Velominati Super Prestige: la Vuelta a Espana

The inaugural Velominati Super Prestige continues with its the final Grand Tour of the season, la Vuelta a España, on Saturday, August 28. This will be the final opportunity for contestants to rake in a load of points; and with the list of injuries, and non-starts together with riders using the race as preparation for the World Championships in October, it will make it all the more challenging to pull together some good picks.

This particular Grand Tour is simultaneously the most boring and most exciting; various sections of Spain features desert with dead-straight roads where little is to be seen aside from a colorful peloton gliding along a road for 6 hours.  On the other hand, the mountains are steep and brutal, and the weather this time of year can be atrocious, so the mountain stages tend to showcase fireworks like we don’t see elsewhere during the season.

Having run the VSP Giro and Tour editions where we tested the ruleset for picks, and I think by this time we’ve managed to set up a scoring system that seems fair and helps to close down the competition to afford newcomers the ability to catch up with some good picks. There is a full overview of the rules and standing at the VSP Schedule, Rules, & Results page, but here is the ten-second overview:

Every contestant is to choose their top five General Classification picks of the race.  The final podium of la Vuelta is worth 15 points to the winner, 10 points for second, 5 points for third, 3 points for fourth, and 2 point for fifth. Given the effect crashes can have on a tour, there are guidelines around making changes to your lineup during the race: you’re allowed to change your lineup if any rider in your pick list drops out for any reason without any penalty; rest days will allow contestants to make changes to their lineup, however those changes will come at a point penalty.  (Visit the VSP Schedule, Rules, & Results page for a complete breakdown of these points.)

Every day, the leader in the points standings will have the honor of wearing the Golden Jersey when posting on the site; the overall winner will wear the Golden Jersey for the remainder of the season and will also earn an “Obey the Rules” bumper sticker.  All reader’s points qualify towards the final prize of the free Velominati Artisan’s Shroud.  As always, if you are inclined to enter, simply post your predictions for the top five placings.

Continuing with our jersey picks from the Tour de France edition is the competition of naming the winner of the points and climber’s jersey winners.  There will be no points awarded towards these two jerseys, but the leader of the competition will have the honor of commenting with associated jersey badge throughout the competition and the winner will earn the right to comment with that badge until next year’s race.  The contestant who picks both the final points and climbers jersey winners correctly will win a Velominati Logo bumper sticker.   Tie-breakers will go to the first contestant who posts their entire lineup (all 5 GC picks plus points and climbers  jersey winners).  Given that this sub-competition has no points, pick substitutions will only be granted under the DNF regulations of the VSP; no rest-day substitutions are allowed.

Sub-competitions will be conducted while the Vuelta is underway for specific stages.  These stages will be chosen a few days prior to the stage being held and will be selected based on the current race conditions with the aim of choosing the most decisive and exciting stages of the race, so check back often to make sure you don’t miss out.  Sub-competitions will be held in separate editions.

Good luck!

Rules and results are posted Velominati Super Prestige page.

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246 Replies to “Velominati Super Prestige: la Vuelta a Espana”

  1. @frank
    nothing wrong with the jerseys, stop fussing. I see I’ve reached 5th, this is probably where my wave breaks and rolls back.

    I reckon Grimpfer will pick up in the third week. Will be interesting over the next week or so deciding who to replace Invisible Invisible Denis. No chance am I risking Mosquera, a likely candidate for a doping violation if ever there was one.

  2. I’m a fan of Cavendish in the same way I’m a fan of Kanye West – and it would appear that in the last few weeks, both have turned over new leaves – still remaining their unbelievably ostentatious selves, but somehow gaining humility.

    Goss was offered HTC’s first Vuelta win – a gift – thrice offered, thrice refused if the video is correct – on account of the gap Goss had afforded them, allowing for a Heckle and Jeckle “after you! no, after YOU!” routine. Class stuff there. Power and class. Shirty verdy icon aside, I like that Cav more and more, especially when he’s the underdog.

  3. @all
    Boy, those Dutchies sure know how to ride a bike pretty. That is all class and grace, right there.

  4. guys what a nice surprise to see myself on the top…if I win another GT Super Prestige do I get a special prize? I think it`s fair…

    Does anyone please post the video of Cav bunny-hopp? I lost these one…

  5. By the way…I was just reading all the compact crankset discussion and what I have to say is that I use one and as @Cyclops wrote, it was one of the best things I have done on my road bike. My climbing got better (I am closer to Livewrong pedal style than to Ulrich) and I really don`t miss the 53×11 when I am ridding on the bunch above 40km/h.
    But for sure 53×39 are much more stylish…

  6. Roberto Marques :

    By the way…I was just reading all the compact crankset discussion and what I have to say is that I use one and as @Cyclops wrote, it was one of the best things I have done on my road bike. My climbing got better (I am closer to Livewrong pedal style than to Ulrich) and I really don`t miss the 53×11 when I am ridding on the bunch above 40km/h.
    But for sure 53×39 are much more stylish…

    …and when my new SRAM Force gruppo shows up on Monday and I switch out my old DA 9sp and get back my 11T(x50=122″) I’ll have more top end than when I was running the 53×12 which only gave me 119″

  7. frank :

    @ben
    OK. For the record: If Cav ever pops a wheelie over the line, I will be a fan. Agreed?

