Velominati Super Prestige: Paris-Roubaix 2012

VELOMINATI HItS THE COBBLES OF CAPPELLE EN PÉVÉLLE. PHOTO: JESSE WILLEMS

We rode the Pavé of Roubaix in the dry, and any comforting feelings we might have been carrying about with us that suggested we had somehow prepared for them were summarily vaporized as we hit the first secteur. Riding together in a group, unable to reach for the brakes or the shifters, we all were hit with the same realization: these aren’t like the stones we have at home. Not if you live anywhere other than along the cobbled roads of Northern France. Not if you live in England. Not if you live in the Netherlands. Not even if you live in Belgium. And we won’t even talk about the rest of the world.

The Trouée of Arenberg is a sacred place. Arriving there, you feel the need to pray out of respect. Riding there, you feel the need to pray out of a sense of self preservation. There is no smooth path through these particularly rough cobbles. That was in the dry; if the race is wet as predicted by the weathermen (whom I assume are as bad at being right as they are in the States), then there isn’t a bag big enough to hold all the prayers the riders are going to need to get through these. And the Trouée is not the hardest or roughest secteur, by a considerable margin; that honor goes to Mons-en-Pévéle or Carrfoure de l’Arbre.

Keep an eye on the weather report as the race comes nearer, as wet roads will turn this race into one of attrition. Cancellara has broken his collarbone; Boonen, Pozzato, and Ballan are on form. But this is a long race, and details such as those matter little when a race contains over fifty kilometers of cobbles. Is it another year for the breakaway, or will the favorites close it down as they approach the finale? I don’t know, but watch the countdown timer and get your picks in by Sunday morning at 5am Pacific. Winner of this VSP event will earn the right to comment all year with the pavé 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.

Bon chance.

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507 Replies to “Velominati Super Prestige: Paris-Roubaix 2012”

  1. @Ron

    And I’d just like to say that the time has come for everyone to put the hackneyed jokes about Boonen & cocaine to rest. They’re not funny & really never were. The guy had a few nights of fun, let it go. There are athletes and people in general who drink or pill pop an entire LIFE away. The guy had some fun, strayed a bit, and now has returned with a laser focus.

    I find it pretty silly that cyclists, a group who have and continue to ingest all sorts of wacky things to up performance, are so outraged & shocked by a dude taking a (mostly) natural substance on a weekend off. So what! The guy was having some fun.

    Anyway, I was tired a few years ago of coke jokes. Now they’re just old & lame. I think what really bothers me about it is that behind the jokes are fear-mongering & judgments based on a lingering “war on drugs” attitude. Many Americans walk around like zombies, hopped up on legal drugs like pills and booze. And the hard-drinking, hard-partying athletes are seen as cool. But someone does a drug not deemed okay and everyone can’t shut up about it.

    Living like a monk, working like a dog. Party how you want to party when you do it once a year.

    Let it go already.

    Wow, where’d this come from? I mean, come on, the guy has been immortilized in the lexicon as Blownen, not to mention She’s legal in Amsterdam? Next you’ll want to throw out Veino and Roid Lanids, or even LeMelvis.

    You’re talking about the site’s heritage for Lord’s sake!

  2. @Buck Rogers

    @Ron

    And I’d just like to say that the time has come for everyone to put the hackneyed jokes about Boonen & cocaine to rest. They’re not funny & really never were. The guy had a few nights of fun, let it go. There are athletes and people in general who drink or pill pop an entire LIFE away. The guy had some fun, strayed a bit, and now has returned with a laser focus.

    I find it pretty silly that cyclists, a group who have and continue to ingest all sorts of wacky things to up performance, are so outraged & shocked by a dude taking a (mostly) natural substance on a weekend off. So what! The guy was having some fun.

    Anyway, I was tired a few years ago of coke jokes. Now they’re just old & lame. I think what really bothers me about it is that behind the jokes are fear-mongering & judgments based on a lingering “war on drugs” attitude. Many Americans walk around like zombies, hopped up on legal drugs like pills and booze. And the hard-drinking, hard-partying athletes are seen as cool. But someone does a drug not deemed okay and everyone can’t shut up about it.

    Living like a monk, working like a dog. Party how you want to party when you do it once a year.

    Let it go already.

    Wow, where’d this come from? I mean, come on, the guy has been immortilized in the lexicon as Blownen, not to mention She’s legal in Amsterdam? Next you’ll want to throw out Veino and Roid Lanids, or even LeMelvis.

    You’re talking about the site’s heritage for Lord’s sake!

    I’d differentiate between Veino and Roid Landis and Boonen. The first two guys were caught with full-on doping products and denied using them in competition. Tommeke used some recreational drug while not competing and, if I remember rightly, didn’t deny it. BIG difference.

  3. @wiscot

    @Buck Rogers

    @Ron

    And I’d just like to say that the time has come for everyone to put the hackneyed jokes about Boonen & cocaine to rest. They’re not funny & really never were. The guy had a few nights of fun, let it go. There are athletes and people in general who drink or pill pop an entire LIFE away. The guy had some fun, strayed a bit, and now has returned with a laser focus.

    I find it pretty silly that cyclists, a group who have and continue to ingest all sorts of wacky things to up performance, are so outraged & shocked by a dude taking a (mostly) natural substance on a weekend off. So what! The guy was having some fun.

    Anyway, I was tired a few years ago of coke jokes. Now they’re just old & lame. I think what really bothers me about it is that behind the jokes are fear-mongering & judgments based on a lingering “war on drugs” attitude. Many Americans walk around like zombies, hopped up on legal drugs like pills and booze. And the hard-drinking, hard-partying athletes are seen as cool. But someone does a drug not deemed okay and everyone can’t shut up about it.

    Living like a monk, working like a dog. Party how you want to party when you do it once a year.

    Let it go already.

    Wow, where’d this come from? I mean, come on, the guy has been immortilized in the lexicon as Blownen, not to mention She’s legal in Amsterdam? Next you’ll want to throw out Veino and Roid Lanids, or even LeMelvis.

    You’re talking about the site’s heritage for Lord’s sake!

    I’d differentiate between Veino and Roid Landis and Boonen. The first two guys were caught with full-on doping products and denied using them in competition. Tommeke used some recreational drug while not competing and, if I remember rightly, didn’t deny it. BIG difference.

    And lest we forget Jan’s off season imbibing in raves and good ol’ “e”. Whatever the guys do during their off season time means nothing to me, tho I’d hope whatever they do isn’t ‘PED’. Otherwise, smoke a bowl, do a line, whatever. Just race clean.

  4. @snoov

    @eightzero

    My vote for V-moment of the year – Boonen’s 50km + solo ride to victory.

    Amen to that one.  For pure guts and pain, othing else this year matches what Boonen did in Roubaix.

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