First, let’s get this out of the way... this is your latest reminder that the FSA Directeur Sportif 2022 competitions are set to launch this weekend, and if you want to join in on the fun, all year long, get your teams in ASAP! You have until 11:59pm CET Saturday night, a/k/a Saturday 2:59pm Seattle time. Don’t miss out!
OK, having said that, a lot of people wait until the last second to submit their teams, waiting for some final nugget of information that will give them a leg up on the Impatient Ones, the people who submitted too early. And those people... their forbearance has finally paid off.
Today... this happened:
Remco Evenepoel has ‘perfect sensations’ as Volta ao Algarve GC picture starts to form— VeloNews (@velonews) February 18, 2022
Belgian keeps his favorite tag after coming through the first mountain finishhttps://t.co/OsI0VHGvwP
Some of us took this information in stride.
Ok people, let’s stay calm. This is the precise Remco Preseason Overreaction scenario we have been preparing for. This is NOT a test! REMEMBER YOUR TRAINING!! WE’VE GOT THIS!!! https://t.co/ZJeAW5bSta— Chris PdC (@CPodiumcafe) February 18, 2022
OK, enough fooling around. What if Remco really is the next big thing?? We all know about his explosive potential, winning San Sebastian alone in 2019 just for fun, and then taking off in 2020 til he crashed violently out of Lombardia. Then last year seemed like it might be a bit of a lost season, but even then he pulled himself up to ninth in the FSA DS World Rankings. If that’s what his injury-limited season looks like, what does a full one turn into? Are we about to find out?
That’s the hook. And while there were some cautious notes from the last couple weeks, like maybe he’s coming in too soft, and maybe all the doubters were right about him, now comes word that he’s on form already. The Remco Ascension is happening RIGHT NOW!
Does that not work for you? Fine. I’ve got the perfect overreaction scenario for you. Remember that other supposedly incredible but maybe a bit hard to know what to think about him? The Dutch guy who rides too many different bikes and fell off a boulder in Japan?
Do I need to say anything? It’s Mathieu Van Der Poel… https://t.co/6gLyL2mtTB pic.twitter.com/Nuxmfo0dqG— Anna Mac (@AnnamacB) February 17, 2022
If Dr. Dre says he’s training again, I guess he’s training again. Here’s his Strava map from Monday:
“ Mathieu van der Poel is not training, he’s just riding a bike…” pic.twitter.com/0TPiMbI5cS— Domestique (@Domestique___) February 14, 2022
Wait, so if the maybe probably #1 classics rider is riding again, then maybe he’s training. And maybe his back and knee are OK, and he’s really only a couple weeks behind where he should be. Which is not even behind, because last year he started the season too hot too soon, and the delay will only set him up to hit his peak in time to FULFILL HIS DESTINY IN THE COBBLED MONUMENTS!!!
Not working for you? Too much speculation? Well then here is something to overreact to: your current world #1 ranked rider, Alexander Vlasov!
Vlasov is 25, entering his prime, just won the Vuelta a la Comunitat Valenciana and with a pretty good track record that could suggest that MAYBE HE IS ABOUT TO TAKE OVER THE SPORT!!! Sure, fourth in the Giro doesn’t exactly mean he’s going to beat Pogacar and win the Tour... but it doesn’t mean he won’t either.
Who else? Jan Hirt won the Tour of Oman, which used to be the more challenging Arabian Peninsula race before the UAE Tour went big time. He could be the mid-career surprise your team desperately needs to unearth from the discount shelf! What about Alejandro Valverde, who you swore off each of the last six Februaries, only to find him right back doing what he’s always done, cherry picking wins for his incredible (and I do mean incredible) palmares. What about Nairo Quintana, the first great Colombian cycling legend of the new era, still hanging around winning stage races? Maybe Egan Bernal’s injury doesn’t just open up a place at INEOS, but in our hearts, where we hold at least one space for a Colombian climbing god? What about Fabio Jakobsen, bagging three wins as he continues his post-Poland comeback? Is he the new fastest man alive? [Actually, yes.] Can you afford not to put him on your team? [Actually, no.]
These are just some of the recent developments to which you should be overreacting right now. Maybe there are others. I commend you to the comments, where your fellow FSA DsS can further tempt you with delicious fruits from the cycling winter warmup circuit, races whose results are always the best indicator of future success. Choose wisely, my friends. And choose now.