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Tour of Qatar Discussion
Fabianski
Tour of Qatar

6 stages - 5 flat, 1 ITT – 716.6 km


After pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/afk.png Hagen claimed the win in the first PT classic, we're now heading to Qatar for 2019's first PT stage race. This race is held since 2008 (CT) and is a PT race since 2009.
Qatar is not known for its mountains - in fact, there's not a single KoM in the whole race - therefore we once again have six pan-flat stages. We are expecting five bunch sprints, and then we get a short ITT to conclude the tour.

The stages are basically the same as last year, except for last year's stage 2 now being stage 5. And the epilogue is 800m longer - will it be enough to squeeze out some more seconds?
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/profiles/pt_qat.jpg


Obviously, the top sprinters are once again the favorites for this tour, especially with the bonus second system used. And last year's (and 2016) winner pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/itd.png Degenkolb would certainly have been among them once more, but his team refused the PT promotion they were offered and did not get invited to Qatar this year. Instead, PT wildcards went to pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/cad.png Campari/Asahi development and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/p4e.png Team Popo4Ever.
But even though the German is absent this year, we still have two former winners on the starting line: pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/mos.png Sam Bewley (2017) and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/akm.png Ben Swift (2012, 2015).

Unlike last year, the spectators won't have a Qatari to cheer for this year, as the local team pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/min.png Minions with pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/min.png Esmaeli - the lone Qatari professional in the MGUCI world - have not been invited, either.

But now let's focus on the GC favorites. As mentioned before, the bonus seconds will weigh much more compared to the closing ITT, so it's almost granted that a top sprinter will win this race. However, to separate these, the ITT can play a crucial role - last year, riders lost a Top10, a Top5 or even a podium due to a bad performance on the last day.
Yet, it could take more than "just" sprint and short ITT capabilities. As there are absolutely no hills, teams will be able to keep most of their helpers for the last few kilometers, hence the speed will be really high in the stage finale. So a good flat riding and high resistance will certainly come in handy - especially as the wind may take a huge influence on the race.
And of course, you can have the highest top-speed, but if it takes too long to reach it, you're lost. So a good acceleration will be another key to success. Finally, you should still be in good shape on the last day, so you need to recover well.
But now let's finally look at some rider names and their stats:

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fes.png Bryan Coquard brings probably the best mix of all of these mentioned capabilities. His top speed is great, and so is his acceleration. Furthermore, he could even be named among the outsiders for the epilogue - especially given his recovery. However, he might be in danger when the wind comes into play, as he isn't the best tempo rider. He finished third last year; can he take the next step?
And what about his support? With pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fes.png Petit and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fes.png Stauff, he's got two great leadout riders, which are themselves stronger sprinters than some other teams' presumed captains.

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/akm.png Ben Swift surely deserves to be high on this list, as he's already won this race twice. He can match Coquard's top speed and acceleration, but might lose some time to the Frenchman in the final ITT. And maybe his slightly worse resistance could be a handicap, too. After last year's deception with P17, can he once more attack the podium?
Leadout-wise, he may as well have a little disadvantage compared to Coquard, but with pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/akm.png Scully he's certainly got a decent man by his side.

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/evo.png Michael Van Stayen is the third 84-sprinter. As the two previously presented riders, his top-speed should allow him to get some great results. His slightly weaker acceleration probably means he needs to be cleverer, but his good flat capability should help him getting good positions. However, whereas he is among the top favorites for the first five stages, the epilogue will probably make him suffer GC-wise. Last year, he lost 27" and a Top5 on the final day. He won't be pleased that the ITT is 800m longer this year, so he needs to get even more bonus seconds for a good GC result.
However, MvS will probably miss some strong support on the final kilometers, as his leadouts pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/evo.png Dzamastagic and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/evo.png Blythe are slightly weaker than those of his presumed primary opponents.

