Monday, August 15, 2011
In this Rouleur Derby Report:
1. Vuelta a España
2. USA Pro Cycling Challenge
3. New features
1. VUELTA A ESPAÑA
Our summer siesta is over, friends. Time once again to dust off the abacuses and shine the crystal balls in order to make picks for the final Grand Tour of the year. Just like the Giro and Tour, the Vuelta will have a $25 prize to the player who does the best over the next three weeks.
It's a small pool of contenders for the overall, but that just means a bigger reward if you can spot any surprises.
And don't forget, there's a 25 percent bonus for picking the overall winner: http://rouleurderby.com/race/2011-vuelta-odds/
And among the side bets, who will do best among the three young Americans, Taylor Phinney, Matt Busche and Andrew Talansky? All are in their first Grand Tour. Phinney clearly has the best pedigree and palmares, but Busche is a better climber, and Talansky had some surprises at the spring tours. (Garmin-Cervélo has not made its roster official yet. If Talansky is not selected, it will be between Phinney and Busche.)
2. USA PRO CYCLING CHALLENGE
Odds have also been set for the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, a weeklong tour in Colorado that opens Monday. Leipheimer is a clear favorite after his Tour of Utah Win, but there will be some Euro pros there with fresh legs, including Cadel Evans and both Schlecks. The question is, will they be there for the racing or for the appearance fees?
3. NEW FEATURES
My cavern of coders has been hard at work developing some new features. The most noteworthy is live payouts: After a proposition has met the betting minimum, the all the payouts will adjust to preview what impact a proposed bet would have on the odds. This now pings the server, too, so you're getting up-to-the-second odds, in the event someone else is placing bets at the same time. NOTE: You still have to hit the "Place bet" button in order for your bets to be registered.
Also new: Some chartage on your profile page. Now you can see how you've done at various levels of odds -- safe bets, coin flips, long shots -- and how you compare with the rest of the players.
Please let me know if any of these new features misbehave for you. And I'll have someone fired.
Have fun, play well, tell a friend,