Velominati Super Prestige: Milano-San Remo

RDV wins La Primavera in 1973

The second annual Velominati Super Prestige kicks off with La Primavera, Milano-San Remo on March 19. The first Monument of the year, MSR is the first true showdown of the year where all the big names will be en forme and willing to sell their mothers to notch this prestigious win.  Although known for its famous climbs including the Cipressa and the Poggio, it isn’t the terrain that poses the greatest challenge in this race, but it’s distance.  At almost 300km, this race is a monster. Without having ever ridden it, I can tell you with zero confidence that the Poggio is not a steep or difficult climb, but with a big pile of kilometers already ridden, even its moderate gradient will weigh heavy in the legs.

MSR often finishes in a bunch sprint, but not always. With a well-timed attack on the Poggio and more than a handful of seconds buffer before starting the descent, riders with technical descending skills (sorry, Les Freres Grimpeur, never gonna happen) can stay away and spoil the day for the fast men.

We find ourselves with a pile of data gleaned from watching Paris-Nice and Tirreno-Adriatico, but La Primavera happens to be enough of a wild-card that all that data will only serve to cloud judgement. Our advice? Take out the radio earpiece to and vote on feel.

The winner of this VSP edition will earn an “Obey the Rules” bumper sticker  and all reader’s points qualify towards the final prize of the free personalized Velominati Shop Apron.  This year we’ve enhanced the entry mechanism; if you are inclined to enter, simply post your predictions for the top five placings in the designated area above the posts section, bearing in mind that entry/modification of picks closes at 5am Pacific time on the day of the race.  Check the Super-Prestige main page for rules and scoring information.

Good luck.

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236 Replies to “Velominati Super Prestige: Milano-San Remo”

  1. @frank
    That may or may not have been intentional, but I made sure they were explained in the text. That said, two of those nicknames were terrible, so they have been removed. I’m really liking “The Man With The Golden Bearings” though, going to have to stick with that one.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. The Man With The Golden Bearings
    2. Gilbert
    3. Billions and Billions
    4. The God of Sunder
    5. McEwen

  2. Holy Shit! A guy goes a-workin’ for a few days and they come crawling out of the woodwork! Nice to see such excitement for La Primavera, I know I’m as excited as a little girl! (channeling Dieter from Sprockets right now…) I’m planning for multiple contingencies, a long break, a small bunch sprint, and a chase down at the line. Petacchi’s an emotional favorite, I admit.

    Let the racing begin!

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Ale-Jet
    2. Ballan
    3. Chavanel
    4. Robbie Hunter
    5. Greipel

  3. I’m trying to work out if the finish of MSR clashes with the england – ireland rugby match tomorrow, as i will be very conflicted on which to watch. It might be a case of rugby on the tv and cycling on the laptop…
    for the record, england will win by 3 points

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Gilbert
    2. The God of Thunder
    3. Matt Goss
    4. Spartacus
    5. Robbie McEwan

  4. Okay, so I usually don’t pop off around here about pro bikes but CavensnewVengedish is pure hot sex. Especially given its a massive American brand.

  5. I really have no idea at all. Heart votes for a few good Aussies in there to fly the flag. Would really like to see a 5-way finish between Bling Matthews, Alby Davo, Good Gossy, Heiny Hauss and Robbie Mac.
    ‘Brain’ says Thor, Friere, Petacchi, Farrar and Gilbert.
    Whatever happens it’ll be a ripper.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Good Gossy
    2. Thor
    3. Haussler
    4. Spartacus
    5. Robbie Mac

  6. VSP PICKS:

    1. Peter Sagan
    2. Heinrich Haussler
    3. Oscar Freire
    4. Matt Goss
    5. Phillipe Gilbert

  7. @all
    Don’t think he’s racing here, but how cool is it to see Good Cadelephant showing up even without the bands? Not only did he bury the curse, but the bastid seems to be rockin’ it sans bands.

    By the way, very, VERY cool that my iPad knew to auto-complete “Cadel” with “Cadelephant”. Evidently, Steve Jobs is a fan. I knew I liked that guy.

  8. @all Reminder: Entry/modification of the picks closes at 5am Paccific time. Also, for those cases where you’re entering a pick who has the same namesake as another rider, please be aware that I’m going with the more famous of the two (Sagan gets entered for Peter). In the case where both names are unfamous, I pick based on whim. If you want to avoid ambiguity, give some vague indication of which you mean.

  9. After reflecting a bit, need to make some changes….

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Heinie the House-is-on-fire
    2. Edvald Boasson Hagen Dasz
    3. The mighty Thor
    4. Goss
    5. Pippo Potatoe

  10. Helps if I pick someone who’ll actually be at the race for #5

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Heinie the House-is-on-fire
    2. Edvald Boasson Hagen Dasz
    3. The mighty Thor
    4. Goss
    5. Friar Oscar

  11. @Nate
    Indeed, but the live coverage won’t start until another hour and 15 minutes from there. We’ll see if anyone tries to violate the Piti Principle, and if we get some suspicious samples, we’ll slide the time back.

