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. Piss poor timing on some of these commercials but Nathan is right, I love listening to Kelly commentate this one.
    Wonder if Scarponi just blew his wad.

  2. Haussler, Gilbert, Pozzato in a sprint finish.

    Van Avermaet, Ballan, Offredo, Nibali, Gerdemann or Cancellara on the Poggio.

    I have no idea who’ll win.

  3. I had no idea Faboo could sprint! He came out of nowhere! By far the best MSR in recent memory. AWESOME! Low scoring across the board on the VSP due to the unique race situation; Jamin takes the first edition and with that takes the lead in the VSP. We’re off to a great start!

    [vsp_score id=”7625″]
    [/vsp_score]

    [vsp_gc]
    [/vsp_gc]

  4. Wow, what a shake-up. I can’t wait to get the internet set up at my new place and order the Universal Sports video…

  5. @mcsqueak

    Wow, what a shake-up. I can’t wait to get the internet set up at my new place and order the Universal Sports video…

    Dude, forget Universal Sports – the Eurosport coverage with Sean Kelly was the bomb. I love Uncle Paul and Aunt Phil, but having Kelly commenting with that brogue of his, not to mention the credibility that oozes from every word…CHANGE.YOUR.LIVE.

  6. @andy
    Great commentary! It’s fitting that although you lost your VSP Leader’s Jersey, that you still have your Vuelta leader’s jersey on.

    (I’ll work on all updating the leader’s badges one of these days…they are looking a bit off, aren’t they.)

    @all
    Please note that the points won for each pick is listed next to your picks just above the post box.

  7. That was a great MSR and what a result for Goss, winning from that group. Our antipodean friends must be quite sauced, given that triumphal gloating has yet to appear on these pages.

  8. Here is an image of the scene that Pedale.Forchetta described earlier. Takashi Miyazawa and teammate Giovanni Visconti. Very touching.

  9. @frank

    Is the Eurosport coverage you mentioned one of the live video feeds highlighted on steephill.tv? I ended up watching the Italian feed ’cause those Eurosport feeds were either in Flemish or featured what appeared to be a sport’s talk show.

  10. xyxax :
    Great job with the new VSP software.

    Frank: I TOTALLY agree!!! Man, 73 players this morning, what an awesome site this is and what a super job with the VSP! Now if I could just pick half decently things would be perfect!

  11. Yuss! Ahead of Bretto at this early stage of proceedings is as good as I was hoping for. Got up this morning hoping to catch the end but just missed it, well done Goss! That’s your name up on lights now bet the Aussies are gonna be all over it.

  12. So, not that I am looking too far ahead or anything, but … is there a VSP for Ghent – Wevelgem next week?

  13. Got a text msg in the middle of the night from my punting partner. I’d backed up my VSP pick with my hard earned and got Gossy at $13 for the win!
    So stoked for him though. I read a quote, “It’s not just that he won, it’s who he beat to win”.
    Legend.

    And since this is the closest I’ve come to a cycling podium, is there some kind of presentation for the leaders jersey?

  14. congrats to Goss. Brilliant ride. And Faboo sprinting woohoo. Nicely played Jamin….but, to quote that song by The Carpenter’s “we’ve only just begun….”

    May I be the one of the first Aussie’s to gloat as well. Looks like it’s shaping up to be one hell of a year for Antipodean cyclists.

  15. Great race. Though if I’d spent more time studying Goss’s form this year and less time musing on his former life as one half of the 80’s British boy band Bros (thanks to Andy for clarifying) I might just have picked him for the win….!

  16. @Steampunk
    Not sure if it will – but it should Those rankings are so geared towards stage races that cuddles was on top before msr.

    As for Australian gloating – not required – just looking forward to our inevitable transition from being “our antipodean (a flawed expression) friends” to “I hate those fucking arrogant Australians. They win everything.”

