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19:23 GMT         Day 28 of 90, Season 56    

Coppa della Famiglia del Don - A Preview
by Yuri, at 4/11-20 - 08:44 GMT

  Written by Don Hamstre of Schiavi di Don
  What is the pinnacle of egocentrism? Some would say Alexander the Great naming half his empire Alexandria. Others would attribute it to Nero playing the harp while Rome was on fire. There are plenty more examples, both from classical and recent times.
  None of those, however, will trump my own humble attempt today. I will be presenting an article about the Cup created in my honor. I have asked all participants questions, including one relating to my life. I have also included my own answers as if I was one of those interviewed. And to top it all off, at the end, I will be declaring myself the favorite to win! (not really though, I haven’t completely lost my grasp on reality)
  Il Grillo
  Captain Peder Sivertsen
  Goals GC
  3 countries that mean a lot to manager (real life or OCM) Not mentioned
  Prediction to win Not me...
  Il Grillo brings a weathered veteran to fight for the GC. He finished 9th in the Droz Cup this seasons, so he has proven to be able to score in this format. Coppa della Famiglia del Don is a different kind of Cup though, and on paper it is not the best fit with the Norwegians qualities.
  Don Predicts: 8th-15th
  Team WonderDee
  Captain Rodas Cornejo
  Goals Score some points and a top 9 in the overall rank.
  3 countries that mean a lot to manager (real life or OCM) Luxembourg, Australia and Singapore are my three favorite countries that I have visited outside Norway.
  Prediction to win Rider named did not make the sign up (received this answer before the cup was filled up)
  This is a team with great hilling pedigree, and I am sure that one day they will end up winning this cup. Cornejo is a rider that should fit the Cup pretty well, and his support is very decent. Doesn’t seem to have TF, which is the main issue stopping him from finishing on the podium.
  Don Predicts: 3rd-9th
  Spin Doctors
  Captain Stanley Witham
  Goals No TF but high hopes. Podium perhaps a realistic goal.
  3 countries that mean a lot to manager (real life or OCM) Peru - did some great travelling there in my 20s and have fond memories of a real adventure
  Tanzania - spent 3 months there building a school when I was 18/19 and learnt some Kiswahili. Returned for honeymoon many years later.
  Italy - many fantastic holidays there. Such a varied and beautiful country.
  Prediction to win Not sure enough to make a prediction.
  Oli has great taste in countries, and his language skills are as impressive as his lineup in this Cup. With his worst riders having 49 AV, Witham should not be lacking in support. However, the sprinting stage could very well be his downfall, especially since he is not in TF.
  Don Predicts: 2nd-7th
  Goege Team
  Captain Jamuovandu Smit
  Goals A top 9 in one of the stages
  3 countries that mean a lot to manager (real life or OCM) Switzerland: The most beautiful country :-), the first superstar of my team was Swiss
  Namibia: My honeymoon destination, my first big win in the game - winning the Oryx GC, SC and 4 stages
  Canada: Beautiful country, spent some months there on vacation, thanks to the help of a Canadian manager I got my first achievement.
  Prediction to win Adrián Torrillas (Note from Don, is not the captain in his team)
  The Namibian team has been very impressive this season, but it will be difficult for them to have success in this Cup. Smit is a decent hiller, and could definitely score a top-9 in any of the stages on a good day. However, he will struggle to score against the big guns without a little luck. Manager Goege is aware of this though, and he can be proud of his team regardless of the result.
  Don Predicts: 1 top-9, 12th-25th
  English Sprinting Team
  Captain Recently maxed Elias Roesner
  Goals Looking to get a podium in the sprint stage, not much else to be honest.
  3 countries that mean a lot to manager (real life or OCM) I would say England, Spain and Greece are the three that stand out for me, lived in the first two and had the most relaxing holiday I’ve had in the third
  Prediction to win Bernard Cowell (note from Don: rider is not captain for his team, was unknown to Micheal when asked)
  The Sprinting Team is here to sprint. I would personally be very interested to see if a rider like Roesner could do well overall in this Cup. It most likely won’t be this season though, as he won’t be in TF and already has an injured Lead Out.
  Don Predicts: 1 top-3, 8th-15th
  Captain Gregorian Jurca, even at 35 I think he is the besr option
  Goals I have not checked the opposition, but I fielded the best team possible so I have hope for the best.
  3 countries that mean a lot to manager (real life or OCM) . I am born and raised in Romania, and I still live here. France and Greece would be my favourite tourist destinations if asked quickly.
  Prediction to win David Hornborstel
  Jurca is a very unique rider, but despite his 58 AV, he is definitely lacking in sprint and flat road skill (and of course cb, but so is almost everyone else). While he definitely has the skills to compete in stages 1 and 3, even at his age, it will be difficult for him to aim for the big prizes.
  Don Predicts: 9th-16th
  Captain Yermolay Sedelnikov, in TF for this one
  Goals Victory (or death!)
  3 countries that mean a lot to manager (real life or OCM) hmm, difficult one. I'm a big fan of Belgium, because of the beer, chocolate, Plastic Bertrand, and of course cycling.
  Also Spain and Poland, because I have lived in both places, and they also have a great culture, both cycling and otherwise.
  Prediction to win Sedelnikov! Who else! Lol
  A fighting spirit from the Monsters from Kyrgyzstan. They have full right to be positive though, as Sedelnikov looks to have almost all the skills required to perform in the stages of this Cup. His TF will definitely help as well, as some other big contenders did not arrive in their best form.
  Don Predicts: 1st-5th
  Captain Augustin Hofman
  Goals First time here so not sure what to expect. Hoping for the win but would settle for a top 9!
  3 countries that mean a lot to manager (real life or OCM) First country has to be Germany. My favourite race used to be Mr Madman’s Mad Race before it was removed from the calendar and obviously the dream is to win the Germany tour. Next is Switzerland having won the Monte Rosa twice here. Last one is the home country of the big man (Hofman), the Czech Republic. We owe a lot of prize money to this country!
  Prediction to win Think the win will be between van Kelf and Bernard Cowell. Will be interesting to see how Hornstobel does as well if

