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The 2018 CQ Ranking Manager Thread

Page 16 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.
Hodeg is a boulevard sprinter - tall and powerful (186cm - 76kg). Quick-Step tested him at their academy and he put out freakish watts, almost equivalent to Kittel.

He also rode solidly in all the little races in Belgium - 11x top-10 in a 2-month time-span. Without mentioning l'Avenir of course.

2nd - GP Stad Sint-Niklaas
2nd - Vrasene
2nd - Keiem
2nd - Wingene
3rd - Asse-Relegem
4th - Emelgem-Izegem
5th - Rozebeke
5th - GP Memorial Briek Schotte - Desselgem
6th - Keerbergen
10th - Gistel
10th - Londerzeel

I would be very satisfied with 200 or 300 points though! :twisted:
Solid analysis, and good points.

But I think you're underestimating Halvorsen's support. In the TDU he is getting Puccio, Wisniowski, Lawless, Dibben and Doull as support. With some practice, that's a potentially pretty good leadout. None of them (except possibly Puccio) will be needed for stage race support, so if Halvorsen proves to be worth backing (which, judging by his past results, I believe he will) then I think he'll be reasonably well supported for the minor races that he will ride.

And Jakobsen was also one of the very few picks that I never thought twice about (and I even reconsidered Cavendish at one point). As you rightly point out, a lot of the names I mentioned had more favouable circumstances in their neo year, but I'm a big believer in Jakobsen's talent. And he can do a lot more than sprint at the end of a train. Maybe 1000 points is stretching it (though QS had three 1000+ point sprinters last year), but I think (and hope) 600-700 should be doable with a good season, and that will put him firmly in the optimal team.

But knowing my luck, they both do an Enzo Wouters. :)
Mar 14, 2009
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Squire said:

But knowing my luck, they both do an Enzo Wouters. :)

You are probably right because I got both of those guys and usually, I can barely make the Top 100 in this game :D

At the same time, I'm hoping this is the year when even the broken clock can be right :eek:
Oct 15, 2017
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PeterB said:
I know that some of you create your team by comparing expected returns of various combinations of riders. I don't do that because it seems to me this method is so imprecise and unreliable that it simply does not make sense to use it. But now that I have my team I estimated how many points I expect at the end of the year, if all goes as planned (i.e. cautiously optimistic scenario). I've got to 17400 points.

Anybody else willing to share their projections? It may be interesting to compare not only with reality at the end, but also to get an idea how many points a winning team may need this year.
My projection is around the same.
Usually, when I predict scores for my team >16000 I end up scoring <14000. The only time I predicted less than 16000 (playing since 2012) was last year with 15300 and my team ended the year with 14739. So in my case vastly underating talent pays off.

For this year my allmost-no-reasearch prediction sets my team up at 15775 points, but looking at some of those "predictions" I made ... yeah... not so sure about that... After last seasons high, I'll probably drop down to my usual mid-table obscurity again. ;)
Mar 14, 2009
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armchairclimber said:
I'm a lot more confident now that I know Bob Jungels is going to win the TDF.

Well, I wouldnt mind that either. Actually, all I want from him is to score 1400 points or at least 100 points more than Lopez as I picked him over the sprman Lopez. :eek:
Now that things have settled down a bit and I'm back home, I can come very late to the party and talk about my team! I'll do it from most popular to least popular, as the most popular probably require the least explanation:

Mark Cavendish (115 teams, 257 points) - yeah he's gonna be 33, but his worst year since turning pro other than this was 642, which by itself would make him a fine pick.

Giacomo Nizzolo (111/66) - I'm only surprised that he isn't the most popular, as he's likely going to be the biggest return both in terms of points and percentage (unless Alaphilippe or some unheralded guy goes full Moser 2012).

Bryan Coquard (110/220) - not being selected to the TdF might even make him a more lucrative pick.

Esteban Chaves (107/505) - one of the top 5 GT talents in the peloton, and he has one-day bona fides (won Lombardia), so he should be a good pick for whatever he does, up to and including the Worlds.

