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[PCT] Minions '20

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!

Another season, more stories:
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!

Season six went as follows:
And so we made it to our sixth season. Can you believe it, six years already. We started on this adventure knowing absolutely nothing, which showed in our first seasons, but now we're at a spot where we know what's going on and how to improve.

Take our fifth season. We barely avoided relegation in our debut in PCT, and improvements were necessary to improve on our ranking position. We knew we had some additional cap space held behind by Betancourt, but selling him for a record fee opened up some real possibilities. In response we bought Zepuntke for a record fee and assembled a strong cobblestone squad. Additionally, we focussed on time trials to avoid the painful moments whenever they took place.

The season indeed went a lot better than before. Not only relying on Úran to score points, but he was still our top scorer. Despite not winning a stage race this season he was a lot more consistent and finished second and third almost every stage or race. This brought him to eighth place in the individual rankings. The cobblestone squad also took a lot of points, including Zepuntke and Albert as second- and third-best scorers respectively.

But it were the little guys who made it into a great season. Loanee Moulingui finished third in Omloop het Nieuwsblad. Third for an unmaxed, 23 year old in the highest category possible is a wonderful performance, and meant he finished sixth on our end-of-season rankings. Drapac also picked his race where he overperformed, winning a stage and finishing third in the GC at Baltic Chain Tour.

Not everything was bright though. We made our GT debut in the Vuelta, but largely remained anonymous except Úran taking seventh place in the GC. Betancourt's replacement, Quevedo, was not up to standards and scored even less. This means we have to look for a new lead puncheur for the third year in a row. But you know what they say, third time's a charm.

Put everything together and we have a solid midtable finish of thirteenth. Way ahead of the relegation spots but also behind the (disband) promotion spots. For a while we looked to battle for the promotion spots, placing sixth or seventh midway through the season, but with less racedays in the latter months we dropped back a bit. That's not a shame, it shows we have a great base and with a little tweaking, we can promote to PT this season.

Third time's a charm, we'll promote to PT!

And here we are in season seven, still with the unwanted C in our division prefix. Our triple three-years plan ([CT] learning - building a base - promotion - [PCT] survival - building a base - promotion - [PT] survival - building a base - champions) is now officially one year behind schedule. Whereas we managed to get through the Continental division in three years as planned, the ProContinental arc of our team history will have at least four chapters.

For the third year in a row Uran was our highest scorer, elevating his status as team legend even further. A few stage wins here and there, and a lot of GC top fives, but his big win came in the Corsica International, a race he had won before for a different team but always fell just short of in our colors. He once again finished in the top ten of the individual standings, in exactly tenth place with a total of points similar to the previous season.

We brought in Claeys to tackle our persistent puncheurs problem, an unlike his maligned predecessors, he actually got some results. Two wins in GP Wallonie and Tour of Southland early in the season were his highlights, but after those two he thought he did enough and couldn't achieve the same results for the rest of the season, only occasionally making the top ten.

The cobbles squad, though slightly dismantled compared to the previous season, also did a good job, with Zepuntke and Albert being our third- and fourth-best point scorers with some decent results, though no stand-out Moulingui-like performance. Janse van Rensburg also surprisingly had some decent results where we did not expect him to perform well. In all honesty, there were multiple riders which scored more points than anticipated. Marcos and Ivanov scored more than 100 points, Martinez had a top 25 in a PTHC stage race. Even Esmaeli picked up six points during the season!

Yet we only finished in fourteenth place in the final rankings, a place lower than the previous season despite scoring an additional 156 points. We wanted promotion but ended up far, far away. As scapegoat we labeled the sprinting department as biggest failures. Drapac did not have a win this season but did finish second once, whereas Vantomme, whom we signed with the explicit goal of participating and scoring high in sprints, did not participate or score high in sprints. At least the performance in the other departments was good enough to avoid relegation.

So, we are a year behind schedule. Does this mean a major revamp? Doing this differently from now on? A fresh breath in management and the squad? Behind the scenes we have been negotiating contracts, planning the schedule, infiltrating rival teams and blackmailing the MGUCI to make sure this year we will get what we deserve, a top five finish and promotion to the highest echelon of cycling!

And finally get rid of the bloody C!

