4x Roubaix. Can the record be beaten?

Velominati Super Prestige: Paris-Roubaix 2017

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I was called a Boonen sycophant today by one of my editors, which didn’t feel as good as it sounds. But the fact is, I am. And the fact is also that I’m not ashamed of being such. It certainly feels cleaner than my Dirty Schlecky love from a few years ago.

Last year’s Boonen heartbreak (I’m talking about mine, not his) was bittersweet because Matty Hayman put in such a great ride to win, not to mention that Boonen was such a great sportsman. But with that near miss in the rear view mirror – the bad luck that many favorites had last week at Flanders, I’m probably more nervous about crashes and mechanicals than the racers are themselves. I’m a bit of a wreck, to be honest.

Last week took its pound of flesh from Vanmarke, who is out, and Sagan, who is battle-damaged. No Cancellara and a lackluster season from Degencobble puts a lot of pressure on my in-form boy Tomeke to make a run at his fifth and record-breaking Roubaix cobble. He rode today’s Scheldeprijs on the front and showing great strength, and then disappeared down the bunch to coast into the finish of his last race in Belgium as a Pro. Merckx, I’ll miss having him to watch.

But as cool as he is, he’ll never be RdV-fixing-his-fucked-up-leggings-on-the-bike Cool. Contemplate the startlist and get your picks in by the time the countdown timer turns into a pumpkin and good luck!

Final Race Results
1. VAN AVERMAET Greg
2. STYBAR Zdenek
3. LANGEVELD Sebastian
4. STUYVEN Jesper
5. MOSCON Gianni
Final VSP Results
1. David van Dijk (7 points)
2. cycleman3000 (7 points)
3. Jason Ziegler (7 points)
4. dancollins (7 points)
5. John Irvine (7 points)
6. Rob (7 points)
7. Lebowski Achiever (7 points)
8. Clingon (7 points)
9. xyxax (7 points)
10. foggypeake (5 points)
11. frank (2 points)
12. lokerola (2 points)
13. GoldenGorilla (2 points)
14. Brett (2 points)
15. schmiken (2 points)
16. JCM (2 points)
17. BacklashJack (1 points)
18. freddy (1 points)
19. Cary (1 points)
20. Rick (1 points)
21. Yagerbomb (1 points)
22. Phillip Mercer (1 points)
23. TheDon (1 points)
24. Snowy (1 points)
25. Bianchi Denti (1 points)
26. Kunanyi (1 points)
27. 1860 (1 points)
28. aaus (1 points)
29. KogaLover (1 points)
30. RobSandy (1 points)
31. Geraint (1 points)
32. Stefaan (1 points)
33. wiscot (1 points)
34. Igloo (1 points)
35. chuckp (1 points)
36. Erik (1 points)
37. Teocalli (1 points)
38. Kevin (1 points)
39. Floridian (1 points)
40. JonnyG (1 points)
41. R00tdown (1 points)
42. stooge (1 points)
43. Davido (1 points)
44. ClamSauce (1 points)
45. tony macaroni (1 points)
46. MangoDave (1 points)
47. Cameron W (1 points)
48. Rob (1 points)
49. sthilzy (1 points)
50. JohnB (1 points)
51. TBONE (1 points)
52. Tom Mc (1 points)
53. WindDrifter (1 points)
54. ErikdR (1 points)
55. The Grande Fondue (1 points)
56. Two Ball Billy (1 points)
57. Carel (1 points)
58. Byron (1 points)
59. Skip (1 points)
60. dyalander (1 points)
61. Minnesota Expat (1 points)
62. Phillip Hasty (1 points)
63. Randy C (1 points)
64. Quadzilla (1 points)
65. Paul Woodhouse (1 points)
66. ojhart (1 points)
67. mulebeatsdrums (1 points)
68. Wojtek (1 points)
69. Haldy (1 points)
70. TurboJoe (1 points)
71. Quasar (1 points)
72. Haroldo Melo (1 points)
73. Jay (1 points)
74. Canucklehead (1 points)
75. BaltoSteve (1 points)
76. MikeK (1 points)
77. Ron (1 points)
78. sinikl (1 points)
79. Heusdens (1 points)
80. ramenvelo (1 points)
81. Chica (1 points)
82. Monti Martani (1 points)
83. Lukas (1 points)
84. the Engine (1 points)
85. Hhbiker (1 points)
86. Buck Rogers (0 points)
87. Peter Houkjær (0 points)
88. oneninefiveninesix (0 points)
89. Ccos (0 points)
90. Jared Wilkie (0 points)
91. LeoTea (0 points)
92. taon24 (0 points)
93. Adrian (0 points)
94. Jansen (0 points)
95. Harminator (0 points)
96. chris (0 points)
97. Pot Belj (0 points)
98. osbk67 (0 points)
99. Barracuda (0 points)
100. mihaibu (0 points)
101. dinosaurJR (0 points)
102. Magaramombi (0 points)

