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. P Rod puts 7 minutes into the contenders. Internet is silent, he doesn’t have his power data in a video even. Pick up your game internet!

    MTN, they are doing awesome for a Conti squad.

  2. @Beers

    P Rod puts 7 minutes into the contenders. Internet is silent, he doesn’t have his power data in a video even. Pick up your game internet!

    MTN, they are doing awesome for a Conti squad.

    J Rod was not a contender for the GC before the stage, so he’s let go in a break, GC contenders don’t need to chase him, so he wins by 7 minutes. If it was Contador, this wouldn’t have happened. So this is in no way an indicator of anything.

  3. @RobSandy

    @brett

    Yeah, I’m still not convinced he’s a good enough climber to be  a true GC contender (although he’s improved a lot), and I always think he should TT better than he does. I just think he’s fucking cool.

    Here he is at our local track, where my son is starting out cycling and I train and race.

    GT seems like a cool dude for sure…

  4. A good perspective on the suspicion that comes with success these days – VeloNews on Froome & Not Knowing

    Interesting point in there about Lemond/Hinault’s dominance in 1986 putting over 5 minutes in to their nearest GC rival in a single stage, can you imagine the explosion of Twitter-spicion that would explode off the back of that nowadays?

  5. @brett

    I know boss, I was hassling the internet. The rest of the stages will be cool to see everyone attack and attack. Hopefully…

  6. @brett

    @Beers

    Also Jrod had more than 7mins at the base didn’t he – didn’t he attack from the break? If so his climb time probably wasn’t even top 10 on the day – not really worth raising an eyebrow over. Although we are talking about Internet speculation and if I am right and not just talking sleep deprived gibberish it still shouldn’t stop Internet warriors.

    Picking up the data debate – I don’t think there’s that much up-side to releasing it as it’s not conclusive anyway – it might be something a few fans desperate to believe either extreme spin and misinterpret but in the end  I don’t think it’ll prove anything. Released or not there’s data out there and here we are – its still an issue for many and there’s still limited confidence at best – and while some of that is down to the truth of the data there’s also plenty of speculation on what the data means.

    In terms of the racing – Contador looks to be clinging on for dear life – that attack last night looked like a vintage Contador strength bluff.

  7. @brett

    He rides for Sky  nothing to see here move along please

    BUT if he rode for astana and was Italian or Spanish ………

  8. @rockkk

    @brett

    He rides for Sky  nothing to see here move along please

    BUT if he rode for astana and was Italian or Spanish ………

    in reply to bretts comment about G.Thomas

  9. Ok I’ll ask, what do Jean-Christophe Peraud’s friends call him? Jean-Christophe, JP, Jean?…

    I mean, I’m sure F. Murray Abraham’s friends don’t call him “F.”

  10. Spectator threw a cup of piss at Froome today whilst shouting ‘doper’.

    Doesn’t matter where you come down on the current situation. You cannot  throw piss at someone.

  11. @JonnyG

    Spectator threw a cup of piss at Froome today whilst shouting ‘doper’.

    Doesn’t matter where you come down on the current situation. You cannot  throw piss at someone.

    I have to say the comments from people like Jalabert do not help at all.  For someone who was subsequently shown to be doping to make such comments is a bit ripe.  Smacks me of jealousy that someone who had to dope to keep up (albeit in the known doping era) starts to throw stones at someone in an era where testing is far more extensive.  That it leads to the above and apparently people throwing full coke cans at the Sky cars is just sad.  Such people are idiots not cycling fans.

  12. Cummings beating two French guys in the run in is going to please the French Press too…………

  13. TWAT

    Eduardo Sepúlveda (Bretagne-Séché) disqualified. His chain broke and, unable to ride, he rode 100m in Ag2r car to get to his team car

  14. @Teocalli

    @JonnyG

    Spectator threw a cup of piss at Froome today whilst shouting ‘doper’.

    Doesn’t matter where you come down on the current situation. You cannot  throw piss at someone.

    I have to say the comments from people like Jalabert do not help at all.  For someone who was subsequently shown to be doping to make such comments is a bit ripe.  Smacks me of jealousy that someone who had to dope to keep up (albeit in the known doping era) starts to throw stones at someone in an era where testing is far more extensive.  That it leads to the above and apparently people throwing full coke cans at the Sky cars is just sad.  Such people are idiots not cycling fans.

    And that prick Rasmussen, I can’t believe that any network or publication would give that COTHO a voice

  15. @Teocalli

    Cummings beating two French guys in the run in is going to please the French Press too…………

    And prevented Petulant Pinot taking a stage!

