Velominati Super Prestige: Tour de Suisse 2012

Andy Hampsten becomes the first North American to win a National Tour at the Tour de Suisse.

This is an exciting time of year. The Giro is in the books, the Tour is firmly in everyone’s sights, and those of us with the vaguest idea of how the big race will unfold are prognosticating the loudest as we use races that are proven to reveal fuck-all about what will happen at the Tour to predict what will happen at the Tour.

With the Dauphiné underway we look to the start of the Tour de Suisse to peer deeper into the murk to see who is riding well. As far as I’m concerned, I might as well lay out all the rider’s names in a random pattern and blow snot-rockets at the floor to make my picks this year because I honestly haven’t the foggiest idea who will take it; the biggest race of the year is spinning up to be the biggest enigma of the year.

All this babbling serves to demonstrate another important point, and the reason why the Dauphiné wasn’t in the VSP: these stage races are little more than preparation races for the big names, and a chance for the smaller one’s to take center stage. So why did the Tour de Suisse get a VSP while the Dauphiné didn’t? For starters, the latter feels less like a dress rehearsal for the Tour, but mostly its because there is a mountain pass that has cobbles all the way up it in Switzerland (though I’m not sure if they’re riding it this year). How cool is that? I can get on board with any country who values labor costs little enough to pave an entire mountain road one cobble at a time. Yes, we’re that scientific here in the Velominati Boardroom.

When this race is over, we’ll have even less of a clue as to who will win in July (well, everyone except @Marcus, who needs neither evidence nor results in order to be sure Cuddles will win) and we’ll be able to distract ourselves with the various National Championships which will take place in the week leading up the Tour’s start and guessing wether Bruyneel has the nerve to cut either or both Schlecks from his Tour team.

So, dust off your monkey’s bones and 12-sided die, time to make your predictions for the 2012 Tour de Suisse. Check the Tour de Suisse site for the latest route and roster info and remember that since this is a stage race, (not a Grand Tour), points on offer are 10 for first place, 8 for second, 7 for third, 5 for fourth, and 3 for fifth – all based on the final General Classification; plus two bonus points per rider in the top five regardless of the rider’s placing. Get your picks in by the time the countdown clock goes to zero, and pray for an intervention. Make sure you check the mappings of your picks before the race ends so you get the points you deserve, and use the dispute mechanism to alert us of any issues. Note that the dispute mechanism is the official means by which to raise concerns about your picks; questions about your mappings or disputes raised in the posts will be largely ignored.

Good luck.

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286 Replies to “Velominati Super Prestige: Tour de Suisse 2012”

  1. @xyxax

    @Steampunk

    @xyxax
    My goal on 2much: get you huffing early,

    Plus: Getting me huffing and puffing will be the easiest thing you do that day.

    Minus: My out-of-breath face is quite the spectacle.

    S’okay: I aim to be behind you, using you as a wind barrier.

    Lovechild of Miles Davis and Stevie Ray Vaughan?

    I would like to think so.
    Is it churlish to point out Davis’s parents were Rule #24 violators?

    According to wikipedia, they sorted themselves out. His younger sister””a rather accomplished flugelhornist as it happens””was named Condorcette…

  2. @Steampunk

    Really, Condorcette!?
    I guess the first six Condors didn’t make it.

    PS: it would be an hono(u)r to break your wind.

  3. @ramenvelo

    @frank

    “I’ve abandoned too many times this year already.”-Andy Schleck
    I guess he spoke too soon. If ever there was a rider in need of The V

    He was in to much pain to continue after he was blown over by the wind during the TT. Maybe the only rider who needs to put on weight?
    “Too light to ride?”
    Even twiggo wiggo managed to stay up and he weighs next to nothing……

  4. If Wiggo continues with his current form by the end of the season, (or earlier), he’ll definitely be looking like a former British ride …………… Graeme Garden!
    [dmalbum: path=”/velominati.com/wp-content/uploads/readers/sthilzy/2012.06.10.08.24.33/”/]

  5. @Dr C
    He was a lunatic on Stage 3 of last year’s TdS! I really thought Cunego was gonna win it. Sagan’s descent scared the crap out of me!

  6. good to finally realize after 2 stages horner didn’t start. coulda been worse, coulda put schleck in my list… oh yeah isnt he like in second now.

  7. Well, at least the Schlecks stopped the bleeding a bit with that ride today. At least we know they aren’t completely dead.

  8. @frank

    @Belgian Cobblestones
    Sweet new avatar.

    @minion

    Frank’s gonna give the big middle finger to the entire internet sometime. May as well be here.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Frank Schleck
    2. Frank Schleck
    3. Frank Schleck
    4. Frank Schleck
    5. Frank Schleck

    That’ll hurt you more than me; that’s a zero-yield pick list right there!

