Velominati Super Prestige: Paris-Roubaix (Keeper Tip Hotline)

We are quickly arriving at what is, for any Velominatus, the end of the most awesomest week of the year.  There have been emails and comments flying around within the community so we thought it would be fun to publicize our plan for honoring the Hardmen of the Cobbles this coming Sunday.

So, with that, we launch the first Keeper Tip Hotline.  For those of you who are inclined to leave a comment, please do so and tell us what your plans are and who you are tipping for the podium.  Top five places are scored; whoever has the highest cumulative score will get an Obey the Rules prize.  Scoring simply runs in reverse order; 5 points for first, 1 point for 5th.

Update (13 April 2010): This competition has been renamed the Velominati Super Prestige.  More information on this competition and current results can be found on the Velominati Super Prestige Page.

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63 Replies to “Velominati Super Prestige: Paris-Roubaix (Keeper Tip Hotline)”

  1. 1. Cancellara – he’s on a classics campaign of terror
    2. Boonen – i know, i know, repeat but he can’t hang with Spartacus unless it comes down to a sprint
    3. Farrar – Out on a limb here but he’s strong right now

  2. I will arise early in the morning, which is sure to be a chilly one. I will pull on my woolen Molteni jersey and climb aboard my trusty steel steed. I will sit upon the porch for a few minutes while sipping my esspresso and contemplating the pain to come. I will roll down to Queene Anne and ride all the cobbles I can find before returning home to watch Road to Roubaix.

    At 3:00pm PST, when the footage airs, I will watch, a loyal disciple. It will involve ales.

    And, with that, my prediction: Watch out for Tyler Farrar who will show but will not have a result. He is a budding hardman, but a hardman he is not yet. Boonen, he has a score to settle. Cancellara may have trouble as he will be riding deep dish wheels and they can be unruly on the larger stones of Northern France. Martijn Maaskant will be there as well. But, my prediction is that Boonen will take his fourth Paris-Roubaix. Cancellara will not place. George Hincapie will keep his head on for once and place second, Philipe Gilbert will take third, with Roger Hammond fourth, and Leif Hoste in fifth.

  3. @frank

    I was gonna tip to Gilbert as well but I’m not seeing him on any start lists as of 4/6. At least at the ones I looked at on Velo and Cycling news.

  4. @James

    Makes sense you’re going through Herts, cuz that’s what it’s gonna do.


    That was so “this morning” for me. I almost did the same thing. So is Phillipe starting or what?

  5. @Marko
    Ha! Well, looks like he’s not in. I’m not seeing him anywhere, although I could be missing him. Is skipping Roubaix for any reason other than injury or doping suspension an offense worthy of being disqualified for Hardman status? I think so. He was on track for it, too, after that Flanders finish.

  6. @Marko
    Going with Millar.

    1. Boonen
    2. George Hincapie
    3. David Millar
    4. Roger Hammond
    5. Leif Hoste

    Looking at that list, it’s a long shot. But I like to live dangerously.

  7. @frank

    Strong choice and not disimilar to my Farrar pick. We’ll see who finishes first between Milla-time and Farrar. Then it’s ON.

  8. Tentative plans for me involve mountain bike ride with son – I hope…

    I’m going with Farrar. We’ll see what really happens.

    Dumb question – who is airing this race? Verses?

  9. 1 Breschel, solo for last 10km (Cancellara to work for him and break Boonen)

    2 Hushovd, in a sprint, cleaning up;

    3 Boonen,



    Hincapie (boo hoo, my pee-pee hurts)

  10. @Dan O
    Versus is airing it at 6:00pm ET, 3pm PT. So would that be the first time out on the new steeds?

    Farrar: I think it’s a long shot, but it would be cool if it happened. His breakthrough happened in Holland last season, so I have to like him a little bit automatically for that.

  11. Forgot to add what I’m doing. I’ll be in Duluth for a conference with my bike. Sunday morning I’ll get up and go for a long ride. Lots of climbing, nice ride along Lake Superior, maybe 100k or so. Then I’ll be headed to my mom’s because she has versus. Belgian ale for me. Again, it’s

    1. Fabian
    2. Tom
    3. Tyler
    Juan Antonia

  12. @brett
    hehee, so much hate for Georgie H.? Why? I find it highly amusing.

    I’m burning some offerings to the Hawaiian Gods as I look for wisdom in my P-R picks. But some thoughts…I love David Millar but I don’t think we will see him do well as he doesn’t have the experience riding this race. Farrar will do well but what about big Johan Van Summeren, where the fuck has he been?

    Hoste is a pussy. Pozatto and Thor are the dark horses as they ride well here but are they strong enough. Pippo looks very good on his bike and Thor is Thor. Hammond, low to the ground, wee, could get up there. Where is my bong? I must make a list.

    Ballan is out, no racey for him. Gilbert out? Devolder in or out?

  13. Sunday will include a 50-60 miler on the 1977 Raleigh track fixie in an 85 inch gear – instead of cobles it will be SUV’s and Hummers of Lawn Gisland.

