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Just for fun this one, but an interesting race. Last year's edition was won by Alexey Lutenko and he's back to defend his title. There was also 6 different stage winners and this year looks to be just as varied. The field is sprint heavy with Kristoff (who was ill in Valencia last week and not at his best), Greipel, Nizzolo, Colbrelli, Coquard, Bouhanni, Bonifazio, and a few more from the PCT teams will make for very competitive sprint stages.

However, the race isn't that simple. I can see 2 stages guaranteed to end in a sprint, and a couple of other slight uphill finishes or tricky finales with nasty climbs 5km from the finish. Good classics training for the likes of Van Avermaet, Naesen, and co.

There is also the usual summit finish up Green Mountain, and Lustenko doesn't have Lopez to help him this time as he's off in Colombia. Maybe Pozzovivo fancies it, or Jesus Herrada, Rui Costa, or Jan Polanc?

Last year the wins were all close, as was the GC. So, who are your favourites?

85 comments

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MinardiM189 [553 posts] 5 months ago
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Not a lot of climbers in the race.

If a decent break gets away who is going to control things?

A surprise package from a smaller team to take GC  with a break that stays away.

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Dr Winston [751 posts] 5 months ago
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Looking like a really good race for us. One or two picks are picking themselves but the pricing means we're gonna have to be on the ball with one or two unexpected picks as well. I suspect this one will come down to the minows picks in the end.

 

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MinardiM189 [553 posts] 5 months ago
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Dr Winston wrote:

Looking like a really good race for us. One or two picks are picking themselves but the pricing means we're gonna have to be on the ball with one or two unexpected picks as well. I suspect this one will come down to the minows picks in the end.

Which sprinters are picked could make the difference too. It is too expensive to pick them all.

Kristoff has a brilliant record in Oman but is very expensive compared to most of the other sprinters.

Do you pick Kristoff & Grosu, or go with Bouhanni & Bonifazio?

Is Greipel going to perfom with his new lead out train?

Who is the best pick Bouhanni or Bonifazio?

Will Gibbons work for Nizzolo or be allowed his own freedom?

Which of the many inexpensive 'Pro Conti' sprinters will surprise?

I think these decsions could be critical.

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Dr Winston [751 posts] 5 months ago
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That Gibbons question is a biggie. If he continues to look good when the roads go uphill then he becomes a real player on some small tours...especially if he can garner bonus seconds in the sprints. 

I’m not sure when Kristoff gets his points to justify 37.0....he’s forever letting me down when I pick him.

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Dr Winston [751 posts] 5 months ago
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Good game this one. Just spent a while picking my team..or rather going around in circles. I really like the fact there are so many smaller teams mixed in with WT tour teams.

What I know so far...

Greipel used to be good

Bouhanni, Bonifazio and co is a bit of a guess...

Stage 2 may well be unpredictable

That’s about it.

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MinardiM189 [553 posts] 5 months ago
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So what did we learn from Stage1.

Kristoff is consistently good in Arabia which is why he is an expensive choice. Will I regret dropping him from my purist team?

I should have kept Leipins in my team.

Haas lost 34s, I am glad I dropped him from both my teams at the last minute.

Van Poppel is sprinting for Roompot.

Nizzolo has got the nod over Gibbons, unfortunately.

Dillier and Terpstra both lost over a minute. So I guess they are going for the break tomorrow. They would be a very dangerous combination. Weening lost time too but not so much, will he be allowed in the break?

So we could have the break win tomorrow. If not I think it is one for the puncheurs.

 

 

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Dr Winston [751 posts] 5 months ago
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We learned  that Greipel will no longer be in my team by the time I finish this sausage sandwich.

...also...that Capiot is leading  Menten  so he can go as well.

How did you do Minardi?....I'm hoping a lot joined me on the Greipel fai.

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stevemarks [609 posts] 5 months ago
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Dr Winston wrote:

We learned  that Greipel will no longer be in my team by the time I finish this sausage sandwich.

...also...that Capiot is leading  Menten  so he can go as well.

How did you do Minardi?....I'm hoping a lot joined me on the Greipel fai.

Giepel over Bouhanni.......why I'm feeling a bit foolish.  3

 

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Dr Winston [751 posts] 5 months ago
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Greipel over Bonifazio leaves me feeling equally foolish. 

Really thought long and hard about Menten or Aristi...got that one wrong as well . 

No matter though. I went with Menten because I really thought very few would have him and he had a good chance if he was lead man....not sure why he wasn't tbh...

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MinardiM189 [553 posts] 5 months ago
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I gained some places in the standard competition but lost ground on the leaders.

Hopefully my tactic of going for more durable sprinters will pay off over the next few stages.

