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The 2022 CQ Ranking Manager Thread

Page 5 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.
Alright, here's my team:

VALVERDE BELMONTE Alejandro -- yes fangirl pick. Final season, have to have him.
ARANBURU DEBA Alexander
ELOSEGUI MOMEÑE Iñigo -- had illness and injury issues last year. I expect a good bit more from him this season. Plus he actually talks to people who respond to what he posts on social media.
RANGEL COSTA Vinicius -- the Brazilian kid who was on Valverde's amateur team the last couple of seasons, now is racing for Movistar.
GEOGHEGAN HART Tao
GAVIRIA RENDON Fernando
SOLERGIMENEZ Marc
JOHANSEN Julius
CALMENJANE Lillian
COVILI Luca
CONTI Valerio
QUINN Sean
NICOLAU BELTRAN Joel
SHEFFIELD Magnus
KÄMNA Lennard
LÜHRS Luis-Joe
BRENNER Marco
CANAL BLANCO Carlos
KANTER Max
ANDERSEN Søren Kragh
JORGENSON Matteo
APARICIO MUÑOZ Mario
RODRIGUEZ MARTIN Cristian
MIQUEL DELGADO Pau
VERMAERKE Kevin
GONZALES RIVERA Abner
MALECKI Kamil
RAUGEL Antoine
VIVIANI Elia
DEMARE Arnaud
BUCHMANN Emanuel
EVENPOEL Remco
 
Looks like my rare riders (5 picks or less) are:
BUITRAGO SANCHEZ Santiago
GONZALEZ RIVERA Abner
ZINGLE Axel
VAN GILS Maxim
QUINN Sean
TOUMIRE Hugo
KORETZKY Victor
Kinda shocked that Koretzky is on there if I'm honest. Zingle was one of my first picks but I get why he might not be that appealing. Ready to roll with this group.

Seems like somebody misspelled Cian's last name. Skidmark can you find out who it is ?
Imagine that, someone spelling that name wrong. Darn, I used a name checker for all the teams, must have been an addition on a revised team, which I didn't run through the checker when people made changes. I'll check it out and correct it, thanks for spotting.
 
Reactions: Koronin
Okay it's time for me to go to sleep, but here is the initial version of the spreadsheet for you in case you wanna check out all the teams. Please note that this is a mostly unedited version, so use the "rankings" tab (first tab). Other ones haven't been updated for current teams and so they'll be skeletons of last year's teams as I used that for the basis for this year's. I will hopefully clean that up in the next week, it was enough work compiling all the teams etc.
 
Wait, Arnaud de Lie. Where did that man go? He was like first on my list, and now he's just gone. I must have forgotten about him after my document broke down and I made it again. o_O

Anyway, interesting to see that Caleb Ewan is so popular - honestly I just couldn't decide who would be the over-successful sprinter of the season and so just took none of them.

Also interesting, that basically all of my expensive picks are rare or very rare picks, that could go very wrong for me... hopefully Filippo, Benoît and Tiesj will have good seasons.

The teams look really diverse. It's true, at the beginning, when everything is possible, it's so exciting...
 
Reactions: Jumbo Visma Fan :)
Ok, second season for me in this game and I think this time I prepared myself a bit better. At least in terms of popularity ranking, my team does not look bad.

I´m a bit surprised that not so many players picked Padun. (only 17).
My rarest pick is Aleotti (only one other player has him). He scored in his first season with the age of 21 420 points which is a lot. I also thought that he is a bit expensive, but then I thought: If he scores in his first season 420 points, how much can he score in his second season? So I picked him..
Then I have Florian Stork (also one other player) in my team, who crashed out of the UAE tour very badly, after he had been with the best climbers in this race. Hopefully he will come back this season. For 6 points I think it´s worth the risk.

The rider with the highest popularity ranking, which I don´t have is also Pidcock...
 
Great to look at all the choices and reasoning behind picking certain riders. I have quite a busy schedule today so I will just take my most obscure:

Vadim Pronskiy 3 teams - Actually an error. I was sure I had decided to take Fedorov instead as my next Vino choice. But picking Pronskiy is ok as it was always gonna be one of them. Climbed very well in Giro last year, but might be used as a helper agian this season.
Georg Steinhauser 4 teams - Very talented climber. Surprised he is not picked by more. 9th in Tour de l'Ain at 19 is a big achivement in my book.
Jonas Iversby Hvideberg 4 teams - I wanted to take one of the promising Norwegian Uno-X guys, and as DSM has seen enough potential to sign him, I took a gamble on him as well.
Alexander Kristoff 5 teams - Not been up to his best the last two seasons. Still a machine when at his best, and had an average CQ score of 1846 between 2013 and 2018. Hard to replicate that with the CQ stars dominating the classics, but without health issues I am certain he could doulbe his 2021 score.
Ivan Garcia Cortina 5 teams - Top 30 in many classics last year without reaching top 10. The young Movistar classics team should improve this year and hopefully give Ivan a better chance to have a podium spot in one of the classics. I am sure he has the capability..
Hugo Toumire 5 teams - Does a decent TT and climbs well. Could very well be regarded as the next big French GT hope after a hopefully great 2022, or might fade into obscurity as so many French hopefuls before him.

Riders I forgot (thought I had in my team): Alberto Bettiol and Yevgeniy Fedorov
Riders I probably will regret not picking: Tom Dumoøin and Mark Padun
 
Oct 12, 2009
33
0
8,580
My team:

JAKOBSEN Fabio
BENNETT Sam
LOPEZ MORENO Miguel Angel
MEEUS Jordi
EWAN Caleb
FUGLSANG Jakob
VANSEVENANT Mauri
HIGUITA GARCIA Sergio Andres
CICCONE Giulio
BAGIOLI Andrea
PADUN Mark
MARTINEZ POVEDA Daniel Felipe
DUMOULIN Tom
GEOGHEGAN HART Tao
PINOT Thibaut
ANDERSEN Sören Kragh
BUCHMANN Emanuel
AYUSO PESQUERA Juan
HINDLEY Jai
VAN WILDER Ilan
DEKKER David
UMBA LOPEZ Abner Santiago
GROVES Kaden
RIABUSHENKO Aliaksandr
KÄMNA Lennard
KANTER Max
JUNGELS Bob
DE PLUS Laurens
BRENNER Marco
PETERS Nans
VANDENABEELE Henri
RIVERA SERRANO Kevin
UIJTDEBROEKS Cian

Looking at the popularity rankings, I'm surprised Pidcock has been picked so often. I am (especially) rooting for Meeus to do well, since only two others have him in their teams.
 
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As I said, I changed my team at the very last time. I initially had Evenepoel as my most expensive pick (a rider I've picked every year since he turned pro) but I was a bit scared another crash or health issue might ruin half of his season. In the end the trade looked something like:

Evenepoel + Abner Gonzalez + CF Hagen for
Pidcock + Superman + Bettiol

Which seems reasonable for now, we'll see at the end of the season.
The rest of the team is made of a dozen very obvious and popular picks and a ton of young riders who get me excited every time they get on their bike. I have 2 very rare picks over 500 points which is a total novelty for me (and I love it). Also, this year's team looks a lot more Italian than usual, which I guess makes sense since I went heart over head almost all the time.

