The Lion cooks up a helping of V-cakes for Faboo after dishing out the hurt on Le Carrefour de l'Arbre

Velominati Super Prestige: Paris-Roubaix 2013

Velominati Super Prestige: Paris-Roubaix 2013

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It looks so easy on the television. Well, no, actually it looks pretty bloody hard. We think we have some understanding of how they suffer, how their bodies can take the continual beating. But we don’t really know. Not even by riding these abominations they call roads twice in the space of a few days can we understand the scale of the thing. Not even by witnessing firsthand a master of the cobbles effortlessly turning the cranks, cruising past us as if on a cushion of air by comparison to our bed of nails can we fully comprehend what it takes to ride these secteurs with any panache, style or speed.

While we witnessed a Roubaix masterclass from The Lion himself today, a new name could be added alongside his on the long list of legends on Sunday. Or it could be a former vainquer adding to an already impressive palmares. But as we’ve seen in the past, and even the past hours, luck plays as big a part as skill, talent and fitness in this most beautifully horrible race. And it plays an even bigger part in picking the top five in the VSP.

All you have to do is sit back and enjoy the spectacle. We’ll be doing the hard yards at the side of the roads of Troisvilles, the Troueé, and the Carrefour. Study the form guide, then throw it out. It’s no good to you here.

In the meantime here’s a look at a bunch of nobodies and a guru riding a secteur on today’s recon. The lesson comes at around 0.15.

Final Race Results
1. CANCELLARA Fabian
2. VANMARCKE Sep
3. TERPSTRA Niki
4. VAN AVERMAET Greg
5. GAUDIN Damien
Final VSP Results
1. asyax (12 points)
2. Jamin (10 points)
3. Deakus (10 points)
4. Chica (10 points)
5. Jay (10 points)
6. Noel (8 points)
7. TOM.NELS2120 (8 points)
8. scaler911 (8 points)
9. Fausto (8 points)
10. VirenqueForever (8 points)
11. la plaque (8 points)
12. strathlubnaig (8 points)
13. the Engine (8 points)
14. Patrick (8 points)
15. Gianni (8 points)
16. el gato (8 points)
17. jeyrod (8 points)
18. razmaspaz (7 points)
19. Mirko (7 points)
20. biggles (7 points)
21. RedRanger (7 points)
22. roger (7 points)
23. imakecircles (7 points)
24. sthilzy (7 points)
25. chrismurphy92 (7 points)
26. Skinnyphat (7 points)
27. Mikael Liddy (7 points)
28. Jhortua (7 points)
29. Tobin (7 points)
30. The Grande Fondue (7 points)
31. graham d.m. (7 points)
32. freddy (7 points)
33. Don Amedo (7 points)
34. LA Dave (7 points)
35. eightzero (7 points)
36. Simon (7 points)
37. Gino (7 points)
38. JohnB (7 points)
39. torrefie (7 points)
40. DaRCrider (7 points)
41. SimonH (7 points)
42. El Segundo (7 points)
43. anotherdownunder (7 points)
44. Steampunk (7 points)
45. DocBrian (7 points)
46. Buck Rogers (7 points)
47. Sauterelle (7 points)
48. motor city (7 points)
49. Franklin (7 points)
50. V-olcano (7 points)
51. Duende (7 points)
52. Tartan1749 (7 points)
53. VeloVita (7 points)
54. seemunkee (7 points)
55. PeakInTwoYears (7 points)
56. ped (7 points)
57. Roberto Marques (7 points)
58. CanuckChuck (7 points)
59. m_demartino (7 points)
60. Anais Ninja (7 points)
61. mbarston (7 points)
62. matthew langley (7 points)
63. Nate (7 points)
64. wiscot (7 points)
65. taon24 (7 points)
66. eightace (7 points)
67. skagitteam (7 points)
68. Smith (7 points)
69. Wingnut (7 points)
70. TomC (7 points)
71. G'phant (7 points)
72. Kyle (7 points)
73. Malfadactus (7 points)
74. bugleboy21 (7 points)
75. Vernwitha_V (7 points)
76. Heihachi (7 points)
77. ramenvelo (7 points)
78. sgraha (7 points)
79. Russ (7 points)
80. piwakawaka (7 points)
81. minion (7 points)
82. tony macaroni (7 points)
83. Two Ball Billy (7 points)
84. R00tdown (7 points)
85. blue (7 points)
86. simonsaunders (7 points)
87. mouse (7 points)
88. Blah (7 points)
89. MJ Moquin (7 points)
90. leadout (7 points)
91. Donnie Bugno (7 points)
92. EricW (7 points)
93. sprider (7 points)
94. San Tonio (7 points)
95. Ron (7 points)
96. NoTubes (7 points)
97. El Mateo (7 points)
98. Skip (7 points)
99. DrewG (7 points)
100. dancollins (7 points)
101. snoov (7 points)
102. Bat Chainpuller (7 points)
103. umut (7 points)
104. Chris (7 points)
105. moondance (7 points)
106. teleguy57 (7 points)
107. TBONE (7 points)
108. xyxax (7 points)
109. starclimber (7 points)
110. Facetious_Jesus (7 points)
111. Oldschooly (7 points)
112. smithers (7 points)
113. pakrat (7 points)
114. Rob (7 points)
115. quanyeomans (7 points)
116. il ciclista medio (4 points)
117. Benny (1 points)
118. Giles (1 points)
119. Lukas (1 points)
120. HeinrichHausslersHairstyle (1 points)
121. cal (1 points)
122. oneninefiveninesix (1 points)
123. brian (1 points)
124. 1km2go (1 points)
125. velomihottie (1 points)
126. Chris Fan (1 points)
127. gallilano (1 points)
128. Gervais (1 points)
129. Mr. Kotter (1 points)
130. vsmpsc (1 points)
131. Rigid (1 points)
132. napolinige (1 points)
133. ralph (1 points)
134. Adrian (1 points)
135. eenies (1 points)
136. Islandbike (1 points)
137. Jeff (1 points)
138. Jarvis (1 points)
139. BaltoSteve (1 points)
140. The White Sicilian (1 points)
141. Bianchi Denti (0 points)
142. unversio (0 points)
143. brett (0 points)
144. Erik (0 points)
145. stickyjumper (0 points)
146. ChrisO (0 points)
147. Al__S (0 points)
148. Dr C (0 points)
149. Dan_R (0 points)
150. Cyclops (0 points)
151. 936adl (0 points)
152. Harminator (0 points)

