Velominati Super Prestige: Liege-Bastogne-Liege 2015

Liege is an interesting animal; whereas the Cobbled Classics are the sole domain of the specialists known as de Klassiekers in Flemish who rarely show their faces as serious contenders in the other portions of the season (assuming you ignore John Degencobble or Al Kristoff), the Ardennes classics have a strong showing from the Grand Tour GC contenders, rouleurs, and climbing specialists alike. Liege, being the biggest of the lot, is the final showdown and provides the first real glimpse into what might unfold in May and July.

The route is a brute; the road back from Bastogne being packed tight with shortish, punchy climbs. My favorite of the lot is the Cote de Stockeu, which climbs up steeply before taking a hard left turn and dropping right back down to the precise point from where the climb started. Its inclusion in the route is gratuitous in the most sinister sense. From there to the finish the route is bumpy to say the least, and the final uphill grind through town is where the race is lost if you don’t have the legs.

Will Nibbles take it? He’s performed well in the final before. Or will one of the specialists take it this time around? Last year saw Gerrans take the win from a small group, but a solo winner is just as likely. Amstel had a big bunch, so maybe QuietKowski will show again.

Start your Prognostication Machines, ponder the start list, and set your alarms to remind yourself not to Delgado. Good luck, and remember we have a frame from Jaegher and wheels from Café Roubaix on offer for the overall VSP winner after Lombardy.

 

[vsp_results id=”32774″/]

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177 Replies to “Velominati Super Prestige: Liege-Bastogne-Liege 2015”

  1. VSP PICKS:

    1. RODRiGUEZ Joaquim
    2. FRANK Mathias
    3. POZZOVIVO Domenico
    4. KWIATKOWSKI Michal
    5. VANENDERT Jelle
  2. No Dan Martin for me after his fairly bad crash in the previous outing. Bring on the points.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Alejandro Valverde
    2. Michal Kwiatkowski
    3. Vincenzo Nibali
    4. Joaquin Rodriguez
    5. Rui Costa
  3. I see Fronk Schleckx is pinning on a number!

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Nibali
    2. Kwiatowski
    3. Valverde
    4. Martin
    5. Hermans
  4. Oh magic 8-ball don’t fail me again!  I need some points.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Valverde
    2. Kwiatkowski
    3. Nibali
    4. Mollema
    5. Gallopin
  5. VSP PICKS:

    1. Michal Kwiatkowski
    2. Alejandro Valverde
    3. Joaquin Rodriguez
    4. Tim Wellens
    5. Slagter
  6. My cynical head almost a victory over my beating heart that pumps its own regular blood. Then I said, “Fuck it.”

    And il piccolo dottore Pozzovivo scores a podium finish for very short Italians everywhere! Viva!

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Kwiatkowski
    2. Malmerde
    3. Pozzovivo
    4. Rodriquez, Joaqim
    5. Martin, Dan
  7. VSP PICKS:

    1. Michal Kwiatkowski
    2. Joaquim Rodriguez
    3. Daniel Martin
    4. Rui Costa
    5. Vincenzo Nibali
  8. VSP PICKS:

    1. Vincenzo Nibali
    2. Joaquim Rodriguez
    3. Michal Kwiatkowski
    4. Alejandro Valverde
    5. Romain Bardet
  9. Actually put an amount of research into this one…let’s see how that pays off for me.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. VALVERDE Alejandro
    2. GALLOPIN Tony
    3. KWIATKOWSI Michal
    4. ALBASINI Michael
    5. RODRIGUEZ Joaquin
  10. VSP PICKS:

    1. KWIATKOWSI Michal
    2. VALVERDE Alejandro
    3. GALLOPIN Tony
    4. ALBASINI Michael
    5. RODRIGUEZ Joaquin
  11. I’ve wanted Lotto Soudal to win all spring. This is the weekend. And a Frenchman winning a Monument? That would be grand!

    @Duende

    If you’re getting outside familial help, you’re disqualified! Nibali goes at 30k, gets no help. Flaps a bunch of arms in the air in frustration. Then manages to catch on to the winning move (I still can’t help but put him in my top 5).

    @frank

    To hell with the VSP: that’s some pic at the top of the page. Some pic indeed!

    VSP PICKS:

    1. T. Gallopin
    2. A. Valverde
    3. M. Kwiatkowski
    4. P. Rolland
    5. V. Nibali
  12. Not seen that picture of the Prophet before. What a fucking dude. I wish I could look 10% that awesome, one day.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Kwiatkowski
    2. Valverde
    3. Gallopin
    4. Albasini
    5. Rodriguez
  13. VSP PICKS:

    1. Quietkowski
    2. Al Val Green = Verde
    3. Gilbert
    4. Purito
    5. Vince Nibble
  14. Killer photo! He must be crawling up that to have his wheel turned so.

    @Harminator

    I don’t see him in your picks though. He has made the podium before, unless he fucked that up too.

  15. VSP PICKS:

    1. Joaqim RODRIGUEZ
    2. Dan MARTIN
    3. Alejandro VALVERDE
    4. Vicento NIBALI
    5. Domenico POZZOVIVO
  16. @Gianni

    Killer photo! He must be crawling up that to have his wheel turned so.

    @Harminator

    I don’t see him in your picks though. He has made the podium before, unless he fucked that up too.

    It is a shit of a climb, shit steep at the bottom, mellow in the middle and then shit steep again as you merge onto the main road where the Schlecks crashed during the Tour and held up the whole stage.

    Given the gearing Merckx must have had, I would be shocked if he cleared that corner over 10kmph.

  17. This statue is at the top of the climb; the photos are from the 2013 KT when Johan did his best to talk us out of going up the climb because its so “pointless”.

  18. So close once before,

    To the line he will soar,
    That’s Nibali.
    After missing the midweek races I’m feeling a little out of sorts so I’ll take any points I can get. Unfortunately, I’m guessing it’ll be a break so there won’t be lot of points to be had. I’ll just have to bridge to the leaders later.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Nibali
    2. Kwiatowski
    3. Valverde
    4. Pozzovivo
    5. Moreno
  19. VSP PICKS:

    1. Michal Kwiatkowski
    2. Dan Martin
    3. Domenico Pozzovivo
    4. Alejandro Valverde
    5. Vincenzo Nibali
  20. Somehow it only allowed me to make one pick. I like a challenge, but tough to score points that way. I’ll see if I can figure it out.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. A. Valverde
  21. VSP PICKS:

    1. Alejandro Valverde
    2. Michal Kwiatkowski
    3. Joaquin Rodriguez
    4. Vincenzo Nibali
    5. Philippe Gilbert
  22. VSP PICKS:

    1. Alejandro Valverde
    2. Joaquim Rodriguez
    3. Rui Costa
    4. Domenico Pozzovivo
    5. Sergio Henao
  23. Only one slot to pick from for me too, might try logging out then in, otherwise it’s cream crackered.

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