PIDCOCK Thomas (708) – don’t like his calendar with the Giro, don’t like him riding a lot of CX and MTB, but man his debut season in the classics was just insane. Ton of upside too. Wasn't expecting to find him so high in the popularity table.

ARANBURU DEBA Alexander (581) – total gamble, but he was super consistent last year and the new environment looks perfect for a step up (yes, I'm looking at you Ibarguen). Only me and @Koronin picking him tells me this is going to be a disaster :D

LOPEZ MORENO Miguel Angel (563) – I wanted no part of the Superman – Landismo combo (both at 500ish points) but in the end I gotta admit I’m a sucker for the drama. And Lopez provides plenty of it.

COVI Alessandro (520) – think Diego Ulissi with a little more bike handling and better stamina. He’s quick, very good on hills and can climb on his day. He doesn’t mind rough terrain either. He was very promising at the end of 2020 and delivered big time last year after his first part of the season was ruined by a knee injury. Yes, the team is loaded with great riders and finding opportunities won't be easy but talent always finds a way to emerge and I think this kid is a monster. The moment he starts winning he won’t be easily stopped.

EWAN Caleb (482) – tried to win a stage in every GT last year and didn’t end well. Will hopefully forget about this goal and focus on Sanremo + Tour + whatever else gets him to 10+ wins in 2022. Best deal among elite sprinters for me.

GIRMAY HAILU Biniam (431) – scored over 400 points in just 37 race days last year and became a point machine after joining Wanty in August. I think he has 1000+ points in store with the right calendar from February.

CICCONE Giulio (343) – total heart pick since we’ve been waiting for his breakthrough since forever but he always finds a way to sabotage himself. I love his attacking style though. And the Giro route is tailor made for him.

BAGIOLI Andrea (314) – I’m skeptical about his stamina and recovery, but he is super fast and scored 300+ points while missing half of last year with an injury.

RODRIGUEZ CANO Carlos (312) – great climber, great TTer, super consistent as a teenager. Ineos should know what to do of him.

DUMOULIN Tom (307) – I’m not even sure whether he should be deemed as a safe pick at this point, but the ceiling remains very high, especially if he starts riding for GCs again.

STEWART Jake (264) – high risk pick since he basically scored all of his points last year between February and March and then went to sleep. He said he had problems recovering (both mentally and physically) from his crash with Bouhanni. I wanna trust him. And I love riders who can sprint at the end of a tough race.

BETTIOL Alberto (257) – I tried avoiding him at all costs because the health issue scares me, but then I thought about his win in the Giro and his ride at the Olympics and it’s just too much talent to pass. I’m not sure there’s anybody in the current peloton who makes me feel like he does when he’s on a good day (which happens rarely, I know).

KOOIJ Olav (249) - with Groenewegen leaving some big opportunities will open up for the young sprinters at Jumbo. I picked two of them, hoping at least one will deliver.

KRON Andreas Lorentz (242) – I don’t even know what the rationale behind this pick is. I love him but please someone convince me this was a total waste of over 200 points.

GEOGHEGAN HART Tao (210) – there are reasons to believe his Giro win was a fluke, but I’m on his bandwagon since day one. Bright young man too, I always enjoy cheering for him.

TULETT Ben (207) – another piece in my collection of Ineos youngsters. Finished AGR, Lombardia and FW inside the top21 + a good GC showing in Pologne. I already had him in the Emerging riders game last year and loved his style.

PINOT Thibaut (207) – I was ready to dump him when I read his interview last week but then told myself this is not the year for sensible decisions. Break my heart once again, Thibaut.

BUCHMANN Emanuel (190) – possibly the least exciting of my picks, but he looked like unfinished business from last year. Would love to see him finish a race once in a while.

AYUSO PESQUERA Juan (178) – Pogacar vibes. Was the first rider to make my longlist and never left.

HINDLEY Jai (137) – there are reasons to believe his Giro podium was a fluke, and I kind of agree. Still a great climbing talent that might score well with the right schedule.

VAN WILDER Ilan (137) – out of DSM, now with QS, big Belgian talent. You don't need anything else to pick him, I think.

TIBERI Antonio (111) – likely a year away from being a good pick, but showed flashes of brilliance as a neo pro, especially in the time trials.

DEKKER David (109) – see KOOIJ, Olav and way cheaper.

PLAPP Lucas (97) – monster engine, won the Australian National TT at just 20, good track background too. I know nothing of the races he’ll ride but Ineos signed him for 4 years so I trust them.

KÄMNA Lennard (53) – rolling the dice again on Big Lenny. Expecting anything from 0 to 800 points for his comeback.

ROSA Diego (52) – what better year to finally pick my favorite rider in the world after telling everybody here I never wanted to pick him? Eolo is the ideal team for him: great calendar, nobody to work for, attack whenever he feels like. I want to keep my expectations in check but I know he's bound for a super year. Dare I say it? He’s better than Fausto Masnada.

PICCOLO Andrea (49) – the fact he didn’t stay with Astana is a bit concerning, but Gazprom provides a better environment to grow and many more chances to ride for himself. Huge talent. Probably Italy’s biggest hope for GTs in the future.

JUNGELS Bob (42) – I know, nobody truly gets back to the old level after his health issue, but I like him a lot (and feel for his mental struggles).

NYS Thibau (37) – mandatory spot for CX teenagers that gets me excited with a couple of road cycling results. Likely a year away from being a year away from being a valuable pick.

DE PLUS Laurens (34) – roller coaster of a career (and he’ still only 26!) and a total gamble for this game. I'm not even sure he's recovered from his health issue. Some Intxausti / König vibes here.

VERNON Ethan (26) – ticks all the boxes for a breakout year: from Great Britain, track experience, riding for the Steppers. I couldn’t miss out.

MILAN Jonathan (25) – will focus on road racing a little more after the Olympic year. Showed his incredible power on the track in 2021, winning medals pretty much every time he competed. Great TTer but can win sprints too. Hopefully Bahrain sprays some magic on him.

MODOLO Sacha (25) – proved at the end of last year he can still win if healthy. Bardiani should give him plenty of chances. And I know from direct sources he's still hungry.

Riders I really wanted but couldn't fit in: Remco, Abner Gonzalez, Alejandro Osorio, Narvaez.
 
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It's my first time playing and I put together a team very quickly just by calculating when I'd hit the limit of 7500 points.

Only just now I'm realizing that my team has three spots left that I could have filled with 0-points riders like Uijtdebroeks who I would have definitely included if I checked this before. That's just stupid and will probably cost me.

