Monday, April 24, 2017

The Broom Wagon

...cleaning up after the week's racing

Valverde Wins Everything!
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Balaverde lets the arrow fly for a record fifth time
So, technically he hasn't won everything but he has dominated the early stage races and made winning in the Ardennes look easy, ringing up double digit victories in the process and its only April.  Obviously Valverde is our top Wiskota performer in the Ardennes, but a few others deserve mention.  Since winning San Remo, Kwiatkowski (The Quiet One, Kwiat1™) has earned himself two classics podiums as well as a top ten at Fleche.  He looks on pace for a career season.  Tim Wellens has attacked again and again, earning himself little to no points but the admiration of some, but not many.  GVA is still racing and managed a top ten at Liege, that's kind of nuts seeing as he ways about 30 pounds more than Valverde.  Speaking of lighter guys, Sergio Henao continues a strong season with a podium at Fleche and a high finish at Liege after animating much of the race.  Danny Boy Martin may be right that if he wants to win in the Ardennes again he may have to wait until Valverde retires, despite this truth he has some very respectable results as well.  Perhaps now he knows how Purito felt.  Bardet and Yates continue to show promise and Ion Izaguirre looks like he'll be in the mix for years to come.  Lastly, the Wiskota blog has to give a shout out to Rory Sutherland, the Chillcoot Allstar, for all of his work at Movistar.  Many of us stood inches away as he repeatedly destroyed the competition in Stillwater.  Nowadays he is routinely found first at the front of a chasing peloton and later celebrating on a victorious team bus.  

Image result for rory sutherland liege
Keep pulling Rory

Next up, Romandie.  But don't forget the Giro starts May 5th and our first transfer window opens up May 1st.  WISKOTA!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The Spokes Man

...talking points from the Commish


Greips
Image result for andre greipel
I've got a few things to gripe about

The Commish is introducing a new segment inspired by Gregario Forza, our beautiful yet frustrating sport, and Andre Greipel.

- Will I never be able to watch races live in HD on my TV?

- NBC Sports Gold crashed during Paris-Roubaix, the worst.

- Valverde wins every race, can someone else get in the mix.

- A few of my favorite riders are on Sky, and Sky is lame.

- I gave up GVA and he leads the league in scoring

- I'm not fast enough to keep up with the rest of Team Wiskota

- Sagan whines about being good

- No Stannard results on the cobbles and Geraint doesn't even ride them anymore, thanks Sky

- I'm going to have to buy another weird streaming thing in order to watch the Giro

There it is.  The inaugural Greips post.  I would like to pair it with a similar, only positive, based post.  I am still trying to come up with a title.  If you have a suggestion, let me know.


The Broom Wagon


Classic
Image result for tour of flanders 2017

The cobbled classics have wrapped up and we have already begun the hillier one day races of the Ardennes.  This season has left us with no shortage of action, in fact it has been one of the better starts to the season in recent memory (more on that in a later post).  Others have won races as well, but there have been two names to dominate the classics so far:  Van Avermaet and Gilbert.  

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Almost tastes as good as the Paris-Roubaix brunch

GVA kicked off the cobbled classics by destroying Sagan in an Omloop sprint finish.  Only to fully break Sagan's spirit a few weeks later in Gent.  In the mean time he out muscled his former frenemy Gilbert at E3.  A second place in Flanders foreshadowed his hugely impressive Paris-Roubaix victory.  This guy is crushing it and leads the Wiskota league with over 1300 points.

Image result for gilbert amstel gold podium 2017
You earned that crisp european lager

It appears that Jill Bear read my pre-season post about solidifying his legacy.  He said he was going to win Flanders and then he went out and did it.  In spectacular fashion nonetheless.  High placings in several other races and most recently a win in Amstel has PhilGil as our 3rd best scorer with just over 1100 points.  Unfortunatly, we will not get to see more of him in the Ardennes as he crashed in Amstel and lacerated his liver or some crazy shit.  Yup, crashed, damaged an internal organ, got up and beat Kwiatkowski in a  sprint. Panache.  

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The Broom Wagon

...cleaning up after the week in racing

Shhhhhhh...
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The Quiet One takes it at the line in SanRemo

With the first monument of the season in the books, it was about time to update the points.  Last Saturday we were treated to one of the better Milan-San Remo races in recent memory.  It's no coincidence that the top three in that race are some of the top scorers in the league so far.  We all knew Sagan would score points but Kwiatkowski and Allaphillipe look poised to have huge years.

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Nitro comes out guns a blazin' in "The Race of the two Seas"

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That's Contador checking the clock to see if those missed
 bonus seconds would cost him the overall victory. They would.  

