FIRST THINGS FIRST Among several new races that we added to our little competition, one needs a little explaining and that's the Worlds TTT. First, its the normal trade teams here and not nations. Here's how we plan to score that sucker:
1) Scored like any Cat 2 Monument race except,
2) only the top five teams score and,
3) every rider of the top five teams that finishes with his team is given one-fifth of the team's points even if there are more than five riders who cross the line together.
Example: Let's say Garmin wins the race and they finish with six riders. All six get 350 divided by 5 points or 70 points each. Then say Sky comes in second with only five riders together. Those five divide up the second place points of 300 points or 60 points per rider. Sky's sixth rider (the teams get six riders in this competition, gets zero points. Diddly. Zilch. Squat.
Make sense? Leave questions below in the comments.
Now onto our FSA DS topic of the day, an often under appreciated group of riders, but they all have mothers like you and me....let's hear it for the the time trial specialists! Whoo-hoo! We've never talked about THESE guys (/John Gruden) but between having an extra Cat 2 ITT race (the Olympics) and the Worlds cat 2 TTT we got ourselves a bunch of riders who could pull in more points then they normally would.
And its not just your stereotypical Chronoman like Bert Grabsch either (a rider who only picks up points in time trials) but also potentially riders like Evans or Levi who would certainly be an asset for their team in the TTT and thus a little more likely that they will stick around for the hilly ITT too. As you'll see below the jump the Worlds TT courses do nice things for those climby guys who are good against the clock. Okay, let's break this whole thing down and see what we got.
On the right is the profile of the World's ITT course. See? Climby TT guys will like this.
Group A: the TT specialists These guys make their FSA DS points on the TT courses. Maybe some points in the De Panne race TT; perhaps winning a prologue somewhere. The rest of the time they are driving their teams along the flats before the end of the race or stage. Only occasionally do they get point anywhere else. Let's meet a few...
1. Bert Grabsch 2011 points: 459. 37 years old this year but doesn't seem to be slowing down as Levi gave him a lot of love after San Luis. My main concern for him is can he handle the hillier than normal Worlds courses? He tends to excel on the flat power courses.
To the right is the Worlds TTT course.
2. Richie Porte 2011 points: 325. I don't like including him here with the specialists but I'm not sure how much he gets to ride for himself at Sky. At any rate he could pick up major points at the Worlds for both Sky and himself and return more points this year than last.
3. Gustav Erik Larsson 2011 points: 250. On Vaconsoleil now with the next guy. Didn't have a great end to his Saxo career but should get his chances here. Bounce year?
4. Lieuwe Westra 2011 points: 375. Between Larsson, Westra, Devo, Leukemans, etc. the Vacans might have a very strong team, chrono-wise.
5. David Millar 2011 points: 563. Guy gets a decent share of his points on non-TT courses. Will he be eligible for the Olympics course? Why can't the bureaucrats decide such things before the FSA DS deadline?
6. Jack Bobridge 2011 points: 225. Jacky Bobby, fifth last year at Worlds.
7. Svein Tuft 2011 points: 310. He's erratic by other than West Coast standards but he's back on a PT team again. One thing I look for when making my team is have circumstances changed for the rider making it easier this year to earn points? For Tuft, the answer is yes.
8. Alex Dowsett 2011 points: 365. Of course he promises to be more than a chronoman bu right now he's money at the lesser TT races. Kid made none of those points at Worlds. Will he get a chance this year?
1. Fabian Cancellara 2011 points: 2091. After the spring, Fabian has dedicated his season to the tests against the clock. And he won't have to tow the Schlecks in the TTT.
2. Tony Martin 2011 points: 1104. And Tony will be waiting for him. At the Olympics and both Worlds TT courses.
3. Cadel Evans 2011 points: 1823. Not at the Olympics but the hilly Worlds courses seem made for him to capture the rainbow jersey-either RR or TT. Speaking of which do the TTT winners get anything that they can wear?
4. Bradley Wiggins 2011 points: 1486. The one thing I wonder about this boy is him being a) England's Great White Tour hope plus b) England's Great White Olympic TT hope, plus, c) England's Great White Worlds hope. In any he's a serious threat. All three or four or five? can't see it.
Alright, I can here you from my couch. I left off Lovfqkvfist and Durbridge and Talansky, and Albert Finney and... its up to you to find some of the other hidden gems. But here's a challenge: in the comments put up some hypothetical TTT teams; let's see what the different teams have.