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[PCT] Minions '18

This is how we introduced ourselves:
Once upon a time, a little yellow single-celled organism was searching around for some food for his friends, the other little yellow single-celled organisms. He found a tree full of bananas, and it became the most holy food for them; only apples (or babbles, as they would pronounce them) came close afterwards, but the bananas stayed on top forever. They could continue to eat bananas without anyone noticing, until capitalism.

A bunch of Americans found out about the bananas, and decided to eat them as well. The organisms weren't too happy about that, but the Americans only wanted to sell bananas to them for ridiciously high prices. The organisms agreed on the deal, because they just couldn't live without bananas. The Americans founded a company called United Fruit Company, which would later be known as Chiquita Brands International.

After the deal, the little yellow single-celled organisms were living in peace again, even during both World Wars and the Cold War, but their rest was disturbed again in the 21st century when an American/French film crew decided to use them for a movie. The company, who named theirself Illumination Entertainment, had a big plan with them, and they even gave them a name that will always be recognized, the Minions!

Illumination Entertainment became a subsidiary of Universal Studios, a rich and famous American company. The film, called Despicable Me and released in 2010, became a hugh success, and the Minions became rich. A sequel would follow 3 years later, and that made them even richer. In 2015, the Minions will finally get their own movie, suprisingly called Minions, where they will finally be main characters. Despicable Me 3 is scheduled for 2017.

One of the Minions was a big fan of cycling, and decided to found a cycling team with the money he earned from the movies and the bananas. He, however, did not have enough money to it, neither did all the Minions together. They first asked Universal Studios to sponsor them. They decided to help, but they didn't offer enough money to fund the entire team. Then Chiquita came to rescue, and offered an amazing amount of money for the team, accompanied by a giant raise in the price of the bananas. Team Chiquita-Universal was born!

This is how the story continued:
The Minions began strong, designing jerseys, making goals and selecting races. Riders were signed, but they made one critical mistake. Instead of human currency, the riders were paid in bananas. This did not only effect their health, but it also resulted in some angry Minions who had to either go to rehab or switch to babbles. And things didn't get better when a film crew showed up to make a new movie about them, which is to premiere soon.

This slight controversy resulted in a big mess. Minions weren't motivated to watch races or write about it, riders weren't performing due to the lack of support from the Minions and organizers threatened to take our license away. Our season marked just four highlights, though that's more than none. The victory of Chad Haga in a TT in Algarve resulted in a mass celebration in our lab and a daily pilgrimage to Portugal. Carter Jones won the mountain jersey in the Tour de Beauce, but those 2 wins were all there would be last season. There were some minor celebrations when Jakob Rathe achieved our goal in a for Minions impronouncable race (Cigar City Brewing Twilight GP) and some decent performances in our home tour: the Tour of America.

It didn't look good for the Minions though. 24th out of 26 was definately a big bummer, though higher than most critics expected. It was a nail-biting offseason, but their but-jokes, banana-bribery and cute smiles managed to secure a new license for this season. We managed to keep both our main sponsors and secondary sponsors aboard (Chiquita, Universal, Illumination Entertainment and Gameloft). To keep the Minions happy, we decided to change our name to Chiquita - Universal powered by Minions, after we were already informally called Team Minions last season. We were given a new appearance as well, with a new jersey designed by renowned artist Bikex. Last season was trial-and-error, this season will be trial-and-succeeding!

The Minions aren't dead. The Minions are alive. The Minions are more fond of cycling than ever and extremely driven to perform this season, and of course gain more bananas. Or babbles. Or both.

And then, all this stuff happened:
Now, the Minions cycling team is in their third consecutive season in the lowest level of cycling. The Minions are losing hope, but is there a Minion who can stand up and lead them to promotion, finally?

Where did it go wrong last season? The start was promising, with our license renewed and Minions being added to the official team name. However, there was some controversy regarding the not very child-friendly abbreviation. We would like to maintain a good relationship with children, and therefore we rectified our error immediately. We also found out that Piamonte didn't like bananas. He was thrown out of the HQ immediately.

