Here's your semi-regular update on the progress of the most important topic on this site, the Podium Cafe Virtual Directeur Sportif 2008 contest:
- By popular demand... there will be no roster substitutions for injury or suspension this year. With 25-rider rosters, it's not as urgent, along with being kind of messy, subjective, controversial, and not especially realistic. So, if you think a top rider might get the boot for PEDs, you should probably keep looking.
- I haven't made up my mind about letting in teams just for the grand tour contests. There's too much else to think about at the moment, and no urgency to deal with this before April.
- I haven't officially counted the number of entries yet (maybe 30 or so) but I suspect more than a few of you will be emailing me shortly to make a substitution for Magnus Bäckstedt. The process is simple: send me an email to
Make sure the replacing rider still fits within your salary cap. No need to redo your spreadsheets; I'd rather just put in a new name than try to figure out which spreadsheet is the latest.
- The data entry process is underway. Last night I made up a spreadsheet which will make the scoring system extremely easy, and have spent the last 18 hours congratulating myself. For Excel users, this spreadsheet contains no less than two different function commands! Not too shabby.
- That said, entering codes for 25 riders and the four different point categories (=125 blocks per team) is labor-intensive, so feel free NOT to wait until the last minute to send in your roster. In fact, I'll be away the week prior to Het Volk, so the closer I can get to finishing about a week before the deadline, the better. By Milan-San Remo, this system will be positively purring.
- Lastly, prizes... a truly esteemed colleague and friend of the Podium Cafe has donated a collection of 1990s schwag... I think there might even be a Polti jersey in there. So we're off to a good start. But! Prizes are from donations only -- you get out what you put in -- and while last year we received a very generous donation that turned into wool jerseys, it's time to pass the hat around again, for either stuff or donation$$$ toward jersey purchases. Whatever turns up, I will allocate the grandest prize to the yearlong winner, and split the remainder equally among the Grand Tour-only victors. No rush on this, of course, but if you wish to donate, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
Update [2008-1-31 18:57:16 by chris]: Oh, and one more thing: limiting points in a single race to the highest placed nine riders on your roster? Not happening. That provision would make for a lot of double-checking, and anyway the chances of any team scoring more than nine places in a single race is almost nil. Unless you load up your team with guys who are all working the same races... which isn't a recipe for success.