    God no. If Cav ever pops a wheelie again I wholeheartedly expect him to be beaten to death by his wheel sponser. We have to pay for those [email protected]#king things, if you get given 18 sets a year keep it in your pants.

  8. @minion
    I think the manufacturer would be loving the fact that Cav bunny-hopped the line on their wheels, because it shows that they don’t fold on a whim. Sadly for them – and you, as it stops that version of Cav-bashing – HTC-Columbia don’t have a wheel sponsor and buy all their wheels.

  9. I know most people pretty much hate Cav, but what no-one has noticed is that in the really good side-on picture, Cav’s wheel decals are almost perfectly in-line.

    The man has style…

  10. @Jarvis
    Perhaps what the bunny hop was for? To get them in-line (having noticed at 75kph that they weren’t)?

  11. That was an excellent finish – that big right hander and then a good sprint. I watched on Eurosport and the announcer was pretty sure someone was going to crash in the turn, but everyone managed to keep it up.

    I loved the bunny hop too, but hey, I’ve always liked Cav. I think he brings a lot to the sport and he at least has something to say. Then again, cyclists are either smarter or more introspective than most other athletes; pedaleurs tend to actually say things while many others just talk in cliches.

  12. Anton has just scraped himself along the road and into retirement. More changes…

  13. @frank
    Anton was doing a great wild card for me… when’s the rest day, I’m gonna need to swap Roman out, he’s miles out of it.

    So I’ll just slide Roche up and put Nibali in 5th if that’s ok

    1. Roman
    2. Tommy Danielson
    3. Car-lose
    4. Roche
    5. Nibali

  14. Bizarrely I almost put Roche in my original selection, but then settled on him not cracking a top-5 but getting in the top-10.

    1. Nibali
    2. F.Grimp
    3. Anton Xavi Toto
    4. Invisible Denis
    5. J Rod

  15. Nibali
    J-Rod
    FSchleck
    Rochey
    And TommyD

    That would be the current incarnation of the selections for me. Post rest day swaps, then Anton cluster fuck.

  16. Will say it again: I’m sorry we don’t see more of Mosquera. He’s going to get killed in the ITT, but he dances nicely in a big gear going uphill.

  17. @Steampunk
    Mosquera climbs out of the saddle the way Cuddles would if he didn’t look so terrible doing it. While Cadelephant looks as though he’s suffering, Mosquera looks effortless. As always, I admire something I can’t/don’t do: I rarely get out of the saddle while climbing, churning a fairly steady cadence from a seated position (like Basso, if I wanted to flatter myself). I’d love to be able to get out of the saddle like this, but I climb well for my weight and I guess I have the power from a seated position. Heigh-ho…

  18. @Steampunk
    We see to much of him. I only have one question and that is, why is someone who has got repeated top-10’s in a Grand Tour not riding ProTour?

    Far too similar to Sella, but at least he’s not killing it so obviously.

  19. @Jarvis
    I have to say, I have a newfound respect for how in-line his decals are. I guess that puts him up a notch, to Notch One.

    The one-handed wheelie and rodeo ass-slap will garner 7 notches to put him into The Fan Book.

    @ron
    I was absolutely certain people were going down, but they kept it together. I guess riders aren’t willing to die for a stage win like they are at the Tour.

  20. @Steampunk

    Mosquera climbs out of the saddle the way Cuddles would if he didn’t look so terrible doing it…I rarely get out of the saddle while climbing, churning a fairly steady cadence from a seated position (like Basso, if I wanted to flatter myself). I’d love to be able to get out of the saddle like this.

    When I’m peaking, I can do it, but for the most part, I’m with you. I know it would be better to get up every now and again, but I just glue my ass to the seat and never get up. More like an Ullrich than a Grimplet.

  21. @all

    1 Andy 25 points
    2 Hawkeye 21 points
    3 Jarvis 16 17 points
    4 Brett 15 points
    5 Geof 11 points
    6 Steampunk 3 points
    7 Ben 2 points
    8 KitCarson 2 points
    9 Marcus 1 point
    13 Roberto Marques 1 point
    10 Cyclops 1 point
    11 Nathan Edwards 1 point
    12 Frank 1 point
    14 Marko 0 points
    15 Minion 0 points
    16 Sgt 0 points
    17 John 0 points

    Andy takes the lead in the VSP. Please double-check my figures here.

  22. @Jarvis

    Far too similar to Sella, but at least he’s not killing it so obviously.