Transfers went better as the year before. The PR-Minion didn't mess up the validation process and got it right in one go. Some star riders were signed, such as Martinez and Kinney. Yet, there were also failures. Jones was loaned out to a even worse team where he couldn't progress. 500,000 bananas were invested in sprinter Tolleson, but his stack of top 10's were limited, if there were any. The old and decreasing Duggan was signed to provide experience, but can he be useful for another season? And in the closing stages we signed the overpriced Italian fighter Santambrogio. Our 200,000 bananas donation to Festina might have been the key to their ProTour victory.

Resultwise the season also went better. Our first season resulted in 1 stage victory, the second season that increased to 3! Kinney won a stage in Pologne, Haga the TT in the USA Pro Cycling Challenge and Montenegro won from a breakaway in our favourite race, the Tour of America. He and Haga also fought for the mountains competition, but where a few places away from victory. The race has given us some great memories, and we will certainly return this year. Martinez had some great stage race results, including a sixth place in the prestigious Vuelta a Tachira.

On the other hand, Tolleson couldn't impress in the sprints. At one point, Santambrogio managed to outdo him on a regular basis. The lack of points in sprinters races is the reason we couldn't compete for promotion positions. It will now be a Mexican standoff between Carlsberg, Lierse and us to decide who will be the last team to promote from the 2014 entrants.

We lost 16th place in the standings on the final race, yet 17th out of 26 is much better as our 24th place. If we can improve by the same margin this year, promotion will be within reach!

For the Minions themselves, 2015 was quite successful. The eponymous film was a box office hit, and grossed billions worldwide. The Minions now have some time of before they start working on their new movie, Despicable Me 3. Kevin the Minion was knighted by the Queen of England, and is now known as Sir Kevin. He will replace Dave as general manager, who has decided to move on and seek new challenges in the world of the yellow single-celled organisms.

In 2016, the team will revert to its 2014 name, but without the Team prefix. Due to new restrictions by the MGUCI, a character lenght was introduced, which made our team name too long for their administration. The team will officially be known as Chiquita - Universal, but as always the media will always associate us with the Minions, who will not leave the world of cycling in the near future! The team is now officially based in Guatemala, because the Minions want to be in a banana republic. This will mean an increased focus on Central America, but we will not forget the most important market on the earth, the United States of America!

However, we must be realistic. Some Minions are getting depressed. Promotion has to be achieved, otherwise who knows what will happen. Complete Minion breakdown? The apocalypse? It is up to Sir Kevin, team manager Stuart and the directeurs sportifs, including Bob, to find the most despicable master to... ehh sorry, that's the plot of the movie.

To get the team to the top of the world of cycling, that's it!

And then, this stuff happened as well:
They say third time's the charm. Well, it certainly was the case for us. We are now allowed to add a P in front of our opening abbreviation because we promoted to the Pro Continental Tour in the MGUCI system. But it's a miracle we got to this place at all. Here's a quick reconstruction:

On the bike things went pretty well. We managed to sign two great sprinters in Drapac and Manarelli, and three cobblestones specialists in De Haes, Marcos and Matthews. This meant that we were able to participate on all terrains for once. Yes, there were also some less successful acquisitions this season but far less so than the previous years. Haga and Selander were send on loan to a ProTour squad, and would come back to us having gained valuable experience.

Over the first two season we scored a total of four victories. However, we knew very quickly that this season would be much better, as we had already won three stages when we came to March. Barton and Sarmiento, two new riders as well, both won a stage in the Tour of the Middle East, and De Haes won us our first classic: the prestigious Geraardsbergen - Bosberg. But the big fish came from New Zealand, the Tour of Southland, where Martinez won the fourth stage and consequently the general classification. You could imagine the celebrations, fireworks and Minions who drank slightly too much at the headquarters.

And it didn't stop there, as our sprinters delivered on their promises as well. Drapac won a stage in Circulo de Juarez and came close to the overall victory. He also won the opening stage in the Tour of Denmark, taking the leader's jersey before losing it on stage three to our very own Kinney, who won that stage as well. Unfortunately he also couldn't win the overall classification. Manarelli managed to rack up four victories over the season, one in the Tour de Pologne, one in the Herald Sun Tour and two consecutive stages in Ruta America del Sur. Martinez also won a time trial in the USAPCC, the exact same one Haga won the year before.