  16. @Teocalli

    @JonnyG

    Spectator threw a cup of piss at Froome today whilst shouting ‘doper’.

    Doesn’t matter where you come down on the current situation. You cannot  throw piss at someone.

    I have to say the comments from people like Jalabert do not help at all.  For someone who was subsequently shown to be doping to make such comments is a bit ripe.  Smacks me of jealousy that someone who had to dope to keep up (albeit in the known doping era) starts to throw stones at someone in an era where testing is far more extensive.  That it leads to the above and apparently people throwing full coke cans at the Sky cars is just sad.  Such people are idiots not cycling fans.

    Chris Boardman was talking about this on ITV4’s coverage. He made 2 good points…

    1) out of the millions of roadside spectators, you will always get at least one idiot.

    2) He got maced during his TDF career!

    It happens, it has happened, it will happen again.

  17. another boring stage, Ha! Brilliant finish Mr Cummings, never, never give up. Incredible break away, dead last on the final climb, almost made contact at the summit, would love to see some footage, Eurosport had the bit when he smoked past the old enemy at the end, he must have absolutely nailed that descent, he flew past those twits like they were standing still.

  18. @piwakawaka

    another boring stage, Ha! Brilliant finish Mr Cummings, never, never give up. Incredible break away, dead last on the final climb, almost made contact at the summit, would love to see some footage, Eurosport had the bit when he smoked past the old enemy at the end, he must have absolutely nailed that descent, he flew past those twits like they were standing still.

    I loved this finish. We saw two finishes. We saw the lead group’s climb and ultimately Mr Cummings smoking past the two and was brilliant yes. And then blowing thru the turns? These two French cats may have had enough time to think, wtf did we just do ?! What a blast to watch.  And then at same time we were treated to the GC riders and Quintana just not being able to shake Froome. And with a little sprint at the end? Today was a blast to watch. At the end.

    So, I was riding today and thinking to myself, is really a draft provided when Froome is riding Porte’s wheel up a mountainside? Or is it mostly just a mental thing? But going up 10% is there really an aero benefit? I guess that there must be. But I have to believe it’s more a psyche thing than an aero thing going on when ya grab a wheel up a mtn climb?

  19. @wilburrox

    These guy’s get a much bigger advantage from a draft up a mountain, as they travel just so much faster than us, but you know what it’s like, staring at that wheel in front, I think it really helps. My guess, they would have climbed that last bump 22-25kph? Definitely aero advantage at that pace.

    I’m gonna watch it again.

  20. Bardet got smoked at the line, but he’s now clawed back over nine minutes on the past three stages.  There’s hope for my VSP yet.  (And yes – this stage was quite a corker.)

  21. @piwakawaka

    @wilburrox

    And don’t assume they’re riding through still air. Watch spectator flags for a hint of wind strength and direction. It’s rarely still in the high mountains.

    Plus Froomey needs a wheel to follow because he can’t see where he’s going and watch his BB.

  22. Some fuckhead has made a public threat to break Froome’s legs 5km from the summit of Pra Loup – I hope this sort of shit doesn’t catch on.

  23. @Oli

    Some fuckhead has made a public threat to break Froome’s legs 5km from the summit of Pra Loup – I hope this sort of shit doesn’t catch on.

    Well if they have in public then one hopes that the appropriate authorities charge them.

  24. They’d have to catch them first, and the Facebook post made it sound like a group of thugs.

  25. @Oli

    They’d have to catch them first, and the Facebook post made it sound like a group of thugs.

    Oh Facebook heroes was it.  Twats.

  26. @rockkk

    @brett

    He rides for Sky  nothing to see here move along please

    BUT if he rode for astana and was Italian or Spanish ………

    We covered this during the Giro, but allow me to reiterate.

    Nationality has nothing to do with it. Riding for a team that has had 5 positives in the last 12 months & shouldn’t be at the race has EVERYTHING to do with it.

  27. @John Irvine

    Bardet got smoked at the line, but he’s now clawed back over nine minutes on the past three stages.  There’s hope for my VSP yet.  (And yes – this stage was quite a corker.)

    I wish your assessment could be extended to include Thibault Pinot (my number five VSP pick).

  28. @ped

    TWAT

    Eduardo Sepúlveda (Bretagne-Séché) disqualified. His chain broke and, unable to ride, he rode 100m in Ag2r car to get to his team car

    Rule #69?

