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FSA-DS: Beer Helps Edition

Fabs signs a beer can. - Entendered

Hello and welcome to the FSA-DS Beer Helps edition. Today we’re going to not be spinning the bottle, so much as tilting it back, consuming the beer and looking at how to select the perfect VDS team if you ignore science, maths, understanding of cycling and other things people seem to think are really important. Whatever you do my friends, never ignore the beer.

Methodology – I first cracked a beer and thought about how some people like spreadsheets and creating statistical models of likely outcomes and weighing things like points spent vs likely return based on age, previous scores, number of races on the schedule for the team, what’s known of the rider’s plans for the year, etc. Surprised, I realised that my beer was somehow empty so I opened a second one and decided that spreadsheets are for people who have two hands free (never let go of your beer).

Instead I will tackle this problem very scienticianally and will arbitrarily bunch riders together based on various point values and then consider the options. Because I am a lazy bastard I am only going as deep as the six pointers, also I expect I will either have run out of beer or passed out by then.

ESP

KAT

Joaquim Rodriguez

34

ESP

TST

Alberto Contador

32

BEL

BMC

Philippe Gilbert

32

SVK

CAN

Peter Sagan

32

ESP

MOV

Alejandro Valverde

30

GBR

SKY

Bradley Wiggins

30

Allegedly these guys are the best of the best and are likely to make a heap of points. While Wiggins is now officially a Knight Who Says C You Next Tuesday, the beer doubts his ability to smash the Giro and the Tour, particularly with the whole Froome thing. Plus now that Kimmage and Walsh are looking at Sky all the time, who knows what’ll happen this year? The beer says steer clear.

The beer loves a guy with a chip on his shoulder, so that suggests Contador and Gilbert could both be solid options as they look to make up for last season’s shortcomings.

Normally the beer hates someone as cheerful and happy-go-lucky as Sagan (a guy like that reminds us how shit our own lives are and why we drink in the first place) but he’s a consistent performer and seeing as we’re not getting any more sober, maybe we should make a sensible decision now?

Beer says: Contador – insert some kind of balance sheet or spreadsheet joke here about the Accountant. Don't worry, your friends will laugh as if it was an original and witty joke.

Walk of Shame pick: Wiggins – maybe he’ll win everything, but even if he does you’ll feel dirty about it later

NOR

SKY

Edvald Boasson Hagen

26

BEL

OPQ

Tom Boonen

26

SUI

RLT

Fabian Cancellara

26

GBR

OPQ

Mark Cavendish

26

GER

ARG

John Degenkolb

26

USA

BMC

Tejay van Garderen

26

Open that third beer and drink along, we’ve got a ways to go and it’s thirsty work talking ourselves into terrible decisions… last year Boonen was ridiculous value (so most folks seemed to think and so they picked him up). Last year the beer told me to steer clear of Boonen and we all know how great a decision that was. Thanks beer!

Anyway, beer does not indulge in second-guessing or wallowing in misery and so it is once again saying steer clear of Boonen. The beer says he can’t possibly be as dominant as he was last year because this year Spartacus is back. And so TB has real competition in spring and Cance has a lot to prove.

If for some reason you hang out on this site and don’t like the classics then the beer, gs and Chris all have serious problems with you but ok. Cav’s an option and given that he’s on a Belgian team, as far as the beer’s concerned that’s close enough.

Beer says: Cavendish – sure he’s not a Belgian classics stud, but he’s on a Belgian team so maybe this year will be his breakout and he’ll win RVV and Roubaix and MSR and probably the green jersey too.

Walk of Shame pick: Cancellara – look, there’s no question Fab’s great at what he does, except nobody’s really seen it go well at the RLT and nobody knows who’s in charge or what’s going on. Just remember, if you get into bed with Cance, you’re getting into bed with everyone RLT has ever been in bed with. Think about it.

GBR

SKY

Chris Froome

24

GER

OPQ

Tony Martin

24

ITA

AST

Vincenzo Nibali

24

FRA

EUC

Thomas Voeckler

24

POR

MOV

Rui Costa

22

USA

BMC

Taylor Phinney

22

COL

SKY

Rigoberto Uran

22

GER

LTB

André Greipel

20

ESP

EUS

Samuel Sanchez

20

NED

OPQ

Niki Terpstra

20

Are you on your fourth or fifth beer now? I think this is my fifth, but I’m not sure so let’s call it four and keep going. Anyway, so Froome is going to war with Wiggins. No really, they’re on the same team and they’re going to war because all sports is a war metaphor and that’s never tedious and I don’t have strong views on the matter.