Anyway, this is my team and I look forward to the new season:

EVENEPOEL Remco
BENNETT Sam
HIRSCHI Marc
BAGIOLI Andrea
DUMOULIN Tom
SIMMONS Quinn
EWAN Caleb
GARCIA CORTINA Ivan
LEKNESSUND Andreas
SHEFFIELD Magnus
DE PLUS Laurens
JUNGELS Bob
MÜHLBERGER Gregor
TEJADA CANACUE Harold Alfonso
KÄMNA Lennard
KEUKELEIRE Jens
PONOMAR Andriy
NARVAEZ PRADO Jhonatan Manuel
DEKKER David
BAYER Tobias
VAN WILDER Ilan
SCHMID Mauro
PINOT Thibaut
TULETT Ben
KRON Andreas Lorentz
FABBRO Matteo
RODRIGUEZ CANO Carlos
MARTINEZ POVEDA Daniel Felipe
CICCONE Giulio
SKJELMOSE JENSEN Mattias
 
here are my 33 friends for the year

Name Price Popularity
MAS NICOLAU Enric 1095 1
BENNETT Sam 566 43
LOPEZ MORENO Miguel Angel 563 51
LANDA MEANA Mikel 533 20
EWAN Caleb 482 68
HIGUITA GARCIA Sergio Andres 404 28
CICCONE Giulio 343 33
MARTINEZ POVEDA Daniel Felipe 311 32
CONSONNI Simone 269 3
BETTIOL Alberto 257 34
KOOIJ Olav 249 26
IZAGIRRE INSAUSTI Gorka 214 3
SOSA CUERVO Ivan Ramiro 211 25
PINOT Thibaut 207 61
ANDERSEN Søren Kragh 203 39
BUCHMANN Emanuel 190 49
HERMANS Quinten 186 2
AYUSO PESQUERA Juan 178 57
IMPEY Daryl 165 1
VAN WILDER Ilan 137 63
HINDLEY Jai 137 62
MARECZKO Jakub 130 5
GROSU Eduard-Michael 111 3
PLAPP Lucas 97 34
TIZZA Marco 58 1
KÄMNA Lennard 53 72
KANTER Max 49 16
MÜHLBERGER Gregor 45 16
VERNON Ethan 26 29
MILAN Jonathan 25 8
EWART Jesse 5 4
UIJTDEBROEKS Cian 0 50
MARTIN ROMERO David 0 2

a bit wary about leaving out Rivera. Dumoulin and Jungels, not so much, but could still backfire of course. Mick van Dijke and Arnaud de Lie, I heard about the first time today ;).

I wanted to follow Ibarguren's move to Movistar a bit, so ended up with guys like Mas (unique), Gorka and Sosa, although they all were pretty expensive - while Valverde felt a bit too old to still pick. Apparently others felt that way about Impey, my 2nd unique pick. Third one is Tizza, who of course will do great at Bingoal, planing to extend their Italian racing calendar.

Also quite happy with the other rare picks. In Quinten Hermans I still see a lot of potential, and Jesse Ewart should be a great fit at Bike Aid. Hard to say how quick David Martin really is, but with not much sprinting competition at Eolo, I felt more confident in him than in other 0 pointers like Malecki, or in Gazprom turning the table for Rivera. Grosu could become no #1 sprinter at Androni as well, and apparently also Consonni will fill that position at Cofidis, despite signing Coquard. Maybe I'm a bit overconfident in him, but I think he could do very well if he finds enough hilly races/stages with a sprint in the end.

Celano was another 0-point option for a long while, but last week I read that Sapura's move to Europe may not happen, so he had to go. Same as some other long-timers like Askey, Babor and Hirschi, because I messed up the points file.
 
Reactions: 18-Valve. (pithy)
Originally had Evenepoel at my team, but in the end I switched around and picked heart over head as my lead cyclist:

SAGAN Peter: As my absolute favorite rider the last decade I just couldn’t hold out in the end. I know the decline concerns, but I think his divorce took a toll on him, and hopefully a change of scenery will do him good. He sounds very optimistic himself, and he might race some minor races with Total Energie, which could boost his value. A 1500 points campaign is possible.

JAKOBSEN Fabio: As others stated already, he looked like the Worlds greatest sprinter last season. That, coupled with a clear no.1 status at Quick Step, predicts an easy 1500 season.

HIRSCHI Marc: Not quite back last season, but showed enough of his former self to make me believe in great things for him in 2022. I don’t think he’ll get squeezed by Poga or Almeida, and I’m truly happy to be able to fit a hill specialist on my team, as they often are too expensive. Hadn’t read about any surgery.

MOSCON Gianni: Was part of my last day reshuffle, where the leftover budget from Sagan/Evenepoel was spent to remove Riabushenko and put the controversial Italian in. I’m not gonna talk about his person, but his skill set is amazing, which makes him capable in almost all terrains when on form. He plans to go out swinging (pun intended), and I believe he’ll put results over rebellion in ’22.

BENNETT Sam: The cyclist formerly known as the greatest sprinter will easily top 1000 points, if the injury from last season won’t bother him. Easy pick.

LOPEZ MORENO Miguel Angel: It was either him or Landa. Landa seems to be born under an unlucky star, whereas Miguelito just needed to get away from Movistar. They will both do good, if they avoid serious injury, but I’ve just got a feeling one of them won’t.

EWAN Caleb: The most obvious pick in this years game.

HIGUITA GARCIA Sergio Andres: Super talented and mostly fun to watch. The Bora outfit this year looks “just below the top” heavy, but in a case of too many chefs I’m sure Higuita with his punch will stand out and offer up a 1000+ campaign.

MARTINEZ POVEDA Daniel Felipe: I can see other players picking him expressing their concern about his role at INEOS. I’m not that worried, as even lieutenants at the British team seem to be racking up points. Might not do it in the tour, but the talent is so immense, that at last a score double is in the cards.

DUMOULIN Tom: Another obvious pick. Ambitious and relaxed, that seems like a good Dumo combo.

SOSA CUERVO Ivan Ramiro: The small Colombian mountain goat should get everything served on a platter at Movistar. He will rack up points in the smaller mountainous races in Spain this year.

PINOT Thibaut: Another heart over head decision. I don’t know what to make of his statements, seems he might have lost his racing instinct and look forward to retirement. Still has something left on his bucket list, though, so hopefully the sign of improvement at the end of ’21 was a hint of him being able to be competitive again.

BUCHMANN Emanuel: Okay, this is one boring pick. If he’d focus on races that suits him and avoid misfortune - the last one is pretty uncertain - he’d end up being a very good pick, but somehow fear he’ll cruise anonymously to another 200 points season.

AYUSO PESQUERA Juan: This is one pick I’m excited about. This kid seem immensely talented and in various terrains. I’m all aboard the Ayuso hype train and hope it’s picking up steam early in the season.

WRIGHT Fred: One of my last picks. Even with a broken collarbone in December I saw enough potential, especially in the Benelux Tour, and I lacked riders for especially the cobbled classics. This pick will hopefully be one of my rarer ones, which’ll make me root even harder for Fred. Do it Wright!

CALMEJANE Lilian: Don’t really know what’s been up with Calmejane lately. His racing style is opportunistic, and he’ll be a fun guy to watch all year. I didn’t have any riders for the French racing scene last year, but this year Lilian will be the guy.

STANNARD Robert: Also touted as a big talent, but hasn’t really delivered upon that promise yet. He’s still very young, though, and he showed glimpses along the way, which coupled with a team change should give him optimism for ’22.

VAN WILDER Ilan: Lefevre is ecstatic to have Van Wilder, and I’m sure that means he’ll be let loose. The Belgian has already shown us his potential, and I’m sure he will live up to that already this year amongst the other wolves.

THIJSSEN Gerben: He seemed disappointing at Lotto, but he’ll get chances and more support at Wanty. Thijssen is one of my (maybe to many) minor sprinters, whom I hope to make a splash in new environments in 2022.