// Velominati Super Prestige

  1. @El mateo

    Surprised that nobody commented on Gaudin’s rediculous and paintul to watch pedalling style. Hard to believe he can ride in the peloton with those knees sticking out like his bike is way too small.

    I’ve seen Escartin ride. Nothing shocks me anymore.

  2. Gutted for Stybar – bloody awesome ride up until them.

    Le Grand Faboo definitely has the motor back.

    Brilliant.

  3. @biggles

    @brett Stupid? Yes.

    Respectable? I think so too.

    It takes balls of steel to help in a Faboo-driven break, especially after the elbow-flick-attack. That man proved he is by far a badass.

    Stupid is in the eye of the beholder. It showed great heart for him to ride the race that way. To take turns at the front insured that they would stay away and basically cemented the possibility of him being one of only two riders that could win.

    I would take a second place ridden that way over a wheelsuck win any day, but that’s probably why I work a 9 – 5 job and have never won anything more than a Cat 4 race in my life.. so what do I know.

    At the end of the day I agree with biggles – Van Marcke earned my respect in spades.

  4. @Buck Rogers

    How about the crowd crashing this year? Tough to judge the fans I suppose if the riders are hugging the sides to avoid the cobbles but what about that super dumbass that was right in the middle of the pave trying to get a pic. Fucker should be ground into the road and banned from spectating all future races!

    Seriously?  Those ‘fans’ were insane!  Spartacus should have squashed them like he squashed the rest of the field.  What a display of power.  Otherworldly!  Vanmarcke has nothing to be ashamed of

  5. @Deakus

    I am going to have to stop backing Sky though, I should have known it was a train off the rails when I found out that rather than training on cobbles in the dead of winter they were going to Tennerife to smooth tarmac and balmy days in shorts! G looks too tender and although Stannard looks strong I don’t think he is pepared well enough…

    Only problem is that I have heard Brad is targetting Liege so dare I not stick him in my VSP for that!?

    Thinking the same about Sky, but the moment I do they’ll produce a result. They have riding to the numbers down to a T but the cobbles simply don’t work that way. Too many uncontrollables and how can you see the readout on the SRM head unit bouncing so much on the bars anyway? Got to follow my instincts though. I had Terpstra and van Avermaet in, out, in, out when deliberating my VSP picks but stuck with the Sky boys and their desire and ambition to do well on the cobbles.

  6. What you don’t see on TV…

    http://nos.nl/video/493569-de-achterkant-van-de-hel.html

  7. @JC Belgium

    What you don’t see on TV…

    http://nos.nl/video/493569-de-achterkant-van-de-hel.html

    Nice one, thanks, it gives a glimps at the reality for all the bad luck and hard work.

  8. @JC Belgium

    What you don’t see on TV…

    http://nos.nl/video/493569-de-achterkant-van-de-hel.html

    Great video. Thank you for posting!

  9. Looks like Sagan was a good boy today and gave the Flanders podium girl a big bouquet of flowers as a token of apology for “pinchgate.” Aww, the nice.

  10. @wiscot Yeah – a nice gesture, for sure.  Maybe he has learned his lesson.  His talent is unbelievable and I want o like him, then he goes and does something stupid.  Maybe he will be a bit more respectable in the future.

    As much as my man-crush on Faboo is, I must say I was severely disappointing in learning that he has never taken a shower in the Roubaix showers.  He has his own freaking stall!!!  WTF?

