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World Domination 2026 [Done!]
Ian Butler
Our weakest link was Salvati, I wanted him to win the stage for more WT points but his green bar emptied on the last descent and his team mates had to slow down to near standstill so that he would get his victory.


:lol:
still minutes to spare Pfft
 
Ripley
Ian Butler wrote:
[quote]:lol:
still minutes to spare Pfft


True, had Beffort caught up I would have given up on the idea. But I did actually set the effort of the rest of the team to 0 for a couple of seconds near the finish line, panicking they might retire, but thankfully it worked.

Tour de Suisse

Finally, the last 8 riders will properly start their season. The first stage of the Swiss Tour was already their first chance to shine. It was classified as hilly, though the final climbs seemed pretty mountainous.

Which seemed confirmed when our two best climbers, Pienaar and Olivares, kept on dropping the rest of the team. Not many climbers turned up this year and Polyakov (MON 84) and Dementjev (MON 81) were foolish enough to stay with Grassi (MON 75 HIL 85), thinking the best puncher would be the man to watch. But the final ascent wasn't his speciality, so we already created a nice advantage.

www.sininen.de/2026/tds1.png

A flat IIT over 30 km shook up the rankings. While 5 of our 8 stage racers for the first half of the season are decent TTers, only 4 of our 9 riders to do the TdF/Vuelta double are and the best one, Prazenica, rode the Dauphine.

The new addition to the team this season, the Brazilian Pereira, was 4th and is the new leader of the GC.

www.sininen.de/2026/tds4.png

A day later, on a difficult hilly stage, for the first time this season, I believe, none of our team made it into the top 10 and even lost about a minute to the most dangerous rival, Polyakov.

At the start of each season I form the two stage racing groups. Generally, those with higher HIL skill get to ride the first half of the season, while the pure climbers do the TdF and Vuelta, in the GTs with several hard mountain stages HIL is less important.

Anyway, nobody seemed willing to chase the breakaway of 9 riders, halfway through the stage they had a worrying advantage of 15 minutes. But then the pace of the peloton really picked up and the team was struggling a bit over the many hills. And then Polyakov attacked on the penultimate tough climb and we could only control the damage, our riders were exhausted at the finish line.

www.sininen.de/2026/tds5.png
 
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Ian Butler
A first real crack in the team! But nothing to worry about. Looking forward to those mountain stages already!
 
Ripley
The 7th stage was 213 km long, but consisted mostly of just two large climbs, though they were classified as hills. I sent Baraybar into the early break - actually, he started far back in the peloton and wasted a lot of energy just getting to the already established group.

The peloton did a better job this time of reeling the breakaway in, but the escapees still had an advantage of about 5 minutes going into the last climb. Baraybar (MON 82 HIL 73) attacked and was soon ahead by a minute, but then old Thibaut Pinot (36, MON 79 HIL 74) upped the pace and was getting closer and closer, only 15 seconds behind on the summit. I didn't dare to make it a two-man sprint, I squeezed everything out of Baraybar, neither rider had any energy left for a sprint and Baraybar got his victory.

Further back, Polyakov attacked and like on stage 5, even relaying hard downhill, we couldn't catch him again and lost another 40 seconds.

www.sininen.de/2026/tds7.png

But we still had the queen stage ahead, on the last day. Two HC climbs in the opening kilometers, you know this by now, I couldn't resist separating from everybody else immediately.

Effort at 60 on the dot was enough on the first climb to create a small group from which Polyakov was notably absent. At the top of the second climb we'd dropped everybody but Pinot (MON 79) and Dementjev (MON 81) with his team mate Muzzi (MON 78). We attacked over the peak and relayed downhill at 90, Muzzi had to lead the chase and was soon out of energy, Dementjev took over, but Pinot was the one to profit, reaching the finish line 2 minutes ahead of Dementjev.

Just before the penultimate climb Polyakov attacked, but he was already 15 minutes behind at this point. Since it was the final stage we didn't need to hold back, rode as hard as we could, Baraybar suffered the most and ended 2:48 behind stage winner Olivares.

But Pereira lost only 49 seconds against the better climbers, enough to win the Tour de Suisse, while Pienaar took the mountain jersey. The final classification, dominant as always, I'm afraid:

www.sininen.de/2026/tds9.png
 
trekbmc
You had a rider outside the top ten GC after stage 7 Shock :lol:

But then dominated the last stage for all the top 8. Pfft Grin



"What done is, is one." - Benji Naesen
 
Ripley
trekbmc wrote:
You had a rider outside the top ten GC after stage 7 Shock :lol:


In all fairness, there wasn't any mountain stage until the final stage, the top 7 at that point is pretty decent.