he’s the team leader. (note from Don, Cowell is not the captain, rest of the prediction stands)
  An interesting team for sure, with quite a deserve set of team mates. Leader Hofman is more of a pure Tour Rider, not unlike my own Fico Nato, with sprinting instead of flat road. Nato managed a 5th in this Cup last season, som it will be interesting to see if sprinting or flat road skills are more important.
  Don Predicts: 5th-11th
  AGB Procycling
  Captain Xavier Nagas, no top form and hill team for support
  Goals Podium on Hill stage, top ten overall. Xavier Nagas has done top 10 overall twice before so hopefully achievable
  3 countries that mean a lot to manager (real life or OCM) Australia, South Korea, Faroe Islands
  Prediction to win Whoever gets top form - Bernard Cowell maybe? (Note from Don: Oli is starting to doubt his captaincy decisions for sure at this point in the article)
  Nagas is one of the best Hillers in the game, and has shown to be able to perform in this Cup. Can he get his first podium this season? He would need to have at least one very good day to do it, but it is not impossible.
  Don Predicts: 3rd-7th
  Captain Pieter De Spiegeleire
  Goals He will be in tf and our goal is stage 2. We won it 2 times and hope to achieve a 3rd win.
  3 countries that mean a lot to manager (real life or OCM) I like The Netherlands because it is my homeland.
  Also Argentina because of our queen.
  If I had to choose a country where I would like to live it would be Italy. And that is mainly because I like the food so much.:)
  Prediction to win I have no prediction who will win the cup. It has to be a very allround rider. We will see… I wish everyone the best of luck!
  A pure stage-hunter as captain. Despite not being able to go for the GC with Pieter, he will be playing a big role in the GC standings if he beats competitors with high SP on stage 2 and takes some valuable points away from them. History speaks in favor of DeRodeLantaarn winning stage 2, so I would not bet against them doing it again.
  Don Predicts: 1 top-2, 9th-20th
  Equipo Easy On
  Captain David Hornbostel, Touvarno Autar (Sprinting)
  Goals Very little. My performance in tours is usually pretty poor. I am not sure if I should get Hornbostel into top form, which I think might be possible. Probably not. Therefore, 2 Top 9 results would be pretty good. A top 9 in GC would be ideal.
  3 countries that mean a lot to manager (real life or OCM) Belgium, Costa Rica, Singapore
  Prediction to win Sem van Kelf, Bernard Cowell (Note from Don, one more vote for a captaincy change)
  I was surprised to see Eli dividing captain duties, because Hornbostel looks like a strong competitor for the GC. At the moment of writing, it looks like he will get into TF, which means he might be captain in stage 2 anyway. He may be young, but if in TF, he could be an outsider for the podium.
  Don Predicts: 3rd-12th (depending on captaincy)
  Yuri SuperTeam
  Captain I know he's young and inexperienced, but I guess Maximino Teles will get the captaincy here. All 3 Stages have a high demand of TQ and he's by far the best while still keeping a good level on the climbs and hills which is also essential here. In case Stage 1 doesn't go according to our plans, Martinho Ruela will be our Plan B.
  Goals Hard to say to be honest. Since we won't have any TF and our Tour/HL Team is not yet completed, aiming for a Top9 on the GC should be as high as we can get. A shame that there's no YC since that could be our target as well.
