FSA DS: Rating the Bigs 24-26 pointers

Thanks for all the Ego strokes! More Outer Chimp coming up! Here come the Wild Suppositions and Off the Wall Arguments. Settle in for another visit to the Inner Chimp of BWB. Let the poo flinging commence!

Again Rating out of 5 stars.

26 Pointers

Tom Boonen: Any one thinking about taking him won't be listening to reason anyway so really this one is pretty much moot. I mean really, I know like 400 of the smart ones of you out there picked the old timer last year, but this is not last year. If Boonen was 12 points again by all means pick him. At 26 even with the new maths he is over priced. He will need to have another year like last year, which I do believe will be remembered as the last great year for Tombo, to even hope to not suck. Since repeating last year would be a miracle and improving upon it would require him to have 2005 combined with 2012. He will not pay off. I love Tom, I will cheer for Tom. This however is an FSA DS post so......

Rating: 1 Star

John Degenkolb: Now here is a conundrum. How much better will John get this year? Kid is young and the cobbles tend to reward the older more experienced riders. This kid has all the skills and should get better this year. The question is, how much better? He rides a lot more races and has a faster finish than Tombo. He is a strong contender in any race that has a tough finish. How far can his star rise this year? I think quite far.

Possibly this kid a better value than Sagan. He is 6 points cheaper and should pay off faster. He is younger and has more room to grow.

If he gets better in the Classics he did well in last year he can pile on the points. If he has more good races outside of the major classics then he will be a monster. He could definitely hit the 2600 point level.

Or he could have trouble getting back to the level of last year and struggle all year.

Rating: 3 1/2 Stars

Edvald Basson Hagen: 26 points? for a kid who has never even hit 2000 points? His 1500 odd points last year was his best FSA DS year. He's got a wide range of skills, he can win virtually any race. He is a Classics contender with a good turn of speed. He is a useful climbing domestique for early mountain passes, and early on final passes. He is versatile and likeable.


He has won Gent-Wevelgem. That's it. Well some GT stages and points classifications. but really GW is it. And he is 26 points. I really would like to know where Ursula thinks he will pick up the 1100 points he needs to be a 100 efficiency Double Restricted rider?

Me, I don't see it! Since this is an FSA DS post, not a my isn't Eddie the most talented all round guy since Eddy Merckx post.

Rating: 1 Star

Mark Cavendish: Am I a part of the Bah Brigade? Sort of, Cav does not float my boat personality wise. His antics kind of turn me off from liking him. But this is an FSA DS post not a who does BWB want to have a beer with post. Cav is simply put the Best Sprinter Ever. While people tend to moan bout bias for or against GT/Cobbles guy, The ones the FSA DS scoring system really screws is the Top Flight Sprinters. The more you cost the harder it is for these guys to get a return. Many sprinters can hit 800-1000 points, but piling up enough 25-40-80 points for stage wins, along with 60 points for a points jersey in a SSSR is tough.

In Cavs favour this year is the fact that he is on OPQS. He will get support in all the Sprinty Classics. If he can do well in KBK, MSR, Scheldepris, Vattenfals, Paris Tours, etc these are the places the difference can be made. If Cav can rock the Sprinter Classics, then he has a real shot at 2000 points and maybe the slight possibility of shooting over that. I feel he is on his way to his best year ever. Even without the Green Jersey he should pass 1600 and have his best FSA DS season.

Still, paying 26 points for a guy with an outside shot at 2000? Unless you are Holms or Sminer? I wouldn't recommend it.

Rating: 2 1/2 Stars

Tejay Van Garderen: This kid is fantastic! He can climb, he can TT, he can win the Tour or the Giro or the Vuelta. He can win Small Stage Races.



This year?

Who knows? He showed well at the Tour last year, he has all the skills he needs. He is a huge risk at 26. If you want a rider with huge unproven upside, who had huge potential to do better than last year, and you are more of a Stage Race fan than a Classics fan. Tejay is a very viable choice. The premium for likeability and Americanness is big, but he could put out a 2000 point season.

