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The 2019 CQ Ranking Manager Thread

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Re: The 2019 CQ Ranking Manager Thread

09 Jan 2019 17:19

Just a quick note - CQ doesn't have an update since January 1st, so the 'traditional' first update with the Aussie and NZ Nats will have to wait until whenever the CQ gods grant us an update... hopefully the will get something out before the TdU so we can have something to chew on and brag/commiserate about.
skidmark
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Re:

09 Jan 2019 17:37

You know, if things had broken slightly different in my team construction, this is almost exactly the team that I would have had. The key is Bernal as the most expensive rider... it's crazy what he did, and almost did, last year. Like, he got that amount of points, on Team Sky, as a 21-year old, while also crashing out badly in 2nd place in Catalunya, while also crashing out badly in San Sebastian but still coming back before the end of the season to almost podium Lombardia. So, yeah, the hype is real - add the lead in a GT, fill in the blanks without crashes, plus another year of development, and it's tantalizing. But... you gotta cut somewhere, and I went the Nibali/Gaviria route. Netserk often made these comparisons on this thread of "rider combo x/y vs rider combo a/b", and I liked those exercises... maybe this year I'll track Gaviria + Nizzolo + Bouhanni vs Bernal + Padun + Ivan Garcia, which is roughly equivalent in points for riders that differentiate between our teams.

The only riders on your team I didn't seriously consider were Torres and Rivera (and not really Senni but I gave him a glance when I had to throw guys in at the end). I did the second half writeup of my team yesterday before I looked at your writeup, but most of our justifications for guys like Lambrecht/O'Connor/Bauhaus/Theuns/Plancakert are the same. I really wanted to pick McNulty again and think he can be a good pick - I think Rally are developing him smartly and gradually, but such a talent at such an age can easily make a leap. I picked Cosnefroy instead of Touze. I added Bauhaus last but almost took Padun. I wanted Ivan Garcia again but had enough riders from last year's team that I was doubling down on and didn't wanna be disappointed again. So overall, your team looks pretty good in my eyes. Not sure how much room for improvement WvA has, and even though he's going back to CT I feel like Kump might be washed, but your picks don't generally put a foot wrong.

SafeBet wrote:This is my third year participating in this game.
For the past 2 seasons my uninspired strategy was getting lots of consistent guys who had a relatively good chance of doubling their previous CQ score. I believe that’s a great strategy for an average-to-good team (I finished between the 20th and the 40th position in both years) but gives you zero chances of winning the whole thing.

This year I changed my strategy a bit, especially for my top picks. I went for riders who can win and win big. Most of them could score less than last year (which was a nightmare for me when picking riders in the past) but they can also trash their previous scores if all stars align.

So here’s my team.

BERNAL GOMEZ Egan Arley (1130 points) - 26 picks
A once in a lifetime talent, the kind of talent who could win a Giro as a rookie. Had 1000+ points in his first WT season while often riding for others. I know it sounds crazy but I believe there’s room to score well over 2000 points. This guy has everything and more: team, recovery, climbing, time trialling, smarts.

NIBALI Vincenzo (693) - 87
Probably my most conservative pick. I don’t think he’s past it, every single word I’ve heard from him since the season ended screamed confidence. This Bahrein budget issue is no good news, but it could mean he’s fighting for a contract.

VAN AERT Wout (597) - 16
We’ve only scratched the surface of his potential last year. He’ll ride for a WT team in 2019 which means better preparation, better support, better attention to details (and Jumbo was a goldmine last year). A risky pick at that price, although his skillset is wide enough to score throughout the whole year.

VAN DER POEL Mathieu (539) - 19
I’m quoting skidmark here: his efficiency last year was crazy. I don’t know if this will translate to being as consistent on a tighter schedule but I don’t wanna miss the boat in case it does. He’s fast enough to beat competent sprinters at any level and he’ll be fighting for a lot more points this year. Exceptional talent with a chance to top 1500 points.

ZAKARIN Ilnur (473) - 69
Not much explanation needed here. Unless you think Katusha will be as bad as last year. Spoiler: I don’t.

ARU Fabio (400) - 95
This is actually the pick I like the least in my team. With Saronni stepping down UAE might be a lil better but it still looks like a mess. I’m taking a flier on Aru anyway, he can score 1000+ if he goes back to the basics.

LAMBRECHT Bjorg (337) - 22
One thing I like about this guy: he’s eager, even impatient at times. Setting is perfect at Lotto, with countless chances to ride for himself, especially in one week long races. Was the first guy I selected on my long list back in November, never left.

KITTEL Marcel (296) - 98
I can see Squire’s point on Kittel but I just couldn’t cut him from my team.

MCNULTY Brandon (273) - 7
I knew this would be a rare pick, but whenever I watched this guy race last year he was sensational. Admittedly, this could be the pick that ruins my game but I felt I needed to be bold to have a shot. It was a coin toss between him and Gaudu, and I dropped the frenchman just a couple of hours before sending my team in. Why did I do that? I feel like Gaudu is a great talent (I had him last year) but he will go through some more growing pains and the schedule won’t help him. McNulty on the other hand will ride a similar schedule to last year in a very protected environment and with zero pressure.

CHAVES RUBIO Jhoan Esteban (263) - 89
Health seems fine, which is all I needed to know.

FELLINE Fabio (257) - 63
I didn’t really consider him until I read an interview where he said he felt completely healthy after a while.

O'CONNOR Ben (219) - 36
Seriously what’s not to like about this kid? 23 years older with top20s in TdU and Catalunya, wins a stage in Trentino, goes toe to toe with the best in the business for almost 20 days in the Giro and then crashes out. He’ll be good.

TOUZE Damien (209) - 8
Had to choose between him and Cosnefroy for my Madouas’ 2019 wannabe. I believe Cosnefroy is the better talent but Touze is a tad faster. There are a few mouths to feed at Cofidis but also a ton of .1 races to score points in France. I’m confident.

PLANCKAERT Baptiste (206) - 27
Kind of a no brainer for me. Goes back to the level he belongs to, will ride a ton of one day races and stop wasting time in GTs/one week races.

BAUHAUS Phil (196) - 37
One of my last picks, can’t say I’m happy about it. I guess it’s boom or bust.