// Velominati Super Prestige

  1. Tommeke in the first place, but more out of courtesy than my actual expectation. What I know for sure is that it’s gonna be a hell of a race with so many first-class, victory-craving contenders! VSP PICKS:

    1. BOONEN Tom
    2. VAN AVERMAET Greg
    3. KRISTOFF Alexander
    4. TERPSTRA Niki
    5. STANNARD Ian
    0
  2. Tommeke in the first place, but more out of courtesy than my actual expectation. What I know for sure is that it’s gonna be a hell of a race with so many first-class, victory-craving contenders!

    0
  3. VSP PICKS:

    1. Boonen
    2. Van Avermaet
    3. Sagan
    4. Terstra
    5. Boasson Hagen
    0
  4. Ok, I completely Delgadoed the start of the season. Well, either that or I boycotted your bitch ass, @Frank, because of my lack of Olympic rings. I won those fair and square. Either way, it didnt work, my season is fucked and Im only in this for the shits and giggles now. PS; I liked the explanation for the reason why the glasses go over the helmet straps you wrote in Cyclist magazine; my explanation would have included a lot more swearing. Well played. VSP PICKS:

    1. Boonen
    2. Sagan
    3. Kristoff
    4. Not Pepper Spray
    5. Terpstra
    0
  5. @Minnesota Expat

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Peter Fagan

    Funny enough – “fagan” means “naughty boy” in Slovak with a derogatory connotation. You would call a fagan someone who would e.g. pinch ass of a girl etc.

    0
  6. If people are going to pick Sep Vanmarcke and Philip Gilbert then they might as well pick Cavendish, Renshaw and Fabian Cancellara too because none of those people will be at Paris Roubaix either…..

    0
  7. VSP PICKS:

    1. Peter Sagan
    2. Tom Boonen
    3. Greg Van Avermaet
    4. John Degenkolb
    5. Alexander Kristoff
    0
  8. @dinosaurJR You’d probably have to settle for a few Bay Leaves anyway as the Olympic Organisation are somewhat protective of those rings.

    0
  9. VSP PICKS:

    1. Boonen
    2. Van Avermaet
    3. Boasen Hagen
    4. Stannard
    5. Naesen
    0
  10. VSP PICKS:

    1. Edvald Boasson-Hagen
    2. Peter Sagan
    3. Ian Stannard
    4. Greg Van Avermaet
    5. Tom Boonen
    0
  11. @Rob

    on a different subject why is the Polish K sitting this one out, injured or does he not do cobbles, any one know. Milan San Remo was pure guts!

    Kwiatkowski decided to skip all the cobbles this year in favour of concentring on the Ardennes. He reckons trying to do both last year ruined the rest of his season.

