The 2020 CQ Ranking Manager Thread

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Aug 13, 2016
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I have a very common team apparently this year, only 4 riders who are picked less than 10 times:
Martin Laas (128 , 1): My first unique pick in three years. Has had a bad spell in 2016 -2017 two years in a row with Delko but this guy is just really really fast. I believe he will prove why he deserves to be a pro. Bennett is gone and Sagan doesn't race after the Olympics, and that's when Laas might get a couple opportunities.

Jordi Warlop (117 , 3): he's been discussed here earlier, bit out of shape in the second part last season but he will bounce back, I'm sure.

Alexander Krieger(42 , 6): Only 6 picks? He scored just 11% of his 2018 score last year. I don't really know why but he's normally a decent fast guy. Alpecin-Fenix brought him in to score Europe Tour points, I believe he will do just that.

Bert Van Lerberghe(42 , 9): Surely he can crack atleast the 300 points barrier again now he's racing for the magical DQS team? He'll mostly just be a part of the sprint train, but he's also doing the smaller Belgian races where he can try and get a result for himself.
 
Bert Van Lerberghe(42 , 9): Surely he can crack atleast the 300 points barrier again now he's racing for the magical DQS team? He'll mostly just be a part of the sprint train, but he's also doing the smaller Belgian races where he can try and get a result for himself.
He will have to work for Jakobsen or Hodeg in these smaller races. I don't think he we will have chances this year.
 
KWIATKOWSKI Michal (picked 65 times): Never really considered him even though I expect him to fetch a decent profit (like 250-350 more points this year). Too much incertainty as to how/where Ineos is going to use him and a feeling his best years are behind him stop me from believing he’ll get back to 1500 points.

MOSCON Gianni (picked 57 times): I refuse to have him on my team.
Kind of comforting knowing I am not the only one who did not pick either of these two. Probably gonna regret it though.
 
Dec 27, 2016
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I see a lot of people have picked Evenepoel, but nobody has given any mention of where his points are gonna come from. Is he gonna top 5 the Giro? Or clean sweep the Olympics? All I hear is that he's the biggest talent ever. Does someone want to elaborate a bit?

And any guesses for most popular riders before skidmark shows up? I'm thinking Dumoulin most popular, with Oomen, Latour, Kanter, Froome, Geniez high up there.

Edit: Oh, there he is!



I had the same worries when I saw MADRAZO's team, who I share 22 riders with. Ours are probably really similar too.



It's the meniscus that's bothering Ardila apparently, which makes me particularly worried. That's the cartilage between the bones, which works as a cushion, and it's usually messed up in people who have had a long life of heavy strain on the knees, like a physically demanding job.


Sorry to break it to you, but he's a climber, not a sprinter. ;)
And now you know how weak your competition is. I love cycling and watching it but my brain is full of baseball and golf. Plus it's 50 years old. I can't wait for that first sprint victory!
 
Reactions: christopherrowe
He will have to work for Jakobsen or Hodeg in these smaller races. I don't think he we will have chances this year.
I kind of agree, and I quickly decided there were much better options than BVL when picking my team. But it is Quickstep after all, where Richeze had a 400 point season and Keisse a 250 point season. But then there's also Sabatini ...
 
Hmm, so many with BALLERINI Davide. He is talented for sure, but i had simply assumed that he would spend most of the year in a lead out train for Bennett/Jakobsen/Hodeg (plus helper duties on cobbles), which is not a good way to score points. But maybe that's not the plan at all and i should have spent time on researching this instead of watching a four hour video explaining Twin Peaks.
Well, the comments I've read are mostly vague, like Lefevre saying they welcome a rider with his qualities, him saying Qst is a place he's dreamed of going and can further his goals, etc. But if I've learned anything from this game, it's that dismissing riders of talent who are joining Qst because I don't see where they'll get chances has not worked out for me very well. So I guess I'm trusting the process a little bit. But also, his success in Italian small classics that end in reduced bunches makes me feel like his skill set is fairly complimentary there.
 
Personally I found there was a ton of riders in the 200-500pt range that I wanted to include so hopefully I've got the right ones.


