Platinum blond Frankie VDB goes deep in the Spanish desert.

Platinum blond Frankie VDB goes deep in the Spanish desert.

Velominati Super Prestige: Vuelta a España 2016

by / / 217 posts

The Vuelta is my least favorite Grand Tour. I say this every year, I know. And every year, circumstances make it look an awful lot like I could be wrong about that. Circumstances like, for instance, the fact that the GC almost always comes down to a nail-biting final few days, or someone comes from far down the classification to upset the standings on a transition stage, like Contador did a few years back.

Still, there is no denying that it has the least prestige of the three Grand Tours; any rider who has won the Tour de France would have no trouble finding a contract for years to come, and the same goes for the Giro to a lesser extent. Yet, I can think of two Vuelta winners – if not three – in the last decade who were without a contract the following year or were forced to resign themselves to racing on a lower-ranked team.

I blame my dislike for the Vuelta on Spain’s geography; those rains in Spain that fall mainly in the plains are also the plains in Spain that host stages on roads so flat and straight that you get the idea half the peloton would be happy to wrap a bungee cord around their handlebars and take a nap. Yet, some of the most brutal climbs are found along its parcours and those brutal climbs make for some wildly fantastic racing.

So I’m not saying I’m changing my mind about the Vuelta, but it can’t be worse than the Tour was this year.

Anyway, don’t mind this grumpy old man; prognosticate on the start list, get your picks in, sit back, and enjoy the racing. Good luck!

Final Race Results
1. QUINTANA ROJAS, Nairo Alexander
2. FROOME Christopher
3. CHAVES RUBIO Johan Esteban
4. CONTADOR VELASCO Alberto
5. TALANSKY Andrew
Final VSP Results
1. Monti Martani (45 points)
2. Roberto Marques (45 points)
3. Erik (42 points)
4. mulebeatsdrums (36 points)
5. Jay (34 points)
6. LeoTea (33 points)
7. TheDon (31 points)
8. Jed (31 points)
9. Kevin (31 points)
10. R00tdown (31 points)
11. Two Ball Billy (31 points)
12. Iain Taggart (29 points)
13. oneninefiveninesix (28 points)
14. Bianchi Denti (28 points)
15. Heusdens (28 points)
16. Vbikes (26 points)
17. JohnB (26 points)
18. ramenvelo (24 points)
19. Matthew M (24 points)
20. ojhart (24 points)
21. Yagerbomb (24 points)
22. Snowy (24 points)
23. MikeK (24 points)
24. the Engine (24 points)
25. osbk67 (23 points)
26. il muro di manayunk (23 points)
27. 1860 (21 points)
28. Kay_Jay (21 points)
29. Quasar (21 points)
30. Chica (21 points)
31. Ron (21 points)
32. portemat (20 points)
33. Roberto F (19 points)
34. Fred (19 points)
35. Rom (19 points)
36. JonnyG (19 points)
37. chuckp (19 points)
38. tony macaroni (19 points)
39. dancollins (19 points)
40. dyalander (19 points)
41. John Irvine (19 points)
42. Adrian (19 points)
43. LavaPupil (16 points)
44. piwakawaka (16 points)
45. Quadzilla (16 points)
46. chris (16 points)
47. Clingon (16 points)
48. sthilzy (15 points)
49. KogaLover (14 points)
50. wiscot (13 points)
51. Rusty Gramm (12 points)
52. Barracuda (12 points)
53. RobSandy (12 points)
54. Ccos (12 points)
55. Nicholas (12 points)
56. VbyV (12 points)
57. dpalazzo (12 points)
58. TheVid (12 points)
59. Daccordi Rider (12 points)
60. taon24 (12 points)
61. Lebowski Achiever (12 points)
62. GiantBars (12 points)
63. Steve Trice (12 points)
64. CanuckChuck (12 points)
65. Haldy (12 points)
66. Father of Four (12 points)
67. Tom Mc (12 points)
68. Rigid (12 points)
69. Tobin (12 points)
70. Pulo (12 points)
71. 1km2go (9 points)
72. Teocalli (9 points)
73. fenlander (9 points)
74. BacklashJack (9 points)
75. Harminator (9 points)
76. Phillip Mercer (9 points)
77. oligali (9 points)
78. bwjosh (9 points)
79. xyxax (9 points)
80. MangoDave (6 points)
81. Kunanyi (6 points)
82. Bart (6 points)
83. eenies (6 points)
84. VirenqueforeVer (6 points)
85. Jansen (6 points)
86. BaltoSteve (6 points)
87. Brett (6 points)
88. vshildebrand (3 points)
89. DVMR (3 points)
90. freddy (3 points)
91. pedro (2 points)
92. dinosaurJR (0 points)
93. JCM (0 points)
94. Rick (0 points)
95. Randy C (0 points)

