Such a dummy I am. This past offseason I made an evaluation of the races we use for FSA-DS on the men's side-and the results are what you see when you look at the race calendar. Problem was I made that calendar late last fall, before a lot of the races had dates and teams and such. That's not too bad IF I had throughly checked out the calendar right before we opened the competition for everyone on February 3rd. But I didn't; I just skimmed the calendar and now I see that I would have included a couple of races if I had looked more closely and changed the categories of a couple others.
So now I am coming to you to ask the question: Would you mind if we changed the calendar a little?
Before I get to the actual changes I have in mind a little background. The general cycling calendar is funny. The beginning and the end of the season every year is changeable. Some races get cancelled at the last minute and new ones pop up in the offseason. The middle of the season is much more stable. What I am asking you right now though is for the beginning of the season only and we have no interest in adding or subtracting any other races in the rest of the year-so don't go scouring the whole calendar, please!
One more thing: unless there is a general consensus to change the calendar the way I am asking, we won't change a thing. As of right now there are 207 men's teams that have been submitted and if any of those folks get upset about the changes I will drop them faster than third period French. There's no need to get real upset about all of this-because the changes I am asking about are pretty minor.
Okay. Here are the first several races as the calendar has them listed:
- March 1- Omlopp Het Nieuwsblad cat 4
- March 2- Kuurne-Brussles Kuurne cat 4
- March 2- Classica Almeria cat 5
- March 2- GP Citta di Lugano cat 6
- March 5- Le Samyn cat 5
March 1- Omloop Het Nieuwsblad cat 4
Here's my thinking for changing the calendar at the last minute:
1) First I don't think this will change the scoring much. I added a cat 6 (Murcia) back into the calendar, added two cat 5 French races and added a Cat 5 Italian race back into the calendar. I lowered Almeria to cat 6 because frankly both that race and Murcia are looking to have a pretty poor field. The newer races look more competitive.
2) Adding these races gives more of an impact to the first weekend especially. Fun!
3) Different Pro Tour teams have different priorities this early in the season and the races that are currently scheduled do not reflect the priorities for several of the Pro Tour teams. Why favor some teams over others, especially since none of these races are on the Pro Tour calendar?
4) Similar to 3, the French races in particular look pretty damn competitive and once we start the season we should include the races that are good enough. Plus two of the races have been on the schedule for years now (Murcia and Camaiore).
Now reasons against changing:
1) As I said 207 teams already are set with the old schedule in mind and they may have picked other riders if they knew the schedule would be different.
2) It takes away the specialness of Omloop Het Niewsblaad being the First race. Tradition and all of that. (Personally I think this is the least important argument either for or against.)
3) I don't see any of these new races being on video/TV. Just Omloop, KBK, and I think Almeria are on the boob flat screen.
Maybe there are other arguments but I think I got most of them. To me it comes down to the possibility it messes with people who already made their teams. Next year these races will probably get included, but for this year that's not so important.
Again-no other changes are being considered. Period. Don't even ask. And again I am asking for consensus before we amend the calendar. So what do you think?