Sep Vanmarcke rides the cobbles Kelly-Style in the 2014 stage to Port du Hinault. Photo: Cycling Tips

Velominati Super Prestige: Tour de France 2015

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Cobblestones make the race, I’m not ruining any fantasies telling you that. Wet cobblestones, well, those make a legend. Nibbles rose in my esteem considerably when he rode the wet cobbles as well as he rides any mountain descent or climb; that is a boy with some nerves and some mad bike handling skills.

Wet cobbles are scarier to ride that dry ones, but they aren’t really that much more difficult to ride; you’re still playing the lottery that your wheels keep pointing where your bike is trying to go. But wet stones are definitely more draining; the mud and silt you ride through make it like riding through molasses. Awesome molasses, but molasses nonetheless.

The cobbles are back this year, and hopefully so will the rain. Let us pray for rain, because last year’s stage made the race.

The Tour de France needs no introduction but the VSP prizes deserve a gentle reminder. This is a Grand Tour, people, lots of points at stake. And those points are going towards amazing prizes including a Jaegher frame and a Café Roubaix wheelset. There is plenty of time for you to Delgado this thing, too, if you wait around until the last minute. So my advice is that you avoid doing that.

Give yourself enough time to enter your picks so if something has gone amuck, you have time to hit “reload” or come back V minutes later to try again before the event closes. Remember, your procrastination in this matter will not result in our emergency to enter your picks for you. All that said, if you do encounter a problem, please be so kind as to take a screenshot and upload it because the descriptor “it didn’t work” or “hm, not working” doesn’t help us debug the problem. Also, Internet Explorer is not supported and apparently only shows one Pick Entry box, so use Chrome, Firefox, or Safari instead.

The scoring for the Grand Tours is a tad more involved than the one-day races and one-week Tours, so look the guidelines over before making your prognostications.

So get your picks in before the countdown clock goes to zero, hit the go button, and good luck.

 

