Velominati Super Prestige: Tour de France 2015

Cobblestones make the race, I’m not ruining any fantasies telling you that. Wet cobblestones, well, those make a legend. Nibbles rose in my esteem considerably when he rode the wet cobbles as well as he rides any mountain descent or climb; that is a boy with some nerves and some mad bike handling skills.

Wet cobbles are scarier to ride that dry ones, but they aren’t really that much more difficult to ride; you’re still playing the lottery that your wheels keep pointing where your bike is trying to go. But wet stones are definitely more draining; the mud and silt you ride through make it like riding through molasses. Awesome molasses, but molasses nonetheless.

The cobbles are back this year, and hopefully so will the rain. Let us pray for rain, because last year’s stage made the race.

The Tour de France needs no introduction but the VSP prizes deserve a gentle reminder. This is a Grand Tour, people, lots of points at stake. And those points are going towards amazing prizes including a Jaegher frame and a Café Roubaix wheelset. There is plenty of time for you to Delgado this thing, too, if you wait around until the last minute. So my advice is that you avoid doing that.

Give yourself enough time to enter your picks so if something has gone amuck, you have time to hit “reload” or come back V minutes later to try again before the event closes. Remember, your procrastination in this matter will not result in our emergency to enter your picks for you. All that said, if you do encounter a problem, please be so kind as to take a screenshot and upload it because the descriptor “it didn’t work” or “hm, not working” doesn’t help us debug the problem. Also, Internet Explorer is not supported and apparently only shows one Pick Entry box, so use Chrome, Firefox, or Safari instead.

The scoring for the Grand Tours is a tad more involved than the one-day races and one-week Tours, so look the guidelines over before making your prognostications.

So get your picks in before the countdown clock goes to zero, hit the go button, and good luck.

 

[vsp_results id=”33262″/]

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520 Replies to “Velominati Super Prestige: Tour de France 2015”

  1. @VeloJello

    What I find astonishing is that Sags is still in the Best Young Rider category – I can’t remember him NOT being around. They might as well give him the Green Jersey every year. No one else can beat him to it.

  2. Sagan Quote from mix zone yesterday:

    After the exchange, Sagan was asked why he went into the breakaway for a third straight day, replying because “I have big balls” leaving the interviewer stunned before letting out a nervous laugh and continuing on.

    LEGEND

  3. Yates, has failed to eat the steaks I posted him so I am going to have to plump for TJVG to slot in to his spot.

    VSP PICKS (2nd Rest Day Swaps):

    1. Vroom Vroom
    2. Dirty Bertie
    3. Quintana Roo
    4. Pinot Noir
    5. TeeJay the DeeJay
  4. haven’t seen one single team that doesn’t use these f****ng baseball caps. Looks like sh*t.

  5. In my mind, swaps were 20 points per rider; apparently they’re only 10. On this basis, and that my VSP campaign is basically in the toilet anyway, I am throwing out my number-crunching based picks, and switching to picking with my heart! Keeping Bardet in though, even though he’s unlikely to climb up the standings again.

    VSP PICKS (2nd Rest Day Swaps):

    1. Vroom Vroom
    2. The Mountain Goat
    3. G-Man
    4. TJVG
    5. Bardet
  6. Pick changes won’t be worth the penalties for me. Praying for a Quintana win & Cotador 4th to restore respectability to my picks.

  7. @brett

    Holy shit, GT’s one tough mofo!  That would’ve snapped me in two.< Agree with the Sagan sentiments, he’s the rider of the Tour for sure. Who cares if he gets twenty 2nd places, at least he’s trying to win. Classy rider.

    He’s really eaten some humble pie since his days of easily winning everything. He looks a bit like a meatstick on the bike, but he’s one ballsy racer.

    @all

    Hopefully I fixed the countdown timer. Looks OK so far, but I wouldn’t wait around too terribly long to do your swaps if that’s how you’re rolling; they could close at any moment if the first rest day is anything to go from!

  8. @frank

    @brett

    Holy shit, GT’s one tough mofo!  That would’ve snapped me in two.< Agree with the Sagan sentiments, he’s the rider of the Tour for sure. Who cares if he gets twenty 2nd places, at least he’s trying to win. Classy rider.