Paddy Bevin - 425pts - 3 teams
Very surprised, given how much is on offer points-wise in the Aussie summer, to be one of only 3 with Bevin. If he starts anywhere as well as last year he's up for GC in Down Under, plus he's nailed on for an Olympic spot as a medal contender (NZ qualified two spots for RR and TT).

Wilco Kelderman - 402pts - 26pts
I actually thought Wilco would be way up there in the popularity rankings... he'll get leadership opportunities all year but needs to stay upright.
I debated between these two... I really would love to have picked Bevin, I think his worlds TT performance was impressive, his TDU form was incredible and even if we can't expect a repeat of that form, he's shown he's generally at quite a high level. But other than TDU, world and Oly TTs, I wasn't confident enough in his points haul to take him, whereas Kelderman is a proven commodity above 700 points and is kind of the leader now. So it was tough, but yeah I'm especially surprised Bevin was only picked 3 times.
 
Tom Dumoulin (109): Will Dumo experience the “too many chefs?” syndrome? I don’t think so, and his 2019 points will easily be tripled. Expectations: 1500 points

Alberto Dainese (30): I’m really looking forward to seeing this young man. Part of the young sprinter portion of my CQ team, but likely the one with the highest BOOM potential. Expectations: 500 points

Taco Van Der Hoorn (10): A late addition to my team to smear some cobblestone-sprinkle on it. He will likely get to support Van Aert in most races, but I’m curious to see if his hard work ethics pay off personally as well. Expectations: 300 points

Silvan Dillier (39): Was he injured last year? Really haven’t read much about why Dillier performed so badly last season, since Ag2r should fit him very well. But I like the guy. Expectations: 400 points

Gino Mäder (32): Warning sign no. 1: He’s riding for NTT (Well, now not as big, if Riis steps up). Mäder didn’t make the same splash as his mate Hirschi did last season, but he’s just as talented and just waited for the second season. If not, he will switch teams after this season, and I’ll pick him for the CQ game 2021.
Expectations: 400 points

Vincenzo Albanese (2): This is a pick based on 2018 performances only, because Alba didn’t exactly light it up last year. Don’t think Bardiani is the right team for him (or anyone else basically) to evolve at, but a year as pro should have done wonders for him. Expectations: 200 points
Enjoyed reading the breakdown of your team, and felt like commenting on a few of them.

Dumoulin: I didn't calculate any points potential for him or anything like that. I just knew that I had to put him in the team and then never sacrificed another brain cell thinking about him.

Dainese: I agree with the BOOM potential, and in some scenarios he can score more than 500. What made me not pick him, aside from the risk of him not having a BOOM year, is that Sunweb don't do many of the easy flat races where QS riders, Ackermann et.al. score a lot of points.

Van der Hoorn: Any pro cyclist who lives in a van deserves to do well! I actually toyed with picking him at 300 points last time around, but he was just so underwhelming last year.

Dillier: He didn't perform badly, actually. He had a very normal season for his level. His score in previous seasons was massively inflated by him hitting the right breakaways. You can call it race craft, but he won't have that kind of luck every year. Not to say he can't improve quite a bit though.

Mäder: He's also one-and-a-half years older than Hirschi. I don't think he's immensely talented, but he really knows how to race. As I mentioned earlier, he was one of my two last-minute changes (switched him for Minali at 23:59 PM), so I believe he will do a lot better than last year. The reason why he wasn't a must-have for me, is that I've always had the feeling that his raw physical ability isn't all that.

