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The Optimal VDS Team

With the first part of the season completed, let's have a look at What Could Have Been. If you go to the Virtual Directeur Sportif website and log in, you can download the complete VDS rider list with their current scores. Open the resulting .csv file with your favourite spreadsheet program, add an "Efficiency" column (score divided by price) and you are set to lament your poor rider picking skills. Hey, we are only a few months in, it could still all turn around! :rolleyes: Lots of tables after the jump.

First the easy bit, the most efficient team you could have picked. Best bang for the buck. Just sort the table of riders on descending Efficiency and pick the first 25 riders. As you can see below, that gives you a staggering 6700 points for a total salary cost of just 40. Almost a 1000 points more than current leader Vinnie's barbarians at about a quarter of the cost but, you know, who could have predicted all these hopeless one-pointers to do so well?!

Country UCI Team Rider Price Score Eff
BEL COF Jens Keukeleire 1 325 325.0
ESP EUS Igor Anton Hernandez 2 635 317.5
ITA CSF Sacha Modolo 1 290 290.0
NED VAC Bobbie Traksel 1 250 250.0
BEL TSV Sep Vanmarcke 1 250 250.0
ITA AND Francesco Ginanni 1 225 225.0
ESP EUS Beñat Intxausti Elorriaga 1 210 210.0
BEL TSV Kris Boeckmans 1 205 205.0
NED SKS Tom Veelers 1 180 180.0
BEL VAC Björn Leukemans 4 715 178.8
SVK LIQ Peter Sagan 1 175 175.0
USA RSH Chris Horner 4 650 162.5
ITA AST Enrico Gasparotto 2 320 160.0
ESP BSP David Bernabeu Armengol 1 140 140.0
NED GRM Michel Kreder 1 140 140.0
ITA LIQ Daniel Oss 1 140 140.0
GER MRM Robert Förster 1 130 130.0
BEL TSV Thomas De Gendt 1 125 125.0
NED RAB Rick Flens 1 125 125.0
GER LAM Danilo Hondo 1 125 125.0
KAZ AST Maxim Iglinskiy 6 685 114.2
NED CTT Theo Bos 2 220 110.0
NZL THR Hayden Roulston 2 220 110.0
SLO CMO Jure Kocjan 1 110 110.0
FRA BBO Sebastien Turgot 1 110 110.0



40 6700 167.5

Now for a stab at the highest possible scoring team. That is more difficult because there is a spending limit of 150 points (and of course the 24 and 18 point caps) so you want big scores but also efficiency. Simply sorting by current score still doesn't make it straightforward to pick a team that plays by the rules. Well, the VDS rules, I mean. Still, the goal is getting a big score so the 25 highest scoring riders is a good start. Just outside the cut at 26 is VDS favourite George Hincapie with a score of 360:

Country UCI Team Rider Price Score Eff
BEL OLO Philippe Gilbert 28 1280 45.7
ESP GCE Alejandro Valverde Belmonte 32 1184 37.0
BEL QST Tom Boonen 22 1065 48.4
SUI SAX Fabian Cancellara 28 980 35.0
ESP AST Alberto Contador Velasco 32 828 25.9
ESP KAT Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver 14 780 55.7
AUS BMC Cadel Evans 28 760 27.1
ESP SKY Juan Antonio Flecha 8 755 94.4
BEL VAC Björn Leukemans 4 715 178.8
KAZ AST Maxim Iglinskiy 6 685 114.2
USA GRM Tyler Farrar 20 675 33.8
USA RSH Chris Horner 4 650 162.5
ESP EUS Igor Anton Hernandez 2 635 317.5
ESP RAB Oscar Freire Gomez 10 551 55.1
NOR CTT Thor Hushovd 24 550 22.9
ITA KAT Filippo Pozzato 18 520 28.9
ITA ASA Luca Paolini 10 500 50.0
ESP EUS Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez 24 495 20.6
KAZ AST Alexandre Vinokourov 14 475 33.9
CAN GRM Ryder Hesjedal 8 450 56.3
GBR CTT Roger Hammond 4 425 106.3
AUT THR Bernhard Eisel 4 390 97.5
DEN SAX Matti Breschel 16 390 24.4
ITA ASA Stefano Garzelli 14 380 27.1
RUS KAT Alexandr Kolobnev 18 380 21.1



