Congratulations to our FSA DS 2021 winners!

Ladies and Gentlemen … we have winners!

With the end of the cycling season for 2021, so too is our FSA Sporting Director competition, the biggest one-year fantasy cycling game in the world. With more or less a full schedule for this year plus the Olympics, the competition lasted a long time and remained fierce until the end. Let’s take a quick look at how things turned out, and of course invite our winners (and non-winners) to check out the comments and share your stories.

But before I go, let me thank our sponsor again, Full speed, manufacturers of quality components and wheels, for supporting us with awards this year and for their continued support of the Podium Cafe! Discover them as part of your holiday shopping, whether through the main brand or their Brand Vision, which is more focused on road racing and triathlon. They were all over the Tour de France and other big races this year, as always. Do you want proof ? Check out these rock solid wheels:

118th Paris-Roubaix 2021 - Eilte Men

Photo by Vincent Kalut – Pool / Getty Images

I have a pair of Metrons from seven years ago. They still ride like you wouldn’t believe.

Men’s competition

Here are your top ten:

  1. (DS) Lampje, Lampenkappen, 22,561 points
  2. Cacarame, Are you Hirt? No it’s just Eekhoff, 22 342
  3. guegoethe, French of Rajeux, 22,278
  4. Narréhut, Lamatron, 22 258
  5. Mqthieu, Degemer carpet, 21 840
  6. smico01, Poldeci borovicky s citronom, 21 768
  7. PvdV, Pietje Pelle op zijn Gazelle, 21,638
  8. sagas, 123456789, 21,522
  9. Googol, MacGyver Cycling Team, 21,415
  10. Luc_Nilis, Maglia Rosa, 21 088

The ability to get points from your entire list is sort of a magical thing, and that’s what separates the top ten and the winners themselves from those who follow them. Things like 300+ points from all of your top 20, or 600+ from 13 or more runners, or 7 runners above the 1000 mark – that’s what fills your score sheet. The Lampenkappen only had one donut in their lineup, but had consistently scored over the rest to secure the victory.

The three key drivers appear to be Tadej Pogacar, Egan Bernal and Joao Almeida, each of them in five of the top ten teams. Pogs makes sense as the best player overall, with over 1000 points. The fact that five teams made it to the top ten without him is probably more remarkable (Wout Van Aert seemed to be the alternative). Bernal has been this year’s biggest comebacker, dropping from his performance of 570 points in 2020 to a solid 2,495 this year. Almeida was the top performing runner with 18 points, and although he had a wonderful 2020 season, he managed to surpass his overall score, which is a surprise. The top-rated single-digit cost riders were Tim Merlier and Matej Mohoric, both at five points. Mohoric was on four teams, showing that an all-Slovenian approach was a good way forward.

What is the correlation between the most popular riders and the highest rated teams? Well, Sepp Kuss was No. 1 in popularity and was in eight of the top 10 teams. Leonard Kamna, second most selected, did better, finding himself in nine of the top ten. Brandon McNulty (7 of 10) and Davide Ballerini (6 of 10) also stood out in this regard. Popular wisdom is sometimes real wisdom, I guess? Or we are just a knowledgeable bunch.

The worst performing riders are Mathieu van der Poel, Remco Evenepoel and Julian Alaphilippe, three notable protagonists throughout the season who have nevertheless not propelled any of their teams into the top ten.

Finally, the total scores of over 22,000 among the winners was the second highest ever. The records set in 2019 (25,000 winners, six teams north of 22,000) might not be broken for some time, unless we play with the prizes. However, this year’s scores are a sign that we have had a real season, going well beyond the 2020 totals which reflected reduced races.

Women’s competition

Your top ten:

  1. (DS) mattattackx, Is it even worth it?, 16,505 points
  2. ovesty, Lotta and the rest, 16,050
  3. Vlaanderen90, Chris’s Kiss of Death, 15 566
  4. gabriel ryynänen, not executed621, 15,495
  5. Archieboy, Roll and negotiate, 15,395
  6. Rob Nicolai, Flyindustman, 15 136
  7. Oaktown Oaks, Ducks swim on a very green pond, 14,793
  8. union birch, Decaffeinated Opium, 14 764
  9. Manual8, Try not to end up with fewer points than last season, 14 567
  10. iiturriotz, Iiturriotz taldea, 14 555

Unlike the men’s competition, there was nothing unusual about the high scores, falling perfectly in line with the scores of past wins which range from 15 to 17,000. I take this as a sign that our prizes and our results. have reached a level of stability. Which is good.

Emma Norsgaard wins Connective Tissue Award and is on ALL Top Ten Teams! Her youth (22) and cost (8 points) made her a remarkable candidate, and she did, accumulating 2,516 points (up from 419) in her fourth (!) Season at the level WWT. Demi Vollering was next (8 out of 10), followed by Cecile Uttrup (7 out of 10). The two biggest stars, Annemiek van Vleuten and Anna van der Breggen, were collectively part of only one top 10 team (vdB), showing that spending 52 points on a runner could lower your ceiling too much? Not sure.

In 2020, teams ‘best scores were about half that of this year, meaning individual runners’ scores have declined in the pandemic year. No news. Corn! This means that any runner who has struggled to match their 2020 score this year, or has fallen, has underperformed by a bigger margin than they appear. This year’s dropers included Lizzie Deignan (-140), Liane Lippert (-167), and Mikayla Harvey, Lauren Stephens and Sarah Roy, all of whom have fallen significantly.


DS Gabriel Ryynänen won the combined standings, with a fourth place for men and 11th for women … the best performance since 2015 when DS Ozzie 5365 finished fifth and seventh with its (?) Two teams.

Our Editors’ League has been won by Ursula, for the second time in three years, and frankly we’re about to cancel the competition if that’s what it’s going to be from now on. By the way, Ursula may not be available to help this year with pricing and setup for next year’s FSA DS team, so if you would like to join the effort to keep this competition going, please m ‘send an email to the gmail address you get if you click on my name above.

As for our sponsors at FSA, DS Josheadanks won their internal competition with their 20th place in men. They had two DS in the top 60 and at least three above the Jimbo Line which is more than some of us can tell. Andrew aka Edredon Browny was the Editor’s League top scorer in the big game, with a VERY respectable 49th in the men’s league and 24th in the women, good for 10th overall.

OK, how have your draft leagues been? Do you have any other comments on the main board that you would like to share? Hope this has been a fun year for you which is magnanimous of me as I finished in the bottom 10% on the men’s side despite looking like I actually know cycling. Anyway, I don’t need all of you to share my misery. Go on and do your best! Cheers.

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