Dixon Line is rubbish.

The photo says it all: only 66% of the riders climbing in the drops lost the World Championships, while 100% of the riders climbing on the hoods lost them. The science is conclusive: something about climbing in the drops gives you extra Awesome Speed.

From a traditional standpoint, I can’t say the US is the best place to host World Cycling Events. That said, the old Coors Classic was badass as shit, and both the CX and Road World Championships hosted here were easily the best in recent times in both disciplines. Merca: crushing it. So long as we don’t include “winning” within the concept of “crushing it”. But as far as hosting a great race? Nailed it.

Even less traditional is the Qatar Worlds location. As Gianni said, flat and cross winds. Very Dutchish or Flemishish, on the surface of it. Have you ever been in a sauna and had someone blow on you because they are an asshole? If you have, you will realize that in that sort of heat, adding wind makes the wet parts of your skin burn, not cool. In other words, cross winds in the desert is like racing in Belgium while Beelzebub chases you about with a flamethrower.

At least doffing leg warmers and extra jerseys won’t slow anyone down.

Get your picks in by the time the countdown clock goes to nil, and good luck. Oh, and study the start list, as if it helps. Remember: a Don Walker frame is on offer for the winner of the VSP! A custom steel frame!

*Except he Van Avercould at the Olympics. Quite the time to pull out the “No More Second Places” card.

[vsp_results id=”75561″/]

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190 Replies to “Velominati Super Prestige: Men’s World Championship Road Race 2016”

  1. Go Go Gorilla! No place for Cav – surely he can’t peak 3 times in 1 year.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Griepel
    2. Matthews
    3. Demare
    4. Sagan
    5. Kristoff
  2. I want Sagan to win again. I think one of ze Germans will win. I hope Cav can win. I have nothing to lose in the VSP at this stage, racing for pride.

    Also, could look at that picture for a long time. This is what it takes to be the best. Super badass awesomeness. In the drops.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Cav
    2. Gorilla
    3. Ewan
    4. Sagan
    5. Viviani
  3. 1: Sagan again

    2: Cavendish

    3: Kristoff

    4: Degenkolb

    5: Holst Enger

     

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Sagan
    2. Cavendish
    3. Kristoff
    4. Degenkolb
    5. Holst Enger
  4. Of course, there’s always this: “Kittel, Greipel, Bouhanni and Cavendish should wait, work together and be smart, they should say to each other: ‘let’s do everything possible so that the race ends in a sprint’, otherwise a ‘Van Patapon’ could win,” L’Equipe reported Cipollini as saying.”

    So maybe I should pick Van Patapon?

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Greipel
    2. Kristoff
    3. Cavendish
    4. Bouhanni
    5. Kittel
  5. Boonen will go out with a bang! Or not. But I want him too.

    I think Matthews is the smart choice, but shut up brain.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Tom Boonen
    2. Greg Van Avermaet
    3. Edvald Boasson Hagen
    4. Andre Greipel
    5. Michael Matthews
  6. Van Avermaet did a lot more canning than that:

    1st  Tirreno–Adriatico, including two stages.

    TdF: Stage 5

    1st Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal

    1st Omloop Het Nieuwsblad

    1st Gullegem Koerse

    Eneco Tour: Stage 5 (TTT)

  7. We’ve been training in heat and winds like this all summer in Phoenix. It sucks. Like Qatar but with actual cycling fans.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Matthews
    2. Sagan
    3. Greipel
    4. Cav
    5. Bouhanni
  8. @John Irvine

    Van Avermaet did a lot more canning than that:

    1st Tirreno–Adriatico, including two stages.

    TdF: Stage 5

    1st Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal

    1st Omloop Het Nieuwsblad

    1st Gullegem Koerse

    Eneco Tour: Stage 5 (TTT)

    Hey, no fair! When did facts start mattering?

    …Also, yes he won more this year but still you have to agree on balance in his career he’s been better at getting second than first.

  9. My dark horse pick would be for Tony Martin to take it from 20km out.  The man by himself was only 2-3kph slower than a full team (which included him).

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Cav
    2. Greipel
    3. Gaviria
    4. Sagan
    5. Matthews
  10. As a Yankee born to Brooklyn born Yankees, I never, ever thought I’d live anywhere but the northeastern U.S. As an ‘Murican ball sports player who didn’t do much bike riding after turning 12, I never thought I’d be an avid participant in a sport without a ball (or puck).

    And so I sit here now owning a home and living in central North Carolina. A year removed from traveling north to get to the World Championships, and a few years removed from traveling northwest to get to the World Cyclocross Championships. And I’m a Follower and ride a bicycle seven days a week.

    I’m (happily) living in a very different situation than I ever imagined for myself. But, that’s okay, life definitely isn’t predictable.