THEUNS Edward (191) - 61
Sunweb was clearly not the right fit.

PADUN Mark (191) - 30
Wanted to pick him last year but thought it was early, now I’m fully on the bandwagon. A beast at U23 level, huge engine, competent on all terrains. I don’t know how many opportunities he’ll get to ride for himself but I believe he’s on the verge of breaking through.

GARCIA CORTINA Ivan (153) - 14

I’ll keep picking him until he wins something big, which probably means I’ll pick him forever. Heart over head.

MEINTJES Louis (141) - 79
Bores me to death, but I can’t deny the ceiling.

CAVENDISH Mark (125) - 79
I didn’t have him on my team until the last day. Then I told myself: f*ck it, I want one last ride with the old man.

TORRES AGUDELO Rodolfo Andres (111) - 1
Can’t believe this is my unique pick, which is actually my first unique pick ever. I like the move to Team Illuminate: they race a ton of .1 asian races and don’t have any other leader. I mean Jorge Castiblanco and Martin Laas scored over 100 points last year on that team. Torres will kill it at that level, unless there’s something I don’t know about his health.

VAN ASBROECK Tom (95) - 19
At first I wanted no part of the ICA crowd of 3rd tier sprinters, but Van Asbroeck will mainly ride on home soil. He has scored big in belgian semi-classics before, so why not?

SWIFT Ben (72) - 53, ATAPUMA HURTADO Jhon Darwin (61) - 46, BETTIOL Alberto (50) - 92

You know the drill here.

KUMP Marko (54) - 26
His Adria Mobil seasons don’t lie. He’s tailor made for that level.

BANASZEK Alan (40) - 8
There goes another rider I absolutely wanted last year but couldn’t fit in the budget. Turns out he disappointed big time in 2018 and is now much cheaper. He DNFed an astonishing amount of races last year which is obviously a big concern, but he is strong and fast. A change of scenery might do wonders for him, especially if Caja Rural races a few of those .1 french races.

KÄMNA Lennard (37) - 38
I knew about the motivational issues, but too big of a talent to pass at that price.

SENNI Manuel (34) - 14
I’ve got kind of a fetish for reaching precisely 7500 points and he was the rider I liked the most in that price range anyway. Broke a leg during last year’s Giro and his season was gone at that point, He’s out of contract at the end of the year, which is a bonus considering his last year at BMC.

BOOM Lars (37) - 66
No explanation needed.

RIVERA SERRANO Kevin (20) - 30
A gamble, since he was dreadful last year. Savio loves him though and he’ll get plenty of opportunities.

EVENEPOEL Remco (0) - 86, VAKOC Petr (0) - 73
Not expecting much from either.


I'll post some more thoughts on riders I didn't pick later.
skidmark
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Re: Re:

09 Jan 2019 17:54

shalgo wrote:One of my hobby-horses is to dispute this idea that Tony Martin has declined dramatically in TTs. While he is not the dominant force he once was, he has remained one of the 3-4 best riders in long, flat TTs throughout recent years. This is pretty much what you would expect for a rider hitting his mid-thirties.

The problem is just that races so rarely include long, flat TTs these days. The past two world championship courses have been terrible for him. He rode only two long, flat TTs last year--the German championships, which he won, and Giro stage 16, where he was second to Dennis, beating Dumoulin, Van Emden, and Froome. So he was still a top rider in his specialty, but was rarely able to show it.

On the whole, then, this year offers some upside for him, because the World's course won't be quite as bad for him--with no single, large climb--but it is still hardly flat. And it is just not clear to me how many opportunities he will get to ride the kind of TTs in which he excels. Plus he is a year older. So while he will probably be able to match or beat his score from last year, I just didn't the potential for a large upside.


I agree that he is still a force in long, flat TTs. But lets not forget that in the past he also was able to shine on various other terrains such as prologues and hilly TTs. There was a time when the thought of Tony Martin with a 1' gap off the front of the Peloton would cause some seriously palms in the cars. I remember his solo win in Mulhouse, a 700m-sprint by Cancellara in La Vuelta 2013 to destroy a 170km solo and a stage in the Tour of the Basque Country in 2014 as some prime examples. While Tony remains strong in his speciality he declined in other areas. I am confident though, that he can regain some of his former class at Jumbo, that's why I selected him.

Squire wrote:Even more solid reasoning. :D

Seriously though, it's a very interesting team, but I feel there are too many wildly uncertain picks for it to be around the top of the standings. But if you hit the target with some of the really obscure ones, you'll at least get some very well-deserved credit!


Yep, definitely some long shots in my team but I like outsiders :D I thought I'm not gonna win anyway in my first participation so why not have some fun. Also, when you pick some more rare riders you have the chance to make up ground should they indeed fulfill the hopes.
Sestriere
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09 Jan 2019 21:13

A few notes on my team:

Popular picks:
87 NIBALI Vincenzo 693
83 GAVIRIA RENDON Fernando 602
51 BOUHANNI Nacer 441
96 ARU Fabio 400
99 KITTEL Marcel 296
90 CHAVES RUBIO Jhoan Esteban 263
63 FELLINE Fabio 257
61 THEUNS Edward 191
79 MEINTJES Louis 141
80 CAVENDISH Mark 125
54 SWIFT Ben 72
92 BETTIOL Alberto 50
67 BOOM Lars 37
74 VAKOC Petr 0
89 EVENEPOEL Remco 0

I am quite happy I did not overlook anyone significant. The highest one in the popularity who's not on my team is Zakarin, who actually was on my team until I realised I missed Chaves, due to which I had to replace Zaka with Bouhanni. After all, Bouhanni may be even better pick because I am not really sure if Zakarin can return to the level of racing we saw in the past. These Russians (read: Mamykin, Trofimov...) tend to have strange career trajectories...

Fairly popular:
31 TRENTIN Matteo 581
37 O'CONNOR Ben 219
37 BAUHAUS Phil 196
38 BAKELANTS Jan 120
46 ATAPUMA HURTADO Jhon Darwin 61
39 KÄMNA Lennard 37
27 INTXAUSTI ELORRIAGA Beñat 12

Although these were clearly not so obvious picks to many, I am still happy about having them. Atapuma I hope will have season similar to Moreno's last year with Delko. Some of you doubted Bakelants but I like his consistency. The biggest question mark from this group for me is Kamna but I reckoned he would be fairly popular and therefore did not want to miss him in case he has a good year.

