The V rides with the Pros

Velominati Super Prestige: Paris-Roubaix 2015

by / / 266 posts

No one can be happy about Sunday’s weather forecast (except for 95% of the riders and support staff). I am not. Now every Norwegian non-cobble riding specialists has a chance of winning this. I was hoping for day that would separate the Rule #9 riders from everybody else. Bah!

We can take some comfort in knowing our Keepers Tour brothers will be at three different cobbled secteurs, hydrating and yelling with the the locals. Keep an eye out for the V-flag.

There is not much to say about Paris-Roubaix that has not been said. It is the race of the season.

Consult your god. Go with your heart or your head on this. Enter your choices, prepare your frites deep-fryer, the beer selection, assure your family that drinking and swearing on a Sunday morning is part of your religion.

The VSP page has the details and in case anyone forgot, the end of the season could get you here:

  • First place– A custom Jaegher frame, handbuilt in Belgium.
  • Second Place– A Café Roubaix/Velominati wheelset, Chris King hubs, hand built by professional wheelsmith and Velominati Dan Richter.
  • Third Place– A Velominati kit: jersey, bibs, and cap.

 

 

Final Race Results
1. DEGENKOLB John
2. STYBAR Zdenek
3. VAN AVERMAET Greg
4. BOOM Lars
5. ELMIGER Martin
Final VSP Results
1. dancollins (13 points)
2. gmk69 (12 points)
3. 3cross (12 points)
4. Mikael Liddy (12 points)
5. brendan kane (12 points)
6. gilly (12 points)
7. Heihachi (10 points)
8. plynie (9 points)
9. DeKerr (9 points)
10. The Grande Fondue (9 points)
11. oneninefiveninesix (9 points)
12. Vernwitha_V (9 points)
13. freddy (8 points)
14. Lukas (8 points)
15. 1860 (8 points)
16. Haldy (8 points)
17. eenies (8 points)
18. Fitz (8 points)
19. mcgroup53 (7 points)
20. Roobar (7 points)
21. KW (7 points)
22. dpalazzo (7 points)
23. copaking (7 points)
24. Chica (7 points)
25. razmaspaz (6 points)
26. chui (6 points)
27. amaZuluDude (6 points)
28. R00tdown (6 points)
29. Phillip Mercer (6 points)
30. seemunkee (6 points)
31. strathlubnaig (6 points)
32. tony macaroni (6 points)
33. Gervais (6 points)
34. RedRanger (6 points)
35. ojhart (6 points)
36. xyxax (6 points)
37. wilburrox (6 points)
38. el gato (6 points)
39. ten B (6 points)
40. ramenvelo (6 points)
41. Facetious_Jesus (6 points)
42. LA Dave (6 points)
43. ziggy (6 points)
44. David L (5 points)
45. Egon (5 points)
46. Ccos (5 points)
47. (5 points)
48. CanuckChuck (5 points)
49. zeitzmar (5 points)
50. Chrille (5 points)
51. fly (5 points)
52. John Irvine (4 points)
53. benjaminooooooo (4 points)
54. PT (4 points)
55. AJ (4 points)
56. Duende (3 points)
57. Jack (3 points)
58. SamV (3 points)
59. il muro di manayunk (3 points)
60. JCM (3 points)
61. unversio (3 points)
62. erik (3 points)
63. taon24 (3 points)
64. Minnesota Expat (3 points)
65. Yagerbomb (3 points)
66. CoachRobDC (3 points)
67. Kevin (3 points)
68. Giotto (3 points)
69. Rom (3 points)
70. dyalander (3 points)
71. ped (3 points)
72. LeoTea (3 points)
73. justinevan88 (2 points)
74. The Engine (2 points)
75. Rigid (2 points)
76. Teocalli (2 points)
77. rfreese888 (2 points)
78. Alexander Parsons (2 points)
79. BatDan (2 points)
80. PeakInTwoYears (2 points)
81. TheDon (2 points)
82. Kris Fernhout (2 points)
83. sinikl (2 points)
84. hache (2 points)
85. oldensteel (2 points)
86. Barracuda (2 points)
87. Steampunk (2 points)
88. Clingon (2 points)
89. DCR (2 points)
90. Janru Schade (2 points)
91. JohnB (2 points)
92. Al__S (2 points)
93. masnaran (2 points)
94. JonnyG (2 points)
95. Tom Mc (2 points)
96. Spencer (2 points)
97. ChrisO (2 points)
98. Kevin Mitts (2 points)
99. Dave R (2 points)
100. ridley4033 (2 points)
101. simonsaunders (2 points)
102. Hein (2 points)
103. BaltoSteve (2 points)
104. Bianchi Denti (2 points)
105. Patrick (2 points)
106. Drew (2 points)
107. Michael Heusdens (2 points)
108. craigo (2 points)
109. Ron (2 points)
110. Jay (2 points)
111. VirenqueForever (2 points)
112. moondance (2 points)
113. Alex (2 points)
114. rockkk (2 points)
115. Geraint (1 points)
116. greg keller (1 points)
117. Fred (1 points)
118. Darren (1 points)
119. torrefie (1 points)
120. Fausto (1 points)
121. Chris (1 points)
122. wiscot (1 points)
123. John (1 points)
124. Chris John (1 points)
125. foggypeake (1 points)
126. sthilzy (1 points)
127. Federico Laos (1 points)
128. Blake (1 points)
129. Stephen (1 points)
130. Grimpeur (1 points)
131. Quasar (1 points)
132. Koensie (1 points)
133. hhbiker (1 points)
134. osbk67 (1 points)
135. Deakus (1 points)
136. schmiken (1 points)
137. imakecircles (1 points)
138. RobSandy (1 points)
139. Pot Belj (1 points)
140. Tiglio (1 points)
141. Tobin (1 points)
142. Julez (1 points)
143. Rob (1 points)
144. mpalazzi92 (1 points)
145. Nate (1 points)
146. Geordi (1 points)
147. brett (1 points)
148. Adam D (1 points)
149. Harminator (0 points)
150. Dr C (0 points)
151. piwakawaka (0 points)
152. Noel (0 points)
153. Two Ball Billy (0 points)
154. Gianni (0 points)
155. girl (0 points)