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/mos.png Sam Bewley is last year's runner-up, and with the defending champion being absent this year, is one of the top favorites as well. He doesn't have the same top-speed as the above trio, but the difference should be minor. On the other hand, his acceleration, resistance and flat skills are huge and could well give hime the edge over the other sprinters. He can do decent ITTs as well, be they short or long, and should lose nothing to most top sprinters - except for Coquard. He doesn't have a real weakness - is he ready for the win this year?
This will depend on his team as well. pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/mos.png Soupe has been nominated as Bewley's leadout, which is certainly good, but maybe not as good as Coquard's leadouts.

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/t3a.png Caleb Ewan is the youngest of the top sprinter - so young that he's still a competitor (and probably the top favorite) for the white jersey. He can match Bewley's speed on the final stretch; his acceleration is however a tad weaker. So are his recovery, resistance and flat skills. On the other hand, he is one of the better short ITT riders among the top sprinters. It's his first Tour of Qatar, so we can't compare to previous results, but the parcours should definitely fit him.
And he's got a great leadout in pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/t3a.png Nelson, who could as well be a team leader on his own!

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ino.png Alexander Kristoff is very similar to Ewan. It's just his acceleration and recovery that are a bit lower, but in the primary stats - sprint and prologue - they are a perfect match. The same holds for the flat skills. Kristoff finished on P7 last year - will the longer ITT help him sneak into the Top5?
If the team support should be an important factor, it may not favor Kristoff, as there is no extraordinary leadout. Of course, we all know about pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ino.png Van Avermaet's huge career, but leadout may not be his top role.

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ebd.png Eduard Grosu matches the former riders' top-speed, but has slightly lower support stats. Be it flat riding, resistance and especially short ITT. But it's really just nuances separating those sprinters. However, you can pay big for such nuances; Grosu was on the wrong side of a split last year and got a disappointing GC result. Can he make it to the right side this time?
In terms of leadout, Grosu will have pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ebd.png Brus by his side, who can surely do a good job, but might find it hard to keep up with the top leadouts.

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ssc.png Oscar Guerao is the last of the 83-sprinters, and has clearly the weakest support stats. He lacks quite much everything compared to the others - be it acceleration, resistance or especially prologue skills. In this discipline, he is among the 10 weakest riders in this field, so should he have any GC hopes, he would need to collect a ton of bonus seconds before the final stage. Good stage results are certainly possible, but what can he get GC-wise?
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ssc.png Hsu should be the primary leadout for Guerao. Will this be enough to compete with the top guys having top leadouts?

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/aeg.png Dylan Groenewegen is another great sprinter. His top-speed is however lower than that of the aforementioned riders. Only a little bit, but this may be decisive. On the plus side, he can get decent results from short ITTs, and he has a great recovery capability. Can he make good use of his strengths and improve on his 18th place from last year? To be fair, he got this result as a leadout for Swift, and he finished 2nd in the youth standings.
For the leadout role, he'll get pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/aeg.png Bauhaus and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/aeg.png Sbaragli. While both are good leadouts, it may not be enough to match the top leadouts.

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/afk.png Peter Kennaugh matches Groenewegen's speed, in the bunch sprints, but won't be able to keep up with the former when it comes to the epilogue. However, behind Bewley he is the best rouleur among the top sprinters, and so may hope for strong crosswinds. He probably needs such situations if he wants to repeat last year's perfomance with finishing 4th in GC. Which he only did because he lost the podium in the ITT...
The leadout by pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/afk.png Clarke should be decent, but not top-notch either.

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/bnm.png Leigh Howard is pretty much a copy&paste of Kennaugh when it comes to the key stats for this race. He has a slightly worse acceleration, but has got more potential going into the final ITT. However, while Kennaugh got a 4th place last year, Howard only finished 21st. Can he get enough bonus seconds this year to not lose the Top20 on the final day?
His team has not brought strong leadout riders for Howard, so he'll most likely have to find the right wheel on his own.

