Velominati Super Prestige: Gent Wevelgem 2015

Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy oh boy oh boy! Oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy!

This is it! We are really into the thick of it now! E3 Harelbeke is today, and on Sunday we have the Kemmelberg in Gent Wevelgem – the first real serious cobbled race of the year. For Keeper’s Tour in 2012 we stayed just outside Kemmel, and for KT2013 Bretto and I went off for a jetlag-neutralizing spin together into the same area and rode the climb from both sides. When I arrive in Belgium on Thursday, the first thing we’ll do is head over there again; the area feels a bit like home at this point.

All of Europe bears the marks of World War I, but this bit of Belgium is even more heavily scarred; when this many people die in one place, it lingers in the air like a thick mist. This hill in particular was the site of several battles; the Germans took it in April 1918 and it was reclaimed by the allied forces in September. Monuments, graveyards, barracks litter the landscape.

Although its short, the Kemmelberg is a brute of a climb with a steep ramp at the top; the cobbles are rough and very badly laid at the base; the best route has you swinging wide to the outside if you’re to maintain your speed. If you are unlucky enough to be forced into the inside, you will come to a standstill and find yourself chasing from the onset.

And speaking of chasing, its time to get some points on the board with the VSP so you have a chance of claiming one of our prizes. Get your picks in by the time the clock goes to zero. And for the love of Merckx, don’t wait until the last minute before flooding my inbox with complaints about the site going down. Your procrastination is not my emergency, boys and girls. But if you do happen to have some trouble (and it’s not the last minute, or the middle of the night) then feel free to let us know; we’re happy to help you out so long as the event hasn’t closed yet. So, prognosticate on the start list and enter your sure-to-be dud picks.

We are still finalizing the prize list for the overall VSP, but second place has been confirmed as being a set of CR Wheelworks/Velominati wheels. CR Wheelworks is Café Roubaix’s wheel product line, and you’ll have the choice of rim size and hub. The Velominati edition comes with orange Chris King hubs, but if that’s too bling for you, I’m sure the configuration can be changed for the winner.

First prize will be something even more amazeballs and third place will be a full Velominati kit complete with V-Cap. My wheels just arrived, and I can’t wait to ride them.

And, we’ll wrap it up with some 2013 Gent action:


[vsp_results id=”32565″/]

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216 Replies to “Velominati Super Prestige: Gent Wevelgem 2015”

  1. @frank Wheels look great in the daylight and clad in FMBs. I have fallen behind for the overall with missing MSR, or have I? Stybar in the only one in the picture followed by a late attack by Sagan for second, Degs wins the spring for the last podium spot. Mark my words!

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Stybar
    2. Sagan
    3. Degs
    4. Cavendouche
    5. Kissytoff
  2. VSP PICKS:

    1. Peter Sagan
    2. John Degenkolb
    3. Arnaud Demare
    4. Zdenek Stybar
    5. Greg van Avermaet
  3. VSP PICKS:

    1. Zdenek Stybar
    2. Sep Vanmarcke
    3. John Degenkolb
    4. Edvald Boasson Hagen
    5. Adam Blythe
  4. VSP PICKS:

    1. Mark Cavendish
    2. Alexander Kristoff
    3. John Degenkolb
    4. Peter Sagan
    5. Zdenek Stybar
  5. @wiscot

    @frank

    @wiscot

    Ok, haven’t made my picks yet, but WTF’s going on? No Tommeke, and now no Spartacus for the big races? Crazy! That being said, fine, fine win by Geraint today in the E3. Now Sky have a problem: Geraint is obviously on the form of his life – we saw that last week. Wiggo’s form? Not sure, but Sky and he have made a big hoopla over how P-R is Wiggo’s main goal for the year. So do Geraint and Wiggo start as equals or will the Welshman be subservient to his English master? Will Geraint havce to sacrifice himself or will he be allowed to have a go? My thoughts are, if it’s dry, go with Sir Tattoo; if it’s muddy, go with Wales.

