OMG OMG OMG you guys! Are you ready for the World’s greatest year-long fantasy cycling game to begin? Of course you are, because we have spent the last four months talking about how much Dylan Groenewegen is going to cost. So without further ado... LET THE 2019 FSA DIRECTEUR SPORTIF FANTASY GAME BEGIN!!
Link to MEN
Link to WOMEN
Does that opening paragraph make no sense to you? OK then, here’s what it’s about. The FSA Directeur Sportif is a season-long fantasy game where you pick a team of 25 actual pro riders by spending a budget of points to assemble your roster. You have to submit your team by Midnight (CET) February 24! [Which is the end of the day known as Saturday, February 23.] After that, your team is entered and scores points based on the performance of your riders throughout the 2018 Cycling season. There are competitions based on both men’s and women’s professional cycling. It’s free and easy to enter either or both, and compete against your friends as well as our community of players from all around the world!
[As for you long-timers, apologies for the slight delay from our usual Feb 1 start, we had some minor technical conflicts to smooth out. All good now. Feel free to genuflect in the direction of Central Holland or at the mention of the name SuperTed.]
Interested? Read on...
About our Beloved Sponsor Full Speed Ahead!
This marks our ninth (!) season where I am proud to open this competition in conjunction with our most excellent sponsor, FSA. Known formally as Full Speed Ahead which under a few different brands manufacture and create a wide variety of components for all cycling disciplines. FSA is one of the few real leaders in cycling componentry. To wit:
- FSA is the main line of world class Road and MTB components. They proudly welcomed the K-Force WE full electronic drivetrain to the lineup in 2018 and plan on seeing it be used on the world stage in 2019. Exciting times for the company, I assure you.
- Vision focuses mainly on road and triathlon with components engineered for aerodynamics and speed. My bike is covered in Vision parts, particularly the Metron wheels that have made more than a few Tour de France appearances and have been used in the professional ranks since 2013.
- And Metropolis, a line of slick gear for urban riding.
These guys know cycling from all angles. Based in Italy, Taiwan and Mukilteo, Washington, their reach stretches across the globe. How far? Enough so that some or all of their cockpit parts, cranks, wheels and/or drive train will be powering the bikes of Astana, Jumbo Visma, Bahrain Merida, EF Drapac , Israel Cycling Academy, Generation Wildlife, Nippo Fantini, Burgos, Euskadi Murias, Vital Concept, Arkea, Valcar, Elevate KHS and many more. Not too shabby!
This year the prizes you are competing for are either a road kit from FSA or a 60% discount for an order from the company!
About the Game
The full set of rules are here, but I’ll highlight the biggies.
- You cannot play without first registering at the Podium Cafe! That’s our one requirement. This helps assure that there is one team per person (nobody can have multiple teams), and to assure that you’re part of the community for whom we do all this stuff, free of charge. Are you lurking here? That’s cool, but you need to click on the Sign Up button in the upper right corner before you can play the game, and create an actual login. Once you have set up your login, which is very fast and also completely free, you can then start at the Game Site.
- As you can see, the game site is a separate entity. Go there to make your team, come back here to chat about it.
- Basic structure for the Men’s game: you have up to 150 points to spend and you must compile a roster of 25 riders. You can only have one rider who costs 24 points or more, and only a total of three at or over 18 points (including the guy who costs 24+). Until your team meets all of these requirements, any attempt to submit it will be rejected.
- Basic structure for the Women’s game, which is quite different than the men’s game: 150 point budget to spend on 15 riders, and you can spend up to 100 points on riders valued at 20 points or higher. And yes, these are known as the Vos Rules. Another note on the women’s game is that some riders may not be on the list — we removed some names of people who haven’t scored in a while. But if you want someone who you don’t see listed, contact us ASAP and we will add them.
- Team-building: you have nearly three weeks to mess around, swap riders in and out of your lineup, and so forth. Until you hit “submit” -- and you will know when you have done so because a prompt will ask you if you’re sure -- then your team is still open to changing. Some people go with their gut and submit today (like, before I can even finish this post). Others tinker right up to the deadline. Both are valid ways to make a team that loses to mine. But at some point you have to hit submit. Remember... if the team fits, you must hit submit.
- Or just make a random team! That was a thing we created a couple years back. OK, Superted, our Game Designer and Chief Executioner, came up with. When you go to the page where you can start hiring riders, with “My Team 2019” at the top of the page, you will see a line under “Roster” which has a link to create a random team. You can play around with that all you want, and it won’t actually become your team unless and until you submit it. But try that before you start carefully building your team, if you don’t want your half-baked roster to disappear.
- There are no in-season adjustments, no game-day decisions. Just submit your roster and follow them. This is pretty much how cycling works: everyone is riding a race somewhere for most of the season. There are no injury lists and no trades; you just ask the fittest person on your roster to try and win.
- The DEADLINE is Sunday, February 24 at MIDNIGHT, Central European Time (CET). That’s 12:00am, or 00:00, in Western Europe. Which means it’s Saturday, February 23 for everyone west of Koksijde! Or I think maybe 11pm, February 23, in the UK. In the US, that’s also known as 6pm Eastern time, and 3pm Pacific. Teams submitted after that point will not be accepted. Yes, this is a Saturday!! Last year the deadline was on a Wednesday but the UAE Tour, our opening event, has moved to a weekend start with the Omloop pushed back into the first weekend of March.
If you have some sort of problem, please try the comments for a quick response or email me (fsadirecteursportif[at]gmail[dawt]com) and I’ll help you out as soon as I can. We also posted a Troubleshooters’ Guide two years ago which may be of some use. This stuff works pretty simply so the solution probably lies therein. We have the capability to “unsubmit” teams but consider that a late, if not last, resort. This is a very busy time of year, including my desire to cover races. But rest assured, we want to help everyone play if possible.
And by everyone, I mean once. The one-per-customer is the key to the game’s integrity. We ask that you all respect the letter and the spirit of this rule. We have some policing capability, and may be emailing you if there’s a possible issue, but that’s pretty rare. On the spirit side, I get that families play -- my kids have had teams of their own. Just as I don’t do their homework, I don’t fill out their rosters. In that spirit, we are happy to have your whole family play!
And most of all, take advantage of the features that make it extra fun! Once you have submitted, you can create your own small group where your team page will track a list of other submitted teams you want to pit yourself again. I know at FSA they use this feature to track how all the people in the company playing the game are doing. As you can imagine, that makes for some very fun chatter. Be it family, company, friends or whatever, make your group! It can even be people who don’t know you or agree to it -- only you can see your group. But ideally it’s something where you and others are all grouping together and each making that group. You can play around with this feature all season long.
Also, there are Draft Teams. For well nigh a decade the Editors have been running an Editors’ League (last won by Conor, as he crushed SuperTed for the win). The last few years I know a few others got together and made draft leagues. Basically, a draft league tosses out the points and budgets, and lets you select riders for your team, like various sports drafts, whereby that rider is only on your team and unavailable to your competition. The Game Site does NOT have this capability per se. You can use our rider list and our points scoring system in your game, but you have to figure out a way to actually set up the teams -- Google Spreadsheets has some functionality there. Others of you may have ideas. And if you are anxious to do this but are stuck on how, contact us and we can help. But here too you aren’t under any deadline pressure unless you establish one.