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/cad.png Kris Boeckmans can probably feel with Van Stayen or Kennaugh, as he's a good sprinter, but the final ITT is all but his friend. He'll need plenty of bonus seconds to secure a good overall result, and he must be careful not to miss any splits, as he isn't among the big flat machines. He fell from 17th to 28th in the epilogue last year; can he limit his losses this time?
Being a wildcard team, there's no PT-like horsepower available for the leadout, so they "just" brought pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/cad.png Lasca.

Finally, we have pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/tti.png Juan Van Heerden - another member of the "ITT haters group". What might be equally bad for him is his low acceleration; the rather low resistance and flat not being a plus, either. He really needs to get the perfect position going into the final sprint if he wants to compete with the "big guns".
Strong support required, strong support provided: pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/tti.png Team Tinkoff brings pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/tti.png Samolenkov, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/tti.png Serebriakov and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/tti.png Meyer - all of them are 80-sprinters! And given Meyer's potential in the epilogue, he may actually be the team leader, and Van Heerden could be his super-leadout. And they should be among the teams who rock this final stage.


Well, lots of words. And words can lie, numbers don't. So here's what you've been waiting for:
RiderSprPrlAccFlaResRec
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fes.png Coquard847983737484
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/akm.png Swift847082747082
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/evo.png Van Stayen846078767180
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ino.png Kristoff837379757176
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/t3a.png Ewan837381757180
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/mos.png Bewley837183787685
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ebd.png Grosu837080737079
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ssc.png Guerao835776746481
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/aeg.png Groenewegen827281737185
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/bnm.png Howard826879767079
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/afk.png Kennaugh826381777180
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/t3a.png Nelson817281726479
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/tti.png Van Heerden816172726676
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/cad.png Boeckmans816083737181
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/tti.png Meyer807876726574
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/p4e.png Ulanowski807577736671
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fes.png Stauff807481746976
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/tti.png Serebriakov807277746779
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/tti.png Samolenkov807079747178
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fes.png Petit806678767278
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/rpn.png Nizzolo806679736771
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fab.png Guardini805982726971



There are as well quite some riders who will mainly target the final stage. It will be interesting to see how much recovery comes into play.
RiderPrlResRec
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ssc.png Leung827769
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/tmo.png Fiedler827678
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/rpn.png Zmorka827572
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fpc.png Kemboi817781
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/grm.png S. K. Andersen817664
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/bnm.png Dennis817567
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fes.png Vlatos817167
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/tti.png Yatsevich808167
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/evo.png Stoltz807975
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/pum.png Sütterlin807767
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/rpn.png Gonzalez Salas807667
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/aeg.png Paillot807468
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ebd.png Howson807472
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/t3a.png Sergent807471
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ssc.png Van Winden807074



Let's take a quick look at the youth competition as well:
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/mos.png Baska took the white jersey last year, and while he might still finish high up in the standings, the top favorite should be pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/t3a.png Ewan. He is the strongest sprinter among the U25 riders, and the only one having realistic chances for getting many bonus seconds.
However, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fpc.png Kemboi should give him a good fight, as he is one of the best short ITT riders in this peloton. And he is a decent sprinter as well, and probably even his team's leader.
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/iso.png Kalaba has got a good mix of sprinting and TTing as well, whereas pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/p4e.png Lutsyshyn would need to gain some bonus seconds on him, being the better sprinter but worse in the short time trial.
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/grm.png S. K. Andersen and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ssc.png Leung on the other hand are in the list of favorites for the final stage, but will probably not win any bonus seconds.


Another important factor may be the strength of the teams in case of windy stages, where the flat riding skills could be very important. And here we can see that some teams seem to be prepared to take advantage of the wind, while others will hope for calm weather.
The teams that could ride at a horrendous speed are first of all pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/evo.png Evonik, but pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/iso.png Isostar, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fpc.png Farfetch, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/akm.png Aker and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/grm.png Grieg bring some flat powerhorses as well. Will they get a decisive gap on one stage? It might decide on the team standings.

If it comes down to the epilogue to decide on the team standings, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/t3a.png Podium Ambition, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/rpn.png Repsol, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ssc.png Spar, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/tti.png Team Tinkoff, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/grm.png Grieg, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/bnm.png Bennelong or pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/aeg.png Aegon may have good cards - be prepared for a battle for seconds!


