Thursday, April 15, 2010
In this Rouleur Derby Report:
1. Paris-Roubaix wrap-up
2. Amstel Gold and the NRC
4. Upcoming races
1. PARIS-ROUBAIX WRAP-UP
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me three times? Hello, my name is Tom Boonen and Fabian Cancellara pwns me.
Everyone saw it coming, resulting in a slim 3.3:1 payout for Cancellara, but LaForce saw it coming the most. He bet 30 points on the Swiss time trialist, netting 90.75 points thanks to the monument bonus. (Then again, he had hedged his bet with 30 points on Boonen. Nothing like putting all your eggs in two very fast baskets.)
We end up with a pretty tight race among the heads of state, with four players having doubled their points since play began. Anyone with more than 100 points right now should feel pretty good about themselves, but there's still a lot of racing left to sort out, and I expect the grand tours will have even more bearing on the ultimate outcome.
2. AMSTEL GOLD AND THE NRC
We now move into the Ardennes for the next round of classics. Sunday is the Amstel Gold Race, known for its climbs. The field seems wide open, especially now that Cancellara has withdrawn. It's anyone's race, but favorites include Gilbert, Valverde, Pozzatto, Evans, Andy Schleck and last year's winner Serguei Ivanov.
Fan favorite Chris Horner is also showing good form, having one last week's Tour of Basque Country. Does he have it in him to win a one-day classic? We'll see, and betting is available on whether he'll crack the top 10.
Betting closes Friday night for the women's National Racing Calendar competition. Betting on the NRC propositions has been light, but I'm going to keep experimenting with it. To that end, wagering is open for which team will win Sunday's Sunny King Criterium in Anniston, Alabama. (Selection is limited because not many teams appeared in the pre-registration. For all I know Jelly Belly, Bissell and others will have full squads, too, but they will fall under "Other.")
UnitedHealthcare and the Bahati Foundation certainly delivered fireworks last weekend at Dana Point -- See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZp5pS-Zzwk. Will they let their legs to the talking this week? And if so, what will they say, and will there be swearing?
There was a minor error in the scoring of the "show" bets for Milan-Sanremo and Paris-Roubaix. It affect players who predicted Freire to show at Milan-Sanremo and Cancellara to show at Paris-Roubaix. In most cases it resulted in too many points being awarded, and it pained me to have to take those points away. (No, seriously. It was a real pain in the butt.) I believe the problem has been solved, but please let me know if there are discrepancies in your ledgers.
4. UPCOMING RACES
After Amstel Gold, our next race will be Liege-Bastogne-Liege, which is the final spring monument, meaning your final chance to get bonus points.
After that, it's tour season: The Giro d'Italia starts May 8 and the Tour of California starts May 16. Expect a wide array of propositions on those.
Play well, have fun, tell a friend,