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Deep Thoughts: Monday Edition

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Catching up today on CycleSport and their autopsy on the remains of the Pro Tour, I wonder... rather than arguing about how to design a real-life season-long competition, shouldn't we consider the possibility of not having one at all?

Let's face it, all those other year-long sports feature teams playing the same number of games, under roughly the same circumstances. By contrast, every cyclist's season plan is as completely unique as DNA or snowflakes. More importantly, (almost?) no two riders have the same calendar such that their results are worth comparing. Not only is there little learned (or more importantly, little to aspire us fans) from comparing, say, Erik Zabel's season to Alberto Contador's, there's not even much to gain from comparing Cadel Evans' to Contador's. Riders score points where there's a motive and opportunity to do so. Points scored in one subset of the Pro Tour versus another aren't really comparable... but that's all the Pro Tour does.

The only point scoring system that isn't ridiculous is the Cycling Quotient system of counting points in everything. And even there, the system yields a ranking, not a champion. There is no such thing as a season champion in cycling, just a champion of whichever race you care about most.

[On the other hand, the Podium Cafe Virtual Directeur Sportif competition: now that's a real contest.]