[ Rouleur Derby ]

Rouleur Derby Report No. 29

Thursday, March 17, 2011

In this Rouleur Derby Report:

1. Well, wasn't that Nice?

2. March freakin' Madness

3. Coming up next



Our first stage race concluded Sunday as Paris-Nice finished its romp to the sun. Tony Martin was no surprise to win -- except in the bookmaking cellar of Rouleur Derby, where he was clumsily left off the favorites list. Humble apologies from your host for that, but kudos to anyone who spotted his absence and gamely put down point son "Other."

The rich get richer: After strong play in the opening weekend, leader Hons played it safe but big at Paris-Nice by putting 1,000 points on heavy favorite Tejay van Garderen in the "Young Americans" proposition. That paid off at 1.4:1, though I'm sure Hons was sweating bullets when van Garderen crashed hard in the final stages.

Also playing well was our friend Heia Norge in Norway. He was the top winner in two propositions: 300 points on "Other" to win and 400 points against a win from either Sky, Garmin-Cervélo or Leopard Trek. He enters the big MSR weekend in 2nd.


Saturday brings us the first monument of the year with Milan-Sanremo. With a 25 percent bonus for picking the winner, this is a proposition you can't afford not to play.

Pick the winner here:


And we have our first "show" competition. As a reminder, each given rider will pay out at the displayed rate for finishing 1st, 2nd or 3rd. The payouts are thus a little shorter than the "win" payouts, but of course you have thrice the chance of winning, and you can theoretically win three payouts if you sweep the podium.


Here's a fun one, suggested by a player: Who will be the first to crest the pivotal climb of the Poggio? This is totally up for grabs. Will it be one of the big teams, controlling the end of the race to set up their sprinter? Or will it be one of the smaller teams, taking a desperate flier? (This may require a judgment call to pick the winner. If it's too close to call, all bets will be refunded.)


And then there's the hydra that is Garmin-Cervélo. It almost seems unfair to have one team with so many sprint threats. But who will this one go to? Your job is to pick which Garmin-Cervélo rider will finish first (need not necessarily win).


And Philippe Gilbert has been riding on form. Will he win again Saturday? Probably not! But here's a proposition to help hedge your bets:


The Mark Cavendish-Andre Greipel rivalry has been muted this year now that they're in different kits, but it's still a worthy match-up. Who will finish first? (Greipel didn't help things by falling on his face at Tirreno-Adriatico, but if Cadel Evans has taught us anything, it's that you don't win races by being pretty.)


And finally we have two props that have been around a bit: How many Italians will be on the podium, and will the finish come in a bunch sprint? "Bunch sprint" is open to interpretation, but we'll keep it objective by defining it as a finish where 25th place is scored within 10 seconds or less of the winner.


In bocca al lupo!


We return to Belgium next week with Saturday's E3 Prijs Vlaanderen and Sunday's Gent-Wevelgem-Gent. I'll have a limited slate of props for those, but then we'll be hot and heavy again the next two weeks with two consecutive monuments: the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix.

In the meantime, be sure to check out the charts I've added to your profile pages. You can look at others' profiles, too. Betting patterns are organized by size of bets and initial payouts, and a third chart shows a scatterchart of your betting pattern, with final payouts along the X-axis and size of bets along the Y-axis. This is a fun way to see what various strategies players are using, and how well it's working out for them.

Have fun, play well, tell a friend,