  3 countries that mean a lot to manager (real life or OCM) Portugal is the easy answer since I was born there and simply love my Country and its people! Then I would also include Germany since it's the Country I'm living in for 1 and a half years already and with whom I've already had a lot of connection before. The 3rd country is not as easy to be included here since many qualify for this spot. But maybe I would include Russia here being the home Country of my first team's star Patya Gordeyeva :)
  Prediction to win David Hornbostel in TF must always be considered the favourite for any race (even SP races gosh)... Bimbo Wiggill is also interesting and Adrián Torrillas despite not having TF is a good contender.
  Still, Bernard Cowell and Sem van Kelf must be considered the big favourites here! (Notes from Don, only Van Kelf and Hornbostel are captains)
  Teles is a very interesting rider for this Cup, and he might be able to compete for a podium some day. Without TF, it seems out of reach, but he does have something most others are lacking, which is support for stage 2.
  Don Predicts: 5th-11th
  Sigue Sigue Sputnik
  Captain Germain Koita will be my captain. He can do a bit of everything, so that's nice.
  Goals Erm.. Top 9 I guess. It was a bit of a spur of the moment signup, this is not one of my focal points of the season.
  3 countries that mean a lot to manager (real life or OCM) Manager career: Burkina Faso of course, our proud home nation. Canada: We have been hugely successful in Edmonton. And Chile: If the organizers can get things together for once I would love to win the Vuelta there.
  Prediction to win I have no clue. Maybe the one who scores the moist points?
  While some might think aiming for moist points won’t get you far, Tuscany in autumn, The Netherlands, and especially Bergen are quite good at providing a moist environment. Koita may not excel in the hills, but don’t let that fool you, he should definitely be a rider that can score a top-9 in all stages here. I think his manager underestimates his chances a bit.
  Don Predicts: 4th-9th
  Captain Sigmund Grossholz
  Goals No really high expectations. The goal is top-9, but if that will happen is a different story.
  3 countries that mean a lot to manager (real life or OCM) Belgium, the country where I have lived for my whole life. India, where I have done volunteer work that I will remember forever. Spain, where me and my wife spent our first big holiday together.
  Prediction to win Fico Nato (Note from Don: Unfortunately also not captain, but still thanks for the support)
  A very young team that has shot up the rankings in its relatively short existence. This also means they probably do not have the same basis as most other teams in this Cup, which will put them at a disadvantage. Grossholz also lacks in hill skills, so realistically, he will only be able to score on the final stage.
  Don Predicts: 1 top-9, 15th-25th
  Schiavi di Don
  Captain Vegard Skogen, in TF
  Goals Winning! Although realistically, a top-9 would be great at his age. I really hope my experiment in training him will prove successful, any kind of result that gives hope for the future in this cup would be great.
  3 countries that mean a lot to manager (real life or OCM) Guess which :p. Honorable mention to Sweden though, for a couple of amazing

