The strangest thing happened to me some time ago. I was riding my racebike and stopped at a gas station to get some fast energy. So I bought a can of Monster energy, when out of nowhere a man approached me and introduced himself as head of PR of Monster Energy. He told me that Monster wanted to start a professional cycling team, and asked if I had soms manager experience.
Well I told him I loved cycling and Iï¿½ve played PCMï¿½09 and now ï¿½11, and in the last game won with Leopard both the Giro and the Vuelta in one year and got second in the Tour. Well, that for sure impressed him and he told me to get in touch again.
Already the next day, I received a phonecall that Monster Energy wanted to get me as their Directeur Sportive for their new Professional cycling team!! They already had a partner deal with Ford (surprisingly the brand of car that I drive for years, so I got a brand new Ford Focus RS as a present).
Some co-sponsors where needed, so these are the clothing and equipment distributors:
One more sponsor was needed. While talking about our favorite music, I said that I loved Muse. The PR-director from Monster said that he knew their singer Matthew Bellamy and that he liked road cycling. So he called him, and it seemed a good plan to Matthew and the other Muse-members (well, after building a studio near Lake Como in Italy, they got infected with the cycling-virus). So our last sponsor will be:
I will give you the members of the team, as well as our goals very soon!
Edited by dienblad on 20-05-2013 09:03
First some data:
Database: PCM.daily V1 (no chances made)
Monster Energy - Ford will be a Benelux-oriented team, with riders coming from Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxemburg. There are 3 non-Benelux cyclists, who for sure a value for the team.
So here are the 3 leaders:
Yes, Andy Schleck decided that the only way to ever win the Tour de France, is leaving the warm nest with his brother, so he decided to join the Monster team.
His goals are:
- The Ardenne classics
- Winning the Tour de France
- Fall classics (Lombardia)
After his disastrous Tour, Robert leaves Rabobank and joins Monster.
- Giro d'Italia
- Vuelta d'Espana
Oh yes, one of the most promising young cyclists joins the team! Although he isn't a Benelux-based rider, he is sure a great value!
- Smaller World Tour stage races, such as Paris-Nice, Poland Tour
- Ardennes classics.
- Vuelta stage wins
Besides Peter Sagan, we have 3 more sprinters:
He will ride the Giro and the Vuelta
Marcel will race the Tour
Jens will race the Tour and will often be the last lead-out.
Monster Energy - Ford is a Pro-continental team. The goal is simple: promotion to the World Tour!
Posts: 27 Joined: 07.05.10 Location: Crewe, United Kngdom PCM$: 100.00
Well I told him I loved cycling and I’ve played PCM’09 and now ’11, and in the last game won with Leopard both the Giro and the Vuelta in one year and got second in the Tour. Well, that for sure impressed him and he told me to get in touch again.
The first race was the Australian Champs. Jack Bobridge wasn't in good shape (just like all the riders there ) and had no chance in the road race. But the ITT he raced much better (I simulated it, didn't like to race a ITT with a cyclist with a fitness of 50).
Well, the season kicks of with the Tour Down Under. Because he needed to get a wildcard, our sponsor Monster Energy decided to sponsor the Tour, so there was no other option than to give us a Wildcard (and all the Aussies can't stop jumping, because they drank too much Monster..).
Stage wins with Sagan, Top 5 in the GC.
Thomas de Gendt tried to get in the BOTD, and getting the KOM-points. But unfortunately he ended in 5th place:
The group came back together, and because of the 2 intermediate sprints in just a few kilometres, Peter Sagan decided to gain some seconds. He won both the sprints:
Well, after he let himself got railed in by the pack, it was Liquigas' Longo Borghini who started a solo-effort. He got a maximum lead of 2;45, but a mass sprint was inevitable.
Our sprint train consisted of Martijn Maaskant, Jens Keukeleire and finaly Peter Sagan. The took control 5km before the finish
But in the end we got passed by Quick Step and HTC. Sagan had a pretty good jump to the finishline, but came a half wheel too short to get second. Tom Boonen (Quick Step) won, in front of Matthew Goss (HTC).
1 Tom Boonen Quick·Step Cycling Team 3h23'24
2 Matthew Goss HTC - Highroad s.t. 3 Peter Sagan Monster Energy - Ford s.t.
4 Alessandro Petacchi Lampre - ISD s.t.
5 Óscar Freire Rabobank Cycling Team s.t.
6 Kenny Dehaes Omega Pharma - Lotto s.t.
7 Daniele Bennati Leopard Trek s.t.
8 Michael Matthews Rabobank Cycling Team s.t.
9 Greg Henderson Sky ProCycling s.t.
10 Gert Steegmans Quick·Step Cycling Team s.t.
But a great third place in our first race! ANd because of the bonus seconds of the intermediate sprints, Sagan takes the points jersey and has the same time as Tommeke in the GC.
ps. Screenshots have low quality, I'm still looking for the best possible graphics for my laptop.