Final Race Results
1. FROOME Christopher
2. QUINTANA ROJAS, Nairo Alexander
3. VALVERDE Alejandro
4. NIBALI Vincenzo
5. CONTADOR VELASCO Alberto
Final VSP Results
1. The Engine (45 points)
2. sthilzy (45 points)
3. Geraint (45 points)
4. Minnesota Expat (45 points)
5. Yagerbomb (45 points)
6. ramenvelo (45 points)
7. LeoTea (43 points)
8. ten B (43 points)
9. Rom (43 points)
10. Tom Mc (41 points)
11. taon24 (41 points)
12. Steampunk (41 points)
13. Phillip Mercer (41 points)
14. Charlie (41 points)
15. tony macaroni (41 points)
16. VirenqueforeVer (41 points)
17. foggypeake (41 points)
18. fly (41 points)
19. Geordi (41 points)
20. bwjosh (40 points)
21. Neil Hodgson (40 points)
22. Kris Fernhout (40 points)
23. il muro di manayunk (38 points)
24. Teocalli (38 points)
25. Al__S (38 points)
26. wilburrox (38 points)
27. ChrisO (38 points)
28. dark42echo (35 points)
29. piwakawaka (33 points)
30. CanuckChuck (33 points)
31. GogglesPizano (33 points)
32. Patrick (33 points)
33. RobSandy (31 points)
34. ped (31 points)
35. Neoito (30 points)
36. Lunge (29 points)
37. dyalander (29 points)
38. Mark70 (29 points)
39. eenies (29 points)
40. dancollins (29 points)
41. chui (29 points)
42. Two Ball Billy (28 points)
43. razmaspaz (28 points)
44. oputae (28 points)
45. zeitzmar (28 points)
46. KogaLover (28 points)
47. Michael Randrup (28 points)
48. WindDrifter (27 points)
49. ojhart (26 points)
50. TheDon (26 points)
51. Boyd Wiebe (26 points)
52. lemesjeu (26 points)
53. hhbiker (26 points)
54. Harminator (26 points)
55. Dan_R (26 points)
56. unversio (24 points)
57. wiscot (24 points)
58. CoachRobDC (24 points)
59. AJ (24 points)
60. dpalazzo (24 points)
61. Quasar (24 points)
62. John Irvine (24 points)
63. Byron (21 points)
64. Jay (21 points)
65. bea (21 points)
66. Lukas (18 points)
67. amaZuluDude (18 points)
68. Spencer (16 points)
69. VeloJello (16 points)
70. Ccos (16 points)
71. 1860 (16 points)
72. KW (16 points)
73. Deakus (16 points)
74. gilvelo (16 points)
75. JCM (16 points)
76. Joe (16 points)
77. Brianold55 (16 points)
78. LA Dave (16 points)
79. anotherdownunder (16 points)
80. Rob (16 points)
81. gmk69 (16 points)
82. Ben Watts (16 points)
83. Haldy (16 points)
84. Chrille (16 points)
85. ziggy (16 points)
86. Richard Harvey (16 points)
87. Noel (15 points)
88. Julez (15 points)
89. The Grande Fondue (14 points)
90. Thomas Westlund (14 points)
91. justinevan88 (14 points)
92. Reuben (14 points)
93. TheVid (14 points)
94. Roobar (13 points)
95. moondance (13 points)
96. plynie (12 points)
97. JohnB (12 points)
98. Robert Dao (12 points)
99. seemunkee (12 points)
100. Barracuda (12 points)
101. DCR (12 points)
102. Chris (12 points)
103. @BacklashJack (12 points)
104. Tobin (12 points)
105. MangoDave (12 points)
106. Matt (12 points)
107. JonnyG (12 points)
108. mylezz (12 points)
109. bsqueeze (12 points)
110. Solly (12 points)
111. sinikl (12 points)
112. il ciclista medio (12 points)
113. LawnCzar (12 points)
114. Roberto Marques (12 points)
115. RedRanger (12 points)
116. Fausto (12 points)
117. Steph D (12 points)
118. xyxax (12 points)
119. Giotto (12 points)
120. Rigid (12 points)
121. Ron (12 points)
122. snoov (12 points)
123. Welsh Paul (11 points)
124. Clingon (9 points)
125. Simon (9 points)
126. Duende (9 points)
127. ErikdR (9 points)
128. Erik (9 points)
129. Jeroen Meirlaen (9 points)
130. R00tdown (9 points)
131. thezuff (9 points)
132. Nate (9 points)
133. Bianchi Denti (9 points)
134. Daccordi Rider (9 points)
135. oneninefiveninesix (9 points)
136. markb (9 points)
137. girl (9 points)
138. velopaolo (9 points)
139. frank (9 points)
140. strathlubnaig (9 points)
141. simonsaunders (9 points)
142. David Booth Beers (9 points)
143. Chica (9 points)
144. DeKerr (9 points)
145. tengri (9 points)
146. Kevin (7 points)
147. Michael Heusdens (7 points)
148. Mikael Liddy (6 points)
149. rockkk (6 points)
150. Josiah D (6 points)
151. Bill Chris (6 points)
152. el gato (6 points)
153. freddy (6 points)
154. osbk67 (6 points)
155. Gianni (6 points)
156. gilly (6 points)
157. SamV (4 points)
158. Pot Belj (4 points)
159. Drew (4 points)
160. hurricanejosh (3 points)
161. chickenmcnasty (3 points)
162. asyax (3 points)
163. BaltoSteve (3 points)
164. oldensteel (1 points)
165. bob droege (0 points)
166. PT (0 points)
167. BatDan (0 points)
168. rfreese888 (0 points)
169. Eric Oak (0 points)
170. PT (0 points)
171. brett (0 points)

// Velominati Super Prestige

  1. TJ abandons. He’s made it back to the peleton, but Bertie attacked and he went out the back again. Has climbed off the bike and into the car. Hate to see people drop out due to illness.

  2. And that’s all she wrote for TJvG. Different circumstances, but two years in a row he has a shit day after a rest day. Something isn’t working there. Gutted for him though, he was having a great Tour.

  3. I was gonna swap someone out for Valverde yesterday. Glad I didn’t do it, because I wouldn’t have dropped TJ off my list. Sad the American hope is gone, but I think the guy lacks some mental toughness.