// Velominati Super Prestige

  1. @Geraint

    @RobSandy

    Because Wiggins tried to win, and Rowe didn’t?

    Basically this, Wiggo rode a great race & had a crack where he had a chance to pull it off (10k to go, on a slightly lesser set of cobbles). Rowe could just do what he wanted without anyone paying him attention.

    Fucking cracker of a race. Dare I ask it, is the racing a little better without Fabs & Tommeke?




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  2. @LA Dave

    Head says the new Norwegian king of the classics, but some other body part is telling me to go a different direction. Something about the prep Sky has done makes me feel like Ol’ Beaks has a shot to ride off into the sunset with one of the greatest cycling stories ever told. I’m going with him and the CX boys on the podium…but I don’t feel all that great about it.

    Regardless of who wins it’s going to be an epic day of racing. Our Superbowl of cycling is upon us! Hup Hup Bitches!! (Thanks @freebirdvelo)

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Beaker
    2. Steebar
    3. Boom Boom Boom Boom
    4. Al Kristoff
    5. The Broom Sagan

    Ahhhh, I’d forgotten about the Beaker nickname. Now I’m kind of sad we won’t have Beaker to kick around anymore. The VSP generator seemed to remember it. Oh fuck, the generator is smarter than I am.




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  3. Seems I was denied a podium place by prioritising family needs on Saturday over entering my picks, some Rule #11 revision is required methinks.




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  4. Degenkolb’s race was awesome… more to the awesome german guys thread. The way he crossed the gap and didn’t panic when the other riders wouldn’t help in the work catching up was amazing. Chapeau.




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  5. @1860

    Degenkolb’s race was awesome… more to the awesome german guys thread. The way he crossed the gap and didn’t panic when the other riders wouldn’t help in the work catching up was amazing. Chapeau.

    I think Stybar bridging to the front group did Degenkolb a favour, because then the other Etixx QS rider had to work. I wonder if Etixx blew another chance for a win there – they looked so strong in the closing stages.




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  6. @Mikael Liddy

    @Geraint

    @RobSandy

    Because Wiggins tried to win, and Rowe didn’t?

    Basically this, Wiggo rode a great race & had a crack where he had a chance to pull it off (10k to go, on a slightly lesser set of cobbles). Rowe could just do what he wanted without anyone paying him attention.

    Fucking cracker of a race. Dare I ask it, is the racing a little better without Fabs & Tommeke?

    Who gives a monkeys what the actual result was when they both looked this awesome at the finish.




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  7. Great race. Pity the riders chose to ignore my VSP picks. I’m already screwed and it’s only April!

    Re the train crossing. In this day of incredible communications technology, is it not possible to communicate with the damn train driver and get things sorted so we don’t have the level crossing farces happening every few years? That being said, I got railroaded yesterday but I was in no hurry . . .




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  8. @Chris

    @Mikael Liddy

    @Geraint

    @RobSandy

    Because Wiggins tried to win, and Rowe didn’t?

    Basically this, Wiggo rode a great race & had a crack where he had a chance to pull it off (10k to go, on a slightly lesser set of cobbles). Rowe could just do what he wanted without anyone paying him attention.