After numerous attempts to get in the BBOTD bij Bobridge, he didn't succeed. Today's BOTD consisted of 2 Frenchies: (Se. Chavanel (Eur) and L. Mondory (ALM). They got a maximum lead of 3;45 but got reeled in.
Meanwhile, Sagan collected 4 seconds in the 2 intermediate sprints.
Of course, it ended up in a mass sprint, where Matthew Goss won his homerace with just a few centimetres in front of Boonen. Our sprint train couldn't get enough speed, so Sagan finisched in 7th.
Again, several attempts from Bobridge, but the pack didn't let anyone get away. But suddenly, Vladimir Gusev (Kat) got a gap off almost 2 minutes, so Thomas de Gendt tried to reach him. He managed to do this (after the KOM-sprint), but his energy was fading in the hilly last part of the race.
Rinaldo Nocentini (ALM) escaped from the pack and chased the 2 leaders. He joined them in the last few kilometres. De Gendt had to let them go, so it was a dual sprint:
Nocentini took the win, and with a lead of 18 secnds in the stage, he overtook the lead from Boonen. Sagan was again the best Monster-rider and finished 9th.
1 Rinaldo Nocentini AG2R La Mondiale 3h18'38
2 Vladimir Gusev Katusha Team s.t.
3 Ryder Hesjedal Team Garmin - Cervélo + 18
4 Sergueï Ivanov Katusha Team s.t.
5 Tom Boonen Quick·Step Cycling s.t.
6 Michael Matthews Rabobank Cycling s.t.
7 Travis Meyer Team Garmin - Cervélo s.t.
8 George Hincapie BMC Racing Team s.t.
9 Peter Sagan Monster Energy - Ford s.t.
So, stage 4 already... It remains hot in Australia, and almost no wind..
A big BOTD lasted untill the finish line, with surprisingly Jack Bobridge in it. His form must be rising. And he managed to win the only KOTM-sprint!
The pack came very close, but it ended up in a 14-man sprint. Bobridge and Florencio (Geox) tried to sneak away, but the group came together. It was Kristoff Goddaert (ALM) who took the 2nd win in a row for AG2R La Mondiale.
The jury decided to give the pack the same time as the 14 leaders, so no changes in the GC.
Next stop: Willunga Hill!
Twice climbing Willunga Hill today in hot circumstances. And what happens: Bobridge in another BOTD! He gives it all to take the most points at the summit of Willunga Hill, but was too tired the 2nd climb.
In the end, 7 riders stayed away and sprinted for the first place. Bobridge chose the wheel of Sandy Casar, what turned out to be a wrong choice. It was Leopard's Fabian Wegmann who was the best sprinter (or less exhausted), beating Pablo Lastras (Movistar) and..... Bobridge with another podium for Monster Energy - Ford!!
The pack finished 1.29 minutes behind the 7 escapees.
With one stage to go, the new GC looks like this:
But we have 3 leader jersey!
So the goal will be simple: defend the jerseys (and when it's not a big effort, the stage win...)
The final stage of this years Santos Tour Down Under. The goal for the team is quite easy: defend our 2 jerseys! So when a big group escapes in the beginning of the race, we start to chase them succesfully. When Michael Barry (Sky) and Luke Roberts (Saxo) attack a few kilometres before the first KOTM-sprint of the day, Jack Bobridge follows them. And with succes: he crosses the KOTM-sprint as the first rider and secures himself of the jersey!
After taking one more bonus second at the intermediate sprint, he can't follow Roberts and Barry anymore.
However, the 2 don't get enough space and the pack gets them.
Suddenly, with 10 kilometres to go, it's another Sky-attack. Aussie Matthew Hayman tries it for the 68th time in this Tour (that's one more attempt than our Jackie), and passes the flamme rouge with 15 seconds ahead of the chasing pack, lead bij the Quick Step's.
Surprisingly, Hayman stays ahead and takes a great victory! Matthew Goss wins the sprint for place 2, in front of Boonen, Freire, Petacchi and Peter Sagan.
1 Matthew Hayman Sky ProCycling 2h02'17
2 Matthew Goss HTC - Highroad s.t.
3 Tom Boonen Quick·Step Cycling s.t.
4 Óscar Freire Rabobank Cycling s.t.
5 Alessandro Petacchi Lampre - ISD s.t.
6 Peter Sagan Monster Energy - Ford s.t.
Fabian Wegmann wins the GC, so Leopard takes the win in their first race! Bobridge misses the podium by one second, with the 2nd place in the intermediate sprint he would have passed Florencio and Lastras. But a great achievement by the young Aussie!
Peter Sagan won the points jersey, what turend out to be very important for us. It was a sponsor goal, so we have achieved the expectations!
