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2009 UCI Mock Draft v. 1.0

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To everyone not familiar to the NFL Draft in the US:

 

Tomorrow (today now)  in America, a truly weird National Holiday takes place, the NFL Draft. For an entire weekend, Saturday night to Sunday afternoon, the Nation is transfixed as the top collegiate football players in the land are drafted by the professional teams of the NFL. Basically the pro football teams pick in order, from the worst team to the best, the best collegiate football players to be on their teams. While this may seem straightforward, not to mention more tedious than watching the fifth straight flat stages in the Tour de France, for some really odd reason that escapes me the entire country, especially those citizens who say they aren't, tune in for the whole weekend.


But it's not just a weekend we're talking about here. The Draft itself is a bit like Mardi Gras, merely the wild blow-out culmination of a boring six week process. During these six weeks, these football players are poked and prodded in ways that would make Cycle Girl blush. It all starts with a big gathering of said players in Indianapolis (majope's hometown. Coincidence? I think not.) where every aspect of these young men is given a first go-over. The highlight is a test of intelligence, where in three minutes the player has to decide if he should immediately take the bag of blood that's placed on the desk in front of him. The answer the pro teams are looking for is of course “yes” (which is kinda obvious if you look at these guys) with extra points given for on-the-spot successful hooking up of the IV, asking for the latest designer steroids, having clean urine samples on them at all times just in case, etc. But more than intelligence is looked at. Very Important Football Skilz are looked at: standing broad jump, three cone run, 40-yard dash, etc: things that no football player will ever have to do in an actual football game.


Between that first get-together and the Draft, a curious thing takes place that makes this truly a hallowed event, uniting the country as nothing else can: Mock Drafts. You see, by law (ask Chris or Sui Juris. They'll back me up here) everyone in the country must guess of which team will pick which player. Then every week they must revise this Mock Draft. At a minimum, citizens have to fill out the basic 1st round Mock Draft, but since there are seven rounds, millions attempt to go two, three, even the full seven rounds. Football players from every podunk college in the USA are named in these Mocks and the lucky citizen who guesses the most picks correctly gets the TARP money that would have gone to American car companies like Saab.


Needless to say, we Americans, are totally stoked for this weekend. But after filling out my last seven round Mock, I started thinking of Pro Cycling. What if the Pro Tour and top Pro Conti teams held an annual Draft? How would it go? Who would they pick? So I decided to make a special Mock Draft just for Pro Cycling (on the flip) and as you will see I take the word “Mock” seriously...

 

 

 

The picks are in order, from worst team to the best. So without further delay, the first pick of the inaugural Pro Cycling Mock Draft:

 

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    Barloworld picks Madonna. Poor, poor, part-African Barloworld. Last year almost everything went wrong for them. From a positive test in the Tour to Soler unable to stay upright on his bike to Augustin deciding that Route One Cycling (straight down the mountain) was preferable to taking twisty roads, to their best rider leaving for Lampre (really? Lampre? Geez that's pathetic) to the sponsor itself wanting to pull out, Barloworld is the orphan child of the pro peloton. What they need more than anything else is top be adopted by a rich white girl who has no idea about competitive cycling so they can live and grow in an environment filled with things that they never could obtain otherwise: carbon fiber, clinchers, and brakes. Barloworld and Madonna: truly a match made in heaven.

 

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    Milram selects That Smart Guy from Dollhouse. Last year, Milram was godawful in their mediocracy. Thus their early pick in the Draft. But along the way Milram got lucky by having fellow German team Rudolphsteiner disband  allowing the Cow Boys to cherry pick some good riders. So far so good. But then this year started and the team had to actually ride again. Bad idea. Even with the likes of Wegmann, Ciolek, various Fothens, and Leeeeeeenos, this team is clueless on how to, you know,  win. 

    Enter the Smart Guy from the new TV show Dollhouse. For the benefit of those here who haven't seen that show yet, Dollhouse is the latest Joss Whedon creation (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, etc) where this Super Secret company in LA takes normal humans and wipes out their memories so that all they can do is walk around and eat and exercise and sleep. Then when a client asks for a particular service from one of these “Dolls” the Smart Guy places them in a chair and programs them into being whatever they need to be: a girl or boy friend, an assassin, a singer, a negotiator, a burglar: whatever. They become The Best In The World at whatever they are programmed to do.  After they finish their job, the Doll is mind wiped again until the next job. It should be obvious what this Smart Guy can do for Milram: program their riders to actually win. 