In the purist competition I lost a lot of ground as I opted for a more GC orientated team.

I didn't consider Greipel at all. I went with Colbrelli thinking he has a chance in the upcoming stages.

Major relief I dropped Haas, I just read he has been resting since TDU and is nowhere near his best form.

Hopefully, my cheap pick Doubey can do something the next few stages too. He had a reasonable race last year and with a weaker field should go a bit better this time.

I don't think Capiot has been given the lead role, he was probably in a better postion than Menten and finished higher as a result.

It is always difficult to know with the sprinters from smaller teams, it is pretty much a lottery. The best pick could well be Van Poppel, he has lots of experience and is good at positioning.

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Dr Winston [751 posts] 5 months ago
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MinardiM189 wrote:

I gained some places in the standard competition but lost ground on the leaders.

Hopefully my tactic of going for more durable sprinters will pay off over the next few stages.

In the purist competition I lost a lot of ground as I opted for a more GC orientated team.

I didn't consider Greipel at all. I went with Colbrelli thinking he has a chance in the upcoming stages.

Major relief I dropped Haas, I just read he has been resting since TDU and is nowhere near his best form.

Hopefully, my cheap pick Doubey can do something the next few stages too. He had a reasonable race last year and with a weaker field should go a bit better this time.

I don't think Capiot has been given the lead role, he was probably in a better postion than Menten and finished higher as a result.

It is always difficult to know with the sprinters from smaller teams, it is pretty much a lottery. The best pick could well be Van Poppel, he has lots of experience and is good at positioning.

Menten  confesses he doesn't like a tough stage before a sprint. Looking at the ticker I notice it seems the wind got up and made it quite a hard stage....maybe  they decided mid stage on the road that he wasn't going to do so well.

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MinardiM189 [553 posts] 5 months ago
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Dr Winston wrote:

Menten  confesses he doesn't like a tough stage before a sprint. Looking at the ticker I notice it seems the wind got up and made it quite a hard stage....maybe  they decided mid stage on the road that he wasn't going to do so well.

Looking at the top players teams in the standard league I'm surprised so many went with full sprinter teams. At least you have a couple of the climbing sprinters in your team.

Heavy sprinters are unlikely to do anything in the next 2 stages.

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Dr Winston [751 posts] 5 months ago
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MinardiM189 wrote:
Dr Winston wrote:

Menten  confesses he doesn't like a tough stage before a sprint. Looking at the ticker I notice it seems the wind got up and made it quite a hard stage....maybe  they decided mid stage on the road that he wasn't going to do so well.

Looking at the top players teams in the standard league I'm surprised so many went with full sprinter teams. At least you have a couple of the climbing sprinters in your team.

Heavy sprinters are unlikely to do anything in the next 2 stages.

A tough looking couple of stages coming up for sure. Chances to kill the genuine sprinters even before the finale.

Any ideas how I can watch the final stage of the Tour of Colombia?...that's gonna be a hell of punch up.

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MinardiM189 [553 posts] 5 months ago
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Dr Winston wrote:

A tough looking couple of stages coming up for sure. Chances to kill the genuine sprinters even before the finale.

Any ideas how I can watch the final stage of the Tour of Colombia?...that's gonna be a hell of punch up.

I haven't been watching Tour of Columbia but it should be on here http://tiz-cycling.live/ scroll down to find the Columbia stream.

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MinardiM189 [553 posts] 5 months ago
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Stage 2 not as selective as I expected. I'm guessing there was a headwind on the final climb.

It was a calculated risk dropping Kristoff for this one and it didn't pay off.  I doubt he will do anything tomorrow but Stage 4 looks good for more Kristoff points.

Hopefully Van Avermaet, Colbrelli, etc.  can do something tomorrow.

 

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Dr Winston [751 posts] 5 months ago
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MinardiM189 wrote:

Stage 2 not as selective as I expected. I'm guessing there was a headwind on the final climb.

It was a calculated risk dropping Kristoff for this one and it didn't pay off.  I doubt he will do anything tomorrow but Stage 4 looks good for more Kristoff points.

Hopefully Van Avermaet, Colbrelli, etc.  can do something tomorrow.

 

 

I still don’t have Gibbons. That’s gonna hurt as well....Do you have Gibbons Minardi ?

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MinardiM189 [553 posts] 5 months ago
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Dr Winston wrote:

I still don’t have Gibbons. That’s gonna hurt as well....Do you have Gibbons Minardi ?

Yes I have Gibbons in both my teams.

I took Haas out and Gibbons in. I got hurt by Haas being ill in Australia and decided I didn't want to risk him again. That is at least one decision I got right.

