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. I woke up in the middle of the night and did this because I had almost forgot…

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Degenkolb
    2. Kristoff
    3. Van Marcke
    4. Cavendish
    5. Gerant Thomas
  2. VSP PICKS:

    1. Peter Sagan
    2. Alexander Kristoff
    3. John Degenkolb
    4. Mark Cavendish
    5. Sep Vanmarcke
  3. Coverage in the US of A of European cycling basically stinks. Best we can do is watch on pirated feeds or, I suppose, sort out a proxy server from another part of world. So, we get to follow twitter feeds. And sounds (reads?) like despite the crash earlier in week, Van Avermaet is in the mix. Much respect. And also, that wind was blowing riders from their bikes? And IAM cycling director tweeted appeal to neutralize?

  4. Looks like Sky are putting Gee up for the win. Now I wish I had made my VSP picks with my heart, not my head. (I assumed Stannard would be their leader, so snubbed the Welshman, and now I feel like I’ve betrayed the man!)

  5. Paolini takes it. I doubt anyone would resent him that win. 

    Apparently it was a bit windy. Here’s Thomas getting blown off his bike:

  6. Result (I think):

    1. Paolini

    2. Terpstra

    3. Thomas

    4. Vandenbergh

    5. Debusschere

    6. Vanmarcke

    7. Roelandts

    8. Oss

    Cracking race under Rule #9, surprised that the main group gave up the chase so early.

    Nul points in VSP for me, ah well

  7. Fuck, that was an awesome race. Brilliantly smart riding from the old fox.

    Can only hope you boys get some of that weather over the coming weeks, it’ll be fun to watch from the comfort of the couch!

  8. A big fat duck but what a race! Only the hard men (and women) survived. I feel such a wimp for leaving the bike in the shed during yesterday afternoons gales.

  9. @ped

    Normally I’d agree, but did you see Paolini? His leg warmers were over his shorts and held up by safety pins FFS! Doesn’t he read this site? Did he miss last week’s article on The Tightness of Being? Safety pins? I ask you . . . you can be damn sure Cipo didn’t use no stinking safety pins.

    And the fluorescent yellow shoe covers? Why not red ones?

    Spartacus and Tommeke may be out of the classics, but let’s look at Terpstra and Thomas instead. Going well to put it mildly. Lots to look forward to that’s for sure.

  10. @wiscot

    This is true, but I think He rocks the despised aero helmet well, and even those Assos shades and a beard look pretty damn good on him

  11. What a race! Unfortunately, too many hoppy beverages made me forget to get my picks in. The leg warmers made me cringe though.

    Can’t wait for these next two weeks. The best cycling of the year is upon us gentlemen.

  12. @ped

    @wiscot

    This is true, but I think He rocks the despised aero helmet well, and even those Assos shades and a beard look pretty damn good on him

    My issue is with what he looks like from the waist down!

  13. @wiscot

    @ped

    @wiscot

    This is true, but I think He rocks the despised aero helmet well, and even those Assos shades and a beard look pretty damn good on him

    My issue is with what he looks like from the waist down!

    Those safety pins go through his quads!

  14. @ped

    Looking at some of the photos here http://www.nieuwsblad.be/sportwereld/cnt/dmf20150329_01604627 it looks like those leg warmers are actually a second pair, and he’s wearing a red pair under his shorts.

    It must be a Katusha thing. It looks like the guy on Paollini’s right also has the warmers over his shorts, and I think I remember J Rod also disgracing himself in a similar manner a few years back.

  15. Thomas’ crash was entertaining- superb work to unclip mid crash and throw the bike so he didn’t land on it, instead landing on a soft verge and performing a decent roll. Great chase back on, and excellent work to get on the podium. Better crash than those that ended up with bikes (and themselves?) in a ditch- turns out WT level bikes float.

    But nothing compared to Paolini. Style points he loses big style, but when you win a race like that with a late attack like that, all is forgiven.

  16. HOLY FUCKBALLS I CAN’T WAIT TO GET OVER THERE.

    @ChrisO takes his first win in a Semi-Classic VSP event, not bad for a guy with a broken leg!

    [vsp_results id=”32565″/]

  17. Well done Mr Paolini.  (AKA Gimli?)

    Hell of a day out and given his form in MSR, not a surprising. Was a contender for Super-Domestique of the Year: now what?

    Goes to show that $400 shades and beards are important; how you wear your leggings, apparently less so. Luca would know, being Italian.