Contract talks

From the 21st of June onward it is time to renew contracts and sign new riders. I admit to using an external editor to check the potentials of riders - at least in their main stat. In the first version of the game I owned, PCM 2003, you could scout other professional riders and I'm unhappy that's been removed. I also check at which age the decline starts. That's because you have to sign riders in July which won't do any serious racing until March or even June the following year.

This season, 13 contracts are ending. A few riders are getting old and their stats will start declining soon, so I won't extend the contracts of Lorenzen, Prazenica, Agurto or Salvati. Other riders want simply too much money - technically, I can afford a higher wage budget, but I don't like paying high wages.

Which leaves only two contracts I want to extend: Gordillo (43k) and Bokalrud (23k). Gordillo is Spanish (like my sponsor) and the current World Champion, he's as valuable as van der Lem and Ciucarelli, but they want 92k and 115k. Just a one-year contract for him. While Bokalrud has several more good years in him and the wage he's asking for is more than reasonable for his stats (MON 81 TT 75).

So I'll need three new northern classics riders, two punchers and 6 climbers/stage racers. For the first two groups I don't need to check the potential with Lachi's editor. There are exactly three riders available, between 25 and 28 years old, with COB between 80 and 83, asking for 15k to 25k. Two decent punchers are also readily available, not quite as good as the riders they have to replace, but probably with a little room for improvement.

However, stage racers aren't as easy to find. Many with MON 80+ are growing old, so next season I'll have to take in some young riders with potential who'll need some time to "ripen". I've found a couple with AVG 77 who should pull their weight right away, but the other four have an AVG between 71 and 74 - so a step down from this season, definitely, the total wage bill will drop by about 50k to 700k.

I'll give an update once all the contracts have been signed, which will be after the Tour de France. Btw, I noticed cobblestone specialists like to sign a new contract right away, make them an offer on the 21st of June and they might accept the next day. Punchers usually sign in the first week of July, while stage racers and climbers like to wait another couple of weeks.
Edited by Ripley on 29-11-2015 20:08
 
Ripley
National Champs

Just a quick summary, here are the riders who won their national road races: Locatelli (France), Gordillo (Spain), Accardi (Italy), Meijs (Netherlands), Baraybar (Colombia), Zhak (Ukraine), Vikdal (Norway). It was easiest for Zhak, he immediately attacked his 17 compatriots, who never reacted, he lapped them 5 times.
 
Ripley
A side effect of my brutally dominant season so far are these messages I got on the 1st of July:

www.sininen.de/2026/underachievers.png
 
Ripley
Tour de France

The biggest event of the year started with a flat stage won by probably the best sprinter currently, Huistra (SPR 84 ACC 85 FLA 76 STA 77 RES 75). Also one of the best climbers, Pankov (MON 84), crashed out with a broken shin bone.

Stage 2 was a TTT over 29.4 k, our team came 4th, 24 seconds behind winner Movistar.

Already on stage 3 the first big mountain stage awaited, a summit finish on the Bald Mountain. Unlike the stage at the Dauphine it also includes a tougher run up to the final climb.

No sense in sending a rider into the escape group so early in the race, instead the team had to go head-to-head with all three MON 85 riders around, Le Gall, Beffort and Brenna, as well as Polyakov (MON 84).

Up the tough final climb I gradually increased the team's effort from 70 to 82 the closer we got to the finish line. Since the best climbers had already attacked we couldn't keep our team together, our two best climbers (both MON 84) hooked up with the best and had enough energy left for a sprint, Olivares winning the stage and the yellow jersey.

www.sininen.de/2026/tdf3.png
 
Forever the Best
Wow!Superb domination
 
Ripley
Cheers!

The 5th stage was absolutely brutal with a busload of steep climbs. I tried a few short team attacks but the competition was vigilant and chased us down again immediately. So we had to limit the damage on the final climb. Legrande (HIL 82) won the stage ahead of Beffort, Schmid and Grassi. All our riders lost some time, though Le Gall and Brenna (1:27 behind) lost more.

www.sininen.de/2026/tdf5.png

After another win for top sprinter Huistra on stage 6 we had to tackle a 58.7 km long flat ITT. All the top time triallers had visited the Giro and were absent from the Tour, so Prazenica (TT 81) was the top-favorite to win the stage. Sadly he lost by a second to Le Gall (TT 80), Thill (TT 80) was 3rd. The general classification after the stage:

www.sininen.de/2026/tdf7.png
 
Ripley
On the following day a tough mountain stage awaited, six categorised climbs, just up and down all day long. The perfect opportunity to attack with the whole team.

