The Friday Group Ride #1

Paris Roubaix 12-04-09

Dearest Friends,

We at RKP count ourselves enormously fortunate to have such a thoughtful and passionate readership. In an effort to give you more of a forum for your thoughts and ideas, we have decided to institute the Friday Group Ride, an open topic/discussion that we can all participate in. No one gets dropped at RKP, and we won’t make you shave your legs!

And so, this week’s inaugural group ride topic:

A Christmas present: Who is the rider you’d most like to see win which event next year? Explain.


  1. josh

    A George @Roubaix win would be nice. At the same time i feel that if he never won Roubaix it would make the story and his legacy grander, a la Pou-Pou @LeTour. So if not George, then Thor.

  2. Shawn

    Hincapie won’t ever win Roubaix. I love the guy – he may be my favorite rider – but he doesn’t have the killer instinct needed to win that race. Taylor Phinney will be the first Roubaix winner from the US when he goes full on pro.

    How about a TdF stage win for Chris Horner? The guy is such a great domestique and he got robbed by missing the Tour this year due to the Astana team politics.

  3. cb

    jens voigt winning the critérium international for the 6th time.

    just to show that the crash in the TdF this summer can’t keep him down or out. and, of course, because people like jens need something to be remembered for. even though he most probably will long be remembered for his style (on and off the bike), people tend to remember sportsmen who put their mark on a certain race better.

    keep sending those “prayers” our way padraig, i appreciate it.

  4. soul_cramp

    I agree with all on Hincapie for Roubaix. He’s put a lot into that race and has had some bad luck. I’d like to see it pay off.

    And Jens. Every race that he is in benefits.

  5. Charles Cushman

    Going to spread some hate and discontent here, but I would like to see Vino win something. Yes he was (is?) a doper, but at least he attacks, and attacks, and attacks. I was rooting for him at the worlds.

    I agree Shawn about Hincapie and PR. It would be great, but I don’t think he has the classics team for it.

  6. DamnYourHighCadence

    I would like to see Contador come in second at a Grand Tour, just to be astounded by who actually beats him. (Lance? tchyaa right!)

  7. bikecharlie

    I don’t think there is an American cycling fan that doesn’t want big G to win it.

    2nd choice Haussler at San Remo.

  8. Bike Tart

    I’d love to Brad Wiggins do well this year and silence the critics who are saying he’s been ‘flipped’ by Vaughters. A podium at the Tour, Vuelta or Giro would be good (I’m uncertain which he’s definitely riding at the moment though, clearly – but hopefully wildcards will serve the team well).

    Despite not being his biggest fan, I’d actually like to see Evans conquer “The Curse of the Rainbow Jersey” and win something big. Actually I reckon he should give the spring classics some focus as I really think he has more hunger and fight on single-day races than grand tours (despite his podium placings).

    Time for Cav to step up to the mark and win some points jerseys too…

  9. TSummers

    I’ll 2nd (or 15th) the George for P-R. I’d love to see him finally do well or at least lose because he was beat, not because he had bad luck. Such is the nature of the race though.

    I’ll also say Haussler for a spring something…… anything. That kid was on fire this spring.

    Last, Quinziato for a spring something. It’s always nice where there is an upset (current world champ for example) and an Italian on an Italian team that is not a classics team on an “american” bike would be a huge upset in a classic or semi-classic. Plus, I just like he guy. Down to earth, approachable, and funny in a self-depreciating kind of way. He was close-ish in P-R and in the break in RVV.

  10. Chris

    I would love to see big george enter the velodrome first and finally win the PR that has been so allusive.

    I would love to see Andy Schleck win the TdF and Cavendish win the WC.

  11. Joe

    I would really enjoy seeing a big win for Haussler, San Remo or a spring classic. Talented bike racer that one.

    And a tour stage win for Horner, he was totally on fire last year and repeatedly got robbed of opportunity.

  12. rich_mutt

    i hate to sound like a broken record, but big george winning paris-roubaix would be a nice send-off. he’s america’s most beloved cyclist for a reason. it’s the race he’s always wanted to win. he’s also a product of the my club, the CRCA.

    cancellara to win the WC!

  13. Fausto

    How about Boonen taking Ronde and PR again, then breaking out the blow and doing a line right on Ms. Belgiums ass. VandeVelde and Wiggo both taking TDF stages. Jens winning everything. Spartacus taking every TT, Eroica, and any classic in his incredible style. Phinny with a nice break through like Het or Whelgem. Farrar taking anything, as long as it is in front of Manx Man. A French rider winning anything of class plus a Bastille Day stage.