  29. @RobSandy

    @ped

    TWAT

    Eduardo Sepúlveda (Bretagne-Séché) disqualified. His chain broke and, unable to ride, he rode 100m in Ag2r car to get to his team car

    Rule #69?

    I think the Koppenberg clause applies here!

    WTF Vincent Lavenu was thinking –
    Vincent Lavenu, who was driving the vehicle, did not return after arrival. “Sepulveda broke his chain. He stopped on the roadside, but his car passed without stopping to troubleshoot. They have not seen and have finally stopped 100 or 200 meters away. We, we stopped at the line of cars and the mechanic came out with a wheel for service. But Sepulveda jumped in the car! He yelled “go go go” and I have started by reflex, because the file was restarting. And he fell back as soon as we stopped at his car

  30. @Mikael Liddy

    Apparently, Barguil apologised at the finish but blamed TvG for pushing him.

    It doesn’t sound like he was overly pissed off about the incident. Cycling News had the follwoing:

    “I’m alright, I’m a bit shaken up but fine. I’ve had a lot worse. It’s frustrating, I tried so hard to get over the climb, I don’t know why some guys just sit where you are on the descent. What’s the difference between fifth and third. Just get down the descent. Everyone knows it’s a tough descent.”

    “I guess the doctor will ask me my name and date of birth soon,” he said in another interview. When asked if he could remember, he joked: “Chris Froome”.

    “A nice Frenchman [pulled me out of the ditch]. They are nice here, there’s a few that aren’t, but a nice Frenchman. I lost my glasses as well – they don’t even make them anymore,” he continued.

    He doesn’t strike me as the type to make a big thing of something like that although he might not have seen the footage of it at that point. Barguil’s approach into that corner was suicidal. Thomas probably did him a favour by being in the way.

  31. @chris

    @Mikael Liddy

    Apparently, Barguil apologised at the finish but blamed TvG for pushing him.

    It doesn’t sound like he was overly pissed off about the incident. Cycling News had the follwoing:

    “I’m alright, I’m a bit shaken up but fine. I’ve had a lot worse. It’s frustrating, I tried so hard to get over the climb, I don’t know why some guys just sit where you are on the descent. What’s the difference between fifth and third. Just get down the descent. Everyone knows it’s a tough descent.”

    “I guess the doctor will ask me my name and date of birth soon,” he said in another interview. When asked if he could remember, he joked: “Chris Froome”.

    “A nice Frenchman [pulled me out of the ditch]. They are nice here, there’s a few that aren’t, but a nice Frenchman. I lost my glasses as well – they don’t even make them anymore,” he continued.

    He doesn’t strike me as the type to make a big thing of something like that although he might not have seen the footage of it at that point. Barguil’s approach into that corner was suicidal. Thomas probably did him a favour by being in the way.

    Dammit, G’s white Oakleys were always the way to pick him out, this is serious

  32. Holy shit! GT is the man! That he crashed like this and then got up and rode on shows that Tour riders are a different breed from most sportsmen.That he is still using Oakley’s that aren’t made any more (instead of the latest model) is even better. Check this clip out. 100% Barguil’s fault.Sorry for the long link and the ad, but watch it. Amazing.

    http://www.steephill.tv/players/720/nbcsports3/?title=Geraint+Thomas+forced+off+the+road,+slams+head+first+into+telephone+pole,+Stage+16&dashboard=tour-de-france&id=E4XGrbgujcET&yr=2015

  33. @chris

    @Mikael Liddy

    Apparently, Barguil apologised at the finish but blamed TvG for pushing him.

    It doesn’t sound like he was overly pissed off about the incident. Cycling News had the follwoing:

    “I’m alright, I’m a bit shaken up but fine. I’ve had a lot worse. It’s frustrating, I tried so hard to get over the climb, I don’t know why some guys just sit where you are on the descent. What’s the difference between fifth and third. Just get down the descent. Everyone knows it’s a tough descent.”

    “I guess the doctor will ask me my name and date of birth soon,” he said in another interview. When asked if he could remember, he joked: “Chris Froome”.

    “A nice Frenchman [pulled me out of the ditch]. They are nice here, there’s a few that aren’t, but a nice Frenchman. I lost my glasses as well – they don’t even make them anymore,” he continued.

    He doesn’t strike me as the type to make a big thing of something like that although he might not have seen the footage of it at that point. Barguil’s approach into that corner was suicidal. Thomas probably did him a favour by being in the way.

