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.

[vsp_results id=”38071″/]

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

  1. @Minnesota Expat

    @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!

    There is, of course, a MSR icon that follows you for the year. Congratulations on that.

  2. @Steampunk

    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?

    I thought Jalabert was in Les Miserables. The inspector.

  3. @xyxax

    I thought Jalabert was in Les Miserables. The inspector.

    Yes. And he committed suicide by throwing himself into the Seine.

     

  4. @Minnesota Expat

    @xyxax

    I thought Jalabert was in Les Miserables. The inspector.

    Yes. And he committed suicide by throwing himself into the Seine.

    He would do that just to fuck my VSP. Et tu inspector Jaja?

  5. WTF,  that wasn’t in the brochure.

    Fkn crashes lose matches

    Bling unlucky

    Nacer Bouhanni unlucky to drop a chain in final sprint wind up.

     

  6. Is it only in cycling that all this weird stuff happens: landslide, crashes, great weather, ride through a smoke screen, young upstart sprinter crashes, frenchman wins…who invented this sport? It’s awesome!

  7. @GianniAwww, c’mon Gianni. Look on the bright side: you can’t get negative points (thank Merckx forhat!) and the only way forward is positive. I scored a big fat O too!

  8. @dinosaurJR

    On looking at the crash, I am amazed – really genuinely amazed the champ and faboo stayed upright.

    But here’s the thing: Swift was right there with Sparty and Pinchy and yet he got 2nd. Just sayin’ . . .

  9. Wow, what a crazy way to start the Super Prestige season. That must be one of the lowest point one-day wins ever.

  10. @oldensteel

    Wow, what a crazy way to start the Super Prestige season. That must be one of the lowest point one-day wins ever.

    I think that is usually Paris-Tours. Another low point VSP race. Hard to pick the winners there, but for different reasons than Milan-San Remo.

  11. @xyxax

    @Minnesota Expat

    @xyxax

    I thought Jalabert was in Les Miserables. The inspector.

    Yes. And he committed suicide by throwing himself into the Seine.

    He would do that just to fuck my VSP. Et tu inspector Jaja?

    Detective Javert might have done a nose-dive into the Seine, but he is not really dead. He just broke his collar-bone, tore up his kit, and scraped some skin off his butt. He should be healed and ready to line up for the Critérium du Dauphiné or Tour de Suisse.

  12. @wiscot

    True, but Gaviria fell away from BS. BS could just keep trucking more or less unimpeded whereas Sparty ‘n’ Pinchy had to deviate from their line quite a bit.

    But my intent was to highlight the superhuman bike handling more than to create excuses.

     

     

  13. @portemat

    @frank

    Boom! My first entry into VSP… Wonder how long I can keep this kind of result going??

    Chapeau. I won Strade Bianchi on my 1st go at the the VSP a few years back, this was pure beginners luck and since then I’ve not had a sniff of the action at the front of the VVelaton. So my advice is to pour yersel a drink, sit back and enjoy the moment. On the other hand you could follow @Minnesota Expat’s advice and start buying parts for that Walker frame.

  14. @sinikl

    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?

    Swift was caught behind Gaviria only he went right while Sagan and Cancellara went left. But, Swift’s swing to the right looked to have put him smack on Demare’s wheel.

    Swift, Cancellara and Sagan all made great moves around the fall and from the drops. Very cool.

    And what a MONSTER pull by Cancellara to bring back Kwiatkowski. Yowza.

  15. Looked like Boo-hooni’s chain slipped at the crucial moment. That guy has terrible luck and I suspect it’s mostly self made. I’m guessing the Assos Ninja was throwing stars to keep his awful stubble off the podium.

  16. This is just about my favourite race of the year and I Delgadoed! Who the fuck moved it back to Saturday. Could’ve sworn this was a Sunday race. Safe to say I would have missed the points anyway.