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Dr Winston [751 posts] 5 months ago
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MinardiM189 wrote:
Dr Winston wrote:

I still don’t have Gibbons. That’s gonna hurt as well....Do you have Gibbons Minardi ?

Yes I have Gibbons in both my teams.

I took Haas out and Gibbons in. I got hurt by Haas being ill in Australia and decided I didn't want to risk him again. That is at least one decision I got right.

Good,..you’ll be ok then. I’ll be on for a fall today. Not sure what to make of this next stage...it’s sat somewhere between a climbers and a rolleurs stage. What do you make of it?

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Sniffer [638 posts] 5 months ago
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MinardiM189 wrote:

Stage 2 not as selective as I expected. I'm guessing there was a headwind on the final climb.

It was a calculated risk dropping Kristoff for this one and it didn't pay off.  I doubt he will do anything tomorrow but Stage 4 looks good for more Kristoff points.

Hopefully Van Avermaet, Colbrelli, etc.  can do something tomorrow.

 

Feeling sore as I dropped Kristoff for Colbrelli otherwise my standard team would have consecutive full podiums.

The bonus of getting last man in both teams doesn’t really reduce the pain much

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MinardiM189 [553 posts] 5 months ago
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Sniffer wrote:

Feeling sore as I dropped Kristoff for Colbrelli otherwise my standard team would have consecutive full podiums.

The bonus of getting last man in both teams doesn’t really reduce the pain much

Given that Kristoff has riden the same stage every year since 2013 and his best result was 17th last year it is a bit of a surprise he made it this year.

Hopefully Colbrelli will do better tomorrow.

Unless he comes last in another stage, those could be your last points with De Decker. Probably more points than I get with my outsider Doubey.

 

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Dr Winston [751 posts] 5 months ago
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Unbelievable race in Colombia....I doubt we’ll see a more exciting finish all season.

A lesson learned for Sosa....but he’s fantastic...utterly fantastic.

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Allan Bremner [12 posts] 5 months ago
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This competion doesn't count towards any leagues, as stated in race info and the message by Condor Andy at the top of this thread.  WHY ARE THE SCORES BEING ADDED TO THE SEASON TOTALS?    

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Condor Andy [734 posts] 4 months ago
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It's a glitch, everything's turned off on the admin site. Dave's looking into it. We'll re-update everything that was added incorrectly.

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stevemarks [609 posts] 4 months ago
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Hmm why are we doing algarve and not Ruta del Sol?

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MinardiM189 [553 posts] 4 months ago
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stevemarks wrote:

Hmm why are we doing algarve and not Ruta del Sol?

There was a post about upcoming races asking for peoples'opinions.

Oman, Algarve and then UAE were proposed and nobody suggested anything else.

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MinardiM189 [553 posts] 4 months ago
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Echelons in Stage 3

Costa, GVA, Lutsenko, Cort in a group of 13 that has broken away.

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Sniffer [638 posts] 4 months ago
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Another day another error.  Spent yesterday evening pondering a single change for stage 3 Herrada for De Decker.  Decided I wasn't sure enough about Herrada and kept the transfer for another day.

Herrada 2nd, De Decker DNF.

Did have 3 of the top 4.  'Could have been a contender'

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Dr Winston [751 posts] 4 months ago
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Going well. Up to 4th in the standard game. ...and 7th overall (am I going to lose my rank with that reset?)

Wasn't sure whether this was a GC finish or a Rolleur finish so in the end I had a straight choice of Herrada and Pozzovivo or a fudge of Herrada and Gibbons. ...went for the latter for Kristoff and Capiot...Gibbons could be the better pick than Pozzovivo  today so maybe for the best over the two days.

Another odd looking day today...those three climbs are tough and could see a few sprinters unhappy If  the pace is high.

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Condor Andy [734 posts] 4 months ago
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Yeah, when Dave figures out a fix, we'll rerun the updates to take the scores out of the overall game. Sorry.

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MinardiM189 [553 posts] 4 months ago
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Dr Winston wrote:

Going well. Up to 4th in the standard game. ...and 7th overall (am I going to lose my rank with that reset?)

Wasn't sure whether this was a GC finish or a Rolleur finish so in the end I had a straight choice of Herrada and Pozzovivo or a fudge of Herrada and Gibbons. ...went for the latter for Kristoff and Capiot...Gibbons could be the better pick than Pozzovivo  today so maybe for the best over the two days.

Another odd looking day today...those three climbs are tough and could see a few sprinters unhappy If  the pace is high.

A better day for me. I won the purist stage  1

The question for tomorrow is which sprinters will be in touch over the final climb.

Do I drop GVA for Kristoff, or do I abandon Colbrelli ?

Do I bring another spriner in?

 

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