Velominati Super Prestige: Luik-Bastenaken-Luik 2013

The monument to Eddy Merckx at the top of the Stockeau.
The monument to Eddy Merckx at the top of the Stockeu.

There is something to love about a race that makes a deviation to its route for the simple joy of sending a fleet of professional riders up a fiendishly steep and narrow ramp. The Cote du Stockeu offers zero benefit to the route from a logistical standpoint – in fact, all it does is complicate things. On the way down from the Cote de Wanne – usually at breakneck speed – the race enters the small down of Stavelot. Just before hitting the town proper, you make a right turn and ascend a wall that does little more than become steeper as it twists it way up for 2.4km. Riding the route with Museeuw during Keepers Tour, he quietly tried to dissuade us of riding it, “You don’t need to do this for me; I’ve never enjoyed this one.”

At the top lies the monument to Merckx and his 525 victories. Upon reaching it, the route takes a sharp left turn and descends right back down to exactly the same spot from which it climbed up. This is why I love this climb so much; its just free pain for the racers – a steep climb just for the sake of making their legs hurt a bit more. Shortly thereafter, the route rolls down a few valleys and arrives at the Cote de la Redoute (The Fearsome), which signals the beginning of the finale. Its too far from the finish to make a winning move, but if you’ve got bad legs, you’ll be left behind to suffer all the way to Ans.

Amstel has been sorted, as has La Fléche. Both were won by an outsider. I don’t think the big names will let that happen again. Surely Gilbert and the Sag Wagon will have their act together this time around.

Check the start list and enter your picks in by the time the countdown clock goes to zero at midnight on Sunday morning Pacific Time. The winner of this monument will post for the next year with the LBL Winners Badge. Good luck.

[vsp_results id=”23150″/]

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225 Replies to “Velominati Super Prestige: Luik-Bastenaken-Luik 2013”

  1. @LA Dave

    @LA Dave

    @brett

    Sky = Gewiss

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Froome Her to Eternity
    2. Crowded House
    3. Porte of Morrow
    4. Hungry like the Wolf
    5. Suitsyou Sir

    That’s some next level naming there. I got Henao and Uran Uran… but you stumped me on the last one.

    Ha. Was overthinking it. Totally forgot he was on Sky now.

    Sky now, Sky now…

  2. Once again, my Eurosport feed is killing me. Visiting friends with slow as fuck internets.

  3. Jesus, fucking MERCKX!!, 1K to go, J rod takes a flyer, all my guys are there, and the feed won’t even reload. BLANK SCREEN! (Guess I should be in church).

  4. @Tobin

    Tough one…

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Dan Martin
    2. Vince Nibbles
    3. Henao
    4. Mollema Russels Wart
    5. J-Rod

    I did not see that coming. Good pick!

  5. @scaler911

    Jesus, fucking MERCKX!!, 1K to go, J rod takes a flyer, all my guys are there, and the feed won’t even reload. BLANK SCREEN! (Guess I should be in church).

    This is as close to church as I get.

  6. My 2-3 came in 1-2… Giblets just didn’t have it. Great win for Martin, really like that kid.

  7. Sensational 1-2 from Ryder & Martin. Disappointing ride from the world champ, sitting up from 3rd in line & asking others to take a turn. No dice sunshine, those bands mean you should be riding…

  8. My misplaced confidence in Sky yet again does rewarded with a kick in the balls..I knew Dan the Man was in form yet I only put him 3rd.  I declare here and now, I am a fucking idiot!

    Nuff said…

  9. @Mikael Liddy

    Sensational 1-2 from Ryder & Martin. Disappointing ride from the world champ, sitting up from 3rd in line & asking others to take a turn. No dice sunshine, those bands mean you should be riding…

    Agreed. Especially as he was sitting on the wheel of Nibali and another Astana guy at the time. If you’ve burned your team matches then you can’t expect someone else to help you chase down.

  10. @ramenvelo

    @scaler911

    Jesus, fucking MERCKX!!, 1K to go, J rod takes a flyer, all my guys are there, and the feed won’t even reload. BLANK SCREEN! (Guess I should be in church).

    This is as close to church as I get.

    Ya, me too. But at that point anything woulda helped. I even tried this:

  11. Wow, this is big. Garmin makes good on it’s spring racing. Dan Martin has been slowly working his way up the pro ranks.

    Adrian appears to be the winner here. Nice work! These results are provisional. I will wait for the moaning of disputes to die down before any final results go up.

    [vsp_results id=”23150″]
    [/vsp_results]

  12. Why did I put f’ing Froome in my picks? And Gilbert, you ruined me. Oh it’s good I’m not making a career of this betting. I suck at this.

  13. Gotta find Sean Kelly’s Eurosport comment on youtube. I wonder if he actually showed emotion.

  14. @Mirko

    Gotta find Sean Kelly’s Eurosport comment on youtube. I wonder if he actually showed emotion.

