Velominati Super Prestige: Paris-Roubaix 2012

Velominati Super Prestige: Paris-Roubaix 2012

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We rode the Pavé of Roubaix in the dry, and any comforting feelings we might have been carrying about with us that suggested we had somehow prepared for them were summarily vaporized as we hit the first secteur. Riding together in a group, unable to reach for the brakes or the shifters, we all were hit with the same realization: these aren’t like the stones we have at home. Not if you live anywhere other than along the cobbled roads of Northern France. Not if you live in England. Not if you live in the Netherlands. Not even if you live in Belgium. And we won’t even talk about the rest of the world.

The Trouée of Arenberg is a sacred place. Arriving there, you feel the need to pray out of respect. Riding there, you feel the need to pray out of a sense of self preservation. There is no smooth path through these particularly rough cobbles. That was in the dry; if the race is wet as predicted by the weathermen (whom I assume are as bad at being right as they are in the States), then there isn’t a bag big enough to hold all the prayers the riders are going to need to get through these. And the Trouée is not the hardest or roughest secteur, by a considerable margin; that honor goes to Mons-en-Pévèle or Carrfoure de l’Arbre.

Keep an eye on the weather report as the race comes nearer, as wet roads will turn this race into one of attrition. Cancellara has broken his collarbone; Boonen, Pozzato, and Ballan are on form. But this is a long race, and details such as those matter little when a race contains over fifty kilometers of cobbles. Is it another year for the breakaway, or will the favorites close it down as they approach the finale? I don’t know, but watch the countdown timer and get your picks in by Sunday morning at 5am Pacific. Winner of this VSP event will earn the right to comment all year with the pavé commenting badge. We will also forgo the usual Symbol Pack prize awarded to a Monument and award the winner a copy of the local newspaper the day after the race.

Bon chance.

// Velominati Super Prestige

  1. @earnest
    Awesome! Great to see @frank sprinting over the fields with the V flag flying!

  2. @minion
    They kinda look like the Beatles crossing Abby Road. Is that Brett running without his shoes?

  3. @The Oracle

    The Veatles.

    Or AbbVy Road.

  4. @minion I thought running was for criminals, or is there a exemption when rushing to the next viewing point at Paris-Roubaix?

  5. BMC has been a pretty big bust so far this year. What is up with Thor?

    Boonen is fantastic, did you see the size of his triceps?

    Terpstra probably couldn’t keep up because of the shoe covers without warmers. Besides Boonen being amazing of course.

  6. @The Oracle

    @minion
    They kinda look like the Beatles crossing Abby Road. Is that Brett running without his shoes?

    Awesome analogy! Well played!

  7. @JIPM (and with my sincerest apologies to the women folk around here, really); Happy Birthday!

    Bike Porn (NSFW)

  8. @King Clydesdale

    @Buck Rogers

    @xyxax

    Sorry gents but Upstate Starts north of I-84. :)

    Hey Buck, how about a Central Park or West Point Cogal after the move? I live in Central PA now but grew up east of Albany. But the significant other will be living and working in Manhattan this summer, so I’ll be up there a plenty.

    Are you kidding? I’m stuck in southern bloody Texas here! Anything north of the Mason Dixon line is north to me!!! I also ave a good friend in PA. We’ll all have to find a good meeting up point for a Cogal ths fall.

  9. @earnest!

    @The Oracle

    The Veatles.

    Or AbbVy Road.

    Thought the same!

  10. @King Clydesdale
    Ha, I was mocking the typical Manhattan view of the world. If you are here over the summer, we shall ride.

  11. @DerHoggz
    Never have liked Thor so I’m not much surprised.

  12. @scaler911

    @JIPM (and with my sincerest apologies to the women folk around here, really); Happy Birthday!

    Bike Porn (NSFW)

    Nipple lube?

  13. @RedRanger
    That’s not a nipple.