Miguel Angel Lopez (101/629) - I actually thought his good Vuelta showing would make him less popular than this, but evidently everyone sees that he's a white hot supernova talent. Definitely the potential to be a top 5 GC talent of his generation.

Leopold Konig (99/10) - I mean, I picked him for more last year. No brainer.

Tanel Kangert (86/58) - not the most exciting racer in the sense that he's a worker that gets good results by grinding it out to the finish, but I love guys like that personally and am happy to be able to select him in the game.

Gianluca Brambilla (76/195) - kinda surprised he's this popular, as he's almost definitely not going to repeat his 2016. But after that breakthrough, he knows he can be good, and from interviews Trek seems to be giving him the chance to do his own thing for GC, so a solid ~500 should be achievable. I know, he's never done more than 373 other than 2016, but still, it's not like his 976 points all came in a week, he was great at many points of the year.

Andrea Guardini (66/39) - he was lost on his team last year; if Bardiani even goes to Langkawi he should double his points in a week (I know they probably won't, just saying he's cheap is all)

Sondre Holst Enger (64/0) - I shied away from borderline ICA riders, just because with the tension around the Giro starting in Jerusalem and the political conversation around the US moving the embassy there, I could see the team being caught in limbo in case a political storm whipped up in 2018. But this guy was too good to pass up.

Benat Intxausti (63/0) - I almost left him off last year because I wasn't confident he'd have a full comeback, and I should have left him off. The first part was the same again this year, I almost switched him out last minute. But it's gotta have cleared up by now, right? Right? Then there's the Sky thing - it's not like he's gonna get 600 points. But if he gets 300 he's a fine pick.

David Gaudu (61/352) - I waffled on Gaudu; when I had the first half of my team picked, there was no way in my mind he was making the 33. But here's what got me after giving him a very close look - this guy's in his first year, and all his results at U23 are just killer GC results, including mopping up at Avenir. But in his neo year, aside from 2nd in l'Ain, all his results were from 1-day races. 9th in FW as a rookie is impressive enough; 5th in Milano-Torino shows that those steep finales he's already at the top level. But just imagine when he does something on GC! Last year he did Algarve, Catalunya, Romandie, Dauphine (which he DNF'd) before l'Ain, and nothing after (ok he abandoned Limousin). If he's anywhere near his potential in the stage races this year he'll add to his total handsomely.

Kristoffer Halvorsen (60/151) - He's already the fastest guy on Sky (unless he's racing Kwiat in the MSR finale after ~300km); sure he won't get a dedicated leadout but Viviani did just fine this year, and he just needs to be top 5 in some one days. I've heard concerns about his ability to get over hills, but Sky usually do Scheldeprijs, and there are plenty of races on the calendar. He did a bunch of classics with Joker and got good results in them (Nokere Korese, Handzame), so he should already come into the peloton knowing how to position himself decently.

Lawson Craddock (60/15) - he said in several interviews that overtraining was the big issue last year; I'm willing to believe that, I know he has much greater potential.

Ramunas Navardauskas (57/77) - his point totals have fluctuated and he's gonna work for Nibali at least in the Tour, I'm sure. But he's got a big enough engine and the calendar is long enough that I'm sure he'll pull out something weird like 4th in Plouay or Montreal or something.

Enric Mas (51/285) - he's got alot of class; figured it out by the end of the year. A formula I like in CQ: neo-pro who is good and gets solid but not great results in the early year, followed by very good results later in the year, plus the bonus of finishing a GT and getting that in his legs. If those early season mediocre results (14th in PV and Cali) turn into top 5s, which they very well could, he will more than double.

