Velominati Super Prestige: Milano San-Remo 2012

Velominati Super Prestige: Milano San-Remo 2012

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The Poggio. It’s probably one of the most famous easy climbs in the world; going through old cycling photographs, I rarely come across one where the leaders haven’t moved Sur La Plaque. It has a reputation, however, for being a real leg breaker, mostly because any climb is a big climb once you cross its summit after a paltry 291 kilometers. And the descent provides one of the twistiest, most exhilarating finales in the sport.

This race stands apart as the longest on the calendar, and represents the only of the five Monuments where the sprinters have a chance at final glory. But this can have it all: the long, solo break routinely makes it to the finish uncaught. The final attacks on the Poggio regularly stick. The attack that goes away on the climb often gets caught on the descent. And, sometimes the whole thing stays together for a bunch gallop. Essentially, any ride who is on form has a chance at glory. This is a unique race.

The question on everyone’s mind is wether Cavendish can get over the Poggio in position to make it to the finish in the first group. If he does, then you can jot down the winner right now. He’s lost some significant weight in the last few weeks, so his climbing should be good; we also have it on good authority from our eyes and ears on the roads in Italy that the Manx Mouth has been spotted training in the hills of Italy with the express intention of making it over the last bump. If, on the other hand, he gets spat out the back like a rainbow turd when the road points uphill, it will be a free-for-all. The fast semi-climbers with descending skills like Nibbles are talking big about their chances. And who in their right minds would ever discount Faboo with his brommer or Gilbert once he fires the howitzers.

So rub your lucky rabbit’s foot and throw some salt over your shoulder; you’re going to need some divine intervention on this one. This year’s VSP is also the first year where we’ll be offering a special badge to the winner of the monuments. We can’t unveil the MSR Badge yet, but the winner of this VSP event will have the honor of posting with the badge until next year’s event. The winner will also receive a free Symbol Pack. Check the start list and get your picks in by 5am Pacific on Saturday morning; if timezone arithmetic isn’t your strong suit, just watch the countdown timer in the banner at the top of the site. As usual, your points go towards the overall VSP as well.

Good luck.

// Velominati Super Prestige

  1. @Pedale.Forchetta

    Great photos as usual – and I love seeing a (relatively) big frame with a slammed -17 degree stem!

  2. While I’ve defended his win in my posts here, I’m going to have to disagree here that his win was “panache-tastic”. Smart, crafty, and well earned, yes. If Cancellara dropped everyone on the climb, decended beautifully, and held off the sprinters, that would have been “panache-tastic”.

    Panache from MW Dictionary: Dash of flamboyance in style and action.
    Panache from Cambridge Dictionary: a stylish, original and very confident way of doing things that makes people admire you

    There is nothing flamboyant or stylish about his well calculated move. It lacked reckless abandon and sense of power. Cancellara’s work showed more panache then Gerrans. It was a good move and a great kick, but everyone knows who was the stronger man of the group.

    Its ok to win a race and lack panache, its just going to be disappointing to some people, as we’ve seen in the comments.

  3. @Nof Landrien

    Forgot to click reply before ranting…

  4. @frank
    Should be the bike of Michael Schar (6 ft 5 in)…

  5. Beautiful quote from Stephen Roche, which I think portrays the tactics of the finale yesterday:

    ‘ULTIMATELY, I HAD TO BE PREPARED TO LOSE IN ORDER TO WIN’

    -STEPHEN ROCHE

    via @brr

  6. Cancellara, before after and a bonus photo.

    The Germans call this emotion ‘Die Enttäuschung’.

  7. @Pedale.Forchetta
    Fantasic photos of the riders, the best I’ve seen of this race by far. I love the before and after. In color, very nice. It looks cold in Milano. Keep them coming.

  8. Cancelarra must intimidate everyone at the start, he looks like the King Death Spider in that bad-ass kit and glasses. He is the Man.

  9. I like these guys

  10. @Pedale.Forchetta
    Millar is boss, but were was the team at the end? not one rider in the top ten!

  11. @Pedale.Forchetta
    Super shots, thanks for posting.

  12. @Pedale.Forchetta
    Thanks, Pedale. Great shots.

