<> Fantasy Cycling Teams - 1999 <>

Last modified: Sunday, 14 August, 2016

* As has become our custom, Lisa & I will be adding to our interest in this year's professional cycling season by following the fortunes of our own fantasy cycling teams. We've been doing this since 1997. We select our teams on the basis of each rider "costing" his total UCI ranking points earned last season divided by ten and rounded to the nearest five, with a minimum cost of twenty points and a maximum of 200.  We allow each team 500 points on this basis, with nine riders to be selected. No more than two riders in each team can be selected from the same real life trade team.  Throughout the season we score our riders performances in all the major races according to the points system adapted from one used by Roger Hughes in his Fantasy Cycling League. The tables below summarise the fortunes of our teams throughout the season.

* Period One was a slow start to the season for both our teams. Lisa's Ready Steady Riders couldn't translate their three stage wins in Paris-Nice into a high overall placing, and Steve's Nightowlers had Erik Zabel's second place in Milan-San Remo to thank for the bulk of their points. Several of our riders were, in fact, distinguishing themselves at this time in lesser races that didn't count towards the League.

* Period Two continued our poor showing in the Spring Classics. Andrea Tafi rode brilliantly to take Paris-Roubaix for the Ready Steady Riders and Laurent Roux got his name on the score-sheets a couple of times, while only Erik Zabel, with his second place in the Scheldeprijs Schoten and his exciting win in the Henniger Turm, scored for the Nightowlers. Again our riders seemed to be focussing on the lesser races at this time; we can only hope they're preparing themselves for great things once the Summer's sequence of Grand Tours begins.

* Period Three was dominated by the Giro. After warming up in the Tour de Romandie (winning a stage and placing second in another), Mario Cipollini scored four stage wins, placed second and third on two more stages, and briefly wore the Maglia Rosa to provide almost all of the Nightowlers' points. Alex Zülle was subdued on his return to racing action following suspension and, for the Ready Steady Riders, José María Jimenez disappointed in the Giro, gaining just one second place (in the same stage where Zülle came third).

* Period Four was marked by strong performances for the Ready Steady Riders from Kevin Livingstone in the Dauphine Libere and José María Jimenez, 3rd overall in the Volta a Catalunya. The latter race also featured a duel between the Nightowlers' sprint stars Cipollini and Zabel who bagged a brace of stages each. During this period Erik Zabel also registered third in the German Championship: the only rider from either of our teams to do anything in their National race.

* Period Five consisted of just one race, the race, Le Tour. The Ready Steady Riders had high hopes for Bobby Julich, but he crashed out before registering any scores leaving them with just the performances of Tyler Hamilton and Kevin Livingstone in support of eventual winner Lance Armstrong to show for the most important race of the season. On the other hand, the Nightowlers enjoyed by far their best period to date with Cipollini racking up four stage wins in a row in the first week, Zabel challenging Cipo in the early sprints then continuing to Paris in the green (points) jersey, and Alex Zülle finding great form to impress in the time trials and mountains and gain place second overall.

* For the Nightowlers, Period Six belonged to Erik Dekker who belied his lowly price tag to place in the Classica San Sebastian and HEW Classics, take second overall in the Ronde van Nederland, and share victory in the GP Eddy Merckx. A quieter period for the Ready Steady Riders saw José María Jimenez warming up in the Vuelta a Burgos and Chris Boardman placing in the GP Eddy Merckx.

* Period Seven featured the last of the year's triumvirate of Grandes Tours: the Vuelta a Espagna. For the Ready Steady Riders, José María Jimenez showed strongly in his home tour with a stage win, three third places, fifth overall, a showing in the points competion, and winning the mountains jersey. Jacky Durand's showing in the Vuelta also contributed to the Ready Steady Riders' best period so far as did Chris Boardman's second place in the GP des Nations. Bobby Julich again contrived to fall off his bike before scoring any points in the Vuelta. For the Nightowlers, Alex Zülle disappointed in the Vuelta with just one stage win and a second to his name but Victor Hugo Pena made his first contribution of the year with a surprise second place on one stage, and Rolf Aldag supported winner Jan Ullrich all the way to Madrid to break his duck.

* Period Eight brought the season to a close with Chris Boardman scoring nicely for the Ready Steady Riders by retaining his hour record and getting bronze in the World Championships Time Trial. Andrea Tafi also woke up after his long period of inaction since Paris-Roubaix by getting a placing in the Worlds' Road Race and winning the Giro del Piemonte. For the Nightowlers, Dekker & Zulle just squeezed into the scoring positions on the Worlds' TT, and Rolf Sorensen (invisible all year to now) got his name on the score-sheets for the Worlds' Road Race and the Giro di Lombardia.

* Overall, Steve was satisfied with the Nightowlers' results: only Rolf Sorensen was a major disappointment, and Erik Dekker turned out to be great value for money. Steve hopes to be able to afford to retain the services for next season of Messers Zulle, Zabel, and Cipollini, and will be looking to replace the aging Sorensen with a younger pair of legs.  Lisa feels that Bobby Julich's inability to keep in close enough contact with his bike rules him out for re-selection and doubts that Chris Boardman can continue to justify a roster place. Next year Tafi, Jimenez, Hamilton, and Livingstone can expect new team-mates on the Ready Steady Riders.

* See below for Ready Steady Riders' results.

@ N i g h t o w l e r s @
Rider Period Scores Total
Cost Score
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Allex Zülle 0 0 2 0 64 0 8 3 77 155 0.50 
Erik Zabel 22 25 0 9 36 2 0 0 94 100 0.94 
Rolf Sørensen 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 4 75 0.05 
Mario Cipollini 3 0 35 6 26 0 0 0 70 70 1.00 
Erik Dekker 0 0 0 1 0 41 0 5 47 20 2.35 
Phillipe Gaumont 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 20 0.00 
Victor Hugo Pena 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 3 20 0.15 
Rolf Aldag 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0 4 20 0.20 
David Millar 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 20 0.00 
Total 25 25 37 16 126 43 15 12 299 500 0.60

@ R e a d y   S t e a d y   R i d e r s @
Rider Period Scores Total
Cost Score
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Andrea Tafi 0 25 4 0 0 0 0 20 49 120 0.41 
José María Jimenez 0 0 3 22 0 5 43 0 73 100 0.73 
Bobby Julich 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 90 0.00 
Jacky Durand 3 0 0 0 0 0 7 0 10 65 0.15 
Chris Boardman 3 0 0 0 0 6 10 30 49 45 1.09 
Laurent Roux 3 10 0 0 0 0 0 0 13 20 0.65 
Nicholas Jalabert 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 20 0.00 
Tyler Hamilton 0 0 0 1 13 0 0 0 14 20 0.70 
Kevin Livingston 0 0 0 12 5 0 0 0 17 20 0.85 
Total 9 35 7 35 18 11 60 50 225 500 0.45

* See above for Nightowlers' results.

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