    0
  12. Demare replaces Naesen. VSP PICKS:

    1. Kristoff
    2. van Avermaet
    3. Demare
    4. Boonen
    5. Durbridge
    0
  13. VSP PICKS:

    1. Drucker
    2. Groenewegen
    3. Van Baarle
    4. Bak
    5. Keisse
    0
  14. VSP PICKS:

    1. Tom Boonen
    2. Greg Van Avermat
    3. Peter Sagan
    0
  15. No careful calculations or analysis, no thoughtful comparisons . Just names… VSP PICKS:

    1. Boonen
    2. Sagan
    3. Van Avermaet
    4. Degenkolb
    5. Boasson Hagen
    0
  16. You know what, I just can’t leave boonan out – I can’t fathom the fairytale actually happening, which is why it would be so brilliant, but I think it’ll be a group of 5-6 and he’ll be one of them. Also dropping Stannard – was tossing up between Degenkolb and Kristoff. VSP PICKS:

    1. Sagan
    2. Degenkolb
    3. Boonan
    4. Naesen
    5. van Avermaet
    0
  17. VSP PICKS:

    1. Sagan
    2. Boonen
    3. Degenkolb
    4. Van Avermaet
    5. Kristoff
    0
  18. VSP PICKS:

    1. Sagan
    2. Stannard
    3. Van Baarle
    4. Boonen
    5. GVA
    0
  19. VSP PICKS:

    1. Tom Boonen
    2. Peter Sagan
    3. Greg Van Avermaet
    4. Alexander Kristoff
    5. Dylan van Baarle
    0
  20. VSP PICKS:

    1. Sagan
    2. Boonen
    3. Degenkolb
    4. Van Avermaet
    5. Kristoff
    0
  21. VSP PICKS:

    1. Sagan
    2. van Avermaet
    3. Boonen
    4. Naesen
    5. Terpstra
    0
  22. VSP PICKS:

    1. Sagan
    2. GvA
    3. Terpstra
    4. Boonen
    5. van Baarle
    0
  23. @LeoTea Many thanks, I wish he was riding Roubaix he is such a tough guy. VSP PICKS:

    1. Van Laundrymat
    2. Luck Underthebridge
    3. Tony the Martian
    4. Mythrough Hymen
    5. Bernard Deisel
    0
  24. VSP PICKS:

    1. Naesen
    2. Terpstra
    3. Sagan
    4. Boonen
    5. GVA
    0
  25. VSP PICKS:

    1. Tom Boonen
    2. Peter Sagan
    3. John Degenkolb
    4. Greg Van Avermaet
    5. Oliver Naesen
    0
  26. Breaking all the betting rules and going with the sentimental pick. Boonen’s wins at Roubaix are part of the reason I fell in love with cycling. VSP PICKS:

    1. Boonen
    2. Sagan
    3. Van Avermaet
    4. Degenkolb
    5. Kristoff
    0
  27. Going with heart over head a bit with Tommeke, but it’s hard to bet against him when he’s motivated and in form. VSP PICKS:

    1. Tom Boonen
    2. Greg van Avermaet
    3. Peter Sagan
    4. Niki Terpstra
    5. Alexander Kristoff
    0
  28. VSP PICKS:

    1. GVA
    2. Degenkolb
    3. Naesen
    4. Demare
    5. Stannard
    0
  29. VSP PICKS:

    1. STANNARD Ian
    2. DEGENKOLB John
    3. VAN AVERMAET Greg
    4. TERPSTRA Niki
    5. DURBRIDGE Luke
    0
  30. VSP PICKS:

    1. Sagan
    0
  31. Hoping for an entertaining race! VSP PICKS:

    1. Peter Sagan
    2. Ian Stannard
    3. Zdnek Stybar
    4. Tyler Farrar
    5. Tom Boonen
    0
  32. VSP PICKS:

    1. Greg van Avermaet
    2. Tom Boonen
    3. Oliver Naesen
    4. Peter Sagan
    5. Niki Terpstra
    0
  33. Look out for the saltire somewhere on the Carrfour VSP PICKS:

    1. Peter Sagan
    2. Tom Boonen
    3. Degencobble
    4. GvA
    5. Kristoff
    0
  34. Almost left on my ride without picking! See you in front of the TV VSP PICKS:

    1. GVA
    2. BOONEN
    3. Sagan
    4. DEGS
    5. KRISTOFF
    0
  35. Last minute picks VSP PICKS:

    1. Kristoff
    2. Terpstra
    3. Stannard
    4. Gva
    5. Boonen
    0
  36. Sentimentality takes over VSP PICKS:

    1. Boonen
    2. Terpstra
    3. Stannard
    4. Gva
    5. Kristoff
    0
  37. Regardless of the outcome, Matt Hayman is the clear winner at prerace P-R, sporting Indurainesque casquette luft. Kristoff, donning a soviet era baseball cap (do they have baseball in Russia?), can only hope for a better 2018.