Rare picks:
8 QUINTANA ROJAS Nairo Alexander 1118 - Like someone already noted, I am genuinely surprised Nairo is not more popular, especially given how many went with Porte or Landa. Quintana scored more points than both of those in the last 6 seasons, he seems to be most motivated of them for the season and will have the best support. Yes his price is a bit higher but I am convinced that in theory he should be better pick than Porte or Landa.

6 HENAO MONTOYA Sergio Luis 561 - okay, this is a little risky pick but I like the guy and read encouraging articles about his move to the new team so I fancy that >1000 season is achievable

3 MODOLO Sacha 391 - I admit I was not entirely sure about Sacha and I don't much like having EF riders on the team as they rarely seem to deliver but he arguably didn't have his best season and I hope for a bit more success this year (and his price tag fit my budget)

6 KENNAUGH Peter 249 - I had him last year and enjoyed his successful return from an unexplained period of absence. Initially I thought he was already too expensive but at the end decided more with the heart that I want to have him on the team once more

9 GIBBONS Ryan 96 - I just hope for some improvement this year as he seems to be an okay sprinter

2 GATTO Oscar 81 - not sure what he can do, but I guess he should safely double his score and everything else will be a bonus

6 DE LA PARTE GONZALEZ Victor 77 - CCC has very limited options for the GC so De La Parte should be one of those trying to go for the GC or stages. His price was very attractive and also interview with him was very encouraging so I am actually happy to see that there's just 6 of us with him

3 NAESEN Lawrence 51 - had him last year but health issues did not allow him to realise full potential. Believe 2019 will be his year of revelation

14 SENNI Manuel 34 - come on Manuel, you know you can climb, show it to us

4 FLOREZ LOPEZ Miguel Eduardo 46
11 MUÑOZ GIRALDO Daniel Felipe 2 - finally, these two are nothing else than my succumbing to Colombian and Savio hype. I know little about them other than Savio praising their talent so I guess I just hope they are the next Sosa :) And because I did not know which one it would be, I took rather both. But then again, I did not select Rivera so maybe I do not have the right one :)


On those that did not make the team: Most notable omissions from my longlist include Spilak, Mezgec, Rosa, Padun, Asbjorn Kragh, Schlegel and Cummings. I would like to have them on the team but could not find space for them.

I also considered Greipel but once I decided for Quintana I did not have enough points to spare for him.

If I had submitted my team earlier, Denifl would have been there, but luckily his "news" was made known early enough to take it into account.

Finally on Konig - I would be more than happy to see him racing again but alas, I am very sceptical. No news is not good news in his case. On the other hand seeing the enthusiasm of Vakoc on his twitter makes me believe that he can return to his full shape, although maybe not immediately and maybe will need another year. But all in all, Vakoc should definitely be able to score hundreds of points while with Konig I am afraid we'll see another zero.
PeterB
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Re:

09 Jan 2019 22:42

PeterB wrote:A few notes on my team:

Rare picks:
8 QUINTANA ROJAS Nairo Alexander 1118 - Like someone already noted, I am genuinely surprised Nairo is not more popular, especially given how many went with Porte or Landa. Quintana scored more points than both of those in the last 6 seasons, he seems to be most motivated of them for the season and will have the best support. Yes his price is a bit higher but I am convinced that in theory he should be better pick than Porte or Landa.



Thought on why he's not on more teams. He appears to have reached his peak in 2015. He's not reached that level since. It also appears that he's lost the confidence of team management. If last year's calendar was any indication, his early season races (outside of South America) will be in support of one of the other Movistar leaders. The only races it appears he'll have race leadership are Tour de Suisse and Tour de France. Although it's still possible to be co-leadership with Landa at the Tour. It will be co-leadership with Valverde at la Vuelta. Landa will again have a handful of early season European races where he'll lead the team and he usually does better in his second season with a team than his first season with the team. Now any improvement in his GT finishes will give him better points and that is possible/likely to happen.
User avatar Koronin
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Re: The 2019 CQ Ranking Manager Thread

09 Jan 2019 23:41

fauniera wrote:
Jakob747 wrote:
I made the GIF above to summarize why I picked Alberto Dainese already this year, despite him only being 20 years of age. Hell of a sprinter, we gonna hear a lot about him in the years to come.

My question is, does SEG ride a CQ points-friendy calender at continental level? Is it more attractive sprinting wise than in 2017 - Where Jakobsen scored 117 points?


Here is SEG's 2018 race schedule. Plenty of .2 races obviously, but also quite a few .1 races.
I guess it's likely that Dainese will go pro next year and will ride as a stagiaire for a big team this fall.


Thank you very much for the link. If 2019 is anything like last year, it looks alright I guess! Not many .1 races until August though. By then Dainese might be on a stagiaire contract as you mentioned - let's just hope everything pans out for a successful campaign already this season.
Jakob747
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Re: Re:

09 Jan 2019 23:58

Squire wrote:
Sestriere wrote:According to a Malaysian news article he is talented as well.

Even more solid reasoning. :D

Seriously though, it's a very interesting team, but I feel there are too many wildly uncertain picks for it to be around the top of the standings. But if you hit the target with some of the really obscure ones, you'll at least get some very well-deserved credit!

Jakob747 wrote:I made the GIF above to summarize why I picked Alberto Dainese already this year, despite him only being 20 years of age. Hell of a sprinter, we gonna hear a lot about him in the years to come.

My question is, does SEG ride a CQ points-friendy calender at continental level? Is it more attractive sprinting wise than in 2017 - Where Jakobsen scored 117 points?

That sprint (and a lot of other good sprints too) is one of the reasons why I rate Dainese very, very highly. I was very close to picking him for my own team too, and he was a given in my youth game team.

As for the calendar: I had SEG's Cees Bol as a unique pick last year and he was great for me, scoring 240 points as a zero-pointer. Probably the best unique pick. And he was overage, so he couldn't race U23 races. Still, he had plenty of Belgian and Dutch races where he could get points. He would've gotten even more if Dainese hadn't been the leader for a few of them. ;)


:). Bol had an incredibly consistent season in 2018. You showed excellent vision including him, even more, impressive the fact he didn't cost you a dime on your points budget.

