# Velominati Super Prestige: The Men’s Elite Road Race

You can only spend so much time with the Schlecks before you start talking like them, and the fabulous Fabs seems to have crossed the threshold. I’ve heard more complaining from him this season than I have talk about pushing harder on the pedals or going steady up with more speed or going full gas like everyone else, but just doing it for longer – his Flanders win notwithstanding. Instead, he’s making ridiculous suggestions along the lines that wet muddy cobblestones don’t belong in the Tour de France. That’s crazy talk, yo. Of course cobbles belong in the Tour, just like being able to eat an energy bar without crashing out. Being able to eat without falling off should be a requirement for completing any race just the same as having some bike handling skills and making sure you have overdraft protection at the V-Bank, that’s basic bike racing.

But despite his recent whingings, I still love my Fabs, which means he’s got absolutely no chance of winning the Worlds. But this is a man who would do the bands some honor, provided he sign a contract with the Style Police (Velominati) that he “Shant Wear Le Knicker Blanche”. Seeing the bands crushing the cobbles during the Cobbled Classics is something we’ve been deprived of for too long. Speaking of which, I fancy my other man-crush Boonen has a shot. I’ll be happy if either one wins. Maybe Boonen will show us his tattoo when he puts on the jersey.

So what do we have? We have a 20km loop with 300 meters of climbing per. That 300 meters is similar to my favorite gravel climb in Cle Elum, and while it’s spread over two climbs, we all know the “easier” climbs are sometimes harder. It reminds one of the Chambery Worlds when LeMond won a few years back; a solid climb a few km from the finish with a technical (wet) descent and lumpy run-in to the line. I don’t think this is a finish for a final-ramp attack specialist like Gilbert; this is a course for a true rouleur with some tactical sense, like LeMond. I’m not sure I know which rider that might be these days, but Fabs is probably pretty close.

In 1989, LeMond won on a similar route riding a 54/42. Sean Kelly rode a 53/39 so as not to burn out the guns on the many repeats of the climb. He also chose a 13-26 over LeMond’s 12-23 which tells you a thing or two about why we call him LeMan around here. He got over the climbs and when it came to the sprint the massive 54×12 he was turning was no match for Kelly’s 53×13. From what I understand, this singular moment is the Ghost of Lost Opportunity that comes to knock at Kelly’s door at 2am most often.

So who is going to win? I don’t know, so don’t ask me. I’m just here to provide some bad writing you can skip over on your way down to the Picks Entry form. All the interesting stuff will be in the posts, as usual.

Good luck, and remember there are some serious prizes on offer for the overall. Go get em, cowboys and cowgirls.

[vsp_results id=”31132″/]

First look.

VSP PICKS:

1. Cancellara

2. Gerrans

3. Van Avermaet

4. Valverde

5. Kristoff

VSP PICKS:

1. Fabs

2. Gerrans

3. Van Avermaet

4. Nibbles

5. Sagan

@il muro di manayunk

First two posts pick Cancellara to win.That’s bold. Garrans is super hot on fire and Fabian is, just old, very cool, but old. Picking this race is giving me a headache.

VSP PICKS:

1. Gilbert

2. Kristoff

3. Matthews

4. Sagan

5. Degenkolb

Shot in the dark

VSP PICKS:

1. Sagan

2. Cancellara

3. Gerrans

4. Nibali

5. Van Avermaet

VSP PICKS:

1. Fabio Aru

2. Rui Costa

3. Joaquim RodrÃguez

4. Philippe Gilbert

5. Tony Gallopin

@Minnesota Expat Old man with a big diesel engine. He proved he can still place highly (and win) in big races this spring, and he’s had his eye on this one since then.

That’s my rationale. I’m not sure I even buy it, so ask me how I feel about it tomorrow evening.

VSP PICKS:

1. Rui Costa

2. Joaquim RodrÃguez

3. Tony Gallopin

4. Philippe Gilbert

5. Fabio Aru

VSP PICKS:

1. Geraint Thomas

2. SebastiÃ¡n Henao

3. Joaquim RodrÃguez

4. Tony Gallopin

5. Sep Vanmarcke

VSP PICKS:

1. Geraint Thomas

2. SebastiÃ¡n Henao

3. Joaquim RodrÃguez

4. Tony Gallopin

5. Sep Vanmarcke

VSP PICKS:

1. Sagan

2. Gerrans

3. Spartacus

4. Van Avermaet

5. Matthews

VSP PICKS:

1. Greg Van Avermaet

2. Simon Gerrans

3. Alexander Kristoff

4. Peter Sagan

5. Ben Swift

Blah. Not happy with the picks. Excited to watch the race though!

VSP PICKS:

1. Faboo

2. Gerans

3. Kristoff

4. Sagan

5. Van avermaet

@unversio

What is this, Saved by the Bell?

Also, @Frank I’ve lost a lot of respect for the Freres Schleck since Andy started crying anytime he had to go downhill not in a straight line. I’ll give him a pass otherwise for having a busted pelvis, but he’s weak mentally and can’t perform without his other half. I hope Faboo doesn’t go down the same road.

Like Wiggins focusing on the ITT, Fabs has been focusing on this race all season.

VSP PICKS:

1. Fabian Cancellara

2. Greg Van Avermaet

3. Peter Sagan

4. Alejandro Valverde

5. Simon Gerrans

I can’t actually see a scenario where they finish in the order I picked. I think Cancellara gets 2nd (maybe 3rd) no matter what.