Heinrich Haussler (51/60) - I always felt kinda bad for Haussler. After that incredible spring of 2009, it looked like he was the future. That TdF stage win in the rain was great, him crying and all. Then the next spring he was crushed to have to miss the classics (can't remember if it was illness or injury), but he still looked goddamn fast when he was racing. Then in Suisse (I think it was) he got taken out by Cav in that sprint, looking fast enough to take him on when he was the undisupted king. He was never the same after that; I think his 2009 spring was the form of his life, but also can't help but think he lost something in that crash. He's had a solid career since then, but never at the level he promised. When he almost looked like he was done for last year, I was in his corner. But I don't wanna be sentimental - that didn't work out for me for a 60-pointer last year (Boeckmans, who I knew I shouldn't have picked but did anyway because what the hell I was picking with my heart in 2017). Still - taking a step back and looking at Haussler, I think he's a good pick at 60 points. Even in the depths of his IAM wander through the wilderness, he never got worse than about 250, and has more regularly been a solid 4-500. I'll be happy with that.

Okay I'm only halfway but have to stop, this is getting too long. Part 2 coming later. Anyone with new thoughts on these guys so far?
Seems like a valid analysis. I was going to post that I have all in there except for Intxausti (I don't want to putmore pressure on him after last year when I had him). Then I checked my team and discover that for some reason Cavendish is not in there, and not Halvorsen either!!! Those two were among the five first in my selection....appears I submitted the wrong team.
Oh well.
I've just decided to stay away from the pesky cheap Americans this year (Craddock, Dombrowski, Phinney and even Costa). I've been burned too many times, so now I need to see walk before talk :)

As for Haussler, he offers a decent floor, but my other picks in that area (a.o. Welten,Moser and Barbier), though risky, offers interesting prospects and unexpected ceilings. Haussler and Phinney were the boring guys I dismissed last, since my boring picks tend to be disappointments.
Dec 31, 2017
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Can someone explain me why was there so few love for tony martin? The guy just come from is worst season since a really long time and with the departure of kristoff he might become the number 1 rider for katusha atleast in the cobbles.

Kazistuta said:
I've just decided to stay away from the pesky cheap Americans this year (Craddock, Dombrowski, Phinney and even Costa). I've been burned too many times, so now I need to see walk before talk :)

As for Haussler, he offers a decent floor, but my other picks in that area (a.o. Welten,Moser and Barbier), though risky, offers interesting prospects and unexpected ceilings. Haussler and Phinney were the boring guys I dismissed last, since my boring picks tend to be disappointments.

Yeah, I made a vow this year to give up on Dombro and Phinney, even though I was lured a bit by Phinney again and again until the final selection. Sometimes you just need a clean break. Craddock I thought would be a better pick.

drebelo said:
Can someone explain me why was there so few love for tony martin? The guy just come from is worst season since a really long time and with the departure of kristoff he might become the number 1 rider for katusha atleast in the cobbles.
Good luck to you with Tony if you have him. I had him last year and considered him again this year. He had some bad luck during the classics and he might have been misused as Kristoff's domestique even though he should have been one of the leaders already last year (and I am afraid this line of thinking will never completely disappear from DSs' minds - we need to chase? let Tony do it) but overall he looked very unconvincing to me. And you couldn't even rely on him getting his usual points from TTs.
Personally I wish him good year but the risk of another average year is too big in my opinion. Eventually the fact that he is unlikely to get on a podium in Innsbruck due to too hilly course was the last argument against him for me.
Jan 6, 2014
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Vuelta a San Juan Internacional (2.1)
NARVAEZ PRADO Jhonatan Manuel

Santos Tour Down Under (2.UWT)
HALVORSEN Kristoffer

Don't know the profile of San Juan, but Narvaez and Nizzolo could score. Fernandez and Oomen top ten in TDU, Halvorsen to score the first minor points.