Mohoric (MON 82) made it into the breakaway and the peloton chased the small group hard up the first climb, but settled down at the foot of the second mountain. We, of course, attacked. Only one rider decided to stay with us, leader Le Gall. But we took the chance to isolate him, attacked at the summit, got 30 seconds separation, relayed at 90 downhill and then at 84 in the flat. He never got closer than 20 seconds and ran out of energy before our riders did.

We had lost a lot of the yellow bar, too, could only go uphill at 64 to 68 effort, but downhill we relayed at 80 and increased the lead continuously. We had left the last escapee, Mohoric, behind, he stuck to the wheel of Le Gall for the rest of the stage and attacked him on the final climb.

The other co-favourites did what they always do - attack alone. First Beffort, a little later Polykov, after that Brenna, but it wouldn't help them much. Our team was exhausted, Pienaar's green bar ran out, but the damage was done, the team now occupies the top 9, Le Gall is 46 seconds behind Agurto.

www.sininen.de/2026/tdf8.png
 
Ian Butler
Daaamn. 6 minutes. Incredible.
 
Ripley
I do what I can. Smile

Stage 9 was another hard mountain stage, but with everybody's freshness down to average and a long way from the last climb to the finish line, we took it easy. We relayed at the front of the peloton at 32 (and went uphill on the dot at 32) and thus led a peloton of 101 riders to the finish, 16:21 behind the winners. We did try a late attack in the final 10 km, it didn't produce a time difference but at least we claimed a few top 10 spots on the stage.

www.sininen.de/2026/tdf9.png
 
Forever the Best
What a stage 8 for the team!Top 9!
Torku ┼×eker Spor beating Team SkyBanana
 
Ripley
In this career Sky isn't what it used to be. Currently 12th in the WT team ranking while Torku is 9th!
 
Ripley
After the first rest day we have five hard stages ahead of us - a hilly stage, two mountain stages, a mountain TT and another mountain stage. The sprinters will be motivated to survive this week because the final six days are mostly flat.

On stage 11 we held back - if other teams are willing to catch the breakaway, so be it. They tried, but they didn't quite succeed - two riders stayed clear and Legeay wins the stage. He was surely disappointed with his cobblestone season, but now he has at least won a TdF stage.

On the final hill some of our strongest opponents managed to gain back a few seconds on our team, but that hardly has us worried.

www.sininen.de/2026/tdf11.png
 
Forever the Best
Ripley wrote:
In this career Sky isn't what it used to be. Currently 12th in the WT team ranking while Torku is 9th!
Superb by TorkuCool
 
Ripley
Stage 12 between Albertville and Sestrieres was as tough as they come, 226.5 km hard up- and downhill. Other teams set a high pace for a long time, when the situation calmed halfway up the long HC climb the break had only a 3 minute advantage and I let Agurto attack and join the leading group.

Early on the next HC climb Beffort attacked and put his climbing skills on display, Agurto only just managed to hold onto his lead to win the stage while everybody else lost time.

www.sininen.de/2026/tdf12.png

But a day later it was time for my team to shine again. Just 163 km long with a mountaintop finish on the Galibier. We led the peloton at low speed into the first HC climb and attacked and Belkin led the peloton with a rider with MON 61, so I kept the effort high, around 72, on the short plateau we had also left the early break behind.

Now the others reacted and formed a group of 10 riders, but oddly enough Le Gall and Beffort did all the work, despite both having a team mate in the group, Movistar was also in the mix with three riders and did nothing.

At the foot of the Telegraph we were 5 minutes ahead and had recovered a lot of the yellow bar, further back everybody was attacking each other and Beffort and Le Gall, having worked hard earlier, found themselves left behind. Sadly, the top favourite for the Tour, Le Gall, pretty much gave up at this point and lost 14:48 on this stage. Beffort did a little better and lost 9:09. But in both cases, their team mates fared far better, Schmid (MON 81) finished 6:16 behind, Brenna 7:37. Odd AI behaviour, if I may say so.

At the end of the day the gap between Iessnig in 9th place to Beffort in 10th had increased to over 11 minutes.

www.sininen.de/2026/tdf13.png
 
Ian Butler
That GC Shock Pfft
Great job. It will be fun in Paris!
 
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