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
Related image

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!
Image result for omloop het nieuwsblad poster
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
Image result for tour down under 2017 richie porte
Richie Porte Dominated Walkabout Wednesday in the Outback
Image result for outback steakhouse
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
Porte
Cavendish
Allaphillipe
Coquard
Groenewegon
Gallopin
Naesson
Gasparatto
Visconti

Jake the Neo Pro p/b B-Rad's Coffee:
Quintana
Nizzolo
Boonen
Pinot
BoHag
Sammy Sanchez
Brambilla
Roelandts
Barguil
Pozzato

Gregario Forza:
Nibbles
Kwiatkowski
Degenkolb
Kruisvijk
Sep VanMarke
Mikel Landa
Gilbert
Wellens
Talansky
Gerrans

Team Wiskota Name Place Holder:
Kristoff
Izaguirre
Costa
Henao
Greips
M.A. Lopez
Wilco
Konig
Stannard
Lobato

RainbowJerseyRobert
Sagan
Ullisi
T. Dumoulin
Terpstra
Bouhanni
Uran
Jungels
Fuglsang
Pantano
Petit

Team Volpe
Chaves
Valverde
Colbrelli
G. Thomas
Gaviria
Aru
Benoot
A. Yates
Phinney
T Martin

Scott the Neo Pro:
GVA
Bardet
Skittles
Poels
Majka
Stybar
Rosa
Ewan
Rowe
Boom

Team GreenLine Unobtanium:
Bling
Froome
Danny Boy
Zakarin aka Suga’ Man
Mollema
DeMare
S. Dumoulin
Vakoc
S. Yates
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