Written by KrMees from Velosipedska.
Men Become Gods Tour #2
Welcome readers! This preview was written a bit hastily and I haven’t been active for 6 seasons so perhaps I am a bit rusty. I’ve asked teams what their strategy was and who their captains were, so if I’m wrong I’m blaming the people who didn’t respond ;) Take my evaluations with a grain of salt, and enjoy the team descriptions.
One of only 2 real sprint teams at this edition together with Malowe. This team is barely 2 months old but already filled their prize cabinet with the Design av Småland Cup last season, courtesy of (Yves Cissé). Nathaniel Baird is injured, and Faltskog have different top forms going on at the time of writing and similar stats across the board. It’s difficult to pinpoint a single team leader so the last man in the sprint train might depend on the form of the day. Agnetha (188.5) have the highest average sprinter rating behind Malowe (191), and despite being a young team they have the fourth-oldest squad in this edition (32.17).
Here we have another relatively young team! Ambassaden will surely have a go at the youth classification with young stud (Kirchknopf Kornél). The manager pointed out stage 1 as Kornéls best shot at a result. The Hungarian is not a great TT’er, but that didn’t stop Cícero Maia taking 3d place in the inaugural edition of this race. Still, Kornél can’t expect tips from his teammates here, since Ambassaden has the worst average TT squad of the bunch (120.33, counting FR+TT+TQ).
The youngest team so far, Antarctica started their Mission 11 days after Faltskog. (Hallmundur Ásgrímursson) has been their leader recently, narrowly missing out on the podium at Bali Classic last season. However, the experienced (Brendan McReagin) has a better skill set overall for this long tour. The manager expected him to be captain but said he “cant tell the opponents everything.” Sneaky! You’d think these ice men know their slippery surfaces, but AM have the lowest average FR rating in the tour this season (33.50).
Belmonte Pro Cycling
Belmonte just celebrated their 10 year anniversary and would love to add to a trophy cabinet that last saw an addition in season 60. The Norwegians are looking to (Jan Ramstad) for a result. He’s been successful at the Race of the Minutemen several times, and apart from lackluster FR he should have the skills to perform here. (Erik Bjelland) could also be a sneaky sprint outsider. I usually finish with a little statistic, but Belmonte managed to finish outside the top-3 or bottom-3 in every single list I made so I guess that’s something?
Long-time OCM racers Dodge took a jersey and two trophies, but that last WC ITT victory was 50 seasons ago. So, it’s time to fight for a result! The manager has named (Jochen Ruey) as team leader, but in this strong team others will take over if he fails to perform (my money is on (Vitaly Lobov). Dodge have the highest pure average CL rating (89.17), 2 points clear of rad1 (87), but calculating CL+DH+HL, the team are only 8th in terms of average climber ratings (194.50).
A pretty strong high AV team that looks set to take more trophies. EasyToys will be looking to penetrate the rankings and get that third jersey in the cabinet. The manager named two options: (Nicolas Heller) is experienced and eager to improve on his 7th place last season, and (Tommaso Givia) could be a favourite for the youth jersey. The main thing holding the Tanzania-based team back is an imperfect staff room. On the other hand, they bring two of only six 56-rated riders in the entire race. With an average AV of 52.83, EasyToys bring the most skill points by far. Only Sicco (50.50) and Triple Double (50.33) also average 50+.
The Swiss are participating in a tour for the first time. If a debut jersey is on the cards, (Ezra Waldschmidt) is the guy manager Per is looking for. A day at the TT center might make the Canadian a real contender, but lacking that he should probably hope for some off days for other riders. Geneve field the oldest team in the competition (33.17) ahead of Velosipedska (33), but these oldies are not afraid: the Swiss average 79.17 DH, making them the most enthusiastic descenders in this peloton.