Albanese: Don't quite know what you mean with 2018 performances? Have you forgotten that he's been a pro for three years now, without any notable results? Anyway, I strongly believed in this guy when he turned pro, and I don't really know why he hasn't been a success. He seemed to have the gifts of a good sprint and a godlike engine. He motored away from the peloton repeatedly to win some pretty high-level races as a 19-year-old. He has tried the same at pro level a few times, and he almost succeeded a couple of times, too, but his performances have mostly been way below expectations. I feel a bit guilty for having been one of the main drivers of the Albanese hype train on this forum. :D
 
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Here is my team:

PINOT Thibaut 861
BARDET Romain 734
KWIATKOWSKI Michal 645
GARCIA CORTINA Ivan 453
LATOUR Pierre 352
SOLER GIMENEZ Marc 350
DUMOULIN Tom 341
VAN POPPEL Danny 334
BOUHANNI Nacer 276
ANDERSEN Søren Kragh 268
BALLERINI Davide 252
CORT NIELSEN Magnus 227
BARBIER Pierre 213
CANOLA Marco 205
DAINESE Alberto 201
FELLINE Fabio 199
ARU Fabio 194
OOMEN Sam 179
MOSCHETTI Matteo 160
KÄMNA Lennard 155
LONARDI Giovanni 138
LOPEZ PEREZ Juan Pedro 125
HAAS Nathan 118
DILLIER Silvan 101
OLDANI Stefano 90
BAGIOLI Andrea 83
RIES Michel 58
POWER Robert 56
MÄDER Gino 50
INKELAAR Kevin 36
VICHOT Arthur 28
KANTER Max 8
DE BIE Sean 5


I really wanted Mohoric on my team, and he was on it for a long time. Unfortunately in the end I had to sacrifice him to fit in Bardet. I don't really rate Bardet that highly but I can't deny his skill as a bike rider, and after I learned of his schedule I had to get him on my team. To make room for him I also had to get rid of De la Cruz, but that gave me space for Inkelaar.
No unique picks, but I'll elaborate on the rarer picks

GARCIA CORTINA Ivan - 453 points - 10 picks
I had him last year, so I followed his performance in the classics very closely. I think with a bit more experience he can be excellent in those races and he has the speed to get top results. I think this could be his breakout year so I am happy to see he isn't that popular.

VAN POPPEL Danny - 334 points - 22 picks
I would have expected him on more teams - yes, he is a bit expensive but he has shown he can at least double his 2019 score previously, and on Wanty he should be the top sprinter and have a lot of opportunities and an excellent race programme.

BALLERINI Davide - 252 points - 22 picks
I actually wanted him on my team last year, but then he got brutally expensive in the last few weeks of his season. While he won't race much of the Italian one day race calendar, he is on the best possible team to excel in the spring classics. He already showed some promise in 2019, and I only expect him to get better. He's also very fast which is always an advantage and will boost his score in one day races.

BARBIER Pierre - 213 points - 2 picks
Almost unique - I didn't expect him to be so rare. I needed a sprinter for the French calendar and as he's really young and already super fast, I see a lot of potential. Hopefully he will get opportunities and won't be wasted as a leadout for Grosu or Jules.

CANOLA Marco - 205 points - 7 picks
One of my toughest picks. I don't know why he scored so poorly which made me hesitate to pick him. However just looking at his potential, based on 2017/2018, he should be able to at least double his score.

FELLINE Fabio - 199 points - 17 picks
Basically one of the most allround riders in the peloton, if he's feeling good he can deliver everywhere except maybe the highest mountains. This is the third year in a row he's on my team (yes, I also picked him when he was 700 points), I am not sure he can get back to his best level. The viral infection seems to have hit him hard. However, if he can shine on any team it should be Astana.

MOSCHETTI Matteo - 160 points - 24 picks
I picked him last year for pretty much the same price, and with a year of experience on WT level I see no reason to have less faith in him. He actually delivered some great results, but was also unlucky with some crashes and injuries. Hopefully he has better luck this season.

LONARDI Giovanni - 138 points - 2 picks
As always I wanted a sprinter for the Italian and Asian scene, and Lonardi fits in perfectly. He's young, fast, and bound to ride quite a few races in Asia. He should get plenty of opportunities to score.

LOPEZ PEREZ Juan Pedro - 125 points - 5 picks
OLDANI Stefano - 90 points - 2 picks
RIES Michel - 58 points - 5 picks
INKELAAR Kevin - 36 points - 9 picks

All these are on my team for the same reason: they are all former Kometa riders (of course Moschetti is one too), which makes it interesting for me to follow and cheer for them. Lopez and Oldani I would normally consider a bit too expensive for neo pro climbers, but we will see what they can deliver.
 
