Velominati Super Prestige: Giro d’Italia 2012

Vittorio Adorni crosses the snow-covered Stelvio pass

After a winter of long training rides that offered more in the way of numb extremities than it did in acute enjoyment, I have to say that the warming of the air and brightening of the skies have served to remind me that while I love riding in bad weather, I certainly don’t have anything against riding when its nice out.

But dont think for a minute that this quells my desire to watch the Pros battle the elements as well as each other and, quite frankly, after a Spring Classics campaign that gave us only fleeting tastes of Rule #9 Glory, I welcome the arrival of the 2012 Giro d’Italia which holds the distinction of being held in the worst weather and over the worst roads. Come July, I’ll get just as wound up as anyone about the biggest racing spectacle of the year, but in my heart, the Giro d’Italia is the best Grand Tour of the three.

All that said, I’m a little disappointed to see that the Giro starts in Denmark. Not that I have anything against Denmark – lovely place – it’s just that this choice takes us away from the classical Giro opening week involving a mountaintop finish or two and gives us a Tour de France-style opening week of flat stages and crosswinds. We’ll have to wait almost two weeks before we start seeing the riders cross the highest passes and hitting the uphill finishes, though the final week does appear to set us up for considerable fireworks as the second-last stage will see the riders cross the Mortirolo and finish atop the Stelvio.

What does this mean for the VSP? Quite a bit, actually. Bearing in mind the changes we’ve made to the Rest-Day picks from the years past, it means that as the race settles out, those who have made changes to their lineup on the first rest day will not have the opportunity to do so again on the second rest day. And, those who wait for the second day will see steep penalties tallying up against their totals. But on the line is a Symbol Pack, the chance to post for the rest of year with the Maglia Rosa VSP Badge and, of course, the grand prize of the personalized Shop Apron. Check the start list and with any divine beings that you might be able to influence, and then get your picks in by the time the countdown timer goes to zero at 5am Pacific on the 5th May.

For reference, please review the new Grand Tour scoring and penalty guidelines. Also note that since these new rules required new coding and this represents the first Grand Tour, there is always the chance that there are defects in the code. Watch your picks and your points as we move through the event and alert us of any anomalies. If your points seem wrong, use the dispute function to alert us of the matter; complaints in the posts feed to this effect will be ignored. Finally, don’t leave anything to the last minute so we have time to fix any problems before its too late. Good luck.

Scoring:

Readers who wish to enter shall enter their predictions for the top five placings on General Classification of each Grand Tour by 5am on the day of the first stage or prologue.

Points

Points will be scored as follows: 20 points for first place, 15 for second, 10 for third, 7 for fourth, and 5 for fifth; plus 3 points per rider in the top five regardless of the rider’s placing, but riders are not scored twice.

Changing of the Picks*

Contestants are allowed to make line up changes on one of the rest days of the Grand Tours but not both. These changes will come with a point penalty.  You will be allotted one (1) rest day to make swaps in grand tours. You pick either the first or second rest day. The penalties for swapping will be lower for the first rest day than the second. This will allow you to swap out a rider(s) who gets caught in some first week nervousness with a 5 point penalty for each swap. Or make some go for broke/doomed to fail break-away swap on the second rest day for a 10 point penalty per swap. You make one swap or five on either rest day for the corresponding 5 or 10 point penalty per swap.

Additionally, if one of your riders crashes out, DNF’s, or DNS’s, you may swap them out on a rest day with corresponding penalties if you haven’t already used up your one rest day swap. The only exception to this is riders who are booted from a race for a positive test; if your rider is on the juice and gets chucked off the race, you get a free swap of that rider within 24 hours of the disqualification.

[vsp_results id=”15814″]
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1,232 Replies to “Velominati Super Prestige: Giro d’Italia 2012”

  1. @frank

    @versioIndeed. He entered under two email addresses. Now he has a one point bigger lead.

    Hang on, so if I enter twice under two different email addresses I can accumulate points???

