Velominati Super Prestige: Men’s and Women’s World Elite Road Race Championships

Just add water.  It’s true of dehydrated food and it’s true of a dehydrated sport approaching the end of the season. It seems adding a dose of rain improves any race, but none so more than the World Road Race championships. That is, so long as you ignore Paris-Roubaix and de Ronde van Vlaanderen. In any case, I’m hoping for rain in Melbourne on on Saturday and Sunday.

The cycling world’s eye is turned sharply towards Australia as the World Championships unfold. It seems to me the competitors are facing some unique challenges in this years event, given it’s location and route. Conventional knowledge is that the course is not hard enough and will favor the sprinters. I am convinced this is not the case, despite the considerable setbacks of not having studied the course nor having been to Australia. I’ll also mention that I’m unwilling to do any “research” to validate my assumptions, but they sound good and a good-sounding guess is almost the same as a fact.

I’m not about to underestimate the disorienting effect of riding upside down.  Aussies and Kiwis will be used to it, but all that blood rushing to your head when you’re in Oz will do nothing to toughen up your guns.  Riders who already have a big head, like ‘Cav, will be at risk of having their noggin’s rupture under the pressure.  I just hope they’ve been acclimating by sleeping upside down.

It’s also Springtime in Oz, so the Euros who already raced a Spring campaign will suffer the unpredictable side-effects of experiencing the same season twice, similar to what happens when you travel back in time and share a brewskie with your past self.

Finally, most Europeans are used to having dogs and the like shoot into the road and know how to handle it.  It’s usually no big deal because European dogs are generally small and fluffy and can be run over pretty easily with only a bit of fur getting stuck in the drive-train. However, I have it on the excellent authority of someone who’s credibility I can’t verify that kangaroos are fucking everywhere down there, and everyone already knows all Aussies carry Bowie knives. I can only speculate as to the sequence of events caused by having a marsupial hop into the rider’s path during the race.  I’m guessing those Bowie knives will likely come in handy.

Bear these insights in mind as you enter your picks for the inaugural Velominati Super Prestige World Road Race Championship edition.  This one is a little bit different from before; we’ll be doing a concurrent event for both the Men’s and Women’s Elite Road Race.  Enter your picks for both races by the time the Women’s race starts on Saturday.  After the start, substitutions for the Mens race will only be allowed for pre-race DNS’s.    Regular 1-day race points apply for both races, 5 for first, 4 for second, 3, for third, 2 for fourth, and 1 for 5th.  A bonus point will also be awarded for any pick in the top five, regardless of placing.

Bonus Points:

We will be offering a 5 point bonus to the contestant who correctly picks both winners.

We will also be awarding bonus points to anyone who identifies egregious Rule Violations before, during, and immediately after the races.  Entries should be posted here as you see them; supplemental evidence given through photos posted or specific times in the races (km’s from the finish) will be given extra consideration.  Violations are worth 1 bonus point each, at the panel’s discretion.

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66 Replies to “Velominati Super Prestige: Men’s and Women’s World Elite Road Race Championships”

  1. Femmes:
    1. Vos
    2. Pooley
    3. Arndt
    4. Pucinskaite
    5. Villumsen

    Hommes:
    1. Heart says Cuddles, head says GaGa… dammit, GaGa
    2. You say Potato, I say Pozzato
    3. Thunder God
    4. Chav, not Cav
    5. Cuddly Elephant

    Dark horse: Kolobnev

  2. Women’s:
    1. Pooley
    2. Arndt
    3. Vos
    4. Johanson
    5. Villumsen

    Men’s
    1. Gilbert
    2. Pozzato
    3. Cuddles
    4…..oh I’ll get back to this later

  3. 1. Giblets””and breaking the curse for good with a killer 2011
    2. Thor
    3. Spartacus (bridesmaid again after doing the lion’s share of the work)
    4. Pozzato
    5. Gerrans

    1. Vos
    2. Cooke
    3. Pooley
    4. Wild
    5. Arndt

  4. Frank – in Geelong wallabies (smaller Roos) are a threat but what is worse is “bogan dust”, ie broken glass on the road thrown from moving vehicles.
    1. Gilbert
    2. Cancellara
    3. Evans
    4. Pozzato
    5. Gerrans

  5. Great site guys, the worlds articles and videos are especially good.

    Here goes

    1. God of Thunder
    2. Gilbert
    3. Pozzato
    4. Freire
    5. Spartacus

    And

    1. Arndt
    2. Ryan
    3. Vos
    4. Cooke
    5. Pooley

  6. Other tip – Collingwood (my Aussie rules football team that is playing in the grand final replay today because of a draw last week – only the third in 110 years and will absolutely kill the crowds on Saturday. Unfortunately this very unlikely occurrence will ruin the atmosphere in today’s race.
    1. Arndt
    1. Vos

    Forecast for Melbourne for both days is sunny 20 degrees Celsius

  7. Chicks
    1. Are-not
    2. Vostacular
    3. spooley
    4. Neben
    5. Johansson

    Dicks
    1. Spartacus – Last year he made mistakes at Flanders and learned to come back and win. Last year he made mistakes at the Worlds and learned and will come back and win.
    2. Giblets
    3. Roar Hushovd
    4. Cav bringin’ in the bunch
    5. Farrar

    What a hope for:

    1. Farrar and Grimpelder in a photo finish and the invent a way to retain the honor and glory of the bands while letting both riders wear them. This prediction, should it come true, is worth 3021 bonus VSP points.