Dainese: I agree with the BOOM potential, and in some scenarios he can score more than 500. What made me not pick him, aside from the risk of him not having a BOOM year, is that Sunweb don't do many of the easy flat races where QS riders, Ackermann et.al. score a lot of points.
I would consider Cees Bol's 2019 score a good representation of what a neo pro sprinter can achieve on Sunweb...
 
Enjoyed reading the breakdown of your team, and felt like commenting on a few of them.

Dumoulin: I didn't calculate any points potential for him or anything like that. I just knew that I had to put him in the team and then never sacrificed another brain cell thinking about him.

Dainese: I agree with the BOOM potential, and in some scenarios he can score more than 500. What made me not pick him, aside from the risk of him not having a BOOM year, is that Sunweb don't do many of the easy flat races where QS riders, Ackermann et.al. score a lot of points.

Van der Hoorn: Any pro cyclist who lives in a van deserves to do well! I actually toyed with picking him at 300 points last time around, but he was just so underwhelming last year.

Dillier: He didn't perform badly, actually. He had a very normal season for his level. His score in previous seasons was massively inflated by him hitting the right breakaways. You can call it race craft, but he won't have that kind of luck every year. Not to say he can't improve quite a bit though.

Mäder: He's also one-and-a-half years older than Hirschi. I don't think he's immensely talented, but he really knows how to race. As I mentioned earlier, he was one of my two last-minute changes (switched him for Minali at 23:59 PM), so I believe he will do a lot better than last year. The reason why he wasn't a must-have for me, is that I've always had the feeling that his raw physical ability isn't all that.

Albanese: Don't quite know what you mean with 2018 performances? Have you forgotten that he's been a pro for three years now, without any notable results? Anyway, I strongly believed in this guy when he turned pro, and I don't really know why he hasn't been a success. He seemed to have the gifts of a good sprint and a godlike engine. He motored away from the peloton repeatedly to win some pretty high-level races as a 19-year-old. He has tried the same at pro level a few times, and he almost succeeded a couple of times, too, but his performances have mostly been way below expectations. I feel a bit guilty for having been one of the main drivers of the Albanese hype train on this forum. :D
Thanks for the feedback. Regarding Albanese you're totally right. That's what having small kids does to you (have two at 2 and 5), the years fly by. I actually thought about replacing him and Van Der Hoorn with the likes of Modolo and Fernandez, but never got around to doing the last thorough research.

Curious to hear your thoughts of Thijssen though, if you have any. Still puzzled he's only at my team. I forgot about his brutal crash in november,but he's back on the bike now,so that can't be the sole reason for everyone else leaving out the former Belgian u23 champion with great sprinting potential.
 
Reactions: Joelsim
I kind of agree, and I quickly decided there were much better options than BVL when picking my team. But it is Quickstep after all, where Richeze had a 400 point season and Keisse a 250 point season. But then there's also Sabatini ...
Being Hodeg's leadout is probably worth at least 200 points just for the times you get to sprint for yourself after Hodeg crashes.
 
Reactions: postmanhat
Curious to hear your thoughts of Thijssen though, if you have any. Still puzzled he's only at my team. I forgot about his brutal crash in november,but he's back on the bike now,so that can't be the sole reason for everyone else leaving out the former Belgian u23 champion with great sprinting potential.
I started working on my team so early that when news of his serious crash broke, with brain haemorrhages, intensive care and all, I took him out and never considered him again. I must have thought he was gonna have a hard time even getting back on the bike. News of him "being able to have a small conversation with his family" a few days later didn't exactly sound like someone getting ready for his neo-pro season in the best way possible, either.

There haven't been a lot of news about his recovery since then, which I guess is the reason why he's not picked by anybody else. I did check now however, and things sound a lot more positive. I would probably still not have taken the chance, but if he's not too affected by the crash, he could be a gold mine for you. Lotto-Soudal are surprisingly thin when it comes to sprinters, and Thijssen should enjoy a lot of freedom. He's fast enough to make waves, you just have to hope he's durable enough to survive to the finish of pro races.

