Oy, this has taken forever to write. But it’s one of my favorite posts of the year, on one of everyone’s favorite subjects. It’s time to talk about our FSA Directeur Sportif winners and ask them to take a victory lap.
- TH WHISTLER, Riding With Knobs Plus, 20497
- stultzer, Marginal Gains, 20044
- Archieboy, Wheeling & Dealing, 19894
TH WHISTLER?!?! AGAIN??!!!?? As if being in any way associated with Whistler (BC) isn’t enough of a sweet gig, now we have our first repeat winner on the men’s side. On the women’s side we have yet to have a repeat winner, although Straw Dog went 2 and 1 on consecutive years. I’ll let him describe how he won but note that fully 18 riders who cost between 1 and 8 points scored over 300. Just points up and down the roster. That’s how you win, by getting ungodly lucky or... just really knowing your cycling.
On the other hand, stultzer might have done the best job of all, had he or she just spent that 28 points on Valverde instead of Julian Alaphilippe. That one choice made a thousand-point difference in a race decided by 453. Which is not to chastise stultzer but to point out what an incredible job s/he did in assembling that team.
Then there’s Archieboy. His Wheeling and Dealing squad was a bit more conventional but only slightly off the torrid, winning pace, relying on top performances by top riders (Valverde, Bardet, Thomas, Terpstra) to establish a rock-solid foundation, on which he built a strong squad of lesser-priced riders who contributed heavily. His roster thinned out a bit toward the bottom, leaving him 600 points back, but it was a terrific performance.
- abovo, Bibo ergo sum, 15203
- Aschwin, Sportpromotions, 15075
- mickeynz, Is it too late? 14960
ARGH 128 points! So close... but abovo hangs on for the most distinguished win. His/her team, Bibo ergo sum, combines Latin (classy!), a commitment to drinking (seems relevant), and a nicely balanced squad with six riders scoring more than 1000 points and a healthy set of 13 riders scoring over 500... on a 15-rider team.
Aschwin’s path to success was based on a two-rider juggernaut of Annemiek van Vleuten and Amanda Spratt, the latter being the biggest bargain in the competition. Sportpromotions thinned out after the top nine, but those nine were nearly enough to pull off the overall win.
Finally, a special shout to #3, Is it too late?, and DS Mickeynz, who eschewed the obvious van Vleuten/van der Breggen expenditure, crushed it with Spratt, and distributed the 38-point savings around a totally stacked roster with 12 riders above the 450-point threshold.
- kablebike, 34 [♀6.Meandering fireflies, 13582 + ♂28. Meandering fireflies, 16333
- frans verbiage, 37 [♀28.XX Hegemony ,For the Ls of it, 2018. 12415 + ♂9. Zucchini Squashers, 17681]
- sastre08, 38 [♀26. Esas laydis, 12519 + ♂12. Team Fiestina, 17437]
This ranking is determined by adding up the two placings in the men’s and women’s comps for a combined score, and kablebike takes it. Among the two sets of Meandering Fireflies it was the women’s team that lifted their DS to the win, with Spratt the key contributor there. Click through the names to suss out the various teams. Or just wait til the DSs show up and talk about their successes.
And finally, it will distress you to learn that Conor won the Editors’ League. This is our draft league, and it generally comes down to whoever drafts first. But in a worst-case outcome, Conor actually succeeded by drafting near the bottom of the first round (and all the other odd-numbered rounds, it’s a snake draft), just killing it round after round to score a fairly dominant win. Patrik Konrad and Riccardo Minali are the names the rest of us will be hearing in our nightmares for the next few months. Ewoud/Superted rewrote some algorithm to install himself into second place, ahead of Andrew. I finished sixth, a comfortable 25 points ahead of Drew. So I can still get out of bed in the morning.
OK, to you winners... tell us your secrets!