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Of late there seems to be a few people disgruntled with the current calendar and the makeup of the races.

The calendar has expanded quite rapidly over the past couple of years, especially with the inception of the premium game last year, to the point where it's now bigger than ever covering all manner of races.

This thread isn't about this year, what's in the calendar is there and is unlikely to change unless a glaring omission is spotted and a race or two included. What I was curious to know is whether the general consensus is that the game has too many races/too few races/too much overlap or whether it's going ok as it is. I have no power to change anything but I figured by starting this thread early and letting it run through the season it'd be a place to put all of your gripes or suggestions.

The current calendar is:

Tour Down Under (completed)

Tour of Qatar (completed)

Tour de Mediterraneen (completed)

Tour of Oman (completed)

Volta ao Algarve (completed)

Early classics

Paris-Nice

Tirreno-Adriatico

Spring Classics

Volta Ciclista a Catalunya

Vuelta Pais Vasco

Giro del Trentino

Tour de Romandie

Giro d'Italia

Tour of California

Criterium du Dauphine

Tour de Suisse

Tour de France

Clasica San Sebastian

Tour de Pologne

Eneco Tour

USA Pro Cycling Challenge

Vuelta a Espana

GP Quebec & Montreal

Tour of Britain

World Championships

Autumn Classics

Tour of Beijing

That's three grand tours, nineteen stage races of varying lengths (excluding grand tours), the world championships and four sets of classics (early classics we're in the middle of, major classics that include Milan San Remo and Paris - Roubaix, Montreal/Qubec and autumn classics including Lombardia etc).

So, what's working, what's not working (so far) and what would you like changed in future years?

Personally I think that in previous years the one day races and classics were under represented with only the biggest races featured. Adding the likes of the Omloop, KBK and Strade Bianchi has gone some way to rectifying this.

27 comments

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TERatcliffe26 [4644 posts] 3 years ago
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From a personal point of view the more races the better for me, I have a pretty mundane job, so like the fact it keeps my mind active and doesn't really take up much time for me. A browse of the web, stats etc while watching some TV after work.

I think as Dave said on the other thread, its moving away from the overall per say, so its nice to have a full calender for those that want to dip in and out with playing certain competitions.

Overlap doesn't seem an issue to me, I will follow the ToC when the Giro is on anyway, so putting in a team for both doesn't take up any more time for me.

I find the smaller races a good challenge, especially as when they are about 4 days, you don't get the tendency to get bored of that race as its done pretty quickly, and also if your doing badly its over and done with, whereas if you have a bad first 3 days of a GT it drags for the next 18 days. Which is also why I like the less emphasis on the overall (although i still like to do well overall)

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drheaton [3318 posts] 3 years ago
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Agreed, possibly the ideal situation is having more races but being able to only do what you want.

Last year I wasn't so fussed by the short races but actually I've really enjoyed Qatar/Oman/Med/Algarve so far as they give a short, interesting hit of racing without dragging on.

I'm crap at the one day races but still think there could be more next year but perhaps they get run as individual races rather than as a group? Unlimited transfers takes away a lot of the challenge from the standard competition but having no transfers at all unduly hinders the purist players so getting the balance right is important.

Perhaps next year the overall should be done on a 'World Tour' of races (ie the standard races) with the others (premium) not included? So the major stage and one day races get included in the overall but the rest don't and that way you can just race the major races without being penalised and drop in and out of the others.

Instead of thinking of it as punishing premium people think of it as concentrating on the biggest and best races, just like the World Tour does.

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drheaton [3318 posts] 3 years ago
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Also, am I the only one that thinks the Baby Giro could be a fun race? Maybe something to run Purist on the forums.

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abudhabiChris [692 posts] 3 years ago
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For my two cents, it's all too complicated.

I joined the premium because most of the people in my league had, and the functions in premium which make it more competitive. The data, the transfer bank etc.

I feel that to keep up I have to obsessively monitor my twitter and email, or scour the web for obscure accounts of races nobody cares about.

I could choose not to, but then lose points in the overall table and in my league table for the season.

At least I think I do... I don't know. I've played for several years and it keeps changing.

I want to select riders I've heard of from watching or reading about most World Tour races, in events I don't need to look up to know the profile.

One thing I liked previously but which doesn't seem to have been developed is the rider values. I know they change slightly but I like the idea of getting up and coming riders cheaply at the start of the season and gaining some advantage by selling them and banking the points. In that sense I wish it was more like a team management game than one where each race or mini-group is considered more or less in isolation, but that seems to be against the way it is going.

To the OP, I would say from your list I have no game interest in:

Mediterranean
Algarve
The early classics apart from Nieuwsblad, KBK and Strada
Catalunya
Vasco
Trentino
Romandie (maybe)
Poland
ENECO
Pro Challenge
ToB
Beijing

Maybe we should have a number of racing days per year and we choose how to allocate them. Again, more like being a team manager than just picking individual races.