    Dam they honk it up the Poggio don’t they? Love to see guys having to brake into corners going uphill. Great result for Demare. Every dog has his day eh.

  17. 1 point. What a start to my VSP, only 7 off the lead!

    Did Demare hold onto his team car to get back on after his crash?

  18. @xyxax

    @Minnesota Expat

    @xyxax

    I thought Jalabert was in Les Miserables. The inspector.

    Yes. And he committed suicide by throwing himself into the Seine.

    He would do that just to fuck my VSP. Et tu inspector Jaja?

    Based on everyone’s VSP picks, it’s more like, ” Whooo aaammmm  I ???!!!!!

  19. @Rick

    Riders accuse Demare of taking a tow from a team car during Milan-San Remo

    Sticky Bottle?

    Apologies if already posted. Mods feel free to delete.

    I read that. Demare clearly can prove his innocence by providing his power meter and transponder data from the Cipressa. If he does not provide his proof, he is clearly guilty in my book.

  20. Armand has posted his data on strava and it would seem to be the real deal.  He logged the fastest time on the Cipressa @ 10:02 but it wasn’t way faster than anyone else – I think the next quickest was 10:15 or so. There is a small section near the top of the climb where his cadence drops and yet he continues to travel at 49kph – I suspect that is where he was retrieving a sticky bottle – nothing we haven’t seen any of the riders do.

    I think this may be a case of a pair of petulant home riders throwing stones at the 24 year old son of France that took the win.

  21. @kixsand

    Armand has posted his data on strava and it would seem to be the real deal. He logged the fastest time on the Cipressa @ 10:02 but it wasn’t way faster than anyone else – I think the next quickest was 10:15 or so. There is a small section near the top of the climb where his cadence drops and yet he continues to travel at 49kph – I suspect that is where he was retrieving a sticky bottle – nothing we haven’t seen any of the riders do.

    I think this may be a case of a pair of petulant home riders throwing stones at the 24 year old son of France that took the win.

    After he initially deleted it. Then reposted without the power.

    Tosatto has been around forever, his teammate won’t benefit from this, so hardly being petulant. To me, it looks pretty bad for Demare. But nothing will happen, because Pro racing is just riddled with corruption and cheats.

    Love it.

  22. @brett

    But nothing will happen, because Pro racing is just riddled with corruption and cheats.

    Well, yeah, all of pro sports. Maybe not curling, but do they get paid anything for spinning a stone down the ice? I’ll still spend three-hours on a beautiful sunny spring afternoon watching a stage from last years Giro, before watching a minute of pro football (Amurican style).

    What’s next, Ghent-Wevelgem and Tour of Flanders? Leaving Tuesday for two-weeks in Barcelona and our 20th anniversary (and a few stages of the Volta, of course). That’s entirely a coincidence, but the line-up is looking first class, just hoping for a decent internet connection!

  23. @brett

    @kixsand

    Armand has posted his data on strava and it would seem to be the real deal. He logged the fastest time on the Cipressa @ 10:02 but it wasn’t way faster than anyone else – I think the next quickest was 10:15 or so. There is a small section near the top of the climb where his cadence drops and yet he continues to travel at 49kph – I suspect that is where he was retrieving a sticky bottle – nothing we haven’t seen any of the riders do.

    After he initially deleted it. Then reposted without the power.

    Ok. So he has his biggest day and biggest win of his life, and quickly deletes his power data, not saving it to review or just have a souvenir. I’m good with that.

     

  24. The more I read about it, the more it looks like there was some “assistance” of a significant nature that allowed Demare to contest the final sprint.

    He certainly wasn’t going 80kph strapped to the side of a team car as stated by the complainants.  But, the numbers just don’t quite make sense either for a guy his size on a climb like that.

    It will be interesting to see if they take any steps towards investigating this further.  Or if any more evidence arises.

     

  25. Also,

    I can’t find anything to substantiate Brett’s claim that the power data was deleted when the file went back on strava.  I have to assume that power was never part of the strava upload – not unusual.