Inspired by your selection lasy year, I actually had him on the block as a possibility for this years game. His 240 points price-tag, however, was a tad too inflated for me, still an interesting prospect though, not many talents go wrong on Sunweb either. Unlike on EF Education or Katusha for example.
Jakob747
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10 Jan 2019 12:32

Team Jancouver

I probably should not even post my team considering that I play this game every year since the beginning and if I can remember correctly, I made the Top 50 only once and probably have the worst track record of all the players :D

Anyway, this year I did not go too crazy with my fanboy picks, so perhaps the Top 50 is doable.

I have divided my picks based on their possible impact on this game. Listed based on popularity.

NO IMPACT
This group will have very limited to no impact on this game. The only popular pick missing is Bettiol. I left him behind because I did not want any (non-sprinter) from Slipstream. Every year, I pick too many of them as they seems to be a great value, and every year, they disappoint me. So screw you Vaughters

KITTEL Marcel 99 296
ARU Fabio 96 400
CHAVES RUBIO Jhoan Esteban 90 263
NIBALI Vincenzo 87 693
EVENEPOEL Remco 87 0
GAVIRIA RENDON Fernando 83 602
CAVENDISH Mark 80 125
MEINTJES Louis 79 141
VAKOC Petr 74 0

SOME IMPACT
A smaller group, but other than Boom, the rest can score some major points. Still a fairly popular bunch, so their points won't matter as much.

ZAKARIN Ilnur 69 473
BOOM Lars 67 37
FELLINE Fabio 63 257
SWIFT Ben 54 72
BOUHANNI Nacer 51 441

BIG IMPACT
these riders will have a big impact as they were selected by a minority of teams and I think that Ewan, Mareczko, McLay can score some good points

BAKELANTS Jan 38 120
BAUHAUS Phil 37 196
RIVERA SERRANO Kevin 30 20
MARECZKO Jakub 22 289
VAN ASBROECK Tom 19 95
EWAN Caleb 18 776
MCLAY Daniel 18 88

GAME CHANGERS
If the stars align, and these guys score some major points, the Top50 may be realistic. Nizzolo, Coquard, Hofland, Bonifazio are all second-tier fast finishers capable of scoring points in smaller races. Moreno "LOSER" picked by only six teams? Now I like this silly pick even more. LOL

CONTRERAS PINZON Rodrigo 11 36
MUÑOZ GIRALDO Daniel Felipe 11 2
NIZZOLO Giacomo 10 444
NAVARDAUSKAS Ramunas 10 133
FABBRO Matteo 10 116
BONIFAZIO Niccolo 9 234
WILLIAMS Stephen 9 63
HOFLAND Moreno 8 120
COQUARD Bryan 7 415
MCNULTY Brandon 7 273
MOSER Moreno 6 157
CARBONI Giovanni 5 113


LONG LIST leftovers
Really wanted, KÜNG and WALSCHEID, but could not fit them in.

BARGUIL Warren 447
CALMEJANE Lilian 569
DE BUYST Jasper 233
DURBRIDGE Luke 162
EENKHOORN Pascal 212
GEOGHEGAN HART Tao 317
HALVORSEN Kristoffer 162
HONORE Mikkel Frølich 76
HUFFMAN Evan 30
KÄMNA Lennard 37
KÜNG Stefan 437
MARTIN Tony 248
MOLANO BENAVIDES Juan Sebastian 364
MUÑOZ LANCHEROS Cristian Camilo 13
PANTANO GOMEZ Jarlinson 153
PEDERSEN Casper Phillip 119
PELUCCHI Matteo 168
RIABUSHENKO Aliaksandr 109
ROSA Diego 200
SCHLEGEL Michal 47
SCOTSON Miles 106
SEPULVEDA Eduardo 94
SIVAKOV Pavel 195
SPILAK Simon 256
VERVAEKE Louis 66
VINGEGAARD RASMUSSEN Jonas 56
VLIEGEN Loïc 109
WALSCHEID Max 389
WILLIAMS Stephen 63
WÜRTZ SCHMIDT Mads 140
User avatar Jancouver
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Re: Re:

10 Jan 2019 12:43

skidmark wrote:You know, if things had broken slightly different in my team construction, this is almost exactly the team that I would have had. The key is Bernal as the most expensive rider... it's crazy what he did, and almost did, last year. Like, he got that amount of points, on Team Sky, as a 21-year old, while also crashing out badly in 2nd place in Catalunya, while also crashing out badly in San Sebastian but still coming back before the end of the season to almost podium Lombardia. So, yeah, the hype is real - add the lead in a GT, fill in the blanks without crashes, plus another year of development, and it's tantalizing. But... you gotta cut somewhere, and I went the Nibali/Gaviria route. Netserk often made these comparisons on this thread of "rider combo x/y vs rider combo a/b", and I liked those exercises... maybe this year I'll track Gaviria + Nizzolo + Bouhanni vs Bernal + Padun + Ivan Garcia, which is roughly equivalent in points for riders that differentiate between our teams.

The only riders on your team I didn't seriously consider were Torres and Rivera (and not really Senni but I gave him a glance when I had to throw guys in at the end). I did the second half writeup of my team yesterday before I looked at your writeup, but most of our justifications for guys like Lambrecht/O'Connor/Bauhaus/Theuns/Plancakert are the same. I really wanted to pick McNulty again and think he can be a good pick - I think Rally are developing him smartly and gradually, but such a talent at such an age can easily make a leap. I picked Cosnefroy instead of Touze. I added Bauhaus last but almost took Padun. I wanted Ivan Garcia again but had enough riders from last year's team that I was doubling down on and didn't wanna be disappointed again. So overall, your team looks pretty good in my eyes. Not sure how much room for improvement WvA has, and even though he's going back to CT I feel like Kump might be washed, but your picks don't generally put a foot wrong.

Thanks for the review.
We had similar teams last year and it didn't go particularly well for either of us. Hopefully 2019 will be different.
User avatar SafeBet
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10 Jan 2019 13:09

So I finally had some time on my hands to make a few comments on my team - and some of the riders I didn't pick.

During the last year I haven't been able to follow cycling as closely as I have previously, which showed when I started working on my team: I really couldn't put together a squad that I was very happy with and that I thought was the most likely to win the competition.