And now, finally, the startlist:
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Races/PT/Qatar/mg19_qat_startlist.jpg


Forgive me if some of the assumptions I made are completely wrong - I've got a lot to learn concerning how the various stats determine how a rider really does in PCM. I'm far from being an expert yet, so I hope you guys can live with my reporting. And maybe some day I'll find a cure for the wall-of-text-syndrome I'm obviously suffering from Pfft
i.imgur.com/Ivui2bO.png
 
Croatia14
What an awesome preview! Well we didn't bring Kump to save him for other races, we instead go for a full flat beast squad.
 
roturn
After a good Badaling, hopes are there to continue this early season form here in Qatar.

Can`t really expect more than a couple of top10s but as sprints can be wide open, maybe some better results are possible as well.

GC wise not sure how random TTs are and where Paillot/Boom/Dumoulin/Frison can land.

While it can be a first sign of what to expect from sprinters this season, Qatar often is a different race.

Great preview Fabianski. Lots of information and details.
 
tsmoha
Great preview indeed. Thanks!

Last year's edition was quite a bummer for our team, so I really hope for Howard to be in the mix for bonifications this time! Also Dennis can be a threat for the GC, if he does not get caught in possible echelons/splits. At least he should be in the mix for epilogue. I guess this PCM still has the TT randomness/heavy daily shape iinfluence though?
 
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DubbelDekker
We're mostly here for giving our sponsor airtime from breakaways. No result expected.
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SotD
Looking at how much value we have put into sprinters this season we really need a good result.
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fjhoekie
I had a wildcard... So why not take Pluchkin to a race he would otherwise never ever race? Grin
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tastasol
Here with our flat team. Would have liked to bring Würtz also, but couldn't fit him in due to development unfortunately. No hopes in the sprints, but praying for some hard flat stages and a good epilogue.

Great preview, Fabianski!
 
TheManxMissile
Right, time to see whether our re-design has even a slim hope of survival. Not many races like this out there so we need to do well in all of them. The Ewan-Ricki duo is well known by now, gives us two bites at the cherry. Throw in most of my new TT additions to try and dig as many points from the final stage/GC as possible. Plus maybe Supa-Nova will mix up an attack or two?
Get used to seeing this 8-man set-up, they will appear together quite a lot!

Basically, we're all in here. GC win is not impossible, but if we're outside the Top5 pretty much season done and dusted already. Fingers crossed...

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jandal7
Wow, just want to say what a fantastic preview you've put together Fabianski, awesome Grin
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[CX] Listerijns & BoK

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Fabianski
Good to see that you like the preview Smile

I'd just like to give huge credit to Tamijo, who reported the race last year. His preview and reports were really inspiring, and even though I did do the research on stage venues etc. on my own, I used his reports to check that I'm not completely wrong. In general, reading other people's reports helps a lot for writing my own, especially now as a beginner. I don't want to just copy&paste, though, so obviously I'm still trying to find my own style Smile
i.imgur.com/Ivui2bO.png
 
baseballlover312
Absolutely phenomenal preview Fabianski! It's been a long time since we've had such long, qualitative previews in the MG, and they are a real favorite of mine.
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ember
That's an in-depth preview, and a great read. Thank you a lot for that, Fabianski!

And well, this race has never been this important for us before, and we've never had such a team here before. We really need Swift and the team to work well here, as every race day for both him and Taaramäe is absolutely key if we're going to keep the relegation danger at a comfortable distance through the season.

I can also agree with the preview that our leadout for the final few kilometers isn't the best on paper, but at the same time, I think our team for general tough racing on the flat is pretty good, and that was just as important as the leadout itself when I picked the team here and sold Holst Enger. Hopefully it turns out to be a good decision for this race. The logic is that a bad day in potential crosswind is far worse than a bad sprint with bad positioning, as Swift himself should be good enough to get something even from such sprints if they happen.