TIBERI Antonio: With a year at the WT under his belt, I think Tiberi is ready to make results. It’s fun to have young talents to root for in your CQ team, and Tiberi should easily double his score even if he’s not that successful.

GALLOPIN Tony: A couple of seasons with major bad luck for the opportunistic Frenchman. This could turn out to be a dud, but Gallopin and Trek believes that he still has got it in him to compete in the big races, and even though he might take on a supporters role in most stage races, I hope we will see Tony back with a couple of smaller wins this year.

DOULL Owain: A gamble, since he never really got to show us his talents at INEOS. He should now at least have a free role in the cobbled races with EF. But a one-day race “leader” at under 100p? Count me in.

GROVES Kaden: This is another minor sprinter, but hopefully he won’t be considered as such after this season. I know Groenewegen joins BikeExchange, but the native Groves should be getting a better leadout train this year and perhaps he’ll learn a trick or two (not the bad ones, please) from the Dutchman.

DE LIE Arnaud: A very promising minor sprinter, but Lotto seems like the perfect landing spot. De Lie should get plenty of chances to show himself this year. Marijn Van Den Berg seems in the same situation at EF, but at three times the cost I decided to go for the cheaper option. Gonna be fun watching those two guys juking it out.

KÄMNA Lennard: Will be a top5 consensus pick, if people haven’t forgotten about him. Oh, I hope that Lennard can get mind and legs to play together this year, he’s a great racer when on form.

PICCOLO Andrea: It’s a strange story about this young Italian start to a pro career. Maybe I’m just neglecting an obvious clinic matter, but regardless: Piccolo is really talented, seems to think his health issues are over with, and despite Gazproms usual unappealing schedule, he should easily be one of the protected riders even at age 21.

KANTER Max: Another minor sprinter. Also Kanter has shown glimpses of promise as a pro, and he’ll quickly be Movistars main sprinter, if he gets a result or two.

MÜHLBERGER Gregor: Usually I have 1 rider from Movistar, tops. This year I’m at three, and actually would’ve loved to include Garcia Cortina as well. Mühlberger is the same mold as Buchmann, boring, yet with potential to score minor points in several races. If Gregor eclipses 300 points, it has been a rewarding pick.

JUNGELS Bob: I believe in Jungels (well, I believed in Froome up until now), and with a price tag as low as 42, why wouldn’t you pick him. Also a potential consensus top5 pick.

DE PLUS Laurens: A rider with both mental and physical issues the last year and a half. We all know it’s possible to bounce back, and De Plus’ talents are great enough to take the very cheap “risk”.

BRENNER Marco: Might need another year at the World Tour stage, before he unleashes his power, but if he’s ready now, I wanna be on board.

RODENBERG MADSEN Frederik: At some point in the future, Rodenberg will be a sprint force to be reckoned with. Will likely need to be accustomed to WT racing, but a couple of zero-pointers makes the budget go round.

UIJTDEBROEKS Cian: Picked for sheer potential and the zero-points tag. Not ready to take on the World yet, but racing at WT level means he’ll likely get finishing points here and there.
 
Georg Steinhauser 4 teams - Very talented climber. Surprised he is not picked by more. 9th in Tour de l'Ain at 19 is a big achivement in my book.
He was on my radar too but opted not to pick him since he will still be spending time finishing school, and thats what made me unsure about how much he is gonna race.

He is a promising rider though and could turn out to be a very good rider in the future. Might still score points this year, if he is really good in the races he does take part in.
 
Ok, here's my team:

JAKOBSEN Fabio 635 I expect him to be one of the strongest sprinters overall

BENNETT Sam 566 Same, IMO a no brainer

PINOT Thibaut 207 I like him and without his back problems he should do better

CICCONE Giulio 343 With the climbing he has shown he should score a decent amount of points if he doesn't crash out of both GTs again

UMBA LOPEZ Abner Santiago 84 The new Santi, Savio's next ultramythical climber

RUBIO REYES Einer Augusto 186 Young Movistar rider who I expect to step up in a GT nr. 1

MÜHLBERGER Gregor 45 Was pretty much out all season long because of Meningitis/recovering from it.

GONZALEZ RIVERA Abner 182 Young Movistar rider who I expect to step up in a GT nr. 2

MODOLO Sacha 25 Really cheap and showed at the end of the season that he can still be competitive in small races

PIRA PARADA Yesid Albeiro 17 I like him, he's cheap and was the strongest climber in the 2020 Vuelta a Colombia

PICCOLO Andrea 49 Similar to Modolo, if he performs like he did at the end of the season on a PCT schedule he should score lots of points

LOPEZ MORENO Miguel Angel 563 Should do a lot better and he'll probably have a great team around him for the Giro

HINDLEY Jai 137

BUCHMANN Emanuel 190

KÄMNA Lennard 53 All 3 of the Bora riders should score a pretty good profit

GEOGHEGAN HART Tao 210 A bit of a risk, but I expect him to be better than this year.

JOHANNESSEN Tobias Halland 237 If he brings his Tour de l'Avenir climbing legs I see him doing well in all the short stage races that Uno-X get invited

DUMOULIN Tom 307 Still rather cheap and I expect him to score at least 2020 points, probably more.

MILAN Jonathan 25 Cheap and a strong TTer with an impressive sprint, without the track focus for the Olympics I expect him to improve a lot on the road.

STEWART Jake 264 Was a pretty impressive neopro this year

BAGIOLI Andrea 314 A great younger rider, if he stays healthy he should be a great pick

STEIMLE Jannik 213 A bit similar to Bagioli

VAN WILDER Ilan 137 Out of DSM and to Quickstep, no brainer for me.

GALL Felix 40 Pretty much a local guy and he left DSM, had to pick him

VALVERDE BELMONTE Alejandro 1250 My really expensive pick. I need him to perform similar to this year, but without crashing out of the Vuelta. I expect him to go out 2016 Cancellara style

MARTINEZ POVEDA Daniel Felipe 311 He should score better than this year and he's not that expensive.

PONOMAR Andriy 64 Already pretty decent this season, I expect him to step up.

RANGEL COSTA Vinicius 8 a cheap pick after

ROSA Diego 52 Low risk pick

RIVERA SERRANO Kevin 0 A free pick, no risk involved

BETTIOL Alberto 257 If he stays healthy he's clearly worth it

ANDERSEN Søren Kragh 203 One of the only bigger names still at DSM and not that expensive

VERMEERSCH Florian 311 Kinda had to pick him after his Roubaix performance.



Overall I don't think I missed out on too many good picks, Ewan could turn out to be a really good one, Ayuso was already rather expensive and I'm probably gonna regret not picking him and I couldn't find a spot for Leknessund on my team, but that's about it.
 
You know you're underprepared when you read one of the first reveals (tobydawq's) and panic because you don't have Bettiol, Narvaez and Van Dijke (the first two completely escaped my attention). But I've calmed down now! :tearsofjoy:

My team:



PIDCOCK Thomas 708

A supertalent but first made my team late in the proces as last season would be hard for him to do much better, at least without him riding more races. But in the end, when I decided not to go with Evenepoel also to get room for a few other 5xx riders, and with him sounding very optimistic of being better this year, he still made the team in the end.

JAKOBSEN Fabio 635

Back as one of the absolute best sprinters in the world, and now with a full season to show that. A certain pick for me.

