Velominati Super Prestige: 2011 Eneco Tour

Eneco Tour of the Netherlands and Belgium. Photo: Team Sky

“The what Tour?” The question sounds less like a question and a bit more like an accusation. We’re sitting in Gianni’s home on Maui and I’ve just answered a query as to what I’m doing with a computer on my lap when the weather is too nice to justify such a thing.

Even a man as familiar with cycling as Gianni can be forgiven for not knowing the race by it’s new name, the Eneco Tour. The race used to be the Tour of the Netherlands and like the Amstel Gold Race, has enjoyed considerably more success than did the Eindhoven Team Time Trial which boasted a field of least one team each year it was held.

Originally the Tour of the Netherlands, the race now features a parcours through the Netherlands as well as Belgium. As far as preparation races go, it serves as a sort of bizarro preparation for the Vuelta, in the sense that racing in the lowlands would be good way to get ready for a mountainous Grand Tour. Never mind all that, we’re back racing in the VSP and we’re in Dutch-speaking country and I love it. I hope you enjoy lots of helpful translations of Dutch phrases you don’t care about (and probably didn’t hear) from yours truly, because that’s what you’ll be getting for a full week. And I hope you like the color orange.

With that we kick off into the last minor-stage VSP of 2011 for the Eneco Tour. Being a week-long stage race, the points on offer are 7 for first, 5 for second, 4 for third, 3 for fourth, 2 for fifth, with the usual allotment of bonus points for getting the rider right but the place wrong.  Also, there are no rest days, so no rest day swaps, but we will have our usual approach for riders who drop out. And, all you Rule #5 apologists out there will be happy to know that we now officially have abolished the 10-minute rule. Piti Principle applies as always. Also review the guide, being careful to note that the rules have changes a bit this year, and we may not have completely updated the guide yet, so if there’s a question, ask.

Best of luck to all.

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115 Replies to “Velominati Super Prestige: 2011 Eneco Tour”

  1. Watch out for Will Clarke at LEOPARD too, dude is an animal.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Boss Hog
    2. Phil Gill
    3. David Millar
    4. Maarten Wynants
    5. Bert Grabsch

  2. Sh1t! I meant to click send now…

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Boss Hog
    2. Phil Gill
    3. David Millar
    4. Stijn Devolder
    5. Greg Van Avermaet

  3. VSP PICKS:

    1. Gilbert
    2. Boassen Hagen
    3. David Millar
    4. Geraint Thomas
    5. Leukemans

  4. VSP PICKS:

    1. Gilbert
    2. EBH
    3. Van Avermaet
    4. Thomas de Gendt
    5. Geraint Thomas

  5. Having actually given this a little thought, can’t help but agree that Phil might use this more as a warm up for the worlds…in comes GVA.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. EBH
    2. Lars “tick tick” Boom
    3. Bo Bridges
    4. van Avermaet
    5. Millarcopter

  6. VSP PICKS:

    1. Philbert
    2. David Millar
    3. Edvald Boassen Hagen
    4. Stijn Devolder
    5. Boom Boom

  7. My head hurts.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Gilbert
    2. Nuyens
    3. EBH
    4. Van Avermaet
    5. Van Summeren

  8. VSP PICKS:

    1. Philippe Gilbert
    2. Edvald Boasson Hagen
    3. Thomas De Gendt
    4. Lars Boom
    5. Johan Vansummeren

  9. Hell if I know…

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Gilbert
    2. Hagen
    3. Thomas
    4. Boom
    5. Millar

  10. @mcsqueak
    I have a feeling I may kick myself for not picking Gilbert. I keep telling my self that he cant win every thing, but he seems to be doing just that.

  11. My VSP misery looks set to continue as the favourites throw themselves down the road, hurtling towards the Vuelta with the recklessness of a first year neo pro descending the Tourmalet. Girl Bear will never have a better shot at the worlds than this year, if Belgium take multiple threats, and will hold his cards close to his chest in this race to preserve his form. Millarcopter is there because it’s fun to pick (and type) Millarcopter. And Theo Bos needs to step the fuck up and win something that’s not a sprint or keiren world championship, dammit.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Jacky Bobby
    2. Tjangarrrrlllleeeeee
    3. Theo Bos
    4. Millarcopter
    5. Girl Bear

  12. VSP PICKS:

    1. EB Hagen
    2. van Avermaet
    3. Fast Phil
    4. JellyRoll Vanendert
    5. Lars Boom

  13. Well bugger me if I didn’t miss the deadline of my own fucking VSP. On the bright side, Taylor ripped it up!

    [vsp_results id=”9198″]
    [/vsp_results]

  14. Damn impressive from Phinney! Very nice prologue from Gilbert as well at 15 sec down.

  15. @minion

    And Theo Bos needs to step the fuck up and win something that’s not a sprint or keiren world championship, dammit.

    or a madison world championship

  16. Hey @frank. Can I get the VSP to register that Greg Van Hasamerc is Greg Van Avermaet

    I’ll take the hit on Hertz Van Rental.

  17. As a long time fan of Thor, I couldn’t be more happy.
    Bravo Taylor!

  18. Fantastico – can’t wait to see if Taylor Phinney can hold the ?Orange/Yellow jersey – that guy is a serious talent, and I assume they must let him rip it up now he’s in the lead, or will it be back to humping bidons for the rest of the week???