    I am not too broken up about Fabs/Boonen. I would want them both in form or neither because honestly I think the 4x crown should be a pretty rare thing and I’m afraid of Fabs getting a “free” ride to it, which would have two riders of the same generation sharing that record with the Gypsie.

    I’m pretty sure its going to be muddy, so that also opens it wide up. Gerraint rode very well in the wet last year at the Tour; he might be my #1. I can’t say I disagree on your strategy for the brits, though if I was DS I’d have them both start as leaders; too much can happen at Roubaix.

    Agreed. Co-leaders and let the chips, crashes and punctures fall where they may. I just hope we don’t see Geraint being stymied if he’s feeling good and having to wait on Wiggins.

    Fuck Wiggins. There, it’s out there. I’d make Twiggo ride for G, by golly. I can’t even remember if Twig was in Paris-Nice or Terreno-Adriatico because I never saw him do anything. Did he finish whatever he was racing in? Has he earned his spot at P-R besides his monster engine? We will see if he races Gent on Sunday and how his form is but I don’t think he deserves the leadership role at P-R, because I’m a cranky old guy.

  6. VSP PICKS:

    1. Mark Cavendish
    2. Alexander Kristoff
    3. John Degenkolb
    4. Peter Sagan
    5. André Greipel
  7. It’ll come down to a sprinters race as all the big guns mark each other and save their legs for P-R.

    Fine win for Gee today; he’s going to be smashing up the Spring Classics for years to come – I can see more monuments ending up in his trophy cabinet than Sagan’s!

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Cav
    2. Kristoff
    3. Degenkolb
    4. Ciolek
    5. Stannard
  8. VSP PICKS:

    1. Alexander Kristoff
    2. Edvald Boasson Hagen
    3. Sep Vanmarcke
    4. Zdenek Stybar
    5. Peter Sagan
  9. Am I the only person who can’t believe how bad those CR wheels are? Fuggetaboutit! Dan, you are knocking out some nice bling there. I need.

  10. VSP PICKS:

    1. Peter Sagan
    2. Alexander Kristoff
    3. John Degenkolb
    4. Zdenek Stybar
    5. Geraint Thomas
  11. @Dan_R

    @frank Wheels look great in the daylight and clad in FMBs. I have fallen behind for the overall with missing MSR, or have I? Stybar in the only one in the picture followed by a late attack by Sagan for second, Degs wins the spring for the last podium spot. Mark my words!

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Stybar
    2. Sagan
    3. Degs
    4. Cavendouche
    5. Kissytoff

    The VSP is never won or lost in the first event. We’ve seen @Nate win it by entering the Vuelta VSP and performing strongly from there, so anything can happen!

  12. @Gianni

    Am I the only person who can’t believe how bad those CR wheels are? Fuggetaboutit! Dan, you are knocking out some nice bling there. I need.

    You gotta hand it to @winnipegcyclechick for the rocking base design. We just laid our shit over the top of it. We had done a pure Velominati design, but when I saw how strong the brand was on CR’s wheels, we decided to go for a co-branded version.

    Check out the other designs, they are bitchin.

    I would send you all the link but @Dan_R has not updated his site with the new CR designs. SHAME!!

  13. Couldn’t resist the Belgians, cheers all

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Greg Van Avermaet
    2. Sep Vanmarcke
    3. Edvald Boasson Hagen
    4. Peter Sagan
    5. Ian Stannard
  14. ouch, just saw news of Van Avermaet’s crash

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Sep Vanmarcke
    2. Alex Kristoff
    3. Edvald Boasson Hagen
    4. Peter Sagan
    5. Ian Stannard
  15. VSP PICKS:

    1. Geraint Thomas
    2. Sep Vanmarcke
    3. Peter Sagan
    4. Alexander Kristoff
    5. Greg Van Avermaet
  16. Holy shit! It’s like I went away on vacation, and some reality show came and redecorated my house.

