Velominati Super Prestige: Giro d’Italia 2014

Johan Vandevelde wears a snow helmet on the Gavia during the '88 Giro.
Johan Vandevelde wears a snow helmet on the Gavia during the ’88 Giro.

For the simple reason that the Cobbled and Ardennes Classics are behind us, I have not alternative but to get back on my soap box about the Giro being the best of the three Grand Tours. Well, usually, at least. Last year’s race sucked the big one (even if it was supremely Rule #9), but for the most part it is the race that is the most closely contested of the three. There are mountains everywhere Italy meaning there are less bunch sprints, the weather is completely unreliable, and the slightly lower calibre of rider seems hungrier. Or maybe the reduced pressure means riders aren’t quite as stressed out and are able to funnel that extra energy into the race.

My favorite Giro is a hard one to pick out, but its either the 1988 Giro when Andy Hampsten took the win after freezing himself stiff with Erik Breukink on the Gavia or when Pantani took his in 1998. I’ve been watching the ’98 Giro during my morning turbo sessions and Merckx-oh-me, that was an All-Drugs Olympics nail-biter. ’98 is also an interesting contrast to ’88; in just a decade, the technology had changed so much but more than that, the doping atmosphere in the sport transformed completely. From Hampsten’s Giro, EPO went from just being dabbled with on the fringes to being abused by leaders and domestiques alike by the time Pantani won. Hampsten wrote a nice piece about racing against dopers in Tyler Hamilton’s book, The Secret Race. He described the various side-effects that the popular drugs of his era had, such as bloating and a tendency to make the user over-estimate their abilities. Amphetamine made the riders do stupid things, cortisone made them retain water, and steroids made them heavy; a clean rider could use those factors to their advantage. A far cry from the rocket fuel that allowed humble domestiques to big ring up major alpine passes.

Why am I talking about drugs? There’s a race starting in a few days, people! This is our first Grand Tour, and the picks are worth more points, not to mention that strategy starts to play into things with the chance to swap your picks out on either of the rest days – at a certain point penalty. Remember that points are not accumulated; the standings on the last day of the race are what kinds, so keep the long game in mind.

Any points you win count towards the overall prizes plus the winner of this event also gets to post for the rest of the year in the pink jersey badge. So check the start list, review the VSP Grand Tour Scoring Guidelines and get your picks in by the time the countdown clock goes to zero at midnight PDT on Friday, May 9th. If you think we mapped one of your picks wrong, use the dispute system and we’ll review it. Also remember to be precise enough in your description so we know which rider you mean; in other words, if you enter “Martin”, we will use our discretion (read: wild guess) to decide if you mean Tony or Dan – and that choice will not be negotiable once the the countdown clock goes to zero. There has also been a recent scourge of people putting a rider in more than one place. Two words: Piti Principle, people! Don’t make me do a bunch of extra programming to keep you from being allowed to submit such an obviously unsportsmanlike set of picks. We will mercilessly clear out all your entries should we find you have attempted this.

Also don’t forget we’ve got three major prizes for the season-long VSP:

  1. First place overall wins a Veloforma Strada iR Velominati Edition frame in addition to the customary VSP winner’s VVorkshop Apron
  2. Second place overall wins a set of hand built CR Wheelworks Arenberg wheelset in a custom Velominati paint scheme laced to orange Chris King hubs. (CR Wheelworks is Café Roubaix’s new wheel goods brand.)
  3. Third place overall wins a full Velominati V-Kit with accompanying custom orange Bont Vaypor+ road shoes.

Good luck, have fun with it, and don’t lose your Rule #43 spirit.

[vsp_results id=”29781″/]

 

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874 Replies to “Velominati Super Prestige: Giro d’Italia 2014”

  1. Yet another epic stage in an epic race.

    Bit gutted for Aru not getting the win, but then he’s already got one, and let’s be honest who could begrudge Quintana winning the Hillclimb Of Truth. He’s in a class of his own.

    I don’t have a problem with all the pink, it’s only the shorts I hate. I just wish they were black. But, atmo, they’re still not as bad as that fucking ridiculous all-white world-champion getup worn all year by the likes of Gilbert and Costa. Cav showed the way in that respect. And won lots.

  2. @frank

    OK, so I like Nairo, but WHAT THE FUCKING HELL IS GOING ON WITH THOSE TALL FUCKING BOOTIES? That’s enough to make me hate a rider right there. Disgraceful.