    OH REALLY!
    didn’t my rider come in second on the stage, and currently sits in second overall? Don’t want to tell you how to suck eggs, but SUCK EGGS! How’s that for caps.

    Where’s the Schleck bashing now? That appears to have shut up the internet experts, just wait till he gets Andy back on his team! Then you’re all fucked.

    I predict my fat headed crowing will continue till the TT. That’ll shut me up.

  9. @minion

    @frank

    @Belgian Cobblestones
    Sweet new avatar.

    @minion

    Frank’s gonna give the big middle finger to the entire internet sometime. May as well be here.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Frank Schleck
    2. Frank Schleck
    3. Frank Schleck
    4. Frank Schleck
    5. Frank Schleck

    That’ll hurt you more than me; that’s a zero-yield pick list right there!

    OH REALLY!
    didn’t my rider come in second on the stage, and currently sits in second overall? Don’t want to tell you how to suck eggs, but SUCK EGGS! How’s that for caps.

    Where’s the Schleck bashing now? That appears to have shut up the internet experts, just wait till he gets Andy back on his team! Then you’re all fucked.

    I predict my fat headed crowing will continue till the TT. That’ll shut me up.

    At first glance, this read “my fat head crowning” — like birth. ??

  10. I’ve started doing a bit of analysis of prior VSP events but it takes a long time to get it together so as the TdS is currently on I thought I would throw some of it out there.

    If the Velominati as a collective were to have entered a VSP top 5 it would be:
    Gesink 502 points
    Cunego 450 points
    Kreuziger 424 points
    Leipheimer 402 points
    Valverde 385 points

    (This is based on a scale of 5 points for each first place pick, 4 for each second etc)

    So basically if that looks like your VSP then don’t hold off buying your own workshop apron because based on previous form we are unlikely to get more than 2 of the top 5 right.

    In terms of positions, Gesink followed by Cunego was the most popular pick for first and second positions.

    Interstingly Valverde was a clear top pick for third position, and Leipheimer a clear top pick for fourth. Leipheimer also was top pick for fifth.

    Kreuziger didn’t top any position but was mostly third pick in all positions. That could be a good sign – I haven’t looked at enough previous VSPs to be sure of that but J-Rod was similar in the Giro.

    After our top 5 there is a big gap to Sagan (225), Danielson (160), Cancellara (149) and Fuglsang (135). Schleck elder is a mere 10th with 75, so it could be his best chance of winning something.

    What does it all mean – I don’t know, I need to look at more of the other races to see if there are any patterns.
    Apart from the Giro, so far I’ve done Paris Nice where we picked the winner (Wiggins) and had Valverde second (he came third) but apart from that were pretty appalling.

    Only one other of our top 10 in P-N made it (TVG picked 7th, came 5th). The rest of the top 10 were barely on our radar, indeed four of them were picked by nobody and one by only one person.

  11. @Ron

    Well, at least the Schlecks stopped the bleeding a bit with that ride today. At least we know they aren’t completely dead.

    even a dead cat bounces once

  12. Wow, how darn good is Sagan?! He can win in all types of conditions, all types of finishes. It’s almost like no one has told him he’s such and such type of rider so he just rides his damn bike and tries to win each time he lines up. Incredible. I also loved how he kept on pedaling after the line today. Yeah, just won, but not really tired, going to get a few more kms in…

    And Teena Turner’s “Simply the Best” for the podium? The Italians were playing ZZ Top and Van Halen for three straight weeks. Have the 80s never stopped in Europe? Weird.

  13. Does anyone else think that Sagan’s sly smile reminds them of someone?

    reminds them of someone?

    Not saying they belong in the same sentence, but that look does look familiar. The ‘Terminator’ seemingly winning at will this year – then puts in standout performances at MSR and Flanders, to boot.

  14. @minion

    @frank

    @Belgian Cobblestones
    Sweet new avatar.

    @minion

    Frank’s gonna give the big middle finger to the entire internet sometime. May as well be here.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Frank Schleck
    2. Frank Schleck
    3. Frank Schleck
    4. Frank Schleck
    5. Frank Schleck

    That’ll hurt you more than me; that’s a zero-yield pick list right there!

    OH REALLY!
    didn’t my rider come in second on the stage, and currently sits in second overall? Don’t want to tell you how to suck eggs, but SUCK EGGS! How’s that for caps.

    Where’s the Schleck bashing now? That appears to have shut up the internet experts, just wait till he gets Andy back on his team! Then you’re all fucked.

    I predict my fat headed crowing will continue till the TT. That’ll shut me up.

    The lad seems more motivated, yes? Awesome. Reinforces the premise I’ve been holding this season that my VSP picks are somehow inextricably bound to the universe and if I put a rider in the top five, it dooms them to failure – at least to not landing in the spot on the podium that I have designated.

    I didn’t pick Schleck, so he’ll probably win.

