Velominati Super Prestige: 2011 Clasica San Sebastian

Photo: Katusha

The Velominati Super Prestige continues with it’s typical post-Tour follow up, Classica San Sebastian. The race isn’t normally given much credit, though it stands out as the first major classic of the Summer season. It’s unfortunate that the race suffers from the ill effect of being overshadowed by the Tour; if it occurred anywhere else in the calendar I think it would stand out as one of the most exciting races of the year due to it’s tough route and unpredictable finish.

A race favoring the climbers, this tough parcours typically favors a strong finisher who can climb well but win from a small group. But this race is perhaps the hardest to judge because, coming so closely after the Tour, rider’s form is difficult to gauge because riders who ended the Tour coming into good form should be able to carry it for another week and factor in the finale. But freshness can’t be overrated and there is also the possibility that riders who rode the Giro and skipped the Tour will be finding themselves with good legs.

Only the race will tell. Can the Schlecks rubberneck their way to a much-needed win? Or will Canhego take his good form and fast finish to the bank? J-Rod, assuming he races (I can’t be bothered to look it up), will be on home turf and fresh after the Giro; this could be his year.

This winner of this Super Prestige edition will again earn an “Obey the Rules” bumper sticker  and 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 in the form below. Make your picks by 5am Pacific tomorrow, regular VSP Rules apply.  Good luck!

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113 Replies to “Velominati Super Prestige: 2011 Clasica San Sebastian”

  1. VSP PICKS:

    1. Phil GigabyteofVbert
    2. J Rod
    3. Lulu Sandshoe
    4. Dirty Sandshoe
    5. Frankenswivel

  2. Completely random – still can’t believe I couldn’t organise myself for a single point in the TdF – anyone, my target for today is a point, any point, ah what’s the point…

    VSP PICKS:

    1. J Rod
    2. Phast Phil
    3. Gerrans
    4. Richie Porte
    5. Ryder

  3. Alex makes some good points above. I think a strong breakaway takes this race. The climbs are not for the weak. Gilbert has just enough true grit to get the win, and I think he still has the legs and form to make it happen. But, I’ve been wrong before.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. P. Gilbert
    2. G. Sanchez
    3. S. Sanchez
    4. J. Rodriguez
    5. D. Cunego

  4. As usual, my picks should crash out before the first feed.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. sammy sanchez
    2. ryder H
    3. Peter Velits
    4. JJ Rojas
    5. David Lopez, whoever he is…

  5. 3 Belgians and no Spaniards. It all makes perfect sense.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Chavanel
    2. De Gendt
    3. van Avaemart
    4. Monfort
    5. Roulston

  6. I can’t do any worse than last time. Although my sponsors were still happy with the Lantern Rouge and I’ve been cleaning up in the post-VSP criteriums.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Sammy Sanchez
    2. SchleckF
    3. Gilbert
    4. Velits
    5. Hejsedal

  7. I’m pretty much just making this up, but here we go.

    Also, if it’s not on TV in your area, you can be well cool and watch it on Basque TV here: http://www.eitb.com/deportes/en-directo/

    (The official Basque TV feed, which doesn’t seem to be IP range limited…)

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Fränk
    2. Sammy Sanchez
    3. Gilbert
    4. Rojas
    5. Insausti

  8. VSP PICKS:

    1. LL Ham & Cheese
    2. Fraulein Schleck
    3. Phil Gil
    4. J-Ro
    5. Canhego?

  9. No idea, but here’s hoping!

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Ryder H
    2. F Schleck
    3. Cunego
    4. Sam San
    5. Lulu

  10. @Buck Rogers
    Strong work, determined – did you climb out the toilet window and leg it to the nearest MacDonalds to make your pick?
    More to the point, did she even know you had gone?
    Good luck with your 17th year

  11. my picks are unravelling and Gilbert is shaping up for the win against my earlier predictions

  12. Phlibert is a marked man today, probably still won’t matter…actually he just took off w/3.6k and has a gap. He’s all in now.

  13. @all
    The Keepers are away at the moment, so we’ll be getting the VSP results up late; I’m gone until Sunday afternoon, but one of us will try to get them processed before then. Worst case is I’ll do them when I’m back.

    Cheers!

  14. Not a bad day at the Super Prestige office. After dropping the LBS crew on the last 800m to the summit this am I find my man Phil does it again! This deserves a a nice Belgian brew in the hammock to celebrate.

  15. I was really surprised to see Frank Schleck in the mix. I wouldn’t say his TdF was easy, but he seemed to maintain nice form. But Gilbert? What I said in an earlier post rang true. Totally. Winning. Good race, overall. What was more surprising was not seeing Cunego. He finished six and a half back. Wow. Guess he couldn’t go after all.

  16. [vsp_results id=”9066″]

    [/vsp_results]

    I can’t believe this will work but lets try. Look at the big brain on drsoul! Nice work. Check is in the mail.

  17. Bravo to all who had the class to pick Gilbert. I wish I had. I felt bad putting in Andy Schleck as a choice for a few people because he wasn’t racing and I felt bad for people who picked Sastre as he maybe was there.

