….we are probably just a couple weeks away from Ursula sending Jens and me some early pricing charts for next year’s FSA DS.
To which my response is, “ow ow ow ow ow ow ow ow shit fuck ow ow.”
So I want to share a little bit of my pain with you. Cause it is 2020 and how can I say I love you in 2020 any better than giving and sharing pain?
What I’ve done so far has been focusing on who the restricted and double restricted riders might be and given how weird 2020 was in the cycling world, you can use different sorts of logic in picking the expensive riders. Seriously, I’ve come up with 10 different ways to pick the expensive guys and I need to narrow down that to the one way before I move on to the rest of the riders. And you are gonna help me.
Most years there have been around 27-30 riders who landed in the restricted or double restricted zones. But if you go back a bunch of years as few as 20 or even 14 riders got tagged. So if you care to play I want folks to make a case on how many riders should be in the restricted categories for 2021. You can name names or not. Explain your logic. I am genuinely interested. Really.
A couple of caveats though:
The actual number of restricted riders and who they actually will be is ultimately my decision. Knowing that, I ask if you do not get too invested in your ideas so that if I don’t adopt them you get upset and stomp off. Remember that this is a game and I am just asking for your wisdom and creativity.
On Christmas day I will tell you how many riders will be in the restricted lists for you to guess. I think then it will be more fun then usual to guess which riders are actually restricted. You will also not know exactly what prices I peg the riders at until we open up the competition, hopefully in February.
Some riders obviously will be restricted. Roglic will be restricted. Alaphillippe will be restricted. So will Wout and MvdP and Pogacar. And that pimply-faced Belgian kid currently training in the south of Spain? Double restricted up the wazoo.
But once you start looking at what riders actually scored this year you start seeing some weird point totals. You’ll see what I am talking about.
For this year there were 26 restricted riders. In 2019, 27. In 2018, 30. In 2017, 30 again. Going back to 2013 you get 27-30 restricted riders. But 2012 and 2011 had just 14 restricteds. 2010 had just 21. You want to make a case for many fewer than 30? Make it. See if you can persuade me.
One final thing: popularity costs. Unpopularity discounts. Example: Diego Ulissi aka the veteran rider who turned in the 10th highest point total this year while a) being priced at 14 points and b) being on only 8 teams at that 14 point total. Normally the 10th highest point rider in a given year would be restricted but this not a normal year. What to do with him? There’s a bunch of riders like that.
Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images,
In case you forgot, this is what Ulissi looks like when he’s winning.
Or take Al Kristoff and Arny Demare. Demare- the 4th highest point total this year but like Ulissi priced at 14 points and only picked by 25 teams, none of whom factored into the race for the best team of 2020. Kristoff who I priced at 28 points due ot his seventh best point total the year before, but no one picked him and he only scored 655 points in a very weird year.
Below I have two lists of riders to help you out. Obviously you should go to the FSA-DS site to see all the riders. Have fun!
The 30 highest scoring riders of 2020:
A list of some other riders who finished outside the top 30”
There could be other riders that I’ve missed (so far) that maybe should be restricted. What do you think?