BENNETT Sam 566

If he is over the injury he will surely be a good pick. Hard to find any news about the injury, but all sounded like it was not a issue anymore, with all the stories about his helpers.

LOPEZ MORENO Miguel Angel 566

The Giro-Tour insteda of Giro-Vuelta is not ideal, so first made the team when Evenepoel was removed, but should still be very hard for him not to improve clearly from last year and a very solid pick.

LANDA MEANA Mikel 533

Similar pick to Lopez with their unlucky last season, price and schedule, but more proven for the Giro-Tour-combi, and also felt it was only bad luck that held him from showing the Bahrain-magic last year, and I think he will be back to his best next year and be a very solid pick

EWAN Caleb 482

One of the most certain picks for me. Huge room for improvement after his bad luck last year and also with his new improved leadout

FUGLSANG Jakob 447

Normally a bad idea to pick old riders after a season of decline. I do think a lot of his 2021 was due to both the specific Olympic focus and bad luck, and with him stating he wanted to start the season strongly and do well in many races and generally sounding quite ambitious, he had to get a chance at the price to show some of the 2020-2021 form that could make him a great pick.

CICCONE Giulio 343

Great legs but very unlucky last year. If he avoids bad luck he will be a solid pick.

MARTINEZ POVEDA Daniel Felipe 311

One of the least certain and probably also my worst pick. Will do the Tour as helper instead of the Giro so will likely not be able to get his own GT-GC-result this year unlike last year. But on the other hand, missed a lot of 2021 and a huge talent with huge potential and could perhaps get some chances here and there and who knows what will happen with the other captains. In the end I was a bit afraid to leave such a great rider out at such a price.

DUMOULIN Tom 307

With him sounding m otivated and aiming for the Giro GC for instance he was one of my most certain picks

KOOIJ Olav 249

A huge sprinter-talent and with Groenewegen leaving he should get many chances and for me a certain pick.

SOSA CUERVO Ivan Ramiro 211

Always a joker, that can fail, but with Movistar sounding very optimistic about him and his role he was a certain pick.

GEOGHEGAN HART Tao 210

Again a bit of a joker, but a young recent Girowinner at that price was hard not to pick

PINOT Thibaut 207

The backinjury is a big threat but with him improving some last year it was just to risky not to pick him.

ANDERSEN Søren Kragh 203

Was one of the least riders to make the team when the final puzzle had to be fitted, but a class rider and clearly a very solid pick with a huge chance of improving significantly if he can avoid some of the bad luck and injuries he had in the past.

BUCHMANN Emanuel 190

Was certain last year but failed, but certain again now still. The Giroprodium is realistic.

BARONCINI Filippo 184

A big talent ready to make results from the start. A certain pick

AYUSO PESQUERA Juan 178

Perhaps the biggest talent in the world and the most certain of all on my team

HINDLEY Jai 137

Certain at the price

VAN WILDER Ilan 137

Could well end up as a helper a lot, but a huge talent and Quick-Step talents usually get a lot of results quickly so a obvious pick

THIJSSEN Gerben 122

One of my last picks, but could be a nice joker, with Intermarche sounding like they have high hopes and a dedicated sprintteam for him and likely also with a raceprograme with a lot of potentially easy points.

DEKKER David 109

Huge talent and a certain pick especially after Groenewegen left.

PLAPP Lucas 97

A huge talent but a bit of a joker with his lack of road-expericence and on Ineos where he could end up as pure helper in many races. But with him stating he wanted to go for GC in several stageraces with time trials and with his unknown but huge potential I diod not wat to leave him out.

GROVES Kaden 67

A huge sprintertalent, that could potentially score big if he finds his form and gets the right programme. Groenewegen coming gave me some doubt, but sounded like he would not be used as leadout as could have been a risk, and instead will get his own young leadout, and generally sprinters can just always score a lot potentially so a huge talent like him had to be added at the price

RIABUSHENKO Aliaksandr 63

A bit of a joker. Was a huge talent when he rode as amateur, and he has shown glimpses of great things and is now the fastest guy on Astana, which could give a lot of potential chances and points.

DE LIE Arnaud 52

Young but promessing sprinter that will be Lottos second sprinter and likely also will get a nice leadout with the dept on the team there. Could do quite well.

KANTER Max 49

Taking over from Cullaigh that failed misserably, but Kanter is just a lot better than Cullaigh in every way, and should do well with all the chances he will get. A very solid pick with potential to be more than solid also.

KÄMNA Lennard 43

Sounds motivated again and with his huge potential he was certain

JUNGELS Bob 42

Looked strong again and over his problems in Paris-Tours making him a certain pick now. So hopefully bad luck is over he can continue now and hopefully also start more to focus on the 1-day races instead of the mountains he has wasted so much time on.

BRENNER Marco 31

A quiet but still promessing season last year. With his juniortime in mind, he should be ready to step up now and get results. A certain pick.

JOHANSEN Julius 5

First made the team in the final puzzle. But was also one of the best juniors in the world, and now ready to focus fully on the Road after years with a huge track-focus. He will likely be used a lot as helper and leadout but still he is strong enough to also get some results and become a good pick.

UIJTDEBROEKS Cian 0

Im not sure what to expect, but after seing Remco 1.0s debutseason, picking Remco 2.0 seemed obvious

RODENBERG MADSEN Frederik 0

Another huge talent that has been focussing on the track but now ready to focus on the Road. He will again likely be used as leadout at first, but he is extremely fast, very confident and has a huge potential and could become a huge sprintstar, maybe already this year. I was impressed in the Tour Of Denmark 2019 when he stated he was certain he was the fastest rider in the race (never got a chance to sprint) or last year during the Vuelta when he answered he would beat Philipsen 9 times out of 10 in a direct sprint in danish TV. And with him also the only one in the world able to match Ganna on the track he has all the tools to become a monster in the sprints even if the lack of endurance and climbingskills will likely be a issue for a while. But I had to give him a chance at 0 points.



Those closest to making the team but missing out: Evenepoel, Hirschi, Higuita, Kron, Leknessund, Romo, Narvaez, Rosa, Gazzoli, Florez, Modolo, Rangel and Rivera
As you said, we definitely think very similarly! Has there ever been two more similar teams in the game?

It's basically gonna be
Bennett vs Moscon
Fuglsang vs Higuita
Geoghegan Hart vs Bagioli
Baroncini vs Vuillermoz
Dekker vs Grosu

Those are the only differences we have above 100 points cost.

And I could have picked Geoghegan Hart too. But I was closer to picking Tulett to be honest. I'm a bit worried about all the love for Ethan Vernon, who was a late cut from my team (I might be too hung up on getting close to 7500. Maybe he should've been in for Nys), but I'm happy to see you don't have him.