Another thing I remembered, is that I think I read something about track ambitions for Tokyo which also made me less inclined to pick him. Don't know if that's still on.
 
Reactions: Kazistuta
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Curious to hear your thoughts of Thijssen though, if you have any. Still puzzled he's only at my team. I forgot about his brutal crash in november,but he's back on the bike now,so that can't be the sole reason for everyone else leaving out the former Belgian u23 champion with great sprinting potential.
I've got him in the youth game, one of only two people to have chosen him. I've also got him in my auction game, but I bought him the day before his crash. He does appear to be back training though, as you said, which is great news on all counts.
 
Dec 31, 2017
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Great insights as always from all the guys here, it was really interesting to read. I'll try to go throught my thought process as well.

I tried to use my experince from first two years in the game, so i tried not to do the same mistakes twice. I learned that vast majority of my busts were sprinters and also the choice of expensive riders, so i concentrated mainly on the GC guys and climbers or more versatile sprinters like Cort, who can get it done in wider majority of the races.

I'm glad that for second year in a row i didn't forget any of the most popular riders, so any obmissions was my own decisions. Also this year there were really tough to choose the team, because of the combination of many obvious picks in the 400-800 range that you couldn't include all, and also many talented neo-pros or young riders (esp from Movistar, UAE and Sunweb).

I don't know the capabilities of many new riders at Movistar, but some of them will score big, so i had to pick some riders from that team. UAE haven't done a great job with young riders so far with exception of most talented (Pogo, Phillipsen), so i put the brake on some guys like Ardila and Bjerg that i would like to have if they were in other teams. And Sunweb is a frustrating team in terms of a calendar with emphasis on WT races.

