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The 2022 CQ Ranking Manager Thread

Page 8 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.
So unfortunatly neither of the young Jumbo sprinters, which are quiet popular in this game will ride the giro this year.

So owners of Kooij, Dekker, van Dijke have to hope that they will score in smaller races..
I'm very happy that Kooij is not doing the Giro. For sprinters who are not in the absolute elite, riding a GT is 21 more or less wasted race days in CQ terms.
 
I do like your Rosa and Grosu picks also, they were not far from my team either. Regarding Vandenabeele the potential is clearly there, Im just always a bit sceptical about young Belgian climbers and how fast they develop after strong u23-results, as there have been some dissapointmets, and I also guess its not impossible that Baska could be a new Kump-2015-like pick perhaps, though I would fear for him his team will ride with Kubik as the first sprinter. Nys is clearly interesting, but I guess his succes will depend on how much he will ride on the road.
I've kind of lost hope for Rosa after having him in my team in earlier years. But I like him, and he was just as (non-)appealing as some of the other cheap picks.

Grosu will be fun. Androni has an awesome schedule for a durable sprinter, they just haven't had any since Belletti before he declined. And then also they had Ballerini at the same time. Both scored 500 points.

Baska is a bit like Rosa, with the difference being that he never made my team earlier, despite being close a couple of times. Not really over-excited about his chances either, but as you say, there's a small chance of him doing a Kump. Have to admit I've never heard of the other guy on his team (Kubik), but it seems you might be right. He does indeed look very good judging from his results (and he's very young as well).

Nys was again picked because of a lack of exciting options in that price bracket. But he's said he is intrigued by what he can do on the road and wants to try more of that this year. I can see him doing a bit like MVdP when he first started doing road races, so a 130-200 point campaign could be possible if he really makes it work.
 
I've kind of lost hope for Rosa after having him in my team in earlier years. But I like him, and he was just as (non-)appealing as some of the other cheap picks.

Baska is a bit like Rosa, with the difference being that he never made my team earlier, despite being close a couple of times. Not really over-excited about his chances either, but as you say, there's a small chance of him doing a Kump. Have to admit I've never heard of the other guy on his team (Kubik), but it seems you might be right. He does indeed look very good judging from his results (and he's very young as well).
I ended up too sceptical about Rosa in the end, but he clearly still have some unforfilled potential and just sounded so motivated when signing with Eolo, so I think he will be a fine pick

I don't know Kubis too much either (me calling him Kubik before says it all :)) but he clearly seems a talented sprinter, and with Baskas leadout-experience I guess it would make sence to let him leadout. But we will see, Baska is clearly also a rider that has some unforfilled potential.
 
I'm very happy that Kooij is not doing the Giro. For sprinters who are not in the absolute elite, riding a GT is 21 more or less wasted race days in CQ terms.
For sure - I think I've realized over the years that I often choose riders that I know are not targeting grand tours. Not just sprinters - one thing that made me hesitant on Higuita this year even though I enthusiastically picked him at a higher cost last year was that he said he wanted to target GTs, whereas for CQ value I saw him as one for hilly classics and shorter races, with GT stages and any resulting high placing as a bonus. Pinning your season hopes on a GT is putting alot of eggs in that basket. But it's even more pronounced for young sprinters, 21 days of anonymity is about the least efficient thing you can do CQ wise.
 
Took a closer look at riders on my team that need to perform very well and that I can cheer a little bit extra for, if my team should have a chance of finishing high up in the rankings:

Gianni Moscon (11 picks)
Jacob Fuglsang (15 picks)
Oliver Naesen (14 picks)
Matthew Walls (15 picks)
Andreas Leknessund (15 picks)
Antonio Tiberi (15 picks)
Gerben Thijssen (6 picks)
Campbell Stewart (1 pick)
Max Kanter (16 picks)
Andrea Piccolo (17 picks)
Amund Gröndahl Jansen (12 picks)
Gregor Mühlberger (16 picks)
Nicolas Edet (3 picks)
Milan Vader (13 picks)

I used under 20 picks as a threshold.