With jerseys from El Corazón and Oryx, the Scots have some of the coolest OCM designs in their trophy cabinet. Since this tour has stolen a beautiful Macedonian helmet for their jerseys, this is a nice opportunity to improve their fashionable collection. (Ben
McAvenie) should be the one contending here. Inverness still use no staff at all, so can they prove doubters wrong with this puritan riders-only approach? Inverness (74) leads the pack in average HL values, only Woogadler (71) also breaks 70 in that regard.
The youngest team in the race is here! Jenica will be a month and 13 days old when the riders depart. (Vuksan Todi?) took 2 stages at Tocoroco and is the man in form for the Serbians. With a tight spread of stats, Jenica will likely look at the best men on the day to lead the team. Apart from that the team are quite average, fielding only riders within the 40s AV.
The second pure sprint team next to Agnetha Faltskog is here. Averaging a 191 sprinter rating, they look to be the strongest of the two. The question is, who will lead Malowe? (Tom Almås)’s top form will expire soon, and whilst (Eduard Shatalov) looks the strangest all-rounder, he is the slowest in terms of pure SP stat in the team. Whoever leads the sprint train is bound to take some results in what is essentially a two-team sprint race. With only 30.67 average CL, Malowe is the weakest climbing team of the bunch.
Nørrebro took their first ever trophy at Bali Classic last season and is hungry for more! Despite Staal winning that race, I’d say (Herluf Pellesen) is a generational Danish talent and another youth jersey favourite. He finished 3d in the YC and 9th overall last edition, and wants to improve this time around. The Norwegians clinch a top-3 spot in terms of climber rating with 203.67 as a team average, narrowly beating number 4 EasyToys (203.33).
This English side will push for their first jersey since grabbing a double in Oryx S56. (Crispin Schuck) has been appointed leader for this tour, as one of the three strongest pure CL-riders in the competition. Others will step up if needed, and this review writer wonders whether (Charles Taptuna) can go for a sneaky YC attempt.When it comes to climbing, these guys know how to push with 4 riders at 90+ CL. Despite that, they are only 5th overall with an average of 82.5 CL in the entire team.
Only 3 days older than Jenica, we have another young team on the startlist. The Toddles came to play, grabbing the Oryx GC within their first month of existence. However, at the time of writing Oryx winner Gassner is doing some commercial work. Who will lead the Trinidad and Tobago team then? The manager named “Homie” (Stefan Wasielewski), who is in top form. The Toddlers will likely look for breakaways and some great legs, since their AVG of 41.33 is the only average in the league below 42.
This German team is still looking for a trophy, and why not grab one in sunny South Macedonia? THe manager named (Xander Teesing) as the team leader. With 40 TT he is that sneaky kind of rider that won’t lose as much time there as you might expect. Rad1’s sprint team took some nice stage results at Fast on Wheels a few weeks ago, so can the climbers step up as well? Going by the CL stat, the Germans are second-highest in the tour behind Dodge (89.17) and ahead of Sicco (86).
Speaking of Sicco, here they are! With 14 jerseys and four trophies this team is an experienced contender. Sicco won Sanreizan and Tian-Shen last season, but the winners of those events aren’t present in the Gods Tour. Either (Takakuwa Tatsuru) or (Parker Marsh) should be ready to take up the mantle though. Sicco will want to show their succes is not dependent on individual riders, and this team has come to play: Only EasyToys (52.83) field a higher AVG than Sicco (50.50), further emphasizing their depth.
This Burundi-based team is only one jersey and one trophy behind the previous team in terms of results, so we have another seasoned team on our hands. (Joao Henriette Ngaboyisibo) is one of the all-time Burundi greats and would love to add this jersey to his collection. With top form, a strong support squad and great staff and equipment setup he should be a favourite in this tour. Silver Giant naturally field a strong mountain squad, but also have the highest average FR stat in the race: 56.67 ahead of Velosipedska’s 55.17.