Vuelta al Tachira en Bicicleta (2.2)

Don't know the profile of the Vuelta al Tachira but Rivera should score.
Mar 14, 2009
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Overal GC
1. Sagan
2. Restrepo
3. Morton

plus some stage wins from Halvorsen and Sagan

.... 1000+ points for sure :D :D :D
Oct 23, 2011
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Tour Down Under
MAS Enric

Vuelta a San Juan

Pretty content with my team in TDU
Okay, here are some more guys on the team:

Vincenzo Albanese (50 teams, 31 points) - I'm going a little bit on faith on him, based on the word of folks who believe he's a real talent whose word I trust. But I had him in my team last year at 159 until the last second, which was a good move (about the only good move I made last year; hell I probably replaced him with Grosu or Machado or something). At 31 points he provides a tantalizing opportunity if he can live up to his potential. I guess I never really saw much from him last year in particular, nor did I read interviews suggesting what was up, but I know he had quite a late start to the season due to lingering injury, and it just seemed like he was chasing form the whole year, even if I didn't get any direct confirmation of that. I had similar feelings about other guys I liked this year, including Ruben Fernandez and Owain Doull. Anyway, he shouldn't lack for opportunities with the Italian calendar and on Bardiani. Plus he looked like his form came around by the time of the Worlds. Plus he won a 1.1 race before he was even pro (although, you know, Battaglin and Villella and guys like that did quite well in those before turning pro, and they've proven to be underwhelming in general). We shall see.

Danny van Poppel (45, 287) - why isn't he on 40 more teams than this? What's not to like? A good young sprinter leaving the stifling atmosphere of Sky (where he scored 477 the year before even so), going home to a team with really only one other big sprint option (who is going to focus on the Tour)... seems like money in the bank to me. I mean, maybe his ceiling is low in some people's minds? His 695 season a couple of years ago looks real nice, and there's no reason to think he can't achieve at least that again, coming into his age 24 season and on his 4th team already, he's pretty experienced for a 24 year old... seems like a winning combo to me.

Amaury Capiot (43, 32) - a few ways to approach this one. First, math - 32 CQ points/4 racing days = 8 points per day. Forecasting that onto a season is tasty. Okay, secondly, and more seriously, he only had FOUR racing days! His last race was February 16th (well I guess he had that DNF in June too). Third, 187 points as a 21 year old, 309 at 22, then an injury-hell season at 23. As long as he's good to go (and from what I've read he is), I don't see how he doesn't get back to his 'old' level at least, if not take a leap forward. I'm big on riders that are 24 this year.

Ruben Fernandez (42, 115) - not exactly a 'left field' pick, nor a 'I can't believe how much this guy is gonna tear it up' pick, but I think he's a solid pick, and one I'm excited about. In his 2016, he picked up good points in TdU, Poland, Burgos, and Vuelta for pretty much 400. Then he had a year of bad luck, injuries, bad form. I think he's on track for a solid year of 4-600 if nothing major goes wrong. Movistar needs some riders to be on the level of the Herradas or Izagirres a couple of years ago, and Fernandez has the raw talent to build on.

Pierre Latour (36, 453) - yeah, it's hard to see him going through the roof, but he offered about the best value in that price range, for sure. A few reasons I'm bullish though: 1) he did the Tour last year for the first time, which is 21 days without many points for riders being initiated, 2) he basically got no points in stage races last year (aside from Besseges and 29th in the Tour), and I know he's got room to grow, 3) he established himself as a bona fide TT threat last year, and although their importance is diminishing, there are enough races out there that if he gets it together in stage races (see point 2) that could get him over the top and score him a bunch of extra points). He's got a very high floor, if nothing else.

Matvey Mamykin (36, 67) - I wavered on him a lot, and was super disappointed in his totally anonymous season after he was so exciting at the end of last year. But what ultimately got me was an article I read where he basically said he did his job at Katusha working for others (which I knew) and although he didn't say he was specifically excited for leadership at BH, he did explicitly mention that he really liked the Spanish calendar. There are definitely enough races there that if he shows the type of class he did in late 2016, one of those attacks is gonna stick and score him some decent points. Running through in my head the races he'll likely do with that squad, I think he has enough opportunity that something good has to happen.

