Velominati Super Prestige: Milano-San Remo

Velominati Super Prestige: Milano-San Remo

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The second annual Velominati Super Prestige kicks off with La Primavera, Milano-San Remo on March 19. The first Monument of the year, MSR is the first true showdown of the year where all the big names will be en forme and willing to sell their mothers to notch this prestigious win.  Although known for its famous climbs including the Cipressa and the Poggio, it isn’t the terrain that poses the greatest challenge in this race, but it’s distance.  At almost 300km, this race is a monster. Without having ever ridden it, I can tell you with zero confidence that the Poggio is not a steep or difficult climb, but with a big pile of kilometers already ridden, even its moderate gradient will weigh heavy in the legs.

MSR often finishes in a bunch sprint, but not always. With a well-timed attack on the Poggio and more than a handful of seconds buffer before starting the descent, riders with technical descending skills (sorry, Les Freres Grimpeur, never gonna happen) can stay away and spoil the day for the fast men.

We find ourselves with a pile of data gleaned from watching Paris-Nice and Tirreno-Adriatico, but La Primavera happens to be enough of a wild-card that all that data will only serve to cloud judgement. Our advice? Take out the radio earpiece to and vote on feel.

The winner of this VSP edition will earn an “Obey the Rules” bumper sticker  and all reader’s points qualify towards the final prize of the free personalized Velominati Shop Apron.  This year we’ve enhanced the entry mechanism; if you are inclined to enter, simply post your predictions for the top five placings in the designated area above the posts section, bearing in mind that entry/modification of picks closes at 5am Pacific time on the day of the race.  Check the Super-Prestige main page for rules and scoring information.

Good luck.

// Velominati Super Prestige

  1. finally got to see the last 2km of the race. damn am I impressed with Faboo’s sprint. only got 2 points towards the VSP but Im glad to see him in such good form.

  2. I thought Chain-L and especially Mascarponi showed some heart today.

  3. Frank, this isnt a glitch or anything, but the box in the uper right hand corner still says 2010 VSP instead of 2011

  4. @minion
    You are confusing Kiwi’s with Aussies now. We loathe the Kiwi’s unless they win and then of course we claim them as one of our own like Henderson.

  5. @anotherdownunder
    Sorry meant @il ciclista medio……

  6. well F me – I’m sitting 3rd on the GC! I very nearly picked Cancellara in my top 3 bought didnt think he would make it over the last climb. Bugger!
    Rock on round 2
    Gossy you’re a legend!

  7. anotherdownunder :
    @minionYou are confusing Kiwi’s with Aussies now. We loathe the Kiwi’s unless they win and then of course we claim them as one of our own like Henderson.

    Like the Sydney Morning Herald remaing the New Zealand football team “Australasia” after they drew against italy…

  8. anotherdownunder :
    @minionYou are confusing Kiwi’s with Aussies now. We loathe the Kiwi’s unless they win and then of course we claim them as one of our own like Henderson.

    Like the Sydney Morning Herald renaming the New Zealand football team “Australasia” after they drew against Italy…

  9. Since I was a perfect 0 for 5, I’d like to inquire about the Lanterne Rouge. Who gets the dubious destinction?

  10. Should have stuck with my original picks. Going with the first impressions/gut next time.

  11. @anotherdownunder
    @minion

    Yes, we (i.e. Aussies) are famous for claiming our cousins across the ditch as our own, be they sportspeople or anyone else famous for that matter, as soon as they do well on the world stage – e.g. Split Enz (for a while), Russ Crowe (though you can have him back), Crowded House (they were sort of a 50/50 mix) to name a few.
    At the end of the day I’m happy to see either one of ours doing well in the world. Our comparatively small populations mixing it up with the best of the best and coming out on top, makes for a contented ciclista.

    BTW, Any news on when NZ is joining us as our 7th state?

  12. Awesome race.

    Here is another fan of listening to King Kelly announce. I watch all these races online and love listening to him. Even when it is a Grand Tour I can still listen while they try to fill the time until the finish on long, flat stages.

    Goss!

  13. It’s great that an Aussie won (and I say that as a proud Kiwi), but really it wouldn’t matter which country he came from – that was a super classy win from a young feller over some of the finest riders of the current peloton. Very cool.