Most of the big name GC guys came out of hiding last week as we had both Paris-Nice and Tirreno-Adriatico on the docket.  Nairo rode away from everybody on the biggest climb in Italy locking up overall victory early.  The Race to the Sun was a more nuanced affair, as the ever attacking Contador took it down to the last second (well literally last 2 seconds) only managing second to a scrambling Henao.  Paris-Nice is often an exciting race, but this edition was exceptional.  Every stage played a role in the GC battle and we saw a mix of old favorites like Contador and Porte battle it out with younger guys like Henao and Alaphillipe.  Great race.

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Steven takes the lead

Perennial podium finisher, Le Pacte de Lupes jumps out to an early season lead.  Is this the year he breaks through for an overall win?  




Friday, March 3, 2017

Forza's Fury

Image result for strade bianche getty images
Ride Forza, Ride

Some day I am going to travel to Siena and ride my bike on the Strade Bianche through the Chianti region of Tuscany. Some day…

In the meantime, I am going to find a “pirated stream” of the beautiful, idyllic, and exciting Strade Bianche race. I read that the Strade Bianche is “like Paris-Roubaix and Amstel Gold Race Italian love-child — a hilly route that features rough, unpredictable roads.” This unique race attracts one of the strongest and most competitive fields of the season, especially now that the race has gained WorldTour Status. The Strade Bianche peloton consists of classic’s stars and climbers. The race will be determined by how hard the rouleurs make the race on the rough roads and by the selections the climbers can make on the various slopes throughout the rolling parcours.

How to Watch:

Show up at Luke’s unannounced.
Saturday, Live video starts at about 6:40 a.m. and the finish is approximately at 8:30 a.m.

YouTube: search Strade Bianche 2017, use filters, select live

What to eat and Drink:

I like to drink coffee with Baileys and enjoys a pastry or 2. I also like to enjoy some Chianti after a Strade inspired bike ride.

Forza’s Top 10

  1. Stybar
  2. Sagan
  3. GVA
  4. Kwiatkowski
  5. Wellens
  6. Sep
  7. Tom Dumoulin
  8. Nibali
  9. Stuyvens
  10. Moser

Honorable Mentions

Fabio Aru, Gatto, Brambilla, Vakoc, Uran, Benoot, Amador, Betancur, Rosa, Battaglin, Lobato, Kelderman, Felline, Pinot, Krueziger, Boasson Hagen


Friday, February 24, 2017

Classic Rock n' Roll

The Classics signify the “real start” to the cycling season. After ceremoniously racing through the desert, the racing really heats up in the North. Cobbles, bergs, helligen, and cold wet, weather exemplify this season that is known for strong men. Seasons will be made, Fantasy teams broken; the classics are here.


Het Volk (February 25)
Omloop Het Nieuwsblad


Het Volk, as it was (is) affectionately known, is the kickoff to the Belgian season. This cobbled classic through northwest Belgium offers a true physical test for classics riders as they adjust from the desert heat to the cold, wet, European weather. The Omloop is a good predictor of form for the classics season, however, the Omloop winner has never gone on to win the Ronde, despite racing on many of the same roads. Furthermore, the ‘cobbled double” of Omloop-Roubaix has only been done 3 times, last by Johan Museeuw in the year 2000.


****
GVA
Sagan


***
Quickstep- Boonen, Stybar, Gilbert, Terpstra
Kristoff
Stannard


**
Benoot
Sep
Boom
Thuens


*
Gatto
DeMare
Hayman
Stuyven


Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne (February 26)
K-B-K


K-B-K is held on the Sunday after the Omloop. Still a hard man’s race, the parcours offer cobbles and climbs but feature a long flat run-in following the final climb at 53 km. Often referred to as the “sprinters classic”, K-B-K generally finishes with a large group, but look out for a breakaway, ala last year’s winner, Jasper Stuyven.


****
Kristoff
Sagan


***
Coquard
DeMare
Nizzolo


**
Bouhanni
Boonen
Stuyven


*
Stannard
Rowe


Strade Bianchi (March 4)
Monte Paschi Strade Bianche


Ah, the white roads of Tuscany. The Strade Bianchi is Gregario Forza’s favourite single day classic. The Strade has rose to prominence and is now on the World Tour calendar. This beautiful race starts and finishes in the medieval town on of Siena. The riders race through the hilly Chianti region before finishing on a roughly paved road that climbs into the Piazza del Palio in historic Siena. This race seems tailor-made for the likes of Peter Sagan and GVA.