Although he finished 4th in the GC, Bobridge could go the the podium for the polka dot jersey (although in Australia, it looks very much like a blue one...) .
And in the end, he also got the white one, for best -25!!
So, although we didn't get a stage win, we can look back at a very succesful Tour Down Under. It's a great start of the season for our new team. Now we have a little break, we decided not to race any more races in January, the season will be long.
The 5-stage race of the Vuelta Mallorca will be our next goal. The following riders
Will try to bring Marcel Kittel in a great position to get some stage wins. Sebastien Rosseler will be our man for the GC (well, Posthuma should be, but his form is too bad).
Stage 1: Palma
A 7-man group consisting of unknown riders got a 3 minute lead. Thanks to our great they got pulle dback 5 kilometres before the finish.
Sebastien Rosseler was the first man in our train, with Coen Vermeltfort being the last leadout for Marcel Kittel. With 1km to go, Vermeltfoort was leading Kittel, when Robbie McEwen (Radioshack) started to sprint.
But Kittel had a great jump and took the win. YES!!! Our first victory thanks to the outstanding German!
It was McEwen who got in a Monster-sandwich, because Vermeltfoort managed to get the 3rd place.
A group of 7 riders formed the BOTD: Drucker (VWi), D. LeLay (ALM), Steurs (TSV), R. Jimenez (Bur), H. Fernandez (CJR) & D. Fernandez (Ond). The team worked hard, but coming out of the last corner, Le Lay was still in the lead.
This time, Marcel Kittel couldn't make it and finished in 11th place. The escapees couldn't hold it to the line, and it was Skil Shimano's Roger Kluge who came from way behind and took the 2nd German victory in a row.
A crash happened in the last km, and there was one very known victim:
Andreas Klöden. Because of this he lost over 3 minutes. Think the jury had never heared about the rule of crashing in the last 3 kilometres. A pity for him.
1 Roger Kluge Skil - Shimano 4h06'03
2 Delio Fernández Onda s.t.
3 David Le Lay AG2R La Mondiale s.t.
4 Robbie McEwen Team RadioShack s.t. 11Marcel Kittel Monster Energy - Ford s.t.
1 Roger Kluge Skil - Shimano 6h38'53 2 Marcel Kittel Monster Energy - Ford s.t.
3 Delio Fernández Onda s.t.
It's difficult to predict how this stage will go for the team. For sure, Kittel loses his 3rd place in the GC. Our riders for the GC won't probably make it: Rosseler isn't good enough in climbing, and Posthuma is still lacking his form. So we decided to go in a breakaway.
After an unsuccesful attempt of Laurent Didier, Marcel Kittel managed to slip away, just before the first intermediate sprint.
Well, of course he wins it and gets 6 points for the green jersey. But looking further down the road, he sees the mountains rising and decides it's better for him to slow down and save his energy.
Wilco Kelderman is the next one to attack and he manages to get in the BOTD. Egoi Martinez (Euskaltel) is the best climber in the BOTD, with well known names such as Peraud (ALM) and König (Net). In the bunch, Levi Leipheimer is speeding up
so a lot off riders have to let the bunch go. Unfortunately, almost all the Monster-riders are among them, except Laurent Didier (and Kelderman of course).
Mean while, Martinez is the first one to make it to the summit of the last mountain with only a 30-km descent left.
30 seconds behind him, there is an elite group with Yann Huguet (Skill, who crashes in the descent and has to abandon with a dislocated elbow), Chris Horner & Levi Leipheimer (Radioshack), David Arroyo & Marzio Bruseghin (Movistar), Jack Bauer & Rene Mandri (Endura), Jean-Cristophe Péraud (AG2R), Leopold König (NetAPP), Gorka Izagirre & Ruben Perez (Euskaltel) and to our great relief Wilco Kelderman & Laurent Didier.
Kelderman was exhausted, but Didier felt he had a chance against better sprinters such as Perez and Mandri, so while Kelderman kept the pace up to prevent attacks, Didier chose the wheel of Perez. But suddenly, there was a crash in the descent of Izagirre, cutting the group down to 12.
With 1.5km Bruzeghin decided to make it a long and though sprint.
Didier waited a long time to jump past Perez, but it was Bruseghin who made it to the line! Perez got 2nd, in front of Didier. A totally unexpected podium for Monster Energy - Ford!
1 Marzio Bruseghin Movistar Team 3h53'11
2 Rubén Pérez Euskaltel - Euskadi s.t. 3 Laurent Didier Monster Energy - Ford s.t.
4 Levi Leipheimer Team RadioShack s.t.
5 Chris Horner Team RadioShack s.t. 12 Wilco Kelderman Monster Energy - Ford s.t.
1 Marzio Bruseghin Movistar Team 10h32'04
2 Rubén Pérez Euskaltel - Euskadi + 8 3 Laurent Didier Monster Energy - Ford + 12
1 Egoi Martínez Euskaltel - Euskadi 26
1 Rubén Pérez Euskaltel - Euskadi 20 42
2 Marcel Kittel Monster Energy - Ford 6 36
Today we want to defend the great GC-positions of Didier and Kelderman, also the white jersy of Kelderman.