  14. Regarding what sites to use for live viewing, here in the U.S., I’ve had really good luck with cyclingfans.com. I used to go to steephill.tv first, but cyclingfans has come through for me quite well so far this season.

    Sean Kelly is fast becoming my favorite commentator. His understanding of how breaks look, how the peloton reacts, and how strategies unfold are awesome to listen to. He’s almost always right about whether something will stick or if someone’s move will work. It’s like I have a DS with me while I watch. So cool.

  15. One of the best keepsake of yesterday was seeing Goss with his family/friend celebrating the victory while taking pictures of him with a small point and shot with his Milano Sanremo Trophy.
    A very beautiful and intimate scene that I did not consider to invade with my camera.

  16. Jeff in PetroMetro:
    Since I was a perfect 0 for 5, I’d like to inquire about the Lanterne Rouge. Who gets the dubious destinction?

    Last official finisher was:

    156 Kasper Klostergaard Larsen (Den) Saxo Bank Sungard

    According to cyclingnews.com

    Finished with a decent-sized group at 18:25

  17. @blaireau
    As a practicing, full-time narcissist, I want to be awarded a red jersey as the Lanterne Rouge of the VSP, considering how I COMPLETELY.SUCKED.ASS.

  18. Pedale.Forchetta:
    One of the best keepsake of yesterday was seeing Goss with his family/friend celebrating the victory while taking pictures of him with a small point and shot with his Milano Sanremo Trophy.
    A very beautiful and intimate scene that I did not consider to invade with my camera.

    I wish more photographers had such decency. A+1.

  19. @Jeff in PetroMetro
    Did any NZ Velominati have any luck finding live coverage? If so, where?

  20. @Jeff in PetroMetro

    As a practicing, full-time narcissist, I want to be awarded a red jersey as the Lanterne Rouge of the VSP, considering how I COMPLETELY.SUCKED.ASS.

    We’ll come up with something befitting your position. Don’t worry. Right now, I’m thinking maybe I’ll just change your screen name to LOSER. Simple, clean, elegant.

  21. @all
    Updated VSP Schedule; all the events and their date are listed the VSP page. We are open to suggestions on events to add/remove, but in principle, they have to be tough races with some class to them. ToC doesn’t qualify, neither does Romandie. Questionable for the Canadian races, but those were some pretty hotly contested races last year, so we’re putting them in for now.

    Also note that we’ll have two VSP’s going simultaneously for the Dauphine and Suisse. That should test the software.

  22. @all
    All this Aussie-NZ talk brings up a question for me. Where is Zealand? Because according to my assumed understanding of Colonial etiquette, NEW Zealand must have originally been a colony of the OLD Zealand, right?

    As for Aussie/NZ, it seems very reminiscent of how Dutchmen feel about Flemish cycling; you wanna see a mad Dutchman? (You don’t.) Then call him a Belgian. But when it comes to the classics, our colors start to really run…At least mine do.

  23. @Marcus

    frank:
    @all
    Here are some time conversions for those of you on the side of the planet that matters:
    Start Time:
    10am CET (Europe)
    5am EDT (USA)
    4am CDT (USA)
    3am MDT (USA)
    2am PDT (USA)
    Earliest Coverage (SteepHill.tv):
    2:15pm CET (Europe)
    9:15am PDT (USA)
    8:15am PDT (USA)
    7:15am PDT (USA)
    6:15am PDT (USA)

    “the side of the planet that didn’t supply the winner too”

    Very, very, very well played.

    @Oli Brooke-White

    It’s great that an Aussie won (and I say that as a proud Kiwi), but really it wouldn’t matter which country he came from – that was a super classy win from a young feller over some of the finest riders of the current peloton. Very cool.

    Absolutely agree. I couldn’t even hold beating Faboo against him. Masterful win.

    @Pedale.Forchetta

    One of the best keepsake of yesterday was seeing Goss with his family/friend celebrating the victory while taking pictures of him with a small point and shot with his Milano Sanremo Trophy.
    A very beautiful and intimate scene that I did not consider to invade with my camera.

    Class. Pure class. Really looking forward to your full account!

  24. frank:
    @Jeff in PetroMetro

    As a practicing, full-time narcissist, I want to be awarded a red jersey as the Lanterne Rouge of the VSP, considering how I COMPLETELY.SUCKED.ASS.