This did us well in the rankings. We were within reach of automatic promotion all season, and although we couldn't challenge for the title which went to Ferrero, we still finished in fourth place, one place ahead of our rivals Carlsberg, after Lierse chickened out of a battle of the last team of the 2014 generation to promote. Fourth place means we could finally kiss goodbye to the bottom depths of the CT, and start mixing us in the midfield of the PCT.

However, off the bike things went a little bit less well, understatement of the year. First there was a bit of a miscommunication with Esmaeli regarding his future, and he left the team midway through the season after only participating in two races. Then, our sponsors started to withdraw, all for the silliest of reasons. Universal withdrew because they though we favoured Chiquita, and that wasn't true, and they knew it, but they wanted a way out for something else. Because our operations were moved to the glorious banana republic of Guatemala for tax reasons, our team became, let's say a lot less liked by some organisations. The people of Guatemala noticed their bananas became extremely expensive due to some of our employee's habits, and soon we had some major riots outside our building.

We knew we had to bail when even Chiquita, our most beloved sponsor (sorry Universal, you had this coming), left us and joined the side of the protestors. We took our stuff and got the hell out of the country, before they burned our HQ to the ground. Back in the US of A we couldn't find a place to stay, we couldn't find a sponsor to work with and we couldn't eat bananas because we didn't have them anymore.

Then, as an angel descended down from heaven, Tareq Esmaeli came back with money from his dad, who apparently is a super rich oil Sheikh from Qatar. He bought the license and saved the Minions from bankruptcy and most likely prison. This means we're once again on the move, towards Qatar, with our new sugar daddy paying for everything we need (including apparently a mountain made of oil for a new race). We have no sponsors who could direct where we go and what we do, it's just the Minions from now on. And Tareq the banana lover is back with the team, and we will never ever threat him the way we did last season.

Long story short: we're on the most wanted list of the CIA, FBI and Interpol, we have both Chiquita and Universal suing us, the governments of the United States and Guatemala want to see us extradited, and for some reason the Walt Disney Company has send mercenaries to kill us. But that won't stop us. We're going to continue were we left off: to conquer the world of cycling, whether you like it or not!

Let's start with the good news (pun intented): we survived our first season in PCT! How? Well, read below.

We realised our squad was in need of a major make-over, since our CT leaders would not be good enough to lead PCT. Our two major signings were Úran for the mountains/stage races, and Betancourt for the hills. Albert was brought on to lead at the cobbles, and Drapac remained sprint leader though we knew he would struggle more. A leader in every discipline, what could go wrong?

A lot, actually. We spent over a million bananas on helping Betancourt lose weight so he would be in top shape going in this season, but his performances were not what we expected. We wanted constant scoring while he only delivered a few good result contrary to many bad results. Albert didn't have the best of seasons either but at least he tried. And our support riders didn't really get themselves inside the break or in a low points-scoring position for them to be of any help for the rankings.

We made mistakes, we'll admit. We left over 150k in our wage cap to afford Betancourt's training, money we could have used to sign better riders. And the riders we did sign weren't scouted that great either. We signed Goodnews Clifford purely because of his first name and the laughs we would have, not because of his skill. Jeandesbosz had previously been signed by us but never raced, so we brought him back to close the chapter, but his age had already caught him and he wasn't as good as he used to be. Albourdainy was signed because he's friends with the Sheikh's son and while he wasn't too bad, we could've signed someone with more pedigree.

That still doesn't answer our earlier question though. How did we survive? Well, a large part of it is down to one man: Úran. He scored well in every race he participated in, but in August he delivered big-time when he won Deutschland Tour in the PTHC category, against ProTour opposition, and single-handedly pushed us out of the relegation zone we'd been spending in since January. A statue for him has already been erected outside the HQ.

Other two silver linings were Drapac, who caused an upset when he won Nahakon Rahamanakon Classic in Thailand (that's not how it's spelled but we've never done it correctly and you probably never noticed), and De Haes, who won three stages in three different races from the breakaway. Those fringe points proved to be just enough to stay above the five bottom places.

