Velominati Super Prestige: Giro d’Italia 2015

This is the most exciting thing that’s happened in Cycling since April. Yes, that’s a full two weeks with nothing exciting happening and its been killing me. I know its been killing you, too.

I love the Giro, the master alchemist of bad weather and big mountains that keeps the racing exciting from the first day through the last. You can generally count on enough climbing in the first week to see the leadership bounce around like one of those singing ping pong balls on Sesame Street. The race has its fair share of provenance as well, with many a legendary battle fought between legendary riders.

This year’s race is also remarkable for the fact that a GC rider is not only racing both the Giro and the Tour, but for Contador’s publicly stated objective of doing the Giro-Tour double, a feat not matched since Pantani crushed it back in 1998. That is an awesome goal, I just wish it was a goal set forth by a rider I could get enthusiastic about. A quick scan of the start list has me wondering who is made of the same stuff Bertie, and I’m coming up short. Uran Uran and Pozzovivo are the standouts; and I have serious doubts about Porte being able to come up with the goods, not to mention my boy Ryder who, despite having actually won the Giro, does not inspire confidence in his ability to repeat the feat. It is looking like energy bars may be Contador’s biggest rival for the title, like in last year’s Tour.

Now that I’ve given you three paragraphs of useless drivel that you’ve probably already skipped over, I feel comfortable getting down to Road Tacks. This is the Giro, people, lots of points at stake. And those points are going towards amazing prizes including a Jaeger frame and a Café Roubaix wheelset. There is plenty of time for you to Delgado the thing, too, so my advice is that you avoid doing that. Give yourself enough time to enter your picks so if something has gone amuck, you have time to hit “reload” or come back V minutes later to try again before the event closes. Remember, your procrastination in this matter will not result in the only Keeper with database skills diving into the backend to enter your picks for you. (And if you do encounter a problem, please be so kind as to take a screenshot and upload it as the descriptor “it didn’t work” doesn’t help us debug the problem.)

The scoring for the Grand Tours is a tad more involved than the one-day races, so look them over before making your prognostications. (One of the best things about the VSP is that I usually get to use the word “prognostication”, an opportunity one should always relish.)

So get your picks in before the countdown clock goes to zero, hit the go button, and good luck.

[vsp_results id=”32941″/]

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545 Replies to “Velominati Super Prestige: Giro d’Italia 2015”

  1. VSP PICKS:

    1. Alberto Contador
    2. Domenico Pozzovivo
    3. Richie Porte
    4. Fabio Aru
    5. Ryder Hesjedal
  2. I don’t buy the “Porte always has a bad day” argument – he’s had bad days sacrificing to help others and had a bad tour after inheriting the leadership despite going in undercooked – I think it’s unfair to judge his leadership ability on these examples and I think pre-2013 he was too young to be expected not to have bad days. Leave alone that fact that many Grand Tour winners regularly have bad days in grand tours throughout their careers – that’s why it’d be impossible for someone to come along and just win a bunch of them over an extended period, say 7 times for example. It’s like Contador has been infallible over his career, he’s had his fair share of days when his competitors have been able to crack him. All that said, Porte will have no excuses this time around and this will be one of the defining races in what should be a solid career. Right up until I was typing the names in I had Porte as my pick and I’m still second and third guessing as I write, but Contador is so hard to write off, he’s proven he’ll do what it takes to get the result he wants (read that how you will) and I think when it matters, he’ll have the edge. Yet Porte’s form has been impeccable so I may just revisit this in the next 24 hrs. And that’s just the top 2 ignoring the fact this giro really suits Uran.

    For the rest – Movistar are such a strong squad they will have in impact on the outcome one way or another, but it’s hard to know who will be their top placed rider. I have a feeling Hesjedal will ride well, and don’t the C-G team need him to. If he gets going that team will be out to make a point. I also have a feeling that Caruso will excel if he gets off to strong start and his team gets behind him – but of the two I think Hesjedal is the more solid pick. I just can’t see Pozzovivo keeping close enough in the TT’s (don’t forget he’ll likely be behind the 8-ball from the start; I’d be surprised if he doesn’t drop time in the TTT as well as the ITT) and it’s not easy to carry pressure to make up time late.