    He’s really eaten some humble pie since his days of easily winning everything. He looks a bit like a meatstick on the bike, but he’s one ballsy racer.

    Like a meatstick on a bike? Peter Sagan? Is that some kind of compliment I’ve not heard before? It sure doesn’t sound like one, being called a meatstick, and damn, if he’s a meatstick on a bike I hate to think what I am !! Although I have to say this: you know sometimes you see this big ol’ dog running across the yard to intercept ya when riding by? And then you hear it bark and it just doesn’t match up, this big bad dog and then out comes this little squeak of a bark?

  9. @Mikael Liddy

    @Oli

    @Beers

    I must have watched the crash 20 times now and no matter how many times I do I can’t see TvG hitting Barguil first, although it’s possible they might briefly contact after Barguil has already lost control. It was all his fault, no one else’s.

    yeah, there might be contact between the two of them, but Barguil was going in way hot well before he got to TJ. Reminded me of an F1 car shooting up the inside with both fronts locked up.

    Fair nuf, don’t shoot the messenger, heh.

    So amped for the last week. Lets see what damage the furious 4 can do to each other, and hopefully Nibbles will ride himself to a pulp trying to get his time back too.

  10. Quintana. Quintana. Quintana! QUINTANA!

    I have held true to my choices. I have made no swaps. Let the Alpes be awesome. And let Quintana shred that spider looking mother clucker.

  11. @Mikael Liddy

    @VeloJello I suspect he wouldn’t care if they were alone or not…doesn’t seem to be concerned by attention!

    You’re probably right. I can imagine him now with that leery grin… It’s a tough choice between he and GT for my rider of the last two weeks.

  12. @Erik

    Quintana. Quintana. Quintana! QUINTANA!

    I have held true to my choices. I have made no swaps. Let the Alpes be awesome. And let Quintana shred that spider looking mother clucker.

    I’m sticking too but have to differ and hope that the Spider keeps the Fly in it’s web.  Just need Contador to creep up a little and TJ to hang in there.

  13. @Teocalli

    Looks like TJ won’t be hanging on. Already out the back door, and his DS has told French TV that TJ is sick.

  14. TJ abandons. He’s made it back to the peleton, but Bertie attacked and he went out the back again. Has climbed off the bike and into the car. Hate to see people drop out due to illness.

  15. And that’s all she wrote for TJvG. Different circumstances, but two years in a row he has a shit day after a rest day. Something isn’t working there.  Gutted for him though, he was having a great Tour.

  16. I was gonna swap someone out for Valverde yesterday. Glad I didn’t do it, because I wouldn’t have dropped TJ off my list. Sad the American hope is gone, but I think the guy lacks some mental toughness.

  17. @LeoTea

    TJ abandons. He’s made it back to the peleton, but Bertie attacked and he went out the back again. Has climbed off the bike and into the car. Hate to see people drop out due to illness.

    Well, my main picks were looking too good so something had to break!

  18. Fuck Fuck Fuck! The prophet is not smiling on me today. Swapped out a Yates for TGVG yesterday and he abandons the very next day!  Merde!

  19. Looks like G is up into fourth after today’s stage. Van Constant Gardener is out now, which is a massive pain. Still, my top 3 is looking promising (albeit with 20pts of deductions.)

  20. @AJ

    I was gonna swap someone out for Valverde yesterday. Glad I didn’t do it, because I wouldn’t have dropped TJ off my list. Sad the American hope is gone, but I think the guy lacks some mental toughness.

    This, and it’s why I’ll never pick him for a position on a grand tour podium. I think Van Garderen (and Porte for that matter) need to look for some two-week grand tours.

  21. @VeloJello

    Always had a soft spot for Sagan, though I wouldn’t leave him alone with my wife.

    Tony Gallopin’s wife is presenting the combativity award, which the mighty sagan won for kicking the moto, telling the driver to fuck off, and then barging Coquard out of the sprint. Anyway, it’s just an excuse to post a picture of Marion Rousse

  22. @Minnesota Expat

    @AJ

    I was gonna swap someone out for Valverde yesterday. Glad I didn’t do it, because I wouldn’t have dropped TJ off my list. Sad the American hope is gone, but I think the guy lacks some mental toughness.

