Velominati Super Prestige: Ronde van Vlaanderen 2012

Velominati Super Prestige: Ronde van Vlaanderen 2012

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The Keepers and Rigid rolled into a region in France called Flandres which, without doing any further research into the matter, we assume is the coloquial French term for this region of the world. If its anything like the other regions in Europe, these places have roots that extend way past any modern country’s border and situate themselves in a history long past.

They do, however, speak French with all the stubbornness that we have come to love from the French. None of us in the group speak French very well, and no one we’ve found in Lille speaks English very well. Which means we’re all communicating with arms and legs more so than with words. We’re on our way to Kemmel, which means we’ll be able to speak a bit of Flemish again.

With Keepers Tour: Cobbled Classics 2012 about to begin in earnest, we’re busy organizing ourselves and making final preparations, so we’ll have to forgo the usual insightful, hard-hitting, race insight we usually produce for the VSPs. What’s that you say? We’re usually full of shit? Ah, right. You’ll have to forgive us the usual shit, then, and take today’s flavor.

Watch the countdown timer, get your VSP picks in by Sunday morning at 5am Pacific. Winner of this VSP event will earn the right to comment all year with the Leeuw van Vlaanderen 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.

// Velominati Super Prestige

  1. @frank Starting to get an impression that @Rigid is one stylish mofo based on the pics so far…

  2. Look at the frigin’ muscle definition on Boonen..arms and legs. I was really happy for him yesterday. I don’t know if y’all saw it but after the race when he sat down he had this look of childish delight and wonderment. Actually he was bemused I thought. It was really awesome like he couldn’t believe it. So nice to see that he’s not jaded and cynical like so many sports stars.

  3. @Mikael Liddy
    and possiblythe angle but looks like someone who is taller than frank!

  4. @frank

    Brett, RIGID, and me rollin’ Casually Deliberate in the garden at the race, having our first batch of Belgian Frittes.

    Boonen and Pozato on the Kwaremont.

    Same shot, zoomed in. Big ring, riding in the drops. That’s how I ride the flats. This is not, however, flat. This is one of the most well-known climbs in Vlaanderen.

    Too good looking fo sure. Looks chilly! Hope it rains on the pack of you ahead of Roubaix.

  5. I was in the bar that is behind those Primus signs at the top of the photo just above Pippo’s helmet. (So for those who were on Oude Kwaremont, opposite the Lanbouwkrediet guy who stopped on the second ascent with his seat post broken.) Had prime TV viewing position, people bringing me beer (albeit requiring me to hand over Euros) and it was a short amble out to cheer them as they went past followed by a mad dash back inside to resume best seats in the house. Awesome day out. Always blown away by how thin even the “big” boys like Boony are. Rode the sportive on Saturday (in a respectable time), Seven performed flawlessly. Saw a couple of the ‘Nati out enjoying themselves. Whilst on sportive saw Pippo and two teamates plus team car out training – had just come over Oude Kwaremont and turned left down the N36 (Ronsebaan) and they went past.

  6. @frank

    I shall wear it humbly and with pride.

    Great cycling weekend. A brutal and terrific RVV, lots of km’s for myself, the thrill of seeing the Velominati flag on the Oude Kwaremont, and now the +1 jersey!

    I attribute it all to the fact that I wrapped my bars in white tape last Thursday.

  7. @frank

    Brett, RIGID, and me rollin’ Casually Deliberate in the garden at the race, having our first batch of Belgian Frittes.

    Boonen and Pozato on the Kwaremont.

    Same shot, zoomed in. Big ring, riding in the drops. That’s how I ride the flats. This is not, however, flat. This is one of the most well-known climbs in Vlaanderen.

    So, you guys will be doubling up on your next ride to work those beers and frites off, yes?

  8. So having nearly gone to the train station in Lille with bikebag in one car, and bag with wallet, passport, iphone and car key in the other car (thanks guys for speedy repatriation), I jumped on the plane a couple of hours later and passed out – came around a few minutes later, to find the Air Hostess had chucked my coats off the plane before take off, as they looked like ground crew appareil…..with my phone in the pocket…

    luckily I had carried my car key and wallet and passport on in a placky bag with choccies in it, and was able to get into Ireland and into my car, to drive home (I assume I hadd sobered up by that stage?)

    Anyway, got home and at midnight, absolutely cream crackered, I watched the entire race all over again – yehaa!!!

    Dudes, there was a camera trained on the spot where we WERE standing!!

    Anyway, in all my life I don’t think I will ever experience the sight of anyone laying down so much power, as Tommeke pulling around Potatoman at the top of that climb – frightening!!

    What a day, what a weekend

    Thank you thank you thank you, I am a broken and happy man

    Vive la vie Velominatus!!