    Gerrans, Ryder, Richie were a few dark horse picks. Cunego was picked a tons. Who knew? And I hope Purito=Basso or a few people will be contesting the results. And a few picked Sanchez without specifying which, so I picked Sammy for those. Anyway, contest away, I will abide.

    I got zero points? I want to contest that!

  18. At the end of the year when the sports talking heads are trying to decide what the greatest sporting achievements of 2011 were, Gilbert won’t even get mentioned. At least not in North America. He should though.

  19. Phil Gil is just incredible.
    Imagine the mind fuck it would be for any one of his compertitors to line up against him in a one day classic

  20. Hey frank, matter of pride here, no points for Purito? (J-Rod to the non-Catalan folk)

  21. @Gianni
    Purito=J-Rod (although I don’t know why I’m helping””didn’t pick him).

    @mouse
    And not a lot of strategy from Gilbert either in most of his wins this year. At the start line: “So, just so you know, I intend to go for it from about 4k out. Try to keep up. But you can’t; I’m going to bury you.”

  22. @Sprider
    My mistake, I couldn’t remember that name, I was guessing it was Basso’s dog, like Piti was Valverde’s. I’ll correct those and update by the end of my day.

  23. @Marko

    +1 to that. It’s sad that in the US, it’s hard to see any discussion of cycling these days. I was surprised that the NY Times had a couple of stories about the TdF during the last two days of the race. Yup, the LAST TWO DAYS!! And one article mostly addressed issues we, too, had been discussing, including the likely diminished use of doping in the peloton.

    ESPN (24 hour sports television, for those not in the know) had a brief mention of the final stage, with the commentator saying that “Andy Schleck won the final stage”, all while they ran the video footage of Mark Cavendish crossing the line behind the HTC lead out train. Good grief.

  24. Man, I totally Ron’ed this one. I was going to pick Gilbert though (scout’s honor), so can I have 1 sympathy point?

    Indeed, had a nice spin with @scaler911 and one of his friends this morning. He almost saw me puke too, which would have been pretty “epic”.

    At this rate, I think we’ll be ready for our own PDX Velominati meet-ups soon, there certainly seem to be a growing number (sort of like tribbles) of us on here.

  25. Well I can’t pick them for this race. I thought for sure that the elder Schleck had some fire in his belly and would come out swinging. I guess I was wrong.

  26. Jeepers, finally got two points!

    After sticking Fast Phil at number two as I thought he couldn’t win everything (respect to JVS) in 2011 – supastar

    What are the qualifications for a podium girl?

  27. Even the pros seem to be in awe of Gilbert.

    This from David Millar and Ryder Hesjedal on Twitter.

    “And @ryder_hesjedal gives QUOTE OF THE DAY: ‘I hope he gets his big contract and chills the fuck out, he’s making us look stupid.’ True dat.”

    Gerro was also very complimentary. And i don’t get the sense that they are hinting at anything untoward. Please God there isn’t – if Gilbert was busted I think I would cry.

  28. @ChrisO

    This from David Millar and Ryder Hesjedal on Twitter.
    “And @ryder_hesjedal gives QUOTE OF THE DAY: ‘I hope he gets his big contract and chills the fuck out, he’s making us look stupid.’ True dat.”

    Pure, unadulterated gold!

  29. @Steampunk

    @mouse
    And not a lot of strategy from Gilbert either in most of his wins this year. At the start line: “So, just so you know, I intend to go for it from about 4k out. Try to keep up. But you can’t; I’m going to bury you.”

    Oh that is gold. The thing is, he is the only one that can pull it off. I am sure plenty have said and tried. Oh maybe only Merckx could have…

    Oh My Merckx…I have just realised. Philly Gilly is the Son of Merckx. IT’S THE SECOND COMING! All Praise be to The Father (Merckx) the Son (Philly Gilly) and the holy Goat!

  30. @ChrisO

    Even the pros seem to be in awe of Gilbert.
    This from David Millar and Ryder Hesjedal on Twitter.
    “And @ryder_hesjedal gives QUOTE OF THE DAY: ‘I hope he gets his big contract and chills the fuck out, he’s making us look stupid.’ True dat.”

    The Son of Merckx, he can be no other. Respect.

  31. @RedRanger
    Certainly. He carries himself with panache. People discuss tactics and the like, but cycling is an endurance sport. Ultimately, the goal is to destroy everyone else in the race. You can win with your mind to garner a crafty victory. However, is not the most beautiful victory crossing the line alone after having inflicted a degree of pain on your competition such that they have broken?

  32. @Collin
    IMHO, professional bicycle racing is a thing of extraordinary brutality, occasionally performed at an incredibly high level by a select few individuals who inflict such terrible pain. The wake of destruction they leave only heightens the beauty and the majesty of it all. I can’t get enough. A-Merckx.

  33. @RedRanger

    Am I the only one getting tired of watching him win all the time?

    yes

    Dr C
    Associate Altar Boy to the New Minister of Pain and Humiliation, Phil Giblets

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