    That would be a no, at least during the live broadcast.

  15. @all

    As of now, if you pick a rider who’s last name is ambiguous, you must contest the matching prior to the race starting or be specific enough in your pick that we know which rider you mean.

    A case in point is choosing “Martin” and disputing the pick after Dan wins and Tony is a no-show. As of now, disputes on ambiguous names will be rejected at our discretion; it smells strongly of the Piti Principle.

    Nevertheless, results are updated:

    [vsp_results id=”23150″/]

  16. Ryder is a bit of an ungainly rider, very dichotomous. He is a beautiful rouleur, going Phantom Aero etc, but then from no where when he’s climbing in that big gear, its all a bit like a bag of spanners.

    When J-Rod went, I thought it was over and that doping little pocket rokkit would have it sorted. Not so! Martin to the rescue! Loved it! And Valve-cap – he was there and I was sure he would get carried to the finish line. All in all, I can’t remember more riders whom I didn’t want to win getting to the line in the front group and having a guy like Martin take them all for a ride. Fantastic stuff. LBL, I love you.

  17. @Gianni

    Why did I put f’ing Froome in my picks? And Gilbert, you ruined me. Oh it’s good I’m not making a career of this betting. I suck at this.

    Probably for the same reason that I picked Froome – because we assumed that Sky would pull finger to get at least one fucking Classics result this year. We may look stupid, but not as stupid as Brailsford looks right about now.

    Anyhoo, an enjoyable Ardenees week, despite winning bugger all points. Dan Martin finally comes good, eh? It will be interesting if this pressure makes cousin Nico perform, because nothing else seems to.

  18. That was a great finish, so chuffed that Danny Boy got the win, and that ride by Ryder, fucking brilliant, well done my fellow Canuckian. I have heard on the grapevine though, that the only reason Danny Boy won with that awesome 500m sprint was that Vaughters had him hypnotised, so that when he believed he was being chased by a giant panda he got shit scared and really put down le marteau. This appeared to work wonders.

  19. @frink For once I agree completely with everything you’ve said so I’m off to check myself into the asylum.Fuck Valverde.

  20. @minion

    @frink For once I agree completely with everything you’ve said so I’m off to check myself into the asylum.Fuck Valverde.

    And that means I agree with both of you. Which makes it even worse.

    Double UnChapeau (my word) to those fuckers inside the barriers in the last k. How the hell did the Belgies let that happen?

  21. Liege-Bastogne-Liege: Dan Martin becomes only second Irish winner with late burst (video)

  22. It’s funny, on some forums the anglos are trying to lay claim to Danny Boy because he lived in englandshire for a time. That panda should have been back in edinburgh shagging the girl panda, bloody shirker.

  23. Tell you what, I’m nearly tempted to dispute my 4 point purely because they came from Valverde being in 4th…did anyone see him at all before the last km? Not to mention ‘knee warmers’ that basically go to the ankles!

  24. You got to love this race. Where else can you get the suspense, the drama, the craziness of the Cote de Saint Roch, the V, the Canadian content, a panda and an awesome win by a well deserving competitor. I love this sport.

  25. @Mirko He said, “YES!” You could barely hear it under the cheers and commotion. Then Carlton mentioned it. Fun day of racing.

  26. I peed myself. Or at least I think I did. I was tweeting with JV about and his response was like no shit man.

    L-B-L!

  27. @Ron

    Has a World Champ ever gone winless in the year following the WC win?

    I think your spiritual mentor itty bitty Bettini had a pretty dry year his first year round in the rainbow stripes. He did, however back up and win the WC again the following year before retiring.

    Cav did set some sort of record for crashing in the rainbow stripes as well.

  28. @Marcus

    @minion

    @frink For once I agree completely with everything you’ve said so I’m off to check myself into the asylum.Fuck Valverde.

    And that means I agree with both of you. Which makes it even worse.

    Double UnChapeau (my word) to those fuckers inside the barriers in the last k. How the hell did the Belgies let that happen?

    Oh well now you’ve jumped on the bandwagon I’m changing my mind. Valverde was the strongest in the race and should have won, Garmin cheated somehow and you two wankspanners can jog off into the sunset cranking each others’ drivetrains till you’re blue in the face and sore in the wrist.

    Back to normal then. And how did those tools get inside the barriers? I admit I didn’t see the finale.

  29. Excellent race, unmarred by my single point. Looks like Hesjedal is rounding into form nicely for the Giro defense.

  30. @minion Or not, after reading Bettini’s Wiki, perhaps not so dry, winning Lombardia and stages at the TOC and Vuelta. He did crash a lot in 2008 while in the stripes though, even though he did win another couple of Vuelta stages and some smaller stage races. According to Wikipedia. According to my recollection of events he fell over just looking at his bike and spent 11 of the 12 months in hospital.

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