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

Friday, January 13, 2017

The Spokes Man

...talking points from The Commish

This is the Year:
20 for 2017 
Part 2



Image result for old man cyclists
I mean, they're not this old, but...
Part one of our rider's to watch post focused on the young up and comers with really only a few big names.  Our second installment should have some much more familiar names.  Here we look at those riders who are in that second part of their career.  No rookies here, straight vets.

Now or never
You've had a good career, is there still time to make it great?

Zdenek Stybar: Let me start by saying, sure, "now or never" is a bit harsh.  Most of these guys already have careers that 99% of the peloton would kill for.  The question is: can that good career be great?  Stybar has won everything there is to win in the cyclocross world (or so I have been told, I wouldn't really know).  When he went roadie we were all very excited and he has delivered, most notably in Strade-Binache and with high placings on the cobbles.  Stybar still has time but if he wants to go down in history as a great rider he'll need several more classics wins.  And lets face it what he really needs is a win in Roubaix.  The most fickle of races requires many attempts because each year just a little bad luck and your opportunity is gone.  If Stybar is going to be known as a master of the cobbles he better start winning races now because his opportunities are becoming limited.  

Roman Kreuziger:  The Roman Crucifier (yup, that's actually what his name means) has some very good results.  He has won Amstel and placed high at Liege.  But it is his grand tour prowess that concerns our discussion.  White jersey at the Giro and 4 top tens at Le Tour, this guy is a true GC man.  A move to Orica, a team with young GC riders, rather than following Nibs or Contador to other teams, makes me wonder if Kreuziger thinks he just might be able to finally be the team leader.  A grand tour win might be out of reach but a guy with his experience knows that riding for the win at all costs can lead to very bad third weeks.  But staying within your limits while riding for a high placing can pay off while others have bad days and fall away.  Can Kreuziger string together a few grand tour podiums and be known as a legitimate threat in the third week.  If he wants that type of status he'll have to start now.
  
Sergio Henao: Every time I see this guy race I think, this guy could win.  Unfortunately he has not been able to race in nearly enough big time races.  He lost most of a season due to concerns about doping, fair enough, but the real issue is (once again) Team Sky.  12th last year at the Tour but you know this guy was carrying water bottles.  And it already appears that Sky is planning to back Landa and Thomas at the Giro.  Is this the career Henao is going to have, schlepping snacks for Europeans?  Just maybe Henao will be so good early in the season he'll have to be given some grand tour support.  Or perhaps he just focuses on the one week opportunities, or maybe Ardennes.  Whatever he decides its time to start that plan and get some serious results.

Giovanni Visconti:  Three time Euro tour winner, Visconti has had a solid career.  But that move to Movistar a few years back didn't come with as many world tour results as many hoped.  It must be hard to be on a team with Valverde as he sucks up all the wins big and small.  At 34 time is running out for Visco, but a new team means new opportunities.  There is really no reason why he can't be a leader at Bahrain.  If he can get some early results he may earn some protection in the Ardennes and one big victory could completely change the way we look at his career.

Jacob Fuglsang: Full disclosure: the whole idea for this post came from me thinking about Fuglsang.  No, not his dreamy Tiger Beat good looks, but his underachievement.  Once again, to be fair he has had a good career, but it seems that several factors have colluded against him.  Remember when they wouldn't even let him race the world tour when he was at Leopard-Trek?  Then a 7th place at the Tour in 2013 despite not starting as the sole protected leader, only to once again find himself being buried by other GC riders at Astana.  My sources (cyclingfever) tell me Fuglsang will be going to the Tour.  I haven't seen much from Aru in the Ardennes so just maybe this is the year Fuglsang gets some serious support in some serious races.

There is only now
One more for the road

Tom Boonen:  Most of these picks are pretty obvious as they are all in their twilight years, but none is more obvious that Tom Boonen.  Tornado Tom has made it pretty clear that this is his last go at it.  He really has nothing to prove having won damn near everything on cobbles multiple times.  But we all know what Tommeke wants, one more Roubaix.  Tied for most wins both there and Flanders, one more win would make him the undisputed king of the cobbles.  The fact that his old rival Cancellera will not be around to spoil his party cannot be lost on him.  Not that there isn't ample competition elsewhere on the cobbles, but when it comes to the Hell of the North, Boonen is still the favorite until the end.

Alberto Contador:  I thought he was retiring.  This guy has more final tours than the Eagles.  Well, a move to Trek sees him at it again.  I think many would agree that he is one of the best grand tour riders ever, but there are still some doubters.  Add the doping issues, loss of a Tour and Giro win , a lack of recent Tour production and for some Pistolero has lost his shine.  Here is a case where "one more for the road" would be one more really big one.  Sure hard to do but with a palmares like his only something this big would truly change his career legacy.  A Tour win and retirement mic drop? Epic.

Phillipe Gilbert:  It seems like a lifetime ago, but Gilbert was once the best cyclist in the world.  It seems clear to me that he will go down as one of the bests.  But just where will we place him?  If Gilbert wants to improve his status his move to Quick Step and his plan to target Flanders seems like a good way to go about it.  Winning a monument he's missing changes everything.  A San Remo win would do it but as a Belgian, winning Flanders would be the coup de gras.  He may not be on his last effort but he's pretty damn close and if the results are nowhere to be found that'll be all she wrote for JillBear.

Simon Gerrans:  Here's where it starts to get interesting.  I'm sure some Aussie reader is going to tell me that the legend of Gerrans will echo forever in the annals of cycling history but I'm just not quite there.  At 36 on a team with young talent, this may be the last hurrah for Gerro.  One more big win just might put him over the top, but the Tour Down Under ain't going to cut it.  Amstel or even San Remo still seem doable, and would probably do the trick.  But if you really want to dream big let's go World's followed by a rainbow striped farewell year.  Game changer.

Andre Greipel:  Apparently I have been watching racing for too long because all of a sudden Greipel is old.  The Gorrilla will turn 35 during this year's Tour.  With plenty of wins including 11 at the Tour his legacy seems pretty solid.  But will he be remembered as one of the best sprinters ever?  I have long been a fan of Greips and I would argue that in the age of Cavendish, Greipel has more than held his own.  With a guy of Greipel's caliber there are only a few things that could help his legacy.  Perhaps winning a sprinter's classic like Kuurne or Scheldeprijs might be the way to go.  He's shown some panache in the classics as of late and this would be an impressive  way to expand his palmares.  But a more likely scenario would have him dominate in the Tour.  Once again easier said than done, but if the Gorilla could somehow pry that green jersey from Sagan while taking a few more stages the big German could retire on top.