As of ... an hour or so ago when I last checked, some 1,220 teams had been submitted to the 2017 FSA Directeur Sportif year-long competition, counting both men’s and women’s teams. There are a couple people who were having trouble, and when we are done helping them the final team tally might include an additional 3-5 teams.
And that’s might just end up with the all time record! But just, or maybe not at all. Here are some recent totals:
2016: 1,208 teams
Ultimately, we are a pretty consistent bunch. There are some other fun numbers that I’ll get to momentarily. But first...
So Now What?
Now the point-scoring begins, with tomorrow’s first stage of the Abu Dhabi Tour, but that doesn’t mean all you have left to do is sit back and watch the points roll in. No, you have time now to create your Private Sub-League.
Here’s how I described the process last year, and nothing has changed since then:
Just click on the 'MY TEAM" tab and scroll to the bottom, where you will see "Your Own Private Sub League." You needn't do anything to get started, just begin searching for teams to add by user ID or team name. Click the green + sign and presto! A few points:
When you add a team or teams, that display is on your page only, and doesn't do anything to the person whose team you added. They can return the favor by adding you to their private sub league, or not.
Adding someone also doesn't give you any power over them whatsoever, or vice versa. They won't know you added them unless you tell them. You won't likely know how many people added you to their league, unless you talk to them all. Really, the private sub league is just names of teams and scores, compared to yours.
So that's what it doesn't do. What it DOES do is give you a way to collect a group of friends and compete against each other. By having their teams handy you can not only see their collective score, you can click on their team and see what riders you have to reckon with. If they're beating you on the strength of a bunch of previously unheralded Danish teenagers, well, now you know something about Danish teenagers. Learning can be fun!
It can also be used as the basis for gambling. Or could, if gambling were legal. Which it definitely is not.
Pretty simple. And a really fun way to ramp up the competition. It wasn’t something you could do too much of prior to the deadline, because people’s teams weren’t submitted yet, but now that we are past, it’s definitely time to stock up your sub-league.
Go here to view some curious-looking numbers. Every year it’s a bit of a “lanterne rouge”-type “battle” to see who wins the prize for being on the most teams. This year’s top 10 are as follows:
- Caleb Ewan, 318 teams
- Pierre Rolland, 315
- Tiesj Benoot, 303
- John Degenkolb, 249
- Merhawi Kudus Ghebremedhin, 229
- Lilian Calmejane, 219
- Alberto Contador, 212
- Richie Porte, 204
- Louis Vervaeke, 199
- Ilnur Zakarin, 194
What does it mean? Ewan, curiously enough, defended his 2016 title, when he was on a whopping 448 teams, whom he rewarded with a performance that was so underwhelming that he got priced in a way that everyone still thinks he’s too cheap. Is this the year he really breaks out? A good two-thinds of Ewan-linked teams are willing to give him a second chance.
Sprinters often make the list, since it’s easy to imagine races they could win, as do veterans whose prices has been reduced for reasons that maybe not everyone thinks will happen again. And then there are always the Winter Warriors, riders who score points the day before you decided to really start focusing on building your team. Ewan checks two of those boxes. Rolland fits the veteran category, as does Degenkolb. Benoot is just a popular guy who has been riding well early on. After that, I’ll leave it up to you guys to decipher. I only had Ewan from the list, so what do I know?
France seized the top spot for greatest share of all riders chosen, with its athletes accounting for a total of 2,846 roster spots. This breaks a four-year trend in which Italians were the most popular, and before that it was Belgians. Make of that what you will...
On the Women’s side, the top ten most selected riders looked a bit more like just riders people think are awesome, as opposed to sneaky values:
- Lucy Garner, 127 teams
- Lotte Kopecky, 119
- Katarzyna Niewiadoma, 110
- Pauline Ferrand-Prevot, 97
- Coryn Rivera, 94
- Floortje Mackay, 94
- Hannah Barnes, 90
- Thalita de Jong, 85
- Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig, 84
- Elisa Longo Borghini, 66
OK now I have a couple questions for you guys. First, get in your nominations for best team name. If I can put up a poll in a few days we can pick one democratically. This started in the prior thread, so continue that here.
Another idea: how should people identify the fact that they used the random team generator? It’s still possible to change your team name, so if we can devise a system for indicating the random ones, that might be fun to track. My women’s team was a randomly-generated affair, thanks to an ungodly stretch of busy-ness and what looked like a pretty solid team when I was tinkering with SuperTed’s latest roster-making toy.
Finally, beware the Jimbo Line. Its current name is >> "Jimbo Line™" is not the preferred nomenclature. "金宝线", please <<, and if Peter Sagan and Fernando Gaviria crash into each other early on, it’ll be easy to stay above. But if not... woe betide thee!