On paper, you could argue Coquard is the best suited sprinter for this race now, and his leadout should also be great. Though, if the racing gets tough, I think there will be teams ready to exploit Festina's not so brilliant team for the flats. Hopefully we can prove to be among the protagonists there, to give Swift the best possible shot at overall glory. Fingers crossed!

Needless to say, I'm really looking forward to see how this race plays out, as it's kind of season defining regarding Swift and what to expect from him. Must admit that's a scary thought Pfft
 
Aquarius97
Fantastic preview Smile

Can only hope to have always 3 riders in the main group in each of the flat stages, specially Zmorka and Salas, and then go for the stage win, ¿GC Top10? and Team standings. It's impossible that Nizzolo gets involved in the sprints, so anything he may get is a bonus
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OlegTinkov
Let's see if bringing 4 sprinters and 4 tters works in PCM18.
 
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Eden95
See how we go, Kristoff surrounded by flat beasts and smaller sprinters. Not too confident of an amazing result considering the competition, but Kristoff did do well here last year.

Thanks for the preview!
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SotD
As some mention we don't quite have the FL stat to match others if they really want to put the hammer down in the crosswinds. I do remember reading somewhere (SN I think) that crosswinds wouldn't be as hard this Qatar as the previous versions.

Also having a team with 76-76-74-74-73-73-73-72 would be enough though. It's not completely useless. We can't match Evonik and Grieg on the flats, but other than that it's mostly 1 or 2 riders from other teams that are better than our helpers. I especially hope to see Karatzios put the hammer down for us. It will be interesting anyway to see how our sprint train works against the very best of opposition. If it works well we could have a very good season, if it doesn't get any better than last seasons Qatar sprints, then we could be in for a long season...
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knockout
I hated this race in the past because it always disappointed me. Lets see if this year is any different.

Van Stayen needs to be good on the flat stages to not fall out of interesting GC positions. I went all flat stat on his leadout. We'll if someone like Liepins should have been part of it but perhaps Dzama + Blythe can be quite beastly too. Support team around that should be known by now. Lots of high flat guys and Stoltz as the GC co leader that somehow gets dropped at the first split on the flat roads. Yeah that will totally happen again :/


Absolutely stunning preview! One of the best ones i can remember!
A Big Thank You To All MG And ICL Reporters!
And To All Who Organize Something On Daily As Well!


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roturn
SotD wrote:
As some mention we don't quite have the FL stat to match others if they really want to put the hammer down in the crosswinds. I do remember reading somewhere (SN I think) that crosswinds wouldn't be as hard this Qatar as the previous versions.

Wind indeed is less than in other years.
 
knockout
roturn wrote:
SotD wrote:
As some mention we don't quite have the FL stat to match others if they really want to put the hammer down in the crosswinds. I do remember reading somewhere (SN I think) that crosswinds wouldn't be as hard this Qatar as the previous versions.

Wind indeed is less than in other years.


Why would one do that? That's 90% of what makes Qatar interesting ...
Its like taking out the hills of Nederlands and making it a completely flat race... :/
A Big Thank You To All MG And ICL Reporters!
And To All Who Organize Something On Daily As Well!


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Looks ... determined
Looks ... determined
Tour de France 2012
Fantasy Betting
Current bets:
No bets available.
Best gamblers:
bullet Vien 19,234 PCM$
bullet df_Trek 11,601 PCM$
bullet baseba... 10,704 PCM$
bullet jseadog1 10,692 PCM$
bullet Yellow... 9,476 PCM$

bullet Main Fantasy Betting page
bullet Rankings: Top 100
ManGame Betting
Current bets:
No bets available.
Best gamblers:
bullet baseball... 12,256 PCM$
bullet jseadog1 11,655 PCM$
bullet trekbmc 11,294 PCM$
bullet Marcovdw 10,393 PCM$
bullet Vien 10,000 PCM$

bullet Main MG Betting page
bullet Get weekly MG PCM$
bullet Rankings: Top 100
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