Thursday, January 16, 2014

2014 WFL Draft Recap

The Place
The Picks
The Tots

It's been a long off-season, but the world tour is upon us again.  Thanks to everyone for coming out on a snowy Tuesday night. The picks are in and it's time to assess the results.

Taylor Phinney, Volpe's Legacy Pick

Team Volpe wasted no time in locking up his two favorite riders.  In Cancellera, Patrick has secured a perennial points machine and in Phinney he has the great American hope for the future.  I have to say I was surprised Volpe didn't stick with Boonen for another year, but the man knows who he likes and it has served him well in the past.  As we dig a little deeper in Volpe's lineup we see a lot of potential.  Several young guys on the cusp (Phinney, Kwiatkowski, Talansky) as well as several riders who have done huge things in the past but had a down season last year (Wiggo, JVDB, Pozzato). If it ends in a sprint you know Volpe will be there with Cav and Kittel and Movistar and Great Britain could easily finish on the top again this year.
Best Rider: Cancellera                                                        Best Value: JVDB 
Biggest Reach: Phinney                                                      X Factor: Pozzato

           ^                                                               ^
    Contador                                                     Dan Martin

Don't call me Fujarky.  The Wiskota Fantasy League was taken by surprise when Steven dropped the bombshell; after one season Team Fujarky was no more, welcome Le Pacte de Loups!  The wolf pack is on the prowl.  Led by Alberto Contador and Danny Boy Martin, this team has some bite. These two riders should be solid with the former a Tour favorite and the latter an all year kind of guy.  Steven's team has many likable riders with plenty of upside.  Will Dani Moreno ride a grand tour for himself?  Will the Gorrilla regain the title of fastest German?  Does Sky ride for Thomas on the cobbles?  Is TVG ready for solo Tour leadership? If we end up answering yes to these questions then Fujarky, I mean Le Pacte de Loups will have a strong year.
Best Rider: Contador                                                                  Best Value: Colombia
Biggest Reach: Greipel                                                                X Factor: Moreno

Scarponi, Moser and Pozzovivo 

Taco p/b Twisted Tea Old Fashioneds took the machismo to yet another level this season.  This year Mike plucked some of the best and brightest from around the world.  Italian triumvirate not withstanding, Taco has a very international team.  A chunky mustached German, a hair plug sporting Spaniard, an Aussie named Harley and of course, the god of Thunder!  Even the pretty boys from the low countries have some machismo in thier own way.  Will this translate into points?  My guess is yes, plenty of stage racers with a couple sprinter/one day guys mixed in.
Best Rider: Valverde                                                                Best Value: Henao
Biggest Reach: Thor                                                                 X Factor: A. Schleck

The Neo-Pro is on the train

The Wiskota Fantasy League is happy to welcome Team STP Greenline - Unobtanium p/b Eric the Neo-Pro to the peloton.  This expansion team does not seem complacent to just participate as he has a top end that can compete with anyone.  Having Richie Porte on your team will draw the ire of the Commish, but it should be worth it.  Current world champion Rui Costa finally gets to try his hand as a team leader and the sky is the limit. Several other stage racers including Mollema, Majka and Spilak could all have huge seasons.  Greg Van Avermaet is Eric's man to watch early in the season, this guy raced in everything last year and that means points.  The second half of this team is more questionable but riders like Paolini and Slagter could just snag a big race or two.
Best Rider: Costa                                                                                  Best Value: Spilak
Biggest Reach: Navardouskus                                                                X Factor: Kangert

The Man Behind the Curtain

Who is Maillot Jaune Guillaume?  The mystery man has done it again.  Without even showing his face "Bill", if that is his real name, has once again fielded one of the strongest teams in the league.  Froome, the early season Tour favorite, Tony "TT" Martin, Kreuziger and Gesink make for a very strong top end.  Bill has podiumed our first 2 seasons. Does he make the mid season moves needed to take home the overall victory this year?
Best Rider: Froome Dogg                                                                     Best Value: Hesjedal
Biggest Reach: Stannard                                                                       XFactor: Ten Dam   

Blast From the Past

Gregario Forza has been coveting the WFL trophy ever since the day he put it together.  He's been moving up each year.  Is this the year he goes out on top?  Well, if the year is 2011 then it's an emphatic yes.  Forza has managed to snag 4 of the top ten riders from 2011, include BoHaug and Cunego and it's 6 of the top 20.  Is Gregario living in the past (Evans)? Grasping on to long since faded dreams (Gilbert)? Remember that time Voekler was really good at the Tour, what year was that again? You know, before all those guys got busted for doping (F. Schleck).  Forza's been soaking in the hot tub time machine, where Boassen Hagen is the next Eddie Merckx and Cunego is a Giro contender.  All kidding aside Team Gregario Forza is a, if not the, force to be reckoned with this season.  With Nitro and Nibs on his team Forza is a favorite at all three grand tours.  If Gilbert can regain form and Stybar, BoHag and Chava get their chances Gregario will have a strong spring as well.
Best Rider: Nibali                                                                             Best Value: Chavanel
Biggest Reach: Voekler                                                                     X Factor: Stybar, BoHag

As always, we will defer to Gregario Forza when it comes to critiquing  Team Wiskota Dynamic.  Look for that post, a Tour Down Under preview and early season updates to come shortly.  All in all a great draft.  I'm looking forward to a fun season with more riding, watching and drinking together. On Wiskota!


  1. Now, don't get mad. Biggest reach doesn't necessarily mean I think that he is a bad rider, just taken maybe a bit two high.

  2. Thanks for the summary, Commish. I followed the blog last season and have always appreciated your straight forward, serious insight. It was a pleasure to meet most of you @ the draft. I was impressed by all the thought put into each pick and the quality of those picks, especially by those members of the leaugue who tried to convince me that they were disinterested or clueless....mind games? Being the new guys we will have lots to learn, but are excited for the challenge. I wish you all a great 2014 season and thanks for allowing us new guys a chance to give you all a run for your money!

  3. HAHAHA, Hot Tub Time Machine! I suppose its a bit easier to look back than to pontificate for the future. I predict, haha, that Gilbert wins a classic this year, no 2011 repeat but at least a glimpse of his past successes.

    I love the Simpsons mafia boys. Hilarious!

    Ill now start my critique of the reigning champ, The Commish.