Anyway, here's my team:

PIDCOCK Thomas 708
JAKOBSEN Fabio 635
MOSCON Gianni 569
LOPEZ MORENO Miguel Angel 563
LANDA MEANA Mikel 533
EWAN Caleb 482
HIGUITA GARCIA Sergio Andres 404
CICCONE Giulio 343
BAGIOLI Andrea 314
MARTINEZ POVEDA Daniel Felipe 311
DUMOULIN Tom 307
KOOIJ Olav 249
SOSA CUERVO Ivan Ramiro 211
PINOT Thibaut 207
ANDERSEN Søren Kragh 203
BUCHMANN Emanuel 190
AYUSO PESQUERA Juan 178
HINDLEY Jai 137
VAN WILDER Ilan 137
VUILLERMOZ Alexis 124
THIJSSEN Gerben 122
GROSU Eduard-Michael 111
GROVES Kaden 67
DE LIE Arnaud 57
KÄMNA Lennard 53
ROSA Diego 52
JANSEN Amund Grøndahl 46
JUNGELS Bob 42
LARSEN Niklas 40
NYS Thibau 37
BASKA Erik 31
HAGEN Carl Fredrik 21
VANDENABEELE Henri 15

Went the non-Evenepoel route, and even then, I had to scrape the bottom of the barrel for some cheap picks to fill out my team. Not too confident about Vandenabeele, Rosa and Baska, and Nys was picked mostly for fun.
 
Four riders I really wanted to have room for (but prioritized otherwise), but still gonna root for this year:
Ciccone
Bagioli
Remco
Pidcock

Possibly all four will come back to haunt me, but I will enjoy their inpressive racing styles nonetheless.
 
Dec 16, 2010
41
12
8,610
My team this year. Not too confident as I don't have any rare top picks to stand out in the standings, and not in the top when it comes to popularity ranking either. I think my last to seasons will be hard to match with this team.

But lets see :)


EVENEPOEL Remco
PIDCOCK Thomas
HIRSCHI Marc
LOPEZ MORENO Miguel Angel
LANDA MEANA Mikel
EWAN Caleb
BAGIOLI Andrea
MARTINEZ POVEDA Daniel Felipe
DUMOULIN Tom
STEIMLE Jannik
SOSA CUERVO Ivan Ramiro
GEOGHEGAN HART Tao
PINOT Thibaut
ANDERSEN Søren Kragh
BUCHMANN Emanuel
ARENSMAN Thymen
AYUSO PESQUERA Juan
HINDLEY Jai
KNOX James
VAN WILDER Ilan
PLAPP Lucas
KÄMNA Lennard
ROSA Diego
ROWE Luke
DE PLUS Laurens
HAGEN Carl Fredrik
CAICEDO CEPEDA Jonathan Klever
Turner Ben
ARROYAVE CAÑAS Daniel
HANSEN Lasse Norman
JOHANSEN Julius
RODENBERG MADSEN Frederik
Vader Milan
 
Initially I had submitted a "serious" team, that I was sort of happy with. However, the more I thought about it, the less certain I was that it would be competitive, so I decided to scratch that and send in a team consisting only of youngsters who I very much look forward to follow the next year. From a competitive point of view, I've left out some very obvious names, but I'm ok with that.

My initial team, and what I would do again if I had to make the "best possible" team that I could think of, had the following expensive riders:

EVENEPOEL Remco
PIDCOCK Thomas
JAKOBSEN Fabio
HIRSCHI Marc
BENNETT Sam
LOPEZ MORENO Miguel Angel
EWAN Caleb

I think these are pretty much mandatory, but hey, who am I to say that - I only have Evenepoel and Pidcock of those. From here I would add a few in the 100-300 range (Naesen, Ayuso, Hindley, Buchmann, Dumoulin, Kragh Andersen, Pinot, Hart etc. all seem like decent options) and fill out with a bunch of even cheaper riders.

It's very interesting to read everyone's thoughts on their teams and riders, so keep them coming!

Here's the team I ended up going with:

EVENEPOEL Remco: 1325

To me, a must have this season. This could be his big break through season, but of course he first have to prove that he can compete with the big guys in the biggest races. I'm a firm believer - and a fan - of him, and I wouldn't want to miss out.

HAYTER Ethan: 1106

Arguably my biggest risk this season. He comes at a very expensive price, and he has yet to show anything in the biggest races. However, he was very impressive throughout the 2021-season, not least in Tour of Britain, where he held his own against Van Aert and Alaphilippe. I'm certain he'll be a very good rider, but will he break through in the biggest races this season already?

PIDCOCK Thomas: 708

A no-brainer for me, despite him only partially focusing on the road. One of the biggest talents out there, and he showed already last season that he can fight for the win in the biggest races. His Giro participation will be interesting and could make or break his season.

COVI Alessandro: 520

I became a fan of Covi after his splendid performance in Brabantse Pijl 2020 and I immediately knew that he would develop into a great rider. In 2021 he showed that he can compete on a high level throughout the season, but at 520 points on a stacked team he's a risky bet. He's one of the riders I look forward to follow the most next season, though.

CHAMPOUSSIN Clément: 478

Hailed as the nex big thing in French cycling, Champoussin showed on various occations in 2021 that he could very well be just that. At 478 points, he's rather expensive and there might have been better picks in this price range (Ewan for instance), but I like his style and I hope that he'll take another step forward in 2022.

VANSEVENANT Mauri: 438

From a competition perspective, Vansevenant is probably the pick I'm least confident in. I actually don't think he'll be a very good pick, but if he can find his early-season form from 2021 again, he could lock of a fair amount of points. I just love his agressive riding style, so when I decided to change the focus of my team, I couldn't leave him out.

GIRMAY HAILU Biniam: 431

The "Remco killer". I can't wait to watch Girmay in action this year. Whether he'll turn out a good pick or not remains to be seen, but he's a huge talent who could take a massive step forward this year. Again, he might not be the best pick in this price range, but no way I'm leaving out the future of African cycling!

DAINESE Alberto: 352

Once hailed as the next Italian super sprinter, Dainese stagnated in 2020 and for most of 2021 until he finally showed why he was so hyped when he was everywhere in the Vuelta and one-day races in the fall. I hope he can build on that and finally enter the big scene as one of the next big sprinters.

BAGIOLI Andrea: 314

Bagioli is a huge talent but was hampered by injuries in 2021. I'm fully confident that he'll score a large number of points if he has a full season. And I just love riders like him.

KOOIJ Olav: 249

Looked great last year and should take another step forward this season. With Groenewegen now gone, he should be the main sprinter of Jumbo Visma. I expect big things from him this year.

TULETT Ben: 207

Impressive results for a rider so young, riding a team with minimal support. Also he's double junior cross world champion, so that at least shows that he's very talented. I'm a bit concerned about his role and status at Ineos, but he's british so I imagine that they would want to give him at least some chances.

AYUSO PESQUERA Juan: 178

One of the most obvious picks this year, so I'm not gonna write about him.

CARR Simon: 168

Somewhat of a weird pick I think. He impressed me quite a bit in 2021, though, so I hope that he can transform these performances into results in 2022. I don't think he's ever gonna be a world beater, but potentially he's a decent one day-racer and stage hunter.

VINE Jay: 168

I know almost nothing about this guy, but looking at his results, he's very impressive. He rode a good Vuelta (although I'm quite sure that I mistake some of Tobias Bayer's performances for Vine's...), and with some more races days under his belt in 2022, he could be a good pick.

SCHMID Mauro: 156

Schmid is honestly of the last picks I made and I didn't put much thought into it. He could be a one hit wonder, but his move to QuickStep makes me believe that there's more to it and that he has some potential. Though of course he will likely ride primarily as a domestique in 2022.

