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. Nice open Tour by the look of things,

    Potre best on paper at this stage but has a habit of loosing time when he shouldn’t.

    Valverde I good form too – might light it up and make it interesting!

    Hard to leave El Pistola off this list but too many guys i the mix!

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Richie “1 bad day” Porte
    2. The faces of Nairo Quintana
    3. Froomacil
    4. Pinot Noir
    5. Valverde
  2. I would love Richie to win but I think for him to win his team has to be perfect and I just don’t think BMC have it…

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Nairo Quintana
    2. Richie Porte
    3. Chris Froome
    4. Fabio Aru
    5. Romain Bardet
  3. @wiscot

    @Ron

    Hmm, I’ve very curious to see how I personally react to the Tour this year. With a 14 month old on hand, job, wife, grad school, etc. I barely have time to ride, much less watch cycling. I hardly paid attention to the Giro. I almost feel guilty that I’m not that into watching pro cycling these days. But, I’ve always been a person who tries out new things, can become immersed, then moves on. I hope this never happens with my joy of riding, but I wonder if the Tour will lure me back in. We’ll see. Kicks off on Canada Day, nice one for our northern buddies! I was on Prince Edward Island five years ago on my honeymoon. Damn, I loved the Gentle Island.

    0

    Ron, if you don’t know about it, steephill.tv sounds like your answer. Lots of clips, highlights, photos, links to articles. The best place to go for one-stop Tour coverage. You could fit it in to your crazy scheduler somewhere!

    0

    Also, technically you are in the breeding and blimping stage of life so…

  4. Bardet tin, Pinot out.

    not sure why I put Pinot in originally. Got my French favs mixed up.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Richie “1 bad day” Porte
    2. The faces of Nairo Quintana
    3. Froomacil
    4. Bardet
    5. Valverde
  5. question:  has there ever been a grand tour team stacked deeper than Team Sky for this Tour?  Froome’s lieutenants would be team leaders elsewhere.

  6. Froom will win it I guess.

    My choice would be Valverde, but the reason I will watch le Tour is Sagan and his show & pursuit of another Green jersey.

  7. @Pali65

    Froom will win it I guess. My choice would be Valverde, but the reason I will watch le Tour is Sagan and his show & pursuit of another Green jersey.

    Sagan truly animates every event he participates.

  8. @Erik

    Picks don’t show up. But they are mapped. So, just in case: Quintana Porte Contador Froome Pinot Richie’s jour sans will be Quintana’s saving grace. Contador podium is really just romance. Froome will gamely hang on but this won’t be his year. His fourth will come with a vengeance next year. And Pinot is just too good to be ignored.

    0

    That was almost a poem.

  9. I think Froome will pull his best form out of the hat to beat Bardet and Porte in the last week.

    Quintana looked tired in the Giro and I don’t see him racing fresher.

    But what do I know?

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Froome
    2. Bardet
    3. Porte
    4. Quintana
    5. Contador
  10. @RobSandy

    I think Froome will pull his best form out of the hat to beat Bardet and Porte in the last week. Quintana looked tired in the Giro and I don’t see him racing fresher. But what do I know? VSP PICKS:

    1. Froome
    2. Bardet
    3. Porte
    4. Quintana
    5. Contador
    0

    Given that the only difference between our picks is that you’ve gone for Froome over Bardet, I think you’ve probably nailed it.

    Or fucked it up just slightly less horribly than I have.

  11. @frahronk The v-site is broken, paragraphs don’t work and it’s infected with nasty little social media likey likey things. /newpara If we must have social media buttons, can we have a little “that’s shite” turd button?

     

  12. @chris

    @RobSandy

    I think Froome will pull his best form out of the hat to beat Bardet and Porte in the last week. Quintana looked tired in the Giro and I don’t see him racing fresher. But what do I know? VSP PICKS:

    1. Froome
    2. Bardet
    3. Porte
    4. Quintana
    5. Contador
    0

    Given that the only difference between our picks is that you’ve gone for Froome over Bardet, I think you’ve probably nailed it. Or fucked it up just slightly less horribly than I have.

    0

    I’d love it if Bardet won the Tour. But like I’ve said before, never bet on the guy you want to win.

  13. @chris

    @frahronk The v-site is broken, paragraphs don’t work and it’s infected with nasty little social media likey likey things. /newpara If we must have social media buttons, can we have a little “that’s shite” turd button?

    0

    Best thing is, the ‘Like’ buttons don’t work either!

    Suits me, I don’t like anything.

  14. @RobSandy

    They seem to work for me, I’ve just liked your post. Perhaps the system recognises your likeless, cynical soul.

    Disclaimer: I only clicked like to test it. I generally do my liking anonymously, in private and elsewhere. I am British, after all, and wouldn’t want anyone to see me show emotion.

  15. VSP PICKS:

    1. Nairo Quintana
    2. Alejandro Valverde
    3. Richie Porte
    4. Warren Barguil
    5. Dan Martin
  16. Froome wins, that’s what he does. Seen the Sky team? You could start a war with that lot, three of them capable of a top five or even a podium.