In the end it's twentieth place, two places and just 237 points ahead of relegation. This year we have to do better, this year we have to sign riders better, this year we have to plan races better, this year we have to race races better, this year we have to be better!

Because we're not going down, we're going up!


This story is completely fictional. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious as well. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental, but I hope the little yellow single-celled organisms are real Pfft

Edited by Marcovdw on 15-07-2018 11:27
Manager of Minions
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Team Chiquita - Universal
[CT] 24th


Team [19 riders]:
Fredy Piamonte Roman Kilun
Fabio Montenegro Bjorn Selander
Gert Rajala Carter Jones
Sébastien Chavanel Mark Griffith
Marco Bandiera Nathan Brown
Wim Stroetinga Jakob Rathe
Tareq Esmaeli Rahsaan Bahati
Chad Haga Mike Friedman
Alex Howes Nathan Wilson
John Murphy

Chiquita - Universal p/b Minions
[CT] 17th


Team [19 riders]:
Yasmani Martinez John Murphy
Nick Kinney Mark Griffith
Chad Haga Sebastian Salas
Taylor Tolleson Simon-Pierre Gauthier [Stagiare]
Bjorn Selander Fabio Montenegro
Timothy Duggan Maxime Le Montagner [Loan]
Alex Howes Mauro Santambrogio
Jakob Rathe Shaquille Sinclair [Loan]
Mike Friedman Tareq Esmaeli
Loaned out [1 rider]:
Carter Jones

Chiquita - Universal
[CT] 4th


Team [19 riders]:
Yasmani Martinez Damion Drapac
Leandro Marcos Jay Major
Nick Kinney Darren Matthews
Chris Barton Kenny De Haes
Ethan Weiss Carlos Alexandre Manarelli
Jakob Rathe Edwin Avila
Mark Griffith Cayetano Sarmiento
Diego Milan Tareq Esmaeli
Jhonnatan De Leon Gracjan Lejman
Nervin Jiatz [Loan]
Loaned out [2 riders]:
Bjorn Selander Chad Haga

[PCT] 20th


Team [25 riders]:
Rigoberto Úran Chad Haga
Carlos Betancourt Bjorn Selander
Jarlinson Pantano Gómez Nick Kinney
Edwin Avila Chris Barton
Cayetano Sarmiento Ethan Weiss
Yasmani Martinez Jay Major
Leandro Marcos Niels Albert
Diego Milan Kenny De Haes
Fabrice Jeandesbosz Oliver Naesen
Shaquille Sinclair Carlos Alexandre Manarelli
Salah Eddine Mraouni [Loan] Tareq Esmaeli
Goodnews Clifford Ahmed Albourdainy
Damion Drapac

Edited by Marcovdw on 13-08-2018 18:11
Manager of Minions

Niels Albert324.10075,30100000
Edwin Avila294.10074,1060000
Chris Barton304.10072,6350000
Kenny De Haes344.10071,5760000
Damion Drapac304.10074,6095000
Odd Christian Eiking243.2372,0350000*
Tareq Esmaeli314.10070,7150000
Andzs Flaksis304.10072,3355000
Chad Haga304.10074,4470000
Reinhardt Janse van Rensburg294.10074,63100000
Farzad Khodayari264.10073,5650000
Bert-Jan Lindeman294.10074,59125000
Jay Major233.9970,9550000
Carlos Alexandre Manarelli294.10074,0760000
Leandro Marcos274.10073,0950000
Yasmani Martinez314.10075,1095000
Clenne Morvan Moulingui233.3671,3250000**
Xavier Quevedo274.10076,05135000
Laureano Rosas284.10072,1850000
Cayetano Sarmiento314.10071,1960000
Nico Schinker314.10072,8750000
Bjorn Selander304.10074,4275000
Shaquille Sinclair254.3470,2950000
Rigoberto Úran314.10079,01600000
Ruben Zepuntke254.10076,72175000

* = Loaned in from Equinor Pro Cycling, we pay 50k out of 140k wage
** = Loaned in from GCN ProTeam, we pay 50k out of 50k wage