// Velominati Super Prestige

  1. VSP PICKS (2nd Rest Day Swaps):

    1. Contador, Alberto
    2. Valverde, Alejandro
    3. Froome, Chris
    4. Chaves, Esteban
    5. Yates, Simon
  2. Let it ride. No swaps. Once I picked some American named Horner to win the Vuelta. Pretty sure I was the only one to pick him. Did not change my VSP standing a fig. But swaps. Swaps are like the return of late 80s neon. Bad news.

  3. Hate to pull Contador from numero uno but the

    math doesn’t lie.

    VSP PICKS (2nd Rest Day Swaps):

    1. Quintana
    2. Froome
    3. Valverde
    4. Kruijswijk
    5. Chaves
  4. VSP PICKS (2nd Rest Day Swaps):

    1. Quintana
    2. Froome
    3. Contadore
    4. Chaves
    5. Yates
  5. VSP PICKS (2nd Rest Day Swaps):

    1. Contador
    2. Esteban Chavez
    3. Chris Froome
    4. Miguel Angel Lopez
    5. Simon Yates
  6. Partial NITRO but do not want to waste

    too many points; just swapped Crashwijk for Yates.

    VSP PICKS (2nd Rest Day Swaps):

    1. Contador
    2. Froome
    3. Quintana
    4. Chaves
    5. Simon Yates
  7. I think I’m gonna start drinking diesel fuel for breakfast with hopes I could ride like big ol’ Mr Stannard. Ya’ll catch his win yesterday? Maybe it’s just me thinking this but sure was so much unlike all the solo breakaways we see televised lately with the attackers furiously pedaling away. There’s Ian mashing a big gear and barely turning it over it would seem (?) Just watching it I’m saying to myself, dang man, get on it… well apparently he was! What a cool dude. Cheers all.

  8. @Randy C

    I think I’m gonna start drinking diesel fuel for breakfast with hopes I could ride like big ol’ Mr Stannard. Ya’ll catch his win yesterday? Maybe it’s just me thinking this but sure was so much unlike all the solo breakaways we see televised lately with the attackers furiously pedaling away. There’s Ian mashing a big gear and barely turning it over it would seem (?) Just watching it I’m saying to myself, dang man, get on it… well apparently he was! What a cool dude. Cheers all.

    A lot of KOM’s for a “Lunch Ride“! And at that pace it’s no wonder he looked completely cooked at the end and in the post race intervals.

    Strong work and somewhat reminiscent of him crushing Ettix with that big gear of his.

  9. I gotta go back and watch that recent stage. GC contenders attacking from the gun? WOW!

  10. @chris

    @Randy C

    I think I’m gonna start drinking diesel fuel for breakfast with hopes I could ride like big ol’ Mr Stannard. Ya’ll catch his win yesterday? Maybe it’s just me thinking this but sure was so much unlike all the solo breakaways we see televised lately with the attackers furiously pedaling away. There’s Ian mashing a big gear and barely turning it over it would seem (?) Just watching it I’m saying to myself, dang man, get on it… well apparently he was! What a cool dude. Cheers all.

    A lot of KOM’s for a “Lunch Ride“! And at that pace it’s no wonder he looked completely cooked at the end and in the post race intervals.

    Strong work and somewhat reminiscent of him crushing Ettix with that big gear of his.

    Glad someone else mentioned this – I fucking love Stannard. He makes me feel a lot better about myself. He doesn’t ride a bike with elegance or grace or souplesse – he rides a bike like he’s trying to break it.

    Great win, great bloke.