A pretty decent mix of older and experienced riders, with a few younger riders with potential in there too.

Looking a step further between riders that I have on my team that were picked between 30 to 20 times, that may impact the game, I found:

Sergio Higuita (29 picks)
Florian Vermeersch (23 picks)
Olav Kooij (26 picks)
Carl Fredrik Hagen (26 picks)

A bit more risk with these picks. Higuita has potential to be a point machine, but we dont yet know how this Bora experiment will work out. Vermeersch need to build on his PR performance from last season and Kooij could hopefully have a bit of a mini-breakthrough. CFH is maybe not that much risk with, "just" need to race and hopefully picks up a few points here and there.

I also went through the top 20 of the pop table, and the riders that I dont have from there, that I may need to not have as great seasons, as its owners are hoping for:

Caleb Ewan (68 picks)
Cian Uijtdebroeks (50 picks)
Sam Bennett (43 picks)
TGH (41 picks)
Andrea Bagioli (35 picks)
Laurens De Plus (35 picks)
Lucas Plapp (34 picks)
Remco Evenepoel (34 picks)

They were all on my radar at one point but didnt end up on my team for various reasons. With both Ewan and Bennett I could see them score around 700-800 points, which wouldnt be a bad profit but I would still be a bit underwhelmed with that. I thought one of them might have a great season +1000, but not both out of all the sprinters. I dont see them dominating everyone else, so I gambled and picked neither.

I didnt pick Remco, because I didnt want to put most of my eggs in that basket. He could be worth it but too much of a risk, for me. He has the potential for great reward though, for those who picked him.

TGH is a decent rider but didnt make the team in the end. I could see him score 400-500 points. Thats profit, but also a bit underwhelming. I dont know if my estimation may end up being correct, but thats the choices we make.

Bagioli I really wanted early, but as I thought more about it he would have to be very good to become a good pick. He was still a bit expensive and got most of his points from one win. Then he was injured and out for a while last season. Not much to go by, more than him being a rider with great potential. Not surprised if he scores 800 points at all, but Im a bit surprised he is picked by that many.

De Plus is a tricky one. He just started to ride again in the off-season. He may need more time and might not do many results this year either or until later in the year.

Plapp seems to be a great talent, but it is possible he needs to gain more experience before we see some results. Not that easy for Americans or Aussies coming to Europe and race in the pro peloton, in the beginning.

Uijtdebroeks is also a great talent but hoping it is one year too early. He may score some points from Avenir perhaps, but probably not scoring many points in the pro races. You never know though.

Sidenote: Dont know if the pop table is completely synched. Might be an error of -+1 pick for a few riders in some cases.
 
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Part 2 of my team writeup from most to least popular:

Andrea Bagioli (314, 36) – I had him in his first pro year, the truncated 2020, and he got 377 points in 40 race days across varying terrain, 1-day and stage race alike. Then in 2021, he wins a 1.PS race in his second race day, crashes in his third and suffers a big knee injury, misses almost 5 months, and has a respectable enough end of the season including his first GT. He’s fast and punchy, and most importantly, he’s with QuickStep, which can pull a win out of the hat in virtually every race. Lots of scenarios where he can be the guy who gets away while everyone’s marking his teammate, or conversely, gets pulled back to sprint for the win because his teammate is too dangerous up the road.

Alberto Bettiol (257, 35) – He does share a few similarities with the other Italian A.B. mentioned above, although with a proven engine for long races and less of a kick. “Ulcerative colitis” sounds serious even if you don’t know what it is, and worse if you do. Not fun. But even though it’s a fairly unpredictable issue, he made it work when he could race last year, and he has the potential to get that one big result that’ll make it worthwhile alone.