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drheaton [3318 posts] 3 years ago
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I agree that the team management idea, picking a squad for example and running a team from that, making transfers at the year end and managing a budget etc, would be fun but that's not really what this game is about. One game can't be everything to everyone and given the increasing popularity of this game it appears to fill a good hole in what was already provided elsewhere.

If you're looking for less effort try something like http://podiumcafevds.com/ (sadly the deadline for this has past but maybe something for next year) where you pick a squad and then that's it for the whole year, no messing around. There are other games around doing similar things.

The team management side of it, buying and selling riders etc to increase your budget, got stripped out a couple of years ago because it wasn't really working. From a fairness point of view it meant that unless you got a great start to a competition you were pretty much out of contention after stage 1 because those who do well had more budget to keep doing better throughout the race. The amount of value change was scaled back mid-season and in the end it just became frustrating as you were always 0.1 credit short...

There's also the problem of managing the individual competitions (TdF, Giro, Vuelta etc) against the overall. If rider values and team budgets were persistent through the season then the winner of the Giro would be miles head on budget and be in the best position to win the rest of the races, that's why values were reset ahead of each race. That took out alot of the season long management.

I would absolutely play a game based around running a squad (I'm actually doing that as a blog at the minute, the Fantasy DS challenge) and it's great fun. Running a persistent keeper league style squad with a draft where each rider is only available to one team and you can buy/sell and increase your budget would be awesome, especially if it were done to the same high level of quality as this game and the engine Dave and the guys have built.

Unfortunately though, that's not this game and I don't think it's possible to cover both ends of the spectrum in one game.

Calendar wise I do enjoy Catalunya/Pais Vasco but agree some of the others I could pass on (Beijing, ENECO, Poland etc). Perhaps the best solution to suit everyone is to keep all the races but then strip a few out of the overall so that you don't feel under pressure to take part in every race. I've suggested elsewhere just including World Tour races in the overall and stripping all the others out, what do you think?

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northstar [1108 posts] 3 years ago
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I'm happy with them all in the overall as the people with the best knowledge will win at the end of the day.

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Benway [74 posts] 3 years ago
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For my 2p i would go with all the world tour events, then add in the popular eurosport type races like Criterium Int, Trentino, ToC, ToB, Paris-Tours for example. If there is any week long gaps then fill them with a one day race(s) or a small stage race so you have something every week.

The good thing about this week and KBK being cancelled was it showed some people want a static calendar from the start of the season and any races in the calendar have to have some decent info available with regards to start lists and profile etc...

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Alan Tullett [1568 posts] 3 years ago
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We could simply have what we did last year, an overall standard league (races) and an overall premium, along with purist versions of both. Solves everything really as the standard league was more highly valued, I think, due to the quality of the races.

Last year I was only going to concentrate on the standard league after premium was introduced and not bother much with premium but in the end I was only a few places lower on premium in spite of not making much effort on some tours. This year, however, with a lot of races added, later in the season I would probably drop a few premium races if there was an overall standard table (races not players) to battle for.

Quite frankly, like most of the riders, I treat these early races as 'training' and you won't do well in the big races if you don't put in a bit of that!

Roll on the big races though, I think we all would like to see something televised instead of just picking a few names out of a hat.

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robdaykin (not verified) [368 posts] 3 years ago
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calendar wise, the big problem for me is that I want to be able to quickly find the startlist, the profile/route and a bit of history. Cycling Fever and ProCyclingStats are great for that, but for a lot of races they just don't have any info other than the title.

Le Samyn being a case in point, no interest in doing it because no-one seemed able to get even the basic info together.

The schedule feels ok in scope, though I suspect it's going to get tiring towards season end. Maybe drop the early classics down to Strada and leave it at that. I'd never heard of Camaiore, Omloop, Roma Maxima before, and I can't say they've thrilled me now I have so far.

Are all the WT races covered by free membership? If not, maybe they should be, or have an intermediate WT membership to allow a Fantasy DS type game without needing or wanting to do the whole premium load. As long as someone who shall remain nameless sticks with his roster and doesn't try pinching from mine for the Fantasy DS challenge then we don't need software to enforce it. That said are there only 4 of us who've declared squads for the year publically? Out of how many players of the game?

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Ghedebrav [1100 posts] 3 years ago
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I love all the races. If I could change anything I'd stick in a two or three more from outside Europe, e.g. Tropicale Amissa Bongo, Langkawi, Taiwan or San Luis.

But no, very happy with a packed calendar and am managing to squeeze it all in around work, social life, family commitments and so on. Love following/finding out about the more obscure races and it's a great opportunity to track riders and teams across the whole season.