  12. VSP PICKS:

    1. White Line Fever
    2. Heinrich Hussler
    3. Goss
    4. Oscar Freire
    5. McRobbie Ewen

  13. I’ve subbed Alby Davies for Thor. No cycling-based reason, I just like the cut of Alby’s jib.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Don’t Haussler the Hoff
    2. Haedo
    3. Freire
    4. Cavendouche
    5. Alby

  14. *quietly rolls up to the start line unnoticed*

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Boonen
    2. Friere
    3. Haussler
    4. Davis
    5. Sagan

  15. @frank
    I salute your faith in our community.

    On a separate note I like how when I log in from different machines, my prior VSP auto-populate but don’t re-post.

  16. Fat-fingers on the keyboard and the double-post is equivalent of *rolls up quietly to the start line then fails to stop and skittles half the peloton*

    I also seem to have lost my black icon, must have used a different email

  17. @ben
    Visconti!? Good on ya. Man, I kept picking him last year and got nothing out of it, but I can’t stop. I’d like to see Tommeke win but I’m not betting. I am betting that Cav will not win this year, he won’t make the final selection. Haussler could and I hope he doesn’t fuck up Thor’s chances. If Friere is in the finale he will win, he is the Zabel of today.

    Marko, Versus sucks…nothing, I’m spending $1.99 on Universal, if I could only figure out what time it will be shown.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Thor
    2. Some Italian guy
    3. Some Russian guy
    4. Visconti
    5. Gilbert

  18. Quiet ‘off season’ for me Velominati-wise, but the VSP is back! Definitely a month or two away from peak form though….. But here goes

    * you may need to be 40-something woman who liked naff 80’s British boy bands to get this one….

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Heinlich Manouvre-ler
    2. Bros*
    3. Rainbow God
    4. Giblets
    5. T-bone

  19. Can’t handle your new-fangled New-World Pacific-Time, but it’s almost 8am GMT here so I think I’m not too late to add (in a brazen but no doubt futile quest for a bonus point…)

    13. Cavendouche, sitting up, frustrated at his lack of early season form

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Heinlich Manouvre-ler
    2. Bros*
    3. Rainbow God
    4. Giblets
    5. T-bone

  20. Thought the VSP was a good reason to join up after lurking for a while now.
    Good luck with your picks

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Ballan
    2. Gilbert
    3. Davis
    4. Haussler
    5. Flecha

  21. @rufio
    Missed it by three minutes…oh, that hurts…on another note, we proved that the timing on the cutoff logic works. That’s nice.

    @Jarvis

    Fat-fingers on the keyboard and the double-post is equivalent of *rolls up quietly to the start line then fails to stop and skittles half the peloton*

    Along with all the little limb movements that go on when you’re trying not to fall.

    @ken

    40-something woman who liked naff 80″²s British boy bands

    I’m none of those things. You’ll have to help me out on that one.

  22. via @Pedale.Forchetta:

    Official Statement:

    MILANO -SANREMO: THE MAYOR OF MILAN GAVED THE START AT THE RACE

    Milan, March 19th 2011 – 198 riders has started regularly at 9.35 this morning from Piazza Castello in Milan to Lungomare Italo Calvino in Sanremo.
    In the first line, Japan Champion, Miyazawa (Farnese Vini – Neri Sottoli), with national flag in the hands to remember heartquake victims.
    Milan Mayor, Letizia Moratti, gaved the start. At her side, La Gazzetta dello Sport director, Andrea Monti, the Italian Cycling Federation President, Antonio di Rocco and the Milan Sport Councillor, Alan Rizzi

  23. vai @Pedale.Forchetta

    At campo ligure first rifornimento and a 3 men breakaway one androni no major news….

  24. frank:
    via @Pedale.Forchetta:

    In the first line, Japan Champion, Miyazawa (Farnese Vini – Neri Sottoli), with national flag in the hands to remember heartquake victims.

    Classy!

  25. kinda pissed I have to work this morning and wont get to catch any of the race. good luck to every one.

  26. @CanuckChuck
    i recon it’s setting up for a non-sprinters type finish, but there’s still some big names killing it up front, katwsha are looking dominating, but it never seems to work oput for them

  27. Petacchi, Duque, Rojas, Bennati, Ballan, Boonen, Cancellara, Gilbert, Pozzato, Haussler, Sagan, Paolini gripel in the front group, davis, goss, cav in the second.

    Cancellara and tomeke to leave the rest for dead on the poggio?

  28. Halfway in the race, I think Gilbert, Pozzato and Boasson-Hagen still have a chance.

    I nominated none of them.

  29. Boy, with the way this is splitting up, Haussler and Gilbets have some serious stake here.

    Loving the tall guy drilling it for BMC.

  30. @frank
    Might that be why Friere’s in that group… did he violate Rule #15 too?
    HouseOnFire’s gonna get all the Garmin Support from now, so I’ve still got a chance… 3 of my guys look out of it though :(

  31. House on Fire dancing away in the white ladies. He looks marvelous. Merckx I love that guy.

    Who’s giving Boonen the memo that helmet with no shades isn’t a good look? Unless he wins, in which case it’s an excellent look.

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