  1. PhotobucketBbox picks Charlemagne. Considering that it's been a good 1200 years since Bbox was competitive it's about time the team resurrects their all-time DS. They'll be competitive not only in France but Italy too. Just don't ask them to compete at Pais Vasco.
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      Fuji Servetto picks... Bono. Clearly this team lost it's way last year- and I'm not just talking about doping scandals. Yeah there were those, but equally problematical were the sunglass choices of a certain disgraced rider. The two name changes (or was it three)? Also did nothing to raise their image in the public consciousness. The rumor that RCS and ASO were excluding them because of last year's doping problems was simple not true. Actually ASO and RCS lost track on if they still existed. It's like this team sort of appeared out of nowhere. But they have no identity. Seriously, since they got rid of Ricco and Piepoli, the several names, and whatever else, do you have any feelings about them at all? Do you look at an upcoming race and think, "Fuji is gonna be a factor?" I think David de la Fuente won GP Big Mig because every other rider thought he was some fan running ahead of the pack. "Nice blue kit" the other riders thought. In fact the final results of that race are still in dispute as some teams still don't believe Fuji exists. What are they gonna do?


      Enter Bono. Love his politics or not, love his music or not, EVERYONE has an opinion of the guy. The guy is not bland and there' s no in between when you think of him. Imagine the Jesus poses he'd strike when he wins a race. Imagine his pre-race statements, guaranteeing that if he wins, the proceeds will all go to water treatment plants in the Third World. You think Lance's comeback is getting a lot of publicity? You ain't seen nothing. It's a Beautiful Day!



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      Garmin takes Omar Little.  Garmin is at a crossroads. They've made the Pro Tour but serious contention is not quite there. Some of their main riders are also on the wrong side of 30: they won't be in The Game much longer. At the same time Vaughters has to uphold his clean riding code so he can't take anybody. He really needs a rider who can be the ultimate glue guy. Enter Omar, the shotgun wielding predator who is pure hell on dope dealers everywhere. CONI wanted him, Dick Pound was afraid of him, now Garmin's got him. Vaughters have a code? Omar has a CODE. The worst thing he partakes in is Honey Nut Cheerios. Hands down this is the best pick in the whole draft. The Cheese stands alone. 

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      Particularly with David Millar aging rapidly, the team needs a fiery on the road captain who can balance Vaughter's cool calculating demeanor. Omar will simply not stand for any other team punking his teammates. Imagine: Tour of North Noodles and Christian Vandevelde is surrounded by a flotilla of Astanii: Bert, Levi, Jani, Klodi, Horner, even Lance. Christian's being worked over. Bert offers him a banana. Lance is twittering how they are gonna smash C. Up rides Omar. The hoi polloi go quiet. Lance doesn't notice right away because he's Tweeting and yelling at C. Omar moves over to him, takes out his 12-gauge. “You feelin' me, Lance?” asks Omar. “Because if you ain't I could show you how The Game is played differently now.” Lance shuts up right quick. C rides away to victory.

       

      Or if Tyler Farrar ever gets Bos'ed, Omar would make sure that whoever did it to Tyler would be out of The Game: if they're lucky they will permanently retire with a busted knee, if not, well, it's the Rules of the Game, yo. Just to be sure: Omar ain't just hired muscle; he easily has the strategic abilities of Vaughters. They will be THE power team of the next decade or so.


