Velominati Super Prestige: Men’s and Women’s World Elite Road Race Championships

Velominati Super Prestige: Men’s and Women’s World Elite Road Race Championships

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Just add water.  It’s true of dehydrated food and it’s true of a dehydrated sport approaching the end of the season. It seems adding a dose of rain improves any race, but none so more than the World Road Race championships. That is, so long as you ignore Paris-Roubaix and de Ronde van Vlaanderen. In any case, I’m hoping for rain in Melbourne on on Saturday and Sunday.

The cycling world’s eye is turned sharply towards Australia as the World Championships unfold. It seems to me the competitors are facing some unique challenges in this years event, given it’s location and route. Conventional knowledge is that the course is not hard enough and will favor the sprinters. I am convinced this is not the case, despite the considerable setbacks of not having studied the course nor having been to Australia. I’ll also mention that I’m unwilling to do any “research” to validate my assumptions, but they sound good and a good-sounding guess is almost the same as a fact.

I’m not about to underestimate the disorienting effect of riding upside down.  Aussies and Kiwis will be used to it, but all that blood rushing to your head when you’re in Oz will do nothing to toughen up your guns.  Riders who already have a big head, like ‘Cav, will be at risk of having their noggin’s rupture under the pressure.  I just hope they’ve been acclimating by sleeping upside down.

It’s also Springtime in Oz, so the Euros who already raced a Spring campaign will suffer the unpredictable side-effects of experiencing the same season twice, similar to what happens when you travel back in time and share a brewskie with your past self.

Finally, most Europeans are used to having dogs and the like shoot into the road and know how to handle it.  It’s usually no big deal because European dogs are generally small and fluffy and can be run over pretty easily with only a bit of fur getting stuck in the drive-train. However, I have it on the excellent authority of someone who’s credibility I can’t verify that kangaroos are fucking everywhere down there, and everyone already knows all Aussies carry Bowie knives. I can only speculate as to the sequence of events caused by having a marsupial hop into the rider’s path during the race.  I’m guessing those Bowie knives will likely come in handy.

Bear these insights in mind as you enter your picks for the inaugural Velominati Super Prestige World Road Race Championship edition.  This one is a little bit different from before; we’ll be doing a concurrent event for both the Men’s and Women’s Elite Road Race.  Enter your picks for both races by the time the Women’s race starts on Saturday.  After the start, substitutions for the Mens race will only be allowed for pre-race DNS’s.    Regular 1-day race points apply for both races, 5 for first, 4 for second, 3, for third, 2 for fourth, and 1 for 5th.  A bonus point will also be awarded for any pick in the top five, regardless of placing.

Bonus Points:

We will be offering a 5 point bonus to the contestant who correctly picks both winners.

We will also be awarding bonus points to anyone who identifies egregious Rule Violations before, during, and immediately after the races.  Entries should be posted here as you see them; supplemental evidence given through photos posted or specific times in the races (km’s from the finish) will be given extra consideration.  Violations are worth 1 bonus point each, at the panel’s discretion.

// Six Days Of // Velominati Super Prestige

  1. The ladies, it’s guessing time but I refuse to put Longo on here.
    1. Johansson
    2. Cantele
    3. Pooley
    4. Gillow
    5. Fahlin

    The Mens
    1. Faboooo, I’m with Frank here.
    2. Visconti, oh yes, very rapid
    3. Gilbert
    4. Schleck
    5. Evans

  2. @Marcus
    What is “Aussie Rules Football”? Chasing a can of Fosters around a field with a bunch of guys yelling “crikey” and chucking Bowie knives at each other?

    Or is it a bunch of guys sitting around double-dog daring each other to eat a crocodile testicle?

  3. @frank
    Only the greatest game in the world. It probably deserves it’s own post – even on a cycling website. But to put it’s popularity into perspective imagine how many people in the States would venture out to spectate if a womens bike race was held at the se time as the superbowl. Victoria stops dead for the Grand Final. It is a very unlucky thing to have happened.

  4. @Marcus
    Well. their loss, they just missed a great race. As usual I was a million kilomemtres wrong with my predictions. Next year I’m listing Italians and Sprinters. Now to put thought into the men’s race

  5. Fabian

    For the boys just watched the girls finish and what a superb one it was.

  6. I don’t believe that the chicks are at a level that warrants them being on the VSP, so am treating their event with ignore. Maybe if they were in some event like the Velominati Mediocre Prestige… 130km as a World Champs?? Em Eye Cee… Kay Ee Why… Emmm Ohhh Yoooouuu Essss Eeeeeeeeee.

    Hope the keepers allow me to slot my picks in despite being after the chicks race has been run and won.