    Rolland is shaping up quickly to fill my Dirty Schlecky Love void.

    Looks like Steamy peaked too soon and @il muro di manayunk takes over the VSP Giro lead. Its still a three-way tie, and I’m guessing there will be some tired leggs tomorrow.

    Provisional Race Results
    1. QUINTANA ROJAS, Nairo Alexander
    2. URAN URAN Rigoberto
    3. ARU Fabio
    4. ROLLAND Pierre
    5. POZZOVIVO Domenico
    Provisional VSP Standings
    1. il muro di manayunk (40 points)
    2. anthony (40 points)
    3. Ron (40 points)
    4. Harminator (38 points)
    5. Patrick (38 points)
    6. blue (38 points)
    7. G’phant (38 points)
    8. sthilzy (35 points)
    9. Steampunk (35 points)
    10. bunji (35 points)
    174. VeloJello (0 points)

    Just like Hesjedal: bit of a chain slip and I’m down to 9th. I’m hoping Majka can pip Pozzovivo tomorrow. I know it counts for squat, but I almost put Aru in my picks as a dark horse. Kicking myself for that cowardice…

  3. @Ron

    @wiscot

    @unversio

    BMC Racing Team’s Taylor Phinney broke his left lower leg in two places and injured his knee after crashing on the descent of Lookout Mountain Monday at the USA Cycling professional road championships.

    I read that too. Looks like his 2014 season is done unfortunately. That’s a real shame too as he’d had some good results and his dander was up as they say. What’s Horner’s situation at the moment?

    I spoke with a cycling journalist pal. He said Phinney is lucky to be alive. Went head first into a metal guard rail and I think his leg was “fulcrumed” on the vertical support post. Yikes. He said he’s done for 2014, but feels it’s very likely he might never regain/reach his peak form. That’s how hard he went into the railing. I hope he’s wrong, that would be a huge shame to not see what he can do with his genes and dedication.

    Also, he said he’s covered numerous U.S. races in person and the moto drivers in the U.S. mostly have no idea how fast the PROs on bicycles can descend. He said many of them have no business working cycling races.

    I saw a report that Horner thinks he might ride the Tour. Hard to believe.

    I saw an interview with Lucas Euser, who also went down in the same incident. He and Phinney are friends and train together in Boulder. As soon as he made sure he was OK himself, he went straight to Phinney and stayed with him until help arrived.

    Chapeau to him for saying “Fuck the race.” Some things are more important.

  4. @Buck Rogers

    Damn! Picture did not post. I’ll try again and, when it most likely does not post, just add evidence to Steampunk’s assertion that I really do not belong on the interweb.

    Awesome photo. Two hard men casually discussing how much pain they have inflicted that day. Would never see either of them in big pink overshoes or anything made by POC.

  5. @KW

    @Ron

    @wiscot

    @unversio

    BMC Racing Team’s Taylor Phinney broke his left lower leg in two places and injured his knee after crashing on the descent of Lookout Mountain Monday at the USA Cycling professional road championships.

    I read that too. Looks like his 2014 season is done unfortunately. That’s a real shame too as he’d had some good results and his dander was up as they say. What’s Horner’s situation at the moment?

    I spoke with a cycling journalist pal. He said Phinney is lucky to be alive. Went head first into a metal guard rail and I think his leg was “fulcrumed” on the vertical support post. Yikes. He said he’s done for 2014, but feels it’s very likely he might never regain/reach his peak form. That’s how hard he went into the railing. I hope he’s wrong, that would be a huge shame to not see what he can do with his genes and dedication.

    Also, he said he’s covered numerous U.S. races in person and the moto drivers in the U.S. mostly have no idea how fast the PROs on bicycles can descend. He said many of them have no business working cycling races.

    I saw a report that Horner thinks he might ride the Tour. Hard to believe.

    I saw an interview with Lucas Euser, who also went down in the same incident. He and Phinney are friends and train together in Boulder. As soon as he made sure he was OK himself, he went straight to Phinney and stayed with him until help arrived.

    Chapeau to him for saying “Fuck the race.” Some things are more important.

    Yup, kudos to Euser for doing the right thing. I can believe that the moto riders have no clue what they’re doing or how fast these pros can descend. I’ll be gutted if this prevents Phinney from reaching his full potential. There’s so much there in the next 10 years.

