Velominati Super Prestige: Amstel Gold Race 2012

Joop and Steven break clear in Amstel Gold

When people think of the The Netherlands, they generally think of flat lands, windmills, and a topography where people claim to “live at elevation” when their home on the third floor of a building. Never the less, this is not entirely true as The Motherland does, in its most southern reaches, boast quite hilly terrain; the province of Limburg juts out into the Ardennes region which is famous in Belgium for the short, steep climbs typical of a geography hewn from high plains by flowing water. Its the perfect place for a bike race.

This Sunday marks the official end of the Cobbled Classics, and the begging of the Ardennes Classics. The big, heavy riders who go well on the cobbles will take a back seat to lighter but powerful rouleurs who can go uphill quickly for a few kilometers. A Grimpeur may be able to gain the upper hand, but only if they go climb quickly enough to shed the stronger riders with fast finishes. Last year we saw Philippe Gilbert use the Amstel Gold Race to start his astonishing streak of wins, finishing off all the Ardennes races with his fast finish. However, if a Lexicon entry is enough to condemn a rider’s chances, then the recent addition of Gilbackwards should seal his fate. Valverde is back from suspension and going as well as ever, and he could well be the man for this season.

The Ardennes Classics also serve as an indicator for the Grand Tours. The Giro is just around the corner, and the Tour de France only a few months away. Riders will be eager to measure themselves against one another and see who is ahead and who is behind schedule (I’m looking at you, Grimplette). Then there are the upsets and the kamikaze breakaways to consider; Jens Voigt has been close in these hills before, can he close the sale this year?

Check the start list and watch the countdown timer as picks close at 5am Pacific on Sunday; up for grabs is the personalized Velominati Shop Apron to the contestent who wins the season-long competition. Check the Main VSP page for scoring guidelines and rules. Also don’t be alarmed if your post doesn’t show up in the sidebar; in an effort go cut down on the noise caused by the VSP, we’re now filtering out the posts that only contain someone’s picks and no further content; don’t worry – they still count and they’ll still show up in the main feed; they’re just being filtered out of the “Recent Posts” feed.

Good luck.

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262 Replies to “Velominati Super Prestige: Amstel Gold Race 2012”

  1. @Bianchi Denti

    @Bill
    @Rigid
    I’m sick as a dog at my brother’s place in Scotland. And I also blame @Gianni. Still, got to watch Amstel live at a hospitable time, which was nice…

    I told you not to make out with him so relentlessly, tempting as it is. Believe me, I know.

  2. Steered clear of the interwebs this morning apart from downloading the Eurosport coverage as the painkillers took hold last night & sent me to the land of nod well before the streams even came on.

    That’s an encouraging enough finish for me to think that might be the last we’ve seen of Gilbackwards this year, I’m expecting at least one of this week’s races to see the return of Phast Phil.
    Chapeau to both he & Freire for taking it by the balls & trying to beat the race in to submission despite neither being strong enough.
    Lastly, when is someone going to teach Sagan how to time his finishes?

  3. @brett
    I’m afraid to say I fell about laughing when I saw that photo and your description. How the mighty have fallen, although he is probably afraid of peaking to early for the tour and we will be laughing on the other side of our heads later. I’m starting to wish I had gone to the race with you but hanging out with a hot German lady is adequate compensation

  4. @frank
    We the slow incubators of disease – I’m sick too. Who would have known – was it part of the cost of admission to the keepers tour? Or was Group viral sickness thrown in.
    Not that I’m complaining – I didn’t catch Fronk’s venereal disease

  5. @brett

    And then, as the crowds made there way down from the hill, the winner already on the podium, a lone figure appears through the gloom.

    “Oh look, it’s a Schleck” someone joked. But then we realised it was indeed a Schleck, and then it was just a bit sad.

    That’s hilarious. And a bit sad. Pauvre Grimplette.

  6. @Buck Rogers

    @frank

    @wiscot
    Either he’s in tights or he has one weird arse tattoo on his left outer calf.

    I think you’re right. They must be one weird color that looks like flesh in B&W. I think you can see a seam on the inside of the right leg. Whatever. Astana have a history of dodgy colored kit.

  7. Especially for the Australian fans, Amstel Gold Race 2012 at Cauberg

    [dmalbum: path=”/velominati.com/wp-content/uploads/readers/Vlinder_Patty/2012.04.23.19.39.31/”/]

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