This is my FAVORITE time of year. I get to tinker endlessly with the FSA-DS price list for next year. Its so much fun! But I do feel bad for the rest of you. (ursula holds back tears.) You don't get to see what I am doing! That's so so sad.
But hey! I can let you into a little of what I am thinking. Just a little...like who are the restricted riders for next year? Well let me tell you the preliminary list. Before I do I need to say two things:
- I won't tell you exactly how much each rider will cost. I will break them down into restricted and double restricted riders though.
- If you are upset blame Farmer Jens. No doubt he made me price your fave waaay too much. Bad Jens! (Fun fact! Jens spends his winters poolside in South Beach!)
Okay to the lists!
Double restricted riders:
- Peter Sagan- Well duh. Green jersey? Check. Threepeat at Worlds RR? Check plus. MSR? Checkerooni. Flanders? What the hell: sure. Paris-Roubaix? What and have Chris' heart stop if he beats Tornado Tom? Would I be THAT mean? California? Yeah sure. Quetreal? Done and done.
- Chris Froome- Tour? Sure. Give him a week long stage race too like Romandie. Oh and here's one, maybe: the Worlds TT with that nice hill at the end that will kill T-Mart's chances.
- Nairo Quintana- Tour? Hey why not? What-I already gave that to Froomey? Well one of them gets it. Give Don Nario at least two stage races.
- Alexander Kristoff- Still just 29. There's like three Classics guys no one wants to drag to the end: Sagan, GVA, and Kristoff. And Al definitely will warm the hearts of Swedes everywhere with a couple of big wins. Maybe Worlds? Seems like there's one of those in his future.
- Alejandro Valverde- aka the guy with the highest average score over the last three years in VDS. (Yes-higher than Sagan.) And this year he's supposedly laying off the Grand Tour heavy schedule of 2016. Just imagine a Classics focused Green Bullet.
- Greg Van Avermaet- the third of the new Big Three in the not too hilly Classics races. Winning the Olympics got the Monument monkey off his back so what can he do from here? Hint: lots.
- Julian Alaphilippe- think he's tired of looking at Valverde's butt at the finish line? This could be the year that he becomes the best hilly Classics rider. Pus various Tour stages, and a small stage race or two. Note: its rider like Ala here that pull in the really big point totals.
- Romain Bardet- Wha???? Double restricted???? here's a guy who won only one thing last year, a stage in the Tour, but came so close in so many races that if he converts an couple of those into wins his point total will zoom up. Talent = stage races + hilly classics so see Ala. Doesn't have to win a Tour to deserve double restriction.
- Tom Doooomoulin- Can he make the transition to Grand Tour Heavy (GTH)? 2nd guy who is drooling over the Worlds ITT.
- Johan Chaves- Shut up! He's cute as the dickens. That alone puts him here. And last year he seriously flashed that Grand Tour + Classics combo. He totally deserves this slot.
- Diego Ulissi- 2000 points put you in double restricted territory by definition. Wins Giro stages and places high in those hilly races. I will keep track over what happens to his team to see what his price ends up being.
Those are the double restricted guys (riders priced 24+points) for next year. I think. We could add a couple more. Some are more expensive that others. Like Sagan is twice the price of Ulissi, easy. What do you think?
Okay, now the single restricted guys (18022 points) Some of these may go double by the end:
- Bling- Got a team solidly behind him. How will he do without Gerrans? Quite well.
- Nacer Bouhanni- Imagine him actually racing the Tour besides all those SSRs.
- Bryan Coquard- see Bou Bou but he's actually raced the Tour.
- Arnaud Demare- MSR winner etc.
- Mark Cavendish- Shut up Holms. This will be Cav’s last GREAT season. Get on board now.
- Marcel Kittel- Needs to fend off Gav.
- Andre Greipel- the leader of the German Worlds team. Ha!
- John Degenkolb- should make the Big Three (above) into the Big Four before the end of the year.
- Dylan Groenewegen- to be honest, we don't know his ceiling. He's beaten all of the sprinters named here.
- Giacomo Nizzolo- Should team up with Degs quite well. Repeat points champion at Giro. Scores points all over the place. Geez. Lots of sprinters here-is this a record for restricted sprinters? Yep. Are we in a golden age for them and we didn't know it?
- Sonny Colbrelli- How will he do on a WT team? Quite well. Top 10 at MSR is becoming a regular thing for him and while he's only done some lesser cobbled races before it seems like he could pick up some results there with his skill set-and he'll lead Bahrain in those races and any race he enters.
- Fernando Gaviria- Sorry: pricing him lower would be just too easy. Youngest guy on this list.
- Bob Jungels- You saw the Giro last year?
- Michal Kwiatkowski- Sky can't be ruining this guy can they?
- Mikel Landa- Sky can't be ruining this guy can they?
- Ion Izagirre- Sorry, can't put him lower. He deserves this spot.
- Alberto Contador- getting old and may not race past the Tour. Will win a stage race though. Probably a couple of them, making his floor Ion Izzy. Third guy who is drooling over the Worlds ITT.
SkyVino can't be ruining this guy can he?
- Vincenzo Nibali- Look at his VDS history: this guy is really hard to price. Betting favorite for the Giro.
- Adam Yates- See Simon. They are the youngest Grand Tour riders listed her by 2 years.
- Simon Yates- See Adam Ha! But seriously-we have no idea of their ceilings. 6th in last year's Vuelta while helping Chaves? That's sick.
And hey- Happy Holidays everyone!