Saturday, July 31, 2010

2010 Fantasy Team

The key to a good team is consistency. Having riders that will always go for a top 15. An important aspect of the 2010 Tour, was that it was favorable to the climbers, and punishing for the sprinters.
I assumed there would be up to 7 flat stages [starting with Stage 4] where there would be a bunch finish. Thus, I chose to buy the more expensive climbers while getting inexpensive sprinters. I lucked out completely, somehow acquiring the 4 best climbers in the race. I always took a beating on the flat stages, but crawled my way back on the mountain stages.

The RidersBrent Bookwalter
Cost: $5
Total Points:52
Worth it? Not really. 12th in the prologue was his best result. I fully expected him to be competitive in the last TT, but it turns out that he may be a prologue specialist. For the rest of the race, he was helping out Cadel.

Edvald Boasson Hagen
Cost: $18
Total Points: 409
Worth it? Definitely. At only 18 dollars, he was a complete steal. Arguably the second best sprinter in the peleton. Also, he's a budding time trialist, and showed it in the prologue.

Alberto Contador
Cost: $100
Total Points: 664
Worth it? Yup. He was a go-to guy in the mountains, and his holding of the Maillot Jaune was always extra points.
Andreas Kloden
Cost: $59
Total Points: 74
Worth it? No, he was a prime example of Radioshack's inconsistency. If he were groomed as an overall challenger, he would have been placing highly. Unfortunately, he was always racing for a shifting team leader.
Matthieu Ladagnous
Cost: $8
Total Points: 106
Worth it? Not so much. Most people pick inexpensive riders to allow room for expensive super stars, but I seriously considered Ladagnous capable of picking up 200-300 points through sprinting and aggressive riding. Sadly, he had no help in the bunch sprints and never tried to break away.
Tony Martin
Cost: $30
Total Points: 182
Worth it? No. Martin's role completely changed this year; he was vital in HTC's leadout train, and thus wasn't given the opportunity in the mountains. I think he also might have put on a little more weight. Obviously his power was good based on the prologue and time trial.Robbie Mcewen
Cost: $27
Total Points: 573
Worth it? You bet. Fairly inexpensive and always in the top 10.
Denis Menchov
Cost: $53
Total Points: 353
Worth it? Heck yeah. Always the third or fourth best climber, and the only G.C. rider to crack the top 15 in the last time trial.
Alessandro Petacchi
Cost: $25
Total Points: 749
Worth it? Petacchi was the most valuable rider of the tour. Like Mcewen, he was considered "too old" to be competitve, and thus given a low value.
Mark Renshaw
Cost: $17
Total Points: $113
Worth it? Somewhat. He nabbed several top 15s until the disqualification. However, there was always a big question as to whether or not he would sprint after leading out Cav. It would have been better to have gotten an inexpensive sprinter like Turgot.
Nicholas Roche
Cost: $29
Total Points: 175
Worth it? Yup. He cracked the top 15 quite a lot. He will mix it up with the sprinters occasionally, and is climbing better and better.
Jurgen Roelandts
Cost: $8
Total Points: 298
Worth it? One of the unsung heroes of the Tour. He mixed it up with the big guys on the Champs-Elysees, and will be beating them in a few years.
Samuel Sanchez
Cost:$28
Total Points: 444
Worth it? Absolutely. Completely underestimated before the start of the tour. The man can climb...quite well.
Andy Schleck
Cost: $87
Total Points: 634
Worth it? Yeah. Before the race phase started, I didn't know which Schleck bro to pick. When Frank went down, I figured Andy would ride with the strength of two men. He rode pretty fast.
Geraint Thomas
Cost: $5
Total Points:238
Worth it? Somewhat. His biggest results came in the practice phase (prologue and stage 3). As Boasson Hagen's leadout man, he occasional hit the top 15 in the sprints, though it didn't happen much. He's still improving, a larger force to be reckoned with in a few years.





Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Recap

Just to sum it up, some interesting things have been going on.
1. I finished 37th overall in Fantasy Cycling, which is a big deal for me.
2. I got done with my rest week.
3. I've been making myself suffer intensely over the past two days.
4. I've been driving a little.
5. School starts in two weeks.

Yep, that's pretty much it.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Anyone out there?

It's been a month since the last comment this blog got. Has the world of blogging been surpassed by the superficial realm of social network sites? Just wondering.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Plugging away

The fantasy team is doing quite well. We've been moving up steadily since stage 7. Maybe crack the top 100 by next week. Maybe.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Congrats to you

Congrats to you, "die-hard" Spain fans. Oh how, you remained faithful for all these years, even though you just hopped on the Spain bandwagon after the U.S. went down in flames. You were a real genius to know whom to pick; you really risked everything to pick such a lowly ranked team to win the World Cup.
If you're a true fan of Spanish soccer, I am honestly happy for you, though I quite wanted the Netherlands to win.
Otherwise, you do not deserve to post this phrase to your facebook status "SPAIN!!!!!!!!"
It's getting quite annoying.

p.s. this seems quite hypocritical of me because I often use Andy Schleck's name in ALL CAPS, but I am a diehard Schleck fan.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Stars and Stripes

Congrats to Zoe Reeves on winning a national championship, in the 4km Scratch Race. NICE JOB!!!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

The tide has TURNED!!!!

I am beginning to prove to myself that I can be competitive at Fantasy sports, most recently cycling.

We are in the Practice Phase right now; from the Prologue to Stage 3, there are no prizes awarded and rosters are not set. This way, I can individualize my roster each stage to make the most effective results, while at the same time researching who my set riders will be.
I got 104th overall yesterday, and 7th today, putting me in 5th GC.

Tomorrow is a hit or miss stage. It's a question of whether or not the sprinters will hang on, and I think a couple might. We'll see.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Le Tour de France 2010: Predictions

After months of drama and mind games, the time has come!!! The contenders will be revealed from the talkers, and the verbal battle will become a war of physical attrition.

Here are my predictions for the overall battle.

1. A. Schleck

2. Contador

3. Armstrong

4. F. Schleck

5. Menchov

6. Gesink

7. Wiggins

8. Basso

9. Vande Velde

10. Krueziger

11. Leipheimer

12. Kloden

13. Evans

14. S. Sanchez

15. Rogers

16. Van Den Broeck

17. Roche

18. Vinokourov

19. L.L. Sanchez

20. Le Mevel

It's crazy, I know. I look like a fool to not pick El Pistolero, but I have my rationale. There is more to the Tour than pure strength and tactics. There's the X factor. I think something is going to happen to Contador in the first week. Maybe a crash or an untimely mechanical on Stage 3. Bad luck. I think he'll drop majorly in the G.C., but he will fight his way back with a larger leash. He will make it onto the podium, but won't gain enough back on Andy.
That's another risky pick; the young Schleck for the win. I take a lot of poop for this. Andy had lackluster results in the Tour de Suisse and crashed recently. My gut tells me that he was seriously holding back in the Tour de Suisse, and I believe he will recover from the crash. His biggest worry is that his hand won't be healed in time for the pave' of stage 3. That would be rough.

A big reason for my prediction is that I want Andy to win. How can you route for a rider that you don't expect to win. That is utter futility. Instead, I will lay it all on the line and trust the Saxo-squad.

Here's to another exiting edition of Le Tour!