  4. @LeoTea

    TJ abandons. He’s made it back to the peleton, but Bertie attacked and he went out the back again. Has climbed off the bike and into the car. Hate to see people drop out due to illness.

    Well, my main picks were looking too good so something had to break!

  5. Fuck Fuck Fuck! The prophet is not smiling on me today. Swapped out a Yates for TGVG yesterday and he abandons the very next day! Merde!

  6. Looks like G is up into fourth after today’s stage. Van Constant Gardener is out now, which is a massive pain. Still, my top 3 is looking promising (albeit with 20pts of deductions.)

  7. @AJ

    I was gonna swap someone out for Valverde yesterday. Glad I didn’t do it, because I wouldn’t have dropped TJ off my list. Sad the American hope is gone, but I think the guy lacks some mental toughness.

    This, and it’s why I’ll never pick him for a position on a grand tour podium. I think Van Garderen (and Porte for that matter) need to look for some two-week grand tours.

  8. @VeloJello

    Always had a soft spot for Sagan, though I wouldn’t leave him alone with my wife.

    Tony Gallopin’s wife is presenting the combativity award, which the mighty sagan won for kicking the moto, telling the driver to fuck off, and then barging Coquard out of the sprint. Anyway, it’s just an excuse to post a picture of Marion Rousse

  9. @ped

    I just learned of this lady this morning. Gallopin is a lucky guy.

  10. @Minnesota Expat

    @AJ

    I was gonna swap someone out for Valverde yesterday. Glad I didn’t do it, because I wouldn’t have dropped TJ off my list. Sad the American hope is gone, but I think the guy lacks some mental toughness.

    This, and it’s why I’ll never pick him for a position on a grand tour podium. I think Van Garderen (and Porte for that matter) need to look for some two-week grand tours.

    That is why I put him 5th. I expected a 3-peat of that performance. I read somewhere that Porte is also feeling a little sick, a cough or something.

  11. I like this thread where people regurgitate what we’re all watching anyway. #pointless

  12. @Oli

    I like this thread where people regurgitate what we’re all watching anyway. #pointless

    Yeah, but did anyone catch this Phil Liggettism? During the approach to the base of the climb;

    Paul: One rider that is looking forward to the descent off Col d’Allos is Romain Bardet. He gained a minute and a half on the descent at the Criterium du Dauphine.

    Phil: I hope he does a better job than the other day when he knocked Geraint Thomas off the road!

  13. And that’s the last rest day so I’m stuck with TVG now!

  14. @Minnesota Expat

    @AJ

    I was gonna swap someone out for Valverde yesterday. Glad I didn’t do it, because I wouldn’t have dropped TJ off my list. Sad the American hope is gone, but I think the guy lacks some mental toughness.

    This, and it’s why I’ll never pick him for a position on a grand tour podium. I think Van Garderen (and Porte for that matter) need to look for some two-week grand tours.

    Pray tell where they might find such a thing?

  15. @Mikael Liddy

    @Minnesota Expat

    @AJ

    I was gonna swap someone out for Valverde yesterday. Glad I didn’t do it, because I wouldn’t have dropped TJ off my list. Sad the American hope is gone, but I think the guy lacks some mental toughness.

    This, and it’s why I’ll never pick him for a position on a grand tour podium. I think Van Garderen (and Porte for that matter) need to look for some two-week grand tours.

    Pray tell where they might find such a thing?

    http://www.tourdesuisse.ch/en/tds-2015/stage-plan/overview/ is pretty close. Except for the grand tour thing. And it’s not quite 2 weeks. But apart from those details..

  16. @Mikael Liddy

    @Minnesota Expat

    @AJ

    I was gonna swap someone out for Valverde yesterday. Glad I didn’t do it, because I wouldn’t have dropped TJ off my list. Sad the American hope is gone, but I think the guy lacks some mental toughness.

    This, and it’s why I’ll never pick him for a position on a grand tour podium. I think Van Garderen (and Porte for that matter) need to look for some two-week grand tours.

    Pray tell where they might find such a thing?

