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The 2024 CQ Ranking Manager Thread

Hi all, and welcome to the 2024 CQ Ranking Manager Game! This is the 14th edition of the game! Please see below for some history, basics, and more specific rules related to dates, dopers, etc.


The game was launched on December 8th 2010 by cyclingnews forum poster Hugo Koblet. His idea was to have a game where you build a cycling team from the website cqranking.com and its comprehensive numerical rankings of riders. What was originally meant to be a 25-team max competition that Hugo reserved the right to cancel if there was lack of interest became the most successful game in cyclingnews forum history, and expanded to velorooms forums (RIP) as well.

Hugo successfully ran the game for 3 years, and it bred various offshoots, such as a youth game, seasonal games (classics and GTs), emerging riders and riders in decline games. I took over organizing the main game for 2014 when Hugo got too busy, and have done so since then. See the second post in this thread for a roll of honour of yearly champions.

That is it for preamble. Let’s go through the more comprehensive set of rules:


The game is based on the point system developed by the website www.cqranking.com. Based on this system you will have to select a team of between 25 and 33 riders whose combined value doesn’t exceed 7500 points. 7500 points is normally under the mean for the ProTour teams; the median for 2023 is 8436. 7500 is closest to the amount of points team Intermarche-Circus-Wanty made this season, the 12th ranked of the 18 WT teams.

Your aim then is to select a team of riders who will increase their 2023 score the most during the 2024 season. The winner of the game is the one who has selected the team with the highest combined value when the game ends.

1. How the game works

1.1. Start & Finish

The season starts when the first major race (.1 or higher) giving CQ points is held and ends when the last major race is held. The winner will be crowned when the next update after the last major race is out.*

*An extension will be granted to the end of season if it is very close at the top. If any teams are within 100 points of the leader after the last major race, the season will be automatically extended until the final race of the year unless all teams within 100 points explicitly concede. As well, anyone in the top 10 can extend the season by PMing me a request to do so before the last major race starts.

(The reason for this second rule is that although minor races go through December, it is rare to have a rider in the game participate in these races, so it is sensible to end the season when people are still generally watching cycling. But if it's a very close race, it's important to crown the person who picked the best team for the year.)

1.2 Updates
Each week we will publish an update with a top 10 and a list of the high scorers and high jumpers. This will sometimes be by me, and sometimes by others – I will be setting a tentative schedule based on volunteers.

2. On doping

2.1. On ex-dopers

All riders are available to choose, except for riders who are provisionally suspended by the UCI (as of their most recent list).

Riders who have been suspended for doping and had that affect their 2023 score will not be available simply for their 2023 score. Instead, a rider’s value will be equivalent to that of his last full season; or, if he has more recently had a (not full, due to suspension) season in which he has earned more points, that season represents his value. Riders who have been suspended by the UCI (ie. Not merely provisionally suspended) are on this list.

Therefore, you can pick any rider you like, but if you want to take Edwin Avila, for example (his suspension ends in 2024), he got 0 points in 2021 prior to his suspension. This means his last 'full' season was 2020, in which he scored 42 points, which would be his cost for this game.

Hopefully the lists I've provided and the rules are clear enough, but if you make an error I will try to let you know if any of your submissions fall into this category.

2.2. Riders getting caught during the season
If you include a rider in your team who gets caught with his hands in the cookie jar, nothing happens right away. Your rider keeps his points unless the cqranking.com deletes his results before the end of the game.

Basically, the value of a rider on cqranking.com always stands.

3. Submitting your team

3.1. How do I?

You pick between 25 and 33 riders whose combined value doesn’t exceed 7500 points and send the list to me.

As I will manually have to copy/enter the teams into the Microsoft Excel file which keeps track of the scores, please be careful that you send your team to me based on the correct formula. I don’t take any responsibility for any error you might make. If I spot an error I will do my best to contact you but I can’t guarantee anything. Of course, if you have any questions feel free to ask either here in this thread or by sending a personal message.

The layout you need to use is this:


Nothing else. No point scores after the name. Also, be careful that there is no “space” after the name, because I will have to delete it manually, but can't always detect these things in time for the game. If there is an error that isn't discovered until after the game starts, and that error makes your team ineligible (eg. if it puts your team over the limit) the rider will simply be deleted from the team without replacement.

To make things easier for both you and me I will link to a file for you to download in which you can type in your team and it will automatically show you the value of each rider as well as the aggregated value of your team. Then you will just have to copy your team (names only) directly from this file and send it to me.

Hopefully this clears any misunderstandings of a rider’s value as well as reduces the number of errors made in a team sent to me.

