Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Spring Classics Pool [Updated: Please Read]

Update: Yoan Offredo has just received a one year ban for failing to disclose his whereabouts with sufficient precision. He is out of the pool. Please replace him if you picked him. Also, Hayden Roulsten was mistakenly listed twice--in both tier 6 and tier 8. He belongs in tier 6. If you picked him as an 8, please correct that.

Teams are trickling in at a steady pace. I don't have the time or internet connection to look through all of them. But keep them coming. And continue to invite others. A couple of new folks have already joined. Everybody say hi to Ben and Joe from Harrisonburg, VA.

No rest for the awesome! The final race of 2011-12 FGBC CX Pool takes place later today. And the 2012 FGBC Spring Classics Pool is now open for business. That is very exciting. Not only does it mark the beginning of the real road racing season. It also includes a series of very, very awesome races in which we can vicariously participate. The first race of the season, Het Nieuwsbald, goes down this Saturday. Our friends at Parlour Coffee have invited us back to watch Paris-Roubaix together. The next couple of months will be fun.

In case you have forgotten, Prince Dan won last year’s edition of the pool. King Andy and the Finnish Funkmaster rounded out the podium.

If you are interested in playing, please read the following explanation very, very carefully. This year's pool features a few minor, but significant changes.

As in other years, the first task is to decide on an option on the basis of which to assemble your team. Riders have been divided into eight different tiers and teams are assembled by choosing riders to fill slots based on various groupings of tiers. But this year we have four options to choose from rather than the usual three. This is due, in part, to the fact Gilbert can pretty much win any of these races if he wants to. So he occupies the first tier all by himself. But since Cancellara is equally a threat to win all but the Ardennes races, he sits alone in the second tier. After that, the tiers are more generously populated, so you will have some decisions to make in choosing your riders. You can build around both Gilbert and Cancellara and their guaranteed haul of big points, if you like, but the rest of your team will be collectively weaker. There are two options for building a more well-rounded team. One of these is designed especially for those who prefer to limit the range of decision making as mcuh as possible. Option four allows you to narrow your focus to the fourth tier alone and pick nine riders from that one group. How straightforward is that?

Based on average points for the respective tiers, the four options are more or less equal. They should all add up to 5400 points, give or take 100 points. But that is based on projections which are in turn based on averages. In reality, it is safe to say that teams will be spread all over the map. Nevertheless, each of the options can potentially win this pool so long as you pick a few diamonds out of the rough or just get lucky.

The second significant change has to do with the Ardennes riders. In the past, these climbing specialists have been grouped into their own tier. This year, they are mixed together with others based on their projected points for the season. They still represent a separate group and your team must include at least one of them. But choosing them is now part of the task of navigating the various tiers more generally. And this year you are allowed to have as many as two Ardennes guys if you want a team that is geared more toward the races that end with uphill finishes.

To summarize, the rules are as follows:

1) Assemble a team of nine riders based on one of four possible options.

2) Each team must include at least one and no more than two Ardennes riders (the ones whose names are bolded in the rider list).

3) Any rider who is busted for a doping violation during the season is booted from your team and you lose all his points.

4) Submit your team here by Saturday morning at 8am CST. You must indicate which option you used in assembling your team. Failure to navigate the tiers properly may result in exclusion from the pool. The Dark Side’s Office of Low-Stakes Gambling is a busy place and we can’t guarantee that we will be able to check your team prior to the start of the season.

5) Entry is free and open to all. Please feel free to invite others to join.

6) The winner will receive a prize package consisting of a pair of FGBC socks and a six pack of fine Belgian beer. Unless he or she is one of my kids (or their peers), in which case the prize package will consist of the socks and a six pack of Italian soda.

For the rider list, the four team options, the point scoring system, and the races included in the season, click here.

Any questions? Drop a comment below and we will do our best to answer.


halloewen said...

Holy Crap! The rules for the Classics Pool is almost as complicated as the care notes for your new jerseys. There should be an additional pool for who screws up on either or both of the these: not getting in a legit team, and the first person to shrink their jersey.

Adam said...

If you can get kicked out of cycling for that, I may be in trouble.
For the record, I am at work. In Winnipeg.