  9. @The Oracle
    Yes. By riding the Kemmelberg. Twice.

    And we did this after touring the Merckx factory. Boom.

  10. @il ciclista medio

    @Mikael Liddy
    and possiblythe angle but looks like someone who is taller than frank!

    At the Merckx factory this morning we saw a custom-made frame for Boonen and I can positively swear his saddle to bar drop is bigger than Frank’s.

    I suspect Frank is putting his seatpost up as we speak.

  11. @frank
    I was just looking at that. I approve of your exceptional skill at the hangover ride.

  12. @ChrisO

    @il ciclista medio

    @Mikael Liddy
    and possiblythe angle but looks like someone who is taller than frank!

    At the Merckx factory this morning we saw a custom-made frame for Boonen and I can positively swear his saddle to bar drop is bigger than Frank’s.

    I suspect Frank is putting his seatpost up as we speak.

    So Merckx is making a bike for Tommeke and it’s getting decaled as a Specialized? Interesting – and impressive that they’re letting you see such things!

  13. @wiscot
    More likely it was a frame used when Merckx sponsored Quickstep and that bike happened to be on display?

  14. @Tartan1749

    @wiscot
    More likely it was a frame used when Merckx sponsored Quickstep and that bike happened to be on display?

    This

  15. @Tubular Swells

    I was in the bar that is behind those Primus signs at the top of the photo just above Pippo’s helmet. (So for those who were on Oude Kwaremont, opposite the Lanbouwkrediet guy who stopped on the second ascent with his seat post broken.) Had prime TV viewing position, people bringing me beer (albeit requiring me to hand over Euros) and it was a short amble out to cheer them as they went past followed by a mad dash back inside to resume best seats in the house. Awesome day out. Always blown away by how thin even the “big” boys like Boony are. Rode the sportive on Saturday (in a respectable time), Seven performed flawlessly. Saw a couple of the ‘Nati out enjoying themselves. Whilst on sportive saw Pippo and two teamates plus team car out training – had just come over Oude Kwaremont and turned left down the N36 (Ronsebaan) and they went past.

    the cyclosportive was a bit too crowded, in my opinion. I had my doubts to join in, just because of the overpopulation on the climbs. had to walk on Koppenberg, cause some idiot pulled his brakes in front of me. I did not say anything, but I was pissed off! what kind of cyclist are you if you pull your brakes going uphill, on a 22% climb? Mates still laughing about my little walk on the cobbles.
    I crossed Pippo and two teammates (Gatto and Hulsmans) more or less on the same spot. if you saw 4 guys in an An Post-Sean Kelly kit, I was one of them (who was waiting on Paterberg)

  16. Boy, I’d be pretty pissed if a bidon not properly tossed off the course ended my Classics campaign for the year. That’s a real shame Fabian & Boonen won’t both be riding on Sunday.

    I think I’ve moved one more degree on the Velominati register: I had no idea the basketball championship was tonight, since I’m still buzzing over the Ronde and the only other thing that matters is what is coming up on Sunday…

    I simply must get out to see a big race in person. It would be incredible to see such legends fly on by, just a few meters away. They all live in a fantasy world coming to me through a Sporza feed on my computer.

  17. @Ron

    I simply must get out to see a big race in person. It would be incredible to see such legends fly on by, just a few meters away. They all live in a fantasy world coming to me through a Sporza feed on my computer.

    I’ve been thinking the same thing while reading these posts and looking at the amazing photos!

  18. Jeez, I didn’t even realize Stijn crashed until just now. Two crazy photos:

  19. @Ron
    Yowch.

  20. Two of the many reasons I’m a Boonen fan:

    http://www.sporza.be/cm/sporza/videozone/MG_sportnieuws/MG_wielrennen/1.1263275

    and this from Faboo

    “I received a lot of support, a lot of text messages. Tom Boonen also sent me one, wishing me good recovery. He wrote that I should come back soon and meanwhile enjoy the time with my family.”

    Class act.

  21. What a great race and kudos to the US networks for great coverage, Phil Liggett for his superb commentating skills and of course to you boys on The Keepers Tour for your on the spot updates.

  22. Here are a collection of photos from our RVV ride. More to come in the full post later.

    Slideshow:

    Fullscreen:

    Download:

  23. So know you do have the holly mud of Roubaix covered by the holly mud of the muur , never wash thar bike and get a new nr1, retire this one in style framed over the firepace mantlepiece.

  24. Ha, that hillside looks so bare without all the screaming fans!

    Nice photo, Frank. Lookin’ strong.

  25. @frank
    Just unbelievable. So in awe of this trip. Cannot wait for all the articles to be posted from all of you!

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