So let's go through my picks:
PINOT Thibaut (861, 60) - Not the most reliable GC rider, but he can score big in the one day races as well and get to 2000 points if he'll finish TDF. ORR and WC also suits him well and i'm his fan, so this pick was a non-brainer and start for my team.
BARDET Romain (734, 54) - Not as big fan of him as Pinot, but also like the guy. Start at Australia and new calendar can be a new beginning for him.
YATES Simon (668, 84) - One of the most obvious picks with start of the season in Australia, where he can already score 200-300 points. He seems motivated even more this year to start strong and will ride Giro.
KWIATKOWSKI Michal (645, 65) - He was an obvious pick for me based on his talent alone, so i'm surprised to see only 65 picked him. He can score in all races that he enters with exception of TDF.
ZAKARIN Ilnur (478, 8) - Hate the russians, but can't help myself not to include at least one every year and usually they dissapoint (that's the reason why i didn't include Chernetsky or Strakhov). But Zakarin told about change of citizenship and even that betrayal of Putin is enough for me)) To be serious he is the only rider that can do good GC on his team and change of scenery must do him good (u can do worse than in Katusha only if u go to NTT).
URAN URAN Rigoberto (458, 21) - Zakarin and Uran picks were hard for me, because i choose them over Moscon (who i simply like less) and Eddy the Boss, who hamstrung me last year. Uran is fragile, but can score over 1000 easily and that's enough for me. Obmission of Moscon can burn me, but i'm okay with that.
KELDERMAN Wilco (402, 26) - Only 26 picks??? OMG! He is like the only guy who can ride GC at Sunweb and scored 600-900 points every year. Have a feel this could be his best year.
LATOUR Pierre (352, 78)
SOLER GIMENEZ Marc (350, 74)
- I have more confidence in Latour than Soler to be honest, but Marc can score 700+ point in one week races with some top-15 at TDF and Vuelta. Potential for 1000+ for both.
DUMOULIN Tom (341, 109) - Don't need explanaition. And i love Tom.
VAN POPPEL Danny (334, 22) - He always stood out for me as a guy who just needs more opportunity to score big. He is solid cobble racer and sprinter, who will be leader in Pro Conti team. Wanted to pick him since last spring if he could get out of WvA shadow and here we go. Have big, big, big hope here.
ANDERSEN Søren Kragh (268, 43) - Like many here i just like him as a rider, though it's not clear where exactly he'll score points. But points will come in bunches surely.
CORT NIELSEN Magnus (227, 38) - Another versatile sprinter like Van Poppel that will benefit from change of team. In EF he can get even more chances.
PADUN Mark (209, 24) - First and foremost this is my everyyear fun pick as a fellow ukrainian. Also a big talent that can score points in many races and should improve without knee injury and illness that cost him most of the last year.
OOMEN Sam (179, 87)
ARU Fabio (194, 83)
- From a pleothra of problematic obvious riders i choosed the GC specialists.
VANENDERT Jelle (181, 3) - This year my point of emphasis was to find guys who step down a level. Like Van Poppel he has to be a leader of his Pro Conti team and score points in 1-day and 1-week belgian and french races, that Wallonie rides. He is old and carry some risk, but i'm willing to bet in his puchy-ride style.
VAKOC Petr (145, 20) - Another one rider who step down a level and can be a leader in PCT. Great comeback season last year that gave me confidence in him. Lefevere must be looking at him too to see if he can lead again.
BAGIOLI Andrea (83, 35) - Seems like a great talent who goes to QS team that is always a recipe for success. Had to cut Chris Froome to make this pick work, so i hope he won't dissapoint.
GENIEZ Alexandre (68, 42) - He is a secondary GC rider in AG2R that cleans up some lower priority GC points for them. For some reason not raced much last year and finished even less races. Should be good for 200-400 points.
MODOLO Sacha (67, 62) - Getting old, but he's another versatile sprinter in the mold of Cort Nielsen that i'm more inclined to chose. MVDP presence will limit his chances, but he doesn't need much to be in profit.
WOUTERS Enzo (61, 2) - My most unique pick this year. Also another rider who stepped down a level. I always felt like Lotto is a grave of belgian talents and Wouters seemed like a talented sprinter for me. Hope that LTS didn't kill him completely and he will score in some 1 and HC-cat races in Belgium.
RUBIO REYES Einer Augusto (52, 27) - I wrote about an army of young relatively or completely unknown riders that Movistar brought this offseason. I wanted to include somebody in my team and i know more about Rubio than the others. He is talented and can get some chances.
CEPEDA ORTIZ Jefferson Alexander (52, 27) - I just love Savio boys that almost never dissapoints me. Cepeda is another great talent that should flourish in Androni. If Munoz can score 300 points in this team without any noticeable talent, then Cepeda can score like 500.
VICHOT Arthur (28, 57) - Obv pick at this price and 57 people agreed with me.
CAVENDISH Mark (25, 70) - OMG i can't believe i picked him again. Everyyear neveragain rider, but i can't help myself. Also needed at least some true sprinters to root for in races.
ENGER Sondre Holst (18, 30) - I didn't know why i picked him last year, but i think he owes me a good season.
RAVASI Edward (15, 12)
KANTER Max (8, 63)
DONOVAN Mark (5, 16)
DE BIE Sean (5, 68)
WILLIAMS Stephen (0, 17)
SIMMONS Quinn (0, 76)
- They are cheap, they are talented and were injured a lot. I'm willing to bet on the health of the talented rider who can get in profit just from participating in few WT races. You can't do wrong with this kind of stuff.
Also De Bie is my friend from 2018 year when i became his fan, the guy is a pure rider and i wish him healthy season.

Generally i picked a popular team with some fairly and semi-unique riders, that was my aim in first place. Wish everybody good luck this year and thanks to skidmark for his work.
 
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BARBIER Pierre - 213 points - 2 picks
Almost unique - I didn't expect him to be so rare. I needed a sprinter for the French calendar and as he's really young and already super fast, I see a lot of potential. Hopefully he will get opportunities and won't be wasted as a leadout for Grosu or Jules.
Nice to see somebody picking the best of the Barbiers :cool:
I had him in my shortlist for a long time since he was so consistent last year. He will need to start winning some of the races where he placed well to be worth the price and I'm not sure he can, but I love these bold picks.
 