    Exactly. That’s my point. We might all be tired of hearing about the “Fab Four”, but seriously, the last two days we see why these four guys win grand tours. All four are peaking in the alps, racing together, marking each other, and attacking. You can’t have a bad day on a grand tour, because barring a crash or flat, these guys will be game on and perfect for three-weeks.

  17. Shit. We’ve got some racing today.

  18. @wiscot

    Don’t let @Oli know, he’s watching it already and doesn’t like spoilers.

  19. @Minnesota Expat

    All four are peaking in the alps, racing together, marking each other, and attacking. You can’t have a bad day on a grand tour, because barring a crash or flat, these guys will be game on and perfect for three-weeks.

    Peaking in the Alps isn’t exactly awesome if you’ve lost three minutes or more in the first week or so. If we’re talking band names it’s Fab Froomie and the Feeble Four. Or it was until one of them went home.

  20. Hmmm – wonder if we’re going to hyperbolic reaction about today’s performance. After all, if Froome is “out of this world”, then how do you classify Quintana and Nibali? *sarcasm off*

    One thing I did notice – when Quintana attacked, Froome was a few riders behind, and when he responded, Majka chose that exact moment to swing off and got in Froome’s way. For about the next 2 minutes, that was pretty much the gap between the two of them. Makes me wonder if Froome hadn’t been badly placed and delayed, whether Quintana would have sustained the attack. Any time he’s attacked before on a summit finish, he’s only ever tried once. If it doesn’t work, he generally sits back.

    And if Quintana gets another 30 seconds tomorrow on Alpe d’Huez, then Froome won the tour on Stage 2 in the crosswinds.

  21. Can I just say that I now find myself in the weird position of rooting for Malmerde.

    I’m so excited that I’m not going to be able to go for a shit until Sunday night .

  22. @VeloJello

    LOL, I’m watching it live so pretty hard to spoil it for me. Just keep pointing out the bleeding obvious and I’ll keep chuckling away and wondering why anyone bothers.

  23. Nibali had some special sauce on his pasta last night…

  24. @the Engine

    Can I just say that I now find myself in the weird position of rooting for Malmerde.

    I’m so excited that I’m not going to be able to go for a shit until Sunday night .

    Hell’s bells man, you’re rooting for Malmerde over Nibbles? That was a great ride by Nibali. As far as I’m concerned, Malmerde has done SFA this tour. OK, he’s got to stick by wee NQ, but still. Nibali’s win shows that he was not in top form coming into the Tour. With a podium spot an option tomorrow, I think he’ll give it a go. If he does make the podium, I’d say it makes him the man of the tour considering how shitty he was in the first half of the race.

    Sorry to see Thomas have a bad day. He deserved to be top 5.

    Should be fun on L’Alpe tomorrow! NQ has to get something other than 2nd out of his race and will be stage win hunting. Nibbles will be looking for the podium from Malmerde. The Frenchies are going well. Here’s hoping no idiot fan fucks things up. I’m not big fan of Froome, but I don’t think he deserves the abuse he’s getting. Maybe he’ll have a go to show who’s boss.

  25. @the Engine

    Can I just say that I now find myself in the weird position of rooting for Malmerde.

    I’m so excited that I’m not going to be able to go for a shit until Sunday night .

    Or better yet, Contador attacks Valverde, gains 2:30 minutes, moves into third, and Nibali slips to fourth. But yeah, I’m holding my breath for about five hours tomorrow morning (central USA).

  26. @Minnesota Expat

    @the Engine

    Can I just say that I now find myself in the weird position of rooting for Malmerde.

    I’m so excited that I’m not going to be able to go for a shit until Sunday night .

    Or better yet, Contador attacks Valverde, gains 2:30 minutes, moves into third, and Nibali slips to fourth. But yeah, I’m holding my breath for about five hours tomorrow morning (central USA).

    Nah, after today’s ride, Nibbles deserves third place. Bertie and Malmerde don’t deserve 3rd. They’ve done hee-haw. I think Bertie’s cooked after the Giro. Malmerde’s just doing what he does best – following wheels. Nibbles is hitting form – albeit too damn late.

  27. Having watched today on French TV I see what Froome and Sky are on about when they talk about irresponsible and biased coverage.

