Velominati Super Prestige: Ronde van Vlaanderen

Velominati Super Prestige: Ronde van Vlaanderen

by / / 322 posts

Ok, ok, settle down now people. Take your seats please. You’re all a little bit on edge, like some cycling Gamblers Anonymous group that’s been let out for the weekend with a pocket full of bills and the name of the nearest bookie. But in your excitement, you managed to crash our server, delaying the fix you so desperately crave.

But wait no more. You’ve warmed up on the gateway races, now it’s time for the hard stuff, as grimy, rough and unadulterated as the roads of Flanders themselves.

You see, there’s this bloke I know who knows a bloke, hangs around the Velominati bike sheds, seems to know a bit about the racing game. Reckons he’s got a sure bet for the weekend. A cert. A dead-set shoo-in. Number 1 in Race 3 of the VSP at Flanders. Fella reckons you could put your left one on it.  Absolutely Faboolous or something he’s called. He’s got form (and, judging by the way he shelled the nags on last week’s card, possibly a motor). But word is there could be a late plunge on the other fella, Boom Boom Boy, so maybe a bob each way might be the way to go. I’d watch out for those not-so-roughies though, the likes of Gilbert, Devolder, Ballan and Thor will be waiting to pick up any leftover chaff and could steal away the win, leaving you as frustrated as a one-legged man at an ass-kicking contest.

So what’s it gonna be then? Take the sure thing, or the other sure thing, or throw a dart at the board and hope it sticks? It’s time to study the form guide, search the dark recesses of your soul, throw out any logic, and pencil in your picks on the ticket provided at the bottom of the comments. Whether you’re canny, savvy or just plain tinny, the coveted Obey The Rules bumper sticker is waiting. Is your bumper worthy?

The only thing for certain is that bicycle racing will be the winner on the day.

// Velominati Super Prestige

  1. @Jeff in PetroMetro
    I’m still having a difficult time working out who on god’s green earth thought that this might be a good advertising plan…

  2. @Gianni
    It wasn’t too bad a gamble. He got 4th. And welsh boy got 10th, he did too much work I think. Both Thomas and Flecha seemed to be working for each other.

  3. @Marko
    Sure, but it doesn’t embody the V. You’re not going to just say MARVIN the way you say JENS.

  4. @Steampunk
    I’m giving the guys on the Quick Step team the benefit of the doubt–the art director and the photographer were scorching Velomihotties who had the boys doing whatever they asked. Of course, after everyone sobered up, there were some seriously heinous photographs left all over the intertubes. Beware the VMH with the camera phone at the party.

  5. @Steampunk

    But if you say MARV! it ends with a V…

  6. Cancellara on RVV:

    “I’m very happy: there were fifty of them behind a gladiator”

    Panache!

  7. Steampunk :
    Cancellara on RVV:

    “I’m very happy: there were fifty of them behind a gladiator”

    Panache!

    Damn straight. As one commentator said – Cancellara was the strongest but not the first.

    I’m still a learner when it comes to race strategy but surely it was Cancellara’s ride that dictated all the big moves on the day. Chavanel going up the road was the only proactive move and all the rest were reactive. In the end Chav was maxing just to hold his wheel. Boonen, Gilbert and Ballan made big efforts they were unable to sustain. Only Faboo was able to keep the hammer down long term.
    If you’re not strong enough to win in a break you have to be the best wheelsucker.
    Fabian didn’t ride the smartest race. When he went with 40k to go he panicked the field but it was 15k too early. And he clearly had a fuel problem.
    I don’t get why Chav gets all the praise for ride of the day. He avoided work and then had no sprint…

  8. The way I saw it was that he only avoided work later in the race, and then nearly rolled Nuyens in a close sprint. Great ride by Chavanel.

  9. @Oli Brooke-White
    Yes. I can see Chav had a great race. But I can’t see why Cancellara’s ride gets so little praise or no comment.

  10. Dear Fabian –

    You are amazing. We all know this. We love you for it. And every time you get on a bike you remind us of it.

    So, when you get off the bike, do you need to remind us of it again?

    Thing is, people find it easier to love the underdog. When you’re the top dog, people can admire you, fear you, be amazed at/by you – but for some reason a lot of us find it just that little bit harder to love you.

    What usually keeps the love flowing is the old grace and humility bit. Even if it is more for the sake of form than anything else, it sends the right message. You know the kind of thing – “I rode my own race and thought I could do it, but full credit to the peloton, and Nick in particular, for making such an exciting race.” And maybe: “I will try hard in PR, but there’s a lot of strong guys out there, any number of who could win on the day.” And perhaps a bit less of the “I am the only one who can attack like that” / “I lost by trying to win, the others rode only to make me lose” / “I dread the thought that I might never win the world road champs”? They all may be true – but do they need to be said?

