First, a little background for the uninitiated. The Virtual Directeur Sportif is our own in-house competition where you "own" your own squadra of real-life racers and try to accumulate points in a list of the world's top races. We offer wool jerseys to the winners of the competition as well as the grand tours, and some other prizes along the way too. All this for the low, low cost of... nothing. For more background, check out our 2008 VDS resources page, or stop by the VDS Section for chats, strategy sessions, and a fair amount of finger-pointing.
Next, some updates, and the first spreadsheet of the year... on the flip.
- Ursula has ginned up a spreadsheet of rider prices, which you can view or download HERE. Obviously we are still over two months from the deadline for submissions (sometime just before Het Volk), so there is no urgency to it. But there are two main points for you to consider. First, a new rule this year is that you can only draft riders from this list. Adding new riders last year was an administrative nightmare... so if you have some hidden gem you want to include, email me at Podiumcafe@Yahoo.com to have his name placed on the final spreadsheet. New additions will all be one point. Secondly, this year's rule on big names is: no more than one 25-pointer. You can load up on as many riders from other categories as you please, provided you spread your 150 points over 25 riders somehow.
- Overall the prices are lower this year. The idea is to make choices harder by presenting you with so many good values. Seems like in the past people have all gravitated toward a handful of obviously underpriced guys. Hopefully teams won't look similar to each other this year. Also, Ursula did his best to make the strategy choices much harder: two four-pointers should be roughly as valuable as a single eight-pointer, for example. The path to victory will be as clear as your average hedge maze, and greatness will lie in the ability to unearth hidden gems... or get really lucky.
- Mechanics: I have petitioned SBN for a widget that will allow you to enter your teams automatically, rather than emailing me and hoping I enter them by hand correctly. The network guys are very enthusiastic about helping, but it may be a race against time. So bear with us.
- For now: peruse the spreadsheet. We will have a discussion during the holidays about some changes to the race calendar -- I only expect a couple changes, but will listen to all suggestions EXCEPT including the Tour of California. I know, it'd be nice, but we simply can't get the competition running before mid-February. Finally, I will officially roll out all the rules and invite people to sign up in early January.
- 2008 Prize Update: As has been the case the last two years, our wool jersey supplier tends to restock shortly after January 1, and we usually ship one year's winners their loot by March of the following year. Looks like we're on the same schedule this time. So: if you won the yearlong, or a grand tour competition, you're STILL the winner and you will get your prize. Ask last year's guys: we won't forget.
- As for the rest of you, I may be able to take some additional wool jersey orders. See last year's below. Final cost was in the $75 range. Email me with your jersey size (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you're interested. Makes a great gift! [in March]