       

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      Katusha picks Mel Kiper, Jr. Those hoi polloi are kinda dumb. They think that Katusha's money is what makes them a threat in today's pro peloton. Maybe for a year or two, but after that we'll be seeing wave after wave of young Russkie riders arriving on the scene with the goal of dominating the peloton like the old CCCP hockey team dominated hockey back in the day. But where to find these Russian prodigies? Enter "You Got" Mel! Kiper. Who the hell is he? Well, if you have more than a passing interest in the NFL draft you know Mel. He's this self-taught football fanatic who single-handedly carved out a cottage industry in analyzing the draft. With no formal ties to any NFL team or even football playing experience he is the first source in telling the citizens exactly why some kid from East Cupcake State University would make the perfect #1 draft choice for the Green Bay Packers: the kid is a 6' 3” 255 pounds, runs the 40 in 4.51, can blow up any play, and never takes a down off. Now imagine letting loose Mel in the Russian hinterland. It would be like Branch Rickey all over again! He'd find winners of the Worlds ITT at Perm Vo Tech. Climbers at North Urals A&M. World class sprinters at Irkutusk Community College, and Grand Tour champions at Christ Our Savior Its Cold University in Murmansk.


       


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      Francaise des Jeux picks... Seven of Nine. No sense of humor? Check. No personality? Check. Comes with her own TT skin suit? Check!  Absolutely no body fat? Check again!  Can assimilate at a drop of the hat? Check! Check!! Check!!! Has cybernetic implants that measure heart rate, etc.? Checkinski. Combines non-human qualities with an attractive humanoid appearance like almost every other rider on the team? Totally check. Like to be put in a Borg alcove to regenerate between races? Yep: check.  Able to ride Paris-Nice in high heels? Oh, so very much a check. No idea what a bike race is? Checkmate. 


       

       

       

       


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      With the seventh pick, AG2R selects James Bond. In the dreary everyday world of AG2R, there's no hope to land on top and actually win anything. The odds are stacked against them because the other teams have-let's face it-better riders. What they need is a game changer. They looked for a long time at Sarah Palin and her sexy/perky hockey mom demeanor, but passed over her due to her wardrobe requirements and her complete lack of brains: they needed their pick to survive three weeks of intense scrutiny. That turned them to 007 and they fell in love at once. With James on board, the team now feels like it can truly compete in those high mountain passes. No more wheel sucking at the end of the main contender pack.  AG2R is now relentless in attack. 


       


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      Euskaltel Euskadi picks Gimli the Dwarf. Dwarves are well known for being very fast over short distances and what this team needs is a stubby mountain, um man, who thinking he can out sprint other teams. Yeah. They don't have another one of those...  The team is reportedly ecstatic that Gimli was passed over by the teams above them. The rest of the world wonders why they didn't take Legolas.



       

       

       

       

       


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      Cofidis selects Muhammad Yunus. Last year this team was promising. This year? Geez: hardly any money to pay any ride of note. That's why Cofidis jumps at making this pick. One of the world's truly great men, the guy who not only understands why micro-lending can do for disadvantaged people but set up the Grameen bank to do it. With Muhammad'sability to provide a steady stream of revenue, the team can finally have some stability to be a Player. It must be noted however that while Muhammad was happy about being selected he's not at all sure that his abilities can raise the hopes of such a money suck as Cofidis.


       

      1. Nate Silver

        Cervello picks Nate Silver. Rumors are that Silver, baseball and political stat freak extraordinare, was already working for Cervelo last winter. How else to explain their signing of Heinrich Haussler rather than HH's erstwhile teammate, Robert Forster?  Rumors aside, Silver, when not dividing Texas into five states,  is already busy analyzing the pro peloton, looking for riders that other teams are underusing. When asked to comment, he said, "After signing just a couple new riders next year I think we'll stand a 57.39% chance of winning every race." 



         

         

         

         

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        Lampre picks Inigo Montoya. Always the underdog, Lampre is. No doubt in the past Liquigas killed their father. One day they will get even and that day has arrived! Inigo will make the perfect sidekick to The Little Prince. All they need is Fezzik (second round) and they will make an unbeatable combination.



         

         

         

         

         

         

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        * Lotto drafts Vladimir Ilyich Lenin. Sometimes this draft just writes itself! It should be clear to all that Silence Lotto has good riders but needs a totally different approach to team management. Enter V.I. Lenin: experienced in changing how groups of people work together.  In fact one could read his seminal work, Materialism and Empirio-criticism, not as a critique on how humans perceive the external world, but as a tome on how to win the Tour of Flanders and Tour de France in a single year. In it, he argues that human perceptions accurately reflect the material world and thus can correctly gauge how to attack Mt. Ventoux. He can get carried away of course, such as when he seized power in Russia in order to marshal enough resources to win Flanders, but a close reading of his New Economic Policy is a blue print on how to win all five Monuments that is nothing short of brilliant. Will he be accepted by the team though? Yes, word on the street says that Molly approves.