Edited by Marcovdw on 02-08-2018 20:46
Manager of Minions

Clasico San CristobalC210
Tour Down UnderC114-19
Tour of QatarPT21-26
Apex Mountain ClassicPTHC28
//Tour of the Middle EastHC5-8
Omloop Het NieuwsbladPTHC6
Kuurne - Bruxelles - KuurneC27
Gent - WevelgemC110
Ras TailteannC110-12
Viana do CasteloC114
Volta a CatalunyaC118-23
Etoile de BessegesC125-27
Hong Kong ChallengeC225-27
KBC De Panne TourC12-5
Le SamynC110
Vuelta a ColombiaHC11-16
Tour of East JavaC114-15
Strade BianchePTHC20
Tour of SouthlandC124-28
GP HerningHC31
Nakhon Ratchasima TrophyC11
Tour of VancouverHC1-7
Tour of UkraineHC13-15
Tour of CyprusC120-23
Lisbon ClassicPTHC26
Corsica InternationalC128-30
Veenendaal - VeenendaalHC29
Cheshire Cycling TourHC1-5
Chrono d'ArenbergC19
Vuelta a EspanaGT11-31
Scandinavia Open Road RacePTHC12-14
Berlin ProRaceHC16
Olympia's TourC123-28
Tour of NorwayPTHC27-31
Malopolski WyscigPTHC3
GP KigaliHC5
Post Danmark RundtHC10-14
Ronde van Het IJsselmeerC126
Monterrey TTTC130
Celtic ChronoC15-6
Kenya Mountain ClassicHC20
Tour of BeijingHC26-29
Macskako KerekparversenyC14
Clasica San SebastianHC7
Int. Osterreich RundfahrtHC7-13
Volta a PortugalPTHC11-21
//Baltic Chain TourC117-21
Rheden GPPTHC27
Milano - TorinoC129
Tour de MarocPTHC1-9
Giro dell'EmeliaHC3
Barbados Cycling FestivalHC12-15
Japan CupHC18

//Tour of the Middle EastWin
Strade BiancheTop 5
Veenendaal - VeenendaalTop 10
Int. Osterreich RundfahrtTop 5
PCT Team StandingsTop 10

Edited by Marcovdw on 31-07-2019 15:26
Manager of Minions

Edited by Marcovdw on 17-09-2019 07:38
Manager of Minions

Always an interesting time of the season, the renewals. Do we go far a major clean-up or do we keep together most of the squad to increase chemistry. Here's how we did.

Renewed riders

RiderOld WageNew WageDifference
Niels Albert€ 150.000€ 100.000€ -50.000
Edwin Avila€ 50.000€ 60.000€ +10.000
Chris Barton€ 55.000€ 50.000€ -5.000
Carlos Betancourt€ 275.000€ 200.000€ -75.000
Kenny De Haes€ 60.000€ 60.000€ 0
Damion Drapac€ 60.000€ 95.000€ +35.000
Tareq Esmaeli€ 50.000€ 50.000€ 0
Chad Haga€ 70.000€ 70.000€ 0
Jay Major€ 50.000€ 50.000€ 0
Carlos Alexandre Manarelli€ 60.000€ 60.000€ 0
Leandro Marcos€ 60.000€ 50.000€ -10.000
Yasmani Martinez€ 85.000€ 95.000€ +10.000
Oliver Naesen€ 50.000€ 50.000€ 0
Jarlinson Pantano Gómez€ 105.000€ 75.000€ -30.000
Cayetano Sarmiento€ 55.000€ 60.000€ +5.000
Bjorn Selander€ 70.000€ 75.000€ +5.000
Shaquille Sinclair€ 50.000€ 50.000€ 0
Rigoberto Úran€ 600.000€ 600.000€ 0

Nearly everyone remained at roughly the same wage, some increased by 5/10k and others decreased by the same amount. Drapac received the biggest wage increase but given his performances that's not undeserved. We're glad Úran accepted the same wage even though he demanded a bit more. The likes of Albert, Pantano Gómez and Betancourt received a considerable wage-cut due to their disappointing seasons. We're especially glad we could shave 75k off the latter.