Will he hit 2600? Highly unlikely.

Rating: 2 1/2 Stars

Fabian Cancellara: Finally a 26 pointer who has actually produced 2000 points before and has a chance of doing it again. Will he? I think it might happen. He can TT and win big cobbled races. If he does all the things he is capable of he can go 2000 and maybe a bit over. Only problem is that this is no longer the Cance and Tombe show. Young talent is coming up and looking to rule the classics. I don't know how much room there is for Cance, Boonen, Sagan, Degenkolb, Phinney, Van Marcke, Pozzato et al at the top of the Classics. I know that FSA DS rewards consistency above all else and doesn't punish not winning, but that is a long list of names and only a few cobbled classics to score points in.

But Cance is a shoo in at the Tour TT right? Well unless T-Mart, Wiggo, Froome, or Contador come along and beat him. Oh and T-Mart and Wiggo will be giving him a go at the Worlds TT as well won't they. Man the world sure has gotten complicated since 2010. Still Cance rides long enough and does enough things well that he should have a solid chance of doing the 2000 point thing again.

Right now Cance is the King of the Cobbles and until something other than his collarbone stops him he should rule there. He has a great TT. He can win Classics and win all year long. Give him half a chance and he can win almost anything.

Rating: 4 Stars

24 Points

Chris Froome: He is going to win a bunch of Small stage races on his way to winning the Tour, right? I mean its not like Wiggo will do that will he? I mean, Contador, he's not all that? Is he?

No way! Froome dawg ( ugghh that nickname makes me want to project bile) will totally win everything.

I am not on the Froome train. I think he will have a better year than last year. I think that at 6 points cheaper than Wiggo he is probably a better bet to pay off. If I had to choose one, even on an absolute points production basis I might take Froome. Really how many people were sitting there in January thinking oh man that Froome is totally going to knock out a 2400 point season and that will give him a 100 efficiency. If 2400 gave him a 120 or 130 maybe. But when 2000 doesn't give him a 100 I find him hard to swallow.

Rating: 2 1/2 Stars

Vincenzo Nibali: Small motor has moved to Astana, will this give him the motivation to succeed? Will he be better? Will he be good enough to win any of the things that he has consistently failed to win in the past?

I will admit that I do love to watch him fly down a mountain. I love his attacking style and mentality. I wish he would actually win something big. Bigger than a Veulta with a thin field. I'm glad he has a GT win under his belt and made his shot stick. But really I think that it is the only GT that will grace his palmares.

No. I don't think he will win any of the races he has missed in the past. No I don't think he is worth 24 points.

Rating: 1 1/2 Stars

Tony Martin: He is a fave of mine. I love his Drooly sufferface. I love the way he pushes and tries and goes super fast on a TT bike. I wish he could go up mountains faster, but he can't. He isn't Bradley Wiggins. He won't win the Tour. Good thing is he doesn't need to. He missed most of the beginning of the Season with a broken leg. He will be better this year than last. He won't, however, have an Olympic TT to rake points in.

Will he make 2400 points? Unlikely, but he has more likelihood of making a good points haul than most of the other Double Restricted riders up above him. With T-Mart healthy he should have a better year this than last.

Am I delusional? Possibly. But hey, Tony is super talented and can rock him some shorter stage races and will probably be the Token GC threat for OPQS at the Tour (while dragging Cav around the sprint stages) so there you go.

Rating: 3 1/2 Stars

Thomas Voecler: He is always surprising me. I never think that he will go bigger this year than last. And yet he keeps on doing it. He is there or thereabouts in so many races and has such a broad skill set that he gets points everywhere. I would not be surprised at this point if he won Paris Roubaix or Flanders.

Pfffft he might win the Tour!

With Tommy V you never ever know. Never say die. He has no give in him. He will get more points that you think.

24 points? Long shot to pay off, real long shot. But he is never afraid of a long shot. Maybe neither should you.

Rating: 2 Stars