    0
  38. Was it Sean Kelly quoting Sagan few moments ago?

    It is not so important just to win a race. It is important how you win the race.

    0
  39. Fucking Twerpstra! I had him in my Top 5!

    0
  40. Despite marking this day on the family calendar to leave Dad alone for the “more important day in cycling 2017” we are somehow hosting a brunch. Do the rules grant me permission to be rude and ignore guests?

    0
  41. Well SHITTTTTTTTT! Not the result I predicted or wanted but there you go!

    Result:

    1 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing 5:41:07 2 Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Quick-Step Floors 3 Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Cannondale-Drapac 4 Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo 5 Gianni Moscon (Ita) Team Sky

    0
  42. That was a great performance by the winner – having to chase back on after a broken bike, particularly coming up to Arenberg, where the pace is normally hectic. Two other great performances: the long solo attack from Oss (which meant that GvA could soft pedal when in the chasing group), and also the defending champ Hayman, who came in 11th – I was convinced that we would see him getting tailed off when the big boys stared to put the hammer down.

    0
  43. @Teocalli The way my season is going I wil be happy with one ring, anything, really… Oh, and my pick “Not Pepper Spray” didnt map. FYI it was Greg Van Avermaet. Why? Because back in the day when they were both at BMC I was convinced they were the same damn person (on the bike and in the same kit they are more or less identical to me). Anyway, last season Gilbert was caught up in the pepper spray thing, and it finally gave me a way to differentiate between the two. Therefore; Gilbert = Pepper Spray GVA = Not Pepper Spray.

    0
  44. Great race, only saw the last 18k so I’ll have to go back. Most here had GVA in second to fifth. By my count 8 of us put him in #1 and oddly I don’t think many (not me) got any of the other top 4…

    0
  45. @foggypeake Yes! you got Stybar.

    0
  46. Classic: Flemish tan lines Pictures!

    0
  47. @KogaLover

    Classic: Flemish tan lines Pictures!

    Great stuff!!! Esp Antoine Duchesne!

    0
  48. I only got to start watching the race last night. And I have to say that watching GvA power back up to the peloton from 30+ seconds back early in the race was a fine display of awesome. He came up on a group of riders of the back and all over the cobbles and in a matter of seconds had powered thru em about like they were standing still. Talk about a man possessed. We are watching right now, Messrs Sagan and Van Avermaet, and a whole host of others, provide some awfully damn inspiring racing. I love it. Cheers all.

    0
  49. So what’s the deal with EQS these days? No cap for Gilbert on the Flanders podium and Terpstra took his off. Now no cap for Stybar at Paris Roubaix. It really is quite discombobulating as we are so used to seeing the riders wear some kind of head gear and EQS have been setting the standard by issuing riders with proper cycling caps and not those awful baseball things most teams wear.

    0
  50. @wiscot

    So what’s the deal with EQS these days? No cap for Gilbert on the Flanders podium and Terpstra took his off. Now no cap for Stybar at Paris Roubaix. It really is quite discombobulating as we are so used to seeing the riders wear some kind of head gear and EQS have been setting the standard by issuing riders with proper cycling caps and not those awful baseball things most teams wear.

    @wiscot EQS have won the “Rusty Chain Award” for the spring campaign in my opinion. Now one has to respect, as Sean Kelly called it, “One of the greatest rides in the RVV ever” by PhilGil but besides that all they have done is whinged, followed wheels, missed the key moves, fucked up the sprints, and either worn no chapeau or a fucking baseball cap. Maybe now that Tommeke is retired they can get their shit together and try to straighten things out.

    0

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