    Fucking cracker of a race. Dare I ask it, is the racing a little better without Fabs & Tommeke?

    Who gives a monkeys what the actual result was when they both looked this awesome at the finish.

    Brilliant! – Not even Beaker looked this much like Beaker – most awesomest picture evr of Wiggo




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  9. @Dr C

    @Chris

    @Mikael Liddy

    @Geraint

    @RobSandy

    Because Wiggins tried to win, and Rowe didn’t?

    Basically this, Wiggo rode a great race & had a crack where he had a chance to pull it off (10k to go, on a slightly lesser set of cobbles). Rowe could just do what he wanted without anyone paying him attention.

    Fucking cracker of a race. Dare I ask it, is the racing a little better without Fabs & Tommeke?

    Who gives a monkeys what the actual result was when they both looked this awesome at the finish.

    Brilliant! – Not even Beaker looked this much like Beaker – most awesomest picture evr of Wiggo

    All good points.

    Just found out I competed against Luke Rowe’s dad in a time trial last month.

    That is all.




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  10. @wiscot

    That being said, I got railroaded yesterday but I was in no hurry . . .

    One of my favourite routes crosses the East Coast Main Line twice. It’s a rare day when I don’t get stopped at least one of them and somehow the timing seems to work out that I have to wait for three trains to go past each time.




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  11. @Chris

    @wiscot

    That being said, I got railroaded yesterday but I was in no hurry . . .

    One of my favourite routes crosses the East Coast Main Line twice. It’s a rare day when I don’t get stopped at least one of them and somehow the timing seems to work out that I have to wait for three trains to go past each time.

    Being railroaded can be a pain (hell, I used to live in Terre Haute, IN) and had to cross multiple sets of tracks to get anywhere. The trains ran right through the center of town and I lived between two sets of tracks. Mind you, railroad stoppage time is always a good time to practice the art of casually deliberate.




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  12. @wiscot

    Indeed, but one of my two crossings is out in the Fens and is Not Very Sheltered At All. I prefer to spend my time feeding my face and trying not to either be blown away by a Siberian gale or go hypothermic.




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  13. @Chris

    @wiscot

    Indeed, but one of my two crossings is out in the Fens and is Not Very Sheltered At All. I prefer to spend my time feeding my face and trying not to either be blown away by a Siberian gale or go hypothermic.

    I hear you. I did 130 kms yesterday and the SW wind gusts were up to 50kms an hour. My route meant the last 35kms were into the headwind. I used every bit of local know-how to keep sheltered on the way home, but there were a few sections where it was impossible to do anything but suffer. Mind you, it was warm, so there was at least that to be thankful for!




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  14. @wiscot

    @Chris

    @wiscot

    Indeed, but one of my two crossings is out in the Fens and is Not Very Sheltered At All. I prefer to spend my time feeding my face and trying not to either be blown away by a Siberian gale or go hypothermic.

    I hear you. I did 130 kms yesterday and the SW wind gusts were up to 50kms an hour. My route meant the last 35kms were into the headwind. I used every bit of local know-how to keep sheltered on the way home, but there were a few sections where it was impossible to do anything but suffer. Mind you, it was warm, so there was at least that to be thankful for!

    I was planning on doing a similar distance yesterday on the Rapha Hell of the North ride out of London which looked like a cracking day out. Grave sections and a midway feed/coffee stop in the outdoor velodrome at Welwyn Garden City.

    Unfortunately a momentary lapse of reason and a healthy dose of ineptitude whilst changing pads and discs on my car left one of the brake piston lying in the ground in a puddle of brake fluid.

    The kids ran and hid as I rather noisily contemplated the loss of my Sunday ride.




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  15. Ooo, I got 9 points. Looks like I’m in this thing (finally, after a Delgado Spring). Sad for Sir Brad but that is definitely a classic photo.

    But that man has some skinny, skinny calves.




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  16. @RobSandy

    @Dr C

    @Chris

    @Mikael Liddy

    @Geraint

    @RobSandy

    Because Wiggins tried to win, and Rowe didn’t?

    Basically this, Wiggo rode a great race & had a crack where he had a chance to pull it off (10k to go, on a slightly lesser set of cobbles). Rowe could just do what he wanted without anyone paying him attention.

    Fucking cracker of a race. Dare I ask it, is the racing a little better without Fabs & Tommeke?

    Who gives a monkeys what the actual result was when they both looked this awesome at the finish.

    Brilliant! – Not even Beaker looked this much like Beaker – most awesomest picture evr of Wiggo

    All good points.

    Just found out I competed against Luke Rowe’s dad in a time trial last month.

    That is all.

    I’d love to know what’s going through Beaker’s head.