  Prediction to win Sem van Kelf, or the Kyrgyz
  The second shot at winning his own Cup. After getting mildly bored with Division 1, The Don decided to train crappy riders, which resulted in an Icelander winning two YCs this season. Vegard Skogen also was a result of the crappy academy, and this Cup will be a test of his abilities. His all-round averageness should mean he can score in all stages, but his lack of excellence might cause him to struggle to aim for the podium. The lack of TF competition does speak to his advantage.
  Don Predicts: 5th-12th
  TD Rockets
  Captain Matýsek Lahev
  Goals Our goal is to match the 7th place overall finish from last time we were here, and potentially push for the podium if the legs are good.
  3 countries that mean a lot to manager (real life or OCM) Over the seasons on OCM Andorra represents some big highlights for the team, with our first ever classic win coming in the teams favourite race; the Juberri - Pas de la Casa. Switzerland also sticks out due to the great Swiss riders we’ve battled over the years and our successes in the Monte Rosa. And then Denmark holds fond memories with our most successful rider, Berthelsen, coming from those shores.
  Prediction to win I think we will see a battle between van Kelf and Sedelnikov for the win here.
  Lahev managed a solid 7th last season. Due to the lack of hill skills, and especially hill support, I would say that this is his upper level. Up to the Czech in English service to prove me wrong!
  Don Predicts: 7th-14th
  Captain Harland Ethel
  Goals Top 9 would be nice, i took the last spot after deliberating for way too long whether to participate.
  3 countries that mean a lot to manager (real life or OCM) Germany, Switzerland, Canada
  Prediction to win Fico Nato (Note from Don, once again, thanks for the support, but no Nato captaincy this time)
  Ethel is a decently all-round climber. His only issue is his hill stat, which unfortunately is one of the most important stats in this Cup. This will make it difficult for him to perform at a very high level, but a couple of top-9s is definitely within reach
  Don Predicts: 2 top-9s, 11th-20th
  Captain Ivan Judkins
  Goals Forza Ivan!
  3 countries that mean a lot to manager (real life or OCM) Not mentioned
  Prediction to win Not mentioned
  If in decent shape, Judkins would have been one of my sneak favorites. There might not be a rider with better suited stats than him in the field. However, it seems that his DP will not be any higher than 60-70, which means he is going to need a miracle to perform well here.
  Don Predicts: 19th or below
  Captain Not responded (yet)
  Goals Not responded (yet)
  3 countries that mean a lot to manager (real life or OCM) Not responded (yet)
  Prediction to win Not responded (yet)
  Carl-Henrik Fjorside seems to be the logical choice for captaincy. He could also be in TF, which would make him an interesting outsider. Will his lack in climbing skills be his downfall, or will his support help him to a decent enough level?
  Don Predicts: 6th-17th (if Fjorside is captain, no TF)
  Captain Not responded (yet)
  Goals Not responded (yet)
  3 countries that mean a lot to manager (real life or OCM) Not responded (yet)
  Prediction to win Not responded (yet)
  The obvious pick for captaincy would be Maas Steels. An excellent hillclimber, and that makes him a decent enough rider for this Cup. In TF he could do some damage, but without it, there seem to be plenty of riders with better papers.
  Don Predicts: 7th-18th (with TF)
  Men of Steel
  Captain Not responded (yet)
  Goals Not responded (yet)
  3 countries that mean a lot to manager (real life or OCM) Not responded (yet)
  Prediction to win Not responded (yet)
  This team seems to be in it for stage 2, and could pick between a couple of riders as captain there. None of them seem very threatening, but with a weak field in sprinting, a top-9 should definitely be possible for that stage.
  Don Predicts: 1 top-9, 15th-25th
  Captain Sem van Kelf
  Goals Not sure. No TF, so I might even ride on practise if there is no chance to win. Will take a moment later to analyze the opposition.
  3 countries that mean a lot to manager (real life or OCM) Don't understand this question.
  Prediction to win Yermolay Sedelnikov (chupacabra)
  Defending Champion Sem van Kelf, who also won the first edition of this Cup, seems to be the clear favorite once again. The fact he is not in TF leaves room for the opposition the shine though. Will they be able to kick in the door, or will the Cup once again go to Lamme?
  Don Predicts: 1st-4th
  4. Who do you predict to win the Cup?
  Velo Kiwi
  Captain Not responded (yet)
  Goals Not responded (yet)
  3 countries that mean a lot to manager (real life or OCM) Not responded (yet)
  Prediction to win Not responded (yet)
  Another tricky one, Watson or Williams could go for a Top-9, Robinson could go for a stage win in stage 2. My guess is that this team is going to be very consistent.
  Don Predicts: 3 top-9s, 5th-20th (depending on switching captains or not)
  Zakisu Pirtina
  Captain Not responded (yet)
  Goals Not responded (yet)
  3 countries that mean a lot to manager (real life or OCM) Not responded (yet)
  Prediction to win Not responded (yet)
  A true wildcard of a team, especially without the inside info. I can't really blame dumbris for this though, as I sent him the questions a lot later than most other managers.
  Last season McAberchrombie was captain and finished 9th, so it is plausible that he will be captain again. I would not dare putting money on it for now though.
  In defense of all the bad predictions, most of them were made without the whole field being known. Especially Van Kelf was late for sign-up. In addition to that, there is a visual bug that shows the riders signed up in alphabetical order, which will also have fooled some managers. And of course this is also one of the most difficult Cups to predict.
  To close off the article, I want to thank all managers who responded to my questions! At one point, my inbox was flooded with responses. Awesome to see the community at its best again!