    This is wishful, whimsical and sentimental.


  14. @Rob
    Your pedal stroke will be awesome. Sheeeit, those Seattle fixie kids aren’t doing 60 miles on their track bikes. If it’s wet or cold on Lawn Giland you will be a badass.

    Surely you forgot to put Cancellara between Thor and Flecha? Oh, sorry, these are your picks, not mine.

  15. @john

    No Big JA go back to your bong – its like I tell the geared guys here its not any harder if you have the WA, you know the flow… And I decided that Cancellara will blow it some how some way because this is Paris-Roubaix!

  16. I heart Hincapie. Hope he picks some light, fast carbon rims again. Oh, and a carbon steerer too.

  17. @Josh
    Was it a carbon steerer? I had heard it was aluminum and that seemed strange and a bad choice. Still, a weird part of your bike to break in any case.

    OK, I’m getting no signs here.
    1. Breschel-It’s a 2 one 1, FC lets Breschel go, TB confused
    2. Fabian-Spartacus drops cruel hammer on TB with 10K
    3. Tommeke
    4. Thor-He appears out of a dust cloud alone, hammering away
    5. Van Summeren-who knows, maybe he has been resting up all Spring
    6. Some Russian

    I will be out of radio contact all morning lest someone blurt out the results. A semi-easy ride of 30 un-cobbled miles, gain some vertical meters, settle down to Versus HD mid-afternoon pleasurefest.

  18. @Josh
    OK. We are making I Heart Hincapie t-shirts like the I Heart Huckabees shirt. You heard it here first.

  19. @john
    It was aluminum fo’ shizzle. How awkward to fall with no handlebars. I broke a handlebar mountainbiking once but I was climbing and I just snapped my sweet 90’s Scott ATB aerobars because I’m such a powerhouse. Awkward none the less, but I was happy I was climbing.

  20. @frank

    Yeah – first time out with the new steeds sometime this weekend. I’m coming off a 60+ hour work week (special project), so had no time to tweak the new ride at all (will swap saddle, bar and stem). Last night I rode home from work at 1:00 AM – crazy.

    Thanks for programing reminder – I’m watching for sure.

    I still have a pair of those ’90s Scott ATB hanging in my garage. I was gonna eBay ’em. If you want to put ’em to actual use – they’re yours for free.

  21. @Dan O
    Ha!! Of COURSE you have those. Those things were rad…I don’t think I would soil the Zip with ’em, but I’ll see if I can think of a use for them anyhow…thanks for the offer.

  22. I gave Josh the bumsteer on the carbon steerer I’m afraid. But George is an innovator, and maybe he will up the ante and run one this weekend? It’s a ready made excuse for him.

  23. @brett
    Ha! Ready-made excuse! I’ve been exchangin emails with some of our readers predicting the excuses he’ll be using. “The Sun got in my eyes and I missed the jump” or “The soy I had in my latte for breakfast made me a pussy” or “I had a head wind and everyone else had a tail wind”. Thanks like that.

  24. @frank
    Frank, the Boon man is fustrated by last weeks results so of course he is going to pound the pave and waste the competition.

    My other picks were done using the Big John method – I do not recomend it for the weak kneed…

    And I would like to know where this George bashing is coming from?? I mean, who among us, had we even been able to become a pro would have results even close to his? He is a God on Olympus. OK, so he’s not on the throne but at least he’s touched it.

    -I once picked up shit at the bottom of the mountain-

    Hey Johno are those vertical meters on the bike?

  25. @Rob
    Of course none of us are as good as George, or any Pro, or most amateur guys in the cities we live in. An obvious and moot point.

    Aren’t we allowed to bash pros, or celebrities, or politicians? It’s fair game I reckon. But it seems that Americans don’t like their own being picked on.

    In general, I think George is probably an ok guy, but he’s done himself no favours by all those years hanging out with the king of assholes, and in recent times his whinging about bad luck or other people conspiring against him.

    He needs to let his legs do the talking, but those legs might not have too much left to say.

  26. @brett
    That is why it amuses me so, us Americans don’t have too many old school pros to love, George is the last man standing, so when Brett points out what a whinger he is, it make-a me laugh.

    He needs to let his legs do the talking, but those legs might not have too much left to say.

    That’s right, we will know more soon. It will be interesting.

  27. America needs a hardman. Lemond was close. He’s even from mine and frank’s home state, not exactly a Mecca for cycling. But we all know what a tool he turned out to be. I’m stoked to see Farrar on the podium today.

  28. @brett

    I do not pay to much attention to nationalities of riders – I just respect big Georges years of hard man shit – you have a point about the whinging but if that is the worst it just goes to show that most of our heros are not brain trust candidates (a US exception might be Andy Hampsten), they really only do 2 things well, train and race. So in his case perhaps a little more grey stuff would have meant he might have been on the podium at P-R already. That is why I did not put him in #1 on my predictions.