  13. @Gianni

    Cancelarra must intimidate everyone at the start, he looks like the King Death Spider in that bad-ass kit and glasses. He is the Man.

    I think I saw that band at the Finnish Metal and Church Burning Festival.

  14. @frankOoh, methinks thy doth protest too much!

  15. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CHAKie2XiU0&feature=player_embedded#!
    Seems a couple of blokes at Greenedge had an idea what Faboo would do
    The finish is from 2:30 – “they’re not going to catch this – fabian will pull”

  16. @tommeesee
    Man, that is a great video. That shows what a win means to a team. Lots of bleeps going on too. Thanks.

  17. @tommeesee

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CHAKie2XiU0&feature=player_embedded#!
    Seems a couple of blokes at Greenedge had an idea what Faboo would do
    The finish is from 2:30 – “they’re not going to catch this – fabian will pull”

    Whole lotta bromance up in there! Nice!

  18. Can someone from the land down under tell me what GreenEDGE is? I googled it, but there’s like 1.8 zillion results.

  19. @scaler911
    It’s the edge of a field that has the greenest grass so attracts the finest sheep.

  20. @Pedale.Forchetta

    I like these guys

    Me too – Millar seems a real class act and, incidentally, the only one who comes across as a non-wanker in Blood Sweat and Gears. Farrar, based on my short ride with him a few years ago, seemed like an absolutely fantasticly nice guy. Almost too nice.

    Great photos. All along. My VMH is drooling over those shots of Faboo and Boonen. Its a little weird.

  21. @scaler911
    It’s just the name of the team, much along the same lines as Leopard.

  22. @scaler911
    Greenedge is a cycling team, nothing else. They’re still looking for a major sponser i believe

  23. @RayElVis
    Not quite, it’s currently backed privately by the family behind one of the sponsors Jayco (heavily involved in sponsoring Cycling Australia). They’ve said that they’re not going to be the major sponsor & will only back the team for 2 years after which they’ll need to find a major sponsor to replace the Ryan family. Keep winning like this & they should be fine.

  24. @Pedale.Forchetta
    As always, thank you, friend: super shots and taken with the keen eye of a Velominatus.

    @frank: I think we need some kind of permanent little V-camera icon to accompany @Pedale.Forchetta’s posts on the site.

  25. @Marcus

    @minion
    You had me at “I was right..”

    That’s just Creepy.

    @Bretto – Herk! It’s a shop joke, you use herk when someone takes the piss out of you and you’ve got no comeback.

  26. @Steampunk

    @Pedale.Forchetta
    As always, thank you, friend: super shots and taken with the keen eye of a Velominatus.

    @frank: I think we need some kind of permanent little V-camera icon to accompany @Pedale.Forchetta’s posts on the site.

    I agree! Thanks as always for sharing, Pedale!

    Will you be the official photographer of the Keepers Tour?

  27. @Mikael Liddy

    @RayElVis
    Keep winning like this & they should be fine.

    What, like HTC Highroad and LeOpard was fine ?

    I’m pleased to see Gerro and the other Aussies doing well but I’m not sure that having new teams set up as expensive train sets for wealthy individual backers is a good thing for the sport.

    If they couldn’t get even modest corporate backing off the back of all the Australian success on road and track in the last few years you have to wonder how they ever will.

  28. @ChrisO
    Yeah I thought about that as soon as I posted it.

    I think the main reason Jayco won’t come on board as major sponsor is that they’re a major sponsor of Cycling Australia & they didn’t want it feel too much like a national team on the Pro Tour (don’t ask me how it’s different when it’s the Ryan’s own money as opposed to Jayco’s, it was their explanation).

  29. @ChrisO
    I think another problem in attracting sponsors was that people were still a little wary after the previous year’s Pegasus debacle, I suppose my original point was hopefully some success will convince a sponsor or two to take a shot on them.

  30. @Pedale.Forchetta
    Beautiful shots!

    Any advice on photography? I’m bringing a 50mm and a 15mm to the Keepers’ Tour. You have a nice combination of composition and clarity!

  31. @G’rilla
    Lenses are perfect, you’ll be close to our friends, so you do not need a tele.
    Just put your passion in the camera!

