[ Rouleur Derby ]

Rouleur Derby Report No. 30

Friday, March 25, 2011

In this Rouleur Derby Report:

1. Milan-Sanremo

2. Up next



What a race! What a monument!

Myself, I was getting race updates while doing hill repeats on the cold shore of Lake Michigan. What was supposed to be "3:00 hard/2:00 rest" turned into "3:00 hard/10:00 reload the CyclingNews race ticker and curse at Thor." It was pretty thrilling, more so once I got home and got to see the video.

Young Matt Goss was the big winner, which gave a 30:1 payout to Bicyclebrian, who put a gutsy 50 points on the Tasmanian to climb into 2nd place. (Not to mention the 25 percent monument bonus.) Note that of his 16 resolved bets, Bicyclebrian has won 6 of them. Hot stuff.

Also having a big day was new Rouleur Derby leader Fussy, who put 100 points on BMC to crest the Poggio first, a nice 15:1 payout compliments of Greg Van Avermaet.

Previous race leader Hons was not so fortunate. He plowed 800 points into what appeared to be a safe bet -- that the race would end in a bunch sprint -- but that investment evaporated when the race was reduced to fewer than a dozen contenders. Once again it was Fussy coming out to the good on that proposition, having put 250 points down at 4.3:1 odds. The rich get richer, Fussy gets fussier.


Just a few propositions for this weekend between the monuments. Our action in the Critérium International focuses on His Jensness, Jens Voigt of Leopard Trek. The German has won this race five times, most recently in 2009. Can he do it again?

A lesson in hedging: For a moment the odds here were so long that was possible to play both sides and guarantee at least breaking even, thanks to the 1.1 minimum payout. For example: At one point the payout for "no" was 1.1 while the payout for "yes" was 30. Thus, if you put 100 points on "no" and 10 points on "yes," "no" would pay 110 points (minus 110 invested => 0 profit), while yes would pay 300 (minus 110 invested => 190 profit). However, so many people exploited this opportunity (including yours truly) that it drove the odds for "yes" below 10, negating the benefit. In some cases, a guaranteed profit is now a guaranteed loss. Oops!

Anyhow, it's still a safe bet for "no" (sorry, Jens) and a win garners at least a 10 percent profit. Deadline is tonight at midnight.


There are two minor classics in Belgium this weekend. We'll focus on Sunday's Gent-Wevelgem, where the option is to pick the winning team. Garmin-Cervélo and Quick Step are current the heavy favorites.


We also predict the fate of previous winner George Hincapie. He made the break last year, and he rode well into Sanremo. Can he survive to the line again? Can he pull in another so-close-but-so-far finish and get into the top 10?


All this is prelude to next week's Tour of Flanders, the holiest day of the cycling calendar. This is another monument, so with a 25 percent bonus you once again cannot afford not to play. I'll have propositions for "win" and "show" up early next week. In the meantime, there's a handful of side bets available, including, since our Poggio bet was so much fun, a question of who will crest the Muur first, and making a prediction for whether Taylor Phinney will finish in the top 100. (Note that if he does not start, which after his knee trouble in Catalunya seems unlikely, all bets will be refunded.)


Have fun, play well, tell a friend,