The Greatest FSA DS Story Ever Told
If you want to know exactly when the FSA Directeur Sportif was won, take a look at this video. Scroll to the 8:50 mark.
What? No, it has nothing to do with the winners. It's when Lotto-Soudal's Pim Ligthart hits the line at Paris-Tours. Or if you prefer, a couple minutes earlier when it's clear he's in the second selection behind the winning trio.
Entering Paris-Tours, the top two competitors in the FSA Directeur Sportif Men's competition, Team Æbelskiver and Rider's Cramp, were neck and neck, with the former at 13,873 points for the season and the Crampers a mere 13 points back. Both had Edward Theuns of Topsport Vlaanderen on their team, meaning his points (90 of them at the line) would do little to settle the score besides taking a place off the board from someone else. But when Ligthart held on for an additional 70 points, in tenth place on the day, his effort put Rider's Cramp over the top and to victory in the closest and most dramatic FSA DS year-long competition in our history.
|1.||Man opening umbrellas ahead||Rider's Cramp||14020|
|3.||Metalis||Still got the Pacific Blues||13922|
|6.||Sipols||Capital Corin Crushers||13339|
|7.||Crooked Rain||Crooked Rain||13184|
|10.||harlequin_forest||When there's war and all is hell, send in Jan Bakelants||12866|
Wait a second... I'm getting some information here... apparently there's been a mistake.
The Real, Greatest FSA DS Story Ever Told
Apparently the men's competition is not the best competition ever, or even this year. It's not even the greatest competition of the last month. All three of those titles goes to something that occurred two weeks earlier.
Yes, it's the FSA DS Women's Competition, unfolding right in front of our collective drunken noses in Richmond as the World Championship is decided. Scroll to 1:01:01 and watch the names pile up on the results graphic. I know, it doesn't seem to the naked eye like the most exciting moment ever, but of course it is. Let me explain.
As Joelle Numainville of Canada hits the line, her performance bumped Faster-Harder to a final total of 16,548 points, enough to give DS MPvG a 69 point lead over xx Hegemony (awesome name, by the way). xx also had Numainville, but for naught, it seemed. However, at 59:20 or so, the acceleration by winner Lizzie Armitstead caused a few riders to lose contact on Governor Street, and nine seconds after the Brit's world title is secured, a trio of Lucinda Brand, Tiffany Cromwell and Elena Cecchini roll over the line... depositing 40, 30 and 20 points in the account of xx Hegemony. Ninety points, just enough to give xxH the 29-point victory on the season.
|1.||frans verbiage||xx hegemony||16567|
|3.||pintahead||Beyond the Toolies||16331|
|5.||majope||Chamois Full of Bliss||16257|
|6.||Ozzie5365||Crum in the Kitchen||15981|
|10.||PvdV||Pietje Pelle op zijn Gazelle||15325|
Oh, and that's not all.
The Third Greatest FSA DS Story Ever Told
As you know, the Editors (cough) take part in a draft league, where instead of spending from a points budget we just select riders autocratically, claiming them like scraps of paper, the key point being that once a rider is claimed, he's no longer available to anyone else in the competition. And heading down the stretch of the Avenue de Grammont, Sui Juris led all players, all 22 of us, with 7,196 points (we use 12-rider teams, not 25). Hot on his heels was Drew, at 7,188 and Ursula, at 7,132, and me watching from a short distance at 7,041. But Paris-Tours is a Cat-4 race, meaning the winner gets 250 points and so forth... it was all hanging in the balance. And Sui Juris, riding Kristoff and Froome to a year-long lead, was out of bullets. But! Ursula's main guy, Greg Van Avermaet, stuck his hand in the air! He had a puncture! Could he continue in the leading trio? He could, and did, and scored 180 points to put Ursula into first by 116 points, a number that was padded when Theuns battled his way into eighth place.
So congratulations to our podium finishers, MPvG and Pintahead on the women's side and Metalis and Little Man Loki on the men's side. And special congratulations to Frans Verbiage and Man Opening Umbrellas Ahead, our champions of 2015! [And grudging recognition to Ursula, for winning the Competition of Kings, dagnammit.]
I will be contacting the podium finishers and encouraging them to share their stories. I know some of it was discussed already in the down-the-stretch thread, but feel free to add more as you see fit. And I will also be contacting folks re prizes from FSA. Thanks to all for playing, for making this such an excellent year, and we'll see you all again on February 1.