Velominati Super Prestige: Ronde van Vlaanderen 2013

This is the real Ronde
This is the real Ronde

Imagine a world without the little things we take for granted; a house without a roof, a pub with no beer, a Keepers Tour without any clothes. The last one is a reality for me at the moment, five days in and still no trace of where the hell between Wellington and Paris my bag (filled with V-Kit, shoes, helmet, everything) is. The other thing that has me perturbed again this trip is that there is no Muur de Grammont/Kapelmuur in the Ronde. To me, the race feels naked without it.

That won’t stop us from riding it next weekend though, and although there will be no crowds, no pros, there will still be the magical spirit of the great battles past on these hallowed stones. We’ll try and emulate The Lion and climb it in the big ring (or the 50t) while the man himself watches on, probably laughing inside, or indeed outwardly, as we succumb to the gradient and stab frantically at the left-hand shifter. Then we’ll realise just how ordinary we are and how special this hill is.

Even though the Muur is absent again this year, the 2013 Ronde is shaping up as one of the best in recent history. The battle between Faboo and Sags is well touted, but will they mark each other out of it and let an opportunist take their chance? My money’s on that scenario playing out, but if you have any sense you’ll see my VSP scores reflect a total lack of tipping nous so far this season and reject anything I predict as hogwash.

Check out the start list, grab a cold Malteni or other fine Belgian ale, slather your frites in mayo and keep your eye out for the V-Flag on the Oude Kwaremont this Sunday. Goed geluk!

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276 Replies to “Velominati Super Prestige: Ronde van Vlaanderen 2013”

  1. Fkn awesome how he can turn a little gap into 45 seconds so quickly…solo!

  2. Cancellara, Sagan, Roelandts, Kristoff, Ladagnous

    Haussler, Van Avermaedt 6,7

  3. Amazing. What an epic ride and finish. A great second for Sagan as well…his time will come, but nothing was going to stop the motor this year.

  4. Even though I had Sagan, I loved that. That’s what Flanders is about – no wheelies, no running, just power.

  5. Amazing ride by Spartacus today, and I spotted the Keepers Tour flag on one of the climbs with about 37 km to go in the race maybe on the Paterberg. I’ll have to look for a screen grab.

  6. I thought I saw the V-Flag on the Kwaremont but it wasn’t blowing out fully.  My BF was watching on the Paterberg today…so jealous!!!

  7. Fantastic race and fantastic move by Cancellara! I also think Kwiatkowski will be one to watch closely.

  8. In a past life I think Faboo must have worked for the Spanish Inquisition.

    He turns the screw exactly the right amount to extract a confession.

  9. Boonen all smashed up and stitched together = not riding next weekend. Wish my ‘untimely puncture’ had been the reality. Sigh. Oh well. That’s racing.

  10. @RedRanger

    @ChrisO thats no bueno. I wouldnt want to be part of that convo on the team bus.

    He does ride for an Italian team…  probably get a congratulatory phone call from Silvio Berlusconi.

  11. I’ve just been watching the highlights on Eurosport (I went riding whilst the race was on…). That attack. That ride away to the finish. Blimey. Incredible- stunning.

    As for Sagan? Yes, hugely inappropriate. But surely the photo op with the two lovelies kissing the winner is inappropriate in itself?

  12. Let “Ass Grab Gate” begin.

    Personally, I think this is kinda funny, but that clearly puts me in the same cohort as Berlusconi and/or the Yorkshire Ripper.

  13. ‘kin hell, I am in the top 100 !!! Well, as my ol’ grandaddy used to say, ‘even a blind hog finds corn now and again’

  14. Look, while I don’t think it’s a great idea or that smooth of a move, I gotta give a big fucking REEElax to people getting worked up about that Sagan squeeze. He’s pretty damn young, he’s just being “cheeky” and as Al pointed out, yeah, podium gals in generally is a hugely sexist holdover from another era.

    He’s a “bit of an idiot”? Oh yeah? Relax. The guy is a bike racer, plus an entertainer. Enjoy his bike racing skills, but maybe don’t take your social behavior cues from him. He’s not a president cashing in on his position for oral sex. He’s a bike racer.

