Velominati Super Prestige: Paris-Nice 2012

The master of Paris-Nice: Sean Kelly

It’s right around this time of year when the little voice in my head that spurs me on in cold, wet, Rule #9 conditions starts getting overpowered by all my other personalities who at this stage are gathering stones and crowbars and getting ready to enforce their will on him regarding their preference for riding in nice, warm, sunny conditions. I feel bad for the little guy, too, since he helps me a lot in a climate like the Pacific Northwest; but truth be told, my fingers still haven’t regained their feeling from last week’s ride and I admit it would be nice to arrive home after a ride triumphant and warm instead of frozen and soaked like a wet rat.

It appears I’m not the only one ready for some warmer weather, and Paris-Nice traditionally holds a place of honor as “The Race to the Sun” for its timing is such that the race often starts in the French interior with rain (and possibly snow), and arrives on the sunny Cote d’Azur in Nice in balmy conditions.

With that we start our first stage race of the season, along with an opportunity to expose more bugs and logical faults in the VSP software. But never mind that; the same basic rules apply as do with one-day races, expect the stakes are a bit higher with 10 points for first place, 8 for second, 7 for third, 5 for fourth, and 3 for fifth plus two bonus points per rider in the top five regardless of the rider’s placing. Should the race be exciting enough to merit its inclusion, The Keepers may elect to include a bonus round on the VSP for one of the stages along the way. Watch this space for news in that arena.

Check the start list and watch the countdown timer as picks close at 5am Pacific on Sunday; up for grabs is the personalized Velominati Shop Apron to the contestent who wins the season-long competition. Check the Main VSP page for scoring guidelines and rules. Seeing as this is the first stage race, I strongly encourage you to enter your picks early, knowing that you can make changes all the way up until the VSP closes. If you notice something behaving strangely, please let us know and we’ll have time to resolve the issue.

Good luck.

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548 Replies to “Velominati Super Prestige: Paris-Nice 2012”

  1. I like this finishing photo of Cavendish a bit more. An “ahhhh, yeahhh, that’s right” look on his face, getting a double kiss, holding some sweet silver…and shaking hands with an nicely dressed gent.

  2. @Ron

    I like this finishing photo of Cavendish a bit more. An “ahhhh, yeahhh, that’s right, the missus is preggers, it’s been a while” look on his face, getting a double kiss, some sweet strategically held silverware…and shaking hands with an nicely dressed gent.

    Fixed it for you…

  3. SO CLOSE JENS!!! Sanchez always ruins the breakaway sprints for me…

  4. Was Cool J sucking his thumb after he crossed the line? What’s up with that?

  5. @The Oracle

    Its a salute to his kid or something of the sort. I think it looks rather dumb. Two hands in the air, simple as that, anything else lacks class.

    That finish was typical cat and dog. Jens was the dog, loyal, powerful, fierce, lacking tact at times but well deserving of praise.

    L.L Sanchez is a cat, stealthy, snide, selfish, etc. I just don’t like him. Some people rub you the wrong way and for me Spanish Cyclists are high on the list. Which is interesting because I really enjoyed my time in Spain, particularly my time in Barcelona. The people were nice enough. Its just spanish cyclists… I’ve never liked Contador, never liked LL Sanchez, never like Rojas. Worst thing is I can’t put a finger on why…

  6. Just to clarify, Cav doesn’t wear the Rainbow during the TT because he’s not the TT WC?

  7. Another awesome day – saw the Paris-Nice finish & then went right over to see the final 4kms of the Tirreno-Adriatico. Cycling fan heaven!

  8. I love Oscar Freire, but can’t find much enthusiasm for most of the other Spaniards.

  9. @snoov

    Just to clarify, Cav doesn’t wear the Rainbow during the TT because he’s not the TT WC?

    Correct. RR world champ only wears it during road stages. TT champs only wear it in TTs. Gilbert being Belgian road and TT champ wears the black, yellow and red in everything.

  10. I’m confused, is ‘Cool J’ Jens or LL Sanchez? It kind of works for both of them, oh I get it, Jens didn’t win so why would he do a victory salute.

    @King Clydesdale
    I missed it for looking at Jens but yeah, not classy.

  11. So is anybody here even watching Tirreno? Great finish today! Cuddles is looking tired, My boy Chris Horner is tough as ever, esp after having a clot in his lung last summer.

  12. Let’ see if Wiggins can stay in contention today and then ace the ITT tomorrow. Good luck to him.

  13. Wow, Italy to France AGAIN! This week is bonkers with these two races being on back to back. And the T-A finish was first today. Phew, 7.5 hours of riding for those lads.

    12 minutes with 30 km to go. Crazy!

  14. Definitely a great finish by Liquigas in T-A today. Sagan climbed rather strong.

    Levi Crashes Again! No way he finishes with the pack now!

  15. Wiggins needs to cut it the heck out with that stupid winter hat on the podium. He looks like a goddamn snowboarder.

  16. Hmmm. I have Wiggo in 1st and Valverde in 3rd – what chance it’ll be the same this time tomorrow? *Crosses fingers*

  17. what are the chances of the top 5 being the same after the Col d’Èze? I have wiggins, valverde and van gardener in the right positions at the moment and would like some points!

  18. @Fausto

    Hmmm. I have Wiggo in 1st and Valverde in 3rd – what chance it’ll be the same this time tomorrow? *Crosses fingers*

    snap. must have posted this right before me

  19. @Ron
    That was my first reaction, too, but I’ve decided it’s actually cooler than the now-ubiquitous baseball cap. So I’m okay with it.

  20. Bad news for Leipheimer today- kind of screws up my selections. Good to see the ultimate modern Hardman, Mr. Jens Voight, in the thick of things contesting for the stage win yesterday at age 40. Very cool indeed.

  21. @Fausto

    @zac

    Westra has a shot at taking down Wiggins, and Van Garderen will most likely overtake Spilak, Valverde will mostly stay or loose a spot.

    I’d be happy however if Westra had a bad day and Valvarde gained (doubtful) giving me 3 riders correctly positioned. To bad for Levi though, this uphill time trial is sort of his thing. Exhibit A:

  22. Westra is looking in top shape, he dropped Wiggins in Mende and he’s a time-triallist, number 8 in the WC 2011. He has also stopped smoking 3 years ago, and is improving with every year.

    In order to win, Wiggins has to go all out is what I’m saying.

  23. Do you think teams will now start practising downhill TTTs from now on….just in case?

  24. Off topic…

    Anyone think Horner might be juicing?

    Heck if a return to form.

  25. @Tomb

    Off topic…

    Anyone think Horner might be juicing?

    Heck if a return to form.

    While you never know, I sorta know the guy (toed up next to him when he was making the transition from MTB to road). He doesn’t seem the type. I do know that he’s been training hard, and paying close attention to his diet. Doesn’t hut that in the off season, he lives in the high desert of Central Oregon.

  26. @Tomb

    Off topic…

    Anyone think Horner might be juicing?

    Heck if a return to form.

    Unfortunately, I take Mulder’s advice: Trust no one. But I still love the sport and really feel it’s A LOT cleaner than the late ’90’s.

  27. Wiggins rides at 13:25 (GMT) today for anyone tuning in. I hope he holds his nerve.

  28. @brett
    He stopped cycling a couple of years ago, started drinking and smoking while he was a brick layer. He only started cycling again 4 years ago, turning professional one year later.

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