    We’ll come up with something befitting your position. Don’t worry. Right now, I’m thinking maybe I’ll just change your screen name to LOSER. Simple, clean, elegant.

    …or maybe a recumbent icon?

  25. @frank
    I am just wondering how any of you have made a connection between Goss’ win and New Zealand? It’s like linking COTHOs tour wins and Canada?

  26. @frank
    You have to thank our old Dutch friend Abel Tasman for that. He discovered NZ, Tasmania and missed Australia.

  27. @frank

    We’ll come up with something befitting your position. Don’t worry. Right now, I’m thinking maybe I’ll just change your screen name to LOSER. Simple, clean, elegant.
    Of course, you’ll give me back my regular screen name IF I redeem myself.

  28. frank :
    @allAll this Aussie-NZ talk brings up a question for me. Where is Zealand? Because according to my assumed understanding of Colonial etiquette, NEW Zealand must have originally been a colony of the OLD Zealand, right?
    As for Aussie/NZ, it seems very reminiscent of how Dutchmen feel about Flemish cycling; you wanna see a mad Dutchman? (You don’t.) Then call him a Belgian. But when it comes to the classics, our colors start to really run…At least mine do.

    When I was a grad student in London, a grad student from San Francisco asked me to explain where New Zealand was. I tried. I really did. But as she didn’t know where Australia, Japan, or China were, it was a fruitless exercise. Eventually she confess that she had been surprised, upon landing in London, to find that England was not part of the same land mass as Europe. She, like me, was at that time studying psychology. I think I can trace my decision not to pursue it as a profession to that moment. So, Frank, without wioshing to suggest the US educational system has similarly faailed you, see the folllwing:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Zealand. Aotearoa (which literally translates as “land of the long white cloud”)[8] is the current Māori name for New Zealand, and is also used in New Zealand English. It is unknown whether Māori had a name for the whole country before the arrival of Europeans, with Aotearoa originally just referring to the North Island.[9] Abel Tasman sighted the islands in 1642 and named them Staten Landt, assuming they were connected to land off the southern tip of South America.[10] In 1645 Dutch cartographers renamed the islands Nova Zeelandia after the Dutch province of Zeeland.[11][12] British explorer James Cook subsequently anglicised the name to New Zealand.[

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zeeland. Zeeland ( pronunciation (help·info)), also called Zealand in English and Zeelandic, is the westernmost province of the Netherlands. The province, located in the south-west of the country, consists of a number of islands (hence its name, meaning “sea-land”) and a strip bordering Belgium. Its capital is Middelburg.

    Hope that helps.

    BTW, New Zealand and Australia are not part of the same land mass.

  29. Fucksticks

    @Frank
    I know I did shit mate, but did you have to leave me out of the results completely? By the way, way to go on the numbers on the start line

  30. @G’phant
    eheheh…

  31. speaking of Nova Zeelandica or whateverthefuck, what the hell happened to KiwiCyclist? I miss that dude. Did you finally knock him off, G’phant?

  32. @Marko
    Like many of Gphants countrymen, kiwicyclist is over here with us in Oz. Expect something from the loser shortly. He likes attention – and is also a classic example of a kiwi who claims an Australian victory as his own. Except when it comes to rugby of course – which only interests the middle and upper classes of two Australian states so doesn’t count

  33. Marcus :
    @frankI am just wondering how any of you have made a connection between Goss’ win and New Zealand? It’s like linking COTHOs tour wins and Canada?

    You mean he’s not Canadian?

  34. @minion
    Ahem! Too small, actually. We like our cyclists big””Tuft, Rollin, Hesjedal””basically, just too small for hockey…

  35. @frank
    Old Zeeland was host to stages of both the Giro and the Tour last year mate. The super sketchy, crash-infested early stages right along the Dutch coast. Followed by the even sketchier, more crash-infested Ardennes stage in the Tour…

    Ahhh the memories.

    Sucked balls at VSP. Good start to the season – only way is up.

  36. @G’phant
    THE DUTCH JUST DON’T STOP GIVING. My Merckx, we’re awesome. I knew I liked New Zealand. Very familiar with the Dutch one…my uncle Max is a Baron over there, beatiul place down there. I’m glad I asked, because it just reinforced the raddness of Our Precious Essence.