I'm that person who sets up a Fantasy Football team, pays attention for all of a fortnight and then forgets about it. This is a much better and more interesting game than that (and £10 well spent on the premium).

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enrique [2341 posts] 3 years ago
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robdaykin wrote:

.. I want to be able to quickly find the startlist, the profile/route and a bit of history. Cycling Fever and ProCyclingStats are great for that...

That they are! Thanks for the mention! Pretty cool sites!  1

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chrisdstripes [1728 posts] 3 years ago
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Looking at the startlist for E3-Harelbeke on Friday, I'd say this would be a welcome addition to the Spring Classics next year - fits in nicely with Gent-Wev and the other Flanders races. A case could be made for Dwars door Vlaanderen as well.

Not keen on adding a load more races, but one-day races with good media coverage and similar startlists to each other would probably work well?

Apart from that I'm happy with it as is - haven't looked at what races the "autumn classics" consists of but it would be nice to have 3-4 of them - Piemonte, Milano/Torino, Lombardia and...?

Was considering suggesting adding Ordizia and Getxo to San Sebastian at the end of July so its not just a stand-alone race, but they're not very high-profile so we could face the same issues with startlist availability, lack of coverage etc. So I wouldn't bother.

Actually, could we drop the Dauphine and Tour de Suisse this year as I'll be on holiday?  3

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northstar [1108 posts] 3 years ago
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Quote:

Looking at the startlist for E3-Harelbeke on Friday, I'd say this would be a welcome addition to the Spring Classics next year

Can we add it this year as a standalone?  19

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TERatcliffe26 [4644 posts] 3 years ago
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chrisdstripes wrote:

Apart from that I'm happy with it as is - haven't looked at what races the "autumn classics" consists of but it would be nice to have 3-4 of them - Piemonte, Milano/Torino, Lombardia and...?

The races are Milan-Torino, Paris-Tours and Lombardia

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chrisdstripes [1728 posts] 3 years ago
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TERatcliffe26 wrote:
chrisdstripes wrote:

Apart from that I'm happy with it as is - haven't looked at what races the "autumn classics" consists of but it would be nice to have 3-4 of them - Piemonte, Milano/Torino, Lombardia and...?

The races are Milan-Torino, Paris-Tours and Lombardia

Yeah, I've just seen that Piemonte and Milano-Torino are on the same day this year. Maybe something to do with the Worlds being over there as well? Anyway, agreed we shouldn't have both.

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TERatcliffe26 [4644 posts] 3 years ago
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Agreed, maybe not sure  39 Piemonte is the race most similar to Lombardia, so made sense not have that one really anyway

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drheaton [3318 posts] 3 years ago
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Thinking ahead to the classics next year is it worth breaking them up into separate competitions?

Every year people struggle to get their heads around having the classics as groups of races and purists fail to understand how it works.

What about having three separate competitions?

Early classics (KBK and Omloop, Strade Bianchi and Roma Maxima)

Cobbled classics (E3, Gent, Flanders and possibly Paris-Roubaix unless that could be a separate race entirely)

Ardennes Classics (Brabanste Pijl, Amstel, Fleche Wallone and LBL)

That'd break it up while still keeping the races together in sensible groups, it also makes it more challenging for purists without being unduly confusing.

Thoughts?

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STEVESPRO 79 [544 posts] 3 years ago
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Personally dont think that we need anymore extra races,I think that we have to do more thinking than the team directors anyway....However I see no reason why the Spring Classics have to be grouped....I would prefer to keep the races that we have but just play them all as individual races.....Takes all the confusion out of the issue.....not that it confused me.....but some people have obviously been caught out....  1

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drheaton [3318 posts] 3 years ago
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I can see the arguement for running each race individually but if you can pick a new team for each race where is the challenge? Yeah you're going to have to pick the right guys but the 6 transfers between races makes you think more about your team for the whole classics rather than each race individually.

Plus, having group races with limited transfers actually replicates what teams do with a classics squad going into these races as a unit and only minimal changes between them.

Regarding adding new races when you look at the calendar we're actually very light on one day races. We have 19 stage races plus the three grand tours in the current calendar, contrast that with probably at most 15 individual one day classics. Adding in races like E3 Harelbeke (a great pre-cursor to Gent/Flanders and arguably more in keeping with those two than Paris-Roubaix, plus, it's World Tour status) and Brabanste Pijl (a good pre-Amstel race) would help to balance things out without actually creating too much extra work as most people will probably check these races out as part of the classics prep anyway.

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STEVESPRO 79 [544 posts] 3 years ago
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drheaton wrote:

I can see the arguement for running each race individually but if you can pick a new team for each race where is the challenge? Yeah you're going to have to pick the right guys but the 6 transfers between races makes you think more about your team for the whole classics rather than each race individually.

