Wow, what a season that was. Seems like things got plenty busy in January and stayed that way pretty much all the way to yesterday, save for the odd week after a grand tour. I blame Australia for making January relevant; once you turn the machine on, there's no turning it off. Anyway, there is a lot to review, and here's a bit of the plan for the next week:
- Virtual Directeur Sportif: I need to true up the results with Majope so that we only publish the final standings once, but I expect to declare a winner tomorrow or Wednesday at the latest. From a quick look at the supplier's website, it looks like the stock is out (typical) and we will be pre-ordering the winners' jerseys for December. We will announce the jersey stuff once we have the info, and invite people to order their own Podium Cafe woollie.
- Year in Review: An annual event, we will look back and vote on the Rider of the Year, Race of the Year, and Memorable Moment. I will start Fanposts for each shortly so we can start collecting nominations. I would also like to spawn a little broader perspective on where things are in the sport, though not so much the doping thing, unless someone knows of a way to have a constructive conversation there. I don't.
- PdC Annual: Sui Juris and I have talked about collecting the year's best posts from the site into a bound production of some sort. I have thus far refused to explore the idea in depth, for sanity's sake, but with the season over it's time to see what we can do. When he and I have time to put the concept together, we will float the idea and see what the level of interest is. So just file that one away for now.
- Tour of Flanders Preview: No, wait, I think I should put this off. At least til November.
So that's what's coming. For now, though I want to take this moment to offer my heartfelt thanks to all y'all for another great year. If you're scoring at home, that's four down and __ to go, and each year has been a new and different adventure. The community grew again, particularly during the madness of July when the site briefly resembled the United Airlines terminal at O'Hare more than a humble cafe. We had our one millionth visit and our 1,000th official member -- numbers that are already looking pretty quaint. The community even showed up in meatspace, at the Tour of California as well as a few other small gatherings I seem to remember people mentioning.
I want to offer my special thanks to the people who lend a hand with the content. Every member here is truly valued, but of course we run on content, and so I cannot say how much I appreciate the fanshots, fanposts, graphics, stat analysis, VDS smackdowns, race threads, photo essays, race reports, hottitude threads, and assorted nonsense contributed to the site. This is what makes the Cafe a fun place to hang out. Once I start naming names I might not stop, so I'll just say... THANK YOU!