  2. @Marcus

    @Daccordi Rider
    What an extraordinary outburst from Bruyneel! He has clearly decided to use the stick instead of the carrot.

    “Frank and Andy Schleck have so far not lived up to the status of leaders. I was very disappointed last week that Frank left the Giro d’Italia. Hindsight is that his injury was more serious than at first sight appeared. Yet in recent years I have seen many more great riders seem more dead than alive and still pick themselves up and absolutely have to have the will to continue. I sometimes miss that a bit.

    “There is Fabian Cancellara, and after him nobody is sure of a place in the squad for the Tour de France. Both Schleck brothers know that. They have no license. So far I still have no vision of my Tour cycling team with both Schleck brothers in it.”

    The boys will be haunted for many years to come. A moment of weakness. Good for Bruyneel!
    And Fabian will undoubtedly show his badge in the Tour de Suisse.

  3. @Mikael Liddy

    @frank

    @versioIndeed. He entered under two email addresses. Now he has a one point bigger lead.

    Hang on, so if I enter twice under two different email addresses I can accumulate points???

    Underhanded. Don’t do it.

  4. From Bassos Twitter feed 24th of May; “Serenity & smiles:here are my forces for tomorrow’s climbs.ready to give everything.Ready to shake the hand to who will be stronger than me”.

    While gracious, he’d thrown in the towel.

  5. @scaler911

    From Bassos Twitter feed 24th of May; “Serenity & smiles:here are my forces for tomorrow’s climbs.ready to give everything.Ready to shake the hand to who will be stronger than me”.
    While gracious, he’d thrown in the towel.

    I don’t get that out of his post. I reckon he is saying “I’m ready to go,if anyone is good enough to beat me I’ll be the first to shake their hand” Typical class from Basso.

  6. @frank
    You might also like to consider:
    Wearing a thong (even though you’re a bloke)
    Driving a ute
    Full sleeve arm tattoos featuring fish, trees and naked women
    Growing a beard
    Drinking Fosters
    Spending all your time with other men
    Being Bretto, basically.

  7. @Mikael Liddy
    How the hell did I not get the Lantern Rouge? I BEGAN the VSP with a balance of -50, and still didn’t come last, and had Fricken Cunego in my picks who in the long run was less than useless. Admittedly I could have made dumber pics but that would have been too obvious; I prefer my picks to go down in a blaze of glory rather than pick losers from the get go.

    (I’m kidding BTW I couldn’t care less but Gerard probably wants to have a bit of a think about some of his picks…)

  8. What I really don’t get about Frank pulling out of the race (as well as making it clear he really wasn’t interested from the start), is that of any GT, this year’s Giro was nearly perfectly suited to him with only 40k of ITT to contend with.

    Yeah granted he wasn’t in the best form leading in to it, but given that the main climbing wasn’t until the last week, any decent amount of commitment on his part should have seen him in with a massive shot at this one…

  9. Wow! Fantastic that Ryder pulled it out in the TT. I am humbled and feeling incredibly lucky that I get to stand on the podium in the VSP Giro. Now where are those podium girls?

  10. @Lukas

    Wow! Fantastic that Ryder pulled it out in the TT. I am humbled and feeling incredibly lucky that I get to stand on the podium in the VSP Giro. Now where are those podium girls?

    Marcus and Minion – pucker up!

  11. @Daccordi Rider

    @scaler911

    From Bassos Twitter feed 24th of May; “Serenity & smiles:here are my forces for tomorrow’s climbs.ready to give everything.Ready to shake the hand to who will be stronger than me”.
    While gracious, he’d thrown in the towel.

    I don’t get that out of his post. I reckon he is saying “I’m ready to go,if anyone is good enough to beat me I’ll be the first to shake their hand” Typical class from Basso.

    I’m the first to say that he’s a class guy. Even after the suspension, I still liked watching him race. And I’m sure he would be the first to shake hands. BUT, that’s something someone who realizes it’s not going to happen says before a tough stage. IMHO. He did Ride Like A Lion though.