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  17. @Chris

    @wiscot

    @Chris

    @wiscot

    Indeed, but one of my two crossings is out in the Fens and is Not Very Sheltered At All. I prefer to spend my time feeding my face and trying not to either be blown away by a Siberian gale or go hypothermic.

    I hear you. I did 130 kms yesterday and the SW wind gusts were up to 50kms an hour. My route meant the last 35kms were into the headwind. I used every bit of local know-how to keep sheltered on the way home, but there were a few sections where it was impossible to do anything but suffer. Mind you, it was warm, so there was at least that to be thankful for!

    I was planning on doing a similar distance yesterday on the Rapha Hell of the North ride out of London which looked like a cracking day out. Grave sections and a midway feed/coffee stop in the outdoor velodrome at Welwyn Garden City.

    Unfortunately a momentary lapse of reason and a healthy dose of ineptitude whilst changing pads and discs on my car left one of the brake piston lying in the ground in a puddle of brake fluid.

    The kids ran and hid as I rather noisily contemplated the loss of my Sunday ride.

    Grave sections? They were going to ride through cemeteries? (Forbidden combo of semi-colon, dash and bracket here)




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  18. I was pretty disgusted with the commissaires to be honest. Spartacus tweeted the race rules around level crossings and it is clear they should have all be DQ’d, this just now means that next time they will go for it again. Does someone have to get killed for them to apply this rule? I can forgive the first few riders who could not stop safely but ultimately most of them just went for it.

    I also wonder why the police were not managing this better, the train is a TGV they are fast, reliable to the second and police radio with the driver could have foreseen the possibility and it could have been stopped.

    And we all know if this had been better managed the final result would have been 1. Greg Van Av 2. Kristoff 3. Gee (he would not have fallen if he was less worried about the crossing hazard) 4. Saggy (his brake levers would never have been knocked by the descending barrier) and Tricky Nicky……

    Exactly as I predicted! I feel robbed!!




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  19. And the guy most likely to have been pasted to the front of the train…was in the French champs tricolore! Talk about a national tragedy!




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  20. @wiscot

    @Chris

    @wiscot

    That being said, I got railroaded yesterday but I was in no hurry . . .

    One of my favourite routes crosses the East Coast Main Line twice. It’s a rare day when I don’t get stopped at least one of them and somehow the timing seems to work out that I have to wait for three trains to go past each time.

    Being railroaded can be a pain (hell, I used to live in Terre Haute, IN) and had to cross multiple sets of tracks to get anywhere. The trains ran right through the center of town and I lived between two sets of tracks. Mind you, railroad stoppage time is always a good time to practice the art of casually deliberate.

    Hell yes! Talk about the perfect opportunity to work on CD art! And the line of drivers behind you can’t even get pissed at the fruity dude in Lycra because they’re too busy being pissed at that archaic machine holding them up.

    Lots of trains around my town/city. I really enjoy seeing them go by, feeling the ground rumble, thinking back to when trains ruled and smartphones didn’t exist, oh the fleeting joy!




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  21. @Ron

    @wiscot

    @Chris

    @wiscot

    That being said, I got railroaded yesterday but I was in no hurry . . .

    One of my favourite routes crosses the East Coast Main Line twice. It’s a rare day when I don’t get stopped at least one of them and somehow the timing seems to work out that I have to wait for three trains to go past each time.

    Being railroaded can be a pain (hell, I used to live in Terre Haute, IN) and had to cross multiple sets of tracks to get anywhere. The trains ran right through the center of town and I lived between two sets of tracks. Mind you, railroad stoppage time is always a good time to practice the art of casually deliberate.

    Hell yes! Talk about the perfect opportunity to work on CD art! And the line of drivers behind you can’t even get pissed at the fruity dude in Lycra because they’re too busy being pissed at that archaic machine holding them up.

    Lots of trains around my town/city. I really enjoy seeing them go by, feeling the ground rumble, thinking back to when trains ruled and smartphones didn’t exist, oh the fleeting joy!

    Merckx know I don’t miss living in Terre Hautre, But I do get a bit wistful at the memory of the train horns at 2am off in the distance. There’s also something great about the rhythmic clack -clack, clack-clack of the wheels on the track.

    When I got stopped at the crossing yesterday I was the first in line. I took position right in the middle of the lane and carefully picked my way over the tracks before moving over to the right.




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  22. @wiscot

    @RobSandy

    @Dr C

    @Chris

    @Mikael Liddy

    @Geraint

    @RobSandy

    Because Wiggins tried to win, and Rowe didn’t?

    Basically this, Wiggo rode a great race & had a crack where he had a chance to pull it off (10k to go, on a slightly lesser set of cobbles). Rowe could just do what he wanted without anyone paying him attention.