    Awesome!

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Kristal
    2. Sagan-wagon
    3. Greipel
    4. Boss Hog
    5. Degenkolb
  17. Placeholder until tomorrow. Want to go with my sentimental picks, but am gunning for a top five finish this year so it’s Kristoff to win. Would have picked Degenkolb until I watched him go over the handlebars at E3 Harelbeke. He is going to be hurting on Sunday. Bad.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Alexander Kristoff
    2. Mark Cavendish
    3. Peter Sagan
    4. Zdenek Stybar
    5. Geraint Thomas
  18. VSP PICKS:

    1. Alexander Kristoff
    2. Zdenek Stybar
    3. John Degenkolb 
    4. Sep Vanmarcke
    5. Geraint Thomas
  19. @Gianni

    @wiscot

    @frank

    @wiscot

    Ok, haven’t made my picks yet, but WTF’s going on? No Tommeke, and now no Spartacus for the big races? Crazy! That being said, fine, fine win by Geraint today in the E3. Now Sky have a problem: Geraint is obviously on the form of his life – we saw that last week. Wiggo’s form? Not sure, but Sky and he have made a big hoopla over how P-R is Wiggo’s main goal for the year. So do Geraint and Wiggo start as equals or will the Welshman be subservient to his English master? Will Geraint havce to sacrifice himself or will he be allowed to have a go? My thoughts are, if it’s dry, go with Sir Tattoo; if it’s muddy, go with Wales.

    I am not too broken up about Fabs/Boonen. I would want them both in form or neither because honestly I think the 4x crown should be a pretty rare thing and I’m afraid of Fabs getting a “free” ride to it, which would have two riders of the same generation sharing that record with the Gypsie.

    I’m pretty sure its going to be muddy, so that also opens it wide up. Gerraint rode very well in the wet last year at the Tour; he might be my #1. I can’t say I disagree on your strategy for the brits, though if I was DS I’d have them both start as leaders; too much can happen at Roubaix.

    Agreed. Co-leaders and let the chips, crashes and punctures fall where they may. I just hope we don’t see Geraint being stymied if he’s feeling good and having to wait on Wiggins.

    Fuck Wiggins. There, it’s out there. I’d make Twiggo ride for G, by golly. I can’t even remember if Twig was in Paris-Nice or Terreno-Adriatico because I never saw him do anything. Did he finish whatever he was racing in? Has he earned his spot at P-R besides his monster engine? We will see if he races Gent on Sunday and how his form is but I don’t think he deserves the leadership role at P-R, because I’m a cranky old guy.

    Have to agree. G was clearly strong at PR last year and the photo of him and Wiggins with their backs to each other after the race spoke volumes in body language terms. G buried himself that day but Wiggins either didn’t have the legs to go with Terpstra or made a bad call in not doing so. Brailsford has to make the right decision and I can’t believe  that G will go into PR as anything other than team leader. If that’s not the case, I think Brailsford is in danger of losing the real quality guys that he has in G and Peter Kennaugh who have more than earned their spurs. But i think we need to remember what an astute guy DB is; how we all laughed when he said that Sky would win the TDF. They have had a really strong start to the Classics season and based on G’s attack yesterday, Sagan doesn’t appear to have cast off his last 10 K demons. It’s going to be a cracking couple of weeks!

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Greg Van Avermaet
    2. Geraint Thomas
    3. Peter Sagan
    4. Sep Vanmarcke
    5. Alexander Kristoff
  20. Cool, thanks for clarifying – isn’t annoying when you do something better than was ever expected then jerks like me don’t acknowledge it, they just raise their expectations?

  21. VSP PICKS:

    1. Alexander Kristoff
    2. Sep Vanmarcke
    3. Peter Sagan
    4. Zdenek Stybar
    5. Edvald Boasson Hagen

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