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. @Flying Crowbar

    Fantastic win by Boonen, but it is tainted by a Rule #41 violation. His rear QR was not bisecting the rear triangle.

    This win should have an asterisk.

    I think races are exempt, especially those were somewhat haphazard wheel changes are common.

  2. @Nate

    @paolo

    FRONK!!!

    Great screen shot, but really, a green North Face jacket? You are not in Seattle frank!

    Oh shit… there are Rules for off the bike, too?
    Nice crazy-face on Fronk, tho’, gotta admit.

  3. @Mikael Liddy

    @Flying Crowbar

    Fantastic win by Boonen, but it is tainted by a Rule #41 violation. His rear QR was not bisecting the rear triangle.

    This win should have an asterisk.

    I think races are exempt, especially those were somewhat haphazard wheel changes are common.

    That crash has made you soft…

  4. Hey Cal or Oli or Fronk or anyone with a lot experience..it looks to me in pictures that some riders seem to run their seatposts a little lower in these classics, like aboo and Tom and Gilbert. Compared say to gc riders in something like the tdf. Is it my imagination or is that right? And if so what possible advantage doe that have? Or am I imagining it?

  5. @paolo
    I read somewhere yesterday that some of the Pros like to use a smaller frame for the classics or is it just that the CX frames some of them use and maybe the special frames designed for the cobbles measure a bit smaller from BB centre to top of seat tube.

    Something like that which could mean you’re imagining it, the distance from top of seat to BB centre is the same, it’s the frame that is different.

    I also read that when riding the cobbles it can be good to not have all your weight on the seat, use your legs to kind of take the pressure off and kind of hover gently over the seat while still maintaining contact (for this technique it could make sense to have the set a wee bit lower).

  6. That thing with the spokes has got to be a trick of the camera no way could a riders contest a sprint finish with wheels like that.

  7. WOW wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow!!!

    That was absolutely incredible. More later, but JiPM took an outstandingly close win in this event and gets the newspaper with the race coverage tomorrow as well as the cobblestone commenting badge. Exceptionally strong work.

    [vsp_results id=”15275″]
    [/vsp_results]

  8. So I get on a plane this morning dreading the fact that I will miss the queen monument. But as fortune would have it the one time I really wanted tv on a plane, I find NBC sports and boonen stamping the V on the race. Not only that but when boom makes a last effort I see the V colors flying high in the background. All darkness was lifted. Good showing lads!

  9. I am pumped! Totally unexpected. I want to thank Ballan for just missing 2nd by the width of a carbon fiber. Not too sure what’s going on with Hushovd this year. Something’s not right.

    To add awesomeness to victory, today is my 45th birthday. I will head out shortly to ride (at least) more than 72.5kms (45 miles). It is now and forever will be a steadfast tradition that I ride at least as many miles as I am old on my birthday. That way, when I’m 90, I will be a badass.

    Although I watched P-R live, I also recorded it to make sure I can see the V-flag flying high. I was pretty sure I saw it. I want to go back in slow motion and watch it fligh over and over and over.

    What a great KT this has been. Although I wasn’t there, I have had such an awesome time following along. Today’s race caps it.

    You are all my Brothers and Sisters of the Cog.

    VLVV!!!

  10. @Jeff in PetroMetro
    Jeff you awesome Dude! Congrats on the cobblestone and on sharing a birthday with my beautiful VMH!!! Love your tradition! Might have to try to invoke it, although with moving to upstate NY this fall and my birthday being 9 JAN, it might be hard!

  11. @Buck Rogers

    @Jeff in PetroMetro
    Jeff you awesome Dude! Congrats on the cobblestone and on sharing a birthday with my beautiful VMH!!! Love your tradition! Might have to try to invoke it, although with moving to upstate NY this fall and my birthday being 9 JAN, it might be hard!

    I’m in Syracuse and a guy I know rides his bike to work year round. Studded tires!

  12. @Sauterelle

    @Buck Rogers

    @Jeff in PetroMetro
    Jeff you awesome Dude! Congrats on the cobblestone and on sharing a birthday with my beautiful VMH!!! Love your tradition! Might have to try to invoke it, although with moving to upstate NY this fall and my birthday being 9 JAN, it might be hard!

    I’m in Syracuse and a guy I know rides his bike to work year round. Studded tires!

    Guess I’ll need to HTFU, eh?

  13. Oi! Boner in second and B(a)land in 5th gets me two points not one. Need all the fucking help I can get. What was that? You say I said that anyone complaining should shut the fuck up? Bugger.

  14. Phew, I needed a nap after the race. Just up from it.

    JiPM – wow! What a birthday win & gift – a newspaper & a cobble next to your name. Who said life doesn’t get better ever year? Congratulations.

    The VMH watched the final 65 kms with me, screaming at Boonen the whole time. She told me we needed to have a little toast & cheer when Boonen’s lead went out to exactly 1 minute. And here I was thinking she’s a Cavendish fan! Oh, and she also spotted the V-Flag! I missed it.

    Great support, Frank! I still can’t really believe you lads were on the sidelines for that today.

    And what shows just how dominant Boonen’s ride was – Terpstra couldn’t even stick to his wheel yet still pulled off a 5th. Talk about in another league!

  15. @xyxax

    @Buck Rogers
    Great. I made it about 3/4 of the way to Highland Park on my ride yesterday. You’ll be able to bring me oxygen.

    Realistically, how far will i be from you? I hear that there is a train that takes around 1 hour to get to the city? Even though I am from VT I have never stopped in NYC before. The VMH and I are REALLY looking forward to coming down and seeing some broadway shows and Met operas!

  16. For a complete green-as-a-north face-wind-cheater newbie to the world of cycling, who has just watched his very first PR … horrifying I know … I am four things today:
    A. Rendered utterly speechless by what Boonen achieved / is / can do – watching him destroy the field and the course and make it look easy like that will live with me forever;
    B. more deeply engrossed and lost to this culture and sport than ever – and proud to be amongst it all;
    C. Well chuffed with my 8 points …….!
    D. Rabidly looking forward to my 90k Akuna bay / west head cycle today to channel my inner TB. What a hero.

  17. @smithers

    For a complete green-as-a-north face-wind-cheater newbie to the world of cycling, who has just watched his very first PR … horrifying I know … I am four things today:
    A. Rendered utterly speechless by what Boonen achieved / is / can do – watching him destroy the field and the course and make it look easy like that will live with me forever;
    B. more deeply engrossed and lost to this culture and sport than ever – and proud to be amongst it all;
    C. Well chuffed with my 8 points …….!
    D. Rabidly looking forward to my 90k Akuna bay / west head cycle today to channel my inner TB. What a hero.

    You picked a hell of a day to start watching cycling!!! That was a one-in-a- million ride today!!! Welcome to the fold, there’s no going back!

  18. @Buck Rogers
    Metro North train is 70 minutes from Garrison to Grand Central. It’s on the other side of the river, though, so you’ll need to drive across the bridge or set up a special ops zip line. It’s beautiful up there. Hills and dales.
    With @Rob, @Sauterelle, and @Mikeweb, it’s the makings of a cogal.

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