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VDS 2011: Time To Come Out And Play!

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[For maximum effect, open this link in another window and then commence reading this post. Trust me :)]

After some weeks of rather cryptic discussion, it is finally that time. The 2011 Podium Cafe Virtual Directeur Sportif starts now! Actually we flipped the switch overnight but we're telling you now, because de Cross gaat door. Anyway...

What Is It?

Virtual-ds-2_medium

The Virtual Directeur Sportif (VDS) is our yearlong cycling game reminiscent of fantasy sports, without the creepy name. You pick your own 25-man team, then follow them throughout the season as they accumulate points for your team. If you're like majorly wicked lucky good at picking your team and you finish on the podium at season's end, you're in line for some awesome Podium Cafe swag. [Last year: a full Capo PdC kit. This year: coal? The respect of your peers? A date with Thomas Lofkvist? Who knows. But I bet you'd like to find out.] And if you don't technically win, you'll still have a great time and probably learn a lot about the riders you picked... or wish you picked. [VDS... Now! with more regrets!!]

How does the game work?

You have 150 points to spend on a roster of 25 riders. You don't have to spend all 150 points but you must have exactly 25 riders. Riders cost anywhere from 1 to 28 points. Check out the riders here, where you can peruse prices and get an idea. Once you assemble your team, the work is over. There is no in-season swapping, no setting your lineup every day. Cycling isn't baseball.

Points are scored in a list of races we have designated at the Podium Cafe Race Calendar. How many points? Which riders can I hire? Any other wrinkles? Go read the rules! There aren't very many rules, but if you don't follow them, your team will be rejected. Nobody likes rejection. Also, we do rather strenuously enforce the one team per person rule. Please, keep it fair!

What does it cost?

No money. No portion of your soul. No strings attached. No, I'm not joking.

So I don't have to do anything before getting started?

Well, no, you do have to become a registered member of the Podium Cafe before you can start. If you're not one already, that is.

OK, I can handle that. What Next?

Head on over to the Podium Cafe VDS Website and get started! The first step is to use your Podium Cafe login ID to create a new login at the VDS website... unless you played the VDS 2010 last season, in which case your existing login and password have been saved for you to use again this year. Just sign in and you're good to go.

I'm Indecisive. Should I wait?

Nope. Get started picking your team now. As you are hiring riders your picks are automatically saved to your account, no further action needed. You can log in to the VDS site whenever you want to tinker with your team, hiring and firing riders endlessly, until deadline day... as long as you do not submit your team! Once you hit "SUBMIT", you can't make changes without groveling to an administrator first.

I'm a procrastinator. Is this a problem?

Not yet, but if your team isn't completely filled out, meeting all the requirements, and submitted by Deadline Day, February 25, 2011, then you're out of the competition until 2012.

OK, I'm ready

That's great.

[Uncomfortable silence.]

Can I go now?

Please do.