Imagine that you aren't stuck with the same deadbeat riders all year.
Its easy if you try.
No Ricco below us.
Above us only Bert.
Imagine all us players living for today ooh hoo
You may say I'm a plagiarist but I'm not the only one...
Okay so my inner John Lennon broke out just now- sue me! But seriously folks, I'm imagining what if we could choose our teams all over again for the rest of the year? If we could do that who would you pick? Who would you dump faster than light and who would you buy? Below the break I'll look at some of the main riders and try to project the rest of their VDS seasons and se who Instant Karma is gonna hit...
Dekker, Ricco, Petacchi, Gusev, Moreau- Gresham's Law, baby.
Cobo- I have this feeling that someone on - what do we call them now? Scott? Meat pies? What?- might do quite well in the Vuelta. Maybe its him---------- nah. Sell 'em. He's scared to death from the bullet he dodged in the Tour.
Kirchen, Nibali, Wegmann, Burghardt, O'Grady, Cavendish, Menchov, Ballan, McEwen- None of these guys has much of a season ending flourish before; no reason to expect them to change. They've put in their dues but what they've earned by now is basically all they will get. The biggest possible exception at this point is Ballan who does Vattenfall (and he won it last year) and Paris-Tours plus McEwen who does Paris-Tours often to good effect. But Robbie is a bit old so I can't imagine him winning anything so any points he gets from here on out will be of the garbage variety.
I'm including Cavendish here because I'm not seeing where he's getting anymore VDS points. He'll be in the Olympics in non-VDS events. he'll do the non-VDS Tour of Britain. He'd do well in GP Ouest France - Plouay or Paris-Tours but he's never done those and since he's had a long season I can see him packing it in after Britain so to us VDSers he's as useful to us as Ricco.
As for Menchov, I just don't have much faith in him in any one day race like the Worlds or the Olympics (and is he even going to that?). Since he's not in the Vuelta, he's looking like the closest thing to a bust in the 25 point guys.
Cadel deserves a section to himself. Why am I selling him? Because if this were a real stock market investors would be panicking over his knee. The VDS strength of Cadel is how consistent he is over the course of a season. The guy scores more than Wilt Chamberlain for Christ's sakes. But he rarely scores big big points so any extended injury can cause him lose serious VDS production. Now we don't know how long his knee will keep him out beyond the Olympic TT (where he would have scored). Maybe he'll miss the Olympic RR (where he would have scored. Maybe he'll miss the Vuelta (where he would have scored. Then there are the Worlds and Giro de Lombardia (where he would score). Now if he does get healthy soon then fine- he could be the 2nd highest VDS scorer this year. We just don't know at this point.
Horner- I see that Astana is racing the Vuelta, Deutchland/Vattenfalls and Missouri, which are all at about the same time, and someone's gotta race Missouri so I pick Chris to headline that non-VDS scoring team.
The difference between holding Benna and selling Cattle is that Benna is cute. Plus he's had longer to recover. Plus he's cute. And ruggedly handsome. Striking, really. Photogenic- the camera loves him. Otherwise he should be in the sell column cause even if he participates in the Vuelta he's got Tornado Tom and Oscarito to contend with so he ain't getting much. But we sure will admire him for it.
Jens! Psst! I don't want to say this loud but Jens! age is showing. Just a bit. He's not quite scoring like he's done in recent years. Sure he won Criterium International but legally he HAS to win that. Seriously though the rest of the season for him is all about the Deutchland Tour. Score there and he's in like flint. Lose and his VDS owners will go postal. Sure he will participate in GP Ouest France- Plouay, Vattenfalls, and Worlds (where he won that Giro stage) but I don;t consider him a major fave in any of those.
Kloden and Zabel- What? You think Kloden will do Deutchland? Are you nuts? Klodi will do Vuelta but in a supporting role. But that's about it so he'll score a handful of points. Zabel meanwhile will race a bunch and come in 7th each time.7th in Vattenfalls. 7th in points at Vuelta. 7th at Paris-Tours. 7th at Deutchland. Never mind that these races overlap- there are clones of Zabel out there just waiting for the chance to finish 7th.
Gilbert- Zabel, part deux: he'll race a lot for so-so results giving his owners some points, but nothing like he did in the beginning of the season.
Pozzato- Actually he might be a buy as he can do well in GP, Vattenfalls, Worlds, Paris-Tours, and Lombardia.
Rodriguez- This guy I find quite odd. In past years he's been busy in the spring, culminating in the Giro. Then he takes the summer off only to come back around now- and he does squat. Makes no sense. There are several races from now till the end of the year that he could score big time but he never does. He could be in the sell column for all the success he's had- but he's too good not to at least place a hold on.
Hincapie- A Rodriguez-type in my mind. Not many results there though I would figure some of these races would suit him. Plus, he's sure to defend his Missouri title.
Pellizotti- Might do well. Probably will do mediocre. That hair though... its always fabulous.
Vlad Efimkin- Could do well in the Vuelta. Maybe. Race looks like it has some serious competition this year.
David Millar- Perhaps for the TTs? He'll miss the Vuelta TTs though.
JJ Rojas- Youngster could score in Vattenfalls and GP- longshot. Never has raced Paris-Tours though it should set up well for him.
Kreuziger- Another young 'un. He raced Vuelta and Deutchland last year; obviously he only gets one this year. Considering how much he's improved he could be a buy but my gut says hold.
Prepare to be schooled.
As I mentioned with Rodriguez above there are a bunch of quality riders who race well in the spring then take of the Tour and pre-Tour races only to come back now refreshed for the second half of their season. You would think these guys would clean up now against the tired Tour boys but it doesn't necessarily work that way. Still some of these guys look primed for a serious fall:
Bettini, Contador, Boonen, Di Luca, Rebellin, Gesink, Leipheimer, Mosquera. All of these guys have multiple races that they should do well in if not win outright. In fact if Boonen races say Paris-Tours I can see these guys winning all of the remaining VDS races (except Deutchland because none of them are in it). Maybe not the Olympic and World TTs but even there with Levi and Bert you have two automatic high scorers.
-Boonen should win the points jersey in the Vuelta.
-Soon to be teammates Rebellin and Di Luca plus Bettini are serious threats on the remaining hilly one day races (San Sebastian, World and Olympic RR, Emillia, Lombardia.
-Contador and Leipheimer and Levi's best bud Gesink will dominate the Vuelta and do well in the Olympics. BTW- with Levi doing this he'll not be defending his US RR title- and the most important thing about that is we won't see THE worst uniform in the history of bicycles next year.
-Mosquera is the odd one here perhaps but he also does well in the Vuelta. A cheap buy.
Then you have certain Tour riders who keep their form from the Tour to great effect in the fall:
Valverde, Cunego, both Schlecks, Hushovd, Schumacher, Cancellara, Freire, Ciolek, Sastre and Barredo.
A couple of chrono guys and a bunch of Ardennes aces with Sastre and Barredo looking good for the Vuelta. Freire is both Boonen's top challenger for the Vuelta points (if he stays the course all the way which is doubtful) and looks good for Vattenfalls, and the Olympic and World RRs. Hushovd, like he does goes a different route with Paris-Tours, and Vattenfalls big in his future (along with Freire and Di Luca). Ciolek does Deutchland (main competition: Zabel), Vattenfalls, and GP Ouest France etc. etc..
Sam San- IF he races Vuelta buy! If not- maybe buy anyway. He'll do well in the Worlds RR (is he in the Olympics?) and he's money in the Giro de Lombardia. This guys always earns his pay after the Tour anyway.