Velominati Super Prestige: Tour de France

Two douchebags and A. Grimpeur rocket up the Ventoux in 2009

The inaugural Velominati Super Prestige continues the with Tour de France edition, on Saturday July 3rd in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, just kilometers from the start of the Giro d’Italia in Amsterdam (Dutchland is a small country). This will be the second Grand Tour of the series, and at this stage the Grand Tour rules and regulations are fairly well-defined, so take a moment to review them on the VSP Page.

The Tour is, of course, a major event.  My personal preference lies with the Giro, but there is no denying the magnitude of the Tour and the appeal it holds.  For three weeks, the world pays attention to our sport, and – provided the Tour doesn’t coincide with the World Cup football matches – this is the biggest sporting event during this time of the year.  (An interesting observation: the last time these events coincided, the winner was eventually stripped of his title.)

Having run the VSP Giro edition where we tested the ruleset for Grand Tours, we’ve managed to set up a scoring system that seems fair and helps to close down the competition to afford newcomers the ability to catch up with some good picks; the Giro proved that lineup switches and the associated penalties kept the point gains pretty small while allowing strategy to play an interesting role.  There is a full overview of the rules and standing at the VSP Schedule, Rules, & Results page, but here is the ten-second overview:

Every contestant is to choose their top five General Classification picks of the race.  The final podium of le Grande Boucle is worth 15 points to the winner, 10 points for second, 5 points for third, 3 points for fourth, and 2 point for fifth.  Given the effect crashes can have on a tour, we’ve set up some guidelines around making changes to your lineup during the race: you’re allowed to change your lineup if any rider in your pick list drops out for any reason without any penalty; rest days will allow contestants to make changes to their lineup, however those changes will come at a point penalty.  (Visit the VSP Schedule, Rules, & Results page for a complete breakdown of these points.)

Every day, the leader in the points standings will have the honor of wearing the Yellow Jersey when posting on the site; the overall winner will wear the Yellow Jersey for the remainder of the season and will also earn an “Obey the Rules” bumper sticker.  All reader’s points qualify towards the final prize of the free Velominati Shop Apron.  As always, if you are inclined to enter, simply post your predictions for the top five placings.

New to the Tour de France edition is the addition of naming the winner of the Green and Polka-dot jerseys for the Tour.  There will be no points awarded towards these two jerseys, but the leader of the competition of these jerseys will have the honor of commenting with a Green or Polka-dot jersey badge throughout the competition and the winner will earn the right to comment with that badge until next year’s Tour.  The contestant who picks both the final Green and Polka jersey winners correctly will win a Velominati Logo bumper sticker.   Tie-breakers will go to the first contestant who posts their entire lineup (all 5 GC picks plus Green and Polka-dot jersey winners).  Given that this sub-competition has no points, pick substitutions will only be granted under the DNF regulations of the VSP; no rest-day substitutions are allowed.

Sub-competitions will be conducted while the Tour is underway for specific stages.  These stages will be chosen a few days prior to the stage being held and will be selected based on the current race conditions with the aim of choosing the most decisive and exciting stages of the race, so check back often to make sure you don’t miss out.  Sub-competitions will be held in separate editions.

Good luck!

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759 Replies to “Velominati Super Prestige: Tour de France”

  1. @Marcus
    not angry. Tired, yes, but not angry. Disappointed in how Schleck/Saxo Bank rode with a lack of adventure.

    Further to this, something myself and my velomihottie came up with seperatly, is that if you want to draw the inference that this was again a cleaner tour, then as teams get the hand of this “clean racing” so to will they become less conservative in their tactics.

    Valverde won’t be back in Italy. He’ll be back in 2012, his two-year ban was worldwide from the beginning of this year, the Italian ban was separate.

  2. Crashd’emish is a COTH. But he is a very, very, very fast COTH.

    Stage racing encourages defensive riding. You are very rarely – if ever – left in the last throw of the dice situation as in one day races where aggression at the right moment can make all the difference. But you can’t criticise the Tour for not being a spring classic.

  3. @Jarvis
    Thanks for the reference to the Sports Scientist blog. Interesting – and quite plausible that reduction in rocket fuel = reduction in repeat attacks. Also quite plausible that the riders and teams will adapt. But ultimately I guess it’s a question of what we find exciting, and that’s quite a personal thing. For me, Tourmalet #2 was rivetting, even though it did not contain (let us assume) jet-fuelled attacks. There was tension and uncertainty about what might happen, and that’s often enough to make it exciting even when not much does. Then again, I also find test cricket (sometimes) exciting, so may not be a great yardstick …

  4. @Geof
    not wanting a return to rocket-fuelled attacks, I would have hoped for a bit of creativity. Perhaps it will come in time.

    The Sports Science blog is very good, they have done a lot on the science of doping.

  5. @all
    Wow, lots of chatter since I was out of town, it will be fun to read up on what everyone’s been saying.

    Updated the VSP overall standings. Rob has lost his lead in the overall VSP, which now goes to Geof who’s consistency is starting to pay off. Steampunk gets the honor of wearing the Yellow Jersey badge for the rest of the season (I can only pray that doesn’t mean we have to suffer seeing his screen name as ‘Canarypunk’ until next July), The Dotted Jumper badge goes to Joe for the rest of the year, and – since Steampunk can’t wear both badges, the Green Jersey badge falls to Rob.

    Congrats, all!

  6. @ Frank

    Funny reading through some of the chat around last year – how come you got null pwants Frank?

    When are we kicking of the banter about this years Tour?

    My kids are counting down the days until our holiday to Portugal – they don’t understand why I’m seven days ahead on my countdown….. it’s because we’re flying out (yes, with road bikes in the hold) on Day 7 of leTour – bring it on!

  7. Alright, I know that this is LAST YEAR”S VSP for the tdf but I am fuckin’ DYING here to talk about the tdf and do not see a current thread, (Maybe I have missed it with being gone last week). Anyways: So hard to pick only five contenders for this year. Will Basso be healed and ready? Will Cuddles hold up or fold as per the last few years? Will Wiggo really show up or was 2009 a fluke? Can JVDB be as awesome as last year? What about Gesink–is he real contender? Also, no prologue. What’s up with that? Sorry Frank but I cannot hold back any longer as it is starting in just a few days and so much to talk about!!!

  8. @Buck Rogers

    Alright, I know that this is LAST YEAR”S VSP for the tdf but I am fuckin’ DYING here to talk about the tdf and do not see a current thread, (Maybe I have missed it with being gone last week). Anyways: So hard to pick only five contenders for this year. Will Basso be healed and ready? Will Cuddles hold up or fold as per the last few years? Will Wiggo really show up or was 2009 a fluke? Can JVDB be as awesome as last year? What about Gesink-is he real contender? Also, no prologue. What’s up with that? Sorry Frank but I cannot hold back any longer as it is starting in just a few days and so much to talk about!!!

    Yeah, baby! We just posted up a teaser, but the VSP will come online in the next few days – worry not, my padawan.

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