Released riders

RiderOld WageNew WageDifference
Ahmed Albourdainy€ 50.000€ 0€ -50.000
Goodnews Clifford€ 50.000€ 0€ -50.000
Fabrice Jeandesbosz€ 50.000€ 0€ -50.000
Nick Kinney€ 75.000€ 0€ -75.000
Diego Milan€ 55.000€ 0€ -55.000
Ethan Weiss€ 50.000€ 0€ -50.000

These are the riders who were released to the FA market. Albourdainy will step aside to allow more room for new leaders. Clifford was considered not good enough for PCT standards but we hope a CT team will see his potential. Jeandesbosz will likely head towards retirement. Kinney and Milan will leave after three and two years service, and look to head back to CT. Weiss's skills couldn't be properly used within the team but a team without a strong puncheur focus could see his use.

Available riders

Carlos Betancourt: Even though he didn't do that great nor bad we think it's best if we part ways with him and replace him with a better leader. We think someone like Carlos could be a great leader for a new CT team, or a domestique for a team with a major focus on hills. Either way his 200k wage is not that expensive to riders of similar capabilities.

Carlos Alexandre Manarelli: The Brazilian sprinter was a main instrument in our promotion two years ago but couldn't leave a mark in PCT. Therefore we think he would be better off at a CT team. With two new (partly) Brazilian teams entering CT, we think he might an interesting rider for them but of course other teams might want him as well.

There are three riders who are off-limit, and making an offer on them will not even yield a proper response: Drapac, Esmaeli and Úran. The riders not mentioned before are not necessarily open to transfers but we'll listen to any offer that comes along.

Manager of Minions
Great renewals for you it looks like. Specially that wage of Betancourt Pfft

Also, big kudos for surviving despite not using 150k Shock of wage cap Cool
Manager of [MG] Repsol - Netflix

Nice cut of wage you did with Alberts and Betancourt, I guess Uran is happy with his wage though

Will be fun to see if you sell Betancourt and then who will replace him.
@Aquarius97 - Thanks, it was a great risk but it didn't hurt us in the end.
@viking90 - Úran is happy indeed! I have my eye on a few people and I'm sure one of them will end up here.

Manager of Minions

It's the last day before transfer madness begins. To help us combat the stress and to draw attention away from the other teams, we reveal our jersey for the upcoming season:


It looks very similar to last year's jersey but there is one minor change in detail. Can you spot it?

No? Try again!

Still no? Perhaps buy a new pair of glasses and look closely!

Will you give us a hint? No, you have to see it yourself!

Oh please, just tell us! Alright then...

There is no change at all. It was just a trick to waste your time. You could've spent the last five minutes searching the far rows and columns in the database but instead you were looking at an artistically average jersey design. We're glad you've just given us the tactical advantage for tomorrow. Thank you for your time and best of luck, provided you don't get in our way!

Manager of Minions

Cheap tricks...we'll see how far that gets you tomorrow

Apparently someone who doesn't like us has placed a spy in our HQ and leaked our transfer targets. Who could it be? Chiquita, Universal, the US government, Disney, a rival team, Scarlett Overkill?

Anyway, we will try and spin this into our advantage by revealing our ten targets for the upcoming season ourselves to prevent any speculation and stupid questions from the media.

10: Maluwil Deh
The best time trialist from Togo.

9: Albert Vegna
A Montenegrin allrounder who can perform at every terrain.

8: Clint Henry
From Antigua and/or Barbuda, an exotic rider which fits right into our roster.

7: Erwin Middleton
Apparently related to the British Royal Family, a must have to improve our connections.

6: Mohammed Mohi Obaid
We want to go into a more Asian direction and Mohammed from Brunei will help us.

5: Duarte Reis Ferreira
Named after Fabio Duarte and Rafael Reis, he was destined to be a star climber.

4: Ricky Sousa
Bacardi is gone as cycling sponsor but Bermuda still produces great talents.

3: Francisco Mateus
Born on July 26, the day which astrologists say the chosen one was born.

2: Kevin Muscat
This guy's stamina is unreal, which will be important in longer races.

1: Thomas Godfrey
Our main target and the most coveted free agent on the market we think.

There you have them. Please stay away from them, we're willing to go into millions to sign them all.