  14. So here’s a bunch more captures of the V banner from PR. Guys were looking decidedly Euro today.

    Slideshow:

    Fullscreen:

  15. from cycling tips

  16. @scaler911

    @JIPM (and with my sincerest apologies to the women folk around here, really); Happy Birthday!

    Bike Porn (NSFW)

    Fucking hell!! That is one fucking sexy frame.

  17. Finally actually reading about the race as I am coming down from the euphoria of it all and I saw that Taylor Phinney snagged 15th place in his debut. Not a bad first time result while playing with the Big Boys, eh?

  18. @scaler911

    @JIPM (and with my sincerest apologies to the women folk around here, really); Happy Birthday!

    Bike Porn (NSFW)

    Thanks keepers for fixing that to a link!

  19. @DerHoggz

    Boonen is fantastic, did you see the size of his triceps?

    Couldn’t miss them. Every cut shot to him (and there were a lot) I thought, shit he’s got some big arms. I suppose if you want to keep your bike pointed straight on the cobbles, that’s how it has to be!

  20. @The Oracle
    re: photo #10 is frönk’s “O”-face.

    wow. what a day! my 12th wedding anniversary & a great morning spent drinking coffee & watching w/my gracious wife!

  21. The wife is thinking I am obsessing a bit on finding the Keepers in the footage, until I showed her the photos above. Now at least I am obsessing with others.

  22. anyone else seeing what I think I’m seeing — left side, starting about 1:00 into the vid — in the Arenberg! Yeah!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=wSSvQXeqYTM&feature=endscreen

  23. @packfiller

    The wife is thinking I am obsessing a bit on finding the Keepers in the footage, until I showed her the photos above. Now at least I am obsessing with others.

    My wife caught me uploading them last night. When I explained to her what I was doing, she was very succinct: “You took pictures of the TV. Of strangers from the internet. You’re bizarre.”

  24. @The Oracle
    @TheOracle, thank you… that helps more than you could know.

  25. @Blah
    Once upon a time there was an Anatomy of the Photo post that had a long discussion about how to dress properly when spectating.

  26. @teleguy57
    Nice catch. I wonder if the guys were giving their unsolicited advice to that hapless rider that broke down right in front of them? Perhaps that’s why the fellow decided to start walking?

  27. Just getting home, reading through the posts and dumping photos. Gonna be a long couple of weeks…

    The V-flag made the French News at about 1:26

    Paris-Rubaix Fans

  28. @teleguy57
    You’re correct. That guy’s rear carbon wheel disintegrated a few meters to the left of us and he was locked up, sliding another 20 or so meters to the rest of the fellas (and the flag). Amazing bike control.

  29. @Bill

    Just getting home, reading through the posts and dumping photos. Gonna be a long couple of weeks…

    The V-flag made the French News at about 1:26

    Paris-Rubaix Fans

    Is this a time warp thing? i knew that the Keepers Tour was about as good as it could get but did you guys actually go back in time to the 2010 RVV as well?

  30. @Buck Rogers
    Frack!!!!!

    I was doing my blog post and cross-threaded videos.

    Here it is: http://www.cyclingfans.com/node/4427

  31. @teleguy57

    How many wheels could Boonen possibly need from neutral support?

  32. @DerHoggz

    @teleguy57

    How many wheels could Boonen possibly need from neutral support?

    As many as he would like, apparently…

  33. No jogging! Strictly forbidden as a form of cross-training!

    Ha, that photo is awesome. “Hey, who are those tall, skinny blokes running across that field with the funny flag?” Oh, that’s the Velominati!

    And nice work on the roadside wear. I’m going to have to say you looked sharper than the Cyclingtips guys.

  34. Oh, and just noticed Turgot had inline brakes. First ever dude on the podium with those on his bike?

    Either way, to come from that far back for 2nd required some serious V-effort.

  35. @Ron
    I think he was riding a cyclocross bike, hence the brakes.