  15. Mobile Tour de suisse website abominable on my iphone. Not very swiss. Can’t stay in english, won’t let me sort overall from stage result. Its crap. Desktop version underwhelming but functional.

  16.  

    Frhoooaaaannnkkk, 
    It seems I’m the opposite. I make incredibly, undeniably boneheaded picks including on rest days to incur maximum penalties, and still my riders seem to come through. For fuck’s sake. I thought I had a decent shot at the lantern rouge, but it seems I’ve been outdone by the universe. 
     
    Oh well, at least there’s no chance of me winning a spelling bee. Guess there’s something in that. 
  17. Hmm, so Big George is set to retire after Le Tour. Wow, 19 years as a PRO, 17 TdFs. That’s insane. Talk about sustained form!

  18. Hmmm looks like Frank’s Tour de Suisse is going to be even more important…Andy is reported to be pulling out of le Tour because of his injuries from the Dauphine. Apparently he’s fractured a vertebrae & has had to have it fused.

  19. Harmon is answering a question from a viewer, who asked if you can tell the nationality of a rider.

    They say you can’t, of course, which is almost true. The only nationality you can recognize are the Aussies, because they’re the ones riding wheels!

    BOOM! That’s right! I said it, @Marcus!

  20. Maybe we’ve been to hard on Andy, he’s been riding with a fractured pelvis.  We should have been asking what’s wrong with him, he’s a better rider than we’ve seen this season.  Of course personally, I’m not really into him, this year I’m all about Wiggins.

    Is anyone having problems with crappy streaming from Eurosport?  Keeps breaking up on me and then gets better for the commercials.

  21. @snoov

    Maybe we’ve been to hard on Andy, he’s been riding with a fractured pelvis.  We should have been asking what’s wrong with him, he’s a better rider than we’ve seen this season.  Of course personally, I’m not really into him, this year I’m all about Wiggins.

    Is anyone having problems with crappy streaming from Eurosport?  Keeps breaking up on me and then gets better for the commercials.

     Just because he looks like a baby doesn’t mean we have to treat him like one. He’s getting all the criticism he deserves.

  22. @snoov

    As probably the biggest fan of Gimplette around, I think its easy for us to judge from our armchairs riders who go through more suffering even as the lowest-level pro than we can rightly imagine.

    But judging is kind of like our specialty, so we’re bound to stick to our comfort zones. 

    We probably misjudged him, but we misjudge any of these guys when we call them pussies. So long as the jabbing is all good humored and fun, which its been as far as I can tell, i wouldn’t go over-thinking it too much.

    Though I’m certainly not seeing Andy go to these lengths to stay in a race:

  23. @frank

    A minor””and totally tangential””point of order: it’s probably not right to compare different generations, but even so, there are big differences between getting hurt during a grand tour and pulling up lame before it begins. One can sympathize with wanting to finish (especially in Magni’s case, where this was to be his last Giro), particularly when one continues to stand well in the GC. Starting hurt borders on foolish, however.

  24. Back to this race, it appears to me that we may have  a race on our hands come Friday and Saturday when there are, you know, mountains.  I’m pleased to say that 4 of my 5 picks are within striking distance.  This only goes on to prove that Fuglsang, Danielson, Valverde, and Leipheimer will all fall prey to my curse of horrible picks.

    Oh well.

  25. The thing with A Schleck and the reason why even what must be a painful injury attracts not a lot of sympathy is also about how he got it, in my mind anyway.

    Had he been hit by a car/dog/gazelle while training, fallen while making a glorious attack on a tricky descent or even been thrown down the stairs by Johan Bruyneel we might have felt more sympatico… but he did it because he made a stupid choice of wheel and couldn’t stay on his bike during a TT, which he is crap at anyway.

    He may not have deliberately shot himself in the foot but if you sleep with a loaded rifle and your finger on the trigger It’s hard not to see it as self-inflicted.

  26. @minion

     Don’t try to spin it like you wanted points. You’re lantern rouge attempt is blown.

    You’re even shit at being shit.

  27. @frank

    Harmon is answering a question from a viewer, who asked if you can tell the nationality of a rider.

    They say you can’t, of course, which is almost true. The only nationality you can recognize are the Aussies, because they’re the ones riding wheels!

    BOOM! That’s right! I said it, @Marcus!

     Not true! You can also tell the Dutch. They’re the ones crying because they haven’t won a jersey at a grand tour since the 80’s

  28. @frank

    It’s sad for the lad, hate to see anyone hurt on a bike, no matter whether I’m a fan of theirs or not. 

    I think all the ribbing he’s getting (mostly in jest) is due to the lack of interest he seems to be showing at the moment and his general apathy about trying to win.

    Hope he heals soon and comes back a renewed man, full of fight and burning passion to shut up all us armchair critics and win something, otherwise I fear he will remain a target for continued urine extraction.

  29. Is Sagan riding the Tour? Seeing him go head-to-head with Cav will be fun if he is!

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