The month of February is over (somewhere in the world). The real season is here, and just about everyone who is going to has submitted their FSA DS teams. All those weeks of researching riders, scanning the results of the non-VDS races looking for a budding star, worrying about injuries to your favorites – it’s all past. Now is the time for the great unveiling – who do you have, and why?
Without further ado, Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Bon Matin Cycling and Macchiato Club.
1. Peter Sagan: Yes, the first big decision we all faced was to Sagan or not to Sagan. Having him certainly constrained the rest of the team, but I really couldn't think of any alternative that would likely produce the same points haul. It’s the "eggs in one basket" approach, and that’s a risk, but the Slovak Sensation will be in the mix all year long, and that’s good, right?
2. Michal Kwiatkowski: The climby version of Sagan. Has the potential to be anything he wants to be. Could eventually be seen as more like Merckx than even Sagan is, so I don’t see how you leave him out. He’ll cost 34 points next year.
3. Arnaud Démare: Betting on a cobbles breakout this year. If that happens, it’s a no-brainer. If it doesn’t, well, he could still be good for 1,000 points anyway.
4. Alberto Contador: Only half the price of Froome, Nibs or JRod? And he is planning to do the Tour and the Vuelta? Clen-what?
5. Rigoberto Uran: A bargain at 12 points. Gets to be a Grand Tour leader for the first time in his career. Even if OPQS isn’t giving him a whole lot of support, at least he’s not babysitting Bradley.
6. Simon Gerrans: Should have been at least 10 points. Too good a price to pass him up. And damn, he looked good at the TDU.
7. Tony Gallopin: A bit of a risk, there were other 8-pointers that were perhaps surer things. But he’s no longer in Cancellara’s shadow, and the upside is big. And Lotto brought him over to be a leader.
8. Fabian Wegmann: You need some plain old solid guys on your team. Wegmann can score in a variety of races, and I can easily see him doubling last year’s points total. Not many four pointers that I liked, he’s worth a shot.
9. Sacha Modolo: The most potential among the two point sprinters, and the best race schedule. Lampre will be riding for him, which is key.
10. Tobias Ludvigsson: Tons of talent. Clearly a popular pick.
11. Andrey Amador: See Ludvigsson. And who else does Movistar have for the cobbled season?
12. Jonathan Hivert: Need riders for those French SSR’s, and the new team might help him achieve his potential. Either that or he succumbs to the Rabo/Blanco/Belkin jinx. At least he’s not Dutch.
13. Alexandr Kolobnev: Only two points for a guy with this much classics pedigree? I know what you are thinking. Shut up.
14. Damiano Cunego: Do I need to say anything? Did anyone not take him?
15. Alexandre Geniez: This year’s Majka? Here’s hoping. The talent is there.
16. Maxime Monfort: A genuine Grand Tour rider for two points, and he has a team supporting him for both the Giro and Vuelta. A couple of top 10 finishes and I will be very happy.
17. Jelle Vanendert: A gamble on him getting back to the form of 2012 when he scored 560 points.
18: Tomasz Marczynski: Late getting a Pro-Conti team, has to be a bargain at one point.
19. Sergio Pardilla: Need to have someone for the SSSR’s. It was him or Madrazo.
21. Julien Simon: Maybe the best one-pointer out there. Can rip up the French races. And Paris Nice this year is just made for the likes of him and Hivert.
22. Matteo Rabottini: For the Italian SSRs. And perhaps the mountains jersey at the Giro?
23. Jetse Bol: Because Broerie said so. It was him or Hofland.
24. Lasse Hansen: Give the kid a chance. He has a big future, and TT guys can score young.
25. Eduardo Sepulveda: No, this is not Pablo’s fault. He looked great at the Tour Med.
So, that’s my team. So many riders that I wanted to pick, and couldn’t fit in. Special mention to Betancur, Terpstra, Kelderman, Tom Dumoulin, Coquard, Niemiec and Bouet. When they win, I’ll be crying into my Chimay.
Now it’s your turn, tell us about your team!