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Barbados Cycling Festival Discussion
Barbados Cycling Festival

4 stages - all flat - 786.4km

Welcome to the 3rd edition of the Barbados Sprinting - ehm, Cycling Festival!

Whereas the race was rated HC in the last two years, and took place in fall, it has now been bumped up to PTHC and is held in the beginning of March.

With this upgrade, we'll now have the pleasure to welcome a really stacked field uniting some of the best sprinters of both PT and PCT - including both former winners, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ssc.png Oscar Guerao (2018) and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/kmm.png Mark Cavendish (2017). And of course, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/t3a.png Podium Ambition as the home team - to whom we owe this race's existence - will try everything to thrill their local fans!

All of them will definitely have their chances, but they're by far not alone - just take a look at the best sprinters having travelled to this touristic island:

As almost always when he is on the startlist, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fes.png Bryan Coquard should be the top favorite. Of the three 84-sprinters, he has the best acceleration - and once again great support in pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fes.png Petit and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fes.png Stauff, who would themselves be the clear leaders of certain teams in this race. However, apart from pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fes.png Petit there are no great flat riders in their roster - how will this work out in terms of chasing and sprint train?
Plus, we already had this line-up in Qatar, where it definitely didn't work out as planned. Can they do better this time? At least, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fes.png Coquard has proven in Tirreno - Adriatico that he still knows how to win a race! However, San Remo, the last race before coming here, wasn't his best one.

Just as fast as the Frenchman is pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/akm.png Ben Swift. It's just details separating these two; while pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/akm.png Swift is a tad weaker in terms of acceleration, he can ride a little faster on the flat. He brings a strong leadout crew, too, with pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/akm.png Scully, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/akm.png Dakteris and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/akm.png Haddi. Plus three strong flat riders in pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/akm.png Oss, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/akm.png Gjolberg and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/akm.png Yzeiraj - no-one would be surprised to see a lot of pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/akm.png Aker shirts ahead in the final stage of the race!
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/akm.png Swift has won a stage in Qatar, but in other stages just disappointed due to bad positioning. His 7th place in San Remo fits the same pattern: Not bad, but not great, either. Can he improve on this here in Barbados and maybe get more stable results?

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/itd.png John Degenkolb then is the biggest PCT hope in this race. Of these three, he is the strongest on the flat - but has the weakest acceleration. Again, it's just details - but on this level, they can be decisive! And although his leadouts pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/itd.png Merino Criado and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/itd.png King are certainly not bad ones, the two PT sprinters do have stronger domestiques. On the other hand, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/itd.png Brockhoff could do a great job on the flat, as can pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/itd.png Gallego Martin or pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/itd.png Jans.
The German's season start was OK-ish. Two stage wins in Down Under, but several not-so-great result, especially in Ras Tailteann. Can he redeem himself in this race?

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/vlv.png Jonas Ahlstrand then leads the next group, containing the five 83-sprinters. Of those, the Swede has got the best acceleration. And in pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/vlv.png Roelandts and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/vlv.png Markus two good PCT-level leadouts. Will this be enough against the fierce PT competition? He can count on pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/vlv.png Stenersen to do some good work on the flat - but other sprinters seem to have stronger support.
He had a great start to the season, winning the first two stages in Middle East. Things didn't go as well in Ras Tailteann, though, where he "just" got a 2nd place on the final stage. And how will he do now with some of the best PT sprinters added to the field?

A man who surely wants to do great things - for himself, his team and the home fans - is pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/t3a.png Caleb Ewan. He accelerates slightly worse than pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/vlv.png Ahlstrand, but his speed on the flat should be a tad higher. In pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/t3a.png Nelson, he probably has brought the best leadout of all sprinters, and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/t3a.png Alaphilippe could be a good addition to his train, too. With pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/t3a.png Novardianto and especially pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/t3a.png Sergent, there's quite some power on the flat, too.
And the Australian definitely has to redeem himself in this race, as his first races were not good at all. The most noteworthy result so far is the U25 jersey of the Tour of Qatar - without a single stage podium, though. And his 6th place in San Remo was certainly OK, but not outstanding. Can he finally get his breakthrough and make the locals happy?

