Thursday, February 26, 2015

On the Rivet

...a look at who's racing hard this weekend 

Bring on the Cobbles!!!

For many people the Omloop marks the beginning of the season.  In conjunction with the slightly less prestigious Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, we have a pretty fun weekend of racing.  Tough weather, tough cyclists and tough courses.  And of course, how could we forget...COBBLES!


The Omloop has been one of my favorite races since my boy Juan Antonio Fletcha won it back in 2010.  It got me into the classics and gave us this sweet poster:

Van der Fletcha

Admittedly, this race is usually not contested by the big guns, but that doesn't mean a few don't use it to flex their muscle a little bit.

Image result for omloop het nieuwsblad boonen
Bitch, it's curtains

Who's looking good this year?
Well, look forward to my preview, but please, feel free to add your own thoughts in the mean time.

Yeah, sometimes it gets cancelled due
 to snow, not something I would advertise
I mean there are cobbles, but really this is a classic for the sprinters.  Not that that is all bad.  We did get this sweet poster out of the deal:

Apparently the course is guarded by some sort of Flandrian Ogre.  I mean, that's something to watch for.  

Who are the favorites? 
Check back to find out.

Monday, February 23, 2015

The Spokes Man

...talking points from The Commish

GC Men
Too early for Tour talk?
A couple stage races so far, including TdU and the desert triumvirate.  However, the race that was probably the most exciting so far is one that doesn't even count in our league.  The Vuelta a Andulucia, also known by the flashier name Ruta del Sol, is only rated a 2.1 making it a middle tier race that involves a few big name teams and several pro conti teams.  So imagine you are say Dylan Groenewegen of pro conti  Team Roompot.  You think hey, I'm hot shit, I'm in good shape, it's early in the season, this is going to be fun,  Next thing you know Tour de France Champions are ripping the peloton apart and you are hanging on for dear life.  Contador goes, you lose 20 minutes, Froome goes, there goes another 20.  Big name guys are full on quitting but you can't, you do not have a guaranteed contract.  So much for fun in the sun.  Sorry Dylan Groenwegen, but hey, you finished.

So why am I getting so excited about this?  I know it's only February but if this little scuffle between Froome and Contador is any indicator the Tour is going to be bomb.  Could this year be the most exciting GC battle ever?  I will have to defer to Patrick, our resident cycling folk historian, but I can not think of another Tour with so many past winners in their prime, not to mention a few other grand tour winners as well.  Yeah, I know, a long way to go and anything could happen between now and then.  And even if all the contenders line up it doesn't mean they will finish, but come on, humor me.

Let's break this down.
Top favorites:  Contador, Froome and Nibali.  All former winners, all great climbers.  In addition, each has a team that is stacked.  Is it me or are these teams getting better?  They all have at least one guy who could be a legitimate contender on their own.

Just a step behind: Quintana and Valverde.  Both former grand tour champions and both on the same extremely strong team.  Can they blow things up with a little "you go, then I go" action?

Outsiders:  When you get to the outsiders and you are mentioning a former podium finisher like JRod you know this Tour is stacked. Due to the climby nature of the course all of these up and coming french GC guys will be in the mix. And maybe the Americans can make a play for the jersey with a well timed move.

Do I really think TVG or some frenchy is going to win this year's tour? No. But my point is that this Tour will probably have more grand tour champions fighting it out then ever before.  I mentioned 5 that I can think of without researching it and shit maybe Hesjedal and Scarponi show up to pump those numbers up a bit.

So what do you think?  You ready for some Alpe d'Huez action?  

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Broom Wagon

The Desert 
The peloton is buffeted by a sand storm on stage 2
What the hell are we doing out here?
Dubai, Qatar and Oman...why?  Well, its warm in February there, its got that going for it.  I've been told the riders stay in some plush oil funded hotels.  Riders looking to tune up for the classics appreciate the hard, flat days in the wind.  But for the most part, we only care about these races because they are so early in the season.  Also, they used to be on tv but now I can barely find highlights of Oman on youtube.  But who am I kidding.  I'm watching the shit out of these races and talking even more when my boys take a stage or two.  Let's recap.

Image result for dubai tour 2015
The most powerful? 
They mixed things up this year by adding a very steep yet very short finish on stage 3.  That stage actually had quite a bit of action and it was worth watching more than just the last 30 seconds.  In the end Cav and his time bonuses reigned supreme.  Gotta say, he showed some pretty good form.  

There is nothing out here
Dubai's promo poster should have been used by the Tour of Qatar, cause stage two was a sandy shitstorm.  But that didn't stop Alexander (I still live full time in the blustery fjordlands of Norway) Kristoff from dominating the sprints.  But in the end it was The Terpinator using his TT skills, his strong classics team and of course his own huge engine to seal overall victory.

 "Green" Mountain is green like
"Green"land is green.
This one gets decided on a dusty ass mountain in the middle of nowhere.  Updates to come.

Ruta Del Sol
"Gregario? Are you there?  Why won't you pick up?"
This race doesn't actually count in our points I just wanted to see if Greg is paying attention.

