Velominati Super Prestige: 2011 Men’s Elite Worlds Road Race

Freddy Maertens-Former World Road Champion. Photo: Jesse Willems

A clatter of the metal grate rolling up signals another opening of the Velominati Bookmaker’s Office. The gaggle of skinny (and not so skinny, you know who you are) jabbering cycling addicts rush the door, each with their dream of a bumper sticker dancing in their heads. Before the office opened the bookies have consulted the oracle; a garbled audio of Sean Kelly’s predictions where he maybe tipped the little known Gullaume Van Keirsbulck, or did he say Phillip Gilbert. Bettini likes Cavendish’s chances while Cavendish likes Thor’s chances and Thor likes Keirsbulck’s chances or did he say Roelandts?

Since Geelong everyone has been saying this was a sprinters course, so a sprinter won’t win. It is only 266km with no serious grades and a total of 1785m of climbing. I could finish this course, if I could ride 266km and there was no time cut. For the professional road championship it does not sound long or grueling enough but the weather could be cold, windy and wet, if so the Spanish will suffer and the Italians will have to race with neck gaiters.

Looking back this year Cancellara should have won the 2010 world title so his less-than-spectacular season could be blamed on the curse of the rainbow jersey. Gilbert cannot have another season as good as this one so he better not win on Sunday or the jersey will be blamed in 2012. I started to feel bad for Thor when the yellow jersey came off his back and went to Voeckler during the Tour de France until I remembered he had the rainbow jersey underneath it! Who needs that trashy yellow one when you are already have the rainbow? I stopped feeling bad for Thor.

It’s late in the season, many have packed it in for the year, others have ridden the Vuelta to gain form. Are they good or cooked? Will the British team work together to bring Cav to the line or go down in flames like the Italians used to? The thought of Cavendish wearing the rainbow hoops for the next year has caused some anxiety in the office. His propensity for white tube socks with black shoes would diminish the aura the rainbow jersey brings to any worthy rider. The Aussi team looks unbeatable and yet…The bottom line on bookmaking is this will be another impossible race to pick the winner, unless you choose Gilbert.

Here is a link to the start list. As always, if you are inclined to enter, simply post your predictions for the top five placings in the form below. Make your picks by 5am Pacific Sunday morning, regular VSP Rules apply.

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274 Replies to “Velominati Super Prestige: 2011 Men’s Elite Worlds Road Race”

  1. I know us brits are a bit more reserved than the americans in our reverance for our country but fk me if the performance at the worlds doesn’t give us a right to ram our superiority down the throats of the whole world!! Well done boys and girls.

  2. @huffalotpuffalot
    “Ramming out superiority” might possibly just be coming it a little high.But still as a Brit I have to say “good fucking job” to Cav and the entire british team

  3. @Gianni
    It’s apt that you chose the picture you put with this article/VSP as that was the last Green jersey winner who also won the Rainbow jersey. They said that on the BBC News website though, it’s not from my memory!

  4. Well, I didn’t think that was how it was going to go down. Great finish, but now another rainbow turd wearing the bands. Ah well……….

  5. @huffalotpuffalot

    I know us brits are a bit more reserved than the americans in our reverance for our country but fk me if the performance at the worlds doesn’t give us a right to ram our superiority down the throats of the whole world!! Well done boys and girls.

    GB RULED that race. Unbelievable control. And, say what you want about him, Cav finished it off perfectly. Played to perfection. Chapeau to you Brits out there.

  6. Tough meeting tonite for the Italian Team.
    Bennati couldn’t even make his move in the sprint
    Now I know that Sasha Modolo had a certain freedom of action and instead he was nowhere.
    They don’t even was able to make up a decent train…

    Nevertheless I love my Squadra.

  7. Cav takes the Worlds. What abomination of style will become the rainbow bands? I’m not sure if he’s confirmed for Sky yet or not, but if he is, here’s hoping they continue their streak and put him in black shorts.