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ebd.png Eduard Grosu is next, and even though he's slightly weaker than pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/t3a.png Ewan in both acceleration and flat riding, he already has a great result this season as Qatar's overall winner. However, he cannot count on as much team support as other sprinters. In pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ebd.png Brus he's surely got a decent leadout, but will they be strong enough in the flat with pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ebd.png Vermeltfoort as strongest rider on this terrain?
His 4th place in San Remo surely confirms his decent spring form, although he probably wasn't entirely happy about this result.

Then we go again down one league, to PCT sprinter pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/duo.png Oscar Avelino. He has some more deficits concerning acceleration and flat than others - can he compensate this with his team support? pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/duo.png Bouglas and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/duo.png Chen are his best leadouts, but all of his teammates actually are good to OK sprinters. However, without a single flat powerhorse, they might struggle with getting the best positions, or reeling in escapees.
He definitely didn't have a good season until now, with a 3rd place in his first race (Down Under Classic) as the lone noteworthy result. Can he at least add some Top 10 results - or even more?

When talking about low acceleration, we can't ignore pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ssc.png Oscar Guerao, the defending champion. None of the other top sprinters is worse in this "discipline". Moreover, his job will be finding the right wheel, as his team doesn't bring a strong leadout - and no strong flat rider, either.
He's still lacking a podium finish this year, but at least he got four Top 10 results (thereof three Top 5) in Qatar. Can he finally get a Top 3? If he wants to repeat last year's win, he'll probably have to get more than one of it.

Let's again go down one "top-speed level", to pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/afk.png Peter Kennaugh. The Brit may be slightly slower than some of the aforementioned sprinters - but he can compensate some of it with his good acceleration. He will have pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/afk.png Clarke as his main leadout. pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/afk.png Kennaugh himself is one of the stronger flat riders in this peloton, and he'll get some support from pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/afk.png Kwok as well.
His results so far are quite similar to pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ssc.png Guerao's: Two Top 5 finishes in Qatar, one more in Tirreno - Adriatico - but he's still waiting for the big success. Can he get it in the next four days? Considering San Remo, it doesn't seem to be very likely, as he wasn't able to keep up with the best in this long race.

Success - something that pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/aeg.png Dylan Groenewegen definitely knows how to spell. Two stage podiums and 2nd overall in Qatar, plus a stage win in Tirreno - Adriatico - his season start definitely was more than just OK. And by adding a 2nd place in San Remo, he even made it a great one! Although his acceleration is slightly weaker than pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/afk.png Kennaugh's, he got the better results.
This week, he should get decent leadout support from pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/aeg.png Bauhaus and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/aeg.png Sbaragli, with the latter being at the same time the team's best flat rider. Can the Dutchman continue upsetting (theoretically) stronger sprinters?

Next is 2017 winner pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/kmm.png Mark Cavendish. Despite having hit his first decrease last winter, he's still among the "outside favorites" - and for a PCT sprinter, he really has a huge support team with pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/kmm.png Haller and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/kmm.png Willwohl as strong leadouts. For the flat, he has pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/kmm.png Gough by his side.
After a really bad start to the season - possibly due to rather strange team tactics - he stroke back by winning the last stage and the GC of Ras Tailteann, so he should come here with plenty of confidence. Are his legs still fast enough to beat the PT sprinters?

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/cfe.png Romain Vanderbiest suffers from the same deficit as pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ssc.png Guerao - low acceleration compared to many other sprinters. He's got some other disadvantages: His team only brings 6 riders, and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/cfe.png Schorn and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/cfe.png Feiereisen are surely not the worst leadouts, but they aren't among the strongest, either. At least, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/cfe.png Schorn is quite fast on the flat, which may help pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/cfe.png Vanderbiest to get good positioning to compensate a bit for his lack of acceleration.
5th place is his best result so far - which he got three times (once in TDU, twice in Ras Tailteann) - can he get something better out of this race?

We again step down one level concerning the pure sprint top-speed. But beware of pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/cad.png Kris Boeckmans: he has already fought against PT sprinters this year, and the best he got out of this was a 2nd stage place in Qatar. He's got the best acceleration in the whole peloton, together with pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fes.png Coquard, which could make him especially dangerous in messy sprints. However, the rather weak team support could hurt him, as pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/cad.png Lasca really isn't among the strongest leadouts. pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/cad.png Naud is the team's best flat rider. He'll probably just try to get the best wheel, and then use his acceleration to get some good results.
Besides the aforementioned stage podium in Qatar, he got a 2nd and 4th place in Ras Tailteann as well, which earned him a 4th overall as well. But he had some not-so-good results, too. And what about this race?

