Velominati Super Prestige: Tour de France 2017

As many of you know, I write a monthly column for Cyclist Magazine where I answer Dear Abby-esque questions, and the most recent query pertained to whether I consider the Tour the best race of the year, or whether it’s an over-publicized circus. The question made me realize something about myself: I have a weariness around the Tour de France not unlike a romantic whose heart has been broken one too many times.

The fact is, as much as I prefer a race like Paris-Roubaix or the Giro d’Italia to the mid-summer shit show that is the Tour de France, nothing gets my anticipation going quite the way the Tour does, which is undeniably the pinnacle of the season; all the classifications and stages are prestigious enough that racers of all sorts are all arriving at the start in peak form. There is a promise of hard racing from day one, but the first week consists mostly of me worrying about the big favorites crashing out. As soon as we get through that mess, my heart is usually broken on the first day in the mountains, when the favorite takes a decisive lead and the rest of the race is most about stages than the GC.

At least, these are the dreads of a man who lived through the Indurain and Armstrong eras of racing.

Nevertheless, the Tour always manages to seduce me, and this year is no different. Maybe this year, she won’t be such a cruel lover. And, maybe this year, I won’t make horrible picks in the VSP. Just maybe, just maybe. You know the drill; get your picks in by the time the clock goes to zero, and you get some swap options on the rest day. Good luck!
[vsp_results id=”104413″/]

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596 Replies to “Velominati Super Prestige: Tour de France 2017”

  1. Damn! Who knew a careful reading of the race manual could pay such big dividends? Kudos to EBH for being alert, smart and in the right place at the right time. A very well-deserved win for the Norwegian.

  2. @wiscot

    Damn! Who knew a careful reading of the race manual could pay such big dividends? Kudos to EBH for being alert, smart and in the right place at the right time. A very well-deserved win for the Norwegian.

    0

    Fuck it! I had a nice beer & high fat snack going down in anticipation of a deluxe flame rouge finale and then there was that fkn roundabout and the  clear picture from the chopper…Was really hoping Keukeleire would get a run at it. Matt White needs to cop that one. Big missed opportunity.

  3. what if Romain Bardet can win the TT?  he’s beaten Froome before, in the 2015 Tour de Romandie.  wouldn’t that be something!  this race does not lack for drama.

  4. @wiscot

    Damn! Who knew a careful reading of the race manual could pay such big dividends? Kudos to EBH for being alert, smart and in the right place at the right time. A very well-deserved win for the Norwegian.




    0

    yes that was quite nice.  winning a Tour stage alone like that must feel outrageous.  did you happen to catch the Norwegian highlight broadcast?  i thought the announcer was gonna have a heart attack.

  5. Did the Panzerwagen dig too deep in the pain cave for the TT? A white skinsuit may make him look imposing with his rainbows on it but when the camera shows you rounding the final turns with something nasty going on in the chamois region, it’s not a good look.

    Or am I the only one who saw that?

  6. @Grimace

    Did the Panzerwagen dig too deep in the pain cave for the TT? A white skinsuit may make him look imposing with his rainbows on it but when the camera shows you rounding the final turns with something nasty going on in the chamois region, it’s not a good look.

    Or am I the only one who saw that?

    0

    Haven’t seen it yet, but this seems to be a pretty tough TT. Will Froome win? Tough ask. He’s one mechanical away from trouble . . .

  7. Today Froome’s mechanical will not stop the rest from racing…

    I hope for Bodnar stage win – at least some Bora success after all the misery.

  8. Froome has already taken 43 seconds from Bardet at the first checkpoint.  slaughter.

  9. @Cary

    Bardet hangs on to the podium by 1 sec!

    0

    Very lucky to hang in there after that effort. Woeful.

    Barguil has been a highlight this week. Looks really good on the bike doing it too. A future powerhouse for sure.

  10. @Grimace

    @Cary

    Bardet hangs on to the podium by 1 sec!

    0

    Very lucky to hang in there after that effort. Woeful.

    Barguil has been a highlight this week. Looks really good on the bike doing it too. A future powerhouse for sure.