    [vsp_results id=”9625″]
    [/vsp_results]

    Nate continues to stand atop the VSP GC.
    [vsp_gc]
    [/vsp_gc]

  8. Let’s hope the BBC mentions this on the news a few times over the next day or two. I’m getting a bit fed up of Andy bloody Murray headlining the sports news because he beat some no name in the first round of some back of beyong tennis match.

    Respect to Wiggins, he should get the ‘did far more work than anyone else award’.

    Puts the Isle of Man on the map too.

    Quocunque jeceris stabit

  9. Here’s the final twenty minutes of the race. Great stuff. Bunch sprints for the most part simply don’t interest me, but Cav did some special work there to get through and win. Said it before, it certainly is impressive how he can win with or without the train.

    On another note, I’m formally filing grievances with David Cameron on account of Cav’s skin suit and Wiggo’s socks. Cav is too short and stocky for a skin suit, and the fact that he’s balls at TTing thankfully means we don’t see him in one often. That 3/4 sleeve was insulting. And speaking of 3/4, no need to be using Pippi Longstocking as your footwear role model, Bradley.

  10. 1. HTC would have had both rainbows next year. Oops.

    2. I think this is good for Cav. He knows what this means and the maturity was coming. This should fast-forward it a good bit when it comes to representing pro cycling, etc.

    3. All numbered lists should have at least three points. Two is insufficient.

    4. That is all.

  11. @Pedale.Forchetta
    I think it was a condom

    @all – can we finally give Wiggo the respect he deserves – as I think @snoov said earlier, that was one of the best GBR performances in a team sport I have ever seen – to do 50% of the work, was fawesome – I suspect Gilbert and the puncheurs couldn’t attack until too late because of Barnacle Brad’s unbelievable stint of the front – I imagine Jens will be standing and applauding that bit of superdomestiquerie

    Chapeau Bradley Wiggins!!

  12. Roule Britannia, no? Thanks for the link, Frank – didn’t actually believe it was true until I’d heard it with a continental European commentator… despite the fashion violations (and there were many), what a ride, what a ride…. a great GB team performance to add to 1966 and 2003

    Doesn’t bode well for his Olympic 2012 campaign, though… curse of the Rainbow jersey and all that… at least he won’t be cycling up Ventoux any time soon on a heady mix of amphetamines and brandy like the last chap to win it from this fair Isle

    But will he PLEASE announce he’s riding for Sky next year soon and end the waiting.

  13. Damnit, I went out last night and totally spaced getting my VSP picks in. Oh well, no way I could catch up at this point any ways.

  14. @Pedale.Forchetta

    @frank
    Did you see that Cav covered his helmet vents with a plastic film?

    Yeah, it looks like a shield to keep out good manners. Hope @Steampunk is right that it’ll fasttrack him to being awesome; I’m loath to see him spouting off the way he has while wearing the bands.

    @Dr C
    Wiggo was a machine. Maybe he’s better suited to domestique duties than the pressure of leaderhip? He’s gotten an unfair rap this year, though, as he crashed out of the Tour and wasn’t at his best for the Vuelta.

    In any case, he fucking rocked today, that’s undeniable.

  15. Maybe, finally, this bloody country and its uneducated public might, maybe, just maybe start taking cycling seriously. Though he’ll probably have to underline it with a gold next year, just to be sure.

    Chapeau Cav, Wiggo and Team GB. Awesome domination of the peleton.

  16. @Oli
    Damn it you are wise. Nice one. You deserve more points.
    I’m hoping Cav eventually becomes an all-around Sean Kelly Hardman. And Chapeau to the Brits for fielding such a strong team and executing the win.
    In sharp contrast to the US team, Farrar didn’t have any teammates with him in the last kilo, oh well, he was riding for second anyway.