Remco Evenepoel (1326, 34) – I had a big long writeup for him on my team last year that got lost before I could post it, but essentially what I said was “I’ve never seen a rider who I could legitimately imagine rivalling Merckx until this guy, so damn right I’ll snap him up for <1000 points even if he’s got a broken hip”. My boldness in that statement has been slightly muted after a year (and after seeing Pogacar progress for another year), but I haven’t been convinced otherwise yet either. His collapse in the Giro could have the reasonable explanation of “he’s still a kid who had zero race days for 8 months before starting his first GT, which he was on the podium of for two weeks anyway”, his lacklustre Olympics could be written off as a dip in form that lasted a badly-timed week, and his Lombardia was the end of a trying season for a still-developing rider (his ‘wtf is this’ showing in Chrono de Nations would serve as evidence that he was running on fumes by season’s end). And the Worlds – well, that’s been discussed ad nauseum, attacking from >200km out was fun at least.

Still, it is notable that his unspectacular results came in his biggest races. But, it is also notable that I’m citing literally the only races in the year where he didn’t do spectacularly well (okay, Benelux too). I’m convinced he can do what he regularly does in the biggest races too – when he crashed over the bridge on the Sormano, he was with the final 6 selection deep into a Monument. I can’t forget his 2020 Pologne win – I know, second-tier WT race, but look at the names in the top 25 of the stage he ripped apart, and look at the time gaps. He made a selection of the world’s best riders look like juniors, that was nuts. Either way, it’ll be fun to see what he can do this year, and I’m convinced it’ll score a ton of points. 2000-3000 is my expectation, with the midpoint of that most likely.

Giulio Ciccone (343, 34) – if he has exhausted his supply of ‘dropping out of a GT in the third week while in a high placing’, he will certainly improve. On the one hand, the fact that he seems prone to such misses and missteps is concerning, and is always a risk in CQ (see: anyone who picked Geraint Thomas other than in 2018 thinking if he just stopped crashing he’d score a ton). On the other, he has shown some versatility, squeezing in some high one-day race placings and smaller stage-race placings in his career, alongside his precocious early career Giro stage wins and the stint in yellow at the Tour. He’s got a diverse CQ portfolio. So if he can stay in it long enough to get GT GC points, 700-1000 is a pretty reasonable expectation.

Henri Vandenabeele (15, 30) – the last addition to my team; when I decided to shuffle a more expensive rider out for a higher cost one, I had to drop about 120 points to get under budget, so I turfed Mauro Schmid and looked around the sub-40 point riders and he seemed like the best option. I don’t have a ton of confidence – his results in U23 have been good, and I can convince myself of the narrative of “he was consistently good in 2020, then same in first part of 2021, then he got toxoplasmosis” and forecast a few hundred points. But I’m always skeptical of Lotto with neo-pros, apart from the ultimately tragic Bjorg Lambrecht (RIP) they either take a few years to figure it out on their own (Tim Wellens) or they end up being fool’s gold (Louis Vervaeke).

Olav Kooij (249, 26) – It’s interesting to consider Jumbo’s sprinting possibilities this year with Groenewegen leaving. Aside from WvA who is their first choice for anything important that needs someone fast, there’s a homegrown youth movement with Dekker, Kooij and Van Dijke. All have their appeals in this game – Dekker and Kooij might have the advantage of having a year of WT experience in them, Dekker is quite a bit cheaper, and Van Dijke seems like he can get over some bumps to contend in short stage races that offer GC points for sprinters who can make the selection. In the end, though, the results all seem to suggest that Kooij is the fastest of them, and he’s more consistent than Dekker. He's also the youngest, which is not insignificant when it comes to potential for development. His PCS page is a string of single-digit placings for his whole career thus far. Jumbo had a great intro programme for him first season, with just two WT races in Pologne and Benelux, and maybe this year if they throw in a Dauphine or Tirenno to step it up a notch while keeping a good calendar of .Pro and .1 races, he’ll become more well rounded and score a ton of points. Maybe it’s recency bias, but a 19-year old crashing in Piemonte and chasing back to nab third showed a good amount of fight, and was a good exclamation point on a first year narrative of growth.

