Velominati Super Prestige: Tour de France Stage 14

Ullrich fought to within seconds of the Yellow Jersey at Ax-3 Domaines in 2003

The inaugural Velominati Super Prestige launches it’s second VSP Sub-Competition with Stage 14 of the Tour de France.  The competition will allow contestants the opportunity to win bonus points in the VSP Tour de France by choosing the top three finishers of the stage for a chance to win 3 points for first place, 2 for second, and 1 for third.

The last time the Tour de France visited Ax-3 Domaines saw Der Kaiser take advantage of a rare weakness in Pharmstrong to take time out of his rival and come within seconds of reclaiming the Maillot Jaune he had last held in 1998.  It wasn’t to be, however, and the 2003 Tour eventually saw Huevos Rancheros claim his 5th consecutive title.

This year will likely see another gunfight as Pistolero will surely attempt to tear the Yellow Jersey of the back of Brother Grimpeur the Younger.  Both riders are formidable climbers: they have traded 10-second blows on each of the uphill finishes so far while the other climbing stages have resulted in a draw.  The challenging climb to the ski station in the Pyrenees could well reveal which rider is the better climber as the race enters its third week.

But aside from the fight for the GC, there is a stage win on offer. Will Armstrong play the loyal domestique while we wait for the Eggtimer to buzz, or will he attempt to sneak off for the win?  The penultimate climb is a killer; will a break go here to fight out the stage as the battle for the GC rages behind? Veino also made a strong showing here in 2003, will he go for a second win after his success on Stage 13?

Make your picks by the time tomorrow’s stage starts, regular VSP Rules apply.  Good luck!

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27 Replies to “Velominati Super Prestige: Tour de France Stage 14”

  1. 1. Gesink stomps away with Grimpeur the Younger to pull 42 seconds out of Bertie. Takes a semi-gifted stage win.
    2. Brother Grimpeur the Younger stomps away with Gesink to take valuable time
    3. Bertie fights to stay in contention, but loses time to his main rival

    Alright lads. I’m out until tomorrow afternoon. Enjoy, and try not to miss my witty remarks too much.

  2. 1) Andy. has to get minutes on bertie asap and needs every fucking mountain he can use to get them. I expect to see Jens get sent up the road in a break to offer hardman support up the penultimate climb.
    2) Rodriquez. is climbing good so far, think he can follow grimp A’s wheel
    3) Bertie. Andy can crack him.

  3. Am sorry to say this, but I think this is where Grimpeur A’s Tour starts to falter. Would love to think he was rope-a-doping our of Mende, but don’t think he was. He’ll be there, but I don’t think he’ll be ahead of Bertie.

    1. Bertie
    2. Junior Schleckster
    3. Gesink

  4. Basso

    Time’s a-tickin’ for Basso, who hasn’t cracked, but hasn’t shown either. Sastre is due one good day in the mountains. Schleck and Contador won’t be far behind, but they’ll be saving themselves for the Tourmalet.

  5. Who will reign on Ax-3-Domain?!?

    In reverse order of placing, but order of events:

    John Gadret starts it all with a Daring French Attack(tm), surrenders for 3rd
    Sastre decides the hill is steep enough for his steez, follows, gets 2nd
    J-ROD from the ROKKIT SKWAD bridges the gap outsprints Father Time for 1st Place

  6. Nice photo of Der Kaiser Frank…ahhh, the Bianchi Kaiser, my favorite season of Ulrich. I was just watching that TT showdown in the rain, Jan all Bianchi’d up. He was a stud and bad ass.

    I’m working on some guesses; shouldn’t the Orange boys win something on home turf? I’m thinking it won’t be anybody in contention or Bertie and Gimp would have to chase them down. I’m looking for zero points here.
    1. Egoi Martinez-orange boyee, if not now, when. I hope he is a climber.
    2. Carlos Barredo, no threat to anyone but himself.
    3. Linus Gerdemann-little under-performing pussy. Sack up! Maybe he has dropped out already.