  17. So have just watched the Eurosport coverage… my third time watching this. Still can’t believe it. Infuckingcredible. Geraint Thomas pushing David Millar back into the line to keep going…. Wiggins fucken burying it for the penultimate lap, attack mode locked fully on ‘time trial’ mode… Stannard literally boxing his way back to the front, stewarding Cav back through…. then Cav, leaving it too late? no…. BOOM! pulling on the rainbow jersey… the hoops are coming home, they’re coming home, they’re coming home…

    Am now a complete gibbering wreck. So excited. This is what happens if you set a ‘corrugated’ flat course (BBC commentator)… bunch finish… there can be only one (result).

    What a day. WHAT. A. DAY. and what a ride. Chapeau Team GB, Chapeau Cav.

  18. Frank… are you prescient? I quote from the BBC website: “Cavendish is also the first rider since Belgium’s Freddy Maertens, 30 years ago, to win both this race and the Tour de France green jersey in the same year”…. and you pick that awesome photo of Freddy to head this VSP thread… what did you know?

  19. Seriously, the next 5-10 year will be amazing. Boss hogg 26 years old 8th, Peter Sagan 21 years old 12th, David Veilleux 24 years old 19th. These kids will be classics super star very very soon.

  20. @frank
    I’d wager that he’s been closer than many critics are comfortable admitting this year. And I still love his youthful elation at winning””twinned with his stopping just after the finish line to congratulate/thank teammates as they cross the line. I’d also bet that he knew before the race that Freddy Maertens was the last to win both green and rainbows in the same year and that history and legacy is important.

  21. @Steampunk

    @frank
    I’d wager that he’s been closer than many critics are comfortable admitting this year. And I still love his youthful elation at winning””twinned with his stopping just after the finish line to congratulate/thank teammates as they cross the line. I’d also bet that he knew before the race that Freddy Maertens was the last to win both green and rainbows in the same year and that history and legacy is important.

    +1(sob)

  22. @Gianni

    @Oli
    Damn it you are wise. Nice one. You deserve more points.
    I’m hoping Cav eventually becomes an all-around Sean Kelly Hardman. And Chapeau to the Brits for fielding such a strong team and executing the win.
    In sharp contrast to the US team, Farrar didn’t have any teammates with him in the last kilo, oh well, he was riding for second anyway.

    Not a chance. For starters he’s not Irish (Isle of Man is not Ireland). And he’s in short supply of slow twitch fibers. Can’t climb to save his ass. Good on the Brit team for kicking ass today, but I still think Cav is a douche.

  23. @frank

    Here’s the final twenty minutes of the race. Great stuff.

    I like how the German all of a sudden turns into english “Cavendish rules the world! Cavendish is champion!”

  24. @Gianni

    @Steampunk

    No love for Danny Oss? I’m not fond of this Italian team at all, but I do like Oss. If Pozzatto was racing, I think we could all safely plug him in in 6th place

    No, I like Oss and this Italian team, if I wasn’t a moron I’d put Visconti in, AGAIN. I was referring to an Italian team of old where they had too many chiefs, they raced against each other, chased each other down and ended up with nothin’.
    You are right about Pozzatto, slot him right into 6th.

    Bennati is a disappointment. I liked the Italian team, but setting up for a Bennati sprint? That was never going to work. Even if the Italians controlled the finale, he still would have found a way to fall out of the top five. Of course, in a bunch sprint, Cav was always going to be the favorite; why not pit his new teammate, Davide Appollonio, up against him. That kid showed some nice speed this year. That said, Pozzatto’s 6th is probably looking pretty good right about now…

  25. @Godsight
    In terms of age, I think you may have left out the bloke who came second and who won MSR.

    As for you imperialist pommy bastards, I think you should take a good hard look at yourselves and your “team”:
    – Cavendish – a fucking Manxman.
    To quote the infallible Wikipedia (bolding mine) Great Britain is the largest island of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland…It does not include the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands which are not part of the United Kingdom, instead being self-governing dependent territories of that state with their own legislative and taxation systems.
    So he shouldn’t have been riding for you.
    – Wiggins – born in fucking Belgium.
    – Millar – born in fucking Malta and considers Hong Kong his home.