3.2. When do I?
The first race of the season will start January 4, so I want to have your team in hand on January 3 at the latest.

There are two deadlines: a submission deadline and a revision/publication deadline, spaced 24 hours apart. This is to address the issue brought up in recent years about whether it is 'fair' to allow changes after teams have seen the teams of other players, and for 'late' submissions. I would like to make this a game that is accessible to as many people as possible, yet preserve that element of fairness. So, the submission deadline will be when I want to have received all the teams. The revision and publication deadline is to allow a 24-hour period for me to look over the teams and allow a chance to people to change their team in case of error, before having access to a list of riders that other teams picked. If you get mixed up with the time zone or unexpectedly don't have internet access around the submission deadline, I will accept teams up to the revision deadline at my discretion, but if allowed those teams will not have the chance to revise in case of error.

The submission deadline is 23:59 (CET) January 2nd, so early January 3rd for Aussies and sometime earlier on January 2nd for North Americans. The revision and publication deadline is 24 hours later; I would ask that people refrain from posting the riders on their team until after that, so midnight CET on the start of January 4th.

Please note that even though the racing season is over, it is always possible that CQ will adjust points for an earlier season race for whatever reason (eg. readjusting points for suspended dopers) Be mindful of these changes.

cqranking.com usually uploads the final update of the season on December 31, and the values in this update are the ones we’re using. However, the changes are usually very small so there’s no reason why you can’t start selecting your team already today!

Disclaimer: ensuring your team is full of eligible riders and is on budget is your responsibility. If I notice you are over budget or have an ineligible rider I will send you a message, but if you don't get back to me in time, or I don't catch it before the deadline, I will simply remove one rider to make your budget work. Obviously it is to your advantage to be able to choose all your riders, so please be diligent.

Create Your Team

Hugo created a very helpful file in 2012, referred to above, that helps avoid any errors in calculation and helps ensure you are formatting your rider names correctly. I would encourage everyone to use this option, especially if you are not confident in your spreadsheet creating skills. Please use the file attached here to create your team, then copy and paste the rider names to send to me by PM once you have it correct. Thank you.

note: the 'create your team' file has not yet been manually updated to include different scores for dopers as per rule 2.1, so it is currently wholly your responsibility to account for this.

I think that about covers everything. If you have any questions or if I forgot to add or explain anything, please let me know.
I'm going to reserve the second post in the thread for a list of teams who have submitted, as they come in, as well as list an honour roll of top finishers throughout the years.

Here are the 94 teams who are participating in 2024:

Amis Velo
Analnyi khirurg
Basque Street Boys
Bicycle Boy
Blues in the Bottle
Devil's Elbow
DJ Sprtsch
Eyeballs Out
Hugo Koblet
Panda Claws
Poles & Co.
slow climber
the asian
Total Package
Yellow Knight


2011 – 87 participants: ingsve – 13897 points
2012 – 129 participants: skidmark – 19345 points
2013 – 132 participants: SteelyDan – 13094 points
2014 – 150 participants: Pentacycle – 14367 points
2015 – 155 participants: Cykeltyven – 16209 points
2016 – 144 participants: skidmark – 15392 points
2017 – 131 participants: fauniera – 15867 points
2018 – 129 participants: ruvu75 – 16513 points
2019 - 114 participants: fauniera - 14579 points
2020 - 113 participants: bminchow - 10010 points
2021 - 93 participants: Object - 19129 points
2022 - 91 participants: EvansIsTheBest - 18662 points
2023 - 103 participants: Bluesinthebottle - 16336 points
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Thanks skidmark(!), and apologies. Am too tired/stupid to fully comprehend the doping rules. Does this mean that Quintana is available for his 2023 cost, or 2022?
Quintana has not been suspended for anti-doping violations. He just didn't get a pro contract last season. His DQ from the tour was for medical rule violations, not doping. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.
And when you have your team sorted out for this, you can start thinking about selecting 16 women for a cost of up to 4000 points.
The principles are similar: all CQ points will count (this year there has been a women's game based only on WWT races, but the 2024 edition will be all races), runs from Santos Tour to the end of the season, and the closing date will be the start of the Santos Tour on 12th Jan.
I'll start a thread in the next few days. Here are the details
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Before we switch fully switch to the 2024 edition of the game, I thought it might be fun to look back at a few numbers from previous years. In honor of Blues in the Bottle's dominant win, I compared the previous winners across a bunch of metrics.