Carl Fredrik Hagen (21, 26) – his early-season injury sounded so awful, I’m glad he managed to come back before the end of the year. I did have some hesitation since I passed on him at a cheap price last year, and I still haven’t found any info on why his 2020 was so blah. But also last year there were so many affordable riders that seemed to have clear upside, so in a normal context he’d be a no brainer as his engine is clearly there from his impressive neo-pro year (whoops, there’s a neo-pro that proves as a counterpoint to what I said above about Lotto I guess). And his interviews seem to paint him as determined, motivated and confident for 2022. So that seems like good enough upside at a squad that seems fairly open on the GC leader front.

Ivan Sosa (211, 25) – Movistar and its prior iterations have quite the mixed history with mercurial Colombian talent. Recency bias would suggest this may be a disaster, with the thudding end of Lopez’s stint still hanging around in the air and the Betancur project mercifully sputtering to its end a couple of years back. But this is also the team that brought in Quintana and really established Uran (oh, what could have been, Unibet), and I’m of the mind that it’s a great landing spot for Sosa, at least a much better one than the Ineos setup. But that might be because I can’t really seem to find any good info on Sosa to determine what happened and what he’s thinking, so I’m forced to go off of the “he won a .PS race early in the season and was basically benched” to project his potential for CQ points. Or it might even be more lizard brained than that, basically “he wins the Vuelta a Burgos, and Movistar targets the Vuelta a Burgos, what a great fit”. I dunno.

Filippo Baroncini (184, 22) – Obviously a Worlds U23 win is a high pedigree result, but the Bystroms and Ledanois’ of this world will have you know that’s not all you need to be a good CQ pick. I picked him for his whole portfolio, which includes good placings across a variety of races, a decent TT, and respectable showings in the 1-day pro races he participated in as a stagaire. That he can hang in the pro races is a good sign, and his skillset can result in a good CQ haul, given the right programme. I think Trek does an alright job of that, and I can see him getting a good result in a .1 or .PS one-day race, the same in one of those stage races with a few punchy stages and a short TT, or even a well-timed attack to get a stage of a WT race to announce himself.

Andrea Piccolo (49, 17) – he’s had an odd path that is difficult to decipher, as in 2021 he was signed by Astana, never raced for them, was dropped midway through the season, and raced a few races independently at the end of the year. Prior to that, his 2020 was trash with 12 race days in a pandemic-ravaged calendar. But bookending that stretch, his pedigree from 2018-19 clearly shows at the level he was racing, and his late 2021 showed some promise, with 1st, 2nd and 8th in his 3 U23 races, and one top 10 and some okay finishes in the 6 pro 1.1 races he did, and a couple of DNFs. So ultimately, you’ve got a WT talent on a PCT team probably doing a PCT calendar with lots of upside. But also at Gazprom, which has traditionally been a place where decent CQ picks on paper go to die (that is: be anonymous and score no points). So, hmm what do you do with that… sold for 49 points!!
 
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Looking at the different teams discussed here my biggest oversight definitely is Kämna. He wasn't even on my initial list of close to 150 riders. No idea how that happened.

Next to that I apparently forgot that Italy existed. Especially Ciccone and Bagioli should have been considered more. Bettiol also seems a popular pick, but I don't trust him too much. When he is good, he is really good, but those days are rare. However he is one of the riders that could ruin my rankings if he is consistently good this year.
 
I didnt pick Remco, because I didnt want to put most of my eggs in that basket. He could be worth it but too much of a risk, for me. He has the potential for great reward though, for those who picked him.

Sidenote: Dont know if the pop table is completely synched. Might be an error of -+1 pick for a few riders in some cases.
On these two points:

- when you say 'too much of a risk', are you thinking that he might have a crash and severe injury as in 2020, or are you thinking he might underperform and disappoint? Just curious to know more.

- yes BlueRoads pointed out in the thread yesterday that I missed their team for some reason. I entered it in the popularity tab but didn't make a new pivot table yet. I was gonna wait to see if anyone else had fallen through the cracks and update the table by the first update next week.
 