  8. @ken
    Welcome, and thanks for your kind words. Something I completely neglected to mention is that the winner of this VSP wins an Obey the Rules bumpersticker.

  9. Gentlemen:
    1. Gilbert
    2. Poz-ato
    3. Thor
    4.Cav-n’douche
    5.Freire

    Ladies:
    1. VOS
    2. Arn’t
    3. cooke
    4.pool-e
    5. Van Vleuten

  10. The ladies, it’s guessing time but I refuse to put Longo on here.
    1. Johansson
    2. Cantele
    3. Pooley
    4. Gillow
    5. Fahlin

    The Mens
    1. Faboooo, I’m with Frank here.
    2. Visconti, oh yes, very rapid
    3. Gilbert
    4. Schleck
    5. Evans

  11. @Marcus
    What is “Aussie Rules Football”? Chasing a can of Fosters around a field with a bunch of guys yelling “crikey” and chucking Bowie knives at each other?

    Or is it a bunch of guys sitting around double-dog daring each other to eat a crocodile testicle?

  12. @frank
    Only the greatest game in the world. It probably deserves it’s own post – even on a cycling website. But to put it’s popularity into perspective imagine how many people in the States would venture out to spectate if a womens bike race was held at the se time as the superbowl. Victoria stops dead for the Grand Final. It is a very unlucky thing to have happened.

  13. @Marcus
    Well. their loss, they just missed a great race. As usual I was a million kilomemtres wrong with my predictions. Next year I’m listing Italians and Sprinters. Now to put thought into the men’s race

  14. I don’t believe that the chicks are at a level that warrants them being on the VSP, so am treating their event with ignore. Maybe if they were in some event like the Velominati Mediocre Prestige… 130km as a World Champs?? Em Eye Cee… Kay Ee Why… Emmm Ohhh Yoooouuu Essss Eeeeeeeeee.

    Hope the keepers allow me to slot my picks in despite being after the chicks race has been run and won.

    1. Alby Davis
    2. Gilbert
    3. Cancellara
    4. Farrar
    5. Goss

  15. 1. Gilbert
    2. Evans
    3. Freire

    *I’m still trying to figure out if I can a) watch this on line b) what time it will be on.

    I’m thinking Eurosport via steephill at 17 or 18:00 EST in the U.S.? Anyone know for sure?

    Can’t wait to (hopefully) watch!

  16. I’m switching my picks around for the gents:

    1. Gilbert
    2. Spartacus
    3. Poz-ato
    4. Freire
    5. cav-n’douche

  17. @Ron
    I have no clue where/when to watch. Universal sports has a program at noon pacific, but I can’t even tell if that’s live or the mens race or what. The fact that it’s Saturday here and Sunday there is really messing with me. I should have added that to my list of reasons why this race will go to the Aussies.

    @Hawkeye
    Harsh, but fucking hilarious!

  18. The men’s race starts at 20:00 on Saturday night on the east coast of North America (that’s 17:00 on the west coast). I imagine you should be able to get a live feed on cyclingfans.com.

  19. This is the one time that British TV comes through for one-day races, in fact any race other than the Tour. So I’ll be watching it on the BBC. Cycling Fans and Procycling Live are the two places I’d look otherwise, followed by myP2P.eu if they fail

    My Picks
    1. Philleeeepppe
    2. Pippo
    3. *SMASH*
    4. Corn-fed
    5. Fletcher

    An Cooke knows she threw away some great team-work in the women’s race. Though I’ll give her the fact that she showed massive amounts of Rule #5 to even get into that position given she’s done about three races all year. Still won’t get to ride for top team next year though.

  20. @michael
    My math looks pretty solid; I was talking about how to catch the race live. If you actually read the Universal Sports descriptions below the time schedule, it’s all being shown on delay, so the elite men’s race won’t be shown live, but on a delay later on Sunday. If you want to catch it live, it’s starting in a few hours.

  21. FABOO – I just watched the 08 Olympics and the Worlds from last year, and for the same reasons as Frank mentioned – Fab is learning. No more passive-aggresive elbow flicks this season… just POW, gone.

    The rest, in order:
    Gilbert
    Matty Goss
    Peter Sagan
    THOR

  22. @Steampunk

    I was merely pointing out in a very round about way that they are delaying a race that starts at 1700 by showing it at 1600 with a note that says “EARLIER TODAY” which should for all intents and purposes, say ‘Yesterday’. Although technically it is in fact the same day, it’s after the sun sets and rises again, stretching the definition of ‘today’.