The fact that the next on the list is pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/t3a.png Ricki Nelson just shows how strong the support for pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/t3a.png Ewan is. He will probably be his compatriot's main leadout throughout most of the season. The only race so far where he was the team leader (Tirreno - Adriatico) didn't work out too well - neither did the others, to be honest. Can they finally get their train really going?

Next on the list is pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/des.png Rick Zabel, another PCT sprinter. He can't quite match the acceleration of the aforementioned riders, but he's among the stronger sprinters on the flat. But he'll really be all alone - there's neither a strong leadout, nor a strong flat rider.
His season start was quite good, two podiums already and several other Top 10 results. Can he get the first win here?

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/cdb.png Davide Appollonio almost matches the German, with his acceleration being a tad weaker. But in terms of leadout, he should have the edge over pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/des.png Zabel, with pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/cdb.png Ranneries being his most important helper. However, with pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/cdb.png Appollonio being the team's best flat rider, they may struggle to position him well.
In the only race he did so far, he didn't get a top result. Can he change this in the next days?

The final rider we'll mention is pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/min.png Maxime Vantomme, whose acceleration is as bad as pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ssc.png Guerao's. He'll count on pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/min.png Avila to give him a great leadout, but we probably won't see other riders of his team helping him, as the flat isn't their favorite terrain.
A 10th place is the best he's got out of this season so far. Can he finally prove in this race that he's worth his money?

Of course, there are many other sprinters - you can see some of them in the list below. You can see their stamina as well - as we have two stages with more than 200km, this might come into play.

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fes.png Coquard8483737174
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/akm.png Swift8482747370
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/itd.png Degenkolb8481767371
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/vlv.png Ahlstrand8382747473
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/t3a.png Ewan8381757371
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ebd.png Grosu8380737470
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/duo.png Avelino8378717066
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ssc.png Guerao8376747164
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/afk.png Kennaugh8281777471
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/aeg.png Groenewegen8281737471
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/kmm.png Cavendish8280727370
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/cfe.png Vanderbiest8277747469
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/cad.png Boeckmans8183737471
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/t3a.png Nelson8181727064
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/des.png Zabel8179747470
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/cdb.png Appollonio8178747166
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/min.png Vantomme8176727463
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fab.png Guardini8082727469
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/rak.png Itami8082757167
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/and.png Kip8082696763
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/bgc.png Silvestre8081787071
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fes.png Stauff8081747469
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/bgc.png Kupfernagel8080747366
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/spr.png Salleh8080707365
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/kmm.png Haller8079727271
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/rpn.png Nizzolo8079737067
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fes.png Petit8078767672

Let's look at those who may want to upset the sprinters with their fighting spirit - be it with early breakaways or well timed attacks in the finale:
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/akm.png Yzeiraj85766073
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/afk.png Kwok82767474
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/cad.png Kadri81727375
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/eav.png Smit81726876
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ebd.png Lammertink81746875
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/itd.png Nych80736372
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/itd.png Gallego Martin80776268
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/rpn.png Mosca80716573
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/spr.png Mundle80795969
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ssc.png Boonratanathanakorn80706978
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/afk.png Clarke79717870
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ssc.png Van Winden79745970

Before finally presenting the full startlist, let's take a look at the U25 contenders. Of course, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/t3a.png Ewan is the big favorite, and he's already won this competition in Qatar. pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/kmm.png Willwohl, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/aeg.png Bauhaus, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/vlv.png Halvorsen, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/min.png Major, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/rak.png Zhao and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/rak.png Liu are all good sprinters, too, but they're here to leadout a stronger sprinter, so it's doubtable any of them will win some bonus seconds in the finale. Could intermediate sprint bonus seconds be decisive here?

And now, the one and only piece of information you've all been waiting for: The startlist!

Yellow Jersey
Full leadout system, let's see if Kip can pull off some surprising results against the big guns.
Amazing preview! Lets see what we can go here, many great sprinters to fight against for Ahlstrand and co!
Vantomme probably won't score anything, zero-pointer incoming.
Manager of Minions
If Nizzolo gets to sprint one day, this race will be a success. Apart from that, breakaways please!
Manager of [MG] Repsol - Netflix

This isn't the biggest race in the MG, nor does it give the most points. But above all others this is the one I want to win! Well, it's on par with Hernig which we can't enter unless we double-relegate, and i still think that's a genuine possibility this season given how sh*t we're doing...