- when you say 'too much of a risk', are you thinking that he might have a crash and severe injury as in 2020, or are you thinking he might underperform and disappoint? Just curious to know more.
Yes, exactly. Maybe not that severe, hopefully, because I dont wish that on anyone but yes always a risk that could happen in this sport. Or for some reason he might just have a "bad" season also, and just score pretty much the same or a smaller profit than expected.

But he could also be really good and score +2000.

I guess it just depends on what risk you wanna take and what you place your bet on.

I also liked my team better without him, because of all the other riders I could get. I would probably had to make more picks in 100-0 area with him in the team and I thought that was a tricky area this year. Not many that stood out like previous years or were super-obvious, it wasnt to me at least. I think we can see that in the selection also a bit. Only a couple of riders that are on many teams that are popular, with the really cheap picks.
 
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I also liked my team better without him, because of all the other riders I could get. I would probably had to make more picks in 100-0 area with him in the team and I thought that was a tricky area this year. Not many that stood out like previous years or were super-obvious, it wasnt to me at least. I think we can see that in the selection also a bit. Only a couple of riders that are on many teams that are popular, with the really cheap picks.
This was my main reasoning, too. All the sub-100 picks I liked were already in my team when Evenepoel was in it. And getting Pidcock, Martinez and Higuita in for him gives me a potential 2000-pointer and two 1000-pointers if the stars align. Just felt like a better distribution of risk than depending on (the admittedly awesome) Evenepoel and two guys who are not guaranteed to do much at all.

I believe Evenepoel is likely to do very well and could well turn out to be a better pick than the combo I went for instead. There's for example no way he doesn't podium the Worlds TT. But then there's also the small risk that someone this new to the sport is a bit more crash prone than others.
 
I believe Evenepoel is likely to do very well and could well turn out to be a better pick than the combo I went for instead. There's for example no way he doesn't podium the Worlds TT. But then there's also the small risk that someone this new to the sport is a bit more crash prone than others.
I think there is no doubt that he has a lot of margin to improve in the big races, but he also took 2/3 of his points in lower level races in 2021, and may participate in considerably less of those. Personally, having had him in my team last year, I failed to see the development (as a rider) I expected, and therefor stayed away from him.
 
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After pushing aside most of my commitments to get things up and running for the game, I don't have a ton of time today but wanted to at least get started on a writeup of my team. Other part(s) to follow when I have a sec.

I’m going to rank from most to least popular, to get the obvious ones out of the way (although I can’t resist saying stuff about each of them, please bear with me, or don’t!)

Lennard Kamna (53 points, 72 teams) – I wish him the best in his motivation/mental health struggles. He’s such a talented rider, and I definitely appreciate the fortitude it takes to admit that you’ve gotta take some time off, in the pressure-cooker of pro sports. Of course, in the CQ game that makes him a pick of potential inconsistency, but everything I could find suggested he’s good to go this year, and his talent is undeniable.

Caleb Ewan (482 points, 68 teams) – in the last 3 years, he’s got as good a claim as any to be the fastest sprinter in the world. Last year he had an ambitious program that seemed to be doing okay until his crash in the Tour, which threw everything else off. He was a step behind the rest of the season – seems like he’s gonna be more realistic this year and not make any elaborate plans for winning GT stages in all 3 GTs or anything like that. That approach can lead to a win in MSR and the Green Jersey in Paris (and a good showing in the Worlds?) if all goes well.

Tom Dumoulin (307 points, 66 teams) – speaking of athletes who realized they needed to take a step back for their own mental health. Even if he’s shifting focus away from contesting GTs, his talent is still there, and not putting all his eggs in the GT basket can just hopefully spread the points around. I’m surprised he’s not the most picked tbh.

