This is the other idea I've had. I suggest it is approached with a sense of humour and not too competitively.
Essentially the same as any other CQ game, this time with a squad of 15 and a budget of 5000 points, but with one essential difference: you are looking for riders who will do as poorly as possible in 2014 compared to 2013.
Each rider's score in this game will be the difference between their final 2013 score and their 2014 score. The easy way to succeed, you might think, would be to choose those who have retired, whether voluntarily or not. That will bring you no joy: a rider must race on at least 20 days (as recorded by PCS, as CQ gives points for races below n.1 but does not count the days) to get their full score.
Some hypothetical examples (and they really are hypothetical, don't try to work out who I mean because I don't know myself):
A had a mid career peak in 2013, scoring 487 points. He rides a full season in 2014, with 74 race days, and returns to his humbler general level of performance, scoring 230 points. His score in the game for any team selecting him is (487-230) = 257 points. He raced more than 20 days, so his score is credited in full.
B scored 276 points in 2013, but is without a team at the beginning of 2014. He eventually gets picked up on a short contract in August, but only rides on 7 race days before getting injured. He accrues 15 points in this truncated season. His score for the purposes of this game is (276-15)*7/20 = 91 points (rounding to nearest whole number)
C scored 487 points in 2013, but when a contract was not forthcoming from his current team, he decided to call it a day. He achieves 0 points in 2014 by the simple expedient of taking up embroidery instead of cycling. His score for the purposes of this game is 0 ( if you want to be technical, it is (487-0)*0/20 ).
D surprised onlookers by scoring 432 points in 2013. It turns out, however, that this was not a flash in the pan, but a career breakthrough, and he goes on to get 775 points in 2014 en route to world domination in years to come. His score for the purposes of the game is (432-775) = -343 points. Yes, your selections can reduce your team's score. In the unlikely event that a score is increased with less than 20 days raced, his profit (ie your loss) is also proportionately decreased.
PM submissions to me by 11:59pm GWT Monday 20th January (i.e. half hour before start of Tour Down Under stage 1), expect monthly-ish updates, think about it as a side list while shortlisting for the main game.
Now, what riders will be selected in both this and the main game?
As of 19 January, teams entered are:
plus an overbudget submission from Ben1376.
"There's someone coming through the mist . . . it can't be . . . it is! .. Oh, sorry, my mistake. It isn't"