  36. Whilst Mr Vlaeminck was an incredible rider, the second coming and all the rest of it, I find his mealy mouthed scant praise is rather undignified. Surely there is more dignity in simply congratulating Boonen on a great achievment and leave it at that.Roger De Vlaeminck on Boonen

  37. Perfect! I love the outside contributions, all showing their support and validating further the breadth and depth of the experience – the Velominati Keepers Tour Experience, that is! I’m struggling to get over a serious case of Belgium-withdrawal! Uff…

  38. snoov – Oh yeah, I know he was on a cross bike. But, not all cross bikes have those inline brakes.

  39. And I’d just like to say that the time has come for everyone to put the hackneyed jokes about Boonen & cocaine to rest. They’re not funny & really never were. The guy had a few nights of fun, let it go. There are athletes and people in general who drink or pill pop an entire LIFE away. The guy had some fun, strayed a bit, and now has returned with a laser focus.

    I find it pretty silly that cyclists, a group who have and continue to ingest all sorts of wacky things to up performance, are so outraged & shocked by a dude taking a (mostly) natural substance on a weekend off. So what! The guy was having some fun.

    Anyway, I was tired a few years ago of coke jokes. Now they’re just old & lame. I think what really bothers me about it is that behind the jokes are fear-mongering & judgments based on a lingering “war on drugs” attitude. Many Americans walk around like zombies, hopped up on legal drugs like pills and booze. And the hard-drinking, hard-partying athletes are seen as cool. But someone does a drug not deemed okay and everyone can’t shut up about it.

    Living like a monk, working like a dog. Party how you want to party when you do it once a year.

    Let it go already.

  40. @paolo
    He made the same type of comments earlier this year over Niels Albert not being a worthy Belgian CX champion or something to that effect. I think RDV’s statements tend to say more about him than whomever he’s criticizing. I respect RDV as a rider and his accomplishments speak for themselves, but he should leave it at that because he just sounds like a dick.

  41. @Ron
    Ditto. Well said. TB is maturing s a rider and a person. I think the next couple of years should be worth watching as I get a sense of greater contentment with his lot and having won what he’s won, it’s all gravy from here. To win PR #5 would be magical.

  42. Solo wins appear to be the in thing at the moment. Voeckler is at it as well.

  43. @Chris

    Solo wins appear to be the in thing at the moment. Voeckler is at it as well.

    Saw that. I wonder how he will fair over the week in the Ardennes? Going to be some tough VSP picks for those three races.

  44. @Ron

    And I’d just like to say that the time has come for everyone to put the hackneyed jokes about Boonen & cocaine to rest. They’re not funny & really never were. The guy had a few nights of fun, let it go. There are athletes and people in general who drink or pill pop an entire LIFE away. The guy had some fun, strayed a bit, and now has returned with a laser focus.

    I find it pretty silly that cyclists, a group who have and continue to ingest all sorts of wacky things to up performance, are so outraged & shocked by a dude taking a (mostly) natural substance on a weekend off. So what! The guy was having some fun.

    Anyway, I was tired a few years ago of coke jokes. Now they’re just old & lame. I think what really bothers me about it is that behind the jokes are fear-mongering & judgments based on a lingering “war on drugs” attitude. Many Americans walk around like zombies, hopped up on legal drugs like pills and booze. And the hard-drinking, hard-partying athletes are seen as cool. But someone does a drug not deemed okay and everyone can’t shut up about it.

    Living like a monk, working like a dog. Party how you want to party when you do it once a year.

    Let it go already.

    Wow, where’d this come from? I mean, come on, the guy has been immortilized in the lexicon as Blownen, not to mention She’s legal in Amsterdam? Next you’ll want to throw out Veino and Roid Lanids, or even LeMelvis.

    You’re talking about the site’s heritage for Lord’s sake!