    Fucking cracker of a race. Dare I ask it, is the racing a little better without Fabs & Tommeke?

    Who gives a monkeys what the actual result was when they both looked this awesome at the finish.

    Brilliant! – Not even Beaker looked this much like Beaker – most awesomest picture evr of Wiggo

    All good points.

    Just found out I competed against Luke Rowe’s dad in a time trial last month.

    That is all.

    I’d love to know what’s going through Beaker’s head.

    “Paris-Roubaix is so much fun. I wonder if I can re-negotiate my contract so that I can come back and do this every year.”




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  23. @wiscot

    Re the train crossing. In this day of incredible communications technology, is it not possible to communicate with the damn train driver and get things sorted so we don’t have the level crossing farces happening every few years?

    According to inrng.com, they do try and tweak the start time of the race so that they don’t clash with the trains. But apparently the tailwind meant that they got to the crossing sooner than anticipated.

    And every single rider who had to dodge around the barriers should get turfed out. I had another look at the video today and it looks like there was about 10 seconds between the last cyclist across and the arrival of train. And then the riders start crossing again before the barriers start coming up. What if there was another train coming?

    Numpties, each and every one of them.




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  24. 1970




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  25. @LeoTea

    @wiscot

    Re the train crossing. In this day of incredible communications technology, is it not possible to communicate with the damn train driver and get things sorted so we don’t have the level crossing farces happening every few years?

    According to inrng.com, they do try and tweak the start time of the race so that they don’t clash with the trains. But apparently the tailwind meant that they got to the crossing sooner than anticipated.

    And every single rider who had to dodge around the barriers should get turfed out. I had another look at the video today and it looks like there was about 10 seconds between the last cyclist across and the arrival of train. And then the riders start crossing again before the barriers start coming up. What if there was another train coming?

    Numpties, each and every one of them.

    yeah they were about 15 minutes ahead of even the fastest predicted time, which would explain why they got caught out by the train. Official word is that the UCI commisaires were too far back to pick the numbers of the riders that should be dq’d




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  26. PR as seen by the Grubers…

    http://stories.strava.com/roubaix




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  27. @Mikael Liddy

    PR as seen by the Grubers…

    http://stories.strava.com/roubaix

    Epic and awesome!




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  28. @Mikael Liddy

    yeah they were about 15 minutes ahead of even the fastest predicted time, which would explain why they got caught out by the train. Official word is that the UCI commisaires were too far back to pick the numbers of the riders that should be dq’d

    How hard is it to prepare for it. Every couple of years the race gets stopped and there’s a controversy about people ducking the barriers. Warn the riders, set up a camera, review footage if people jump the gate and DQ the riders involved. Otherwise one year all the headlines will be about a rider ducking the barrier and getting killed.




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  29. I’m surprised to be hearing about the boom gate thing from people who aren’t into cycling, but know I pay attention, so (incorrectly) presume I care about their incredulous judgement of the peloton. It must have got a bit of a run in the mainstream media.

    I always thought the rule was that you can’t cross once the boom gate is down. You wouldn’t want the riders to slam on the breaks and cause a pile up with riders spilling onto the tracks – I’ve never riden towards one of these crossing at speed so I can’t say as to whether there’s flashing lights providing sufficient warning before the boom gates start descending – but I think it’s safe to say having riders try to stop too quickly would be worse than riders squeezing through safely as the gates descend, hence the current wording (which I think is supposed to be in the technical info riders are provided before each event rather than in some UCI rule – but I might be wrong about that). I haven’t watched it back but from memory there was only one or two guys that went around once it was down, they should be easy to identify on review and should have been dq’d – the bulk went through as it was coming down and the way the rule is worded and to my mind, they should not be dq’d.




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  30. @Roobar

    @Mikael Liddy

    yeah they were about 15 minutes ahead of even the fastest predicted time, which would explain why they got caught out by the train. Official word is that the UCI commisaires were too far back to pick the numbers of the riders that should be dq’d

    How hard is it to prepare for it. Every couple of years the race gets stopped and there’s a controversy about people ducking the barriers. Warn the riders, set up a camera, review footage if people jump the gate and DQ the riders involved. Otherwise one year all the headlines will be about a rider ducking the barrier and getting killed.

    Well the thing is, they had prepared for it, but the pace that race was run at is what caused the problem.

    Trains are a big worry for race director Gouvenou and his team at ASO. They spend hours poring over rail timetables especially as the race crosses the same railway line five times within a short space. The best plans can go wrong and the tailwind sped the race way ahead of schedule exposing it to the risk of a level crossing closure. Even a ten minute delay to the start to compensate for the tailwind wasn’t enough.