VAN WILDER Ilan: 137

Van Wilder showed that the talent is still there - and he rode some very impressive time trials in particular. The change of guard should do him good. There's no better place to develop than at QuickStep. I expect him to take quite a leap forward this season.

DEKKER David: 109

I was actually quite disappointed with Dekker's performances last year, except for his ride in UAE Tour. He did look like a great talent then though, so I'm willing to give him another chance.

PLAPP Lucas: 97

I've never seen him ride and I know next to nothing about him. Going by results alone, he looks like a great talent, though, so I'm eager to see what he's got to offer in 2022.

GROVES Kaden: 67

After some promising results when he was young, I was willing to write off Groves based on his last results. Until he finally showed his great talent off in Tour de Slovaquie and also had some decent results in Cro Race. I don't think he'll become the world beater he was hailed as, but the potential for more is there for sure.

DE LIE Arnaud: 57

I've never seen him race, but from what I've heard and based on his results he looks like a big sprinting talent.

NYS Thibau: 37

No idea how much road he'll ride in 2022 and apparently he's having some issues with his collarbone, so I don't expect much but I had one open spot and a few points to spare, so I gave him a shot.

VERMAERKE Kevin: 34

Vermaerke didn't quite have the 2021-season I had expected, but of course he's still very young, so let's give him a chance to develop and perhaps make a few results in minor races.

HEALY Ben: 33

Healy has been on my rider for the last few years. Based on results, he looks like an amazing talent, although it might be to soon for him to perform outside the Irish Nationals...

HAYTER Leo: 33

He's the younger brother of one of the most exciting riders right now. And he just won the U23 LBL himself. Hard to not give him a chance on my team.

BRENNER Marco: 31

Despite having already ridden a full season as a pro, he's still only 19 years old. Of course he didn't do much in his first year, but perhaps he can make a few results in small races this year?

VERNON Ethan: 26

I don't know him, but he signed for QuickStep and he should be promising from what I hear.

PARET-PEINTRE Valentin: 18

Honestly, I have no idea about this guy. But he does have some promisig results and he's the brother of Aurelien, who's doing very well.

VANDENABEELE Henri: 15
VERVLOESEM Xandres: 5
SVRCEK Martin: 0
GREGOIRE Romain: 0
HAGENES Per Strand: 0
UIJTDEBROEKS Cian: 0

These guys I basically just chose because I've heard that they are big talents and they're very cheap. I look forward to follow their progress this year, but I obviously don't expect game changing points from his.
 
Reactions: SafeBet
TIBERI Antonio: With a year at the WT under his belt, I think Tiberi is ready to make results. It’s fun to have young talents to root for in your CQ team, and Tiberi should easily double his score even if he’s not that successful.

PICCOLO Andrea: It’s a strange story about this young Italian start to a pro career. Maybe I’m just neglecting an obvious clinic matter, but regardless: Piccolo is really talented, seems to think his health issues are over with, and despite Gazproms usual unappealing schedule, he should easily be one of the protected riders even at age 21.

RODENBERG MADSEN Frederik: At some point in the future, Rodenberg will be a sprint force to be reckoned with. Will likely need to be accustomed to WT racing, but a couple of zero-pointers makes the budget go round.
I'm a bit jealous. You went with some of my near-inclusions. Especially Rodenberg was very close to being included, but I just had a feeling that when DSM says he will be a leadout rider, he'll be a leadout rider. That, coupled with some durability issues. But I also believe in his talent, and he might punch through and become a world-beater already this year.

I've followed the two Italian musketeers since their junior days (I really hope for some new Italian stage racing greats!), and a couple of years ago I thought Piccolo looked like the biggest talent of the two. Piccolo was in my team this year as well, but got lost in a shuffle somewhere. Tiberi is also exciting. A bit more established, but I just wasn't too excited about his points potential this year.

BUCHMANN Emanuel: Okay, this is one boring pick. If he’d focus on races that suits him and avoid misfortune - the last one is pretty uncertain - he’d end up being a very good pick, but somehow fear he’ll cruise anonymously to another 200 points season.

CALMEJANE Lilian: Don’t really know what’s been up with Calmejane lately. His racing style is opportunistic, and he’ll be a fun guy to watch all year. I didn’t have any riders for the French racing scene last year, but this year Lilian will be the guy.
I couldn't agree more about Buchmann. Very late inclusion to my team, because I was so extremely unexcited about him.

Funny you say that Calmejane will be fun to watch. I guess you could be right when you see it from a cycling fan's perspective, but from a CQ perspective, he's what I'd call a very boring pick. Likely to get a few decent results that will boost his points, but you never know when they come, and most of the year will be spent in frustration over him not doing anything noteworthy. I like the CQ picks that consistently show up in the points in races!
 
Imagine that, someone spelling that name wrong. Darn, I used a name checker for all the teams, must have been an addition on a revised team, which I didn't run through the checker when people made changes. I'll check it out and correct it, thanks for spotting.
You will also want to move
CEPEDA Jonathan Klever to CAICEDO CEPEDA Jonathan Klever
LUHRS Luis-Joe to LÜHRS Luis-Joe

I think that's all
 
I'm a bit jealous. You went with some of my near-inclusions. Especially Rodenberg was very close to being included, but I just had a feeling that when DSM says he will be a leadout rider, he'll be a leadout rider. That, coupled with some durability issues. But I also believe in his talent, and he might punch through and become a world-beater already this year
I was also very intrigued by Rodenberg and very close to picking him, but I left him out for the exact reasons you give as well. He seems very talented - and confident: I remember hearing the interview where he said the he would beat Philipsen 9/10 times in a flat sprint as well - but I think he needs at least a year to improve his stamina.
 
Initially I had submitted a "serious" team, that I was sort of happy with. However, the more I thought about it, the less certain I was that it would be competitive, so I decided to scratch that and send in a team consisting only of youngsters who I very much look forward to follow the next year. From a competitive point of view, I've left out some very obvious names, but I'm ok with that.

My initial team, and what I would do again if I had to make the "best possible" team that I could think of, had the following expensive riders:

EVENEPOEL Remco
PIDCOCK Thomas
JAKOBSEN Fabio
HIRSCHI Marc
BENNETT Sam
LOPEZ MORENO Miguel Angel
EWAN Caleb

I think these are pretty much mandatory, but hey, who am I to say that - I only have Evenepoel and Pidcock of those. From here I would add a few in the 100-300 range (Naesen, Ayuso, Hindley, Buchmann, Dumoulin, Kragh Andersen, Pinot, Hart etc. all seem like decent options) and fill out with a bunch of even cheaper riders.

It's very interesting to read everyone's thoughts on their teams and riders, so keep them coming!

Here's the team I ended up going with:

EVENEPOEL Remco: 1325

To me, a must have this season. This could be his big break through season, but of course he first have to prove that he can compete with the big guys in the biggest races. I'm a firm believer - and a fan - of him, and I wouldn't want to miss out.

HAYTER Ethan: 1106

Arguably my biggest risk this season. He comes at a very expensive price, and he has yet to show anything in the biggest races. However, he was very impressive throughout the 2021-season, not least in Tour of Britain, where he held his own against Van Aert and Alaphilippe. I'm certain he'll be a very good rider, but will he break through in the biggest races this season already?

