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The 1000 Point VDS Riders This Year

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This is a quick and dirty look at where various riders stand and where they might end up. For a look at how all the riders are doing, go here.

Let's start with Bert and Cav.

Bert: Say he wins the Tour. Without scoring on Mt. Ventoux or the other two stages that will leave him at 2142 points for the year. With his cost of 25 points, that would up his PPS score to 85.68, making him a good investment for every single one of the 101 PdC VDS players who picked him.

Meanwhile let's say Cav does not get over the cat 2 hump tomorrow but wins the sprint in Paris and comes in 2nd in the Points competition. That would leave him with 2045 points for the year and a PPS return of 102.25.  An even better investment!

If Bert does the Vuelta he's staring 3000+ points in the face-if he wins of course. Cav? Not sure what he has planned. Not the Vuelta. Tour of Ireland again? Paris-Tours would be a nice season ender for him, don't ya think? 250 more points?

For comparison the only other 25, 20, or 18 point riders who have a chance to even come close to either Bert or Cav are...Thor and Valverde

Thor-if you give him a 2nd in Paris, the Points championship, and say he does not score tomorrow, will have 1530 points with a PPS of 95.625. Not bad for a 16 pointer. I seem to recall that he's planning on the Vuelta. Not sure if anything else is in his plans. 2000 points is a stretch but he could get near it.

Valverde, meanwhile has 1043 points and plans at least San Seb and the Vuelta. I am not sure if he's thinking the Worlds-which would be a good course for him. 1000 points from those three is definitely in his reach-if he doesn't get suspended of course. I have no idea what's up with that but as of now he's free to race in Switzerland (where the Worlds are), Spain and Holland (where the Vuelta starts).

How about the rest of the riders? On the flip...

Did someone say Denis Menchov? Sure looks like his season is done, doesn't it? But even with a big fat o in the Tour he's still on 1425 points, a fine ROI on a 16 pointer. Those of you who have him, don't think of what he missed at the Tour. Instead think of his PPS of 89.06. There's a smile! But wait! There's more! Maybe! Remember that guy... what's his name... Italian racer... hmmm... Killer… yes! DiLuca! If and when his B sample comes back positive, Denis stands to gain the most in a redistribution of his points, collecting 215 of them. So how about 1640 points? Whoo-hoo!

Other riders who look to score more than 1000 points on the year? How about Tom Boonen? Yeah, his Tour sucked too but he's still on 1125 points for the year and with a decent (not great) PPS of 56.25 he easily one of the more productive expensive riders this year. Plus he plans on riding the Vuelta at least where he should get some points. He won't finish it as he is planning on a solid 34th place finish at the Worlds. What else? Maybe some random points at BeNeLux and perhaps Paris-Tours also. I could see, I don't know; 1500 points maybe? 1200, minimum.

Next you have Fabian Cancellara, he of the awful start to the year. He's sitting on 852 points right now (as soon as majope records today's stage). Could he possibly do the double at the Worlds in his home country? Give him the Worlds TT and 350 points first. That's 1202. The Worlds RR, another 350 would up him to 1552. Hell, even if he crashes out in the RR almost everyone who picked him this year and saw him not score squat the first couple of months will love that 1202.

The Little Prince has been sitting on 780 points for a long time now but he has Lombardia and the Worlds RR races to look forward to that could almost double his earnings. He should finish over 1000, easy. Say he wins one of them-350 points- and places 6th in the other-200 points. Total: 1330/PPS 66.5, which is what his owners were counting on. Nothing great but solid.

Andy Schleck! You think I was gonna forget him? Shame on you!  He's at 892 now. If he doesn't score on Ventoux (hey-I'm being conservative here and I don't have Bert scoring either) that will leave him with 1342 points post-Tour.  Nice. And if he goes through with racing the Vuelta, he could possibly score 2000+ himself.

Brother Frank? 332 points now. Say he cleans up on Ventoux and takes the bottom step of the podium in Paris. 787 points-a little less than last year's 975. Meh. Not sure if he's planning more races or not.

Now here is where it gets ugly. Looking at the rest of all the riders that cost 10 points and up I see maybe three, possibly four riders with a decent shot at 1000 points for the year. The problem is that each of them needs to do well at the Vuelta and that's not possible.

The first is poor old Cadel Evans. Only 5 people picked him and right now no one regrets taking a pass what with his 733 points. Now a top 3 at the Vuelta will surely get him over 1000 points and very possibly pushing 1500 but man his mind needs an overhaul for me to think that's likely if he even races that race. Question-will he race the Worlds RR-and will it matter if he does? Cadel has also raced Emilia and Lombardia in the past too so its possible he could wind up with a great year still....Right.

Candidate #2 is Ivan Basso and his 470 points. A big Vuelta would do wonders for his ego and the six people who bought him. He's been pointing at the race since May. Can he do it? I say he places but doesn't win and he ends up with oh 900 points.

Bachelor #3 is J-Rod and his 346 points. Same deal as the two above but with three differences: 1) I can't imagine him winning the Vuelta but 2) he scored 347 points last year. That sounds realistic. 3) He should race the Worlds RR again and score something there as he nailed 120 points last year. So add that 347 and 120 to his 346 and you get 813. To that add some San Seb action where he scores regularly, sometimes a lot, sometimes a little. To sum: he has a fair but not great chance of equalling his last year's total of 1017.