Scoring depth on winning team

Most 3000+ scorers: 1 (EITB 2022: Evenepoel)
Most 1500+ scorers: 3 (ruvu75 2018: Alaphilippe, Thomas, M.A. Lopez)
Most 1000+ scorers: 7 (skidmark 2012: Boonen, L.L. Sanchez, Costa, Van Garderen, Rogers, Henao, Moser and EITB 2022: Evenepoel, Girmay, D. Martinez, Ayuso, Higuita, C. Rodriguez, Hindley)
Most 750+ scorers: 12 (Object 2021)
Most 500+ scorers: 17 (Object 2021)
Most 200+ scorers: 27 (skidmark 2012)

Other fun tidbits

Skidmark 2012 is the only team to score at least two thirds of the optimal team for that year.
Most updates in the lead in a single year: 31 (BITB 2023), 28 (EITB 2022).
Most consecutive updates in the lead to finish the season: 31 (BITB 2023), 22 (ingsve 2011).
EITB 2022 amassed the most green jersey points ever regardless of where teams finished in the overall ranking.

In some instances, if the winning team had been resubmitted the following season, it would have beaten all the teams built specifically for that season. For example, if skidmark's 2012 team had been entered in the 2013 competition, it would have beaten the field in that year. It would also have beaten the field in 2014 if it had been entered that season.
Cykeltyven 2015 would have beaten the field in 2016. Object 2021 would have beaten the field in 2022 and 2023. EITB 2022 would have beaten the field in 2023.

Skidmark 2012 is clearly the best team ever but there's no consensus second best team. By total points, it's Object 2021. By winning margin, it's EITB 2022. By overperformance compared to the average player it's ingsve 2011. By comparison with the optimal team, it's Cykeltyven 2015. By number of updates spent in the lead, it's BITB 2023. I'm biased but I'd lean towards my team in 2022 due to the green jersey dominance plus the highest score outside skidmark 2012 and the 2021 post pandemic teams.

On a completely different note, here are the most consistent players in CQ game history.

Most 10000+ seasons: Kazistuta, skidmark, Madrazo, EITB (12, every year outside the 2020 pandemic year)
Most 11000+ seasons: Kazistuta (12)
Most 12000+ seasons: skidmark (10)
Most 13000+ seasons: Hugo Koblet (9)
Most 14000+ seasons: Kazistuta, skidmark (6)
Most 15000+ seasons: skidmark (5)
Most 16000+ seasons: Madrazo, squire, Armchair cyclist (3)
Most 17000+ seasons: skidmark (2)
Most 18000+ seasons: skidmark, object, squire, total package, EITB, Northerner, Kvinto, Jon_Ezeitza (1)
Most 19000+ seasons: skidmark, object, squire (1)
Quintana has not been suspended for anti-doping violations. He just didn't get a pro contract last season. His DQ from the tour was for medical rule violations, not doping. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.
That is correct. There was some discussion on the previous thread about this and since he was not suspended and did not take a banned (at the time) substance, he's available for 2023 score. I don't usually discuss specific riders on the thread prior to team selection/reveal but this is a bit of a confusing case and I'm sure a number of people would have the same question so I do want to set the record straight clearly at the start.

And since you can't pick a rider on the provisionally suspended list, Miguel Angel Lopez, Rob Stannard etc are not available at any price, they're simply ineligible. Lopez's case is murky enough that if it doesn't have a clear resolution it'll be a headache to figure out what to do with him in the game regarding score, but we will cross that bridge when we have to.
And since you can't pick a rider on the provisionally suspended list, Miguel Angel Lopez, Rob Stannard etc are not available at any price, they're simply ineligible. Lopez's case is murky enough that if it doesn't have a clear resolution it'll be a headache to figure out what to do with him in the game regarding score, but we will cross that bridge when we have to.
I don't know if there have been anyone relevant for this game who were provisionally suspended then got cleared. But even if Lopez got cleared, he will have had a period of suspension that affected his score regardless, and I presume he will then be available for his 2022 score. I think Groenewegen also couldn't be picked for his suspension affected score, and that wasn't doping. But on the other hand he was found 'guilty' of something, which Lopez won't have been if he gets cleared. So maybe that is what you mean about 'murky'.
I was just scrolling the list of riders.

What are the odds that Lucas Hamilton and Chris Hamilton would end up right next to each other with exactly 150 points last year?
Well, with about 3000 riders scoring points, one could say 1:3000, but if we are let's say 80% confident that they would both score between 50 and 600 (reasonable upper and lower bounds of expectation for them) then we can be about three times more confident.

Of course, if CQ listed riders on the same score alphabetically, the odds would be much less: about 1:687.
(/failure to recognise rhetorical question mode)