Ilan Van Wilder (137 points, 63 teams) – I am, however, surprised that IVW (do people call him that?) was picked this much. Don’t get me wrong, he’s good – last year when I picked Froome at the end of my team process, I justified it with ‘well would I really go for an unknown of similar price like Ilan Van Wilder’? And then he showed some flash, much more than his score, thanks to DSM’s… whatever the hell it is they do to make riders chew their own arm off to escape. But, you know, that 13-year old kid that got mildly famous for riding next to the bunch up a hill and getting handed a bottle outperformed Chris Froome last year, so it’s not a high bar. IVW seems talented but unproven. But I guess he’s a popular pick mainly because he’s leaving DSM for QuickStep, which is like coming to Man City from… dare I say… Wigan?

Jai Hindley (137 points, 62 teams) – it’s the year of the 137 pointer! I mean, even if you think his almost winning the Giro was a fluke result, he doesn’t need to repeat that highest of highs to be good in this game. His prior results were good enough – almost 400 points at CT level before signing WT, a year of learning, then a consistent year of top 15s or better and over 300 points. If his true level is somewhere between that and his 2020, he should get 500+, which is great for this price. Just hope those saddle sores aren’t a chronic thing.

Thibaut Pinot (207 points, 61 teams) – I’m not gonna look up my exact writeup, but in the 2020 version of this thread when I picked him for a cost of 861, I said something to the effect of “I didn’t realize until looking at his CQ page that he may be the most consistently high stage race finisher in the peloton”. And until his Tour messed everything up in 2020, his results were 7th (Provence), 6th (Var), 5th (P-N), 4th (Occitanie), 2nd (Dauphine). 2019 he was 4th (Provence), 1st (Var), 5th (T-A), 11th (Catalunya) 1st (l’Ain), 5th (Dauphine), and briefly looked like he could win the Tour in the third week before dropping out due to injury. Let’s do one more – 2018 he was 5th (Var), 10th (Catalunya), 1st (Alps), 3rd (Pologne), 6th (Vuelta), and dropped out of the Giro due to pneumonia a hair’s breadth away from the podium. I’m not hand picking these, those are literally all the stage races he participated in for three years, and his lowest finish was 11th.

Anyway, all that is to say: 1) if his back issues are truly behind him, he’s got a pretty strong baseline if he can return to it, and 2) I thought he was a deal in 2020 at over 4x his price this year. Allez Thibaut!

Bob Jungels (42 points, 61 teams) – I hope his issues are resolved, although arterial issues have a mixed history (Dombrowski and Aru are cautionary tales that come to mind). AG2R have been cursed with their marquee signings. Well, it’s equally possible that Patrick Lefevre put a hex on him, he seems like the kinda guy that would.

Tom Pidcock (708 points, 58 teams) – I had him off my team for awhile, thinking that it’d be hard to top his almost perfect debut year, and I always have trouble envisioning where Ineos guys are gonna get their chances. I was looking at who they’re going to take to the Giro, and was like ‘well what chances is he gonna have in those 21 days?’ And then, I realized that in his debut year, he rode 21 anonymous days in Spain as a learning experience, so whatever he does he’ll probably be a bit better at least, and even ‘wasting’ those days he cleared 700. And then also if the start of last season was a learning curve at all, he can probably improve on some of those placings. And that’s aside from the fact that he almost (or maybe actually did) won Amstel Gold in his first try, got a bunch of high placings, and won’t have as much energy taken away from the road to do something like win Olympic gold in MTB. All of this at age 21, it’s hard to bet against this guy.

Juan Ayuso (178 points, 57 teams) – I actually haven’t seen him ride. I just have heard murmurs here and there, and a sheet of CQ results that look promising. And then I go to do some vetting for this game, and everything I read is basically like “he’s the best, he’s definitely going to be the best”. So I will certainly defer to the hype machine in this case.

Miguel Angel Lopez (563, 51) – well, off the bike, onto the cell phone, into the team car, and off of the Vuelta podium and the Movistar team entirely… and right into his old team, the one sponsored by a state that is currently engulfed in internal strife. Seems appropriate. He has that tantalizing double-GT-podium ceiling of 2018, or even just a good year will more than double his points, but in most of his seasons the chaos settles on a more moderate score. I don’t know what makes this guy tick, but whatever it is, it has the potential to score a lot of CQ points. So long as his team continues to exist.