  11. @RobSandy

    @chris

    @Randy C

    I think I’m gonna start drinking diesel fuel for breakfast with hopes I could ride like big ol’ Mr Stannard. Ya’ll catch his win yesterday? Maybe it’s just me thinking this but sure was so much unlike all the solo breakaways we see televised lately with the attackers furiously pedaling away. There’s Ian mashing a big gear and barely turning it over it would seem (?) Just watching it I’m saying to myself, dang man, get on it… well apparently he was! What a cool dude. Cheers all.

    A lot of KOM’s for a “Lunch Ride“! And at that pace it’s no wonder he looked completely cooked at the end and in the post race intervals.

    Strong work and somewhat reminiscent of him crushing Ettix with that big gear of his.

    He makes me feel a lot better about myself. He doesn’t ride a bike with elegance or grace or souplesse – he rides a bike like he’s trying to break it.

    So true. I aspire to the stroke of Maître Jacques but comfort myself with the knowledge that Stannard can stomp his way to victory.

    I do need to spend a lot of time on my rollers this winter, though. That’s the key to a more magnificent stroke for me.

  12. @chris

    So true. I aspire to the stroke of Maître Jacques but ……

    That could be wilfully misconstrued………

  13. @chris

    So true. I aspire to the stroke of Maître Jacques but comfort myself with the knowledge that Stannard can stomp his way to victory.

    I do need to spend a lot of time on my rollers this winter, though. That’s the key to a more magnificent stroke for me.

    I plan to ride fixed on the track once a week, that should help. Mind you, elegance can get you so far but there’s no substitute for POWER. I wish I had a fraction of the leg power big Yogi must have.

    I’ve worked out a description of how Stannard rides – like he’s trying to crush his bike into a very small cube with his legs and his arms.

  14. @Teocalli

    @chris

    So true. I aspire to the stroke of Maître Jacques but ……

    That could be wilfully misconstrued………

    From what I’ve heard plenty of ladies experienced Anquetil’s stroke…

  15. @Teocalli, @RobSandy, Must you find innuendo everywhere?

    One of the requirements of my work is that the reports I write contain no ambiguity whatsoever.

  16. @chris

    @Teocalli, @RobSandy, Must you find innuendo everywhere?

    One of the requirements of my work is that the reports I write contain no ambiguity whatsoever.

    I thought it was one of the unwritten site rules to misconstrue comments at every opportunity?

  17. @RobSandy

    @chris

    So true. I aspire to the stroke of Maître Jacques but comfort myself with the knowledge that Stannard can stomp his way to victory.

    I do need to spend a lot of time on my rollers this winter, though. That’s the key to a more magnificent stroke for me.

    I plan to ride fixed on the track once a week, that should help. Mind you, elegance can get you so far but there’s no substitute for POWER. I wish I had a fraction of the leg power big Yogi must have.

    Rollers for souplesse, turbo for power.

    Stannard averaged 326 watts the other day. I’d be luck to produce that sort of power for more than a couple of minutes.

  18. @chris

    @Teocalli, @RobSandy, Must you find innuendo everywhere?

    Yes.

  19. Van Garderen abandons after a rest day, who would have guessed that?

  20. @Rick

    Van Garderen abandons after a rest day, who would have guessed that?

    Not a great season for him. Wonder whether he’ll continue to pursue GT ambitions or steer his career in another direction? In my eyes he’s not even an outside bet for a podium position in a three week stage race, especially given the rise of the Yates boys which has pushed him further back in the pecking order.

  21. @Steve Trice

    @Rick

    Van Garderen abandons after a rest day, who would have guessed that?

    Not a great season for him. Wonder whether he’ll continue to pursue GT ambitions or steer his career in another direction? In my eyes he’s not even an outside bet for a podium position in a three week stage race, especially given the rise of the Yates boys which has pushed him further back in the pecking order.

    Agreed, he seems to have problems after rest days for some reason. I figured the signing of Richie Port signaled that BMC management was losing faith in Tejay. Hate to see this happen to him.

  22. @chris

    I was just having a look at Stannard’s Strava profile, found this. Pretty good KOM to have, no?

    https://www.strava.com/segments/8305696

  23. @RobSandy

    That’s ridiculous and, quite frankly, just not fair. That’s near enough flat and cobbled. The fastest I’ve recorded is 65.5 kph coming off the Hautacam (it’s far from smooth and the straights aren’t that long) but it’s steep.

    I think I need to get a Stannard hair cut.