    I feel the same way about Rodriquez. His podium act yesterday was also a bit flashy; a little too much, a little too quickly?

  23. @frank
    but at least we have seen J-Rod blow-up big-time. Mosquera, hasb’t had a bad day yet, always attacking. In fact he is micro-dosing his attacks. Little and often, gain a little here and there, enough to be consistent.

    I should be on 17 points. Not that it makes much difference

  24. I shouldn’t have any points by my reckoning, ie JRod is in 2nd, I have him for 1st.

    And JRod’s shorts are too long. Knew I should’ve put Nibbes in when Pisshead Schleck was dumped.

  25. @Jarvis
    Let’s leave the unsubstantiated accusations for the cyclingnews forums, shall we? If we’ve seen anything this year, it’s that riders can’t expect to perform well in more than one grand tour in a year. Nibali, who took the TdF off, may turn out to have the year’s best two performances. J-Rod is the only one to manage good back-to-back grand tours, so he might be forgiven for blowing up.

    As for Mosquera, he rides well and does so with some style. If it comes to it, I’ll be happy to contribute a guest piece on evanescent riders of the twenty-first century.

  26. @frank
    Can anyone enlighten me on J-Rod’s salute at the line the other day? Was he pretending to be a pirate, covering one eye? Can’t decide whether it was uber-cool or massive fail.

  27. @Brett
    it’s one point for those in your top-5, but out of position as it were, so J-rod in second gets you a point

    @Steampunk
    just opinion. But I do wonder why he isn’t on a ProTour team, I would have thought they’d be queuing up for a guaranteed GT top-10. Ah well, perhaps he’s happy being a hometown home-boy.

  28. @Jarvis
    I’ve wondered the same. He spent a fair amount of time in Portugal. Late bloomer? His Vuelta results have all occurred since he turned 30 (which””I know, I know””provokes further suspicion); maybe less appealing as opposed to the promise of an up-and-comer?

  29. @Jarvis, @Steampunk
    A lot of these guys are stuck in contracts that don’t allow them to change. Only guys like Botero, Heras, and that guy who looked like a kid whose name I can’t remember rode well enough to garner a big enough incentive to break the contract. A lot of these riders are nearly held captive by their contracts u till they expire; 100k Euro buy-out clause for a guy making 30k? Sorry, not gonna happen.

    @Steampunk
    I was wondering the same thing. He topped the list in the fast-becoming competitive world of over-contemplated, stupid salutes. What’s wrong with just putting your arms in the air?

  30. @frank
    The only thing I could imagine was that it was some tribute to Pantani (which Anton’s was on Stage 11). But if that’s case, Anton’s was much cooler.

  31. frank :

    ,
    that guy who looked like a kid whose name I can’t remember

    Jose Rujano… now there’s an evanescent rider of the 00s! Came from nowhere, almost won the Giro, got the big contract, tested positive, disappeared, now on the comeback trail.
    Boonen & Son

  32. @Brett
    did Rujano ever test positive? I thought he just didn’t achieve anything and then went through three teams a year

  33. I wonder if they ever did wind tunnel testing to see if the enormity of Rujano’s ears when compared to the tininess of his body gave him a net gain or loss over the average pro in the peloton?

  34. If Menchov can make up an hour on the ITT, I could have all five of my picks in the top five. Just sayin’…

  35. Also, that could also have been some of the best and most explosive riding I’ve ever seen from a Schleck today.

  36. @Steampunk

    Also, that could also have been some of the best and most explosive riding I’ve ever seen from a Schleck today.

    That was rad. You know what the worst of it was? I had a conference call from 7am to 8am which let out about 10 minutes early. I rushed upstairs, turned on the tele and watched for a few minutes. Then got on the next call at 8 and got off around 8:45. I MISSED ALL OF IT. Stupid job.

    @Brett
    Actually, I was thinking of Oscar Sevilla, but Rujano is better! *And I just put him in the queue for e-riders of the 00’s.*

    @Hawkeye

    I wonder if they ever did wind tunnel testing to see if the enormity of Rujano’s ears when compared to the tininess of his body gave him a net gain or loss over the average pro in the peloton?

    Back in 2003, on April Fools day, CyclingNews.com posted an article that the UCI was suspending Pantani for getting cosmetic surgery to have his ears tacked back and that equated to altering your body for performance enhancement. I swallowed the story hook, line, and sinker. I was incensed that the UCI would do that to him after all he’d been through.

  37. @frank
    there are certain benefits to lying on the floor most of the day. Except I was out with the kids when Schleck attacked and got back for the last 3km. Stupid ki…oh

  38. Rest Day changes…

    1. J-Rod in for Roman (I figure Nibali will beat him in the TT so this doesn’t break the Piti Principle)
    2. Tommy Danielson
    3. Car-lose
    4. Roche
    5. Nibali

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