    Hugs,

    -Fanboy

    P.S. Good luck for P-R.

  11. Oh. I see now.
    You wan’t to like him but he needs to give you a little more to work with…

  12. I’m over Cancerllara. Hope he gets buried at Roubaix.

  13. You’re a bit Katy Perry aren’t you, Bretto?

  14. harminator:
    @Oli Brooke-White
    Yes. I can see Chav had a great race. But I can’t see why Cancellara’s ride gets so little praise or no comment.

    He did have a fantastic ride. If he hadn’t stuffed up his hydration/nutrition he would have won at a canter, I reckon. He’s bloody good, although I agree with G’phant that he’s been getting a bit Cavendish of late.

  15. @Oli Brooke-White
    Really? I’ll have to think about what the distinction is exactly””and Cancellara tweeted this morning that something very definitely got lost in translation (although this is a guy who claimed at the TdF in 2009 that he “rode like a lion” to defend yellow and his TT was like a precision Swiss watch)””but there’s something wildly entertaining about his comments that is totally absent when Cavendish spouts forth. It’s more than extreme confidence and arrogance.

  16. Not sure where to throw this one out but it seems Gent-Wevelgem’s original date has been replaced by Scheldeprijs and all the big guys are showing up today. Should be a great race. Wonder if Cancellara will try to lay down the law in order to establish some fear for Sunday.

  17. @Steampunk
    I didn’t mean the quality of the words so much as the up himself lippyness. No matter how well or poorly it’s expressed, it’s a quality I admire when it can be backed up. And they both certainly can back up their mouths with their legs…

  18. Brett:
    I’m over Cancerllara. Hope he gets buried at Roubaix.

    I noticed Brett. Very subtle.

  19. @Oli Brooke-White
    Its a fine line. These guys have to have to have supreme self belief to get where they are. If they don’t believe they’re the best they lose their edge. I enjoy the arrogance as long as it stays in the arena.

  20. Oli Brooke-White:
    You’re a bit Katy Perry aren’t you, Bretto?

    No worries, mate. We need more Velominata around here.

  21. @Brett
    I’m with you man. I’m over it. Boonen’s so easy to love because he always makes it hard on himself.

  22. @Steampunk, @harminator, @Oli Brooke-White
    I’m over him, but the comments are nothing like Cavendouche’s…There is an undercurrent of humour that lacks from Cav. Fab’s comments are closer to Cipo’s than they are to Cavs. In my opinion, anyway.

    @G’phant
    ++1

  23. cancellara’s ride was great, but for me he did look human. I think he was 2nd strongest of the day.

    I mentioned JV’s backing off and soft pedaling Garmin, and I really respect JV, he’s brilliant and for the life of me I don’t know what was going down when he said it, but it seems a mistake. now, let me also say, i am no PRO and never have so let me leave it respectfully there, he knows more than i his team.

    however, quickstep made a mistake too, i think. has anyone heard if Tom-Tom was held back, or if Chav was held back? Seems to me they were all on board for Tom-Tom, and Chav looked to be the one held back, he sat on Spartacus like a bad smell after a bad date. I think Chav was definitely the strongest rider and he will regret not taking 1st for the rest of his life. But nobody seems to know what was going down within the team, if Boonen had the green light and couldn’t or if Chav really did ride and couldn’t.

    anyway, its all water under the bridge for now
    now the Queen is upon us

  24. ok, sometimes i ask questions, think and wonder, then find answers.

    perhaps i should do it the other way around

    here is Chav’ comment: “When Cancellara joined me, I found it a pity that I couldn’t work with him,” Chavanel told Belgian news agency Belga. “But I defended the team’s tactics as Tom was behind and he could perhaps take the victory in the sprint.”

    so it came down to the race, the race dictated an outcome, not so much tactic.

  25. Buck Rogers :
    Not sure where to throw this one out but it seems Gent-Wevelgem’s original date has been replaced by Scheldeprijs and all the big guys are showing up today. Should be a great race. Wonder if Cancellara will try to lay down the law in order to establish some fear for Sunday.

    Once again, not really the right place to post this (maybe we could have a thread just for current race going on to comment about it) but report out of Scheldeprijs is that Farrar crashed HARD and that Boonen also went down. Uhhgg!

  26. @Buck Rogers
    Boonen went down twice. EBH broken rib? Not the best prep for Paris-Roubaix.

  27. Steampunk :
    @Buck RogersBoonen went down twice. EBH broken rib? Not the best prep for Paris-Roubaix.

    Shit! Man, I have not seen the full fall out on it yet.