    1. Alby Davis
    2. Gilbert
    3. Cancellara
    4. Farrar
    5. Goss

  7. 1. Gilbert
    2. Evans
    3. Freire

    *I’m still trying to figure out if I can a) watch this on line b) what time it will be on.

    I’m thinking Eurosport via steephill at 17 or 18:00 EST in the U.S.? Anyone know for sure?

    Can’t wait to (hopefully) watch!

  8. 1. Kolobnez
    2. Gilbert
    3. Pazzoto
    4. Cuddles
    5. Thor

    1. Cooke
    2. Pooley
    3. Vos
    4. Arndt
    5. Johansson

  9. I’m switching my picks around for the gents:

    1. Gilbert
    2. Spartacus
    3. Poz-ato
    4. Freire
    5. cav-n’douche

  10. @Ron
    I have no clue where/when to watch. Universal sports has a program at noon pacific, but I can’t even tell if that’s live or the mens race or what. The fact that it’s Saturday here and Sunday there is really messing with me. I should have added that to my list of reasons why this race will go to the Aussies.

    Harsh, but fucking hilarious!

  11. The men’s race starts at 20:00 on Saturday night on the east coast of North America (that’s 17:00 on the west coast). I imagine you should be able to get a live feed on

  12. This is the one time that British TV comes through for one-day races, in fact any race other than the Tour. So I’ll be watching it on the BBC. Cycling Fans and Procycling Live are the two places I’d look otherwise, followed by if they fail

    My Picks
    1. Philleeeepppe
    2. Pippo
    3. *SMASH*
    4. Corn-fed
    5. Fletcher

    An Cooke knows she threw away some great team-work in the women’s race. Though I’ll give her the fact that she showed massive amounts of Rule #5 to even get into that position given she’s done about three races all year. Still won’t get to ride for top team next year though.

  13. @frank

    Here’s your answer.

    If you would like me to interpret it, It’s on at either 4pm and/or 8pm, not live. 1700 on the west coast is after 1600 so, I’m not sure about Steampunk’s math.

  14. @michael
    My math looks pretty solid; I was talking about how to catch the race live. If you actually read the Universal Sports descriptions below the time schedule, it’s all being shown on delay, so the elite men’s race won’t be shown live, but on a delay later on Sunday. If you want to catch it live, it’s starting in a few hours.

  15. FABOO – I just watched the 08 Olympics and the Worlds from last year, and for the same reasons as Frank mentioned – Fab is learning. No more passive-aggresive elbow flicks this season… just POW, gone.

    The rest, in order:
    Matty Goss
    Peter Sagan

  16. @Steampunk

    I was merely pointing out in a very round about way that they are delaying a race that starts at 1700 by showing it at 1600 with a note that says “EARLIER TODAY” which should for all intents and purposes, say ‘Yesterday’. Although technically it is in fact the same day, it’s after the sun sets and rises again, stretching the definition of ‘today’.

  17. Thanks, Steampunk! Cool, 20:00 on the east coast of the U.S. and I’ll check

    One last question…how long do folks think the race is going to last? I ask because I have a commitment I’d rather not have so that I could watch the entire race, but I’ll try to leave early enough to catch the last hour or two.

    I’m guessing something like 6 hours?

  18. Just be careful with your times – Victoria changed to daylight saving time this morning – I mean last night your time. This is the shit we deal with EVERY time we watch international sports so everyone take a liberal dose of Rule #5 and stop complaining about working out the times. And collingwood won yesterday!

  19. You know who’s in this break? Thaaaaaats right… J-ROD!!

    J-ROD from the DICKWEED SKWAaaa… oh wait, nevermind. Wrong J-ROD.

  20. Looking like I’m down to two of my five after the first few laps. DOn’t even know if Flecha is riding

  21. Cancellara is off the back at the beginning of the last lap.

  22. Roar likeThor!!! Rad!!! Really gunnin’ for Cuddles and Grimpelder in the finale,butwhata finish!

  23. Thor is awesome. I was pulling for Cuddles too but I’m happy for Thor.

  24. A very interesting play out in the end. I feel for gilbert who just didn’t have enough left. Cadel did well chasing, but they were enveloped by the lead. I thought, thanks to the modern marvel of television that the final sprint seemed anti-climatic. It was like oh there’s the line and up goes Thor. It didn’t feel like that this was the line, the only line of the race and in fact THE race, the Worlds.

    A deserving winner, and a gracious one.

  25. Again I’m viewing the jerseys from mid-pack

  26. Best Worlds since ’89 and that probably only edges it because of the weather. Worth staying up all night. Now have to let the caffeine work through the system before sleep

  27. @Jarvis
    I agree, awesome race. I love the way the lads raced at the end, with no games, just Rule #5. Giblets did a great finale.

