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Virtual Directeur Sportif '11: News and Notes

Virtual-ds-2_mediumFirst, a reminder: last week we announced the kickoff of our 2011 Year-Long Virtual Directeur Sportif competition. The short of it is, for the low low low cost of... nothing, you can play along with the Cafe folks here in a seasonal fantasy competition like no other. For more rules and how-to's:

The Ricco Conundrum...Solved!

Next, the topic of the day -- what to do about people who submitted teams with Ricardo Ricco on them? And here's my decision: anyone who wants to swap him out and redo your team can do so. Send me an email and Superted will unlock your team.

People who argued against this in the Ricco thread (gah!) seemed to be saying that the Ricco owners had made their bed and should be forced to lie in it. But I think this is a gross misunderstanding of the "submit" function. Hitting "submit" is not some magical moment that starts your season. Everyone starts their season on Feb 26, whether they submit on Feb 25 or Jan 31.

Hitting "submit" is a very important moment for our administration of your team, however. It forces you to meet the handful of team rules; it registers your team officially; and unlike the hundreds of finished-looking-but-unsubmitted teams out there, it tells us that the team registered in your name is not subject to further tinkering. Do we want to unlock submitted teams constantly? Not really. But a few times is no big hassle.

Now, lots of people have submitted teams already. The lesson of Ricco is, you should try not to submit too early. However, waiting til the last minute doesn't work for everyone. Some people may have left for the Amazon on Feb 4 or on a six week research voyage. Some people don't check the Cafe every day and have to move on to other tasks. Some people are forgetful. Submitting early is a practical solution. For people who are here a lot and follow the cycling news every day, you're better off waiting til the last week when riders' status is as set as it's gonna be. A few people made mistakes along these lines. I don't see why it's disadvantageous to others if we let them correct it. But we won't change your Ricco hiring unless you ask us to.

Oh, and no change to the basic rule -- there will be no changes to your roster once the deadline passes.

The VDS in-Season Doping Policy

I doubt we'll have to apply this at all (cough) but just in case...

  • If a rider gets busted in an out-of-competition test, he is frozen until the rider's national federation rules on his case. This is a formality, since a positive rider is pulled. If for some reason a rider continued riding, no points scored would be counted.
  • If a rider gets popped during a stage race, his points for the entire race are wiped out if and when his federation rules that he is guilty.
  • If a rider gets popped during a single-day race, his points for that day are wiped out if he is ruled guilty.
  • Any points accumulated prior to the positive test stand, even if he's guilty. In the case of the out-of-competition test, the points before the test is administered are allowed to stand.
  • [Edit] For a rider's points to be removed, the rider's national federation must act within one week of the end of the Giro di Lombardia. [Should have remembered this one...]
Did I get that right? Oh, and we've had a lot of discussions about wiping out the points as soon as the positive test was announced. That's one way of doing things, but another is to wait for the federation judgment, and I've made the ruling that the latter is more appropriate. It is, after all, just a game.