FSA Directeur Sportif 2014... Starts... NOW!

Stop emailing me. Okay? It's starting now...

Welcome to the 2014 FSA Directeur Sportif!

It's time to play, at last. Ursula's beakers and test tubes have been put back on the shelf. The riders have been tested, re-tested, and declared fit for pricing. SuperTed put in some long nights wiring up this beast, and now it's all in working order. The day we identified three months ago. Like clockwork, y'all.

For our returning players, very little has changed. We are still trying to add in an additional scoring feature for any rider who sets the Hour Record. Because not enough of you were thinking of selecting Fabian Cancellara.  Beyond that, the riders and their prices have continued to evolve like they do every year, but that's about all. For newcomers, this is simply the finest year-long cycling fantasy game in the English language, and one of the only women's cycling fantasy games in existence. We put our teams together in February, then play the rest of the year. It's good times all around.

Ready to learn more about the FSA Directeur Sportif? Read on and get to work!

What Is It?

The FSA Directeur Sportif is our yearlong cycling game reminiscent of fantasy sports, without the creepy name. You assemble riders onto your team, then follow them throughout the season as they accumulate points for your team. If you're like majorly wicked lucky good at picking your team and you finish on the podium at season's end, you're in line for some awesome prizes, supplied by FSA. And if you don't technically win, you'll still have a great time and probably learn a lot about the riders you picked... or ditched at the last second, just before they embarked on their historic campaign.

FSA, the nickname for Full Speed Ahead, are the makers of both their own line of varied products as well as the Vision Tech label. In their lineup are things like Peter Sagan's amazing wheels, not to mention pro-quality cranks, bars, and other components. Take a look at the K-Force line and you'll get a sense of the breadth and quality of their wares. FSA have sponsored the game now for going on three years, and are a truly valued partner here at the Cafe.

How does the game work?

You have a budget of points to spend in assembling your roster. In doing so you don't have to spend all 150 points but you must fill the entire roster. Once you assemble your team, the work is over. There is no in-season swapping, no setting your lineup every day. Cycling isn't baseball. You can make a men's team, a women's team, or one of each. What you can't do is make more than one M or W team; one submission per person per competition!

The rules for each are a little different:

Men's Game: You have 150 points to spend on a roster of 25 riders. You don't have to spend all 150 points but you must have exactly 25 riders. Riders cost anywhere from 1 to 40 points. You can't have more than one rider who costs 24 points or above. You are also limited to three riders TOTAL who cost 18 points or above. [The latter includes your one 24+ guy, if you have one.] Check the rider list here.

Women's Game: You have 150 points to spend on a roster of 15 riders. You don't have to spend all 150 points but you must have exactly 15 riders. Riders cost anywhere from 1 to 82 points (guess who?). To make things trickier you are not allowed to spend more than 100 points on riders that cost 20 points or more. Check the rider list here. Please note that the website of the women's game is not yet fully operational. The rider and race lists are correct but the rules function isn't set correctly yet. Points are scored in a list of races we have designated at the Podium Cafe Race Calendar [M and W].

Oh! And a feature we added two years ago was the private league: a way to create a list within your login of the teams you want to compete against privately, which will generate standings of your own group of teams. Don't worry about how til you've submitted your team, but be thinking about who you want to do battle with! Making a private league is on top of your continued existence in the mega-league.

How many points? Which riders can I hire? Any other wrinkles?

Go read the rules [M and W]! There aren't very many, but if you don't follow them, the submission will be rejected. Nobody likes rejection. Also, we do rather strenuously enforce the one team per person rule. Please, keep it fair!

What does it cost?

No money. No portion of your soul. No strings attached. No, I'm not joking.

So I don't have to do anything before getting started?

Well, no, you do have to become a registered member of the Podium Cafe before you can start. If you're not one already, that is. Look in the upper right corner for signup info. It's free, simple, and requires very, very little information.

OK, I did that. What next?

Head on over to the FSA Directeur Sportif Website, login in the upper right corner using your exact same user ID from the Podium Cafe login, and get started! If you played in the past year or two, your existing login and password have been saved for you to use again this year. Just sign in and you're good to go. If you are new to the game, sign up first and a new password will be sent to you.

I'm Indecisive. Should I wait?

Nope. Get started picking your team now. As you are hiring riders your picks are automatically saved to your account, no further action needed. You can log in to the VDS site whenever you want to tinker with your team, hiring and firing riders endlessly, until deadline day... as long as you do not submit your team! Once you hit "SUBMIT", you can't make changes without groveling to an administrator first.

I'm a procrastinator. Is this a problem?

Not yet, but if your team isn't completely filled out, meeting all the requirements, and submitted by Deadline Day, February 28, 2014 (an extra week this year!), then you're out of the competition until 2015.

Questions?

Use the comments below. Tell your friends! Taunt/sandbag them into your own mini-competitions! Stay tuned for in-season mini-comps, like the Classics or the Grand Tours! Ready... set... GO!

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