It would have been easy to throw together a team with most of the obvious picks this year (Kittel, Aru, Bettiol, Chaves, Nibali, Evenepoel, Gaviria, Cavendish, Zakarin, Boom, Felline, Bouhanni, Gaudu, Swift etc. were all on my first draft) but as I hadn't really been following cycling closely and doing a lot of research this year, I decided to go another route and neglect most of these and just put together a fun team. The last few years I've always been near the top of the popularity chart but this time I wanted a more unique feel to my team.

I'm well aware that I probably won't be near the top of the table when the season ends, but I'm fine with that.

Here's the team I ended up with and comments on some of them (I don't find it necessary to comment on some of the more popular picks that I did decide to include like Nibali etc.):

The expensive ones (500+ points):

BERNAL GOMEZ Egan Arley
MOSCON Gianni
NIBALI Vincenzo
GAVIRIA RENDON Fernando
ANDERSEN Søren Kragh

Moscon and Gaviria were both on my team last year, and I've decided to give them another chance this year. Moscon had a bad spring but showed in the fall that he's a world class classics rider when in form. If he can find that form during the spring as well, his potential is huge. The same goes for Gaviria, but I've got to admit that reading the comments here makes me a bit worried about him, as I agree with the logic that "if he couldn't get it together at QuickStep, how is he gonna get it together at UAE?". The potential is definitely there though. Bernal is a generational talent that is almost certain to improve next year despite his impressive debut season for Sky. Andersen was kind of a late addition, but I think he's a phenomenal talent that can do well in the classics and even in some stage races like Binck Bank Tour. The only problem is that he'll have to share the spoils with Matthews in a lot of races.

The middle of the pack (100-500 points):

HAIG Jack
DE PLUS Laurens
KANTER Max
BAUHAUS Phil
SIVAKOV Pavel
THEUNS Edward
PADUN Mark
KNOX James
HALVORSEN Kristoffer
GARCIA CORTINA Ivan
HAMILTON Lucas
MOSCHETTI Matteo
PÖSTLBERGER Lukas
PEDERSEN Casper Phillip
HINDLEY Jai
THOMAS Benjamin
DEWULF Stan

OK so this is quite a large middle mostly consisting of young talents. Bauhaus, Padun, Knox and Garcia were some of the first names on my team sheet as I think they all have potential to have really great seasons. Bauhaus has shown his top speed is up there with the best and will have a train working for him this year; Padun and Garcia impressed me a lot during last season and Knox had some good showings during the year (like in one of the Canadian races) - and he rides for QuickStep.

Kanter and Moschetti were two of the most promising sprinters last season, while Halvorsen is also a great sprinting talent but disappointed somewhat last season.

I'm quite a big fan of the look of the Jumbo team this year, and I really wanted to include a few guys from that team, but in the end I ended up with only De Plus. I don't really know what to expect from him this year and he probably won't become a world beater all of a sudden, but who knows.

Hindley, Sivakov and Hamilton were all great talents in the U23 years, and I hope they can both have sort of a breakthrough season this year, although I fear that their progression has stalled somewhat. Hindley did impress me a few times last year though (was it in the Vuelta perhaps?).

Dewulf, Thomas, Pedersen I don't actually have big expectations for this year, but I'm looking forward to following them. I honestly don't know much about Dewulf.

Haig is only picked 4 times this year, which is a bit surprising to me - and then not really, as there are a lot of great picks in this price range. However, I decided to go for Haig instead of one of the more defensive picks like Zakarin, Nizzolo, Bouhanni or Aru as Haig really impressed me last season and I think he could have a really great year. I think he has a lot of potential in one-day-races which I hope he'll show this year.

The cheap ones (less than 100 points):

HONORE Mikkel Frølich
SWIFT Ben
CIMA Imerio
VINGEGAARD RASMUSSEN Jonas
BETTIOL Alberto
BOUCHARD Geoffrey
AFFINI Edoardo
BOOM Lars
GREGAARD Wilsly Jonas
VANHOUCKE Harm
EVENEPOEL Remco

Here's where I have most of my obvious picks (Swift, Bettiol, Boom, Evenepoel) - and then some that probably won't turn out to be really good picks to be honest. I decided to include a few Danes to my team - I'm usually not very nationalistic but I wanted to have some in my team this year. Bouchard is probably the pick I'm the most pleased with in this category, as he fits the bill for a break out rider pretty well.

Now on to some of the popular riders that I didn't pick. As mentioned, I steared away from most of these because I wanted to try another route this year, and even though it's hard to make a case against these, I do have some distrust in some of them.

Kittel is the one I'm most likely to regret not picking points wise as he surely can't do as bad as he did last year and he'll likely end up as a very good pick with a potential 1000+ points season.
Aru and Zakarin I see as pretty similar. Great potential but with disastrous seasons for whatever reason. I'm not so sure that they'll ever bounce back as strong as they once were, and they could end up as slight disappointments I think.
We've all seen what Chaves can do when he hits his peak, but I fear that he will be a long way from that form last year. We've seen what mononucleosis can do to a rider and how long it can take to get back (see Cavendish for instance - same reason I didn't pick him), and I fear the same will apply to Chaves (not for my chances in this game but for the likeable person that he is).
I've always been a big fan of Felline (in fact, I had a picture of him as my avatar when I created my profile here) and I kinda regret not picking him this year but once again I fear that he won't reach the level he's previously shown.
Bouhanni is the epitome of a good CQ-pick - on paper. 1000+ points for five seasons in a row and then all of a sudden only 400 points. However, I fear that the disagreements within his team aren't settled yet and with a bunch of other fast guys on the team (Hofstetter, Laporte, Touze) they won't have to rely as much on Bouhanni as previously.

I think that's all for now. Good luck to everyone!
User avatar Hugo Koblet
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Re:

10 Jan 2019 14:08

Hugo Koblet wrote:Haig is only picked 4 times this year, which is a bit surprising to me - and then not really, as there are a lot of great picks in this price range. However, I decided to go for Haig instead of one of the more defensive picks like Zakarin, Nizzolo, Bouhanni or Aru as Haig really impressed me last season and I think he could have a really great year. I think he has a lot of potential in one-day-races which I hope he'll show this year.