  6. @frank

    OK, so I like Nairo, but WHAT THE FUCKING HELL IS GOING ON WITH THOSE TALL FUCKING BOOTIES? That’s enough to make me hate a rider right there. Disgraceful.

    Rolland is shaping up quickly to fill my Dirty Schlecky Love void.

    Looks like Steamy peaked too soon and @il muro di manayunk takes over the VSP Giro lead. Its still a three-way tie, and I’m guessing there will be some tired leggs tomorrow.

    Provisional Race Results
    1. QUINTANA ROJAS, Nairo Alexander
    2. URAN URAN Rigoberto
    3. ARU Fabio
    4. ROLLAND Pierre
    5. POZZOVIVO Domenico
    Provisional VSP Standings
    1. il muro di manayunk (40 points)
    2. anthony (40 points)
    3. Ron (40 points)
    4. Harminator (38 points)
    5. Patrick (38 points)
    6. blue (38 points)
    7. G’phant (38 points)
    8. sthilzy (35 points)
    9. Steampunk (35 points)
    10. bunji (35 points)
    174. VeloJello (0 points)

    From now on, I suggest Nairo Quinta be referred to as Senor Sexy Boots. Holy shit! I thought the UCI had rules on that kind of thing? Just awful and wait until Sunday when he rides a pink bike too.

  7. Yes, it is the MAGLIA rosa, not the whole kit AND caboodle, it just smacks of complete overthetopness, makes a great wee rider look a right twat, especially those mad Boy Wonder pink boots ffs…..

  8. Why Nairo Why!!!!!!!!!!, you were turning into my favorite rider. Somebody ay Movistar needs to put a stop to this.

  9. @wiscot

    @Buck Rogers

    Damn! Picture did not post. I’ll try again and, when it most likely does not post, just add evidence to Steampunk’s assertion that I really do not belong on the interweb.

    Awesome photo. Two hard men casually discussing how much pain they have inflicted that day. Would never see either of them in big pink overshoes or anything made by POC.

    That’s a bit rich when the photo is quite clearly taken from a filmshoot (see link above), in other words they’re doing what their sponsors asked them to do, much like the riders today.

  10. Come on Ryder, I needed you up in second place, not 9th place. J-Rod, you put a knife in my heart.

    @strathlubnaig

    Yes, it is the MAGLIA rosa, not the whole kit AND caboodle, it just smacks of complete overthetopness, makes a great wee rider look a right twat, especially those mad Boy Wonder pink boots ffs…..

    But, but, but it’s the Giro. One has to do the whole bifda, bike and all. I really am liking Quintana, he is squared away and confident. I’m looking forward to him kicking some more ass in the future.

  11. So RCS have taken a leaf out of the ASO book when it comes to enforcing the time cut in a TT. Kenny de Haes blew his chain apart half way up the climb yesterday with no team car behind him, McGyvered it with some help from a fan only for it to happen again about 1k from the finish. Got a bike swap cos there was a team car that had followed a team mate up to the top & still finished the TT but got booted with 2 days to go, cos he missed the 30% time cut…COTHO’s

  12. Some dick spectator in a rainbow jersey nearly pushes Bongiorno into Rogers when they are leading. Bongiorno unclips, the gap forms and Rogers is gone. Can we execute people for Rule #16 violations? 

  13. You get the impression it’s been a bit of a hard day when riders seem to be being helped away from the finish line. Who was the rider clinging onto the barriers?

  14. @The Grande Fondue some nasty karma for the tifosi for only being interested in pushing the Italians, that muppet just cost his countryman (I assume based on the Lampre WC jersey) a shot at winning atop the Zoncolan.

  15. @The Grande Fondue

    Some dick spectator in a rainbow jersey nearly pushes Bongiorno into Rogers when they are leading. Bongiorno unclips, the gap forms and Rogers is gone. Can we execute people for Rule #16 violations?

    Just goes to prove that you have to be a total wanker to wear a world champion jersey that doesn’t belong to you.

    Anyone on the Zoncolan wearing the rainbow stripes in Lampre kit should take it off until they get home, for fear of some vigilante retribution being visited on their ass. Unless your name is Rui Costa.