  24. @chris

    @RobSandy

    @chris

    So true. I aspire to the stroke of Maître Jacques but comfort myself with the knowledge that Stannard can stomp his way to victory.

    I do need to spend a lot of time on my rollers this winter, though. That’s the key to a more magnificent stroke for me.

    I plan to ride fixed on the track once a week, that should help. Mind you, elegance can get you so far but there’s no substitute for POWER. I wish I had a fraction of the leg power big Yogi must have.

    Rollers for souplesse, turbo for power.

    Stannard averaged 326 watts the other day. I’d be luck to produce that sort of power for more than a couple of minutes.

    I know I shouldn’t even inquire and just let it be a mystery…but how in the hell do the PROs do that when we can train and ride like crazy…and never get close to their level. Years and years of riding and never having to attend uni and have a FT job?

  25. @Ron

    @chris

    @RobSandy

    @chris

    So true. I aspire to the stroke of Maître Jacques but comfort myself with the knowledge that Stannard can stomp his way to victory.

    I do need to spend a lot of time on my rollers this winter, though. That’s the key to a more magnificent stroke for me.

    I plan to ride fixed on the track once a week, that should help. Mind you, elegance can get you so far but there’s no substitute for POWER. I wish I had a fraction of the leg power big Yogi must have.

    Rollers for souplesse, turbo for power.

    Stannard averaged 326 watts the other day. I’d be luck to produce that sort of power for more than a couple of minutes.

    I know I shouldn’t even inquire and just let it be a mystery…but how in the hell do the PROs do that when we can train and ride like crazy…and never get close to their level. Years and years of riding and never having to attend uni and have a FT job?

    David Millar talks of a similar output over four hours in a break in an early season classic.

    Apparently, the answer is 10,000 hours or more and a stack of decent genes. Look on the bright side though, if, like me you’ve never put in anything like the 10,000 hours, you can happily tell yourself that you could have been a contender if you’d taken it seriously from the right age.

  26. Got the top 4 right, NITRO. Thus ends my challenge for the VSP podium this year.

  27. Well I’ve changed my mind. Originally I was not a fan of yellow and celeste with the mix of Lotto Jumbo kits and the Bianchi bikes. I was wrong. It works. The kits are cool, with the black shorts yes, and for whatev reason, yellow just works with the Bianchi bikes in my eye. Now, the classic old Bianchi’s with the yellow fade/celeste frames ?? I’m not there yet. But as I was watching Koen Bouwman in the break today I was thinking… you know what, looks good… and from stage 14 with Mr. Gesink:

  28. @Randy C

    Well I’ve changed my mind. Originally I was not a fan of yellow and celeste with the mix of Lotto Jumbo kits and the Bianchi bikes. I was wrong. It works. The kits are cool, with the black shorts yes, and for whatev reason, yellow just works with the Bianchi bikes in my eye. Now, the classic old Bianchi’s with the yellow fade/celeste frames ?? I’m not there yet. But as I was watching Koen Bouwman in the break today I was thinking… you know what, looks good… and from stage 14 with Mr. Gesink:

    Yellow just goes with everything. Best color out there. IMO.

  29. Well this a surprising turn of events…

  30. @Jay

    Well this a surprising turn of events…

    Nice One!

  31. @Randy C

    Well I’ve changed my mind. Originally I was not a fan of yellow and celeste with the mix of Lotto Jumbo kits and the Bianchi bikes. I was wrong. It works. The kits are cool, with the black shorts yes, and for whatev reason, yellow just works with the Bianchi bikes in my eye. Now, the classic old Bianchi’s with the yellow fade/celeste frames ?? I’m not there yet. But as I was watching Koen Bouwman in the break today I was thinking… you know what, looks good… and from stage 14 with Mr. Gesink:

    I really like this guy.

  32. Final race results? I’m hoping to snag a Red Badge since I know that my VSP hasn’t a chance of winning. That said, I think there are some people out there who have better picks than me so I’ll settle for podium. But I need to know!

  33. @RobSandy

    @Randy C

    Well I’ve changed my mind. Originally I was not a fan of yellow and celeste with the mix of Lotto Jumbo kits and the Bianchi bikes. I was wrong. It works. The kits are cool, with the black shorts yes, and for whatev reason, yellow just works with the Bianchi bikes in my eye. Now, the classic old Bianchi’s with the yellow fade/celeste frames ?? I’m not there yet. But as I was watching Koen Bouwman in the break today I was thinking… you know what, looks good… and from stage 14 with Mr. Gesink:

    I really like this guy.