Jack Haig is a very intriguing pick. I toyed with the idea of picking him over Aru for a long time, but then decided I had enough expensive not so reliable picks and went the other way. I think Mitchelton holds Haig in a very high regard and could give him some opportunities to ride as a sole captain in 2019. He's been solid, if unspectacular, for the past 2 seasons and has shown great recovery in GTs. The only thing I'm not completely sure about is his ceiling.

Hindley is another rider I gave a long look at (he was very consistent during last year's Vuelta as you remember). Considering the new info I got about Torres, I should have probably picked him.
User avatar SafeBet
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Location: Milano, Italy

10 Jan 2019 14:48

Jai Hindley

For

Seems good value, excellent talent

Against

Team he rides for points to few opportunities for himself.
del1962
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Re:

10 Jan 2019 16:46

del1962 wrote:Jai Hindley

For

Seems good value, excellent talent

Against

Team he rides for points to few opportunities for himself.

Yes, that's definitely a concern. However, he doesn't have to have breakthrough season to be a good pick. Doubling his points won't be enough, but 300 I think will, which should be doable even if he doesn't get many opportunities for himself.
User avatar Hugo Koblet
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Re:

10 Jan 2019 16:47

Jancouver wrote:Team Jancouver

GAME CHANGERS
If the stars align, and these guys score some major points, the Top50 may be realistic. Nizzolo, Coquard, Hofland, Bonifazio are all second-tier fast finishers capable of scoring points in smaller races. Moreno "LOSER" picked by only six teams? Now I like this silly pick even more. LOL

CONTRERAS PINZON Rodrigo 11 36
MUÑOZ GIRALDO Daniel Felipe 11 2
NIZZOLO Giacomo 10 444
NAVARDAUSKAS Ramunas 10 133
FABBRO Matteo 10 116
BONIFAZIO Niccolo 9 234
WILLIAMS Stephen 9 63
HOFLAND Moreno 8 120
COQUARD Bryan 7 415
MCNULTY Brandon 7 273
MOSER Moreno 6 157
CARBONI Giovanni 5 113


I mostly really like this tier of your picks, definitely some upside! It's interesting that you also picked Nizzolo/Coquard combo, as I already noted on this thread that those were rare riders that Squire and I have in common. I just looked it up on the sheet and LukasCPH also has these two, so 4 of the 7 teams that selected Coquard also are 4 of the 10 that selected Nizzolo. It seems we were thinking similarly for them and will rise and fall together on that front. I also took Navardauskas so obviously I support that pick as well; I think the French calendar and some leadership opportunities will suit him, he hasn't really had that in his pro career.

For the others, I said on the last page that McNulty could be a great pick, I had him last year and strongly considered him again this year. He's young, but such a talent that he could realistically top 5-600, and with a team that will give him room to breathe in races that he could succeed. Williams I would have more seriously considered if he was at a better team for neo-pros, but looking more over his results and interviews since the team reveal, I think he has the talent to potentially be a real bargain at 63 points. I'm just worried Bahrain stuffs him at all WT races or something, but he might have the talent to get a few hundred out of that anyway. Moser and Hofland I like as dice rolls, they just need to capitalize on their own chances to get a few results to be worth it. Carboni I looked into a bit and he seemed more consistent than high upside, but you never know with Italian youth on PCT. The other three I don't know much about. But anyway, generally looks like a pretty good 'low popularity' tier, which can definitely make a difference.
skidmark
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Re: Re:

10 Jan 2019 17:08

skidmark wrote:
Jancouver wrote:Team Jancouver

GAME CHANGERS
If the stars align, and these guys score some major points, the Top50 may be realistic. Nizzolo, Coquard, Hofland, Bonifazio are all second-tier fast finishers capable of scoring points in smaller races. Moreno "LOSER" picked by only six teams? Now I like this silly pick even more. LOL

CONTRERAS PINZON Rodrigo 11 36
MUÑOZ GIRALDO Daniel Felipe 11 2
NIZZOLO Giacomo 10 444
NAVARDAUSKAS Ramunas 10 133
FABBRO Matteo 10 116
BONIFAZIO Niccolo 9 234
WILLIAMS Stephen 9 63
HOFLAND Moreno 8 120
COQUARD Bryan 7 415
MCNULTY Brandon 7 273
MOSER Moreno 6 157
CARBONI Giovanni 5 113


I mostly really like this tier of your picks, definitely some upside! It's interesting that you also picked Nizzolo/Coquard combo, as I already noted on this thread that those were rare riders that Squire and I have in common. I just looked it up on the sheet and LukasCPH also has these two, so 4 of the 7 teams that selected Coquard also are 4 of the 10 that selected Nizzolo. It seems we were thinking similarly for them and will rise and fall together on that front. I also took Navardauskas so obviously I support that pick as well; I think the French calendar and some leadership opportunities will suit him, he hasn't really had that in his pro career.

For the others, I said on the last page that McNulty could be a great pick, I had him last year and strongly considered him again this year. He's young, but such a talent that he could realistically top 5-600, and with a team that will give him room to breathe in races that he could succeed. Williams I would have more seriously considered if he was at a better team for neo-pros, but looking more over his results and interviews since the team reveal, I think he has the talent to potentially be a real bargain at 63 points. I'm just worried Bahrain stuffs him at all WT races or something, but he might have the talent to get a few hundred out of that anyway. Moser and Hofland I like as dice rolls, they just need to capitalize on their own chances to get a few results to be worth it. Carboni I looked into a bit and he seemed more consistent than high upside, but you never know with Italian youth on PCT. The other three I don't know much about. But anyway, generally looks like a pretty good 'low popularity' tier, which can definitely make a difference.


I have noticed that you have some of these cheaper guys and for a brief moment, even got suspicious if you are trying to copy my team LOL :D

BTW just noticed that Carlos "The Toothpick" Betancur was picked by only four teams! :eek:

Now, that is a surprise considering his almost religious following.

Here are the true believers:

DJ Sprtsch
Poles & Co
VeloRooms
Wallenquist
User avatar Jancouver
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Re: Re:

10 Jan 2019 18:00

Hugo Koblet wrote:
del1962 wrote:Jai Hindley

For

Seems good value, excellent talent

Against

Team he rides for points to few opportunities for himself.