  14. Da Robot

    I’m gonna chuck in two cents here. I’d like to see Edvald Boasson Hagen win a Grand Tour. I sorta doubt he’s gonna get the chance, but he won Eneco, Poland and Britain last year as well as a Giro stage (yeah, I looked it up). This kid is massively talented. I hope he gets some support.

    I’d also like to see Cadel Evans win the Vuelta. I’m really, really glad he left Silence-Lotto, and now it’s time to see what he can do with a proper team behind him.

  15. Aaron Smith

    Pretty easy to guess, but I’m going to have to go for Big George. How the heck could you be a leg-shavin’ American and NOT root for the guy?

    Also: HH destroying the field at Milan San Remo, leaving Cav a broken man behind.

    Also Also: What about that younger Schleck dude? Betcha he might have a special something hiding in those legs of his. Lets see Contador deal with some Brotherly Love.

    Dude Also: Gesink. Just don’t break anything this time, okay bud?

  16. Dan O

    On the pro level – gotta go with Hincapie finally bagging Roubaix. Dude more then deserves it. Seeing Horner take stage at the Tour would be damn cool as well.

    On a personal level – my 10 year old son continuing to enjoy mountain bike racing. Doesn’t matter if he wins or not. It’s all great father/son time.

    This Friday Group Ride gig is a great idea.

  17. Sophrosune

    Alberto Contador–The TdF. Because I hope it finally puts to rest the whole LA saga and gets him to retire…again. Permanently.
    Carlos Sastre–The Giro. Because he is a classy act and I would like to see him win another grand tour, albeit not the TdF.
    Samuel Sanchez–The Vuelta. Because he is another classy guy and he should get his grand tour win as well.

  18. Adam

    Cadel to win the Giro – Great start to BMC and I want to see a GC contender in the WC stripes.

    Gilbert to have his Fall form in the Spring.

    Matti Breschal is always at the door in the World’s, love to see some team support and have him get something like Liege.

  19. Alex Torres

    I`d like to see my hero Charly Gaul win another Tour, or perhaps another hilly stage in the Tour or Giro.

    Oops! Sorry, that´s not possible anymore!! :-s

    Then… well, perhaps Eddy win another Tour? No way too… how about Taylor Phinney winning his first Tour then? Not yet? Maybe in the future!

    OK, so I´ll go with you guys and vote for Big George winning his PR and Voight winning anything he wants, ´cos there´s only a few hardmen in the sport like him today.

    Maybe more than the riders winning races I´d really appreciate some attacking, some breakaways winning, some battling and some tactics winning races instead of radios and overcalculated moves. Could be anyone here: Rassmussen, Evans, Andy, Contador…

    Anyway, sorry for the lousy jokes and thanks for the gift. I wish you all a Merry Xmas and a very happy 2010!

  20. Marco Placero

    Although Jens winning De Ronde, L-B-L or some other very classic would electrify neurons everywhere, the man doesn’t require any additional top step time to generate cheers, he does that just by being. Jens has already achieved by just plain pushing down harder on the pedals, competitor misery and tifosi delight ensues. After lighting everybody up for years, Jens eventually heads up a lucrative strade in representing pro peloton interests or DSing.

    Gotta smile a wow if George win another hard stage of the Tour, maybe one that rattles the Arenburg. Chris Horner sprinting out to a salute over Chavanel from a break would do-over a great Tour moment that got eaten by the wolves. I’d like to see Devolder stomp Vlaanderen again exemplifying aggressive. Tom Boonen looks good in green.

  21. Big Mikey

    Great topic. Here’s my wish(es):

    Ride in the TdF for Michael Barry (assuming he wants it, although we’d love the rider diaries)
    Huge win somewhere for Chris Horner

    This talk about George made me realize I’m still a little bitter about his attitude after missing the yellow jersey this summer. His lack of aggressiveness and subsequent complaining left a bad taste in my mouth. If he can muscle up and win PR, good on him, but it’s up to him to make that happen.

  22. velomonkey

    No one here rooting for LA to take the tour? Yea, me neither.

    George to get his mojo back like when he won Ghent, but it’s a wish.

    Boonen to clean house at Flanders or Roubaix – just love the guy.

    Jens to win LBL.

    Fabian to win Milan or some race on that level.

    Basso for the giro, but with a duel with the up and comers.

    Valverde to do something at the tour

    Cadel to do the jersey good.

  23. abuck55ru

    I would like to see Tyler Farrar smoke Cavendish at the line more often. I would also like to see Millar have a big season.