  11. @wiscot

    Looks like Sagan was a good boy today and gave the Flanders podium girl a big bouquet of flowers as a token of apology for “pinchgate.” Aww, the nice.

    Did you see the pic that Oli posted over on facebook?


    Got to love that!

  12. @Buck Rogers

    @wiscot

    Looks like Sagan was a good boy today and gave the Flanders podium girl a big bouquet of flowers as a token of apology for “pinchgate.” Aww, the nice.

    Did you see the pic that Oli posted over on facebook?


    Got to love that!

    Well Damn, that didn’t work!

     

    It’s a pic of a podium from a womens race with the third place woman grabbing the guy’s ass who is presenting the awards.  Pretty funny.

  13. Amazing finish…. Sagan pipped Gilbert at the line after leading the group over the last climb – impressive. Nearly a photo finish…no time for wheelies!

  14. Amazing finish is right. Damn, outkicking the World Champ at the line? Impressive! And, Gilbert had Van Avermaet to attack and soften Sagan. Plus Quick Step had a few dudes in the lead group, including Chavanel. Even when isolated, and even when having to fight off attacks and make split-second choices of what to chase down, Sagan still made it look pretty darn easy. He’s go not only legs, but good racing instincts. Amazing for sure.

  15. @Ron

    Amazing finish is right. Damn, outkicking the World Champ at the line? Impressive! And, Gilbert had Van Avermaet to attack and soften Sagan. Plus Quick Step had a few dudes in the lead group, including Chavanel. Even when isolated, and even when having to fight off attacks and make split-second choices of what to chase down, Sagan still made it look pretty darn easy. He’s go not only legs, but good racing instincts. Amazing for sure.

    Yeah, and he pulled like hell for a full 2 k before that sprint.  Dude is a force to be reckoned with this next week.

  16. @Buck Rogers

    @Ron

    Amazing finish is right. Damn, outkicking the World Champ at the line? Impressive! And, Gilbert had Van Avermaet to attack and soften Sagan. Plus Quick Step had a few dudes in the lead group, including Chavanel. Even when isolated, and even when having to fight off attacks and make split-second choices of what to chase down, Sagan still made it look pretty darn easy. He’s go not only legs, but good racing instincts. Amazing for sure.

    Yeah, and he pulled like hell for a full 2 k before that sprint. Dude is a force to be reckoned with this next week.

    Looked like Gilbert assumed Sagan was spent so went early assuming he would get a gap.  Definitely impressive riding from Sagan.

  17. This from Daniel Friebe on the Twitter:

    Sagan’s last 2km today http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Uib7azejZbA# … Pretty much akin to dribbling past whole team, stopping ball on line & blowing it into net.

  18. @Buck Rogers Yup, the girls looked like they were having fun with it!

  19. Are we developing a bit of love for Zdenek Stybar on this site – I think I am – couple of our local heros tried to press him on a hill last year when he was training in Majorca, he rode with them for a bit, then they pushed him a little harder, at which he appeared to tire of them and absolutely roasted them on the next hill – these guys are top level amateurs over here, and said they’d never seen anyone shift so hard, way beyond a next level up

    Nice quote from Nys about him – “Zdenek perhaps lacks experience, but he can push his boundaries like no other,” Nys told Nieuwsblad. Lars Boom [former ‘cross star] is perhaps intrinsically more talented as a road racer, but I see Stybar as being up there, just because he’s a maniac,” he added.

    I like maniacs

  20. Finally, a use for those gawdaweful new helmets (h/t, cycling inquisition):

  21. @Buck Rogers

    @Ron

    Amazing finish is right. Damn, outkicking the World Champ at the line? Impressive! And, Gilbert had Van Avermaet to attack and soften Sagan. Plus Quick Step had a few dudes in the lead group, including Chavanel. Even when isolated, and even when having to fight off attacks and make split-second choices of what to chase down, Sagan still made it look pretty darn easy. He’s go not only legs, but good racing instincts. Amazing for sure.

    Yeah, and he pulled like hell for a full 2 k before that sprint. Dude is a force to be reckoned with this next week.

    He’s finished 1st or 2nd in EVERY one day race that he’s lined up for so far this year. Dude’s a freakin’ stud for sure!

  22. @Mirko

    @El mateo

    Surprised that nobody commented on Gaudin’s rediculous and paintul to watch pedalling style. Hard to believe he can ride in the peloton with those knees sticking out like his bike is way too small.

    I’ve seen Escartin ride. Nothing shocks me anymore.

    YES.  I thought the exact same thing!

  23. @Nate Brilliant, I could watch that for hours.

  24. @Nate

    Come on Bernie, leave Calimero alone…

  25. He had mentioned that he went in to the Red zone quite deep on PR….it looks like Spartacus is off to Spain only this year to lay down the V

    http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/no-giro-or-tour-for-cancellara

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