The second Serbian team to make the journey south said they’d go for: (Pepe Pé Descalço). The manager expressed his disappointment with Pepe so far, so it might be his last chance to perform! If he does falter, (
src=http://www.cyclingsimulator.com/Flag/Norway.gif>Rene Tobiassen) might sneak into the YC battle if others lose time. One thing is for sure: these Serbs will not be sprinting with their average SP stat of 30.33, the lowest in the race. They do make the top-3 for DH though (70.83).
Another seasoned team, but their trophies (7) outweigh their jersey tally (2). Time for some new clothes? (Cesario Sabatino) is the leader of the Uzbek outfit. Despite low expectations from his manager, the Italian has had results in the Tour of Norway, Edmonton and Monte Rosa - something most leaders in this race are still dreaming about! This team should be in the mix. On average, the Browncoats have the best climber rating (213.67) ahead of Sicco (213.17).
Team Bobyn are difficult to judge. Are they a third sprint team? One of two hillsprint teams? Allrounders? At any rate, the many hilly and other mixed stages should suit them, but it’s only the second edition of this tour so we will have to see what that means for the GC and SC. (Artur Zhuravlyov) has been named captain. He lacks a true climbing support squad, but might creep up in the rankings with his allround skill set. (Spartak Kozlovsky) might be allowed to join the sprints and could snag some points. Bobyn have the strongest CB squad, averaging 41.17 in a race without cobblestones. Their team is also the second-youngest (25.17) behind Longshot (24.33).
Holwerda are the other tricky team here. They won La Coupe de la Soif Éternelle last season, but there are no cobbles here! They have stronger sprinters than Bobyn, but the addition of two climbers makes me hesitant to call them a pure sprint team. (Hassan Khoury) should be a contender in the sprints despite lacking that complete sprint train though. He finished 4th in the SC last season, but can hardly be blamed when a true Macedonian like Metodija Aksentiev is in the race. The climbers are probably not at the level to take any GC result, but stages are always up for grabs. Watch out for them in the TT: only EasyToys (210.67) and Holwerda (205.67) average above 200 calculating TT+FR+TQ.
The youngest team (24.33) is here! They are the only squad that’s eligible for the YC on average, even though not every rider is. Longshot won their first jersey in six seasons last Oryx, and of course it was the YC. (Herbert Vebjörnsson) is here and still eligible, but my money would be on (Sigbjørn Jomarsson), who is a better climber. A GC win here might be a long shot (sorry), the YC is not impossible. Longshot (57.83) also field the best TT squad behind EasyToys (61.33).
Triple Double have not won a jersey or trophy so far, so is this the time? To be fair, the Italians look more like a stage hunting squad. (Fabian Hörnfeldt) is too good a hillsprinter not to give it a shot in sprint stages but isn’t perfect for a GC battle. (Ewout Rousseau) is an interesting candidate for the YC, but older young guys usually beat the 21-year-olds. Several Triple Double riders could make the top-9 if well-supported, but maybe stages are the way to go for this team. Looking at all the almost-sprint teams, Triple Double (55.83) sits between Holwerda (53.50) and Bobyn (59.83) at fourth overall in terms of average SP in the team.
Velosipedska have returned from a six-season hiatus that may have been induced by either rakia or Greek interference (shameless press release plug), but they are not here for any covert action across the border! No really! ... Let’s carry on: (Jordan Spirkoski) is set to lead the Macedonians, with (Riste Nikolovski) ready to step up in case of an emergency. Spirkoski is a solid GC rider with a well-balanced team, but fitness and age are doubts for this entire returning team. Velosipedksa (33.0) have the second-oldest team here behind Geneve Roues (33.17).
Woogadler are also still looking for that first jersey or trophy. In this race, (Martijn Hoogerland) looks like the best candidate, but perhaps (Hampus Westlund) gets a shot if the team favour technique over pure climbing ability. (Jhoni Faroka) could also be a factor in the YC if he is allowed to go for it.
Thanks for reading along! Normally, I would add some predictions, but with this new tour and me being rusty I really don’t know. You can tell who the stronger teams are by the descriptions, but I challenge you to order them :p Good luck to all participants and enjoy the race!