Three years ago, on December 8th 2010, poster Hugo Koblet modestly suggested a fantasy cycling game based on the website cqranking.com
and its comprehensive numerical rankings of riders. The simplicity of the rules (you had to build a PT-sized team based on 7500 CQ points for the previous year, a somewhat average amount for teams, and get the highest score at the end of the year) combined with the complexity of choosing a team, plus of course the thrill of following your team all year, caught on like wildfire. What was originally meant to be a 25-team max competition that Hugo reserved the right to cancel if there was lack of interest became the most successful game in cyclingnews forum history.
The first year, 2011, saw 87 participants and was won in dominant fashion by ingsve, who had declared boldly in his signature that he would win from the start. The second year, 2012, saw increased interest, and out of 129 participants, yours truly had the perfect combination of good choices and luck and won in similarly dominant fashion (there was no signature, but I can assure you I thought I’d win at the start of the year, but I have every year, so 1/3 ain’t bad). The third year, 2013, was more wide open than ever, with conventional/popular picks underperforming and more opportunity for a variety of teams to take top place. There were ties for the lead, back-and-forths etc, but in the end, out of 132 teams, SteelyDan came out slightly on top of GeraintTooFast after the pre-ordained end of the season, the Tour of Taihu Lake (the last 2.1-or-above ranked race of the season). A 20 point difference on 13094 points is only a 0.15% difference. In fact, the top 4 were separated by only 270 points, or 2%.
The fact that the second-place finisher pulled out enough extra points after the official end of the game to overtake the winner has led to some rethinking of a few rules, which we’ll get to below.
Just a note, for those who aren’t aware, Hugo is increasingly busy and stated he wouldn’t have time to run the game this year, and so a few of us volunteered to put it together. I just want to acknowledge the great contributions of poster mc_mountain; the two of us have discussed every detail of putting this together, and he has done a ton of work on the excel files etc; he is running the CQ Youth game which is his brainchild, and so for simplicity’s sake we decided I would ‘run’ this one. I certainly can’t let his legwork go unacknowledged.
Anyway, that’s enough preamble. Let’s go through the more comprehensive set of rules:Basics
The game is based on the point system developed by the website www.cqranking.com
. Based on this system you will have to select a team of between 25 and 33 riders whose combined value doesn’t exceed 7500 points. 7500 points is a little bit under the average for the ProTour teams whose average for 2013 is 8014. 7500 is roughly equivalent to the amount of points AG2R made this season, the 11th ranked of the 19 WT teams.
Your aim then is to select a team of riders who will increase their 2013 score the most during the 2014 season. The winner of the game is the one who has selected the team with the highest combined value when the game ends.1. How the game works1.1. Duration
The season starts when the first race is held (which I believe is the Aussie National TT Championships on January 8th) and ends when the last major race (.1 or higher) is held. The winner will be crowned when the next update after the last major race is out. **New rule: any of the top 15 teams have the right to submit for an extension to the season before the end of the last major race. If no teams do so by that time, the season will end at the time stated above.**
This rule will hopefully allow us to preserve suspense while ending the season at a time before the outcome becomes an anticlimax.
Each week we will publish an update with a top 10 and a list of the high scorers and high jumpers. This will sometimes be by me, and sometimes by others - we have set a tentative schedule based on volunteers.2. On doping
2.1. On ex-dopers
All riders are available to choose; however, riders who have been suspended for doping and had that affect their 2013 score will not be available simply for their 2013 score. Instead, a rider’s value will be equivalent to that of his last full season; or, if he has more recently had a (not full, due to suspension) season in which he has earned more points, that season represents his value.
Therefore, you can pick any rider you like, but if you want to take Danilo Di Luca, he won’t cost the 40 points he earned in 2013 (after his points were taken away once his suspension was confirmed), he’ll cost the 666 points he earned in 2012.
Of course, you probably won’t pick a rider suspended for life. A more realistic example would be Giovanni Visconti. He was suspended for his links to Ferrari in the offseason of 2012, until January 7th 2013. This nullifies both his 2012 and 2013 scores from being eligible for this game. So instead of costing 430 or 687 points, he costs his 2011 score of 1282 points.
There are no obvious examples of riders who earned more in a recent season affected by doping suspension (like Pozzato last year or Costa the year before) who would therefore have the second part of the doping rule enacted, but I will let you know if any of your submissions fall into this category.
2.2. Riders getting caught during the season
If you include a rider in your team who gets caught with his hands in the cookie jar, nothing happens right away. Your rider keeps his points unless the cqranking.com deletes his results before the end of the game.
Basically, the value of a rider on cqranking.com always stands.
3. Submitting your team3.1. How do I?
You pick between 25 and 33 riders whose combined value doesn’t exceed 7500 points and send the list to me.
As I will manually have to include the teams into the Microsoft Excel file which keeps track of the scores, please be careful that you send your team to me based on the correct formula. I don’t take any responsibility for any error you might make. If I spot an error I will do my best to contact you but I can’t guarantee anything. Of course, if you have any questions feel free to ask either here in this thread or by sending a personal message.
The layout you need to use is this:
DI LUCA Danilo
Nothing else. No points after the name. Also, be careful that there is no “space” after the name, because I will have to delete it manually.
To make things easier for both you and me I will link to a file for you to download in which you can type in your team and it will automatically show you the value of each rider as well as the aggregated value of your team. Then you will just have to copy your team (names only) directly from this file and send it to me.
Hopefully this clears any misunderstandings of a rider’s value as well as reduces the number of errors made in a team sent to me.
3.2. When do I?
The first race of the season will start January 8, so I want to have your team in hand on January 6 at the latest. The deadline is 12AM (CET) January 6th, so a little later in the day for Aussies and sometime on January 5th for North Americans. ***note: you can make changes to your team up to the deadline, even if you submit it now; however, from a data entry perspective, I'd prefer if you submitted a team that was finalized unless something drastic (injury, suspension, etc) happens. So keep that in mind when submitting - don't just submit a 'rough draft' and then make tons of changes, please.***
Please note that even though it feels as though the season is over, it’s actually not. There are still racing to be done and CQ points to be handed out that could affect the value of a rider you have picked. In the last week before this post, there have been the African championships and the recalculating of some Giro stages to account for Di Luca’s suspension. Be mindful of these changes.
cqranking.com usually uploads the final update of the season on December 31, and the values in this update are the ones we’re using. However, the changes are usually very small so there’s no reason why you can’t start selecting your team already today!
3.3 When Do You, skidmark, Submit Your Team?
After some discussion on the 2013 thread, it was decided that I would submit a provisional team of 20 'for sure' riders, with a longer list of potential riders to fill out my team. This is due to my strong preference to work on my team until the last minute; my record in this game as well as my word should hopefully suffice to quell worries that I will get some kind of advantage from processing others' teams. **note: I've already sent my provisional team in; thanks to JSG.**Create Your Team
Hugo created a very helpful file last year, referred to above, that helps avoid any errors in calculation and helps ensure you are formatting your rider names correctly. I would encourage everyone to use this option, especially if you are not confident in your spreadsheet creating skills. Click on the following link to create your team, then copy and paste the rider names to send to me by PM once you have it correct. Thank you.
Here's the link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/er4jvbzlr5pc33y/Create%20Your%20Team.xls
I think that about covers everything. If you have any questions or if I forgot to add or explain anything, please let me know.
Have fun and remember to visit www.cqranking.com
! Without their great work it wouldn’t be possible to have this game.
**note: this game is also being run through cyclingnews.com forums, and you can submit a team to me through either here or there. Updates will also be posted to both places.**