    Nibali’s attack while he looked at Froome having a mechanical was glossed over while they spent the next hour creaming their pants over his ‘panache’.

    Then at the end was a fawning interview by the doper Laurent Jalabert while Nibali stood next to the doper Alexander Vinokourov but of course nobody raised an eyebrow.

    Couple that with people clearly abusing Froome and apparently being spat on and I begin to think they have a point.

  28. @wiscot

    Sorry to see Thomas have a bad day. He deserved to be top 5.

    “Some days you’re the hammer and some days you’re the nail. Today I was a very cheap Ikea nail.”

    To casually (deliberately) gloss over the loss of 22 minutes and 10 places; chapeau.

  29. @ChrisO

    Agreed. I’m no fan of Froome and I can’t say for sure Nibbles knew what was going on and attacked to capitalise (though it seems likely) and Froome’s whining about it lacks class but all that said I can understand the chip on his shoulder as what he’s copping is totally disproportionate to those around him in the GC and there’s no logical reason – it’s fanaticism not journalism and that should be left to us.

  30. There was an interesting profile of Froome on UK ITV4 last night after the TdF highlights. It can’t really be claimed that he came from nowhere all of a sudden. Given the level of coaching available to him when he first entered the World Championships TT he had a pretty impressive start. Training for the hills by dragging your brakes as a substitute takes a certain amount of V not to release them.

    I said this when Wiggo was winning and the press were complaining that he was boring and lacked panache by not constantly attacking but the lack of constant attacking appears to me to be a reflection that the sport is cleaner. Doping allowed riders to attack day after day from way out in a way that was not normal, so it is surely more likely now that you will see a big effort to establish a lead and then sit in on following days.

  31. Boom! It all comes down to this. Win the stage by 2.29 and the Tour is Quintana’s, but remember he wears the white jersey, his time is yet to come.

  32. @Teocalli

    Yeah, Froome was being talked about as a rare talent and a possible GT contender even from his mountainbike days – he didn’t get picked by Barloworld for nothing.

    Just because the shit media haven’t seized on someone so we haven’t heard of them doesn’t actually mean they’ve come from nowhere.

    Basically, they have to perform on the big stage for most journalists to take them seriously and start talking about them, but the fact is they had to have been good enough to get there in the first place.

  33. So the crosswinds in the first week ultimately decided the race. Brilliance from Pinot & Quintana today yet not brilliant enough for the latter.

    4/5 in the VSP but none in the correct order.

  34. Well that was great! How many times did Quintana try and lift the pace? That may not have been flashy by Froome but it was gritty, and it’s very cool to see the Maillot Jaune take the Maillot Pois as well – that’s the first time that’s happened since The Prophet did it in 1970.

  35. Well….at least I nailed my pick of Nibali finishing 4th…

  36. Winner Anacona was pretty amazing, especially when he looked back and Nairo was like, yeah, cmon go as hard as you can…. after being in the break for most of the day.

    I’m mad at Movistar for screwing up so early and wondering how (I mean, I know how I guess) Quintana couldn’t have chipped away a few seconds here and there before today’s epic ride. But that ride was epic.

  37. So how do the French (etc) press cover that overall Quintana was the fastest climber and Pinot took the king stage? Doubtless Pinot was merely superbe avec panache. I personally like to believe that the fact that none of them can string together a series of killer stages as a good sign that things have improved. Call me naive if you like but for me it’s better than the COTHO days. I’d place a bet on Quintana for next year though.

  38. Brilliant! Had the pleasure of yelling at life sized projected images live, the first climb was a cracker too, here’s the last climb, fantastic!

    Remember Nairo is only 24, his best is yet to come. Chapeau to Froome, as always this is a team event and for the most part the teams were great, great Tour.

  39. @RobSandy

    I haven’t read the VSP rules in detail before, I’d thought there might be some points on offer for stage winners. As there isn’t, it means I’m just trying to pick the final top 5. That’s tricky. Here we go, anyway.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Froom
    2. Quintana
    3. Contador
    4. Nibali
    5. Van Garderen

    @RobSandy The curse of the rest day swaps eh? Happy for @The Engine, leading going into the ice rink that a wet Champs Elysees appears to be for the ladies in La Course. Fingers crossed for a incident free finale…

  40. Twice now Movistar have been undone in the Dutch crosswinds – Valverde was behind by the time lost after he punctured in the wind a couple of years back. I thought Quintana would ride with no luck and would crash out early. I also thought Scarponi and Fuglsang would be stronger. Glad I was wrong.