  28. @all
    Pretty humble pickings for the VSP, but newcomer Ken took the prize by being the only one to pick Thor and having a strong showing in the Women’s race. I thought about it but…couldawouldashoulda…It’s also interesting that by and large, we scored more points in the Women’s than Men’s races.

    Well done, Ken; we’ll be contacting you to make arrangements to send you your Obey the Rules sticker!

    Those scoring points were:

    1 Ken 10 points
    2 Frank 7 points
    3 Marko 6 points
    4 Robert Marques: 6 points
    5 Steampunk: 6 points
    6 Marcus: 5 points
    7 Brett 4 points
    8 Jarvis 4 points
    9 Nathan Edwards: 4 points
    10 KitCarson 4 points
    11 Sgt 2 points
    12 John 1 point
    13 Hawkeye 1 point
    14 Ben 1 point
    15 Cyclops 1 point

    Overall, Andy maintains his lead despite not entering this edition, with Steampunk closing in to within striking distance.

    1 Andy 56 points
    2 Steampunk: 48 points
    3 Frank 46 points
    4 John 45 points
    5 Geoff 45 points
    6 Marcus: 40 points
    7 Hawkeye 40 points
    8 Jarvis 39 points
    9 Rob 38 points
    10 Brett 37 point
    11 Robert Marques: 36 point
    12 Joe 35 point
    13 Marko 30 points
    14 Scott 26 points
    15 Roadslave 25 points
    16 Ben 20 points
    17 Pont 15 points
    18 Nathan Edwards: 11 points
    19 Souleur: 10 points
    20 Crossy: 10 points
    21 Ken 10 points
    22 KitCarson 10 points
    23 Daniel 5 points
    24 Sgt 3 points
    25 David: 2 points
    26 Dan O 2 points
    27 Joshua 2 points
    29 David 1 points
    30 Cyclops 1 points
    31 James 0 points
    32 Jim 0 points
    33 Ben: 0 points
    34 Dale: 0 points
    35 Houdini 0 points

  29. @Frank

    I’m feeling rather ashamed of myself. I celebrated winning the VSP by doing the exact opposite of Rule #5 today, the rain hammering down outside providing the perfect excuse for sitting on the sofa watching World Champs highlights and the Europeans dishing out the golfing equivalent of Rule #5 to the Americans in the Ryder Cup. (Though I’m rather conscious of the fact that even mentioning ‘golf’ and ‘Rule 5’ in the same sentence rightly risks instant excommunication from the ranks of the Velominati.)

    I clearly need that sticker!


  30. @ken

    Has anybody noticed that golf spelled backwards is flog?

  31. @ken A tough day on the bike can ruin your legs and your body…a tough day on the golf course can ruin your mind…

  32. Chapeau to the UCI for no radios

  33. What a great race, and an unbelievable defence by Good Cadel. Gilbert was too strong and so blew his load a hill too soon, although considering the headwind off the final hill, it was unlikely anyone would stay away. The stress in the UCI that the peloton would be lapped before entering the circuit was absofrickinlutely hilarious.

    And the fact that virtually everyone did better in the chicks just shows how mediocre a race it is: you can’t help but get a couple right when there’s only about 6 who can possibly do any good.

  34. Great race! I unfortunately had to go out to meet some friends (and watch damn American football, but thankfully I got home before midnight and caught the last 70 km or so.

    As for the sport flog and the Ryder Cup – I knew it was going on only due to the NYT Sunday edition, but all I could think is, “Who the hell cares?” I’ll play golf, maybe, but watching it? C’mon now.

    Did get in two great rides this weekend. Awesome weather, though a bit windy. And the harvest moon last night allowed a reason to celebrate on a Sunday night.

  35. So what happened to Cavendish anyway? I only saw about the last hour or so and never saw/heard him mentioned. Did he go off the back and pull out or what?

  36. Pulled out earlier. The pace was a bit hot, perhaps saving it for the Commonwealth Games when it became apparent he wouldn’t medal.

  37. @Mr Haven


    Little fella sure was spoutin off beforehand. It’ll be interesting to see if he can ever develop into a rouleur as we’ve seen from Thor. It seems a logical rider progression as they age and fast-twitch muscles get slower. Not that he needs to. He’s certainly accomplished much in his short tenure and will certainly do more in terms of sprints but he (and the media) keep talking about him producing in one day races and classics which just aint happening.

  38. @Marko

  39. @frank

    “Speed talks…”

    …it says “I suck”.

  40. Harsh, but fair… ;-)

  41. @Marko
    To be fair, Cav was quick to say that the Geelong course really didn’t suit him (it’s also one of the reasons I admire Thor all the more: he’s got one big body he has to Rule #5 up those hills””lots and lots of power).