    Last year was awesome! That cobbled climb pictured (was it Franklin Street?) was pretty bonkers. I don’t see this year being as exciting and I’m not sure I’m going to tune in for the whole race.

  11. Sagan for the double!

    @TheVid I’d like to see Martin do something like that, so I’ll toss him in the mix.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Sagan
    2. Matthews
    3. GVA
    4. Tony Martin
    5. Greipel
  12. @BacklashJack

    We’ve been training in heat and winds like this all summer in Phoenix. It sucks. Like Qatar but with actual cycling fans.

     

    Yeah, it’s always rough to train here in the summer.  Then to rub (dried sweat) salt into the wounds, the guys and gals living just to the north shell me out the back this time of year because they’ve had a whole summer of beautiful weather and altitude training.

  13. Since I am far off the podium this year, I will pick who I want to see win, not who’s necessarily likely. Sagan for the repeat.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Sagan
    2. Van Avermaet
    3. Boonen
    4. Cavendish
    5. Greipel
  14. i feel like, no matter the course length, it’s going to come down to raw speed and nothing else.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. gaviria
    2. bouhanni
    3. cavendish
    4. greipel
    5. matthews
  15. Lets be honest it’s a bit of a dice roll. Is it still shortened to 106km? The forecast is for no wind.

     

    At least in the Road Race there won’t be camelbaks under skinsuits, though I totally understand why they were doing that (and ice packs) for the TT

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Cav
    2. Bouhanni
    3. Gaviria
    4. Griepel
    5. Matthews
  16. “Goes to show that not everything below the Mason-Dixon Line is rubbish.”

    Ah regionalism, well now that I’ve come to live in New England for the past 21 years, I’ve come to realize that not everyone here are fast talking, impolite, assholes as was the thinking in my beloved South. However those which are, are quite similar in character to the slow talking, polite assholes that I grew up with.

    But I digress, I too am putting in the folks I want to win.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Boonen
    2. Sagan
    3. Cavendish
    4. Bouhanni
    5. Greipel
  17. @MangoDave

    @BacklashJack

    We’ve been training in heat and winds like this all summer in Phoenix. It sucks. Like Qatar but with actual cycling fans.

    Yeah, it’s always rough to train here in the summer. Then to rub (dried sweat) salt into the wounds, the guys and gals living just to the north shell me out the back this time of year because they’ve had a whole summer of beautiful weather and altitude training.

    I’m going to start using that excuse as well. :)

     

  18. Since I am completely out of the running for VSP, I can play this game however I want. My pick; anyone but Bouhanni.  He’s insufferable enough already.

    Sagan pulling a Bugno would be cool….

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Sagan
  19. VSP PICKS:

    1. CAVENDISH, Mark
    2. GREIPEL, Andre
    3. SAGAN, Peter
    4. KRISTOFF, Alexander
    5. GAVIRIA, Fernando
  20. I didn’t get past this;

    “Have you ever been in a sauna and had someone blow on you” 

    I can honestly say nobody has ever blown on me in the sauna.

     

  21. VSP PICKS:

    1. Andre Greipel
    2. Michael Matthews
    3. Mark Cavendish
    4. Dylan Groenewegen
    5. Peter Sagan
  22. VSP PICKS:

    1. CAVENDISH Mark
    2. KRISTOFF Alexander
    3. GROENEWEGEN Dylan
    4. GREIPEL André
    5. GAVIRIA RENDON Fernando
  23. apologies for clogging the site with erroneous comments but mobile communication in Macau sucks. Hope this time it works. Sagan will do it again.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Sagan
    2. Greipel
    3. Bouhanni
    4. Degenkolb
    5. Cavendish
  24. VSP PICKS:

    1. André Greipel
    2. Nacer Bouhanni
    3. Alexander Kristoff
    4. Peter Sagan
    5. Dylan Groenewegen
  25. VSP PICKS:

    1. Elia Viviani
    2. Andre Greipel
    3. Fernando Gaviria
    4. Greg Van Avermaet
    5. Nacer Bouhanni
  26. @KogaLover

    apologies for clogging the site with erroneous comments but mobile communication in Macau sucks. Hope this time it works. Sagan will do it again.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Sagan
    2. Greipel
    3. Bouhanni
    4. Degenkolb
    5. Cavendish

    OK, I’ll bite: what in the name of Merckx are/were you doing in Macau (Macao? Former Portuguese colony off the coast of China, if I remember correctly – and now part of China, with a bit of a Vegas-like vibe to it, apparently?) Bidniz? (P)leisure? Both? (Not that it’s any of my bidniz…)

  27. I’m just gonna keep putting in Sam Bennett into every VSP until he wins…

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Kittel, M.
    2. Démare, A.
    3. Bennett, S.
    4. Viviani, E.
    5. Gaviria, F.

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