So yeah Mrs Froome is probably gonna pick another fight with Mrs Wiggo which will be awesome to watch. Everyone loves a good catfight down at the pub. But, the problem is those two guys then have to pull the ladies apart, calm them down and pretend like they’re still mates. Tough job. Harder still to win two or three GTs while you’re doing it. So maybe not Froome.

Greipel is like the world’s most efficient German, which is amazing because Germans are usually noted for organising Aussie tourism month Oktoberfest, and trust me, that is messy business. So yeah, Greips will probably get the same points as he always gets but he’s unlikely to win at all time record levels.

There’s a lot of good names on this list though and hey remember that year when Voeckler won the TdF every day except the last one (and a couple of others) but everyone was all “Look at how Thomas is hanging on and riding out of his skin” and shit like that? Yeah, that was pretty cool. But he totally won’t do that again.

Beer says: Phinney – nobody regrets picking up a young go-getter after a few beers, do they?

Walk of Shame pick: Costa – you might not be ashamed of the pick actually, but I’m ashamed of what I’m about to say. “Costa’s gonna costya.”

NED

BLA

Lars Boom

18

AUS

BMC

Cadel Evans

18

COL

SKY

Sergio Henao

18

CAN

GRS

Ryder Hesjedal

18

BEL

BMC

Greg Van Avermaet

18

FRA

OPQ

Sylvain Chavanel

16

ITA

LAM

Damiano Cunego

16

AUS

OGE

Simon Gerrans

16

LUX

RLT

Andy Schleck

16

NED

VCD

Lieuwe Westra

16

Ok, you should be wrapping up your first six-pack now. Treat yourself to a shot of whiskey to celebrate (whisky is for sipping, not shooting, get it right).

18 and 16 pointers exist for one really simple reason – to fuck with your head. But don’t worry, we’ve totally got Ursula beaten at this game because we’ve fucked with our heads first, so a double head-fuck is like an unfuck. It’s math - you can’t argue with science.

Anyway, so the big question here is “Will Evans have one more solid year?” I mean, even I’m not drunk enough to thing he’ll win things again, but maybe he’ll do well in a few races, lock in some solid placings and provide a good return. Maybe. Or maybe he’s like 36 and running out of achievements and thinking about what he’s going to do with his millions of dollars and hot wife and cool kid and free time. Whothefuckknows?

You might also be asking yourself “Can Hesjedal win another GT?” That’s a tough one to answer because nobody thought he could win the first one and you can’t trust a goddamn thing that the Evil Sideburns will tell you. He still insists that Dan Martin is going to win everything.

Also, you can’t ignore Andy Schleck. Well actually you can, I mean, he never wins even when he’s healthy. Although maybe that will ALL CHANGE this year because there’s no Frank to hold him back. Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit. Do we wait for Frank or push ahead on our own?

Beer says: Boom – I mean fuck, you can spend the whole year shouting “Boom!” every time he wins. Totally worth it for that alone.

Walk of Shame pick: Schleck – yeah everyone will understand why you picked him up, but we’re all going to secretly judge you behind your back.

SUI

OGE

Michael Albasini

14

BEL

VCD

Thomas De Gendt

14

FRA

FDJ

Arnaud Démare

14

AUS

OGE

Matthew Goss

14

NOR

BMC

Thor Hushovd

14

SWE

AST

Fredrik Kessiakoff

14

CZE

TST

Roman Kreuziger

14

NED

BLA

Bauke Mollema

14

ESP

KAT

Daniel Moreno

14

ITA

CAN

Moreno Moser

14

ITA

KAT

Luca Paolini

14

FRA

FDJ

Thibaut Pinot

14

ITA

ALM

Domenico Pozzovivo

14

COL

MOV

Nairo Quintana

14

BEL

LTB

Jürgen Roelandts

14

AUS

TST

Michael Rogers

14

ESP

BLA

Luis Leon Sanchez

14

LUX

RLT

Fränk Schleck

14

Alright, so we’ve been drinking for a while now and the groups are getting a bit longer. I don’t know about you but I think I’m onto beer nine. Let’s call it eight just to be safe and also maybe it’s time for a “break au naturel” before we hit the harder climbs of these mid-pointers.

Don’t think of waterfalls.

Ok, so 14 points. First thought has to be Crazy Thomas, gs must be pissed at Ursula for that price. Hahahaha, also fuck, we really wanted him. Shit.

Ha, Hushovd? Who’s paying 14 for Thor? Or Rogers for that matter? This is a confusing group. Maybe we should have another shot of whiskey to straighten our thoughts? Good idea.

Right, well Frank at 14 points for a third of a season would make him the highest-priced rider at 42 points for the whole season so he must be really, really good. Maybe?