    This, and it’s why I’ll never pick him for a position on a grand tour podium. I think Van Garderen (and Porte for that matter) need to look for some two-week grand tours.

    That is why I put him 5th. I expected a 3-peat of that performance. I read somewhere that Porte is also feeling a little sick, a cough or something.

  23. @Oli

    I like this thread where people regurgitate what we’re all watching anyway. #pointless

    Yeah, but did anyone catch this Phil Liggettism? During the approach to the base of the climb;

    Paul: One rider that is looking forward to the descent off Col d’Allos is Romain Bardet. He gained a minute and a half on the descent at the Criterium du Dauphine.

    Phil: I hope he does a better job than the other day when he knocked Geraint Thomas off the road!

  24. @Minnesota Expat

    @AJ

    I was gonna swap someone out for Valverde yesterday. Glad I didn’t do it, because I wouldn’t have dropped TJ off my list. Sad the American hope is gone, but I think the guy lacks some mental toughness.

    This, and it’s why I’ll never pick him for a position on a grand tour podium. I think Van Garderen (and Porte for that matter) need to look for some two-week grand tours.

    Pray tell where they might find such a thing?

  25. @Mikael Liddy

    @Minnesota Expat

    @AJ

    I was gonna swap someone out for Valverde yesterday. Glad I didn’t do it, because I wouldn’t have dropped TJ off my list. Sad the American hope is gone, but I think the guy lacks some mental toughness.

    This, and it’s why I’ll never pick him for a position on a grand tour podium. I think Van Garderen (and Porte for that matter) need to look for some two-week grand tours.

    Pray tell where they might find such a thing?

    http://www.tourdesuisse.ch/en/tds-2015/stage-plan/overview/ is pretty close. Except for the grand tour thing. And it’s not quite 2 weeks. But apart from those details..

  26. @Mikael Liddy

    @Minnesota Expat

    @AJ

    I was gonna swap someone out for Valverde yesterday. Glad I didn’t do it, because I wouldn’t have dropped TJ off my list. Sad the American hope is gone, but I think the guy lacks some mental toughness.

    This, and it’s why I’ll never pick him for a position on a grand tour podium. I think Van Garderen (and Porte for that matter) need to look for some two-week grand tours.

    Pray tell where they might find such a thing?

    Exactly. That’s my point. We might all be tired of hearing about the “Fab Four”, but seriously, the last two days we see why these four guys win grand tours. All four are peaking in the alps, racing together, marking each other, and attacking. You can’t have a bad day on a grand tour, because barring a crash or flat, these guys will be game on and perfect for three-weeks.

  27. @Minnesota Expat

    All four are peaking in the alps, racing together, marking each other, and attacking. You can’t have a bad day on a grand tour, because barring a crash or flat, these guys will be game on and perfect for three-weeks.

    Peaking in the Alps isn’t exactly awesome if you’ve lost three minutes or more in the first week or so. If we’re talking band names it’s Fab Froomie and the Feeble Four. Or it was until one of them went home.

  28. Hmmm – wonder if we’re going to hyperbolic reaction about today’s performance. After all, if Froome is “out of this world”, then how do you classify Quintana and Nibali? *sarcasm off*

    One thing I did notice – when Quintana attacked, Froome was a few riders behind, and when he responded, Majka chose that exact moment to swing off and got in Froome’s way. For about the next 2 minutes, that was pretty much the gap between the two of them. Makes me wonder if Froome hadn’t been badly placed and delayed, whether Quintana would have sustained the attack. Any time he’s attacked before on a summit finish, he’s only ever tried once. If it doesn’t work, he generally sits back.

    And if Quintana gets another 30 seconds tomorrow on Alpe d’Huez, then Froome won the tour on Stage 2 in the crosswinds.

  29. Can I just say that I now find myself in the weird position of rooting for Malmerde.

    I’m so excited that I’m not going to be able to go for a shit until Sunday night .