Yes, that's definitely a concern. However, he doesn't have to have breakthrough season to be a good pick. Doubling his points won't be enough, but 300 I think will, which should be doable even if he doesn't get many opportunities for himself.


The team context is always an interesting consideration... teams like Sunweb and Mitchelton (and Sky and Astana etc) have a very 'work for the leaders unless you're a leader' approach, so even though they're teeming with young talent it makes it a tricky prospect picking them in this game, because while Jack Haig could podium some one-week races or show in one-days, it's more likely he'll superdom for two GTs or something. Other teams (QuickStep being the gold standard) just seem to know how to balance the needs of their neo-pros and established riders to ensure that everybody eats. Whereas other teams (UAE, Bahrain, historically Vaughters teams & Cofidis, etc) seem to have no plan or clue how to develop their riders to maximize potential.

On that front, one team I think has sneakily done an amazing job in the past couple of years is Jumbo - after my entire cycling fandom lifetime of observing Rabo good-but-mediocre returns, it's taken awhile to notice this, and even though I reminded myself of this last year watching how guys like Bennett and Roglic and Groenewegen and Kuss were coming through (and how they finally got some consistent excellence out of Kruijswijk), I totally forgot about that reminder while putting together my team. So I think guys like De Plus, Powless, Eenkhoorn, Van der Hoorn and even Tony Martin could be good picks in this game, and I'm sure I would have talked myself into at least one of them if I had been thinking on those terms.
skidmark
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Re: Re:

10 Jan 2019 18:05

skidmark wrote:On that front, one team I think has sneakily done an amazing job in the past couple of years is Jumbo - after my entire cycling fandom lifetime of observing Rabo good-but-mediocre returns, it's taken awhile to notice this, and even though I reminded myself of this last year watching how guys like Bennett and Roglic and Groenewegen and Kuss were coming through (and how they finally got some consistent excellence out of Kruijswijk), I totally forgot about that reminder while putting together my team. So I think guys like De Plus, Powless, Eenkhoorn, Van der Hoorn and even Tony Martin could be good picks in this game, and I'm sure I would have talked myself into at least one of them if I had been thinking on those terms.

The thing about the Jumbo kids is that there is not enough space for all of them to have seasons where they score plenty of points. So the lottery of picking out who's going to score is a problem. I solved that by not picking any of them. Same with all the ICA sprinters, although I was close to including Barbier.
User avatar Squire
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Re: Re:

10 Jan 2019 18:30

Squire wrote:
skidmark wrote:On that front, one team I think has sneakily done an amazing job in the past couple of years is Jumbo - after my entire cycling fandom lifetime of observing Rabo good-but-mediocre returns, it's taken awhile to notice this, and even though I reminded myself of this last year watching how guys like Bennett and Roglic and Groenewegen and Kuss were coming through (and how they finally got some consistent excellence out of Kruijswijk), I totally forgot about that reminder while putting together my team. So I think guys like De Plus, Powless, Eenkhoorn, Van der Hoorn and even Tony Martin could be good picks in this game, and I'm sure I would have talked myself into at least one of them if I had been thinking on those terms.

The thing about the Jumbo kids is that there is not enough space for all of them to have seasons where they score plenty of points. So the lottery of picking out who's going to score is a problem. I solved that by not picking any of them. Same with all the ICA sprinters, although I was close to including Barbier.


It's true, but I also used that reasoning to exclude guys like Hodeg last year (though sprinting is truly a different prospect than the stage racers). ICA seems like quite the mess, I have no idea what they're doing and think they might not either, but Barbier at least has a tangible purpose in the whole 'hey look Tour de France we care about France too!' approach for 2020 inclusion. I know I have Van Asbroeck too but I kinda backed myself into that one. I think yeah, if I really thought about it and took a Jumbo rider of those I named, it'd probably be Tony Martin because his skillset is different and he's an established rider coming from a bad team. Powless maybe too because they have a distinct American calendar, but it'd be hard to pick between the rest.
skidmark
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Posts: 2,695
Joined: 13 Mar 2009 23:16

Re: Re:

10 Jan 2019 22:22

skidmark wrote:
Squire wrote:
skidmark wrote:On that front, one team I think has sneakily done an amazing job in the past couple of years is Jumbo - after my entire cycling fandom lifetime of observing Rabo good-but-mediocre returns, it's taken awhile to notice this, and even though I reminded myself of this last year watching how guys like Bennett and Roglic and Groenewegen and Kuss were coming through (and how they finally got some consistent excellence out of Kruijswijk), I totally forgot about that reminder while putting together my team. So I think guys like De Plus, Powless, Eenkhoorn, Van der Hoorn and even Tony Martin could be good picks in this game, and I'm sure I would have talked myself into at least one of them if I had been thinking on those terms.

The thing about the Jumbo kids is that there is not enough space for all of them to have seasons where they score plenty of points. So the lottery of picking out who's going to score is a problem. I solved that by not picking any of them. Same with all the ICA sprinters, although I was close to including Barbier.


It's true, but I also used that reasoning to exclude guys like Hodeg last year (though sprinting is truly a different prospect than the stage racers). ICA seems like quite the mess, I have no idea what they're doing and think they might not either, but Barbier at least has a tangible purpose in the whole 'hey look Tour de France we care about France too!' approach for 2020 inclusion. I know I have Van Asbroeck too but I kinda backed myself into that one. I think yeah, if I really thought about it and took a Jumbo rider of those I named, it'd probably be Tony Martin because his skillset is different and he's an established rider coming from a bad team. Powless maybe too because they have a distinct American calendar, but it'd be hard to pick between the rest.


Kuss and Powless are likely to come to the two US races. Unless they send Kuss to the Giro, I'd expect to see him at California and definitely Utah again.
User avatar Koronin
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Re: The 2019 CQ Ranking Manager Thread

11 Jan 2019 03:01

HAMILTON Lucas - 149 (10 teams) – I started following Lucas Hamilton already back in 2014 when he was just a first-year junior. I remember some quotes from one of Australia’s most successful cycling coaches, Dave Sanders (his trainer at the time), which has stayed with me ever since. --- ¨Lucas is a discuss talent for sure. He is a natural talent who trains very hard and is very focused on his cycling. He is also a full-time student who looks after himself at a regional boarding school in Ballarat. He is as good a junior as I've seen in quite a while and can compare with Caleb Ewen and Rob Power in many ways. Although he does not have a great sprint as yet¨. It has been almost 5 years since those quotes, and Hamilton has progressed steadily into one of the most promising riders under 23.