Beer says: Pozzovivo – Straw Dog said he’d take him over Fuglsang and Straw Dog made a spreadsheet so we’re covering our arses here. With a spreadsheet.

Walk of Shame pick: De Gendt – technically there’s nothing wrong with picking Crazy Thomas, even at this price. The thing is, we’re all going to laugh at gs when she does it.

AUS

OGE

Luke Durbridge

12

USA

GRS

Tyler Farrar

12

ESP

VCD

Juan Antonio Flecha

12

DEN

AST

Jakob Fuglsang

12

NED

BLA

Robert Gesink

12

KAZ

AST

Maxim Iglinskiy

12

GER

ARG

Marcel Kittel

12

NOR

KAT

Alexander Kristoff

12

BEL

VCD

Björn Leukemans

12

IRL

GRS

Daniel Martin

12

ITA

RLT

Giacomo Nizzolo

12

ITA

ALM

Rinaldo Nocentini

12

NOR

BLA

Lars Nordhaug

12

NED

VCD

Wout Poels

12

ITA

LAM

Filippo Pozzato

12

USA

GRS

Andrew Talansky

12

GBR

SKY

Jonathan Tiernan-Locke

12

BEL

LTB

Jurgen Van Den Broeck

12

BEL

BLA

Sep Vanmarcke

12

Beer 10 and we’re starting to make good progress. This is another one of those groups that’s designed to really fuck with people. Farrar anyone? Which training schedule is he on again? The one that pays off? Or the other one?

Sep? This price is more a reflection of his popularity. Which reminds me, we should totally get a tshirt made that says “I liked Sep before he was cool.”

Durbridge? They made a fuss about him at the Tour Down Under, but his nickname is Turbo Durbo. Never trust anyone who is named after a stationary trainer, they’re probably not going far. Ha! Fucking hilarious.

Beer 11.

Beer say: Daniel Martin – Vaughters always said he was going to win everything and I bet nobody else has thought of it.

Walk of Shame pick: Flecha – have you ever tried any great Spanish beer? Really?

CZE

TNE

Jan Barta

10

ITA

TST

Daniele Bennati

10

COL

ALM

Carlos Betancur

10

NED

BLA

Theo Bos

10

FRA

FDJ

Nacer Bouhanni

10

SLO

AST

Janez Brajkovic

10

ITA

AST

Enrico Gasparotto

10

AUS

IAM

Heinrich Haussler

10

AUS

SKY

Mathew Hayman

10

ITA

VCD

Marco Marcato

10

LTU

GRS

Ramunas Navardauskas

10

FRA

EUC

Sebastien Turgot

10

BEL

LTB

Jelle Vanendert

10

ITA

MOV

Giovanni Visconti

10

ITA

CAN

Elia Viviani

10

Dirty Dozen is done! 12 beers down and time to celebrate with another shot. And we’re also nearly done. With the picks, not with the drinks. So the 10 points guys are easy. Don’t pick Bennati because you might cause a Bennalanche.

Also Theo Bos is tops, but monosyllabic names are tricky to pronounce so maybe not. I think Albertina likes Viviani but I don’t know what that means. Jelle Vanendert's name looks like jelly.

Beer says: Ramunas Navardauskas – because he was on the front of that race that year and everyone thought he was cool, so he’ll be good.

Walk of Shame pick: Haussler – unless your name is majope then you don’t have a good reason to be playing with this guy, no matter how glorious he is.

ESP

EUS

Igor Anton

8

SLO

AST

Borut Bozic

8

DEN

TST

Matti Breschel

8

ESP

MOV

Jonathan Castroviejo

8

ITA

SKY

Dario Cataldo

8

AUS

OGE

Allan Davis

8

COL

COL

Fabio Duarte

8

UKR

AST

Andriy Grivko

8

NED

BLA

Wilco Kelderman

8

BLR

SKY

Vasil Kiryienka

8

RUS

KAT

Alexandr Kolobnev

8

NED

BLA

Steven Kruijswijk

8

POL

OPQ

Michal Kwiatkowski

8

UZB

VCD

Sergey Lagutin

8

POL

VCD

Tomasz Marczynski

8

AUS

OGE

Michael Matthews

8

AUS

OGE

Cameron Meyer

8

FRA

FDJ

Yoann Offredo

8

ITA

AND

Franco Pellizotti

8

ITA

BMC

Marco Pinotti

8

ITA

VIN

Matteo Rabottini

8

AUS

BLA

Mark Renshaw

8

FRA

EUC

Pierre Rolland

8

FRA

FDJ

Jérémy Roy

8

COL

AND

Miguel Rubiano

8

ITA

VIN

Mauro Santambrogio

8

ITA

LAM

Michele Scarponi

8

FRA

SOJ

Julien Simon

8

CZE

OPQ

Zdenek Stybar

8

DEN

TST

Chris Anker Sorensen

8

EST

COF

Rein Taaramae

8

GBR

SKY

Geraint Thomas

8

CAN

OGE

Svein Tuft

8

ITA

LAM

Diego Ulissi

8

NED

VCD

Kenny van Hummel

8

GER

GRS

Fabian Wegmann

8

Oh shit, how many beers have you got left? After this case and the next case, I’ve only got two cases left. We might have to rush through this last part.