  18. Wonder if there’s an inverse correlation between how awesome a race is, and how many VSP points are scored?

    Now that we’re all tending to pick the faves (the prizes on offer are a little too good for long shots), an awesome race with underdogs winning, means everyone scores sweet FA.

  19. @ped

    @wiscot

    @ped

    @wiscot

    This is true, but I think He rocks the despised aero helmet well, and even those Assos shades and a beard look pretty damn good on him

    My issue is with what he looks like from the waist down!

    Those safety pins go through his quads!

    And that is almost precisely what @ChrisO was describing yes?? Cramps? Pin ’em… Only logical then to prevent ’em by shoving pins in my quads before I even hit the line. Perfect.

    @frank FUCKBALLS ?!? That’s the word of the week. I’ll look for good opportunity to put that to use. Cheers

  20. Hey, I’m 41st! At least i was the first person listed in the results as getting 0 points. Great race nonetheless! I will never complain about wind ever again.

  21. @justinevan88

    Hey, I’m 41st! At least i was the first person listed in the results as getting 0 points. Great race nonetheless! I will never complain about wind ever again.

    On a tie, the win goes to the first person to enter their picks, so the early bird gets the worm. Or, in this case, the early bird sucks slightly less.

  22. Ya gotta love when Paolini says, “Halfway through I was asking myself if it was reasonable to continue. But I resisted (the temptation to quit) and I’ve earned the best win of my career.” What a stud. Those nagging doubts that creep in to your mind along with the pain. Maybe was after his second time down and on the third bike?? And to hammer on. Classic, classic stuff. And Sir Bradley??

  23. Sir Brad? “Nah, fuck this where’s my Schleckchute” I’m waiting anxiously to see how many tip him for PR based on the zero form displayed this season.

    Also monster ride by Jurgen Rowlandts.

  24. @Al__S

    Thomas’ crash was entertaining- superb work to unclip mid crash and throw the bike so he didn’t land on it, instead landing on a soft verge and performing a decent roll. Great chase back on, and excellent work to get on the podium. Better crash than those that ended up with bikes (and themselves?) in a ditch- turns out WT level bikes float.

    But nothing compared to Paolini. Style points he loses big style, but when you win a race like that with a late attack like that, all is forgiven.

    I thought it was just an endo, the wheel jammed and over he went. Nonetheless, stud for getting back on for 3rd.

    @wilburrox

    Maybe was after his second time down and on the third bike?? And to hammer on. Classic, classic stuff. And Sir Bradley??

    Did Power Pins Paolini really crash twice and 3 bike changes? Mega!

  25. @Beers

    @Al__S

    Thomas’ crash was entertaining- superb work to unclip mid crash and throw the bike so he didn’t land on it, instead landing on a soft verge and performing a decent roll. Great chase back on, and excellent work to get on the podium. Better crash than those that ended up with bikes (and themselves?) in a ditch- turns out WT level bikes float.

    But nothing compared to Paolini. Style points he loses big style, but when you win a race like that with a late attack like that, all is forgiven.

    I thought it was just an endo, the wheel jammed and over he went. Nonetheless, stud for getting back on for 3rd.

    @wilburrox

    Maybe was after his second time down and on the third bike?? And to hammer on. Classic, classic stuff. And Sir Bradley??

    Did Power Pins Paolini really crash twice and 3 bike changes? Mega!

    Wow, what a race. Let’s hope the bad weather continues. I finally watched it. How about Stijn Vandenburgh (sp?) too? What a big badass. G is tough as nails. Roelandts, very impressive.

    Luca, smart old dog who is also tough as nails.

  26. I’ve now now Delgado’d (well, not turned up at all) my first 3 ever VSP events.

    I’m going to do a G and climb out of the ditch and get back on my bike though.

    What a fucking hero.

  27. @Daccordi Rider

    Sir Brad? “Nah, fuck this where’s my Schleckchute” I’m waiting anxiously to see how many tip him for PR based on the zero form displayed this season.

    Also monster ride by Jurgen Rowlandts.

    This, this, and this.

    And the Schleckchute earns you the +1 badge.

  28. @Mikael Liddy

    @Daccordi Rider luckily for Sky, P-R is the kind of race where you need plans A through to C so they can claim he’s a protected rider, while actually riding for the bloke with form in Thomas.

    Indeed, but there’s the rub. Sky don’t have a great record on having any plan past Plan A. Obviously Wiggins has been talking big about P-R and is the ranking member of the squad. However, as you rightly note, he’s done sweet FA this year whereas Thomas is a man on form. Start as co-leaders and let the race sort it out. What if GT goes for it? Wiggins is off the team in a month or so anyway.

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