2019 will be all about improving his learning-curve even further and I believe we will see solid progression in the next 12 months time-span from the young Australian!

MOSCHETTI Matteo - 144 (28 teams) – 9 victories in 2018 was an impressive tally for the promising Italian speedster. No doubt. However, the vast majority came in countries such as Turkey, Greece, and Hungary against second-tier opposition mostly. His victories in ZLM and Burgos were exciting though - I could not find any useful footage of him beating Mareczko (Antalya stage one) so I leave that uncommented - but it defiantly looks like there is potential to build on.

Funny enough it's his top-end speed I am the most in doubt about. He is fast sure, but boulevard bunch-gallop fast? still undecided on that facet as of now. On the plus side, he seems considerably versatile, there is more to his game than just finishing fast - so there could potentially be several 1-day events on the calendar which should suit him to the tee.

Basso seems convinced in his talent as well. Anyway, hopefully, he won't need much time adjusting, I need at least 300 points from him this year!

MEINTJES Louis - 141 (79 teams) – Louis Meintjes is such a talented little climber with a wonderful daring attacking mindset!

Said NO ONE in the history of cycling.

I gladly admit I think Ben O'Connor is the future of GC racing within Dimension Data- Both in potential and panache, he eclipses the tiny South African. I still choose Meintjes though, because there's no denying he actually is talented - sadly just races very negatively, always content with an anonymous 8th spot on GC, however points-wise he could be valid, gathering points via those unexciting lower stage-race placings!

WÜRTZ SCHMIDT Mads - 140 (3 teams) – I picked a rider from the Katusha roster. I swore to myself that it would not happen in the 2019 version of this game. I'm a bit salty as to how I would characterize Mads Würtz Schmidt's two first full road seasons honestly. There's been some positive, I mean he started his career with a bang in Etoile de Bessèges back in 017, showed panache in Rund um Köln and then all of a sudden feel into some sorts of downwards spiral for the remainder of the year.

2018 was mediocre and anonymous at best as well, yet ive seen him stating he wants to ride finals in 2019, which considering his talent from his U23 days seems legit. So anyway I decided to give him another shot in 2019 hoping he can flourish a little in some of the minor classics and hopefully regain his old TT legs from his prospect days.

CAVENDISH Mark - 125 (80 teams) – Never, never, never count Mark Cavendish out. That's a lesson most cycling-fans can relate to having learned more than once in his 13-year long career. So do I think he will equal or beat Eddy Merckx's tour record? Hell no! Do I think he will he win a bike-race in 2019? No, honestly I don't think so either.

So why bother picking him? Well, he isn't retired yet, So finally I DID learn not to count out Mark Cavendish. --- Once the fastest sprinter in the sport is a predicate no one can ever take off him, an even though it's maybe all nostalgia by now, it's enough for me to include him in my squad, one last time.

HIGUITA GARCIA Sergio Andres - 119 (2 teams) – The surprise of last years Vuelta Colombia, where he finished 5th on GC and won an impressive stage victory on Torre de Chipre (Manizales). Higuita is a dimuitive lightweight climber (54kg) who is punchy as hell to boot. He has the word winner printed in his DNA, either he will be a huge success otherwise he will flop miserably. In El Tiempo, he mentioned he has been promised a calendar with races such as California, Utah (at altitude yayyy) and Tour of Austria which all in all seems pretty reasonable from Vaughters.

CARBONI Giovanni - 113 (5 teams) – Who will carry the torch from Giulio Ciccone in 2019? Bardiani, in my opinion, looks extremely week roster-wise, for the coming season! Andrea Guardini is far from a marquee sprinter anymore. Wackermann and Albanese have both been unfortunate with different mishaps and well that's about it really!

Francesco Romano is a talent. On harder selective days he could potentially survive and sprint himself into some decent placings, but all in all the only name on their line-up I truly believe in (more or less) is Giovanni Carboni.

Carboni rode a brilliant stage on Passo Giau to set up Ciccone and delivered stably yet unspectacular otherwise all year round. Good pedigree as a climber and with a free reign team wise to search for personal glory, made me pick him for 2019.

RIABUSHENKO Aliaksandr - 109 (9 teams) – A real ¨killer¨ on the bike, more or less the same mold as Alaphilippe. That's the words UAE director Matxin used to describe Riabushenko to Deia.eus.

His amateur day's whispers promise we can all agree on that! Now comes the hard part translating those performances into success within the pro-peloton. I am a firm believer in Riabushenkos talent and look forward to seeing him on some Ardennes terrain for example, and some decimated group sprints after hard undulation days of racing.

THOMAS Benjamin - 103 (17 teams) – Hopefully, Benjamin Thomas will be relatively free of track commitments in 2019. His pursuit style is pleasing to watch and his well-timed attacks were a joy to behold in 2017. The French racing calendar is also pretty generous point-wise as well, and Thomas with his TT abilities in mind could potentially score some solid placings in minor French stage-races.

CONCI Nicola - 98 (8 teams) – Conci was an absolute monster on the Italian junior circuit back in the day. Excellent, excellent climber. 2018 was a huge learning experience yet he showcased his talent several times and especially in California and Utah I was impressed. Italian agent Paolo Alberati predicts Conci a huge future within the pro-peloton and well I agree, one of the biggest hope for Squadra Azzurra in the future.

DAINESE Alberto - 80 (7 teams) – Fabulous young sprinter, I wrote a little about the other day. 2019 is perhaps a little too soon, but Dainese possesses the kind of potential you cant hold down. One for the future.

ATAPUMA HURTADO Jhon Darwin - 61 (46 teams) – Atapuma has always been an opportunistic rider. Never afraid to go from far way out. I don't expect anything mind-blowing from him at all this coming year, but the flat hierarchy which rules within Cofidis climbing wise, should suit him quite well and allow for some long-range attacks and maybe a KOM jersey or two here and there.

Apologies for having to write this presentation in parts - hopefully, I can find time tomorrow to add the last 6 riders missing on my squad.
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