  30. @VeloJello

    LOL, I’m watching it live so pretty hard to spoil it for me. Just keep pointing out the bleeding obvious and I’ll keep chuckling away and wondering why anyone bothers.

  31. @the Engine

    Can I just say that I now find myself in the weird position of rooting for Malmerde.

    I’m so excited that I’m not going to be able to go for a shit until Sunday night .

    Hell’s bells man, you’re rooting for Malmerde over Nibbles? That was a great ride by Nibali. As far as I’m concerned, Malmerde has done SFA this tour. OK, he’s got to stick by wee NQ, but still. Nibali’s win shows that he was not in top form coming into the Tour. With a podium spot an option tomorrow, I think he’ll give it a go. If he does make the podium, I’d say it makes him the man of the tour considering how shitty he was in the first half of the race.

    Sorry to see Thomas have a bad day. He deserved to be top 5.

    Should be fun on L’Alpe tomorrow! NQ has to get something other than 2nd out of his race and will be stage win hunting. Nibbles will be looking for the podium from Malmerde. The Frenchies are going well. Here’s hoping no idiot fan fucks things up. I’m not big fan of Froome, but I don’t think he deserves the abuse he’s getting. Maybe he’ll have a go to show who’s boss.

  32. @the Engine

    Can I just say that I now find myself in the weird position of rooting for Malmerde.

    I’m so excited that I’m not going to be able to go for a shit until Sunday night .

    Or better yet, Contador attacks Valverde, gains 2:30 minutes, moves into third, and Nibali slips to fourth. But yeah, I’m holding my breath for about five hours tomorrow morning (central USA).

  33. @Minnesota Expat

    @the Engine

    Can I just say that I now find myself in the weird position of rooting for Malmerde.

    I’m so excited that I’m not going to be able to go for a shit until Sunday night .

    Or better yet, Contador attacks Valverde, gains 2:30 minutes, moves into third, and Nibali slips to fourth. But yeah, I’m holding my breath for about five hours tomorrow morning (central USA).

    Nah, after today’s ride, Nibbles deserves third place. Bertie and Malmerde don’t deserve 3rd. They’ve done hee-haw. I think Bertie’s cooked after the Giro. Malmerde’s just doing what he does best – following wheels. Nibbles is hitting form – albeit too damn late.

  34. Having watched today on French TV I see what Froome and Sky are on about when they talk about irresponsible and biased coverage.

    Nibali’s attack while he looked at Froome having a mechanical was glossed over while they spent the next hour creaming their pants over his ‘panache’.

    Then at the end was a fawning interview by the doper Laurent Jalabert while Nibali stood next to the doper Alexander Vinokourov but of course nobody raised an eyebrow.

    Couple that with people clearly abusing Froome and apparently being spat on and I begin to think they have a point.

  35. @wiscot

    Sorry to see Thomas have a bad day. He deserved to be top 5.

    “Some days you’re the hammer and some days you’re the nail. Today I was a very cheap Ikea nail.”

    To casually (deliberately) gloss over the loss of 22 minutes and 10 places; chapeau.

  36. @ChrisO

    Agreed. I’m no fan of Froome and I can’t say for sure Nibbles knew what was going on and attacked to capitalise (though it seems likely) and Froome’s whining about it lacks class but all that said I can understand the chip on his shoulder as what he’s copping is totally disproportionate to those around him in the GC and there’s no logical reason – it’s fanaticism not journalism and that should be left to us.

  37. There was an interesting profile of Froome on UK ITV4 last night after the TdF highlights.  It can’t really be claimed that he came from nowhere all of a sudden.  Given the level of coaching available to him when he first entered the World Championships TT he had a pretty impressive start.  Training for the hills by dragging your brakes as a substitute takes a certain amount of V not to release them.

    I said this when Wiggo was winning and the press were complaining that he was boring and lacked panache by not constantly attacking but the lack of constant attacking appears to me to be a reflection that the sport is cleaner.  Doping allowed riders to attack day after day from way out in a way that was not normal, so it is surely more likely now that you will see a big effort to establish a lead and then sit in on following days.

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