  28. Steampunk :
    @Oli Brooke-WhiteReally? I’ll have to think about what the distinction is exactly””and Cancellara tweeted this morning that something very definitely got lost in translation (although this is a guy who claimed at the TdF in 2009 that he “Rode Like a Lion” to defend yellow and his TT was like a precision Swiss watch)””but there’s something wildly entertaining about his comments that is totally absent when Cavendish spouts forth. It’s more than extreme confidence and arrogance.

    I, for one, LOVE the comments from Fabian. As far as braggadocio goes, Fabian’s is always classy and well put… and let’s be honest, he’s dead on. 19 teams rode so hard to beat him they all forgot to try and win the race, only a wily move from Nuyens kept Fabo off the top spot. If Nuyens hadn’t gone when he did Chav probably would’ve just kept sitting on Fab’s wheel waiting for Tom to decide whether or not he had the legs. I think Chavanel had the legs to get the win if his team would’ve given him the green light in the last 10k instead of leaving him so obviously confused in the closing k. Nuyens may not have had the legs or done the work that the others did but he deserves his kudos for brilliant tactical awareness at the end and recognizing the decisive move when it went.

  29. @Ron

    Is it just me or does Nuyens not look fully PRO? His glasses look to big for him, making him look like a kid with adult shades on.

    How did I miss this? We’re mixing issues here. He looked PRO; he was winning de Ronde so he necessarily looks PRO. However, also looked like shit. Bad kit, bad shades. Looking PRO and looking GOOD are two separate things.

  30. I may as well weigh in here too as I was thinking about this on my ride just now probably instead of riding as hard as I could have been but I’m two months from peaking on a reverse taper.
    What I think Faboo is saying is “Hey look, I was the dude laying down the V all day and everybody else was just trying to respond to me. Chavanel layed down some V too and so did Nuyens at the very last minute but not as much as me, anyone can see that who watched the race. And as far as next week goes, expect the same. I’m a V laying mutha fucka and I’m firing off the guns again and it’s going to be up to everyone else to beat me. That’s just the truth.”
    We say shit like this all the time around here or tell each other to HTFU, etc. Granted it’s largely tongue in cheek there’s certainly some truth and intention about it. I picked up the same from Fabian. To sit here behind a keyboard and say we expect humility and grace out of one of our most lauded riders who is the perfect amount of dumb is a bit contradictory of us, imo.

  31. Oli Brooke-White:
    You’re a bit Katy Perry aren’t you, Bretto?

    I’d like a bit of Katy Perry, but other than that, I don’t know what that means…

  32. @Marko

    Yep, I love Faboo

  33. frank:
    @Ron

    Is it just me or does Nuyens not look fully PRO? His glasses look to big for him, making him look like a kid with adult shades on.

    How did I miss this? We’re mixing issues here. He looked PRO; he was winning de Ronde so he necessarily looks PRO. However, also looked like shit. Bad kit, bad shades. Looking PRO and looking GOOD are two separate things.

    I definirely agree with you (both)

  34. Marko :
    “Hey look, I was the dude laying down The V all day and everybody else was just trying to respond to me. Chavanel layed down some V too and so did Nuyens at the very last minute but not as much as me, anyone can see that who watched the race. And as far as next week goes, expect the same. I’m a V laying mutha fucka and I’m firing off the guns again and it’s going to be up to everyone else to beat me. That’s just the truth.”

    I think Spartacus just found himself a new translator!

  35. @G’phant
    I understand where G’phant’s coming from, but I disagree After Boonen being my #1 pick, I root for Fabian. However, if he makes the kind of modest comments you suggest, he’ll end up sounding like an NBA player, a golfer or worse, a NASCAR driver. These guys say nothing worth quoting or original that hasn’t been said before by everyone. I can’t believe the reporters even ask questions; they could make the comments up on their own and they’d be spot on 99% of the time. While I still find Cavendish a bit of a pain at times, he does speak his (young) mind on occasion and that’s what the sport’s pr machine feeds on. For any sport to thrive it needs its stars and like it or not Cavendish is a star.

    I also like Boonen and Cancellara because they speak very good English. Kudos to Tyler F too for his Dutch. Too many athletes are monolingual.

    As for looking PRO, Armstrong gets failing marks for wearing his grey dress socks on the bike (see pic above.) And while I’m on a rant, what’s with the whole unshaved face look? I don’t recall Merckx, Coppi, deVlaeminck or any of the stars of yesteryear showing up looking scruffy. Hell, Koblet carried a damn comb with him! It’s all part of looking PRO in my opinion.