    Tempted to pick Porte over Quintana for second but I think the Movistar machine will swing it for the impassive Colombian.

    The rest? Pick any two from a dozen or so rising stars, nearly men, and super-domestiques

    .

    VSP PICKS:

    1. FROOME Christopher
    2. QUINTANA ROJAS Nairo Alexander
    3. PORTE Richie
    4. BARDET Romain
    5. ARU Fabio
  17. @Teocalli

    If you are watching on Sunday when it goes through Henri-Chapelle watch out for a bunch of folk in vintage kit. L’eroica Limburg are doing a ride over there from Valkenburg to watch it go through. I should be there hopefully, in Brooklyn colours.

    0

    Much envy

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Vroem-vroem Froome
    2. POSH (Porte Out Starboard Home)
    3. V-ana
    4. Contador Toreador
    5. Bird’s song (Fuglsang)
  18. @Teocalli

    If you are watching on Sunday when it goes through Henri-Chapelle watch out for a bunch of folk in vintage kit. L’eroica Limburg are doing a ride over there from Valkenburg to watch it go through. I should be there hopefully, in Brooklyn colours.

    0

    Should be amazing!  Next year I’ll be at Limburg (although I doubt it will be close to the tdf next year–but one can hope!).

  19. @chris

    @frahronk The v-site is broken, paragraphs don’t work and it’s infected with nasty little social media likey likey things. /newpara If we must have social media buttons, can we have a little “that’s shite” turd button?

    0

    I like your idea, but 95% of what’s on Social Media is generally classifiable as “shite.” I like to think the V-site shite is a better class of shite. Designer shite if you will, for a discerning audience.

  20. Going with some non-obvious choices.  Time will tell if there is enough chaos for this to come to pass.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Jacob Fugslang
    2. Richie Porte
    3. Roman Bardet
    4. Nairo Quintana
    5. Alejandro Valverde
  21. Astana has two guys. Does that work? Cannondale has all the US rep’s. I like Cannondale. Quintana and the double… that’s gotta be tough. TdF starts with a TT and at same time

    I’ll be in Louisville watching the USAC Juniors race for Nat’s. Louisville will be infinitely more fun. Cheers all.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. FROOME Christopher
    2. PORTE Richie
    3. BARDET Romain
    4. QUINTANA Nairo
    5. CONTADOR VELASCO Alberto
  22. @Geraint

    Froome wins, that’s what he does. Seen the Sky team? You could start a war with that lot, three of them capable of a top five or even a podium. Tempted to pick Porte over Quintana for second but I think the Movistar machine will swing it for the impassive Colombian. The rest? Pick any two from a dozen or so rising stars, nearly men, and super-domestiques . VSP PICKS:

    1. FROOME Christopher
    2. QUINTANA ROJAS Nairo Alexander
    3. PORTE Richie
    4. BARDET Romain
    5. ARU Fabio

    i was thinking the last Grand Tour team as deep as team Sky was maybe ’71 Molteni, with Swerts, Bruyere, Huysmans, Deschoenmaker.  when you’ve got four champions for lieutenants, anything less than victory is a surprise.

  23. VSP PICKS:

    1. Chris Froome
    2. Richie Porte
    3. Nairo Quintana
    4. Alberto Contador
    5. Alejandro Valverde
  24. @Randy C

    @chris

    Why is it that no one eve asks me to take part in studies like this?

    0

    And that is hard to believe !

    0

    Hard to believe?  Try mind-numbingly unscientific.  Is 8 weeks enough to build the cardiovascular efficiency, muscle timing, and the capillary delivery of a pro in someone who starts at some unknown base?  What about the notion that the pros are the best of the strongest of the fastest to begin with, and only a handful of those are contenders?  Among this VERY select few, a 0.1% advantage is an incredible difference – it’s significantly more than the 4 minutes lead Froome had last year at the Tour (4′ is 0.075% of 89 hours and 4-odd minutes [running included]).  Keep in mind these subjects are amateurs, not pros.  And there is usually a good (/obvious) reason you remain an amateur and not a pro.  You don’t make the cut.  But wait, here this is:  “Professor John Brewer, an expert in applied sports science at St Mary’s University College [in other words an actual scientist], cautioned that the benefits of improved oxygen uptake might be more pronounced in professional cyclists than in amateurs” (emphasis mine)  Duh.  BTW, not to The Telegraph editors: including that quick nod to peer review in the very last line of the story doesn’t resurrect the “Science” title of this section.

  25. @Randy C

    @chris

    Why is it that no one eve asks me to take part in studies like this?

    0

    And that is hard to believe !

    0

    The results of the study are hard to believe or it’s hard to believe they didn’t ask me?

     

  26. @chris

    @Randy C

    @chris

    Why is it that no one eve asks me to take part in studies like this?

    0

    And that is hard to believe !

    0

    The results of the study are hard to believe or it’s hard to believe they didn’t ask me?

    0

    An athlete of your caliber would almost certainly skew the results.

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