    It does revel disturbing tendencies for a MFMF encounter, but that’s another story…

  15. @Ron

    Look, while I don’t think it’s a great idea or that smooth of a move, I gotta give a big fucking REEElax to people getting worked up about that Sagan squeeze. He’s pretty damn young, he’s just being “cheeky” and as Al pointed out, yeah, podium gals in generally is a hugely sexist holdover from another era.

    THANK YOU!  As a female cyclist, I HATE the whole “podium girl” thing.  Ick.  I agree, Peter is just being “cheeky”. The grin on his face says it all!  I just hope his girlfriend doesn’t cut him off for it…LOL.

  16. @biggles

    @Sauterelle Isn’t there an equivalent to them in female cycling? Some sort of podium dude, perchance.

    If they ever televised the women’s races we might be able to find out. Probably not tho

  17. @biggles

    @Sauterelle Isn’t there an equivalent to them in female cycling? Some sort of podium dude, perchance.

    I think I remember seeing the worstly-clad podium girls at a women’s race in a pic on here.  Kind of surprising.

  18. I think Young Peters youthful exuberance might be starting to overshadow his talents just slightly. True, he did win his first semi classic this year but to this point in the biggest races, he has mostly come up with a handful of second or below finishes – some of them arguably due to poor decisions on his part.

    My worthless opinion is it may be best for him to rein things in a bit and get just a little more focused on the only thing that matters in his career… winning. I can’t help but think that as he heads into the last few K of a big race, one of the things on his mind is which superhero he’s going to impersonate when he wins. Not saying he should change who he is, I love the joy and passion he shows when he competes… just dial the overtly self-promoting acts back a little.

    As he will most likely see this week, they can lead to distractions of epic proportions.  The last thing he needs heading in to Paris-Roubaix is a weeks worth of grilling from the press/social media and the stress and anxiety that can go with it.

    Oh… and an extremely pissed off Spartacus, motivated by being upstaged even in victory by the kid, can’t help his chances either.

  19. @LA Dave Sort of agree, but don’t forget that 23 is very young to be winning these sorts of races. He’s doing pretty well to be getting the sort of results he has been.

    In any case he’s already said he’s not doing P-R. Amstel Gold will be his next race.

    Last time Fabian won the Ronde he did the Roubaix double – hard to bet against him repeating that, especially with Boonen out as well.

  20. @ChrisO

    @LA Dave Sort of agree, but don’t forget that 23 is very young to be winning these sorts of races. He’s doing pretty well to be getting the sort of results he has been.

    In any case he’s already said he’s not doing P-R. Amstel Gold will be his next race.

    Last time Fabian won the Ronde he did the Roubaix double – hard to bet against him repeating that, especially with Boonen out as well.

    Should be a wide open P-R, well at least for 2nd place on.  No Boonen, no Sagan.  Hell, who knows, maybe even Thor will get on the podium (if he doesn’t crash himself out in a corner).

    Is Mini-Phinney riding?  I know he held off on the RVV b/c of his knee.  Anyone know if he is slated to start?  Could be a podium year for him if healthy.

  21. Arghhhh – I’ve lost my Flandrian Lion – demotion…..the shame….

  22. @Marko

    This is more like it.

    Fabian is thinking “I hope that’s one of the girls that giving me the squeeze! Please Merckx, let it be one of the girls . . . I’m not gonna look down . . . .”

  23. @Buck Rogers

    Should be a wide open P-R, well at least for 2nd place on. No Boonen, no Sagan. Hell, who knows, maybe even Thor will get on the podium (if he doesn’t crash himself out in a corner).

    I’ve been thinking the same thing today. I would have had both of those guys in my picks for PR. Who knows what will happen now…

    -Dinan

  24. @Dr C

    I don’t know about this anymore. I think the lesson from yesterday is that if you work with Cancellara, he’s going to bury you. Spartacus basically shamed Sagan into taking turns pulling before the race, and you could tell that the pace was too high for the youngster. He was gassed before the Paterberg, so Cancellara just rode away (a very impressive show of power). Who’s going to help him next Sunday? Of course, without the main strongmen contenders present, will it even matter? But I can see a host of riders just sitting on his wheel, and we’ll get Cancellara sitting up regularly out of frustration.

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