Velominati Super Prestige: Milano-Sanremo 2016

Milan Sanremo. I know we’ve been watching the men and women crush the cobbles already, and that’s the spiritual beginning of the season, but La Primavera is the longest Classic of them all, and the first race of the season that will be a genuine target for all the gunslingers. Which makes this the symbolic start to the season and, typically, the first event of our annual Velominati Super Prestige.

Please don’t call it a fantasy cycling game; the VSP is based on the old season-long Super Prestige (and later the World Cup) which awarded points to riders for how they finished in the qualifying races. The points were tallied and whomever held the most points at the end of the season was declared the winner, was showered in champagne, got epic bragging rights, and presumably got the girl. During the year, the leader earned the right to wear the white leader’s jersey with verticalized rainbow stripes.

Our series is based on the same principle, where you select the riders you think will be in the top five, in order of finishing. Points are awarded for getting your picks right, and bonus points are on offer for getting close. The leader of the event gets a little white jersey as their posting badge, and those who win the events for the Monuments and Grand Tours get to post with a commemorative badge for the ensuing year.

For the last several years, we’ve also been offering some crazy prizes; a custom road frame to the winner, hand built wheels to the runner-up, and a full v-kit to the runner-up-runner. This year, we’re delighted to announce that our friend Dan Richter of Café Roubaix will be offering up another of our collaboration Velominati-CR Wheelworks wheelsets. The V-Kit is the same as last year, with the addition of the possibility to choose the new VLVV design should you so choose.

The big news is that Don Walker of Don Walker Cycles and the head honcho of the North American Handmade Bicycle Show is going to be offering one of his hand-built, custom road frames. I was introduced to Don through @Haldy, who owns something like five of his bikes. There is no denying it when you meet a fellow Velominatus: instant friendship. I had him build me a track bike for The Improbable Hour on Festum Prophetae, and now we’re flirting about my first custom road frame because my other bikes just seem so impersonal now.

Don is the quintessential small frame builder; he only take 6 customer orders per year so you won’t be rolling up to the local group ride only to find four other riders on the same steed. The rest of his bikes are for his team and for the therapy of working with his hands. Working with him on the bike design is an incredible experience; delving into riding style and position and fine-tuning every detail of the build. And then it quickly devolves into shit-talking and teasing. I am so excited to share this experience with the lucky winner.

With that, start prognosticating on your picks and check the scoring guidelines. I know some of you are doing some intense analysis, and recall that last season we had a tie which we had to break by going back to see which of the two were entering their picks in earlier on average. Also don’t Delgado it; we have been known to have the odd timing glitch and even though that’s not your fault, I’m still not going to manually enter your picks because you waited around and the window closed earlier than you thought it would. The kids probably have an emoji for that.

Good luck, and may the V be with you. VLVV.

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459 Replies to “Velominati Super Prestige: Milano-Sanremo 2016”

  1. It’s always a case of head vs heart with me. I really should get serious about the VSP, but I’m a dreamer.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Peter Sagan
    2. Alexander Kristoff
    3. Greg Van Avermaet
    4. Michael Matthews
    5. Sacha Modolo
  2. @xyxax

    Asked for devine inspiration and God told me to fuck off since I don’t believe in him.

    Nothing is for free anymore.

    As SGT Hathaway said to Inspector Lewis one time, “Don’t worry.  He won’t mind.”

  3. Go long or go home. Nibbles to spark something early (Cipressa?), but will call for his mama when the big boys pick up the pace.

  4. VSP PICKS:

    1. Alexander Kristoff
    2. Greg Van Avermaet
    3. Michael Matthews
    4. Fabian Cancellara
    5. Niccolo Bonifazio
  5. There. Expecting to be OTB on this

    . Faboo winning would be un-bloody likely but that would be the best outcome. Still, young Bling has some climbing and some sprinting in him. The V is strong with that one.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Bling
    2. Bonifazio
    3. Kennaugh
    4. Kristoff
    5. Visconti
  6. VSP PICKS:

    1. Michael Matthews
    2. Edvald Boasson Hagen
    3. Alexander Kristoff
    4. Fabian Cancellara
    5. Peter Sagan
  7. VSP PICKS:

    1. Fabian Cancellara
    2. Greg Van Avermaet
    3. Peter Sagan
    4. Zdenek Stybar
    5. Michael Matthews
  8. Oops. No Greipel. He’d need a miracle at the best of times leave alone when he’s not starting!