392 16498 42.1

Hmm, over budget by 242 points, 7 riders costing 24+, 11 riders costing 18+ … "Team Sky Is The Limit" seems a good name for this first try. So, leave only the highest scoring 24+ pointer and the three highest scoring 18+ pointers, then fire the lowest scoring riders to comply with the budget restriction of 150. That leaves:

Country UCI Team Rider Price Score Eff
BEL OLO Philippe Gilbert 28 1280 45.7
BEL QST Tom Boonen 22 1065 48.4
ESP KAT Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver 14 780 55.7
ESP SKY Juan Antonio Flecha 8 755 94.4
BEL VAC Björn Leukemans 4 715 178.8
KAZ AST Maxim Iglinskiy 6 685 114.2
USA GRM Tyler Farrar 20 675 33.8
USA RSH Chris Horner 4 650 162.5
ESP EUS Igor Anton Hernandez 2 635 317.5
ESP RAB Oscar Freire Gomez 10 551 55.1
ITA ASA Luca Paolini 10 500 50.0
KAZ AST Alexandre Vinokourov 14 475 33.9
CAN GRM Ryder Hesjedal 8 450 56.3



150 9216 61.4

Now comes the tricky part, there is still one more rule: we need 25 riders and this team only has 13. Some inefficient riders (all is relative) need to be fired and make room for cheaper alternatives who still scored big. Removing Hesjedal from the roster gives 8 points in the budget for 13 riders. Not enough. "Are you sure you want to fire Alexandre Vinokourov from your team?" Yes, yes I am. That leaves us with 22 points to spend on 14 riders. Ten-pointers are out of reach and we need at least 6 one-pointers or we won't be able to hire 14 riders. Add the 6 highest scoring one-pointers to the team. Now we are left with 16 points for 8 riders and the tedious task of adding up the scores of all possible permutations from the pool of riders costing 1 to 8 points:

  • 1x8 (Hesjedal) + 1x2 (Gasparotto) + 6x1 = 1750
  • 1x6 (Brown) + 1x4 (Hammond) + 6x1 = 1645
  • 1x6 (Brown) + 3x2 (Gaspa, Bos, Roulston) + 4x1 = 1700
  • 2x4 (Hammond, Eisel) + 2x2 (Gaspa, Bos or Roulston) + 4x1 = 2055
  • 1x4 (Hammond) + 5x2 (same 3 as above, Haedo, Pozzovivo) + 2x1 = 1985
  • 8x2 (same 5 as above, Ferrari, Eeckhout, Marcato) = 1715

Clearly the best choice then is to pick Hammond and Eisel, with Gasparotto and either Bos or Roulston (they both scored 220 points) and four 1-pointers (in last place: Kreder, Oss and Bernabeu all scored 140 points; I pick Kreder). There we have it, I think this is the highest possible scoring VDS team for 2010, up to and including LBL:

Country UCI Team Rider Price Score Eff
BEL OLO Philippe Gilbert 28 1280 45.7
BEL QST Tom Boonen 22 1065 48.4
ESP KAT Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver 14 780 55.7
ESP SKY Juan Antonio Flecha 8 755 94.4
BEL VAC Björn Leukemans 4 715 178.8
KAZ AST Maxim Iglinskiy 6 685 114.2
USA GRM Tyler Farrar 20 675 33.8
USA RSH Chris Horner 4 650 162.5
ESP EUS Igor Anton Hernandez 2 635 317.5
ESP RAB Oscar Freire Gomez 10 551 55.1
ITA ASA Luca Paolini 10 500 50.0
GBR CTT Roger Hammond 4 425 106.3
AUT THR Bernhard Eisel 4 390 97.5
BEL COF Jens Keukeleire 1 325 325.0
ITA AST Enrico Gasparotto 2 320 160.0
ITA CSF Sacha Modolo 1 290 290.0
NED VAC Bobbie Traksel 1 250 250.0
BEL TSV Sep Vanmarcke 1 250 250.0
ITA AND Francesco Ginanni 1 225 225.0
NED CTT Theo Bos 2 220 110.0
ESP EUS Beñat Intxausti Elorriaga 1 210 210.0
BEL TSV Kris Boeckmans 1 205 205.0
NED SKS Tom Veelers 1 180 180.0
SVK LIQ Peter Sagan 1 175 175.0
NED GRM Michel Kreder 1 140 140.0



150 11896 79.3

A mind-boggling total score of almost 12,000 points. Take that, Vinnie1! Next break in the season is probably after the Tour, I guess I'll be glad to have scored 12,000 points by then.

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