  23. Thanks, Steampunk! Cool, 20:00 on the east coast of the U.S. and I’ll check cyclingfans.com.

    One last question…how long do folks think the race is going to last? I ask because I have a commitment I’d rather not have so that I could watch the entire race, but I’ll try to leave early enough to catch the last hour or two.

    I’m guessing something like 6 hours?

  24. Just be careful with your times – Victoria changed to daylight saving time this morning – I mean last night your time. This is the shit we deal with EVERY time we watch international sports so everyone take a liberal dose of Rule #5 and stop complaining about working out the times. And collingwood won yesterday!

  25. You know who’s in this break? Thaaaaaats right… J-ROD!!

    J-ROD from the DICKWEED SKWAaaa… oh wait, nevermind. Wrong J-ROD.

  26. Looking like I’m down to two of my five after the first few laps. DOn’t even know if Flecha is riding

  27. A very interesting play out in the end. I feel for gilbert who just didn’t have enough left. Cadel did well chasing, but they were enveloped by the lead. I thought, thanks to the modern marvel of television that the final sprint seemed anti-climatic. It was like oh there’s the line and up goes Thor. It didn’t feel like that this was the line, the only line of the race and in fact THE race, the Worlds.

    A deserving winner, and a gracious one.

  28. Best Worlds since ’89 and that probably only edges it because of the weather. Worth staying up all night. Now have to let the caffeine work through the system before sleep

  29. @all
    Pretty humble pickings for the VSP, but newcomer Ken took the prize by being the only one to pick Thor and having a strong showing in the Women’s race. I thought about it but…couldawouldashoulda…It’s also interesting that by and large, we scored more points in the Women’s than Men’s races.

    Well done, Ken; we’ll be contacting you to make arrangements to send you your Obey the Rules sticker!

    Those scoring points were:

    1 Ken 10 points
    2 Frank 7 points
    3 Marko 6 points
    4 Robert Marques: 6 points
    5 Steampunk: 6 points
    6 Marcus: 5 points
    7 Brett 4 points
    8 Jarvis 4 points
    9 Nathan Edwards: 4 points
    10 KitCarson 4 points
    11 Sgt 2 points
    12 John 1 point
    13 Hawkeye 1 point
    14 Ben 1 point
    15 Cyclops 1 point

    Overall, Andy maintains his lead despite not entering this edition, with Steampunk closing in to within striking distance.

    1 Andy 56 points
    2 Steampunk: 48 points
    3 Frank 46 points
    4 John 45 points
    5 Geoff 45 points
    6 Marcus: 40 points
    7 Hawkeye 40 points
    8 Jarvis 39 points
    9 Rob 38 points
    10 Brett 37 point
    11 Robert Marques: 36 point
    12 Joe 35 point
    13 Marko 30 points
    14 Scott 26 points
    15 Roadslave 25 points
    16 Ben 20 points
    17 Pont 15 points
    18 Nathan Edwards: 11 points
    19 Souleur: 10 points
    20 Crossy: 10 points
    21 Ken 10 points
    22 KitCarson 10 points
    23 Daniel 5 points
    24 Sgt 3 points
    25 David: 2 points
    26 Dan O 2 points
    27 Joshua 2 points
    29 David 1 points
    30 Cyclops 1 points
    31 James 0 points
    32 Jim 0 points
    33 Ben: 0 points
    34 Dale: 0 points
    35 Houdini 0 points

  30. @Frank

    I’m feeling rather ashamed of myself. I celebrated winning the VSP by doing the exact opposite of Rule #5 today, the rain hammering down outside providing the perfect excuse for sitting on the sofa watching World Champs highlights and the Europeans dishing out the golfing equivalent of Rule #5 to the Americans in the Ryder Cup. (Though I’m rather conscious of the fact that even mentioning ‘golf’ and ‘Rule 5’ in the same sentence rightly risks instant excommunication from the ranks of the Velominati.)

    I clearly need that sticker!

    Thanks!!

  31. @ken A tough day on the bike can ruin your legs and your body…a tough day on the golf course can ruin your mind…

  32. What a great race, and an unbelievable defence by Good Cadel. Gilbert was too strong and so blew his load a hill too soon, although considering the headwind off the final hill, it was unlikely anyone would stay away. The stress in the UCI that the peloton would be lapped before entering the circuit was absofrickinlutely hilarious.

    And the fact that virtually everyone did better in the chicks just shows how mediocre a race it is: you can’t help but get a couple right when there’s only about 6 who can possibly do any good.

  33. Great race! I unfortunately had to go out to meet some friends (and watch damn American football, but thankfully I got home before midnight and caught the last 70 km or so.

    As for the sport flog and the Ryder Cup – I knew it was going on only due to the NYT Sunday edition, but all I could think is, “Who the hell cares?” I’ll play golf, maybe, but watching it? C’mon now.

    Did get in two great rides this weekend. Awesome weather, though a bit windy. And the harvest moon last night allowed a reason to celebrate on a Sunday night.

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