Sam Oomen (33, 471) - sometimes you become a big fan of a rider by following them closely as they rise up through the ranks; sometimes you see a flash of excitement from a rider you've never heard of before and then look into them and start being a fan. And sometimes, you're aware of a rider but he slips under your radar until you consider him for the CQ game and then become a fan based on his stats. I definitely overlooked Oomen these last two years, but he's like a CQ dream for me: tons of potential and talent, utterly dependable and consistent in high level performance. Decent ceiling, high floor. His only DNFs in 63 race days were the Vuelta where he got sick, and Milano-Torino (who's not gonna stop pedalling a tough one-day in October if you're out of it?) But those results! 15th, Andalucia; 14th, Paris-Nice; 19th, Pais Vasco; 9th, California; 7th, Poland; 13th in the Vuelta when he dropped out. Let's say he did the same race schedule this year and increased his placing by an average of 5 places (which, as a 22-year-old developing, isn't unreasonable). That'd make him a good pick. Let's imagine him finishing a GT. That's even better! And how about developing as a one-day racer? He did 5 one-day races all year only (not counting nationals and Worlds), and was anonymous in Amstel and Liege, then at the end of the year had 6th in Tre Valli and 11th in Lombardia (and the DNF in Torino). 11th in Lombardia at 22? That is some promising stuff. I dunno exactly what his schedule looks like this year, but PCS shows him in the TdU, Algarve, P-N, Liege, Giro, Pologne. Loving it so far - his base form seems good enough to top 20 WT races, and 11th in a 250+km mountain race is promising for a good showing at LBL, Lombardia again, or the Worlds. Oh and he's good enough at that TT that he was on the TTT champ team. I'm high on this kid. I would say he's my favourite pick in this game, but that is reserved for a rider I haven't gotten to yet; maybe instead I'll say he's the rider who I'm looking most forward to seeing what he can do.

Jurgen Roelandts (25, 228) - definitely one of my older picks, and one of the ones with the most predictable ceiling. But Roelandts is quality. I'm banking on a change of scenery being good for him. Two main things that made me take him: 1) he had an okay, but not very good, spring this year. Doing anything in MSR and/or Flanders would make a world of difference. Plus, he didn't race after the Tour, save for a DNF at London-Surrey. Throw in a more well-rounded year and I could see him get results in BinckBank, Plouay, Canada or wherever. 2) he's moving teams into a support role for GvA. He's always kinda been the guy at Lotto and that's been fine, but a few things open up with this new role. First, he's a great foil, like how Devolder somehow won two Rondes just because he was on Boonen's team. If he goes up the road and it's GvA, Sagan, and a few randos behind, who's gonna chase him down? Second, when you're riding for yourself you can give up if you don't have it on the day, but you've gotta stay up there if you're the last support for someone with a real chance to win. I'm thinking of something like Stuyven's ride in E3 in 2016 where he was more than cooked but ended up like 4th or something because he buried himself beyond the red for Cancellara. Anyway, I guess that's a lot of thought to spend on a pick that has a range of roughly 300-700 points and is a known quantity. But I'm happy to have him on board.

Okay gotta cut off this part 2... seems like I'll have to get the last 7 riders with yet another post. Well even if no one else enjoys reading this, it's cathartic for me, haha.
Oh come on, we are all enjoying reading your posts. Of these 8 riders i only have Albanese in my team, but i have picked Latour for a different game.

Mamykin said in an interview that he was supposed to race Dauphine and the Tour in 2017, but as Taaramäe fell ill he had to race the Giro on very short notice and without enough preparation. He also rode two Grand Tours last year at the age of 22, which is way too much too soon. I think he will do well at Burgos, maybe very well. I considered him (as well as van Poppel), but there were simply too many interesting "cheap" riders out there.
skidmark, agree with you on Fernandez. He's also one of my favorite riders, so the combination of things put him on my team. I also think he'll rebound this year and have a solid year. He's at the TDU where he's done well before. I don't expect him to win it, but I do think he can have a solid top 10 overall in GC there.