  17. frank:
    @all
    Here are some time conversions for those of you on the side of the planet that matters:
    Start Time:
    10am CET (Europe)
    5am EDT (USA)
    4am CDT (USA)
    3am MDT (USA)
    2am PDT (USA)
    Earliest Coverage (SteepHill.tv):
    2:15pm CET (Europe)
    9:15am PDT (USA)
    8:15am PDT (USA)
    7:15am PDT (USA)
    6:15am PDT (USA)

    “the side of the planet that didn’t supply the winner too”

  18. May I be the one of the first Aussie’s to gloat as well. Looks like it’s shaping up to be one hell of a year for Antipodean cyclists.

    To be the first at something you have to have stopped gloating in the past, your lot are having a pretty good year. I guess running or cycling away from those dingoes as babies means you get into escapes easily.

  19. @minion
    Yes a good win for Goss. Yet another classic won by an Aussie. A Grand Tour one day….
    Pity I did not pick him, thought he had too good a form too early in the year.

  20. @minion
    Possibly? But I would have thought chasing those sheep/potential partners would have given you lot pretty good legs as well? Still, I suppose you would have most of them trained by now, “sit still while I put some lippy on you darling”

  21. il ciclista medio :
    @minionPossibly? But I would have thought chasing those sheep/potential partners would have given you lot pretty good legs as well? Still, I suppose you would have most of them trained by now, “sit still while I put some lippy on you darling”

    Yeah it’s a different thing, having a dingo behind you to having a sheep in front of you…and sheep in these parts are pretty slow/dumb/only after the attention.

  22. finally got to see the last 2km of the race. damn am I impressed with Faboo’s sprint. only got 2 points towards the VSP but Im glad to see him in such good form.

  23. Frank, this isnt a glitch or anything, but the box in the uper right hand corner still says 2010 VSP instead of 2011

  24. @minion
    You are confusing Kiwi’s with Aussies now. We loathe the Kiwi’s unless they win and then of course we claim them as one of our own like Henderson.

  25. well F me – I’m sitting 3rd on the GC! I very nearly picked Cancellara in my top 3 bought didnt think he would make it over the last climb. Bugger!
    Rock on round 2
    Gossy you’re a legend!

  26. anotherdownunder :
    @minionYou are confusing Kiwi’s with Aussies now. We loathe the Kiwi’s unless they win and then of course we claim them as one of our own like Henderson.

    Like the Sydney Morning Herald remaing the New Zealand football team “Australasia” after they drew against italy…

  27. anotherdownunder :
    @minionYou are confusing Kiwi’s with Aussies now. We loathe the Kiwi’s unless they win and then of course we claim them as one of our own like Henderson.

    Like the Sydney Morning Herald renaming the New Zealand football team “Australasia” after they drew against Italy…

  28. Since I was a perfect 0 for 5, I’d like to inquire about the Lanterne Rouge. Who gets the dubious destinction?

  29. Should have stuck with my original picks. Going with the first impressions/gut next time.

  30. @anotherdownunder
    @minion

    Yes, we (i.e. Aussies) are famous for claiming our cousins across the ditch as our own, be they sportspeople or anyone else famous for that matter, as soon as they do well on the world stage – e.g. Split Enz (for a while), Russ Crowe (though you can have him back), Crowded House (they were sort of a 50/50 mix) to name a few.
    At the end of the day I’m happy to see either one of ours doing well in the world. Our comparatively small populations mixing it up with the best of the best and coming out on top, makes for a contented ciclista.

    BTW, Any news on when NZ is joining us as our 7th state?

  31. Awesome race.

    Here is another fan of listening to King Kelly announce. I watch all these races online and love listening to him. Even when it is a Grand Tour I can still listen while they try to fill the time until the finish on long, flat stages.

    Goss!

  32. It’s great that an Aussie won (and I say that as a proud Kiwi), but really it wouldn’t matter which country he came from – that was a super classy win from a young feller over some of the finest riders of the current peloton. Very cool.

  33. Regarding what sites to use for live viewing, here in the U.S., I’ve had really good luck with cyclingfans.com. I used to go to steephill.tv first, but cyclingfans has come through for me quite well so far this season.

    Sean Kelly is fast becoming my favorite commentator. His understanding of how breaks look, how the peloton reacts, and how strategies unfold are awesome to listen to. He’s almost always right about whether something will stick or if someone’s move will work. It’s like I have a DS with me while I watch. So cool.

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