    A great win for the homeland indeed! And as for Irishmen like Dr C getting on the British bandwagon, you should be ashamed of yourselves.

    And yes, this is sour grapes.

  26. Blah. Watched the first hour last night and the course left me quite cold, I wasn’t terribly excited to check the results this morning when I got up. Not surprised cavendish won, though I agree with Fronk, and I get the feeling this wasn’t the best example of a world championship ride. No way any breakaways were going to stick, not hard enough to thin out the pack fodder, they could have had the race done after 2 laps and gone to the pub.
    I think the real reason I’m let down is that the rainbow jersey isn’t going to animate races this year like it has for the past few years, especially with Cuddles and Thor. He’s still going to go backwards uphill, clean up the easy sprints etc but, well, meh.

  27. @Marcus

    Don’t worry Marcus, if ti makes you feel better Russell Crowe’s too fat to fit into our country now so you can have him back.

  28. @roadslave

    Frank… are you prescient? I quote from the BBC website: “Cavendish is also the first rider since Belgium’s Freddy Maertens, 30 years ago, to win both this race and the Tour de France green jersey in the same year”…. and you pick that awesome photo of Freddy to head this VSP thread… what did you know?

    Nah, that was Gianni’s article and Gianni’s clairvoyance. Just read your previous post, though, and you’re making me come around to Cav a bit…

  29. @Marcus
    Gosh. Cheer up! You ARE a member of the Commonwealth. You can almost claim Cav as one of your own. Kind of.

  30. @roadslave
    Just thinking that Gianni put up fast Freddy, not that Frank isn’t capable, just sayin. Gianni was comming up when FF was ripping up the cobbles I think Frank was still in diapers…

    @roadslave
    +1(sob)
    A+1

    It does show what an engine he has, to go the distance and make it happen, if is was to end in a sprint then he deserved it.

  31. @frank

    @roadslave

    Frank… are you prescient? I quote from the BBC website: “Cavendish is also the first rider since Belgium’s Freddy Maertens, 30 years ago, to win both this race and the Tour de France green jersey in the same year”…. and you pick that awesome photo of Freddy to head this VSP thread… what did you know?

    Nah, that was Gianni’s article and Gianni’s clairvoyance. Just read your previous post, though, and you’re making me come around to Cav a bit…

    Oh NO! Remember:

    I have a special place in my heart for the Dutch. I’m Irish by DNA, but was adopted by a Dutch dad. Nothing against the Brits, but Cav??!!?? Really??

  32. Anyone here who thinks sprinters sit-in and don’t work has never known a sprinter.

  33. @michael

    Anyone here who thinks sprinters sit-in and don’t work has never known a sprinter.

    They work for something else. It has to be hard when you’re a sprinter and have to be in the field for a marathon. I just prefer hardmen that can ride off the front or take a small drop to the line for the win. That said, I do like watching the ’em go left for some laps and winding it up to 70Kph too. Just different versions of the same sport.

  34. Just watched the last 5k again. Cav was super impressive staying calm and finding that hole. A real exciting finish.

  35. @Marcus
    All Pommy bastards are still aglow with the last remnants of the sunset of the Empire. Physics had no explanation for why light from this sunset has taken many decades instead of the theoretical speed of light to travel to most inhabitants on the British Isles. This demanded a reworking of our basic understanding of the universe. Latest research at CERN is making progress.

    First Newtonian physics:

    F=ma
    is now known to mean
    Force = merckx * adversity

    The relativistic refinement of Einstein:
    E=mc2
    is updated to be Energy = merckx*cycle2

    It is left for the student to follow in the path of the Prophet to learn the truth in these equations.