  12. Some clarification @versio and @everyone else. Yes I posted a (single) set VSP picks in February with a different email address sans WordPress profile; every set of picks since then has been with the same email. I’d thought the point discrepancy had been taken care of.

  13. @scaler911, @Daccordi Rider I love the way Basso rode the race, he knew what his weaknesses were (no explosiveness, not great form) and got his team to help him ride the race to the best of his abilities. When riders on better form beat him he acknowledged that they were better.

    Anyone can appear to show class when things are going right for them, it’s a much more accurate reflection of the person when they’re still classy despite having been beaten.

  14. @Mikael Liddy
    Nipple Lube. he probably knew the race was gone days before stage 20, but he didn’t crack badly till the very end of that stage. Could have gone eff it, I’m done, but he stuck to the front of the race like glue, kept himself in the hunt and I think earned a decent finish.

  15. @frank

    @Marcus
    Totally disagree, of course, with everything you say. Here’s a picture of me doing my best Australian Impersonation:

    You seem to have a crisp on your shoulder – serious dandruff?

  16. @The Fish

    Some clarification @versio and @everyone else. Yes I posted a (single) set VSP picks in February with a different email address sans WordPress profile; every set of picks since then has been with the same email. I’d thought the point discrepancy had been taken care of.

    Nice badge. Actually that issue had been taken care of; this latest discovery was an entry for a women’s VSP event (I forget which) where your email address had an extra “l” in it. No big deal, just a typo.

    It was only one point anyway, which also shows that despite your outstanding picking abilities, you suck at picking women’s races just like the rest of us. Which is nice.

  17. @Mikael Liddy

    @scaler911, @Daccordi Rider I love the way Basso rode the race, he knew what his weaknesses were (no explosiveness, not great form) and got his team to help him ride the race to the best of his abilities. When riders on better form beat him he acknowledged that they were better.

    Anyone can appear to show class when things are going right for them, it’s a much more accurate reflection of the person when they’re still classy despite having been beaten.

    A-plus-one, mate. Well said.

    Pharmy was a good example of the oposite. Always very courteous when he was winning, saying all the right things, waiting for Ullrich when he crashed, etc. But when things went the other way, he lost all that charm, class, and humility.

    I love Basso. Always will.

  18. …and, once again @Frank is absolutely right about what it takes to win a grand tour – or hell, even finish in the top 10 – you have to sprint, climb and TT. If you suck at any of them, the grand tour ain’t your place to shine. And yeah…you need a team. Funny how that works out. Or doesn’t.

  19. Is there an idea of why Basso was off form? That recent crash or was he just not at his best?

    Gianni – I’m kind of flummoxed that in the middle of the fireworks in the best part of the Giro we had some confusion about celeste. How do ya find the club if ya don’t know that color ain’t some nonsense for country club women? Weird.

    PGTDS has set in. What am I to do without the Giro to watch today? I’m depressed…

  20. @Ron, @Oli
    Yes, that, and I think he had some trouble early in the season with illness etc. He almost gave up his Giro bid in the run-up, but did a massive altitude training camp and felt good enough to give it a shot. Sounded tenuous going in, which is why I thought/hoped he’d ride into his form like 2010 and take it in the last week.

  21. @frank
    He’d crashed at both Paris-Nice and Volta a Catalunya so his preparation wasn’t ideal, but still he seems to be slipping slowly a level or two below his best.

  22. @Marcus

    I am just waiting for all the usual suspects (like Frank) to start ripping into the Giro winner for doing so with no panache? I mean, gee, no stage wins, no big epic effort where he put big time into his enemies? All Hesjedal seemed to do was nip a few seconds here and there and save for a few stages, followed wheels the whole time.

    Disclaimer: I think the whole panache thing is a load of shit brought up by people who try to romanticise bike racing into something that it isn’t. And Hesjedal rode perfectly. However I reckon that if a Euro rider (or maybe a certain boy called Cuddles) won a Grand Tour like this you North Americans would have raised the above (completely bullshit) points a long time ago.