    Me too. I didn’t like the Celeste with the kit either, but I’m getting over it. It isn’t like my Bianchi matches any kit that I own. It is just Celeste. As it should be.

  34. Four out of five & none in the correct place. Standard.

  35. Can’t even remember my picks. Fairly nonplussed with the top two, but thrilled that Chaves got third. I watch the Orica “behind-the-scenes” stuff and he seems like a really nice guy. Great smile, great attitude.

    Great Vuelta for Orica and a bit of a stealthy ride by Talansky with 5th place overall. Hopefully a sign of things to come now that TJvG seems to be emerging as a super-domestique/stage hunter rather than a GC man.

    True to form, Quintana transformed himself into the red turd for the final stage to match his pink turd showing from his recent Giro win. The thought of him winning the Tour is too ghastly to contemplate.

    Interesting comments by Farrar the other day regarding how hard the race is/was. On one hand, the organizers want a great race with amazing stages that make for dramatic viewing on TV. On the other hand, at some point you drive the peloton to the point of destruction. There’s a reason there used to be pure “transition” stages, and a reason why having a patron like Hinault was necessary – it stopped the race from ripping itself to shreds. It’s a balancing act for sure.

  36. Oh, I just saw my picks. 3 of 5 and only Bertie in the right spot.

  37. @Randy C

    Um, hello?

  38. @DVMR

    @Randy C

    Um, hello?

    Not a fan. Of both the bike with yellow fade, stem and tires and of the dude on it.

  39. @Randy C

    Get out.

  40. (That was just a joke)

  41. I’ve got that jersey, bibs, socks, mitts and even the bandana – if I didn’t have a full head of hair and weigh two Pantanis I would be his identical double.

  42. @DVMR

    Damn – every now and again that bike gets posted and reminds me that I stupidly sold one of those before I saw the light.

  43. @Oli

    I’ve got that jersey, bibs, socks, mitts and even the bandana – if I didn’t have a full head of hair and weigh two Pantanis I would be his identical double.

    I think that should be the new, official weight measurement for Velominati. How many Pantanis do you weigh? I’m likely about one-and-a half.

  44. @wiscot

    @Oli

    I’ve got that jersey, bibs, socks, mitts and even the bandana – if I didn’t have a full head of hair and weigh two Pantanis I would be his identical double.

    I think that should be the new, official weight measurement for Velominati. How many Pantanis do you weigh? I’m likely about one-and-a half.

    Love it. I’m 1.47 Pantanis.

  45. I should be right around 1 Pantani, but with a 4 month old I blame the baby boy on my 1+ Pantani weight. Not enough time to ride! Time to scale back the intake.

  46. @Ron

    I should be right around 1 Pantani, but with a 4 month old I blame the baby boy on my 1+ Pantani weight. Not enough time to ride! Time to scale back the intake.

    I have recently gone from 1.6 Pantanis to 1.4 Pantanis. Climbing is more Pantani like but there is still much room for improvement.

    I do also wear a bandana under my Giro to keep from getting helmet vents tanned into my Pantani like pate. I doubt that I will ever sport the Pantani like facial hair despite the fact that it would be Rule #50 compliant in my case.

  47. @wiscot

    @Oli

    I’ve got that jersey, bibs, socks, mitts and even the bandana – if I didn’t have a full head of hair and weigh two Pantanis I would be his identical double.

    I think that should be the new, official weight measurement for Velominati. How many Pantanis do you weigh? I’m likely about one-and-a half.

    Hehe, brilliant!

    1.12 Pantanis all day long.

  48. @Teocalli

    @DVMR

    Damn – every now and again that bike gets posted and reminds me that I stupidly sold one of those before I saw the light.

    Ouch!

    @Teocalli

    @DVMR

    Damn – every now and again that bike gets posted and reminds me that I stupidly sold one of those before I saw the light.

    Yikes. That’s got to hurt.

  49. So close…

  50. My and the rest of the PEZ crew’s thoughts about this year’s Vuelta.

    http://www.pezcyclingnews.com/features/vuelta-2016-pez-crew-best-moments

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.

Skip to toolbar