Velominati Super Prestige: Gent-Wevelgem

Riders hoof it up the Kemmelberg

Rain. Cobbles. Bergs. Professional cyclists reduced to mortals who clammer up steep, slick cobbled grades on shoes not made for walking. Gent-Wevelgem is the teaser for the month of April, when the hardmen come to play on the stones of Belgium and Northern France. Personally, I liked it better when it was sandwiched between the two greatest one-day races of the year, De Ronde and Roubaix. On the other hand, Gent has been the Classic’s bridesmaid for long enough and deserves its own weekend, even if that still makes it a warm-up race to be won by someone who’s not enough weeks away from peaking.

The Flemish word for “hill” is “berg”, and to ask any cyclist who doesn’t live there, they’ll tell you Flanders is rife with them. The truth is that most of Flanders is quite flat, save for a ridge which calls itself home to some of the most fearsome cobbled climbs in the world.  Among these is de Kemmelberg, which features as the primary obstacle for Gent Wevelgem. Steep and cobbled, on a dry day it serves as the decisive climb on the finishing circuit of three laps; on a rainy day it will reap havoc on the field.

With that, we kick off the second edition of the 2011 Velominati Super Prestige for Gent-Wevelgem. Like La Primavera, Gent is enough of a wild-card that this is a tough race to call.  It rarely ends in a bunch gallop, but it’s not difficult enough to eliminate sprinters from the finale. The riders targeting Flanders or Roubaix will not quite be peaking yet, but the race isn’t so difficult that a rider two weeks from peaking can’t win. Our advice? Go with the gut, and try to pick people who are actually starting.

The winner of this VSP edition will earn an “Obey the Rules” bumper sticker and all reader’s points qualify towards the final prize of the free personalized Velominati Shop Apron. This year we’ve enhanced the entry mechanism; if you are inclined to enter, simply post your predictions for the top five placings in the designated area above the posts section, bearing in mind that entry/modification of picks closes at 5am Pacific time on the day of the race. Check the Super-Prestige main page for rules and scoring information.

Good luck.

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173 Replies to “Velominati Super Prestige: Gent-Wevelgem”

  1. Before anybody says anything about the pic list let me add that frank and i are both in Cananda this weekend (not in the same place). I’m not sure if he’ll be accessing the site until afterward and even if I were going to have online access I couldn’t put the slick little VSP form up. To be safe, just put your picks up old skool. Again, I could be wrong and frank may swoop in anytime and rescue us.

    There was a bug due to a schema change and it has been corrected; please enter your picks in the form below as usual. If you entered your picks while the system was down, please re-enter them. Thanks – Frank

  2. 1. Boonen
    2. Tyler Farrar
    3. Greg Van Avermaet
    4. Yoann Offredo
    5. Mathew Hayman

  3. Closed, already?

    Has anyone got a link to a start list? is behind the curve here, or else it isn’t out yet.

  4. @all:
    Hold off on your picks: there is a problem with the system and I need to get it up and running. Stand by.

  5. @all
    Corrected. Please everyone, re-enter your picks to qualify for the VSP. Sorry for the inconvenience!

  6. @Buck, better double-check the start list… unless Haussler is just that good. :)


    1. Gilbert
    2. Boonen
    3. Ballan
    4. Hushovd
    5. Flecha


    1. gilbert
    2. Thomas
    3. VanAvermaet-is a stud
    4. Boonen
    5. Thor

  8. Helps if I actually check the start list! Changing my picks.


    1. Boonen
    2. Gilbert
    3. Farrar
    4. Ballan
    5. Hushovd

  9. Frank: Do my picks automatically update and my earlier ones “go away”?

  10. VSP PICKS:

    1. Farrar
    2. P. Gilbert
    3. Sutton
    4. Ballan

  11. VSP PICKS:

    1. Petacchi
    2. P. Gilbert
    3. HUTAROVICH Yauheni
    4. Farrar
    5. Sutton

  12. HTC FTW


    1. Cavendish
    2. Goss
    3. Eisel
    4. Hincapie
    5. Boonen

  13. My picks are based on sentiment and foolishness. I think something will happen and George and his old teammate Beppu will be OTF.


    1. Big George
    2. Beppu-san
    3. Thor
    4. Flecha
    5. Canvendish

  14. Banking on all the big guns just testing their legs and marking each other too closely. I like Sky a lot more this year than last. I think we expected too much of them last year, but they seem to be building in the right direction. And FDJ! These guys are exciting to watch. Rollin has been finishing consistently in the top twenty over the past few weeks, and Offredo and Chainel are strong. I’m becoming a fan.


    1. Hoste with the Moste
    2. Boom
    3. Flecha
    4. Westra
    5. Rollin

  15. There will be some big name marking but Gilbert won’t be able to help himself off the podium.


    1. Steegmens
    2. Van Avermaet
    3. Gilbert
    4. Farrar
    5. Rollin

  16. VSP PICKS:

    1. Thor Hushovd
    2. Philippe Gilbert
    3. Kurt-Asle Arvesen
    4. Sylvain Chavanel
    5. Alexander Kristoff

  17. Here we go…


    1. The Man from Manx
    2. The Wenatchee Kid
    3. kaBOOM
    4. The Norweigan God of Thunder
    5. George “No Nickname” Hincapie

  18. So awesome that dudes were racing De Rosas not so long ago.

    This time of year is crazy; the weekdays are just like sad, dreary interstices until the awesomeness of the weekend race begins. Why bother getting out of bed Mon-Friday, except of course to work on ones own Big Ring Legs?

  19. Can’t wait to see the race!


    1. T. Boonen
    2. P. Gilbert
    3. L. Hosta
    4. T. Hushovd
    5. A. Ballan

  20. VSP PICKS:

    1. O’Grady
    2. Gilbert
    3. Maaskant
    4. Ballan
    5. Davis

  21. VSP PICKS:

    1. Ballan
    2. freckle
    3. Bennati
    4. McEwen
    5. Petacchi

  22. VSP PICKS:

    1. Lars Boom
    2. O’Grady
    3. Ballan
    4. Gilbert
    5. Goss

  23. First VSP pics –


    1. FARRAR T
    2. GILBERT P
    3. BOONAN T

  24. Let’s hope I get a least one point this time…


    1. Ballan
    2. Boonen
    3. Farrar
    4. Gilbert
    5. Flecha

  25. Weel, crap. My velomitoddler went to bed with Gilbert the Crocodile this evening. And I don’t even have him in my top five.

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