How my team is shaping up
My teams response to Drheaton's early season results
So the cycling season is well under way, so it is time to see how my squad matched up against that of Drheaton’s. After one World Tour race, and three fantasy scored races I trail Drheaton in both World Tour points and fantasy points.
World Tour Points: 31
Fantasy Total: 756
So after one World Tour race, the Tour Down Under, my team has accumulated 31 points, trailing Drheaton by 15 points. This is where the biggest disparity can be seen in how an everyday team accumulates points compared to how we are awarded fantasy points as Drheaton pointed out in his blog. All my 31 points were due to individual stage results of my riders, with Greipel picking up 18 for his 3 victories, compared with Drheaton picking up 40 points through Kelderman finishing 6th in the general classification. Kelderman actually only picked up 68 fantasy points, compared to 134 for Greipel. So a high position on the GC at the end of a week long stage race will be more valuable to your team than stage victories.
Andre Greipel took 3 stages of the TDU and will to challenge Cavendish later in the year
So solely for my team, Greipel and a cameo from Gerrans in the TDU were my stand out performers, while Contador and Sagan took up the mantle at the ToO, combing stage wins with a good GC performance. This is however where the problems start for a WT team. The performance of my two star riders in that race would have netted me 92 WT points, however due to the races status; they earned nothing but some glory on there individual and teams palmares for the season.
From a fantasy perspective it has been pretty tight, with Drheaton enjoying just over a 50 point lead, due to the sprinting exploits of Cavendish and Bouhanni in Qatar, with my team of 3 riders containing just Degenkolb who scored any fantasy points that week.
Outside of the races we have scored, Nizzolo was the only rider to put in a strong performance, with consistent sprinting in the Volta ao Algarve, where he took home the points jersey.
At the moment I am unsure how my team is shaping up, looking at it right now it would be hasty to say I wish I had picked certain riders rather than ones, so I will leave my regrets until after the first big test for my squad, that of Paris-Nice and Tirreno-Adriatico.
Bob Jungels will be looking to put in strong ITT performances throughout the rest of the season
So Id love to be letting you know all about one of neo-pro’s putting in a big early season performance to turn peoples heads, however so far Bob Jungels steady performance in the Tour Mediterraneen has been the only showing of note, with a 6th place in the ITT.
So instead I’m going to let you know about a young Frenchman who put in very strong performances at the TDU and ToO, and has been labelled as the next ‘French pure climber’ that they will hope will take Le Tour by storm in the future. The man I am referring to is Kenny Ellisonde, a neo-pro for the FDJ team. Pretty much an unknown a month ago, he managed to finish 12th on Wilunga Hill leading to an overall 13th place finish. He didn’t stop there though, he went from strength to strength with a 6th place finish on the Green Mountain in Oman, which gave him 8th place in the overall and he took home the young riders jersey. Although it may have been a surprise to many, his climbing ability so early in his career was no surprise to me; it reminded me how Thibaut Pinot came out of the blocks in 2011, taking the young riders jersey at Bayern-Rundfahrt. Back in 2008 Kenny won the junior French national road race title, as well as finishing 7th in the U23 Liege-Bastonge-Liege in 2011 and took the Ronde de l’Isard title, beating off another neo-pro for this year Joseph Drombrowski. He may be too raw to be looking at the GC in Grand Tours this year, but watch out for him on the mountain top finishes where he will go in search of stage wins.