  24. CK

    It would be nice to see Boonen win Ronde and P-R in front of all of his doubters.

    Jens is cool but all he might win is crit international

    I would like Sastre to win the Giro or Vuelta.

    Quick step forever. Radio Shack never.

  25. Marco Placero

    PS, a personal: centering chakras for rookie year Riche Porte doing well in the pro peloton, seems a smart athlete relating his way through the sporting business maze. Positive infrared, Richie!

    Also liked abuck55u’s 1st sentence only.

  26. Michael

    Haussler a classic

    Hushovd a do-over at PR (he would have beaten Boonen in the velodrome)

    Barry a ride in the TDF

    a coming out party for Hesjedal after his big stage win at the Vuelta in ’09 in LBL or Amstel

    Horner not winning anything of consequence (sorry everyone, I just don’t like a straight up mercenary. plus, am I the only one who finds it odd that someone could come back from so many major injuries with such fantastic form over and over again? no accustations here, just a quizzical “huh? scoobie snacks?” reaction from me)

    Sastre rocking the Giro and Vuelta (i’d like to see him skip the TDF, I think with those parcours he could contecd for both and go for the career Trifecta!)

    BMC raging through the Giro with Cadel and Ballan (how is it that this will be Ballan’s first ever Giro?!?)

    LA finishing 2nd in the TDF and realizing on the podium how much worse it is than finishing 3rd (you know how he thinks…2nd place = first loser)

    I’d love to see Voigt win a stage at the TDF and call it career on the spot

    I’d also love to see Cancellara slowly discover Wiggins like dedication to diet, drop a couple of kilos and take on a GT for the overall. i really think it is within his capabilities to do it. Big Mig was a big man who was able to make it happen. I think Cancellara could as well.

  27. Hibbs

    Geraint Thomas to make a breakthrough on the road and win something big, eg a Tour stage (he has the talent to) and the Tour of Britain (though not exactly “something big”);

    Sastre to win the Vuelta;

    Pellizotti to win the Giro;

    Schleck 1 to win le Tour, VDV to do better than Wiggins, LA/AC to mark each-other off the podium;

    Hushovd to win Paris-Roubaix;

    Haussler to win MSR;

    Cancellara to try to do a Twiggo and go for a grand tour GC, preferably France;

    Cav to win the green jersey & Worlds.

  28. souleur

    great topic and great thoughts

    I would like:
    Devolder for Flanders
    Ferrar in Green @TdF
    Hincapie @paris-roubaix
    svien tuft @Liege
    jens voight @criterium internationale

    that is a nice xmas gift!!

  29. Alex Torres

    Every time I read the words posted here by everyone, I think how fortunate we are, living in times with lots of good riders everywhere in the sport.

    “Old” wonders like Armstrong, Hincapie, Voight, Millar still battling for it against “new” wonders like Contador, Wiggins and Schleck… Superb sprinters like Farrar and Cav putting up almost weekly shows, superhuman time-trialers like Cancellara wonderfuly defying the clock…

    I sure appreciate the nostalgic romanticism of post-War heroes and the gutsy riders of the 70s and 80s (far too many but Roche, Merckx and Hinault to name a few IMHO). But I can´t help myself feeling fortunate for being able to watch the current créme of our beloved sport making history LIVE!

  30. CK

    Oh and I would like for Boonen to beat Cancellara in a TT. It will happen eventually and I want to see how good Boonen can be against the clock.

  31. Lachlan

    Andy S…. for the TDF, and LBL.

    Keep things interesting for the next few years, and avoid any danger of a sense of Contador formality pre tour each year!

    (and LBL to show that this generation of grand tour riders, unlike the LeMond-thru-Armstrong years, are able to race and love more than just one race)

  32. Author
    Da Robot

    @Lachlan Hey, LeMond raced P-R and even tried to win it. Don’t tar him with that brush. Or do, you know, I’m not that uptight.

  33. lachlan

    :o) ha, no worries… I am Lemond’s biggest fan, he is the reason I ride in fact. But he always got that criticism from others, and to be fair certainly post ’89 (when of course we have the world champs to add in to the tour!) it was mostly true… at least in comparison to tour winners pre ’89. I would argue he was less singularly focussed than Indurain or Lance…. but still, it was the start of that trend I think we could maybe say;-)

  34. db

    Glad to see folks wishing for good things for Devolder. Really like watching him.

    A Haussler win would also be satisfying. He did not show up on my radar until the TdF stage, sadly.

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