    FDJ has the power data and could provide it if they chose to or were compelled to do so.

  26. From Twitter

    PROOF: Shocking new photo of Arnold Demure getting into the FDJ team car on the Cipressa climb. #cheat

  27. @kixsand

    Also,

    I can’t find anything to substantiate Brett’s claim that the power data was deleted when the file went back on strava. I have to assume that power was never part of the strava upload – not unusual.

    FDJ has the power data and could provide it if they chose to or were compelled to do so.

     

     

    Just read something on cyclingnews. His defense is that if he was guilty, he would have been caught by the officials….and that he was going 50kph on the cipressa, not 80 (still setting the record up the climb).

    It also said the data was posted on strava briefly, then removed, only to be reposted sans power.

  28. @fignons barber

    @kixsand

    Also,

    I can’t find anything to substantiate Brett’s claim that the power data was deleted when the file went back on strava. I have to assume that power was never part of the strava upload – not unusual.

    FDJ has the power data and could provide it if they chose to or were compelled to do so.

    Just read something on cyclingnews. His defense is that if he was guilty, he would have been caught by the officials….and that he was going 50kph on the cipressa, not 80 (still setting the record up the climb).

    It also said the data was posted on strava briefly, then removed, only to be reposted sans power.

    His max speed was 52 according to strava, but Simon Yates mentioned his was also 54 in among the cars at the top of the climb.

  29. Not sure embedding a gif will work (I think they’re likely on Frank’s shit list along with emoticons & hashtags), but how bloody good are the saves from Sagan & Cancellara?

  30. @Mikael Liddy

    Yep, had to do a double take myself when watching the replay back yesterday.   Excellent skills and reaction times.  Pity Alonso didn’t do the same in Melbourne yesterday.

  31. @Mikael Liddy

    Not sure embedding a gif will work (I think they’re likely on Frank’s shit list along with emoticons & hashtags), but how bloody good are the saves from Sagan & Cancellara?

    That is absolutely amazing bike handling, both of them, but Sagan in particular. Damn! How fast were they going at that point? Full bore, almost full sprint? Cancellara’s rear wheel clearly locked up and went into a skid. And Sagan. The skills. A worthy world champ. Cancellara posted a few tweets about that finish, crash, and bike handling skills.

  32. @Minnesota Expat

    From Twitter

    PROOF: Shocking new photo of Arnold Demure getting into the FDJ team car on the Cipressa climb. #cheat

    HaHa. Wrong number, wrong race, wrong kit. Is it even Demare?

  33. @Minnesota Expat

    Well, yeah, all of pro sports. Maybe not curling, but do they get paid anything for spinning a stone down the ice? I’ll still spend three-hours on a beautiful sunny spring afternoon watching a stage from last years Giro, before watching a minute of pro football (Amurican style).What’s next, Ghent-Wevelgem and Tour of Flanders? Leaving Tuesday for two-weeks in Barcelona and our 20th anniversary (and a few stages of the Volta, of course). That’s entirely a coincidence, but the line-up is looking first class, just hoping for a decent internet connection!

    I grew up playing and watching all sorts of “American” ball sports. Not at all into cycling. Now…I can’t bear to watch a second of the NFL, NBA or MLB. I honestly think the NFL is just a ruse to sell people a) huge trucks they won’t use for trucking b) a new cell phone, that they don’t need c) terrible lite beer. It’s so slow, boring, scripted and overanalyzed and over-reviewed. I grew up watching a few hours on Sunday. Now I haven’t watched a game since the last Giants Super Bowl win.

    As for cycling…yup, I can watch it all the time.

    Enjoy Barcelona!

  34. Can I enter picks for next year’s MSR right away? Thinking a few guys want that one back!

  35. Crap, i posted this in the general VSP thread.

    But.  This is the funniest thing I’ve seen on the internet about the sticky bottle:

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