    So I guess I sounded a little sanctimonious (sorry) and yes of course lets bash them when they deserve it.

    Marko, well said about LeM he has not done himself or others no stinking favors and my personal feeling is that if he went under a microscope we would find some chemical whoopsies that he would not like us to know about….

  29. @Marko
    Farrar on the podium? Huh? By ‘podium’ do you mean ‘tarmac’?

    Hincapie should’ve won today. He was right there when Spartacus went, but there was a cow in the paddock next to them who moo’ed just then, and he looked over, then Boonen farted, and it got in his nostrils, and then none of the other guys would give him a Snickers, coz he missed his feed because the guy was wearing a t-shirt, and…

  30. Let’s see…Marko calls 1st correctly and Rob nails 2nd and 3rd. Well done lads.
    Fabian slays all, Tommeke gets caught napping and Georgie, not so much.

    That race could have done with a lot of rain.

  31. Rats…I missed the predictions. Watching the race, in licensed premises, after a ride out on some local punishing pavé was a pure joy though.
    Cancellara is close to godliness right now. We thought maybe he went a little early but then he just dieseled off into the distance…splendid.
    Nice to see our own Roger H hang on for 4th after all the work he put in for big Thor.

  32. Brett I saw that cow thing happening and it was strange I found myself screaming at the TV “George you freakin idiot pay attention to the race”!!

    I think the brain is a fragile organ and all those cobbles messed up some riders ability to think – like Boonen – hello, do all that work at the front and then go sit in the back??? He deserved to lose.

    Thanks Johno but in the end without rain and with Fabian still on perfect stroke/peak form Marko is the man.

  33. @brett

    Yea, perhaps I deserve that a little. He had the form going in but not the hardman skills. We’ll watch him in the future.

    I was happy to see Thor in there mixing it up for second. And old Tommeke, where was that guys team support? Stijn? No effin way. QuickStep in not a classics team this year aside from Tom. Poor fella was trying to rally the group to catch Fabian. They knew better though. I nominate Spartacus for flahute status.

  34. By the by, I was digging the Milram Focus cross bikes. Looked like SKIL/SHIMANO was riding them too.

  35. @Marko
    I beg to differ. LeMond was a hard man. In his early years, racing over the stones like no American had before. He then won the tour (twice) shot through like swiss cheese with lead pellets all over. Very hard.

    We’re just jaded by the fact that the guy is such an amazingly enormous twatwaffle nowadays.

  36. @Joe, @Rob

    Cancellara was amazing. Boonen, I think, lost his morale after working so hard and having no one else help out; I think he let it frustrate him. And then the way the group refused to work was an example of professionals at their stupidest. How can you let a man like that up the road and still think it best to play tactical games rather than to work together to bring him back. Twelve riders (or whatever) to one should have been able to shut out even the Great Spartacus.

    But, Boonen, was broken and I think he went to the back to recoup and BANG! Fabien saw his chance. And then he finished ‘er off in great style. Amazing.

  37. @frank

    interesting point. i suppose turing into a twatwaffle doesn’t negate hardman status (eventhough he doesn’t have the greatest of palmares in the classics). no doubt he was a badass though.

  38. @Marko
    Trudat. He tried so hard and those idoits all pulled a Hincapie. Serve’s ’em right. Hushovd and Flecha were a class below Fabien. Interesting nomination on Flahute status, though. I think we need to wait another season and see what he does next year. He’s definitely a candidate, though.

  39. @frank

    I don’t think we need to wait until next year. Two wins in the velodrome and the Ronde-Roubaix double in dominating fashion is impressive. If he cooks the rest of the peloton over the cobbles at the tour I think flahute may be in order.

  40. @all

    Well, I tallied up the points, and it looks like Rob “The Stroke” won the Paris-Roubaix edition of the Keeper Tip Hotline. The podium was rounded out by Marko and Brett:

    1. Rob, 7 points
    2. Marko, 5 points
    3. Brett, 4 points

    Rob, I’ll be mailing you an “Obey the Rules” bumper sticker.

    We’ll be continuing The Keeper Tip Hotline for the major races throughout the season and tallying up the points as we go, ending with the Giro di Lombordia. At the end of the season, the reader with the most points will receive a free Velominati shop apron.

  41. @frank

    Sure, why not, plus he’s Belgian. What get’s me excited though is the relative youth of Boonen and Spartacus. These next few springs could shape up to be classic duels in the spirit of RDV and Merckx. Throw in a few modern-day Ballerinis, Mosers, Maertens, and Tscmill’s and we could be at the dawn of another legendary period for the classics.

  42. Not surprisingly, Flecha was once again blamed for destroying the chances of the other riders in the chase. That guy is not a hardman. He’s more like a crusty man. Boonen:

    It was especially Flecha. When I attacked I was confronted with the headwind and with Flecha on my wheel. I can understand you ride tactically if you’re riding for the win, but not for second, fifth or twentieth place. That’s not important. It’s only the first place that matters.

    Boonen was so annoyed, he didn’t even want the podium.

    More at

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