  36. @Nate
    Lombardia. A maximum of 20 points on offer, in theory (5,4,3,2,1 plus bonus 5 for all 5). But in reality I think you need to Delgado and someone else needs a blinder. So it’s really yours to lose, Mate. But no pressure …

  37. @scaler911

    This is the last thing I’ll say about Worlds this year:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ksUhMa2eFTo
    That’s how you do rainbows.
    Nice job Cavendish. Meh.

    Fuck yeah. Just what I was thinking too.
    Do you think we will ever see the Rainbow Jersey in a breakaway this year?
    Maybe he should give a one stripe to each of his leadout train.
    Let’s hope he proves us all wrong.

    On another note: Bradley Wiggins has shot up in my estimation. I wasn’t quite sure about the skinny Mod with the ‘burns thing, but fuck me he showed he’s got a pair last night. Chapeau!

  38. @roadslave

    Frank… are you prescient?

    Jesus man, not prescient, maybe insane. I was lucky.

    @Rob
    What a face on Maertens! I was thinking of him because he was a sprinter and hardman and there was so much talk of a sprinter winning this year. We both must have admiration for these old buggas as we were the impressionable youth when Freddy et al were showing everyone how it was done. Does that make us old as dust?

    @Marcus
    Sour grapes indeed, ha! It’s good to get this off your chest, here among friends, and even some British friends.

  39. Fuck, it would be nice to come on here and see some unadulterated celebration of what was a classy victory in the World Championships by a guy most of you wrote off, but instead (apart from a few knowledgeable Poms) there’s nothing but sour grapes and grudging acceptance.

    To me it just confirms that the actual substance of the racing is secondary here to the wanky made-up women’s magazine hero-worshipping. Have a read of the many, many rider comments praising Cav and the GB Team for what was a great win and perhaps you might realise that winning a race like this isn’t some sort of fluke.

    I’m sure Cavendish won’t be winning the Tour of Flanders anytime soon, but last I checked Milan-San Remo is still a Monument and I’m putting my money on the Rainbow Stripes crossing the line there in first place…I hope that meets your criteria for wearing the jersey with honour.

  40. @Oli

    Fuck, it would be nice to come on here and see some unadulterated celebration of what was a classy victory in the World Championships by a guy most of you wrote off, but instead (apart from a few knowledgeable Poms) there’s nothing but sour grapes and grudging acceptance.
    To me it just confirms that the actual substance of the racing is secondary here to the wanky made-up women’s magazine hero-worshipping. Have a read of the many, many rider comments praising Cav and the GB Team for what was a great win and perhaps you might realise that winning a race like this isn’t some sort of fluke.
    I’m sure Cavendish won’t be winning the Tour of Flanders anytime soon, but last I checked Milan-San Remo is still a Monument and I’m putting my money on the Rainbow Stripes crossing the line there in first place…I hope that meets your criteria for wearing the jersey with honour.

    From a Pom in NZ, A-Merckx brother. Cav took the time to thank so many other people (plus some of his HTC mates) and interviewed with huge humility. Dude gets it, and we should all be applauding someone delivering under what i imagine was neuron crushing levels of pressure to deliver. Praise for Geraint and Stannard for flipping Wiggos switch to “Crush Allcomers TT” mode for the last 1.5 laps. So impressive at 65kph.

    Hail the Hoops, they are Coming Home.

  41. @scaler911

    @michael

    Anyone here who thinks sprinters sit-in and don’t work has never known a sprinter.

    They work for something else. It has to be hard when you’re a sprinter and have to be in the field for a marathon. I just prefer hardmen that can ride off the front or take a small drop to the line for the win. That said, I do like watching the ’em go left for some laps and winding it up to 70Kph too. Just different versions of the same sport.

    That’s not what I mean. Sprinters muscles are different so when you think they are sitting in having an easy day, they are always struggling to keep up on hills, in the crosswinds, and any sort of obstacle where a typical hardman would come out on top. Every day is a hard day for sprinters even when they sit in, then they are asked to go fast at the end. This usually works out but often you see them failing spectacularly because their legs are gone by the end.

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