  32. @mcsqueak
    I’d love to but…

  33. Cancellara had to pull, or finish 10th or something.

    Also, I recently saw a discussion about Nibbles descending skills: it seems most people think Nibali is a good descender because he is just reckless. This in comparison with technical descenders as Cancellara and (a tad older) Savoldelli. I tend to agree.

    What are the opinions on this?

  34. @tommeesee
    Great video. Fantastic to see the whole team enjoying the victory like that. Gerro, Stevo, Whitey – anyone would think they’re a bunch of Aussie’s!

    @Mikael Liddy
    That and the fact that they will be hard pressed to get an Australian company that will see the benefits of being the major sponsor of an international (even though it is Australian) team unfortunately. They will need to get some interest from abroad if it’s going to have the legs.

  35. @il ciclista medio
    If you were running an Aussie biz would you think it worthwhile to sponsor GreenEdge? Guy just wins a monument, no coverage on free to air news. So the only way your company might obtain some publicity in Australia is during the Tour (presuming mainstream Aussie media (wrongly) put more weight on a Tour stage win than a Monument.)

    Unfortunately, to me, an Aussie company would be mad to sponsor a team – unless they valued Euro-based publicity… Because they get nothing in Australia.

  36. @Marcus

    @il ciclista medio
    If you were running an Aussie biz would you think it worthwhile to sponsor GreenEdge? Guy just wins a monument, no coverage on free to air news. So the only way your company might obtain some publicity in Australia is during the Tour (presuming mainstream Aussie media (wrongly) put more weight on a Tour stage win than a Monument.)

    Unfortunately, to me, an Aussie company would be mad to sponsor a team – unless they valued Euro-based publicity… Because they get nothing in Australia.

    Agree – if it is to be an Australian sponsor it needs to be an international type company/brand such as QANTAS or Fosters or what ever BHP is called presently.
    Sad when a team like Highroad did have a lot of success and yet still folded due to lack of a sponsor.

  37. @anotherdownunder
    True, had to hunt to find any mention of the win on any Aussie news websites, which was good for me as I watched a torrented version the next day and didn’t have the result spoilt for me. The one article I did find still didn’t mention Gerrans as the National Champ.

  38. @Marcus

    @anotherdownunder
    Agreed, that’s exactly my point. There isn’t any benfit to them so why would they? Unless they were planning on expanding into the Euro markets, but again, it would be short lived, a season perhaps.

  39. First chance to check in after the race. Thank goodness I picked Cancellara at number 2! My steady march up the leaderboard continues, ten points behind the leaders!

  40. 500+ posts, wow. had no idea he was fast enough to challenge valverde. he did everything right. fabs could have slowed to risk a regroup and see if gerro would come ahead. until that were to actually happen, gerro is right to hold his advantage and sit on. fabs chose 1:1 instead. y’know, he’s a winner b/c he rolls with a seat bag and pump. :)

  41. @Pedale.Forchetta
    Just had a look through the whole set, spectacular photos.

    Who was the wrecked BMC rider getting ushered through the finish area? He didn’t look like he was in great shape!

  42. Sweet as, Pedale!

    I was actually riding this morning & out of the air thought, “Hey, I haven’t seen any great shots out of my (virtual) Italian cycling pal & photographer extraordinaire. What’s goin’ on?”

    And I return home to see them. Incredible.

  43. I’m only seeing the photos Pedale.Forchetta put up in the thread. Is there a link to the whole set?

  44. @Ron
    I’m in contact with Frank, we are trying to make something dedicated to the MSR (photos of course), I’ve just sent to Gianni a brief story about La Classica di Primavera (Spring Classic).

  45. Haussler

  46. @Mikael Liddy
    More than few riders piled up during the race, some of them arrived to Sanremo by bike, some in the broom wagon, but you can’t take photos of them. It’s not ethic.

  47. @Pedale.Forchetta
    Is it just me or does Haussler’s bike look tiny there?

    No real surprise it’s a woman getting right up close to him for a photo op, I’d dare say he’d do ok for himself…

  48. @Mikael Liddy
    Yes you are right, and he was not alone…

  49. @Mikael Liddy
    It does look kind of comical. I think something’s gone awry in the uploading. The bloke behind the photographer has a huge head.

  50. @napolinige
    It’s most likely the barrel distortion from a wide angle lens. Stretches parts of the image around the edges.

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