Cian Uijtdebroeks (0, 50) – I hope he can score as many points as his name would score on a triple word score in scrabble. All joking aside, I’m not convinced he’ll score all that many this year, maybe 200-300 would be optimistic. Certainly he’s had some dominant results, but not that dominant, at least from what I can tell. Simmons definitely seems like a better comparison that Evenepoel, and Simmons just cleared 200 in his first year. There weren’t that many low-priced riders I thought were super great though, so he got the nod on my team.

Tao Geoghegan Hart (210, 41) – wow, I never thought I’d think of his name as relatively easy to spell, but look at that. So for him, the same logic as my writeup for Hindley, except TGH has an even better record. It’s interesting that Hindley was picked by 21 more teams when he wasn’t that much better of a bargain. It’s probably the Ineos thing. I know, hard to see where they’ll all get chances, that turned me off of Ben Tulett this year.
Nice. No problem spreading out your analysis over a few days. Gives me something to look forward to.
 
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Just going through the results of the Aussie nationals TT, it looks like Dennis (6 teams) is the only point scoring rider on any teams! I guess the depleted field due to riders not being in Australia is muting the impact of these early races. But after 1 race, these teams are in the mid-week lead:

Eyeballs Out
firefly3233
Nakazar
triley36
Yellow Knight
yoyokt
 
Just going through the results of the Aussie nationals TT, it looks like Dennis (6 teams) is the only point scoring rider on any teams! I guess the depleted field due to riders not being in Australia is muting the impact of these early races. But after 1 race, these teams are in the mid-week lead:

Eyeballs Out
firefly3233
Nakazar
triley36
Yellow Knight
yoyokt
So basically they are Bardiani riders who now have taken one turn of the pedals more than the rest of the peloton on their way to going in the breakaway on some pan-flat Giro stage on the Italian east coast. :D
 
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I really have a lot of rare picks...
picked less than 10 times:
Ganna
Cosnefroy
Benoot
Rubio Reyes
Vuillermoz
Van Tricht
Osorio Carvajal
Hvideberg
Milan
I.E.A. Oliveira
Pinarello
Edvardsen-Fredheim

Dries de Pooter as my only truely unique pick, though :oops:

I am getting a feeling that Ayuso will be the guy that breaks me... I don't have him... you all have...
I had him last year and somehow I wasn't convinced, he got all his good results in races with low competition or baby races... also I got the feeling he might just be quite far in his physical development and with Pogacar and Almeida and all the sprinters I figured he wouldn't get that much support. But now he's flying? Will they make him the second Pogacar? Well, we will see.
 
I am getting a feeling that Ayuso will be the guy that breaks me... I don't have him... you all have...
I had him last year and somehow I wasn't convinced, he got all his good results in races with low competition or baby races... also I got the feeling he might just be quite far in his physical development and with Pogacar and Almeida and all the sprinters I figured he wouldn't get that much support. But now he's flying? Will they make him the second Pogacar? Well, we will see.
If he is coming into season in great shape he might have a shot at scoring some points in Valenciana and Andalucia, while others might be coming into those races hoping to just improve their form for races down the line.

Then he listed for two French one-day races on PCS, before he seems to be going to Catalunya. Maybe would have liked to see him race Settimana instead... but Catalunya will probably be the first real test against a good WT-field and riders in better form, compared to the first couple of races.

Then he is listed for AGR, Romandie and Dauphine... they not sending him to some lower level races to learn the ropes. Either they want him to gain experience racing against the best riders straight away... perhaps be a helper, or they think he is good enough that he could handle it and do well there already. Not just be hanging in the back of the peloton. They seem to not be sending him to many races with either Pog or Almeida. Catalunya seems to be only one so far, with Almeida listed for that one too.

It will be really exciting to see how he develops over the season... sorry for rubbing salt in the wound.
 
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