    Merckx himself was one of the biggest promoters of “winning with Panache” so I’d say that pretty much solidifies it’s relevance in this part of the web.

  23. @LA Dave
    You misunderstand my point (or maybe I havent made it properly) – it was all to do with people’s favorite riders being labelled as those who ride with panache, and non-favorites apparently riding sans panache.

    As for Merckx, he was, is and always will be about winning. Hence his love for the Tour – because it is so hard, the best rider always wins (this is his logic, not mine). My point is panache is an over-used term and fairly nebulous. It could actually be said that Merckx didn’t ride with a heap of panache because he was so good he simply ground his opponents into the dirt or just rode them off his wheel. The true french term panache connotes reckless courage and flair. Merckx maybe had flair in attacking, but reckless courage? Non. He was too good. But arguing over the semantics of a French word. There won’t be a result here.

  24. @Marcus

    The true french term panache connotes reckless courage and flair.

    Actually, this possibly best describes Merckx’s style; he needlessly took enormous risks when there was absolutely no need to, simply because he wanted to. It drove his directeurs absolutely mad when he’d take off with 100km (or more) to go against all tactical sense. There are dozens of examples throughout his career where he did this. Merckx’s riding style embodied panache to the maximum.

    Next time you put words in someone’s mouth and then start spinning an argument around it – which is bullshit even by your admittedly low standards – at least get the facts that support your invented premise right!

  25. My humble submission for the ‘Thousand Yard Stare’ of the Giro (Thomas De Gendt on Stage 20)

  26. @frank
    Once again you choose a small piece of the larger picture to argue against without addressing the main contention – namely that you and many others around here arbitrarily ascribe “panache” or a lack thereof based on personal biases towards or against riders.

    And what’s with the use of another “special picture” albeit an improvement on your Dorito snap? Is that meant to somehow signify a victory of sorts in the argument? You disappoint me but do not surprise me Francis.

  27. @Marcus

    @frank
    Once again you choose a small piece of the larger picture to argue against without addressing the main contention – namely that you and many others around here arbitrarily ascribe “panache” or a lack thereof based on personal biases towards or against riders.

    And what’s with the use of another “special picture” albeit an improvement on your Dorito snap? Is that meant to somehow signify a victory of sorts in the argument? You disappoint me but do not surprise me Francis.

    Did some “panache” go straight up your ass?

  28. @Marcus
    I was simply letting you know I think you’re number one, dear Marcus. And I’m not getting sucked into your totally bullshit argument, however inspired it may be.

    Until one of us actually says any of the things you’re making up for us having said, you can shove it right where the sun don’t shine. Which, given you’re entering your winter and considering your cavernous body, could mean any number of places.

  29. Huh, interesting. Marcus appears to be the restrained, considered one while others get all antsy in their panty, like they’ve got that special syrup in them. World has gone up side down.

    Don’t worry Marcus, if it all gets too much for you, you can emigrate to Eastern Australia, I’m sure Auckland would love to have you. You can leave Australia, and that imaginary place in your head, Melbourne, in our capable, velcro gloved hands.

  30. @Marcus

    @minion
    This is irrefutable proof that the world has gone upside down. XXXX Gold? I shudder for this country

    Holy Fuck for a hot country you make a lot of shit beers. VB? It must be WORSE than Fosters cos not even Kiwis drink it. Isn’t the Little Creatures alehouse in Melbourne somewhere, along Brunswick Street?

  31. @Marcus

    @frank
    @Nate
    Think I need to speak to this guy. He understands. (Wish I knew how to embed a video).

    Speaking of attacks and countering, this guy doesn’t look so good in his (unbranded) Yellow Jersey. This jersey literally looks exactly like the one I see on the chubby guys riding the 2.5km loop around Green Lake on their $10,000US Treks.

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