PIDCOCK Thomas: 708

A no-brainer for me, despite him only partially focusing on the road. One of the biggest talents out there, and he showed already last season that he can fight for the win in the biggest races. His Giro participation will be interesting and could make or break his season.

COVI Alessandro: 520

I became a fan of Covi after his splendid performance in Brabantse Pijl 2020 and I immediately knew that he would develop into a great rider. In 2021 he showed that he can compete on a high level throughout the season, but at 520 points on a stacked team he's a risky bet. He's one of the riders I look forward to follow the most next season, though.

CHAMPOUSSIN Clément: 478

Hailed as the nex big thing in French cycling, Champoussin showed on various occations in 2021 that he could very well be just that. At 478 points, he's rather expensive and there might have been better picks in this price range (Ewan for instance), but I like his style and I hope that he'll take another step forward in 2022.

VANSEVENANT Mauri: 438

From a competition perspective, Vansevenant is probably the pick I'm least confident in. I actually don't think he'll be a very good pick, but if he can find his early-season form from 2021 again, he could lock of a fair amount of points. I just love his agressive riding style, so when I decided to change the focus of my team, I couldn't leave him out.

GIRMAY HAILU Biniam: 431

The "Remco killer". I can't wait to watch Girmay in action this year. Whether he'll turn out a good pick or not remains to be seen, but he's a huge talent who could take a massive step forward this year. Again, he might not be the best pick in this price range, but no way I'm leaving out the future of African cycling!

DAINESE Alberto: 352

Once hailed as the next Italian super sprinter, Dainese stagnated in 2020 and for most of 2021 until he finally showed why he was so hyped when he was everywhere in the Vuelta and one-day races in the fall. I hope he can build on that and finally enter the big scene as one of the next big sprinters.

BAGIOLI Andrea: 314

Bagioli is a huge talent but was hampered by injuries in 2021. I'm fully confident that he'll score a large number of points if he has a full season. And I just love riders like him.

KOOIJ Olav: 249

Looked great last year and should take another step forward this season. With Groenewegen now gone, he should be the main sprinter of Jumbo Visma. I expect big things from him this year.

TULETT Ben: 207

Impressive results for a rider so young, riding a team with minimal support. Also he's double junior cross world champion, so that at least shows that he's very talented. I'm a bit concerned about his role and status at Ineos, but he's british so I imagine that they would want to give him at least some chances.

AYUSO PESQUERA Juan: 178

One of the most obvious picks this year, so I'm not gonna write about him.

CARR Simon: 168

Somewhat of a weird pick I think. He impressed me quite a bit in 2021, though, so I hope that he can transform these performances into results in 2022. I don't think he's ever gonna be a world beater, but potentially he's a decent one day-racer and stage hunter.

VINE Jay: 168

I know almost nothing about this guy, but looking at his results, he's very impressive. He rode a good Vuelta (although I'm quite sure that I mistake some of Tobias Bayer's performances for Vine's...), and with some more races days under his belt in 2022, he could be a good pick.

SCHMID Mauro: 156

Schmid is honestly of the last picks I made and I didn't put much thought into it. He could be a one hit wonder, but his move to QuickStep makes me believe that there's more to it and that he has some potential. Though of course he will likely ride primarily as a domestique in 2022.

VAN WILDER Ilan: 137

Van Wilder showed that the talent is still there - and he rode some very impressive time trials in particular. The change of guard should do him good. There's no better place to develop than at QuickStep. I expect him to take quite a leap forward this season.

DEKKER David: 109

I was actually quite disappointed with Dekker's performances last year, except for his ride in UAE Tour. He did look like a great talent then though, so I'm willing to give him another chance.

PLAPP Lucas: 97

I've never seen him ride and I know next to nothing about him. Going by results alone, he looks like a great talent, though, so I'm eager to see what he's got to offer in 2022.

GROVES Kaden: 67

After some promising results when he was young, I was willing to write off Groves based on his last results. Until he finally showed his great talent off in Tour de Slovaquie and also had some decent results in Cro Race. I don't think he'll become the world beater he was hailed as, but the potential for more is there for sure.

DE LIE Arnaud: 57

I've never seen him race, but from what I've heard and based on his results he looks like a big sprinting talent.

NYS Thibau: 37

No idea how much road he'll ride in 2022 and apparently he's having some issues with his collarbone, so I don't expect much but I had one open spot and a few points to spare, so I gave him a shot.

VERMAERKE Kevin: 34

Vermaerke didn't quite have the 2021-season I had expected, but of course he's still very young, so let's give him a chance to develop and perhaps make a few results in minor races.

HEALY Ben: 33

Healy has been on my rider for the last few years. Based on results, he looks like an amazing talent, although it might be to soon for him to perform outside the Irish Nationals...

HAYTER Leo: 33

He's the younger brother of one of the most exciting riders right now. And he just won the U23 LBL himself. Hard to not give him a chance on my team.

BRENNER Marco: 31

Despite having already ridden a full season as a pro, he's still only 19 years old. Of course he didn't do much in his first year, but perhaps he can make a few results in small races this year?

VERNON Ethan: 26

I don't know him, but he signed for QuickStep and he should be promising from what I hear.

PARET-PEINTRE Valentin: 18

Honestly, I have no idea about this guy. But he does have some promisig results and he's the brother of Aurelien, who's doing very well.

VANDENABEELE Henri: 15
VERVLOESEM Xandres: 5
SVRCEK Martin: 0
GREGOIRE Romain: 0
HAGENES Per Strand: 0
UIJTDEBROEKS Cian: 0

These guys I basically just chose because I've heard that they are big talents and they're very cheap. I look forward to follow their progress this year, but I obviously don't expect game changing points from his.
Gimme a high five, fellow Covi believer!
 
Reactions: Hugo Koblet
Looking at the popularity statistics, I'm the most surprised that Evenepoel is only picked by 34 teams. To me he's a must have, so I'm very surprised that only roughly 1/3 of the teams agree on that. I'm also kinda surprised that Hirschi was only picked by 32 teams, though his recent surgery might have had a say in this. skidmark, did many managers swap him out last minute? Personally, I don't think he'll ever reach his 2020 level again, but I know many think otherwise. Landa only picked 20 times is also rather surprising to me, as is Fuglsang only picked 15 times and Naesen 14 times.

In the other end of the spectrum, I didn't expect Bettiol, Ciccone, Martinez and Higuita to be this popular. Girmay at a 431 price picked by 17 is also surprising to me - even though I picked him as well.
 
Ethan Hayter

Thomas Pidcock

Marc Hirschi

Markus Hoelgaard

Biniam Grimay Hailu

Sergio Higuita

Mattias Skjelmose

Mark Padun

Tom Dumoulin

Matteo Sobrero

Alberto Bettiol

Andreas Kron

Ivan Sosa

Matteo Jorgenson

Santiago Buitrago

Stephen Williams

Andreas Leknessund

Juan Ayuso

Simon Carr

IIan Van Wilder

Clement Berthet

Soren Waerenskjold

Luke Plapp

Alejandro Osorio

Lennard Kamna

Niklas Larsen

Marco Brenner

Didier Merchan

Jarrad Drizners

Vinicius Rangel

Julius Johansen

Cian Uijtdebroeks

Sam Welsford
 
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