  16. @ChrisO

    @The Grande Fondue

    Some dick spectator in a rainbow jersey nearly pushes Bongiorno into Rogers when they are leading. Bongiorno unclips, the gap forms and Rogers is gone. Can we execute people for Rule #16 violations?

    Just goes to prove that you have to be a total wanker to wear a world champion jersey that doesn’t belong to you.

    Anyone on the Zoncolan wearing the rainbow stripes in Lampre kit should take it off until they get home, for fear of some vigilante retribution being visited on their ass. Unless your name is Rui Costa.

    The thing that gets me is that they showed footage of the same guy chasing Rolland and others later on.

    And there was another dick who kept running in front of riders with a GoPro in their faces.

  17. @Rhodri

    You get the impression it’s been a bit of a hard day when riders seem to be being helped away from the finish line. Who was the rider clinging onto the barriers?

    Chalapud didn’t look good when he made it across the line, but I think it was Georg Preidler (7th) who grabbed the rail. 

    Roche’s sprint to take 4th was the sprint of a dead man, too – he was throwing side to side like an uncoordinated  BMX rider.

  18. The weird thing is that these people make the trek and then sit on the mountain for hours…only to be a total fucking asshole to the PROs. Why? How are those cycling fans?

    I was just on my way home from playing soccer this morning. Approaching a stop sign and a car came up behind me like a jet. I wondered if they were just going to drive through me. (I was taking the lane, as it is a crazy 4 way intersection WITH train tracks). I turned to look and ascertain if they were in fact just going to drive through me. A fucking sporty Subaru…with a bike rack on the roof! That person rides bikes?

    Same thing – why would a cycling fan ruin a guy’s chance at a win of a lifetime? Why would someone who rides bikes threaten a person on a bike like that? It’s fucking bizarre.

  19. I said it before P-R and I’ve been proved partially right today: some asshole spectator would interfere with a rider and cost him the race. Today, an Italian (presumably) cost his countryman the chance to win a prestigious stage. This is only getting worse and unfortunately, the rise in global popularity of cycling will only encourage clowns to go to races and be dicks so they can watch themselves on highlight reels. Scum.

  20. Chapeau to Rogers. Not just for deploying massive V and winning an epic stage, but also for shouting “FUCK OFF” repeatedly at the fucking arseholes who think it’s a good plan to run alongside the riders on the climb.

    That cunt in the rainbows should have been dragged to the top on a rope behind a moto and cast from the steepest slope. And that would have been too good for him.

  21. @Geraint

    Chapeau to Rogers. Not just for deploying massive V and winning an epic stage, but also for shouting “FUCK OFF” repeatedly at the fucking arseholes who think it’s a good plan to run alongside the riders on the climb.

    That cunt in the rainbows should have been dragged to the top on a rope behind a moto and cast from the steepest slope. And that would have been too good for him.

    Drop him from here from my ride today round the Isle of Wight – it was a long way down to the rocks from there……(by the way that’s 2 tubs not an EPMS)

  22. Missed all the action last night, but sounds like it was all going on… my conclusions:

    Fuck Rogers, I don’t know how that piece of shit lies straight in bed at night.

    Spectators are becoming worse, not just for running and interfering, but they leave hardly any road width for the riders to use for attacks or even safe passage. Anyone running alongside should be dragged off the road and beaten.

    Nairo needs a fashion advisor badly. And a conscience after the stage 16 debacle. Hollow win.

    In fact, Pro cycling seems to be getting worse for cheating in ways not just drug-related. I mean, Froome calling for more testing? That’s a bold way to deflect suspicion. O’Grady, Rogers, all these cunts lying through their teeth just makes me want to walk away. Take the drugs, but don’t take us for fools…

    Rolland is class. Picked him for 4th, and he came through despite my concerns that he may get disinterested. But he’s the real deal.

    Think I need a nice mountain bike ride to calm me down!

  23. Dammit I stayed up to watch last night’s stage and after the dropkick in the WC jersey fucked Bongiorno over, it was kinda boring. Quintana looked like he rode within himself, and really it was up to him to light it up. DOn’t know it it was a crack in his armour, cos if it is it’s the first one we would have seen, but he really rode himself into shape in that third week.

  24. Oh yeah and fuck Mick Rogers. I know, I live in Canberra, and round here he’s mythical, but I got a flashback to the bad old days when time trialists won the toughest climbs and chicken-legged climbers won flat TTs.