Just a note - manafana submitted their team and a revised team in the same PM thread before the deadline, I was in a rush and copied the initial one without seeing the later one, so I've corrected it. Froome is one one more team and Ian Garrison on one fewer than represented in the spreadsheet I originally posted, for those keeping track.

As well, a couple of duplicates were brought to my attention and I deleted them, one before I published the spreadsheet but one after. Dillier will be on one fewer team as a result of this. I'll update the spreadsheet appropriately.

I had a larger than usual number of duplicate riders on teams and people contacting me after the deadline saying they had fewer than 33 riders and wanted to add ones, which wasn't possible past the publication deadline. Just to be clear, I try to catch duplicates but with over 100 teams it's hard, especially when your team isn't listed in any particular order (ie. the duplicate names aren't next to each other). And I have no way of knowing if a team fewer than 33 riders is intentionally so or not, so I will never point that out. Ultimately, mistakes happen and are easy to make, so just be careful!
 
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A question about the rules of this game - the CQ points tables do not (yet) take account of the new .Pro classification of races. Are these expected to receive the same scoring .HC races did?
 
Okay, here's the cheaper half of my team, continued from my post yesterday...

OOMEN Sam (179 points, 87 teams) - I took him 2 years ago and have always loved his consistency and high level. 2018 was an okay growth year if not a stratospheric one, but 2019 was a disaster. Iliac artery issues and epstein-barr are two things that are super unpredictable for cyclists in terms of timeline for recovery, and recent interviews have played down expectations. But he's such a great talent and can certainly do his own thing with Dumoulin gone, so here's hoping he gets back to his best quickly.

MOSCHETTI Matteo (160, 24) - he looked great up to and including Hatta Dam as a neo, so I'm genuinely unsure why the rest of his year was so poor, I didn't follow him closely and a cursory search didn't bring up anything particular in interviews (he had a few crashes, sure, but it didn't seem like there was one thing). But fast guys always get their chances, and if the first year is a learning curve I'm usually more happy to take a young talent before their second year. Not a ton of competition for sprints at Trek either, their fast guys are mostly classics guys too.

CHERNETSKIY Sergey (126, 8) - another of my rarest picks that ended up being kind of an afterthought. Definitely one of my last adds, he just has a decent pedigree and evidently wasn't a good fit at Caja Rural... all I could find was an interview saying he "needed to make a change", so who knows how Gazprom will do, but there's lots of opportunity in small stage races, and that's what he's been best at in his career. Probably should have just taken Foss though.

HAAS Nathan (118, 40) - Gone are the days where it was a rule for me not to pick riders switching to Cofidis... aside from how he handled the Bouhanni situation, Vasseur has brought them to a level of respectability. Haas is a good addition, and aside from regaining his level in the appropriate WT races, a smattering of Coupe de France races can't hurt his chances either.

MEINTJES Louis (107, 21) - My process on him was: "sigh I guess I have to include him" (creating the longlist), "no way I'm taking him, he's had two bad years in a row" (glancing over the finished long list), "sigh I guess I have to include him" (reading up on the litany of things that went wrong for him that stopped him from getting into race rhythm), "ugh there have to be better options at that price" (looking over the remaining candidates after locking in 2/3 of my team), "sigh I guess I have to include him" (final run through). The least sexy pick I can imagine, but he's a really talented rider, and I think he can score lots more points than last year, so that's the game we are playing and that's my pick.

BAGIOLI Andrea (83, 35) - I always notice when a rider coming into their neo-pro season has a bunch of first placings next to his name, and I've already mentioned that QuickStep is better than any team I've ever seen at turning potential to win into wins at the pro level right away. That's gotta pay off in some classics throughout the year. I also came pretty close to taking his brother as well.

FROOME Chris (77, 93) - I have never seen a rider of his caliber suffer an injury so severe, so I'm totally unsure and curious how the comeback goes. If I had to guess, I don't think he'll end up being a great pick, but I wouldn't bet, say, a spot on my team for any other rider of equal CQ cost on it.