    Nice to see how concerned Barguill was for G, I know they’re racing but he’s 10th, not pushing for Yellow, he didnt so much as glance at where G went off. Agreed Mikael, his line through there was garbage, bit of a cheap shot blaming Teej.

  34. Rest day Swap

    VSP PICKS (2nd Rest Day Swaps):

    1. Chris Froome
    2. Nairo Quintana
    3. Alberto Contador
    4. Romain Bardet
    5. Thibaut Pinot
  35. Anyone up for a quick revision session on Rule #85?

    Fair dose of Rule #70 involved from Sagz as well, could easily have rolled down with the group knowing he would easily win the gallop for 2nd, but instead went balls out to pull back the minute gap on what’s known as a pretty sketchy descent.

  36. Sagan is friggin’ amazing. Sure, he doesn’t have a stage win to show for his efforts yet, but his day to day consistency is just incredible.

    It seems like he has been in every break for the last four stages. Category 2 climbs don’t appear to bother him, obviously he can sprint with the best of them, and he descends terrifyingly well.

    After he finally snags a couple monuments (maybe in his late 20s) I’d love to see him drop about 20-25 pounds and focus on improving on the Cat 1 and HC climbs.

    Is it ridiculous to think he could transform himself into a serious GC contender in the Grand Tours?

  37. @gilly

    @chris

    @Mikael Liddy

    Apparently, Barguil apologised at the finish but blamed TvG for pushing him.

    It doesn’t sound like he was overly pissed off about the incident. Cycling News had the follwoing:

    “I’m alright, I’m a bit shaken up but fine. I’ve had a lot worse. It’s frustrating, I tried so hard to get over the climb, I don’t know why some guys just sit where you are on the descent. What’s the difference between fifth and third. Just get down the descent. Everyone knows it’s a tough descent.”

    “I guess the doctor will ask me my name and date of birth soon,” he said in another interview. When asked if he could remember, he joked: “Chris Froome”.

    “A nice Frenchman [pulled me out of the ditch]. They are nice here, there’s a few that aren’t, but a nice Frenchman. I lost my glasses as well – they don’t even make them anymore,” he continued.

    He doesn’t strike me as the type to make a big thing of something like that although he might not have seen the footage of it at that point. Barguil’s approach into that corner was suicidal. Thomas probably did him a favour by being in the way.

    Nice to see how concerned Barguill was for G, I know they’re racing but he’s 10th, not pushing for Yellow, he didnt so much as glance at where G went off. Agreed Mikael, his line through there was garbage, bit of a cheap shot blaming Teej.

    Barguil is saying he got bumped by TJVG, which knocked his hand from the brake, and hence he went flying in sans front brake (for TJVG had bumped his left and he has euro braking I assume).

    G is a must watch interview for me, he is brutally frank in his interviews. The day he took time out of everyone and Spider won by 2 minutes, he genuinely seems surprised how good he felt.

    I think fatigue will start to play a part this week, and am very much looking forward to it.

    And yes, as douchey as some things Sagan has done, he is awesome on a bike. Needs to sharpen up his nous, I think he is Cancellara + (alleged)motorbike type strong at the moment, and can just win by pulling everyone then still sprinting off the front, rather than pussy footing around and watching the lead man run away from him.

  38. @il muro di manayunk

    ride(s) of the Tour so far for me, he’s doing most of it solo as well, and yes ridiculous, he will never be a GC guy, he has far too much fun on a bike for that sort of carry on!

    The GT interview is gold! As is he, a late sixties, skin tight flared kind of gold, Chapeau.

  39. @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.

  40. @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.

  41. VSP PICKS (2nd Rest Day Swaps):

    1. Froom
    2. Quintana
    3. Contador
    4. Valverde
    5. Van Garderen
  42. 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.

  43. I Delgado’d the start, so I’ll have a crack from here for shits and giggles…

    Quintana goes nuts in the Alps, Froome cracks in the rain Ullrich-style, TJ can’t cover the accelerations from Conti and Quinti, while Valverde does nothing out of the ordinary.

    But probably not.

    VSP PICKS (2nd Rest Day Swaps):

    1. Quintana
    2. Froome
    3. Contador
    4. TJvG
    5. Valverde
  44. @Mikael Liddy

    Anyone up for a quick revision session on Rule #85?

    Fair dose of Rule #70 involved from Sagz as well, could easily have rolled down with the group knowing he would easily win the gallop for 2nd, but instead went balls out to pull back the minute gap on what’s known as a pretty sketchy descent.

    This.

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

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