    Source: http://inrng.com/2015/04/the-moment-the-race-was-won-paris-roubaix-2015/




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  31. @dyalander

    I always thought the rule was that you can’t cross once the boom gate is down. You wouldn’t want the riders to slam on the breaks and cause a pile up with riders spilling onto the tracks – I’ve never riden towards one of these crossing at speed so I can’t say as to whether there’s flashing lights providing sufficient warning before the boom gates start descending – but I think it’s safe to say having riders try to stop too quickly would be worse than riders squeezing through safely as the gates descend, hence the current wording (which I think is supposed to be in the technical info riders are provided before each event rather than in some UCI rule – but I might be wrong about that). I haven’t watched it back but from memory there was only one or two guys that went around once it was down, they should be easy to identify on review and should have been dq’d – the bulk went through as it was coming down and the way the rule is worded and to my mind, they should not be dq’d.

    If the crossings are anything like the ones here in the UK then there is plenty of warning from flashing lights that the barriers are about to come down. After all, they are designed to deal with cars etc travelling significantly quicker than even a wind assisted peloton.

    Whilst the organisers can claim that they’ve done everything they can to avoid this, it would seem to me that there are a few things they could do. First up they could contribute towards upgrading the barriers so that they shut off both lanes on either side (the majority, if not all barriers in the UK have been upgraded because too many people were getting killed when they decided to drive around the barriers). Not only would that prevent riders crossing after the barriers came down but it would contribute to safety generally and be a big PR win. Failing that, a couple of policemen with a crowd barrier they could move into place as the barrier came down would have a similar but cheaper effect.

    I totally agree with everyone who has said that riders should be DQ’d if ID’d. Massively televised events like PR are last place we want to see cyclists disregarding the rules. It’s bad enough that the general public perceive us to spend our time running red lights and hunting down pedestrians on pavements (sidewalks for the Americans).




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  32. @Chris

    I don’t think the comparative speed is the most significant factor – a peloton is far more difficult to stop than a car or a group of cars travelling in a line. Far more difficult. If the first rider hits the brakes when he sees the lights flashing there is a real chance that a pile up would ensue and riders would end up on the tracks in a far more dangerous predicament.

    The gates may be similar to those in the UK, but then, they may not be. I couldn’t say. But I would expect that ,they are designed for general traffic not for a peloton in a race.

    As far as the effect of watching cyclist flout rules go – I’d accept that it’ll confirm existing anti-cyclist sentiment but I don’t think it’ll create more such sentiment. I don’t think it creates a significant issue for cycling advocates or advocate groups in their work.

    I don’t consider cyclists in an organised race flouting speed limits while descending to be setting a bad example – the road rules don’t apply to racing cyclists. I think this is comparable – they are choosing to flout a road rule (not a race rule – only those that crossed when the gate was down contravened the race rule and they should be dq’d) – they are putting themselves in danger in both instances. I’m fine with both on that respect. However, they are also risking others by crossing – this is something that needs to be considered and I can understand reservations on this basis – but I come back to my opinion that it’s unreasonable to think a peloton can stop in the same distance as a car and that the rule as it stands – if enforced properly is sufficiently safe.




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  33. @unversio

    @Mikael Liddy

    PR as seen by the Grubers…

    http://stories.strava.com/roubaix

    Epic and awesome!

    This one is my fave – http://stories.strava.com/roubaix#view:le99xlj5t2pm0a4ivmt5kfvkco8khuxr9lm8

    What a canvas for the human spirit!




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  34. @dyalander

    @Chris

    I don’t think the comparative speed is the most significant factor – a peloton is far more difficult to stop than a car or a group of cars travelling in a line. Far more difficult. If the first rider hits the brakes when he sees the lights flashing there is a real chance that a pile up would ensue and riders would end up on the tracks in a far more dangerous predicament.

    The gates may be similar to those in the UK, but then, they may not be. I couldn’t say. But I would expect that ,they are designed for general traffic not for a peloton in a race.

    For the sake of the discussion I’m going to assume that the timings on the gates are roughly comparable to those in the UK. As you say, the barrier is likely to be designed for general traffic so the general principles and the speeds they expect traffic to be travelling at is going to be similar. In the UK that road is likely to be limited to 50 or 60 mph (80 or 96 kph) for which the braking distance is listed in the highway code as being 53 or 73 m (for 80 kph that’s 15 m of reaction time and 38 m of actual braking – assuming the driver reacts immediately once the lights start flashing). The timing between the lights beginning to flash and the barrier dropping is likely to be based on something similar but with a bit more reaction time built in for safety. Either way it is a long way to stop anything.