Anyway, Ewan is here to win. He could do it, if his performance can jump three or four steps up. Knowing PCM Ricki won't lead-out and will solo himself into the Top20 on most stages for no help at all.
Keep an eye on Kristin Vanderpool as the home hero, couldn't fit Matthews into the line-up due to clashes.

Good luck lads, if we can do well and win the gif's will be well worth it!

Okay, so listen. I know sending Ranneries to an Appo race was a bad idea. I knew it. He is usually completely worthless. But, I've also done it several times the last couple of years to no negative effect. Now I see that somehow, someway, by some formulation I cannot even fathom, the game has decided Ranneries is my actual leader in this race, over the guy with 81 sprint. PCM 18 must have a new system or something, cause that's just whack.

I guess I gotta just own this one. Guys like Knockout told me this would happen in the previews. Luckily there are very few races over the season where Ranneries rides with a main sprinter.

Tremendous preview as always. We'll see what happens.
RIP Exxon Duke, David Veilleux, Double Feature, and Monster Energy

Given how crap Coquard has been this far (1/7 sprint attempts), we can’t expect anything, while on paper he should obviously win here.

Great preview though!

Big expectations for this one, obviously. We've brought a strong team to support Swift, hopefully he can deliver and fight for the overall win. That was our goal putting up a team for this one, and it can't be no less now, eventhough it looks to be a very competitive race.

And thank you for a great preview, Fabianski!
Boeckmans stealing a few points in PT - go go
Given our current form, a good reulst here is much needed. However as you have well explained, Avelino isn't exactly flying this season. Let's see what he's worth here.

Thanks for the preview and good luck everyone!
Manager of pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/duo.png Duolingo pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/duo.png
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Posted on 26-01-2021 16:13
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I'll be happy if Salleh just contests the sprints, that's how low my expectations are in this field
Fantastic preview!

With PCM15, Degenkolb would probably finish inside TOP3 as he usually perform better in stacked field. Unfortunately, moving to PCM18 means unpredictable outcome and everybody can just pray his favourite to deliver.

Still looking forward reporting.
Manager of Polar in Man-Game
New stage, same bullshit. I’m seriously losing interest due to this panic-switch to PCM 18. The BY FAR lowest interest in all of my time attending the game.

Kraftwerk have a top 10 goal here and with Cav just scraping into the top 10 favourites I expected a tense fight for minor bonus seconds.

But the PCM gods smiled on us and Cav somehow hung on for a second place.

Nice job keeping the suspense over the winner in your great report Fabianski Smile
Manager of Suntory [ICL]
Manager of Kraftwerk Man Machine [Man Game]
The good news is my team seemed to be going for Appo.

The bad news is he finished 37th, behind freaking Martin Schoffmann.
RIP Exxon Duke, David Veilleux, Double Feature, and Monster Energy

Is it possible to adjust effect of daily form somehow? Watching the same randomfest again and again is not fun anymore. Even high quality report can´t change it.

Congrats TMM.
Manager of Polar in Man-Game
Did not expect anything else. Hope we at least make a breakaway appearance during the race.

Thanks for the report Fabianski and congrats TMM!
Manager of Minions
TheManxMissile wrote:
Knowing PCM Ricki won't lead-out and will solo himself into the Top20 on most stages for no help at all.

Good luck lads, if we can do well and win the gif's will be well worth it!

I mean, i nailed that predictino for Ricki right?

The closest Top 5 finish in ManGame history?? Shock

Looking at this dice roll, it was a good decision to not consider this race for Demare even just for a second. I feel bad for anyone whose sprinter needs these stages to justify their price tag...

This was in our third priority band, so we were bound to have races with this kind of all-domestiques lineup, but with most riders a good sprint/hill combination, I hoped to see them at least TRY to get into breakaways!

We absolutely have to do better when there are KoM points on the line tomorrow, where the jersey will probably be decided already.
Felline, Wackermann, Madouas, Niu, Hadi could all win that, I want to see (early) fireworks!
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