Forza’s pick: Kwiatkowski
Forza’s drink: Coffee and Baileys


Milano San Remo (March 18)
La Classicissima di primavera


MSR is the first monument of the year. The true classic, this race tends to be won by a sprinter, but he must be strong to survive 300 km along the coast of Italy and climbs up the Cipressa and Poggio before taking on the final sprint into San Remo. La Classicissima di primavera is sure to provide some fireworks.


Forza’s pick: Degenkolb
Forza’s Drink: Mimosa


Dwars door Vlaanderen  (March 22)
DdV


Dwars door is a semi-classic race that is known mostly for kicking-off Belgium’s Flemish Cycling Week, “Holy Week”. DdV races through the hilly sections of Flanders and is often used to prepare for the Ronde, which takes place just 10 days later. Dwars door is often won by a “rising star” like last year’s winner, Jens Debusschere.


Forza’s pick: Edward Theuns
Forzas Drink: Fair State’s Du Pounde


E3 Harelbeke (March 24)
E3 Prisj


E3 Harelbeke, nicknamed the little Tour of Flanders, takes place on the Friday before the week of the Ronde. At a distance of roughly 210 km, E3 is shorter than the Tour of Flanders, but uses many of the same roads and heligen as the Ronde de Vlanderen. Serious contenders for Flanders will use this a s the final “testing grounds” for their form and team going into the biggest week of the Classics season.


Forza’s pick: Sagan
Forza’s Drink: Dangerous Man Belgian Table Beer


Gent - Wevelgem  (March 26)
In Flanders Fields


On the Sunday before the Tour of Flanders, the Peloton lines up for a jaunt through “Flanders Fields”. Gent-Wevelgem is slightly different than the other Flemish classics as it races through more of West Flanders and Northern France which lends itself to flatter roads and less cobbles. The race does scale three bergs in succession, 3 times, and finishing the hardest climb, the Kemmelburg, with 35 km to go to the finish. The roads here tend to a favor a breakaway group finding glory but don’t be surprised to see a sprinter win from a select group.


Forza’s pick: Kristoff
Forza’s Drink: Dangerous Man Belgian Golden Strong


Ronde van Vlaanderen (April 2)
Tour of Flanders
De Ronde
Vlaanderens Mooiste
Flanders’ Finest


The race with the most names must be the biggest race on the calendar. It is. The Ronde is the Super Bowl of Cycling, the “grandaddy of them all” on the Flemish Cycling Week, and one of the most tactical, toughest, and honorable events in all of sport. Grab some Frites, Waffles, and Chimay and enjoy the race!


Forza’s pick: GVA
Forza’s Drink: Chimay Trappist Ale


Paris Roubaix  (April 9)
The Hell of the North
Queen of the Classics
The Easter race
A Sunday in Hell
L'enfer du Nord


Equal in it’s importance and prestige is the Hell of the North. Paris Roubaix swaps the heligen climbs of Flanders for the cobbled farm roads of Northern France. Racing across some 50+ km of cobbles, Paris Roubaix, on a nice day, is as hard of an effort as an athlete will face. The race concludes in the Roubaix velodrome making for one of the most iconic finishes in all of cycling. This will be Tom Boonen last stand, and I predict, he will go out with Glory. Tommeke, tommeke, tommeke...


Forza’s Pick: Tom Boonen
Forza’s Drink: Summit Maibock

Forza!

From the Commish

New Point System
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After careful consideration we have decided to switch to a slightly modified point system for this season.  I apologize that this decision was not made before the draft, however after consultation with Gregario Forza it was determined that the current system was nearly impossible to tabulate from the information UCI puts on their website.  The new system from Pro Cycling Stats has been around for years and results in rankings nearly identical to what we had been using.  It will be easier for you to follow and much easier for us to tabulate. WISKOTA! 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

On the Rivet

...a look at who's riding hard
Omloop!
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The Cobbles are coming!
The Cobbles are coming!
The real start to the season is upon us. Be you a first timer or a long time fan, find a way to tune in on Saturday for the Omloop.  Can't get enough hot cobble on cobble action?  Check out the Omloop's sister race K-B-K on Sunday. WISKOTA!  

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The Broom Wagon


Early Season Form
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Richie Porte Dominated Walkabout Wednesday in the Outback
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Team Wiskota Dominated Walkabout Wednesday at the Outback


A few flurries of action accented what has been kind of a quiet start to the cycling season.  Who knew we would miss the Tour of Qatar? Of course the Tour Down Under has been the early season highlight with Richie Portage managing to stay on his bike for the whole week.  The cancellation of the Haga Dam stage in Dubai  robbed us of that race's only exciting stage.  Of course there has been some news, like Valverde keeps winning (this time by going solo for 70K!)and in fact right now we are in the middle of a trifecta of action as three different stage races take place at once.  If you are interested in some early season GC battles be sure to check cycling news this week for some highlights.  The meat of the schedule starts with the Omloop, which by the way is right around the corner.  Stay tuned for a preview.  