    Granted, there maybe a pile up if one of the front riders slams the brakes on. However, given the skill levels you’d expect from someone who cycles every day and has most likely developed a severe disliking to falling off, I’d suggest that a more measured approach of signalling a hazard, easing off the power and gradual braking would be possible. I’ve never ridden in the pro peloton and on the odd occasion when I have raced there wasn’t anything other than corners and my own inability to keep pushing the pedals hard enough that caused any sort of slowing down but we generally manage to draw to a halt in an organised manner on Sunday club runs and the like. The speed may not always be as high but neither is the level of bike handling skill.

    @dyalander

    @Chris

    I don’t consider cyclists in an organised race flouting speed limits while descending to be setting a bad example – the road rules don’t apply to racing cyclists. I think this is comparable – they are choosing to flout a road rule (not a race rule – only those that crossed when the gate was down contravened the race rule and they should be dq’d) – they are putting themselves in danger in both instances. I’m fine with both on that respect.

    It isn’t comparable at all. In a closed course race, traffic rules are suspended and replaced by race rules on the basis that the roads are empty of traffic.

    No traffic = no requirement for traffic rules.

    Where a race crosses a railway and the train operator(s) haven’t agreed to suspend services for the duration, only a moron would suggest that the riders shouldn’t take heed of rules relating to crossings.




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  35. I’m genuinely surprised at the brouhaha around this, and also by some of the positions being taken.

    There was good 8 or 9 seconds between the last rider and the train – that’s not even close. Compared to doing 100km/h down a wet mountain pass in Italy it doesn’t even register on the pro-cycling scale of near-death experiences.

    It’s just that this time it gives a load of media and hangers-on a chance to make a story out of something that has never been a problem in all the years it has been happening, was not really a problem this year and is unlikely to ever be a problem in future years despite all the desperate appeals for somebody to “Think of the children”.




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  36. @ChrisO

    Compared to doing 100km/h down a wet mountain pass in Italy it doesn’t even register on the pro-cycling scale of near-death experiences.

    Right? I mean, I heard Paul or Phil say something like “he’s lucky to be alive,” and my eyes rolled.




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  37. Man, it pisses me off when the only time the media/public pay any attention to the stuff I live and love is when a controversy arises. Talk about fair weather fans…

    Cycling – doping or skirting around a train. Otherwise, never in the news. Maybe a bit on Le Tour, that’s it. If you don’t report on it, don’t highlight only the negatives. Fuck off.

    Ice hockey – only makes headlines when there is savage goonery. Or, a goon dies from possible brain trauma-related issues.

    Soccer – every four years the idiots come out with Donovan jerseys and pretend they know something about soccer. And then they starting talking about the need for stupid shit like reviews, how to create more goals, and other assorted nonsense. Soccer is awesome because it is so basic and there aren’t that many stats, as opposed to BS baseball.




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  38. @Chris

    @dyalander

    @Chris

    I don’t think the comparative speed is the most significant factor – a peloton is far more difficult to stop than a car or a group of cars travelling in a line. Far more difficult. If the first rider hits the brakes when he sees the lights flashing there is a real chance that a pile up would ensue and riders would end up on the tracks in a far more dangerous predicament.

    The gates may be similar to those in the UK, but then, they may not be. I couldn’t say. But I would expect that ,they are designed for general traffic not for a peloton in a race.

    For the sake of the discussion I’m going to assume that the timings on the gates are roughly comparable to those in the UK. As you say, the barrier is likely to be designed for general traffic so the general principles and the speeds they expect traffic to be travelling at is going to be similar. In the UK that road is likely to be limited to 50 or 60 mph (80 or 96 kph) for which the braking distance is listed in the highway code as being 53 or 73 m (for 80 kph that’s 15 m of reaction time and 38 m of actual braking – assuming the driver reacts immediately once the lights start flashing). The timing between the lights beginning to flash and the barrier dropping is likely to be based on something similar but with a bit more reaction time built in for safety. Either way it is a long way to stop anything.

    Granted, there maybe a pile up if one of the front riders slams the brakes on. However, given the skill levels you’d expect from someone who cycles every day and has most likely developed a severe disliking to falling off, I’d suggest that a more measured approach of signalling a hazard, easing off the power and gradual braking would be possible. I’ve never ridden in the pro peloton and on the odd occasion when I have raced there wasn’t anything other than corners and my own inability to keep pushing the pedals hard enough that caused any sort of slowing down but we generally manage to draw to a halt in an organised manner on Sunday club runs and the like. The speed may not always be as high but neither is the level of bike handling skill.

    @dyalander

    @Chris

    I don’t consider cyclists in an organised race flouting speed limits while descending to be setting a bad example – the road rules don’t apply to racing cyclists. I think this is comparable – they are choosing to flout a road rule (not a race rule – only those that crossed when the gate was down contravened the race rule and they should be dq’d) – they are putting themselves in danger in both instances. I’m fine with both on that respect.