    After the snow and chaos last year, then the tour going the way it did, I really hope we see a straight up battle with fewer distractions than we had last year.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Contador
    2. Porte
    3. Uran
    4. Inzausti
    5. Hesjedal
  3. Looking forward to seeing Bertie completing the first part of the double. Thumbs up to him having the Balls to have a crack at something a bit special. If he can’t them then my country man Richie may get through with out a bad day and bag it.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Bertie the man
    2. Porte
    3. Aru
    4. Uran
    5. Atapuma
  4. @dyalander

    I don’t buy the “Porte always has a bad day” argument – he’s had bad days sacrificing to help others and had a bad tour after inheriting the leadership despite going in undercooked – I think it’s unfair to judge his leadership ability on these examples and I think pre-2013 he was too young to be expected not to have bad days. Leave alone that fact that many Grand Tour winners regularly have bad days in grand tours throughout their careers – that’s why it’d be impossible for someone to come along and just win a bunch of them over an extended period, say 7 times for example. It’s like Contador has been infallible over his career, he’s had his fair share of days when his competitors have been able to crack him. All that said, Porte will have no excuses this time around and this will be one of the defining races in what should be a solid career.

    I hope so too (which is why he’s my first pick) but I’m so used to Aussies either being crushed under the weight of their own egos/expectations/smothering Australian media and choking (Norman, Webber, The Poo to name the first 3 who came to mind) or become completely unlikeable (Australian Cricket Team) that I’m not completely sold.

    Sky also seem to have an issue with fighting for the wins. Until this year most results were either first on GC or a long way back. This seems to have changed since the Vuelta last year when they scored a second and into this years shorter tours, where they have sat top ten, but I’m not sure as a team they have the culture to fight back and fight back hard in a full tour if challenged and defeated on a few stages early on.

  5. Can’t rule out Aru – just don’t like him

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Bertie
    2. Uran
    3. Tasmanian Devil
    4. Aru
    5. Pozzovivo
  6. Getting funky with it! Since I have one point (I think?) going way out there to cop a come from behind dark horse.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. I. Zakarin
    2. D. Pozzovivo
    3. J. Van Den Breock
    4. M. Mathews
    5. M. Tjallingii
  7. Saving myself from picking Bertie by assuming he will crash before first rest day, if not I have to spend switch points.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Porte
    2. Uran
    3. Aru
    4. Pozzovivo
    5. Zakarin
  8. TGIF, enjoy the weekend, enjoy the Roll Out! Spring Classics behind us, rolling towards the summer…

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Contador
    2. Porte
    3. Uran Uran
    4. Aru
    5. Pozzovivo
  9. There are so many variables its impossible to predict. I love this race!

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Contador
    2. Porte
    3. Uran
    4. Aru
    5. Intxausti
  10. @frank

    @frank

    Heart, as always, performs a coup de gras on the head. Stupid head, serves you right.

    (Also, I am amazed at how much people are copying one another’s picks.)

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Fabio Aru
    2. Uran
    3. Jurgie
    4. Pineau
    5. The Door

    Because the way the game is set up doesn’t encourage deviation from the herd

  11. @the Engine

    Because the way the game is set up doesn’t encourage deviation from the herd

    The Keepers should spend some of their free time assigning odds to the start list. If Pozzovivo were a very short long shot, and he paid off accordingly, I’d put him higher in my list.

  12. @PeakInTwoYears

    @the Engine

    Because the way the game is set up doesn’t encourage deviation from the herd

    The Keepers should spend some of their free time assigning odds to the start list. If Pozzovivo were a very short long shot, and he paid off accordingly, I’d put him higher in my list.

    History of the picks would seem to show most of us have as much chance as we would in a crap shoot.  Just wait on all the trades on the first rest day – though this course could be set for a week 3 finale that DNFs aside may make trades just as much of a crap shoot as the original picks.

  13. VSP PICKS:

    1. Alberto Contador
    2. Rigoberto Uran
    3. Fabio Aru
    4. Richie Porte
    5. Domenico Pozzovivo
  14. @freddy

    @unversio

    @freddy

    There are so many variables its impossible to predict. I love this race!

    Predictable luck !?

    Unfolding beauty?

    “Il ciclismo è un sentiero di gloria.” thanx Angelo for this translation

  15. VSP PICKS:

    1. Alberto Contador
    2. Rigoberto Uran
    3. Ilnur Zakarin
    4. Ryder Hesjedal
    5. Fabio Aru
  16. Completely uninspired picks.  Picking the Spanish Steak is akin to picking Piti in the Ardennes: you feel dirty doing it, but desperately need the points.

    It will be interesting to see if Bertie can live up to the hype, and if Oleg can actually coax a victory out of one of his riders without Bjarne.  Hoping it will be hard-fought win, because a race this beautiful deserves no less.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Alberto Contador
    2. Rigoberto Uran
    3. Domenico Pozzovivo
    4. Richie Porte
    5. Fabio Aru
  17. I am unconvinced about Porte for the overall win.  There’s a huge difference between one week anf three weeks.  Perhaps he will prove me wrong, but history is supporting my position at present.  We shall see.  There are so many unforeseen elements that factor in.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Contador
    2. Uran
    3. Porte
    4. Aru
    5. Pozzovivo

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