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It’s an FSA-DS Christmas!


Merry Christmas Eve or Christmas Day or the day after Christmas or whatever! Today we remember the time 2019 years ago when this guy Joseph and this girl Mary got too caught up in preparing to pick their FSA-DS teams that they forgot to book a room and had to crash outside wit the local animals. They got caught up with arguing about a new rider, one Alejandro Valverde and if he was gonna score that year.

It was a special time.

This then is the 2019th time that Valverde is on the rider lists and for most of those years he’s been double restricted. But is he double restricted this year? One might think that after 2000 years he’d be slowing down some but he has incentive since he’s not won in the Olympics since the one held in AD 224. Every 1796 years for Al!

Otherwise the price list is getting finished and look at that! There are 28 restricted riders! One more than last year! 12 double restricted riders! THREE less than last year!!! (Unless I change my mind at the last minute.) In the comments predict which riders are restricted and double restricted!

But wait! Let’s check on Santa! Norad says he’s in Armenia at the moment having just hit the Gulf states (checking out the UAE Tour route. Little known fact! While Santa is dishing out presents left and right, he also is the person who determines the routes of all the bike races for the next year! Flanders! Japan Cup!! Paris-Roubaix!!! the Giro!!!! the Vuelta!!!!! the most important race of ALL- San Sebastian!!!!!! Santa’s a busy guy. He’s heading for St. Petersburg now.

Here’s another clue about the restricted riders: the teams they are on:

  • 5 restricted riders: Jumbo-Visma
  • 4 restricted riders: Deceuninck-Quick Step
  • 3 restricted riders: Bora
  • 2 restricted riders: Ineos, CCC, Lotto-Soudal, Mitchelton-Scott, UAE
  • 1 restricted rider: Movistar, (Corendon) Alpecin-Fenix, Astana, Cofidis, AG2R, Groupma-FDJ
  • 0 restricted riders (WT teams): NTT, EF, Trek, Bahrain-McLaren, Sunweb, Israel Start-Up Nation

That’s it. Spill who the restricted are and...Santa’s now in...wait! NORAD is off line!!!! PANIC!!!!

Dan Martin and Primoz Roglic
One of these is the most expensive rider this year.
LC/Tim De Waele/Corbis via Getty Images

Within a couple days of the new year the race calendars will get slapped onto the VDS website.

Just 38 days from now (give or take a day to make sure everything is set up properly) we reveal the full price list. umwolverine has seen a rough draft and is no longer talking to me so I am doing well.

In the meantime, the Aussie season (sort of like the London season) is starting with what are now called formally the Lexus of Blackburn Bay Crits are on the first weekend of January- January 3, 4, & 5. That’s 10 days from now. Not sure if there’s any live video but the website always puts up highlights within hours for us starved fans.

Then the Aussie Nationals start three days later with the time trials for women, men, and men U23s. (Jan 8.) The women's road race is the 11th, the Mens RR is the 12th (both elite and U-23).

Then the women's TDU starts on the 16th and goes to the 19th. The men’s race is the 21st-26th. And as we know the men’s TDU is a great harbinger of how the full season will unfold. You can bet the winner of the mens TDU will 99% be likely to be the best rider for the year. Just ask Richie Porte. You know you want him.

Also in January are 1) La Tropicale Amissa Bongo and 2) Vuelta a San Juan Internacional. Then there’s the Ocean Evans Great Cadel RR on Feb 1 followed by a bazillion races sure to mess with you picking the best FSA-DS team ever. Good luck- you’ll need it.

The deadline for submitting teams will be just before the start of the UAE Tour which is Feb 23-29. (I wonder if the moved-for-this-year Tour of Hainan might qualify for inclusion. Its dates are Feb 23-March 1. We need to find the startlist first.) Het Nieuwsblad is scheduled for February 29.