Goege Team at 10:24 4/11-2020
  Fantastic preview, thanks!

Schiavi di Don at 11:16 4/11-2020
  Thanks to the great Yuri, this article has already been updated with a late answer, so if any more come in, they will still make the preview! :)

Sigue Sigue Sputnik at 13:37 4/11-2020
  Lol, moist.

paceuts at 17:05 4/11-2020
  Awesome writeup, I will be watching! And appreciate the Canada shoutouts from Goege, tony and Friedrich :)

Team WonderDee at 17:39 4/11-2020
  Good preview Don!

Silenzio at 17:48 4/11-2020
  Love it! Great piece, great job on all input of participating teams!

TD rockets at 18:45 4/11-2020
  Class preview, was a good read

Spin Doctors at 23:48 4/11-2020
  How many comments about Bernard Cowell! Really getting me to doubt myself! I guess some of them may be because he's TF ready...
  Thanks for putting the effort into writing this Don. Strong work!

Bilal at 10:48 5/11-2020
  Thanks Don. Here's hoping you got the preview wrong and my guys will get a better result :)

Schiavi di Don at 12:52 5/11-2020
  Just received some answers from Zakisu Pirtina, a bit late to bother Yuri, so here they are:
  1. Who is your captain?
  Oscar McAberchrombie.
  2. What are your goals?
  A stage top 3 and a top 9 overall.
  3. Which three countries would best summarize the highlights of your life (or manager career if you prefer privacy) so far?
  Latvia (my home), France (I met my wife there), Portugal (i'm here right now. For the first time and I love it).
  4. Who do you predict to win the Cup?
  Sem van Kelf, this guy on topform looks the best to me.

Skudehavnen CC at 19:44 5/11-2020
  Good read. Nice way, for all the teams outside the top teams, to learn a little bout their clubs, goals etc.