    I think Quintana is no sure thing – this course suited him, he may have to wait a year or two for another opportunity like this year’s, and a lot can happen in that time.

  41. @JohnB

    @RobSandy

    I haven’t read the VSP rules in detail before, I’d thought there might be some points on offer for stage winners. As there isn’t, it means I’m just trying to pick the final top 5. That’s tricky. Here we go, anyway.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Froom
    2. Quintana
    3. Contador
    4. Nibali
    5. Van Garderen

    @RobSandy The curse of the rest day swaps eh? Happy for @The Engine, leading going into the ice rink that a wet Champs Elysees appears to be for the ladies in La Course. Fingers crossed for a incident free finale…

    Yup. I was sitting pretty in the top 10 before I spent 10 points to achieve FA. But I had no way to guess TVG was going to drop out at that point.

  42. Man, I loves me that side angle camera on the Champs finishing sprint. What a great angle to see how they crush their bikes into submission.

  43. Anyone know what happened to the Trek rider left still on the floor of the Rue De Rivoli?

  44. @frank

    Man, I loves me that side angle camera on the Champs finishing sprint. What a great angle to see how they crush their bikes into submission.

    WTF, that finish looked like it was directed by an intern… on his day off.

    You couldn’t see anything in that side shot. Who was coming up, where they were, the relative speeds.

    It’s one of the few finishes where they could justify rigging up an overhead camera to follow the front of the sprint down the last 100m so you could see all the action.

    Seriously it’s fucking piss-poor.

    That’s before you even take into account the shitty way they’ve incited the crowds – France Television should get some of the blame for the behaviour of the fans.

    The UCI needs to do what F1 does – award TV coverage to a single company which produces international standard feeds for a global audience. I know the races belong to other organisations but the participants belong to the UCI so they’ve got leverage… unfortunately they have no balls or brains so it won’t happen.

  45. @VeloJello

    Anyone know what happened to the Trek rider left still on the floor of the Rue De Rivoli?

    I was wondering same thing. Let’s hope just laying still to avoid any more mishap with the other riders passing.

  46. @VeloJello

    Anyone know what happened to the Trek rider left still on the floor of the Rue De Rivoli?

    According to CylingNews >>> Trek says that it was Devolder and he is okay <<<

  47. @JohnB

    @RobSandy

    I haven’t read the VSP rules in detail before, I’d thought there might be some points on offer for stage winners. As there isn’t, it means I’m just trying to pick the final top 5. That’s tricky. Here we go, anyway.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Froom
    2. Quintana
    3. Contador
    4. Nibali
    5. Van Garderen

    @RobSandy The curse of the rest day swaps eh? Happy for @The Engine, leading going into the ice rink that a wet Champs Elysees appears to be for the ladies in La Course. Fingers crossed for a incident free finale…

    Insert forbidden emoticon here

  48. @the Engine

    Top result man, both the Tour and in the VSP thus far. You clearly spend a disproportionate time checking out the Pro’s form. Note to self. Stop working.

    A well deserved maillot jaune badge for you.

  49. @JohnB

    @the Engine

    Top result man, both the Tour and in the VSP thus far. You clearly spend a disproportionate time checking out the Pro’s form. Note to self. Stop working.

    A well deserved maillot jaune badge for you.

    It’s as if I analysed complex ambiguous data for a living.

    Does anyone feel a Scottish Cogal coming on?

  50. First day at work since July 13. Was on vacation at a lake in northern Ontario. No lake livin’, no Tour, a cubicle for the day…feeling some serious mid-summer let down. I guess this is the first time I’ve had a 9-5 in a few years, so that isn’t helping either.

    I guess I know why my father always hated the end of vacations so much. I suppose everyone does, duh. But I’m feeling a serious malaise today.

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