Plus, having group races with limited transfers actually replicates what teams do with a classics squad going into these races as a unit and only minimal changes between them.

Regarding adding new races when you look at the calendar we're actually very light on one day races. We have 19 stage races plus the three grand tours in the current calendar, contrast that with probably at most 15 individual one day classics. Adding in races like E3 Harelbeke (a great pre-cursor to Gent/Flanders and arguably more in keeping with those two than Paris-Roubaix, plus, it's World Tour status) and Brabanste Pijl (a good pre-Amstel race) would help to balance things out without actually creating too much extra work as most people will probably check these races out as part of the classics prep anyway.

The challenge for me this season is trying to pick riders who can stay on their flipping bikes....As soon as I select a rider....man and machine seem to part company......lol....  20 102

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chrisdstripes [1728 posts] 3 years ago
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drheaton wrote:

Thinking ahead to the classics next year is it worth breaking them up into separate competitions?

Every year people struggle to get their heads around having the classics as groups of races and purists fail to understand how it works.

What about having three separate competitions?

Early classics (KBK and Omloop, Strade Bianchi and Roma Maxima)

Cobbled classics (E3, Gent, Flanders and possibly Paris-Roubaix unless that could be a separate race entirely)

Ardennes Classics (Brabanste Pijl, Amstel, Fleche Wallone and LBL)

That'd break it up while still keeping the races together in sensible groups, it also makes it more challenging for purists without being unduly confusing.

Thoughts?

With Milan-San Remo in with the Early classics too? Sounds good to me.

Don't think Paris-Roubaix needs to be separate - its a cobbled classic after all, and as its the last one, people only have to save an extra couple of transfers and they can essentially pick a whole new team for it anyway.

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drheaton [3318 posts] 3 years ago
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chrisdstripes wrote:

With Milan-San Remo in with the Early classics too? Sounds good to me.

Don't think Paris-Roubaix needs to be separate - its a cobbled classic after all, and as its the last one, people only have to save an extra couple of transfers and they can essentially pick a whole new team for it anyway.

Hmm, I forgot MSR, not sure where that fits to be honest, it's two weeks after Strade Bianchi/Roma Maxima and kind of fits better with Flanders than the earlier two but it's two weeks before Flanders...

E3 Harelbeke is the week after MSR so at least that kind of ties it in with the cobbled classics...

Possibly MSR and Paris-Roubaix could be separate? Have the early classics as a build up to a separate MSR and then cobbled classics (E3, Flanders, Gent) as a build up to Paris-Roubaix so that those two are separate and 'above' the others? Just an idea...

Personally, I don't like one day races, I'm appallingly bad at them and never ever ever manage to pick a solid team but I see their value in the fantasy calendar and I think there should be more of them. There are plenty of excellent, exciting and historic one day races and around and I think the calendar would benefit from a few more of them.

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ray silvester [1836 posts] 3 years ago
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I'm definitely the SKY of the one day races and my aim next year will be to significantly improve that.

For example....against some of my rivals in Forum's Scorum's Mimi League I've dropped 160 pts to Wig_Billy,149 to chrisdstripes and 70 to Alan Tullett during the spring classics alone(and there's still 2 of the blighters left)!!

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sm [387 posts] 3 years ago
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I like the idea of splitting the classics up. I was caught out making changes as a purist in the classics. Thanks for sorting me out Dave! Anyhow, I like the groupings above that split the classics out. More of a challenge than if they were individual races although taking them as one days would also be good. Have to say I prefer the one day races to the tours so far.

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TERatcliffe26 [4644 posts] 3 years ago
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sm wrote:

I like the idea of splitting the classics up. I was caught out making changes as a purist in the classics. Thanks for sorting me out Dave! Anyhow, I like the groupings above that split the classics out. More of a challenge than if they were individual races although taking them as one days would also be good. Have to say I prefer the one day races to the tours so far.

Did Dave reset your team  1

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sm [387 posts] 3 years ago
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TERatcliffe26 wrote:

Did Dave reset your team  1

Nah, he slapped me down with a thirty point penalty, plenty more than my transfers gained but definitely worth the hit to get back in the purist league after my own mistake. Have to say, it's a great game. I'd sign up to premium but I already spend too much time on the game so need to resist!

How about a fee to play as purist with badges? I know I could sign up and not play the two teams but the temptation would be too great!  1

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sm [387 posts] 3 years ago
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On the subject of splitting up the classics to avoid confusion, I think the reminder emails could be a bit more explicit for new purist players like myself. For example, I received this:

"We've made the final changes to the start roster, there are six free transfers available from your Amstel Gold Race team."

Maybe add a line that this is not for purist players. I understand now but didn't a while ago - think you just need to be careful around the wording of "free transfers" compared to "unlimited transfers".