    0

    Barguil has been great this week. However, it is a tough call naming him super combatif for the Tour after De Gendt spent almost 1/3 of the entire race in front of the peloton. 

  11. How long until the Vuelta? What am I going to do all day apart from ride a bike?

     

  12. @Rick

    @Grimace

    @Cary

    Bardet hangs on to the podium by 1 sec!

    0

    Very lucky to hang in there after that effort. Woeful.

    Barguil has been a highlight this week. Looks really good on the bike doing it too. A future powerhouse for sure.

    0

    Barguil has been great this week. However, it is a tough call naming him super combatif for the Tour after De Gendt spent almost 1/3 of the entire race in front of the peloton.

    0

    But De Gent is not French, n’est-ce pas?

    What the Prophet said about le Tour yesterday?

    On the flat stages only the start and the last 10km are interesting. And there is some long breakaway in between. In the mountains the high quality domestiques of main contenders cannot attack for win. I am sorry but this is how I see this. Many cyclists are boring. When Porte or Sagan left peloton there was less excitement and fun.

    On the question what changes he would introduce:

    What should be changed is increase the attractiveness of stages. I had feeling too often this year that you can guess what will happen. This is for sure disadvantage of TdF compared to Giro.

     

     

     

     

  13. @Pali65

    @Rick

    @Grimace

    @Cary

    Bardet hangs on to the podium by 1 sec!

    0

    Very lucky to hang in there after that effort. Woeful.

    Barguil has been a highlight this week. Looks really good on the bike doing it too. A future powerhouse for sure.

    0

    Barguil has been great this week. However, it is a tough call naming him super combatif for the Tour after De Gendt spent almost 1/3 of the entire race in front of the peloton.

    0

    But De Gent is not French, n’est-ce pas?

    What the Prophet said about le Tour yesterday?

    On the flat stages only the start and the last 10km are interesting. And there is some long breakaway in between. In the mountains the high quality domestiques of main contenders cannot attack for win. I am sorry but this is how I see this. Many cyclists are boring. When Porte or Sagan left peloton there was less excitement and fun.

    On the question what changes he would introduce:

    What should be changed is increase the attractiveness of stages. I had feeling too often this year that you can guess what will happen. This is for sure disadvantage of TdF compared to Giro.

    0

    Seriously right? Spread the wealth. Barguil got two stages and the mountains classification. De Gent was out there every friggin day. I’d be pretty pissed if i was him.

  14. @hhbiker

    How long until the Vuelta? What am I going to do all day apart from ride a bike?

    0

    excepting the world championships, the season is over for me.  the cobbled classics are my high holy days anyway.  i already can’t wait for next April.

  15. @Grimace

    Did the Panzerwagen dig too deep in the pain cave for the TT? A white skinsuit may make him look imposing with his rainbows on it but when the camera shows you rounding the final turns with something nasty going on in the chamois region, it’s not a good look.

    Or am I the only one who saw that?

    0

    When he was laid out on the deck afterward, I definitely noticed some yellow.

  16. @Grimace

    Did the Panzerwagen dig too deep in the pain cave for the TT? A white skinsuit may make him look imposing with his rainbows on it but when the camera shows you rounding the final turns with something nasty going on in the chamois region, it’s not a good look.

    Or am I the only one who saw that?

    0

    He loaded his saddle top side up with stickers of some sort that sure looked to have been rubbing off… saddle was shown on telecast. Recall he applied sand paper to his saddle in past and that made for bad visual too. He’s got to either a) ditch the white bibs or b) sort out what he’s trying to accomplish w/the saddle sticktion efforts.

    He stayed in the saddle crushing it up the climb yes? Note the diff between his style and Froome’s hyper spin up the hill. Froome stayed in saddle too but was whipping up his legs in a frenzy of a cadence. And then Bardet ? Just watching was painful.

  17. for 25 years straight, nothing is as exciting to me as seeing the peloton round the place de la concorde, setting up for the best sprint finish in all of cycling.  it’s still every bit as electric today as it was the first time i saw it.

