So here we go. On to the riders who are not quite there or on their way down. More Question Marks here. Has my pencil gotten a bit dull from all the grading I've already done? Oh come on, lets just get to the poo flining.
Release the Inner Chimp.
Rui Costa: I like the guy I really do. Will he step up and out from under the shadow of Piti? It all depends on the priorities of Unzue. He has the skill to win almost anything. He is a super solid rider. It's what makes him such a great domestique. He has upside and the ability to go better this year than last. Movistar will want some WT points and hopefully will send a team that gives a @#!*% to the Giro. Will Costa lead it? We shall see. As I have been told in other posts "Talent will find a way". This boy has talent.
Rating: 3 Stars
Rigoberto Uran: Another Talented Domestique who earned a tonne of points. To go bigger he will need more freedom, not more talent. Talent, that he has in abundance. Will SKY give him a shot? Will he have a free hand? Will he ride the Vuelta for the win? Will he carry Froome or Wiggos bottles all year?
This is why he is 22 points and not more. He is a risk. Like the risk? He should be good for a points haul. From where? Oh he should find a way. Just not sure how many he will get. That's the bet. That's the gamble.
Rating: 3 Stars
Taylor Phinney: Finally a restricted rider who won't just be carrying bottles all year. A leader in his own right for the the cobbles. An up and coming TT giant who can smash. So why is he 22 and not 24 or 26? Youth and inexperience. We have no clue if his promise will be fulfilled this year. He has a bit of an Americanness premium. Still in all seriousness, this is a kid who could blow up this year. He could also fail miserably or simply stagnate. At this price stagnation would be acceptable.
Think the Mini-Wan is the real deal? Yeah, me too.
Rating: 4 Stars
Samuel Sanchez: Well, we will finally say goodbye to the Gold helmet. Still here is an older goat who can win most anything. While he has never quite showed the consistency and overall awesomeness to win a GT, he can snag a mountain Jersey and Stages. He can win short stage races. His TT is not awful some of the time. So has his grand decline started? Will he fade away, into memory sweet? Will he win Pais Vasco again, hoovering up points all throughout the rest of the season?
Well if you're into sinking points into the guy who you know, this guy is a good one to know. We know what he is about and how well he can do if he's healthy. So are you going for the nice steady guy with the job, or the young rocker who could flame out?
Oh...and he is 36.
Rating: 2 1/2 Stars
Niki Terpstra: Finally has the season we thought that he could have. Lived up to his potential and now he is priced like a star. Is he still on the up? Strong possibility the answer is yes. Aside from and injury season, he has been on the up up up. Where is his ceiling? Now that is the great FSA DS question. More room to grow, or last year was his career year?
Me I'm undecided, so he gets a nice boring......
Rating: 3 Stars
Andre Greipel: This one should be short and no so sweet. Nope not at 20. 16 maybe. 20 nope. Unless you think that Cance at 26 with a likely return of 1500 is a good buy. Then maybe the Gorilla and his 1000-1300 for 20 is good buy.
Rating: 2 Stars
Ryder Hesjedal: I am a certified Crack Smoking Homer. This post should be taken with all the consideration we give Chris and his Farrar ramblings. The Crack pipe is telling me that Ryder is a shoo in for more points than last year. Forget that he has never had a season like last. Forget that Wiggo will likely @#!*% on his chances of repeating the Giro win. Forget that he is 32. Listen to the Crack Smoking Homer. My inner Chimp can out Poo Fling your Inner Chimp. Ryder is a Crack/Rock Solid Lock for like 1500-1800 points.
Seriously all my arguments sound good in my own head. I will not bother sharing my rose coloured optimism for his season.
Greg Van Avermaet: Okay, I get that GvA is totally talented. I get that he shows a lot in a lot of races. I just don't get paying 18 points for a talented second fiddle. Not when the first fiddle is so good. My Inner Chimp hates Expensive Guys with depth issues. GvA is an Expensive Guy with Depth Issues. Talent will find a way I've been told. Seriously how will it find its way around Phil Gil. He has all the same skills as GvA, just more and better.
Rating 2 Stars
Sergio Henao: He's young, he's Columbian. He is awesome. He is also likely to be a water carrier on SKY. I'v told you about my Inner Chimp and depth issues. My Inner Chimp is often wrong about this. Do not listen to my Inner Chimp. Henao should find a way to score lots. He is more than good enough. He is awesome.
Is he worth 18 points? Ursula we despise you.
Rating: 3 1/2 Stars
Lars Boom: Will the Large Bomb explode this year? Oh man this kid is seriously tempting. He just keeps getting better little by little. He was rock solid last year. There is nothing that says this year should be less than last year. Everything indicates that he should be more this year than last. This may very well be the sleeper pick in the restricteds. Coming out from the Rabbobank Curse into the Blanco light. Will he find the big victory that his talent has called for?
Ooooh this will be interesting to watch!
Rating: 4 Stars
Cadel Evans: Seriously? I mean this is for all the Crack Smoking Fanboy/girls out there that can't get 2010 and 2011 out of their heads. This guy is 37. 37!!!! That is so far from young in sports, even endurance sports. 2 years is an eternity at this age. He has fallen off the cliff of age and will never return to his former glory.
Peace unto all thee poor deluded souls who wilst sunder thy selves unto the Altar of Memory. Rest though and thine teams unto the ashes.
Rating: 1/2 Star