    It isn’t comparable at all. In a closed course race, traffic rules are suspended and replaced by race rules on the basis that the roads are empty of traffic.

    No traffic = no requirement for traffic rules.

    Where a race crosses a railway and the train operator(s) haven’t agreed to suspend services for the duration, only a moron would suggest that the riders shouldn’t take heed of rules relating to crossings.

    How can it be wrong:




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  39. @VirenqueForever

    How can it be wrong:

    OFFS. I give up. It’s clearly an off duty railway official helping with a faulty barrier.




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  40. @Chris

    @VirenqueForever

    How can it be wrong:

    OFFS. I give up. It’s clearly an off duty railway official helping with a faulty barrier.

    “Salut mes amis! Je vais vous voir à la velodrome.”




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  41. @Chris

    The point where you should have given up was when you realised you were on the same complaining side as (in order of horror):

    • Phil’n’Paul
    • A train company
    • The Daily Mail, and
    • Fabian Cancellara



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  42. @ChrisO

    Even the biggest fuckwits are capable of moments of absolute clarity. They just don’t recognise that they’re wrong most of the time.

    I’ll stand by what I said in the first post. Not because I think what happened was particularly dangerous. You’re right there was a clear gap between the last rider and the train (possibly that gap would have been much smaller if the policeman hadn’t stopped them). But I think the organisers are in a position where they’ll receive criticism, rightly or wrongly, that they have a duty to both prevent such situations and take a hard line on anyone flouting the rules. My main problem with the whole thing is their assertion that they were blameless. They could have done more. In general though, I’m pissed off with people, either deliberately or inadvertently, getting in the way of trains. I seem to be spending too much time stuck on trains going nowhere or waiting for trains that aren’t going to turn up.




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  43. @ChrisO

    I’m genuinely surprised at the brouhaha around this, and also by some of the positions being taken.

    There was good 8 or 9 seconds between the last rider and the train – that’s not even close. Compared to doing 100km/h down a wet mountain pass in Italy it doesn’t even register on the pro-cycling scale of near-death experiences.

    It’s just that this time it gives a load of media and hangers-on a chance to make a story out of something that has never been a problem in all the years it has been happening, was not really a problem this year and is unlikely to ever be a problem in future years despite all the desperate appeals for somebody to “Think of the children”.

    Hear hear! The voice of reason…




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  44. From my blog

    in 2011…




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  45. @Oli

    Calm, focused determination. That is a beautiful image.




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  46. As you can all no doubt tell – I love splitting hairs. I don’t do it to change anyone’s mind, you’re all entitled to your opinions – but just to clarify why I’m right:

    @Chris

    We clearly disagree on the peloton’s ability to stop – I’d compare it to a semi driven by committee rather than a car. I’d also add that I don’t think changing the rule so that riders can’t cross when the boom is descending or when lights are flashing would work – making it when the boom is down is the best way because it’s the most predictable thing in the sequence for the riders to gauge. Obviously it can’t be “don’t cross while the lights are flashing” – it might start flashing after the riders pass the post but before they cross so it would be stupid rule that wouldn’t be enforced. I don’t think it can be “don’t cross while the boom is descending/ascending or down” because then riders would be trying to guess when it starts descending – they generally don’t start coming down when the light’s flash but some set time thereafter – so riders wouldn’t have enough time to stop if they were just getting to the crossing slightly before the boom starts moving. Making it “don’t cross when the boom is down” is best because it gives the best chance for riders to see the lights, see the boom coming down and make a call about whether they need to stop or whether they can make it without being dq’d.

    Also, speed limits aren’t simply predicated on the existence of many cars/pedestrians/etc – they are also predicated on safe speeds for negotiating the infrastructure in keeping with it’s specifications. Closing the course doesn’t fully remove the premise for a speed limit. But regardless, my point was really that in a race situation I don’t watch a cyclist and think that their disregard for safety when selecting their speed sets a bad example – they’re racing – they’re not setting an example for safe behaviour – I apply the same logic to the crossing. The essence of what they’re doing precludes them being judged for unsafely ignoring road rules (not race rules – road rules). They have course rules to comply with – don’t cross when the boom is down – the road rules are irrelevant to my mind. The riders assess the course before them and act on the basis of what they deem to be safe for them within the race rules – not a road rule. The guys who crossed while the boom is coming down are fine – the ones who broke the race rule should be dq’d.




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  47. @PeakInTwoYears

    @Oli

    Calm, focused determination. That is a beautiful image.

    also, check out the spectacular sock/loafer combo on the moto dude helping the second rider through.




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  48. @Oli

    From my blog

    in 2011…

    In awe of those guns…




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  49. Davide Rebellin 5th today…




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