J-Rod is a classic Spanish donut racer: Races early and late and skips that July thingy. But if you mention J-Rod you have to mention Sam San, he of the 565 points as of this moment. I figure he'll do better than J-Rod at the Vuelta, plus score at San Sebastian, and the Worlds RR and if he tries it like he has in the past, score at Lombardia too. An optimistic point total after all of that? 565 + 600 (2nd, Vuelta) + 200 (2nd, San Seb) + 225 (5th, Worlds), + 225 (5th, Lombardia)= 1815. I seriously doubt he'll get that but of our four riders here IMO he stands the best to have the strongest late season push.

More riders? You want me to talk about more riders? Okay then!

Jennifer Grey! Pellizotti, figuring to win the Spotty jersey on Sunday would have 879 points without doing squat on Mt. Ventoux. The problem in projecting him is that I have no idea if he'll try an end of season like he did last year where he did no Tour. Just to refresh your minds, last year he scored 5th at San Seb (140 points), 3rd at Poland (110 points) and he also races vattenfalls and Ouest-Plouay to no VDS effect. But he can't race both Poland and San Seb this year as they overlap and he might just be too tuckered out anyway so I can't say if he'll score anymore this year. Still for his owners he's above his 719 points from all of last year.  Oh yes! Jen also stands to benefit from Killer's brain-dead drug using by picking up 160 points.

Pippo Pozzato is oh so close to 1000 with 935 and unlike Save Ferris! he's rested. Last year after racing the Tour he raced the Vuelta (96 points earned there) and scored 2nd at both Lazio and Sabatini (250 total). He also raced Paris-Tours and Ouest-Plouay to no effect that anybody noticed but one could imagine him scoring at both. So I don't know his intentions but he should somehow score over 1000 fairly easily a nice bump from his 766 points all of last year.

Anyone else of any price have a chance to break 1000?  Sure-two guys are locks and a couple others are possible. First the locks:

Heinrich Haussler has been a lock since April I think- and with his win on stage 13 he crossed the magic line with 1065. What's he gonna do next? Beats me! But I figure he'll do various races. Since every point he's earned since, oh Milan-San Remo has been absolute gravy his 82 owners are just happy with whatever as he's the best investment of the year.

The next rider is somewhat surprising-Stefano Garzelli, he with the wild hair. The spreadsheet says he's already got 845 points, but as with Menchov, Stef stands to benefit from Killer's disqualification with 125 points, bringing him up to 970. Then look at how he finished last year: 10th @ Lazio, 3rd @ Sabatini, 14th @ Emilia, and 8th @ Lombardia: 290 points. Duplicate that and he winds up with 1260. Not bad for a 4 point rider.

Serguei Ivanov is, like GHH, a 2 pointer, the 2nd best 2 pointer (that you Toni Colom) with 715 points. Not sure what he'll do the rest of the season as he was on Astana (remember them)? last year and his schedule is quite a bit different now. But thinking of the remaining races, there are several he could do well in. Vattenfalls, Lombardia, Ouest-Plouay, San Sebastian, Worlds. Expect him to do some of those and score in a couple to land on the north side of 1000. Then realize that he'll be overpriced for next year. (YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.) The eight people who have him this year are happy though.

Is Rein Taaramae racing the Vuelta? If so, his current 540 points could boost up to 1000 with a decent climbing effort, depending on who else is racing.

Boss Hog, young Edvald Boasson Hagen, stands at 661 points- and that's not counting the 70 points he might get if Killer turns up positive with his B sample. Not sure what his schedule is for the year's end but one can imagine a few hundred points going his way via a variety of races. Poland. Vuelta. Crap like that.

Then there's Jens' absolute fave [/sarcasm] Andreas Kloden (who is on my team. Hey-I like the guy!) Let's say he finishes 6th in the Tour. That would up his season to 642. Now he has said earlier in the year that he plans to target the Vuelta and if that works out for him then he has a chance at 1000. But predicting Astana at the Vuelta this year right now is more than a little worthy of the efforts of Megabeth...

Hokay! Moving on, and remembering that I'm looking for riders who stand some chance at 100 points, we get Philippe Gilbert who has 990. Somehow I think he'll get 10 points. Maybe EVEN MORE!  Looking at his checkered past with Francaise Des Jeux (remember he hasn't always been on such a top-notch and well-managed teams as Silence Lotto) he's tended to do 2-3 VDS races after the Tour: Vuelta, Eneco, Paris-Tours, Worlds, GP France Ouest-Plouay. He scores in most of them too because while most other racers are looking for some Vaca (vacation) he's balls to the wall racin'. 1200-1400 points.

Now since I'm looking at almost everybody who has a chance at 1000 points I have to include Levi Leipheimer WHO SHOULD ALREADY BE WELL PAST 1000. He could still do it (DID I MENTION THAT HE SHOULD ALEADY BE PAST 1000?) but it is difficult. The situation: he's sitting (in more ways than one) on 548 with 55 more coming his way if Killer goes down. I doubt he'll race the unfun Vuelta. Maybe he'll race the US RR and TT? Could win either (if Lance gives him permission so it's doubtful. VDS points tend to disappear the closer you get to Lance.)  He could do the Worlds and score in the TT.  There. That's his case and I'm tired of snarking so I'll move on.

Alas, Levi is the last possible 1000 pointer so I'll wind this up. Last year we had 16 riders score more than 1000 points. Actually 18 (add Menchov and Pozzato) if you included the races that were added last year. We should be around the same this year. We have 7 now with Gilbert about to be the 8th and Jen Grey probably already the 9th. Above I have 12 others who might make 1000+: who do you like from:

Evans, Basso, Cancellara, Hagen, Leipheimer, Taaramae, J-Rod, San San, Klodi, Garzelli, Ivanov, Cunego, Pozzato, and Frank Schleck?