First off, a wee (repeat) Bookmark Alert!
If you haven't already found this in comments or elsewhere, it's a website made just for YOU -- the 1214 teams playing the 2013 FSA Directeur Sportif. Made by our own bvl, with data from the Cyclingfever.com startlists, this site will take your DS name or team name and crank out a list of races with active startlists, and name which of your riders are currently on that startlist. This is the product of several true labors of love, starting with the good people of Cycling Fever who enter in those startlists, so much thanks to them and bvl for taking good care of us. And do find Cycling Fever if you haven't already, it's a fantastic resource.
Meanwhile, as excited as we all were by last weekend's season kickoff (and thank you to Cirque du Soleil for supplying the acrobats for the opening ceremonies), it's time to hone in on what is routinely one of the more interesting weeks in the competition -- Paris-Adriatico Week! The run of two Cat-3 stage races, along with a smattering of one days (Strade Bianche and Roma Maxima!) as well as the downmarket Three Dogs of West Vlaanderen stage race, means a lot of riders are on the road and a ton of points are being scored over the next ten days. There are only a few similar gluts on the calendar:
- March Week 3, a/k/a Cobblunya Week, featuring the Vlaamse Wielerweek events up against Criterium International and the Volta a Cataluyna;
- Holy Vascoly Week, featuring Flanders, Roubaix, the Scheldeprijs and the Vuelta al Pais Vasco;
- And of course, Giro di Amgen Week, plus the whole You Don't Have to Ride the Vuelta calendar mashup.
Actually, now that I think about it, practically every week this season is an avalanche of FSA DS Awesome. So, like I said, keep that link handy and follow your guys in style. [And your gals; it works for the women's startlists too, though they can be spotty and anyway the calendar doesn't kick into gear til Drenthe next weekend.]
I can think of a handful of questions FSA DS owners would like answered this week:
- Is Vintage Bert back? Alberto Contador was easily one of the top two riders in the competition for all of 2008-09, when he insatiably hoovered up small races during his Tour de France preparations, or doing the Giro-Tour double. Obviously this year could be the former, not the latter, but only if Bert the Accountant starts writing on his ledger now. He's making his Tirreno-Adriatico debut, oddly enough, and in his peak years (before things got... complicated) he didn't win Paris-Nice, but he scored plenty of points, and went berserk in the Spanish Weeklies.
- Cav::Sagan II -- This Time, It's For PRIDE! As opposed to anything more meaningful. The sprint scene is all about Le Due Mari, and for teams betting heavily on Sagan, he can either cement his standing or throw his prospects into doubt based on how he fares against a motivated Mark Cavendish.
- The Gilbert Situation -- Do we get Odd-Year Phil or not? If so, when? Inquiring mind$ want to know.