         


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        Quickstep picks Ganesh, the Remover of Obstacles.

      5. Quick Step's Four Part Plan to win the Tour de France.  

        Step one: Draft Ganesh. 

        Step Two: Have Ganesh remove all mountains along the Tour route. For good measure, remove Mark Cavendish too.

        Step three: Make sure Ganesh leads out Tom Boonen, removing those pesky Oscaritto's and weenie God of Thunder's if necessary.

        Step Four: Lift trophy in Paris.


         

         

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        PhotobucketLiquigas signs, who else? Jennifer Grey!  Pop Quiz! Look c-l-o-s-e-l-y at the pictures on the left. Which is Real J-Grey and which is fake Jenn? Answer below! The opposition can't beat Leeky if they can't figure out which rider is the true Jennifer Grey and now there's no chance in hell they'll do that.  For Liquigas this is a win-win situation. If opposing riders mob the real J-Grey hoping for autographs and such the fake Grey (aka Save Ferris! or-rarely-Franco Pellizotti) will ride away to victory. If they stop the fake one, the real J-Grey will still have time to get top the top of the steepest Italian Mountain. A classic switcheroo. Answer: I don't know! Save Ferris!


         


      7. The Dude

        Rabobank partakes of The Dude. This team is a mess. They chase down teammates who are doing great. They don't chase down teammates who are in a lot of pain. Their best rider never talks- and probably doesn't understand a word the rest of the that the other riders are saying given that he's Russian. What this team desperately needs is a man who knows what it takes to tie a room together.  A man who abides. A man who knows how to have fun: Bowl, drive around, have the occasional acid flashback. A man who knows a nice marmot when he sees one. This team will take comfort in a man who abides. Sure he uses the occasional cuss words (though since this is a family post, we'll leave them out until the comments where he can have it his way) but at least he's housebroken.



         

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        Caisse d'Epargne Alberto Contador's girlfriend's firstborn. Her name: Macarena Pescador. (That scary face in the middle of the picture is Bert's mom.) Awfully chummy, eh? After missing out on Bert the first time around, there is just no way in hell that Caisse d'Epargne is gonna miss out on Bert's kid. And since they are flush for the time being (CONI? What's that?) they can afford to wait. 


         


         

         

         

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        Astana chases down Usain Bolt.  This pick is soooo obvious. What is Astana lacking? Speed. But at the same time they don't care to invest much in speed. They are clueless on the cobbles and at MSR. They probably barely even realize that there's a Points competition at stage races. Enter Usain “Lightning” Bolt, the worlds fastest human. He won't need a train to lead him out. Just let him anywhere near the finish line with 200 meters to go and the race is his.


         


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        Columbia really really wanted Nate Silver as that would have evened the score with Garmin in the great American rectangular eye glass war. But  Cervelo once again outfoxed them. Good news though-with 10 seconds left on the clock, Bob Stapleton once again pulled flowers out of his butt by picking Stephen Hawking.  As Stapleton said to reporters after the pick, " We missed out on the foremost electoral analyst of our day in Silver, and we looked had at the Econo-freek Krugman, but while watching mark Cavendish win yet another sprint finish, I thought it would be good to go all in and manipulate space/time directly. With Hawking we hope to perfect the science of finishing races before they start." That way we might finally be competitive in a Grand Tour race. rimshot!


         

         

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        Saxo Bank selects Paul Krugman. Saxo Bank can't believe that Paul "John Maynard Keynes, Jr." Krugman fell to them. Another perfect match. The team has so many resources but cash flow can be a bit difficult. Enter the Nobel winning Kensyian economist who will help Riis figure out how best to use his resources.   Imagine the economic models "Krugs" will  develop! And since Saxo Bank has won basically everything there is to win in pro cycling, their eyes are now firmly set on helping Krugman to a second Nobel Economics prize.




















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