  18. i truly missed Cavendish being in the finale on the Champs Elysees this year.  easily the most brilliant road sprinter i’ve seen in my life.  cycling in general will really miss this dude when he retires.

    https://youtu.be/dPbpVkK1eUI

  19. @Phillip Mercer

    @Phillip Mercer

    I don’t know why everything went all caps and bold then…

    0

    Whoa! I thought you were getting all mad and shouty there! Surely to Merckx there a sticky, grippy tape that does the job just as well as the rough sandpaper Tony M seems to like that doesn’t trash your shorts – even after three rides.

  20. @wiscot

    @Phillip Mercer

    @Phillip Mercer

    I don’t know why everything went all caps and bold then…

    0

    Whoa! I thought you were getting all mad and shouty there! Surely to Merckx there a sticky, grippy tape that does the job just as well as the rough sandpaper Tony M seems to like that doesn’t trash your shorts – even after three rides.

    0

    He did have grippy sticky tape on his saddle for the TT. It wasn’t sandpaper. The saddle was shown on the telecast. And the grippy sticky tape color apparently rubbed off on to his skin suit behind as opposed to ripping thru it like sandpaper. So, if he wants to wear white skin suit bottoms he best have white grippy sticky tape as opposed to yellow or whatev the tape was and which in this situation was visually unappealing on high def telecast half way thru the TT.

  21. Wow! Dan Martin rode half the Tour with two fractured vertebrae. As he clearly had the legs, we can only imagine how different his Tour might have been had it not been for the crash. Hardman indeed!

  22. @wiscot

    Wow! Dan Martin rode half the Tour with two fractured vertebrae. As he clearly had the legs, we can only imagine how different his Tour might have been had it not been for the crash. Hardman indeed!

    0

    i just this minute read of this.  balls

  23. @RobSandy

    @KogaLover

    @John Irvine

    Although it’s great to see Thomas in yellow, I fear the VSP may be a DNF this year. Is there hope for a late season resurgence?

    0

    Some Vuelta VSP maybe?

    0

    On the plus side, if it stops now I win.

    Yay me.

    0

    You get a Pint of Brains on yourself.

  24. @Teocalli

    @RobSandy

    @KogaLover

    @John Irvine

    Although it’s great to see Thomas in yellow, I fear the VSP may be a DNF this year. Is there hope for a late season resurgence?

    0

    Some Vuelta VSP maybe?

    0

    On the plus side, if it stops now I win.

    Yay me.

    0

    You get a Pint of Brains on yourself.

    0

    i’d take it!  at the rate i’m going, a pint of brains would be a welcome addition

  25. @Cary

    Here we go. I don’t drink in the week so I’ve had to wait until today to toast my first solo win on the bike.

    Won a cat 3/4 crit, and will celebrate with some fine St Peters ale.

  26. @RobSandy

    @Cary

    Here we go. I don’t drink in the week so I’ve had to wait until today to toast my first solo win on the bike.

    Won a cat 3/4 crit, and will celebrate with some fine St Peters ale.

    1

    awesome and congrats on the result!  a solo win in a criterium is a helluva thing indeed.

    i am completely ignorant to most of the ales referenced in the Drink Properly discussion.  the vast majority simply never make it across the ocean, or do in such limited numbers as to make them very difficult to obtain.

    maybe i need to do a beer tour of europe..  lol

  27. @Cary

    Cheers. It feels like my first win of any kind, but I’ve won a team sprint on the track.

    I’ve had a win in me for a couple of seasons, but Wednesday was the first time it all came together – one of my team mates laid down the V repeatedly throughout the race, stringing out the bunch, and I kept myself near the front, following the right wheels and then attacked hard/opened up my sprint with 1/2 a lap to go and no one could come around.

    2 races left in the season, I’ll see if I can score one more win (I’ve also got some team mates to pay back!)

  28. @Cary

    Elia Viviani to Quick Step, and Kittel to Katusha!

    0

    Makes sense for Marcel to go to Katusha: best hair in the peloton to a team sponsored by Alpecin shampoo. Tony Martin’s no slouch in the hair stakes either. Alas, Froome is unlikely to be on Katusha-Alpecin’s wish list . . .

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