    @Jarvis
    Weird. I’ll look into it. Nothing personal, but it might have had to do with sneaking up unnoticed.

  37. G’phant :
    @Jeff in PetroMetroDid any NZ Velominati have any luck finding live coverage? If so, where?

    Yo no se.

    I didn’t even know there was an OLD Zealand, but I bet they get excellent live coverage.

  38. @frank
    Isn’t old Zealand really the Dutch province of Zeeland?

  39. @G’phant
    Next time I will finish reading the threads before posting.

    @frank
    I thought the Dutch were loud. The whole entry should be in ALL CAPS.

  40. speaking of Nova Zeelandica or whateverthefuck, what the hell happened to KiwiCyclist? I miss that dude. Did you finally knock him off, G’phant?

    Did I hear my name being called?

    @Frank – New Zillind is rad – you should go – it has incredible riding terrain (both on and off road), scary roads but beautiful scenery. Plus they know how make proper coffee and play proper (rugby) football over there.

    Why don’t you come across for the Tour Downunder next Jan, then do a side trip to NZ? The antipodean Velominati will ‘show you a good time’ with or without bike in either location.

    @Marcus, eat dick – I ain’t bitin’.

    @Brett, your recent article about letting the bush grow on the guns couldn’t have been more prescient. I have been, well not quite bedridden but, suffering through the first of the virus’ (bad headcold -yeah I know -pussy) that sweep the nation when autumn kicks in here and have not been able to throw a leg over any of the bikes in the collection in anger (apart from the cruiser on Sunday) for nearly 9 days while I do my best to cough up my lung lining.
    I’ve got to the point where personal grooming habits have fallen away, the ‘bush’ on the guns is starting to look like a ‘normal’ man’s legs and Mrs Kiwicyclist is starting to give me disconcerting sideways glances I haven’t seen since before we had kids.
    Should I (a) abandon La Vie temporarily and make the most of the potential action coming my way, while similtaneously working on acquiring early winter flab build up and letting my form on the bike continues to deteriorate or (b) stop this backsliding at once and lather up at the earliest possibility?

    p.s. great win by Goss. I’m looking forward to watching it when I’m finally allowed access to the fvcken TV in my household…

  41. @Kiwicyclist
    1. Refer Rule #5. Amazing that your alleged cold made itself known AFTER you were dropped like a bad habit in your last race of summer. Read Rule #5 again.
    2. Refer Rule #33. Brett’s article was clearly a test to see who has been paying attention. You failed.
    3. Goss’s win has nothing to do with you. You are from New Zealand.

  42. So, fellow Velominati, as you can see – Marcus and I have something of a symbiotic relationship.

    And I told you not to mention that last race to anyone.

    Ever.

  43. Love your photos on La Gazzetta Della Bici, Pedale.Forchetta!

  44. @Kiwicyclist
    Hmmm, quite a conundrum you have. If the only way for you to get ‘action’ is to resemble a sasquatch, then I say make the most of it, but then lather up asap while you can still see your toes.

  45. @Oli Brooke-White

    Awesome, thanks for the link. I love the black and white shots of the old Italian guys in hats and sweaters waiting for the race to come by.

  46. @Oli Brooke-White
    Thanks for sharing!

    Pedale–Your photos are very intimate, very personal. They are amazing. I have no idea how you get such quiet, peaceful images when everything around you must be on the verge of chaos. So beautiful.

  47. Oli Brooke-White:
    Love your photos on La Gazzetta Della Bici, Pedale.Forchetta!

    Nice. This one is my favorite:

  48. @all
    Pedale wrote an exclusive bit for us which has just been posted; check it out.

  49. @Pedale.Forchetta
    Amazing photos from a great day of racing and you were in a team car! You are the Man.
    Why didn’t I put Fabooo in my picks? A mistake I will not make for the rest of the Spring. I didn’t know Fabs had such a good sprint after 300k. He is also the Man, almost as cool as Pedale Forchetta.

  50. @Kiwicyclist
    Shave your damn guns. You’re a fucking cyclist, or rather a non-fucking cyclist. Show some pride. You have to ask yourself, would you rather ride or be ridden? The V or some v? I’d chose ride and The V, which likely explains the $7000 pair of bikes and the zero girlfriends for three years and counting. Hmmm…

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