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Sagan
    2. Kristoff
    3. Matthews
    4. Swift
    5. Cancellara
  9. @Gianni

    Yes, Cancellara winning would be the most best outcome outside these VSP overthinkings coming home good.  Who last pulled the Strade Bianche and MSR double?  Of course I could look it up.

  10. @xyxax

    @Gianni

    Who last pulled the Strade Bianche and MSR double? Of course I could look it up.

    Yes, of course I remembered that Strade Bianche is younger than most of my underwear so the question was silly.  That’s why I asked Gianni.

  11. With Hola on Chrome set to Italy – we managed to find an Italian feed of MSR that is working just fine….

     

  12. Cracking finish! Nul points for me.

    Result:

    1. DEMARE Arnaud

    2 SWIFT Ben

    3. ROELANDTS Jurgen

    4. BOUHANNI Nacer

    5. VAN AVERMAET Greg

  13. Great to see Demare win and happy to see FdJ get a classic. Watched it on RAI 3 – bit of panic as the feed cut out with 3 kms to go but got back on. So close for Sky again but I guess Demare just has some more fumes in the tank at the end. The pace for the last hour was crazy. Kudos to the big beast Stannard for having a crack too.

  14. Wow, congrats to RNo.  Caught up in the same crash as Matthews, down on his luck and form a couple of years ago, and comes good in a big way.  And French to boot.

    And I only was certain about who was going to come in fifth, so I won too!

  15. @wiscot

    I like Stannard a lot — I have a soft spot for Thomas (my grandmother was Welsh), but I like Stannard’s dash. Last years Omloop Het Nieuwsblad? Amazing. 

  16. on the other Eurosport stream, after the main channel had finished, they showed the podium. Backstage Roelandts and Swift chatting. Swift “I think I prefer it when it’s raining” Roelandts “yeah”.

     

  17. Look like Gaviria was swiped by GVA. Had an overlap, everyone swings right, Gaviria doesn’t go right quick enough. Sagan and Cancellara caught behind that- Sagan had been being very very clever till then and had let the chasing be done by others.

  18. @Al__S

    Yeah, it was sad to see Sagan boxed in like that after riding well. He was right up in there.

    I was watching from my trainer and my rpms must have jumped by 15 or 20 when that crash hit.

  19. If you figure on the speeds involved, i can’t believe Sagan didn’t get collected by Gaviria, BUT that totally hosed him and Cancellara (and me, for the VSP).  Chapeau to Demare tho, i like that guy.

    Eurosport said Swift had almost been caught in the crash? I couldn’t see it, but hownahelldhe get up there then?

  20. @Minnesota Expat

    After Cancellara, there are about six-seven possible winners and everyone here is picking a variation of those six-seven. Watch the VSP winner score 20-21 points.

    Or maybe not and watch the VSP leaders score 1-2 points. Cruel race.

  21. @portemat

    Wonder how long I can keep this kind of result going??

    By not missing a single entry, not one, including the women’s races. Think with your head, not your heart, be tactical in your picks and check everyone else’s entries. Check the betting sites. Subscribe to rider and team Twitter accounts. Read everything you can find on cyclingnews and velonews. Oh, and learn French, Spanish and Italian. Then you need a healthy dose of luck.

    That’s about it. Good luck!

  22. Happy to be wrong about this one to have Demare take a Monument. Also awesome to have a Frenchman take a Monument. He’s the first since Jalabert at Lombardia in 1997, non?

  23. @Minnesota Expat

    What the holy hell? Check betting sites? Use your head? Follow Twitter? That’s some serious Rule #74 shit going on there. Next you’re going to tell me you only wear boss orange socks when you ride, too. What happened to the purity of our sport and the VSP?? No wonder I can’t win one of these things!!

  24. @portemat

    @Minnesota Expat

    thx… in the meantime, I think I shall post rather more than usual – kind of like the leaders jersey next to my name!

    It’s short lived. You have about four months from the end of the season to next year’s San Remo!

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