Manager of Minions
Is it bad that I read until #4 before I figured it out?
Kevin Muscat injured enough footballers he wants to do it in another sport now? Pfft
30/12/14 - matt17br said "Sutty's birthday is more important than [Jesus' Birthday]"
14/11/20 - Pablo Matera said "There was no respect. I play for my country."

[ICL] Santos-Euskadi | The Life And Times | [Doomed] i.imgur.com/c85NSl6.png Xero Racing
[CX] Listerijns & Kiwis

3x i.imgur.com/wM6Wok5.png x3
@Vien - Yes it's pretty shocking you didn't figure out these are the biggest talents in the DB. Pfft
@jandal7 - That's the reason we want him. Wink

Manager of Minions

The first two days were a bit messy with many of our FA targets becoming unobtainable, leaving transfers as the only options. From plan A to plan Z in one day, but in the end we think we did alright. So, here are the new guys:

Reinhardt Janse van Rensburg


Our only FA signing so far at 100k, this South African is rescued from the ashes of Project Africa to ride for us. His speciality is time trials and he's especially looking to help us improve our major weakness: team time trials.

Ruben Zepuntke


1.2 million for a rider? Are you crazy? Well, yes, but this guy deserves it. Since our puncheur targets became to expensive we switched to a cobble leader as secondary leader. And we're looking forward to bringing you "we need ze punkte" jokes. You thought good news jokes were bad? We can do even worse!

Xavier Quevedo


On the cover it may look like a downgrade from Betancourt but we don't think it's necessarily the case. He has proven to be a decent puncheur and for a pretty cheap wage (135k) he has no pressure. It's not like we invested 1 million in training on him.

Manager of Minions

We have a history of loanees. Sinclair and Le Montanger in year two, Jiatz in year three, Mraouni last year. This year we went for two loanees again, which we'll present below:

Clenne Morvan Moulingui


On loan from GCN, formerly Haute Route - Mavic. This Gabonese talent will help us on the cobbles, a major focus area this season.

Odd Christian Eiking


On loan from Equinor, formerly Statoil. This Norwegian joins our squad while Equinor still pays part of his wage. He's set to be part of our hills squads.

Manager of Minions

As you may have heard, we sold Carlos Betancourt to World Cycling Centre for 850k. First, we say goodbye to Carlos and wish him all the best. Then, we make a statement regarding some comments around him and his transfer.

Carlos joined us last year from the ill-fated Coldeportes outfit as lead puncheur. Since he was a little bit of out shape we spend a million bananas on getting him fit. Even though his performances weren't that bad we expect more of him especially given the investment. With a new Colombian outfit, World Cycling Centre, joining the ranks they offered 850k for his services, which we accepted. We wish him and his team all the best and hope he can score the points for them.

Regarding the media attention around him, we want to make an official statement. There have been reports that Carlos has been bullied and misthreated around here. We want to say that this is simply false. Even though we were disappointed with his performances and have had several meetings with him regarding this, we've never been unkind to him. Not the staff, not the riders, not anyone else. We don't know where this quotes such as "Roly-Poly" or the report that we shove his eye-brows off one night come from, but we're considering legal actions towards those who brought them out.

Manager of Minions

The team is starting to shape nicely, as we can announce another three new signings:

Bert-Jan Lindeman


We tried to sign him last year, and the year before, but now he's finally ours. For 125k he can both ride over cobbles and has a decent sprint afterwards. A very good deputy to Zepuntke.

Fulgencio Bru


After a year out of professional cycling, he returns to ride for us. Third Cuban on the squad after Marcos and Martinez, he hasn't reached his full potential yet but is already useful as hills domestique.

Laureano Rosas


This Argentinian joins on minimum wage from SanCor, which sadly disbanded this season. He is brought in for one reason: team time trials, an area where we've always been weak in but we hope he can be part of the change there.

Manager of Minions

We're not only looking at top quality leaders, we're also aware we have to look at the future. A first step towards guaranteeing our future leaders began today.

Alvaro Hodeg


After fencing off Zalgiris on the market, we signed this future superstar sprinter for 70k. He is Colombia's biggest sprinting talent since Gaviria, and we hope he'll be a great scorer for us in a few years time. It is possible we will loan him out to a CT team for this season to aid his development.

Manager of Minions
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