Monday, January 26, 2015

The Broom Wagon up after the races.

Tour Down Under

The Wiskota Fantasy League is happy to welcome a new member: Dan the Neo-Pro. The Neo-Pro has come out swinging, topping the first leader board of the season. With 4th and 7th place finishes by Dumolin and Impey respectively, Dan has made some early season hay. This is not to diminish from the early season revelation that is Taco. Team Taco Salsa ValVerde has let their presence be known with an impressive performance by Richie Porte. The group texting was ablaze with the news that the man best known last season for carrying his bike was back to riding it. As the hashtag RichiePortage started to trend Taco fired back with an 86 point effort. Team Wiskota Dynamic's risky pick of Evans in the last round, paid off, sort off. Maybe not the overall victory he was looking for but points none the less.

"Hello, Greg? Yeah, do you know who I am now?"

Although the TdU is not the biggest and best race of the year it is still nice to get things rolling. From here we head to the deserts of the Arabian peninsula for a trifecta of half ass races sponsored by our love of gasoline. Check back for some previews as well as draft result commentary from Gregario Forza.

We'll miss you buddy

Thursday, January 22, 2015

2015 Wiskota Fantasy Draft Results


Team Forza
Van Marcke
Van den Bergh

Team Wiskota Dynamic
LL Sanchez

Team Volpe
Uran Uran
de Ghent

Pacte de Lupes

STP-GREENLINE p/b Unobtanium
Van Keirsbulck

Maillot Jaune Guillaume
T. Martin
S. Sanchez
J. Izaguirre
G. Caruso
D. Caruso


Dan the Neo-Pro
T. Dumolin

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Draft Day 2015

The Local
January 19th
7:00 p.m.

"The Boardroom"

No, seriously, that is where we are having the draft. In his first year as draft director, Gregario Forza has locked down some pretty posh accommodations.  Once again the Irish win out as we head to the venerable downtown establishment "The Local".  Perhaps the Guinness with inspire you to pick Danny Boy Martin first overall.  Maybe the corned beef and cabbage will convince you that this is the year to draft Nicolas The Leprechaun Roche.  Or just maybe a wee nip of Jameson will make you take a flyer on Phil the Irish Thrill Deignan.  Whatever happens it should be fun.  Now that we have gear (thanks STP Greenline!) we are looking to move the fantasy cycling club into the future with more events and more good times.  So, dust off your big board and head on down.  Wiskota!

Monday, December 8, 2014

From the Commish

Even in retirement there is no off-season for Cipo 
A few things need to be worked out before the start of next season.  First, when is the draft?  The Tour Down Under starts on Tuesday, January 20th.  The weekend before is busy with birthdays, pond hockey and NFL playoffs.  I suggest we either meet Sunday night or do it Monday (MLK Day).  I know about half of us have that day off, but we could do it whatever time works for everybody.  If that does not work we could always do it the weekend before that (10th or 11th).  Please let me know what you think.

Second, what's up with the rule changes?  We have talked about dropping most of the euro level races, but cherry picking a few that we like.  Also, there has been discussion of changing some of the points for these non UCI World Tour races.  Namely, reducing the points available in the US races and the Worlds.  Having almost all of our races be from the World Tour should make drafting and the point system easier to understand.  In addition, it will be much easier for me to tally, not to mention reducing the need for weird pirated feeds from Italy.  So there it is let me know what you think and if there is a non World Tour race that you want included let me know.   Wiskota!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Wiskota League Banquet
November 7th 
Pancho Villa on Eat Street enters it's 3rd year of
 Wiskota Fantasy League sponsorship
Time to toast the season and chow some bubbling cauldrons of mystery mexi-meat.  I'm thinking 6:30 at Pancho Villa for dinner then possibly hitting some other spots in the neighborhood.  See you there. Wiskota!  

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Three in a row for 
Team Wiskota Dynamic!!!

 The Commish keeps a close eye on the peloton
from the Wiskota Dynamic team car

Another season of the Wiskota Fantasy League has come to a close.  Team Wiskota Dynamic takes a historic third consecutive victory with Le Pacte de Loups and Gregario Forza rounding out the podium.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Il Lombardia

Oh, Danny Boy...
Martin attacks in the final K 
Another big score for Le Pacte de Lupes has, in all likely hood, secured second year director sportif, Steven, 2nd place overall in the Wiskota Fantasy League.  Danny boy Martin finally delivered on that high draft pick.

Maybe now he can get his teeth fixed
Only a few races to go and only one more world tour stage race left, the vaunted Tour of Beijing.  Coming off of the only, somewhat interesting year, ever, this piece of crap race is now defunct.  Who will take this final race, who cares?  Wait a minute, the final podium position is still up for grabs can the Neo-Pro hold on?  Will Volpe manage to squeeze out a few more sprint points?  Can Bill make a move or will he experience his first season off of the podium?  Does Gregario have enough left in the tank? He only needs 56 points.  Will Taco claim his second ever lanterne rouge?  Yes, yes he will.  Will we be eating tacos together as a team soon?  I hope so.  I'll be hitting people up for possible banquet dates, so check back soon.