Ok, 8 pointers. The most important question here is “Did Ursula price Breschel correctly?” Early signs indicate that he did.

Who else is here. Renshaw? Hey, remember when Santambrogio looked after Cadel and they hugged at the top of the mountain? That was nice.

Who can ignore CAS with his suffering and general awesomeness? Ignore the fact that he’s really old and stuff. Just remember the awesomeness. Also didn’t Kenny van Hummel win the Lanterne Rouge once? How many VDS points is that worth again?

Beer says: Geraint Thomas – what? Who are you looking at? You wanna make a thing out of it? I don’t care who you are, where’s my beer?

Walk of Shame pick: Michael Matthews – oh no, you got suckered by the bling.

ITA

CAN

Ivan Basso

6

ITA

ALM

Manuel Belletti

6

SLO

VCD

Grega Bole

6

ITA

OPQ

Gianluca Brambilla

6

ITA

MOV

Eros Capecchi

6

AUS

OGE

Simon Clarke

6

ESP

MOV

Juan Jose Cobo

6

FRA

COF

Jérôme Coppel

6

ITA

LAM

Elia Favilli

6

FRA

FDJ

Pierrick Fedrigo

6

FRA

VCD

Romain Feillu

6

ITA

LAM

Roberto Ferrari

6

FRA

ALM

John Gadret

6

FRA

RLT

Tony Gallopin

6

ITA

VIN

Oscar Gatto

6

ITA

AST

Francesco Gavazzi

6

KAZ

AST

Dmitriy Gruzdev

6

NED

VCD

Johnny Hoogerland

6

BLR

ALM

Yauheni Hutarovich

6

ESP

MOV

Beñat Intxausti

6

EST

AST

Tanel Kangert

6

CRO

RLT

Robert Kiserlovski

6

FRA

FDJ

Matthieu Ladagnous

6

BEL

OPQ

Gianni Meersman

6

RUS

KAT

Denis Menchov

6

FRA

ALM

Lloyd Mondory

6

BEL

RLT

Maxime Monfort

6

ESP

EUS

Mikel Nieve

6

BEL

GRS

Nick Nuyens

6

AUS

SKY

Richie Porte

6

SUI

RLT

Gregory Rast

6

IRL

TST

Nicholas Roche

6

AUS

SKY

Chris Sutton

6

GBR

SKY

Ben Swift

6

NED

BLA

Laurens ten Dam

6

BEL

GRS

Johan Vansummeren

6

NED

ARG

Tom Veelers

6

SVK

OPQ

Peter Velits

6

ESP

MOV

Francisco Ventoso

6

ESP

EUS

Gorka Verdugo

6

BEL

BLA

Maarten Wynants

6

USA

GRS

David Zabriskie

6

ESP

RLT

Haimar Zubeldia

6

Alright, this is the last group of riders that beer can help you with. After this you might as well just pick at random or go listen to schnapps or something, but let me tell you – schnapps is crazy. Plus, do you know who put all these bottles on the floor? That’s just messy and rude.

Anyway, there’s the guy with Chow in his name… Intxausti – ask Albertina, she’ll explain it. Also there’s Menchov, because what’s not to love about a Russian on Katusha?

Also, did you know that Nicholas Roche is the son of the same Stephen Roche that won all those races? And maybe you should think about Basso, he does have the best crazy pain face ever.

The good thing about six pointers is that you can shooce several of them at one time, so it’s easier. Plus did you know that willj likes Jerome Coppel? It’s true, ask Jens. But willj only likes riding up hills and that’s kind of crazy, but he brings beer, so that’s kind of awesome.

Beer says: Johnny Hoogerland (fuck) and Laurens Ten Dam – remember how tough they were when they were in those really nasty accidents and kept riding? That’s how tough you have to be to win at FSA-DS.

Walk of Shame picks: Capecchi – if you think an Italian is going to be able to do well on a Spanish team, then well, enjoy your walk.

So yeah, that’s how beer helps you to pick a winning, not-sucking, competitive, viable, rules-compliant team. Now I’m pretty sure it’s your round.

Get me a shot while you’re up… zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

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