Kelderman starts pretty good, leading pack over the first summit and winning the first KOTM-sprint.
After the descent, the BOTD is formed. Riders are S. Caldeira (Tav), O. Grau (Bur), G. Steurs (TSV), A. Bagues (Orb), D. Cappelle (VWi) and our own Marcel Kittel. Kittel did what he had to do: win both intermediate sprints, so he's back in the lead for the points jersey.
Oh yes, by accident, he also won one KOTM-sprint. Who would have thought that, our German sprinter with absolutely no climbing skills
Meanwhike, the Movistar teammates of GC-leader Bruseghin were leading the chase of the bunch, while the Monster's were disrupting them a little bit
But in the ascent, only Portuguese Caldeira kept up front alone.
But 8km before the finish it was also over for him. Then with 6km to go, the 62-year-old American Chris Horner (Radioshack) had a fierce attack.
GC-leader Bruseghin counter-attacked almost immediately, because Horner was a real danger in the GC.
But the bunch gt the 2 back, and Bruseghin must have thought that he secured the yellow jersey. Must have.....
What no one had ever known or thought happened: Horner had the best sprint in the last 2 slightly uphill kilometres. How did he doe that at his age???
But he didn't only won the stage, he finished 11 seconds ahead of the bunch and with the bonus seconds, he also took the lead in the GC! A definetly deserved victory for Horner!
1 Chris Horner Team RadioShack 3h51'20
2 José García Acosta Movistar Team + 11
3 Pello Bilbao Euskaltel - Euskadi s.t.
17 Romain Zingle Monster s.t.
19 Wilco Kelderman Monster s.t.
30 Laurent Didier Monster s.t.
1 Chris Horner Team RadioShack 14h23'24
2 Marzio Bruseghin Movistar Team + 11
3 Rubén Pérez Euskaltel - Euskadi + 19 4 Laurent Didier Monster Energy + 23
5 Jack Bauer Endura Racing + 31 9 Wilco Kelderman Monster Energy s.t.
Points: 1 Marcel Kittel Monster Energy 10 46
2 Rubén Pérez Euskaltel - Euskadi 1 43
3 Chris Horner Team RadioShack 25 37
1 Egoi Martínez Euskaltel - Euskadi 0 26
1 Wilco Kelderman Monster Energy 14h23'55 (1)
2 Leopold König Team NetApp + 0 (2)
In this last stage, a 10-man break was formed very early with Garcia Acosta (Movistar) being the most dangerous for the GC with 8min30 back. The Shackies didn't feel like chasing, so the BOTD got a maximum lead of 9.30 minutes!
Garcia Acosta was THE man today. he won all KOTM-sprints and thereby securing himself of the KOTM-jersey.
In the sprint for the victory, he was the fastest again. Besides the stage, he also won the points ranking, only 2 points more than our Marcel Kittel...
Nothing we could do about it, the bunch came 5.23 behind at the line, where Chris Horner celebrated his GC-win.
1 José García Acosta Movistar Team 4h48'34
2 Paul Voss Endura Racing s.t.
3 Higinio Fernández Caja Rural s.t.
18 Romain Zingle Monster + 5.23
1 Chris Horner Team RadioShack 19h17'21
2 Marzio Bruseghin Movistar Team + 11
3 Rubén Pérez Euskaltel - Euskadi + 19 4 Laurent Didier Monster Energy + 23
9 Wilco Kelderman Monster Energy s.t.
1 José García Acosta Movistar Team 47 2 Marcel Kittel Monster Energy 46
1 José García Acosta Movistar Team 50
U25: 1 Wilco Kelderman Monster Energy 19h17'52 (1)
2 Leopold König Team NetApp + 0 (2)
So, when we can leave the island of Mallorca, we can look back at the succesful Vuelta. Why? Our first stage win (Kittel), a unexpected 4th place in the GC (Didier) and a promising youngster winning the U25 (Kelderman).
Tour of Oman
After sunny Australia, even more sunny Mallorca, we travel to sunny (who would have thought that?) Oman. To compete in it's national Tour:
A 6-stage race with 4 stages for the sprinters, one hilly time trial and one stage with finish on top of the steep Jabal al Akhdhar.
- Stage wins with Theo Bos (will be difficult, it's his first race of the season and he has to race against a in-form Alan Davis and José Rojas.
- GC: well.... it will be difficult, Kelderman and Posthuma should be able to get a top 10. The rest isn't in shape with fitness of about 55.