Saturday, January 14, 2017

2017 Teams

Draft Results

Le Pacte de Lupes:
Contador 870
Porte 487
Cavendish 146
Allaphillipe 443
Coquard 130
Groenewegon 288
Gallopin 353
Naesson 338
Gasparatto
Visconti 166

Jake the Neo Pro p/b B-Rad's Coffee:
Quintana 458
Nizzolo
Boonen 224
Pinot 571
BoHag 75
Sammy Sanchez
Brambilla 43
Roelandts 171
Barguil 239
Pozzato 143

Gregario Forza:
Nibbles 171
Kwiatkowski 1071
Degenkolb 543
Kruisvijk 129
Sep VanMarke 105
Mikel Landa 177
Gilbert 1116
Wellens 368
Talansky
Gerrans 168

Team Wiskota Name Place Holder:
Kristoff 574
Izaguirre 550
Costa 488
Henao 729
Greips 363
M.A. Lopez
Wilco 93
Konig
Stannard 76
Lobato 84

RainbowJerseyRobert
Sagan 826
Ullisi 341
T. Dumoulin 331
Terpstra 290
Bouhanni 604
Uran 356
Jungels 61
Fuglsang 215
Pantano 74
Petit

Team Volpe
Chaves 249
Valverde 1672
Colbrelli 483
G. Thomas 463
Gaviria 292
Aru 153
Benoot 389
A. Yates 393
Phinney
T Martin 106

Scott the Neo Pro:
GVA 1431
Bardet 357
Skittles 471
Poels 152
Majka 214
Stybar 361
Rosa 114
Ewan 322
Rowe 237
Boom

Team GreenLine Unobtanium:
Bling 434
Froome 81
Danny Boy 830
Zakarin aka Suga’ Man 275
Mollema 294
DeMare 549
S. Dumoulin 156
Vakoc 185
S. Yates 238
Douell


Round by Round Recap

Round 1
  1. Stephen: Contador
  2. Jake: Quintana
  3. Greg: Nibbles
  4. Luke: Kristoff
  5. McNutt: Sagan
  6. Pat: Chaves
  7. Scott: GVA
  8. Eric: Bling Mathews

Round 2
  1. E: Froome
  2. Sc: Bardet
  3. P: Valverde
  4. M: Ullisi
  5. L: Ion Izaguirre
  6. G: Kwiatkowsi
  7. J: Giacomo Nizzolo
  8. St: Porte

Round 3
  1. St: Cavendish
  2. J: Boonen
  3. G: Degenkolb
  4. L:  Costa
  5. M: Tom Dumoulin
  6. P: Colbrelli
  7. Sc: Skittles
  8. E: Danny Boy Martin

Round 4
  1. E: Ilnur Zakarin
  2. Sc: Poels
  3. P: G. Thomas
  4. M: Terpstra
  5. L: Henao
  6. G: Kruisjvijk
  7. J: Pinot
  8. St: Allaphillipe

Round 5
  1. St: Coquard
  2. J: Bo Hag
  3. G: Sep Van Marke
  4. L: Greipel
  5. M: Nacer Bouhanni
  6. P: Gaviria
  7. Sc: Majka
  8. E: Bauke Mollema

Round 6
  1. E: Demare
  2. Sc: Stybar
  3. P: Aru
  4. M:  Uran Uran
  5. L: Lopez
  6. G: Landa
  7. J: Sammy Sanchez
  8. St: Groenwegen

Round 7
  1. St: Gallopin
  2. J: Brambilla
  3. G: Gilbert
  4. L: Wilco
  5. M: Jungels
  6. P: Tijs Benoot
  7. Sc: Diega Rosa
  8. E: Samuel Dumoulin

Round 8
  1. E: Petr Vakoc
  2. Sc: Caleb Ewan
  3. P: Adam Yates
  4. M: Fuglsang
  5. L: Konig
  6. G: Wellens
  7. J: Roelandts
  8. St: Oliver Naessen

Round 9
  1. St: Gassparatto
  2. J: Barguil
  3. G: Talansky
  4. L: Stannard
  5. M: Pantano
  6. P: Phinney
  7. Sc: Rowe
  8. E: S. Yates

Round 10
  1. E: Douell
  2. Sc: Boom
  3. P: Tony Martin
  4. M: Petit
  5. L: Lobato
  6. G: Gerrans
  7. J: Pozzato
  8. St: Visconti