  36. Brett:

    Oli Brooke-White:
    You’re a bit Katy Perry aren’t you, Bretto?

    I’d like a bit of Katy Perry, but other than that, I don’t know what that means…

    You’re hot and you’re cold.

  37. @frank

    frank:
    @Steampunk, @harminator, @Oli Brooke-White
    I’m over him, but the comments are nothing like Cavendouche’s…There is an undercurrent of humour that lacks from Cav. Fab’s comments are closer to Cipo’s than they are to Cavs. In my opinion, anyway.
    @G’phant
    ++1

    I think that this is simply a difference in culture, personally when i hear Cav speak, there’s vast amounts of humour in it, just usually of a black variety, but i think that its cos i’m English and from the north that i hear it. And when it doesn’t have humour, then he’s generally right in a Fuck Off kinda way. Could be worse though, he could be mouthy and not winning.

  38. @all
    In case you feel you deserve more points than you got, you can now dispute our mapping of your picks (we may hand this whole mapping business over to you at some point in general at some point, btw). Just click the link “dispute” and it will go into a queue for us to review it and see if we mapped it wrong.

    Piti Principle applies, so don’t be a dink and cause us a bunch of extra work by disputing picks just for the shit of it. Remember that we can award penalty points at our sole discretion for disputed picks that we feel were submitted for no good reason.

  39. Anyone else twitching like a smacked up ferret about the thought of Paris Roubaix? With Welly Roubaix coming up this weekend too I’m in for a lot of bad weather bike fun.

  40. wiscot :
    And while I’m on a rant, what’s with the whole unshaved face look? I don’t recall Merckx, Coppi, deVlaeminck or any of the stars of yesteryear showing up looking scruffy. Hell, Koblet carried a damn comb with him! It’s all part of looking PRO in my opinion.

    Rule #50

    “One may never shave on the morning of an important race, as it saps your virility, and you need that to kick ass.”

  41. @Sam
    Exactly.

  42. @Frank and other Keepers, may I humbly suggest the need to load up the VSP page for PR a little earlier than previously so as to extend the agony of making your selections and the pain that comes from second guessing ones self until 5.30 Pacific time, whatever the fuck that translates to in OZ.

  43. Just to add:
    L’Equipe had an interview with Cancellara yesterday in which he said (at least by my translation) that Boonen’s attack on Leberg was the key to the race, forcing him (Faboo) to break away so that Boonen wouldn’t sit on his wheel the rest of the way. Also that teams like Quickstep and BMC were racing to see him lose rather than to win themselves and that he would rather finish 3rd than see Boonen win. He also said that Nuyens won by smart racing but that it was “of no value” to the team to win like that, a fact that Riis should know.

    These points have been evoked here already but it was an honest interview (not like we have typically here in the US as has been mentioned).

  44. No ida if this is true but it should be if it isn’t, linked from a tweet by Flammecast.

    [Eurosport] Commentators talking about the Paris-roubaix sportive. They said Sean Kelly took a look at all the questions on the entry form and just scrawled across it ” I won the Race twice” and signed his name under it!

  45. ChrisO :
    No ida if this is true but it should be if it isn’t, linked from a tweet by Flammecast.
    [Eurosport] Commentators talking about the Paris-roubaix sportive. They said Sean Kelly took a look at all the questions on the entry form and just scrawled across it ” I won the Race twice” and signed his name under it!

    Whether true or not, that’s fucking brilliant! I need to figure out how to get into the P-R Sportif as I am going to be THERE next year and am planning on riding it! Cannot wait for P-R this weekend!!!

  46. @Buck Rogers
    Whaddya mean you need to figure out how to get into it? You’ve just been given the answer: scrawl ‘I won the race twice’ on the form – like the other 5,000 people who’ll now be doing likewise …

  47. @G’phant
    Of course! What was I thinking?!!? :)

  48. So it appears that Cancellara’s words were taken out of context and/or linguistically misinterpreted by the media – what a surprise.

  49. @xyxax

    Purloined from the comments at Inner Ring: an interview with Museeuw after he climbs De Muur on a city bike. Everyone but Frank, click on the closed captioning to get the english.

    Fucking awesome video that. I’m still grinning.

    Thanks for the link.

  50. @El Segundo

    @xyxax

    Purloined from the comments at Inner Ring: an interview with Museeuw after he climbs De Muur on a city bike. Everyone but Frank, click on the closed captioning to get the english.

    Fucking awesome video that. I’m still grinning.

    Thanks for the link.

    Ha, forgotten all about that.  And now they’ve gone and taken the orgasm out of the Ronde.

Leave a Reply

Sorry, entry/modification for this VSP event is currently closed. If you already entered, enter your email address to view current picks.