  45. @Buck Rogers

    @Ron

    And I’d just like to say that the time has come for everyone to put the hackneyed jokes about Boonen & cocaine to rest. They’re not funny & really never were. The guy had a few nights of fun, let it go. There are athletes and people in general who drink or pill pop an entire LIFE away. The guy had some fun, strayed a bit, and now has returned with a laser focus.

    I find it pretty silly that cyclists, a group who have and continue to ingest all sorts of wacky things to up performance, are so outraged & shocked by a dude taking a (mostly) natural substance on a weekend off. So what! The guy was having some fun.

    Anyway, I was tired a few years ago of coke jokes. Now they’re just old & lame. I think what really bothers me about it is that behind the jokes are fear-mongering & judgments based on a lingering “war on drugs” attitude. Many Americans walk around like zombies, hopped up on legal drugs like pills and booze. And the hard-drinking, hard-partying athletes are seen as cool. But someone does a drug not deemed okay and everyone can’t shut up about it.

    Living like a monk, working like a dog. Party how you want to party when you do it once a year.

    Let it go already.

    Wow, where’d this come from? I mean, come on, the guy has been immortilized in the lexicon as Blownen, not to mention She’s legal in Amsterdam? Next you’ll want to throw out Veino and Roid Lanids, or even LeMelvis.

    You’re talking about the site’s heritage for Lord’s sake!

    I’d differentiate between Veino and Roid Landis and Boonen. The first two guys were caught with full-on doping products and denied using them in competition. Tommeke used some recreational drug while not competing and, if I remember rightly, didn’t deny it. BIG difference.

  46. @wiscot

    @Buck Rogers

    @Ron

    And I’d just like to say that the time has come for everyone to put the hackneyed jokes about Boonen & cocaine to rest. They’re not funny & really never were. The guy had a few nights of fun, let it go. There are athletes and people in general who drink or pill pop an entire LIFE away. The guy had some fun, strayed a bit, and now has returned with a laser focus.

    I find it pretty silly that cyclists, a group who have and continue to ingest all sorts of wacky things to up performance, are so outraged & shocked by a dude taking a (mostly) natural substance on a weekend off. So what! The guy was having some fun.

    Anyway, I was tired a few years ago of coke jokes. Now they’re just old & lame. I think what really bothers me about it is that behind the jokes are fear-mongering & judgments based on a lingering “war on drugs” attitude. Many Americans walk around like zombies, hopped up on legal drugs like pills and booze. And the hard-drinking, hard-partying athletes are seen as cool. But someone does a drug not deemed okay and everyone can’t shut up about it.

    Living like a monk, working like a dog. Party how you want to party when you do it once a year.

    Let it go already.

    Wow, where’d this come from? I mean, come on, the guy has been immortilized in the lexicon as Blownen, not to mention She’s legal in Amsterdam? Next you’ll want to throw out Veino and Roid Lanids, or even LeMelvis.

    You’re talking about the site’s heritage for Lord’s sake!

    I’d differentiate between Veino and Roid Landis and Boonen. The first two guys were caught with full-on doping products and denied using them in competition. Tommeke used some recreational drug while not competing and, if I remember rightly, didn’t deny it. BIG difference.

    And lest we forget Jan’s off season imbibing in raves and good ol’ “e”. Whatever the guys do during their off season time means nothing to me, tho I’d hope whatever they do isn’t ‘PED’. Otherwise, smoke a bowl, do a line, whatever. Just race clean.

  47. (video) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=veLdotn8XLE&feature=player_embedded
    posted via fi'zi:k (facebook) — Janorschke horrible crash in Aremberg — amazing escape and speed reference of the peloton!

  48. And helmets everyone!

  49. @eightzero

    My vote for V-moment of the year – Boonen’s 50km + solo ride to victory.

  50. @snoov

    @eightzero

    My vote for V-moment of the year – Boonen’s 50km + solo ride to victory.

    Amen to that one.  For pure guts and pain, othing else this year matches what Boonen did in Roubaix.

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