VSP PICKS:

1. Michael Matthews

2. Fabian Cancellara

3. Simon Gerrans

4. John Degenkolb

5. Greg van Avermaet

VSP PICKS:

1. G Thomas

2. Sagan

3. Faboo

4. Van avermaet

5. Vanmarcke

VSP PICKS:

1. Gerrans

2. Matthews

3. Valverde

4. Cancellara

5. Kristoff

I have no idea at all how it will turn out on Sunday.

VSP PICKS:

1. Valverde, Alejandro

2. Gerrans, Simon

3. Kristoff, Alexander

4. Rodriguez, Joaquin

5. Cancellara, Fabian

Pedal, boys, pedal.

VSP PICKS:

1. Gerrans

2. Cancellera

3. Sagan

4. Valverde

5. Thomas

VSP PICKS:

1. Cancellara

2. Van Avermaet

3. Sagan

4. Gerrans

5. Costa

Harder to pick than a broken nose.

VSP PICKS:

1. Nibbles

2. Gerro

3. Valverde

4. Sagan

5. Degenkolb

VSP PICKS:

1. Cancellara

2. Gerrans

3. Van Avermaet

4. Matthews

5. Sagan

This is Fabians race!

VSP PICKS:

1. gerrans

2. sagan

3. cancellara

4. valverde

5. kristoff

Gerrans is hot, Sagan is not, and the finish is flat.

VSP PICKS:

1. Gerrans

2. Spartacus

3. Sagan

4. Valverde

5. PhilGil

VSP PICKS:

1. faboo

2. gerrans

3. nibbles

4. valverde

5. kristoff

VSP PICKS:

1. faboo

2. gerrans

3. kristoff

4. gallopin

5. swift

VSP PICKS:

1. Van Avermaet

2. Sparticus

3. Gerrans

4. Valverde

5. Vanmarcke

VSP PICKS:

1. Gerrans

2. Degenkolb

3. Sagan

4. Cancellara

5. Valverde

I’m suddenly reminded how bloody hard it is to pick one-dayers. Even with a season’s worth of form to go on. I wasn’t even sure which Aussie to go for, the blingster could be the dark horse if Gerro gets marked out of it.

Whatever, bring it on, it’s going to be epic.

VSP PICKS:

1. GERRANS Simon

2. KRISTOFF Alexander

3. VALVERDE BELMONTE Alejandro

4. VAN AVERMAET Greg

5. CANCELLARA Fabian

Spain riots after another piss poor showing from a team of individuals…

VSP PICKS:

1. VAN AVERMAET Greg

2. GERRANS Simon

3. KWIATKOWSKI Michal

4. GALLOPIN Tony

5. DE MARCHI Allessandro

VSP PICKS:

1. Fabian Cancellara

2. Michal Kwiatkowski

3. Dan Martin

4. Alexander Kristoff

5. Ben Swift

VSP PICKS:

1. Gerrans

2. Kwiatkowski

3. Swift

4. Martin

5. Sagan

VSP PICKS:

1. degenkolb

2. gerrans

3. cancellara

4. kwiatkowski

5. van avermaet

Too flat for Valverde, Nibbles or J Rod. But I finding this to be the hardest race to pick of the season. When Fabs goes off the front will he get enough of a gap to hold off the likes of Sagan, Gerrans, and Degenkolb. Will the latter have recovered from virus and the Vuelta. I’m guessing not quite on both counts – but Fabs’ attack will still have an impact.

VSP PICKS:

1. S. Gerrans

2. P. Sagan

3. F. Cancellara

4. G. Van Avermaet

5. M. Matthews

…but then again it could rain…

VSP PICKS:

1. Simon Gerrans

2. Faboo

3. Alexander Kristoff

4. Malmerde

5. Van Avermaet

wishfull thinking ….the italians send di marchi out in a break in a complex stratergy to give aru the win but he holds on to win himself …..can anyone deny he derserves a reward for all the time he spent in the break this season ?

VSP PICKS:

1. a.dimarchi

2. a.hansen

3. m.kwiatovski

4. p.sagan

5. w.kelderman

Out of it

VSP PICKS:

1. Simon Gerrans

2. Fabian Cancellara

3. Alexander Kristoff

4. Greg van Avermaet

5. Alejandro Valverde

So let’s see, a tough climb & then a descent leading to the finish…where have we seen this before?

VSP PICKS:

1. Gerro

2. Fabs

3. Degenkolb

4. Kristoff

5. GVA

VSP PICKS:

1. Alejandro Valverde

2. Peter Sagan

3. Simon Gerrans

4. Fabian Cancellara

5. Alexander Kristoff

VSP PICKS:

1. Gerrans

2. Cancellara

3. Sagan

4. Valverde

5. Kristoff

VSP PICKS:

1. Simon Gerrans

2. Peter Sagan

3. Fabian Cancellara

4. Greg van Avermaet

5. Michal Kwiatkowski

VSP PICKS:

1. Gerrans

2. Valverde

3. Sagan

4. Cancellara

5. Nibali

VSP PICKS:

1. Gerrans

2. Cancellara

3. Valverde

4. Van Avermaet

5. Martin

I got nuthin’ but wild guesses.

VSP PICKS:

1. Dan Martin

2. Rodriguez

3. Valverde

4. Cancellara

5. Boonen

If you like the front photo of Fabian Cancellara, the author is Timm Koelln, the book is The Peloton.

A book that every cyclist should have.

Go Gerro

VSP PICKS:

1. Gerrans

2. Cancellara

3. Kwiatkowski

4. Valverde

5. Degenkolb

VSP PICKS:

1. Degenkolb

2. Sagan

3. Stybar

4. Dumoulin

5. Talansky

I’m working so can’t watch dammit.

VSP PICKS:

1. Degenkolb

2. Gerrans

3. Van Avermaet

4. Cancellara

5. Stybar