  25. @brett

    @mouse

    @minion

    @brett

    So, Rogers: Do you reckon he’s doping now?

    What exactly are you basing your “Fuck Rogers” polemic on?

    I know people who know people.

    Walks like a duck, quacks like a duck. Mmmmm

    On a brighter note, absolutely cracker Giro, loved every minute of it. Boys will be hurting at the end of this week!

  26. @DrC Titter ye not!

    (The Merkans won’t get that one).

    Much as I would like to see them taken out from below or above – well positioned snipers spring to mind – the problem would be compounded if they fell in front of a rider…. or rolled. Quite a few of them could easily roll.

  27. @brett

    @mouse

    @minion

    @brett

    So, Rogers: Do you reckon he’s doping now?

    What exactly are you basing your “Fuck Rogers” polemic on?

    I know people who know people.

    So, ok.

    But now? Right now? Is he doping right now?

    I don’t know my arse from my elbow when it comes to Rogers prehistory about his alleged doping. You would appear to know otherwise. I’m a pretty naive kinda fella. Do you think he’d be doping after serving a suspension for doping in which he’s been exonerated? Could it be that he’s actually a pretty talented rider?

  28. @mouse What is now?

    That’s more than an existential question. If someone gave up smoking yesterday/last week/last month/last year are they a non-smoker now?

    When does a doper become rehabilitated? If someone dopes for 10 years and had the benefit of being able to train harder, for longer and recover better do they become a non-doper because they didn’t take anything in the last three months?

    I have no concrete idea if any of that applies to Rogers, but he has a lot of bad associations and allegations of the sort that have so often proven correct in the past.

    I would normally be yelling at the screen to see an Aussie winning a classic stage like that one but I couldn’t do more than raise an eyebrow yesterday.

  29. Rogers lost only 1.15 to Quintana on the climb. Although Nairo looked like he was on a Sunday ride and could have gone 5 minutes faster.

  30. @ChrisO

    @mouse What is now?

    That’s more than an existential question. If someone gave up smoking yesterday/last week/last month/last year are they a non-smoker now?

    When does a doper become rehabilitated? If someone dopes for 10 years and had the benefit of being able to train harder, for longer and recover better do they become a non-doper because they didn’t take anything in the last three months?

    I have no concrete idea if any of that applies to Rogers, but he has a lot of bad associations and allegations of the sort that have so often proven correct in the past.

    I would normally be yelling at the screen to see an Aussie winning a classic stage like that one but I couldn’t do more than raise an eyebrow yesterday.

    I read an article a while back which purported to show that post doping the body retains a significant portion of the ability the doping induced.  It was a scientifically backed article based on research and was presenting the view as to why dopers (in all sports) should be banned for life.

  31. Final results are in and @il muro di manayunk takes a close win! Just goes to show that getting your picks in early can mean the difference between first and third!

    Congrats, and looking forward to you showing off that pink jersey!

    Final Race Results
    1. QUINTANA ROJAS, Nairo Alexander
    2. URAN URAN Rigoberto
    3. ARU Fabio
    4. ROLLAND Pierre
    5. POZZOVIVO Domenico
    Final VSP Results
    1. il muro di manayunk (40 points)
    2. anthony (40 points)
    3. Ron (40 points)
    4. Harminator (38 points)
    5. Patrick (38 points)
    6. blue (38 points)
    7. G’phant (38 points)
    8. sthilzy (35 points)
    9. Steampunk (35 points)
    10. bunji (35 points)
    174. VeloJello (0 points)
  32. Cool! Thanks.

    Submitting the order to have my frame repainted pink as I type.

  33. Ouch, what could have been with an earlier submission. That’ll teach me for overthinking my picks. Then again, what fun would it be for me if I didn’t?

  34. watching rogers win just reminded me of Reeshard’s comeback solo victories at the Tour.

  35. @il muro di manayunk  Well played. Strong work. And thanks, Keepers –  and community – for another excellent VSP.

    This has been a great Giro.  Although (or perhaps because) I boycotted ATOC and so cannot directly compare the two, I am confident that the Giro was by far the better spectacle – despite (or perhaps because of) the absence of some Big Name Riders.  In fact, Le Tour is going to need to be on its game to compete. (Though I think I might always say that.)

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