    We’ll see if Cav evolves, but for now, he’s about the only legitimate sprinter in the peloton (pax Corn-fed). He is fast as hell, but his main competition is coming from older, Classics guys and not out-and-out sprinters. Ale-jet and McEwen are getting a little long in the tooth, and nobody else is really world class. My timing is probably horrible for this, but even Thor seems to have lost a step or two (he freely admitted that during the TdF).

  42. @all
    Some totally spectacular pictures submitted to us by @Crossy:

    [album: Galleries/]

    Totally dig the stickers on Hushovd’s wheels. Very cool.

    Great pics – thanks Crossy!

  43. Frank, if you want to see some more shots from the race I’ve posted links to mine over on the squadra di vecchi tori blog.
    Link here:

  44. @Steampunk
    agree…and for all their “rivalry” Thor said without malice after the race that the course didn’t suit Cavendish, that Cav was a pure sprinter and the fastest around but that this course was for SMASHing.

    I think Cav not succeeding was less of a disappointment than Corn-fed not being anywhere. Which I think represents Corn-fed’s biggest problem, he is very inconsistent. I think The Worlds showed why Vaughters wanted Thor, at least he is guaranteed results. Don’t be surprised to see Corn-fed winning lot’s in July, it just won’t be in France

  45. @Jarvis
    Shit small races? It will be interesting to see how Thor and Corn-fed co-exist. My fear is that they Garmin-Cervelo will bolster the speed demons and leave their GC candidates to twist in the wind. Hesjedal has probably peaked, but couldn’t he have used a little help?

  46. @Kiwicyclist
    Nice set of photos! For the readers, Flikr doesn’t like our newfangled page viewer, so just click the “View Full Version” button at the bottom of the popup window to get over to the Flikr page.

  47. @Steampunk
    I have the same worry, but I suspect that THHHHOOOOOORRRRR! will be glad to be rid of the pressure to contest the bunch sprints and happily leave it to T-Bone and the other reckless youngsters. My bigger worry would be that while Thor is good for a stage win or two, if Garmin doesn’t resolve their identity crisis, they’ll stay off the top of the charts in any category.

    The GC riders don’t have enough support, and neither do the sprinters. Thor doesn’t fit into the leadout train picture, nor the domestique drilling it on the front for 8 hours picture. If Garmin goes for stage wins and has no other organized and committed aspirations, Thor has a solid place in the roster. If they focus and build out a plan to focus on one or the other, they may have to choose between the two fastmen and it would be likely they’d put Tyler on the roster and not Thor.

  48. @frank
    Yup. They’re going to need to determine their priorities for the coming season. I liked Cervelo’s rock-n-roll attitude in the grand tours with guys like Haussler (2009) and Thor (just about every year) busting a gut for a stage victory somewhere. I suspect the Turtleneck will take a careful look at the parcours for the various grand tours and try to work out where a Corn-fed train (even if it’s only Julian Dean) is better suited and when a Classics-type rider is the better chance for the odd stage victory. Thor might still end up with the TdF and Corn-fed doing the Giro and Vuelta if his chances of securing a sprint jersey are better there.

    All that said, April is going to be hella fun watching the kind of monster team Garmin-Cervelo are going to be able to put out for Flanders and Paris-Roubaix. That twinkle in Thor’s eye when he said Paris-Roubaix was his goal for 2011 was very cool…

  49. @frank
    you’re talking nonsense. Vaughters knows that an on-form Cavendish is almost unbeatable and t thaa Green Jersey is far more valuable than a stage win. Admittedly, Thor and Corn-fed being in the same Grand Tour team is about as likely as Cavendish & Gripewater being in the same team.

    Vaughters wold have to be mad to have paid out for hushovd only to leave him at home in July, especially now he has the Rainbow Jersey. How much more visable do you want your team to be? I know you’re a big fan of Tubby Ullrich’s little brother, but Corn-fed Farrar just hasn’t proven himself enough to push Thor out of a Tour team. He is unlikely to beat Cavendish for a stage and isn’t consistent enough to be a better bet for the Green than Tour. That’s why Farrar will be at the Giro and possibly the Vuelta and not in France in July.

    Next year’s Tour team for Garmin almost picks itself. Lose Corn-fed and you don’t need the heavies to control a bunch on the run-in, you just accept that Hushovd might not win, but give him one or two riders to look after him and he will be thereabouts and will pick up points. That lets you have six riders to help the GC contenders VDV & Ryder who will have mountain support from Martin and le Mevel. Lose a couple from these 11:
    Thor, Dean, Miller, VDV, Ryder, Martin, Vansummeren, DZ, Le Mevel, Lloyd, Haussler

  50. @Jarvis
    That seems like a logical analysis. Additionally, put Corn-fed in Paris-Roubaix to learn from one of the current masters. I was gonna say support Thor in P-R too but I don’t think Corn-fed could do it. I also have to wonder about Thor in the Ardennes next year too. Seems he has a promising spring campaign.

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