  7. Contador’s form will peek this week. He will take the yellow and hold it until Paris. He has Saxo right were he wants them. Andy’s face looked like he already lost the Tour after he lost 10 seconds to AC. Andy has to be careful not to fry himself trying to get the needed time on Contador, 2nd is better then cracked and off the podium. Sammy Sanchez hangs on for 3rd.

    Armstrong doesn’t give a crap about Levi. He is busy loosing himself enough time so that he can now go up the road on a stage with no one caring. A stage win will let Phil and Paul blather about how LA could have won if it were not for his “bad luck”.

  8. Damn! Carlito in second looked pretty good for a bit there. I’ve never seen him crack like that mid-hill before. What a shame.

  9. I’m not going with any predictions at the moment – but, man – Andy Schleck rocks – I am pulling for him to take the whole show.

    Cool pic of Jan for this post. He was one of the favorite racers, always awesome to watch.

  10. @Dan O

    “He played poker, I played poker, we both played poker today. I can afford to lose time to the others but I had to play the game today… Tomorrow it’s different and I might go ‘all in’ …”. – A Grimpeur

    Bring it on!

  11. @Geof
    Grimpeur might have thought he was playing poker but the bookies opinion is that he was playing with himself. Over here, Contador has tightened in to 1.25 for the win from about 1.50-60 a few days ago. Grimpeur at 4.55…

  12. @Marcus
    If he doesn’t put some serious time into Bertie tomorrow I think the bookies will be proved right. And I am not sure he’ll be able to. But wouldn’t it be cool if he did…

    Bertie’s response to Grimpeur’s poker-talk was good – to the effect that Grimpeur needs to watch out for Denis the Menace and Sammy Sandshoe, because they can time-trial and Andy can’t.

  13. @Geof
    I hope he does put some time into Bertie but I fear that even if he does put the bite on him on the uphill, there is enough of a downhill afterwards for people to catch Grimper – who can certainly climb, but goes downhill very “carefully”…

    Reckon his only real chance is on the Tourmalet stage…

  14. @Marcus
    Indeed. Did you see that shot this morning of Grimpeur and Sammy hitting the sharp left hander? Andy hugging the inside (as did most of those following), Sammy flinging it well (almost too) wide…

  15. Although I’d love to believe, I think Grimp Jr just blew one of 2 big chances he has to stay in it…Bertie’s going to stuff him for a couple of minutes on the TT.
    Good riding from the silent killer…more fail for Syrup.

    How friggin strong are Vino and Navarro though? They are shredding the peleton uphill.

  16. Phil and Paul going on about Shlep’s ability to descend … in which parallel universe have they been watching the TdF? Any group with Dirty Sanchez in it is going to come off a hill faster than a group without. I would also like Paul to stop calling Menchov “Denny”. Yes perhaps this is the correct French pronunciation (for what that’s worth) but it sounds absurd.

  17. Dunno what you guys think but I think what Bertie just did was out of order. Andy dropped his chain and then he comes past and counters, he doesn’t just keep riding, he ups it again… I also hate Cuntador, so this might be biased

  18. @Nathan Edwards
    I’m with you completely, mate. In 2003, Ullrich had the chance to win and waited. I thought it was a bad bit of sportsmanship; to win a Tour like this would – if it were me – sit uneasy with me forever.

    On the other hand, Schleck had made the move, had the gap, and started the fireworks. The hammer was down, and Bertie was with other riders whom he should follow. But even then, the right thing to do is to wait.

    In the end, however, we’ll see how he reacts. He fought hard and is only a bit behind. Does he come out swinging, taking risks, to take back time, or does he retreat and play a careful game to secure second? Personally, he’s been second at the Tour before. I’d say, go fucking berserk and fight.

    Where have the sportsmen gone, though? It seems honor and chivalry are dying out. Probably because there is too much money at stake.

    In any case, it is a dark day today for the race, but the sun will rise again tomorrow. Contodor showed his true colors – that of a rider for whom winning the Tour is more important than being a sportsman. We’ll see what Andy’s true colors are tomorrow.

  19. @cisco smartnet onsite premium

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    Hey @frank, if we’re really good from now until MSR, can we please have a Philippines call centre for this year’s VSP? Pleeeaaaaase?

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