  19. FUCK Me! I missed it by a MILE!!! I HATE moving!!! No internet in the moving process! Oh well, at least I still have been getting my rides in! And now I have an excuse as to why I suck in the VSP standings!!!

  20. @Buck Rogers
    It’s OK, I am running the VSP and I still managed to miss the deadline for putting my picks in. Can’t do worse than that.

    @all
    Greipel slips into fifth today.

    [vsp_results id=”9198″]
    [/vsp_results]

  21. Gilbert is lurking now. Guns at the ready. Boss Hogg won’t know what’s hit him. Pity he’s not in my VSP picks…

  22. I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise, but it’s so impressive how he can just ride away….

  23. @LA Dave
    Predictable? Yes
    Boring? No

    And it looks like PhilGil has ditched the Eurotrash blonde dye job. A little disappointed actually.

  24. @RedRanger
    1 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto 13:30:34
    2 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Procycling 0:00:05
    3 David Millar (GBr) Team Garmin-Cervelo 0:00:13
    4 Dominique Cornu (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen – Mercator 0:00:23
    5 Ben Hermans (Bel) Team RadioShack 0:00:25

  25. Damn, if I had Millar in 3rd instead of 4th I’d have the current podium.

    @RedRanger
    I’m sure Frank will update the standings when he is done w/his Mai Tai.

  26. Damn it, ditched Gilbert as I thought he’d take this easy ahead of the worlds. Obviously the man knows not how to take things easy!

  27. Incredible riding from Michael Barry to keep Eddy the Boss within a stone’s throw. This from David Millar on Twitter:

    I knew he was gonna go, he even told me when and where, I still couldn’t do anything when he did. The joys of racing against Phil Gilbert.

  28. Woah, just checked the standings…do we have biological passport controls for the VSP? I think I want the current leader tested after the Tour of Netherlands is finished. Nate is runnin’ away with it! He’s the Phil Gil of the VSP.

    Steampunk – Yikes, that’s incredible from Millar. Nothing like a PRO making other PROs feel jayvee! Fast Phil is having an outstanding year!

  29. @Ron
    I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that I have accrued 75% of my non Grand Tour points from Phil Gil.

    I damn near missed Eneco and put in my picks at 11 pm after flying across the country with the family. Was totally wrecked and would have failed a sobriety test, but other than that I am clean.

  30. Current GC:
    1 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Procycling 13:49:06
    2 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto 0:00:12
    3 David Millar (GBr) Team Garmin-Cervelo 0:00:18
    4 Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:00:27
    5 Jos Van Emden (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:00:47

  31. Chris and Zoncolan tie at 16 points, with the rest nipping at their heels. I’m a little surprised Phinney didn’t go faster in such a short TT.

    [vsp_results id=”9198″]
    [/vsp_results]

    (Sorry we missed the results yesterday. I was busy flogging myself.)

  32. @frank

    I’m a little surprised Phinney didn’t go faster in such a short TT.

    I think the weather (wind/rain) had a bit to do with the odd finishing order. From what I understand, some riders were on a wet track while others got a mostly dry tarmac.

  33. @Tartan1749
    that explains why I am not on 27 points then…..Jellyfish Vanendert would have nailed the TT otherwise, of that I have no doubt

    nice work Chris, for an Englander anyway

  34. Oh my, I can’t seem to get my VSP right. Why, why why doesn’t Phil Gil do something else? Why is he lingering in second. This cannot be acceptable to him. Gah, save my VSP, Phil! Sure, maybe you are thinking of the World’s, but come on…. you need a stage race win to round things out. Please.

  35. While you guys are trying to get your VSP act together I’ll just go get some love from Big George down at the Tour of Utah.

    The missus and I went down for the TT last night and I ran into my old friend Max Testa. If you recall I had the opportunity to have my Lactate Threshold tested by Max early in the season. It was pretty cool to be able to walk up to the BMC paddock at the ToU last night and be greeted like an old friend. I told Max of my training based off of his numbers and the payoff at the Idaho State Championships last week and he was pretty stoked.

    Shortly after I was wandering around and stumbled into a VIP area and was asked to leave. I was like “I’m a Velominatus bitches!” (OK, not really – but that’s what I thought. I said hang on a moment and went and got Max’s All Access pass and they were like “Well OK then”. Here are some more photos I took last night and today submitted for your approval…

    This one was taken from up in the VIP area that overlooked everthing at the TT.

    Levi storming out of the gate

    I don’t know which Shacker was using the privy but I thought this a funny shot.

    Even Bobke gets some lovin’

    Lots O’ Red and Black

    I got some more shots but that’s enough I reckon.

    I was disappointed that nobody said anything about the Velominati T-shirt last night or the V-Jersey today until right as we were walking to the car to leave a guy from New Zealand rides up to me and says “I love the Rules”! Then he says “Oh oh, my sunglasses are inside my helmet straps!” I severely chastised him and sent him on his way.

    So far the first few weeks of being 50 have been pretty awesome as far as cycling related stuff goes.

  36. Watching a solo rider bridge up to a break 2 mins up the road makes me disproportionately happy. Thanks Bernie Eisel!

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