EEKHOFF Nils (74, 18) - first of all, he's at a 60-point discount from where he should be, so that's a good deal. That, combined with proving he can win at the highest level (and draft like a champ!), is a pretty good start. He didn't show too well in some races, but overall he had enough results that he's pretty promising. And then also, Sunweb has been a really weird team in that they've bungled and stifled young talent in the last few years (in my opinion) while they were decent at developing talent before they thought they could win a GT. My hope is that Dumoulin's departure opens up some air for the rest of the team to go adventuring (obviously, as I have like 5 Sunweb riders).

MODOLO Sacha (67, 62) - I remember when I was a young pup on this forum and Modolo got 4th at MSR as a neo-pro with Bardiani. There was a poster (issoisso I believe) who talked about how awesome Modolo was and how promising he was in the U23s, and I aspired to one day know something about young riders like that poster did. Well, ten years later and nope, I'm still mostly picking veterans who had bad seasons in this game. But it did start a low-key fandom of Modolo, which makes me happy that I can take him at this amazing price. I believe his assertion that it was an undetected intestinal fungus that made 2019 a hellish year for him, and that he still has a lot of juice. With Corendon chasing the top PCT designation, I'm hoping they'll give him the appropriate chances and he'll finish on the high end of his career 400-700 average.

STRAKHOV Dmitry (58, 19) - he killed it at .1 and .HC races for two years for Locosphinx, and then suffered at Katusha with a schedule that was 75% WT races. Going back to PCT will be good for him, I think. Funny that I have 3 Gazprom riders and they were probably all the last 7-8 of riders added to my team. We shall see how it goes!

MINALI Riccardo (52, 23) - pretty much the last addition to my team. I had a few I was considering around this price (Geniez, Power) but ultimately when I'm not sure about something in this game, I default to a fast man who will get more chances, all things equal. He said he didn't feel supported or believed in at ICA, but Delko also has 5-6 young fast guys, hopefully that'll go better for him even so.

VICHOT Arthur (28, 57) - ugh, mono. I've mentioned above about my trepidation for this (seriously though, does anyone know the difference between epstein-barr and mono? Are they effectively the same?), but at that price and that potential I'm hopeful.

CAVENDISH Mark (25, 70) - speaking of which, it's the latest patron saint of epstein-barr. I wish I could quit you Mark, but you switched out of a godawful team (for a slightly less godawful team) and more importantly showed some flashes of promise at the Gent 6-day. That's really it, without either of those things or the price, I'd have given up on you like I should've. But, like, I only need 2-300, not the 4-500 I wanted from his cost last year. This'll be the year for sure!

KANTER Max (8, 63) - oh right, I have SIX Sunweb guys. Must have forgotten because I don't think I've ever actually seen footage of him in a race wearing Sunweb colours. This year has to be better than last because last year was the worst.

DE BIE Sean (5, 68) - see last line of Kanter's writeup.

SIMMONS Quinn (0, 76) - I would never have taken an 18-year-old neo-pro doing the straight jump before Evenepoel. I guess neither would have Trek, really. I've been skeptical of young talent turning pro early in recent years, from Mohoric to Kamna, and for good reason as they have been overwhelmed and slow to develop. And the glut of young guns following Remco's leap is sure to offer its share of disappointments. Evenepoel is special because he's a once-in-a-half-century talent; his success doesn't mean others can do the same jump from juniors. But Simmons made an effortless leap to Euro racing from the US and was dominant in the Worlds and most of the races he targeted last year. I don't expect more than 2-300 from him, which would make him a good pick at 0 points, and I wouldn't have picked a junior of equal talent that wasn't a one-day kinda guy, because GC is lower variance. Finishing points in WT races and a few audacious attacks that net him top 10s in 1.1 races will make me satisfied.

Phew, that's it. Can't wait to see what the year of racing brings!
 
Reactions: postmanhat
Nice write-up skidmark. I do think that Chernetskiy is a much better pick than Foss. I mean he is unpredictable but has big room for improvement and doing smaller stage races for a Russian team should fit him really well. Foss doesn't strike me as being a big talent, but of course i could be wrong.
 
Reactions: LaFlorecita

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