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Cobbles Challenge: Think You're Smarter Than Our (cough) Experts??

You didn't think we'd get through the cobbles season with just a bunch of little conversation starter posts, did you?

One of the items I wanted to get to after Milano-Sanremo was a regular favorite, the accountability moment, where we go back before MSR and see who called the outcome. But not only does time move fast, it also waits for nothing less than a really great post, and one-time prognostications aren't terribly news-y. Patterns of picks? That's news.

So, I'm here to announce our latest one-time (if I lose) contest, where we invite ten PdC Members to join Gavia and me in a podium-picking contest. We need ten of you, plus us two, to form our Panel of Temporary Experts, convening this week and not adjourning until after Liege-Bastogne-Liege. Here's how it will work:

  • The contest runs from this Saturday thru La Doyenne. Races to be included in the series are E3 Prijs Vlaanderen, Gent-Wevelgem, Driedaagse de Panne (final GC), Ronde van Vlaanderen, Scheldeprijs, Paris-Roubaix, Brabantse Pijl, Amstel Gold, La Fleche Wallonne, and L-B-L. [I'd gladly include Dwars door Vlaanderen but it's coming up too quickly. If we can pull it off, maybe we'll add it in.]
  • For each race, pick three riders for the podium. Each race will result in a ranking by point totals. You get 5 for correctly picking the winner, 4 for picking second place, 3 for picking third place, and 1 point for picking a rider who finishes on a different step from the one you chose.
  • We will take ten people to join us in the fun. As there are ten races on the slate, each of you will be assigned a "spotlight race" (chosen by drawing names from Gavia's floppy beach hat), where you will be asked to give a few thoughts or more on the race and your picks for it.
  • After each race we will announce a series leader, who will be assigned the Big Blue Hat of Honor to wear as long as they are worthy. Presumably a certain amount of mocking will ensue as well. Some sort of prize will get sent to the final winnar.

Interested? I will take the first ten Qualified Entries to email me at What's a qualified entry?


  1. You have to be available to make all your picks, generally a day or two before each race.
  2. You must be willing to write a little something for your Spotlight Race. If this is a minor concern for you, don't worry, it needn't be Shakespeare. If this is a major concern for you, don't enter.
  3. You have to submit an icon or photo of sorts, something we can place the Big Blue Hat of Honor on.
  4. You can't be one of our current Editors, e.g. playing in the Editors' League -- the point is to share in the fun. I think everyone's heard enough of Jimbo for now.
  5. You can't use a time machine, Second Sight, or anything else which could be construed as prognosticator doping. Keep it fair.
  6. Registered PdC Members only.


That's it! Ready?...Go!