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

Manager of Minions

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

[PCT] 13th

To be added

[PCT] 14th

To be added

Edited by Marcovdw on 18-10-2020 21:13
Manager of Minions

Niels Albert344.10072.4160k
Chris Barton324.10073.2850k
Mikkel Bjerg221.066.56200k
Clement Champoussin221.069.520k*
Dimitri Claeys334.10076.47250k
Tareq Esmaeli334.10069.6550k
Andzs Flaksis324.10071.7750k
Vojtech Hacecky334.10071.3455k
Chad Haga324.10074.9990k
Alvaro Hodeg244.5772.8580k
Borislav Ivanov314.10074.0055k
Reinhardt Janse van Rensburg314.10074.7985k
Dusan Kalaba244.10075.78145k
Bert-Jan Lindeman314.10073.9050k
Leandro Marcos294.10073.0850k
Yasmani Martinez334.10072.7760k
Szymon Rekita264.1272.01250k
Laureano Rosas304.10070.7950k
Bjorn Selander324.10073.9150k
Rigoberto Uran334.10078.07500k
Daniel Vesely284.10076.74160k
Ruben Zepuntke274.10076.19150k

* = loaned in from eBuddy

Edited by Marcovdw on 22-10-2020 17:10
Manager of Minions

Down Under ClassicHC10
Tour Down UnderC114-19
Tour of East JavaPTHC28-29
Omloop Het NieuwsbladHC4
GP HerningC29
Tour of SouthlandC124-28
Barbados Cycling FestivalHC1-4
Roma MaximaC13
Vuelta al Pais VascoHC7-12
Circulo de JuarezC19-13
Vuelta a ColombiaPTHC14-19
Le SamynC118
Strade BiancheHC21
E3 PrijsPTHC28
Kuurne - Bruxelles - KuurneHC30
Tour of CaliforniaHC1-7
Baltic Chain TourC14-8
Corsica InternationalHC14-16
Tour of CyprusHC21-24
Tour of UkraineHC27-29
Veenendaal - VeenendaalHC28
Cheshire Cycling TourPTHC1-5
Windhoek ITTC14-5
Chrono d'ArenbergPTHC9-10
Malopolski WyscigC115
Int. Osterreich RundfahrtHC17-23
Olympia's TourC123-28
Hanko ClassicC12
Grands Prix CyclistesHC5-6
Riga - Jurmala GPPTHC8
Tour of South AfricaC118-23
Monterrey TTTC126
Tour of the Middle EastHC5-8
Celtic ChronoC110-11
Tour of SloveniePTHC26-30
Benelux ChallengeC11-6
Macskako KerekparversenyC14
Clasica San SebastianPTHC7
Tour d'AndorraC19-13
SAA Tour d'AfriquePTHC14-17
Arab TourHC17-21
Ronde van het IJsselmeerC121
Balkans InternationalPTHC4-11
Lillestrom GPC223
Rheden GPPTHC25
Tour of LithuaniaHC26-29
GP KigaliC21
Japan CupPTHC3
Bayern RundfahrtC112-15
Giro dell'EmeliaHC18

Italic = Goal race

Edited by Marcovdw on 26-10-2020 21:15
Manager of Minions

Under embargo for a long time, but we can reveal which riders have received a new contract. Of the 22 riders who rode for us in 2019, 18 have accepted a new contract, 2 refused our offers and 2 did not receive an offer. Here is how the team looks as we dawn on the transfer period:

Rider2019 Wage2020 WageDifference
Niels Albert€ 75.000€ 60.000- € 15.000
Edwin Avila€ 50.000€ 0OUT
Chris Barton€ 50.000€ 50.000€ 0
Fulgencio Bru€ 50.000€ 0OUT
Dmitri Claeys€ 460.000€ 250.000- € 210.000
Damion Drapac€ 75.000€ 0OUT
Tareq Esmaeli€ 50.000€ 50.000€ 0
Andzs Flaksis€ 50.000€ 50.000€ 0
Chad Haga€ 70.000€ 90.000+ € 20.000
Alvaro Hodeg€ 50.000€ 80.000+ € 30.000
Borislav Ivanov€ 50.000€ 55.000+ € 5.000
Reinhardt Janse van Rensburg€ 75.000€ 85.000+ € 10.000
Metkel Kiflay€ 60.000€ 50.000- € 10.000
Bert-Jan Lindeman€ 75.000€ 50.000- € 25.000
Jay Major€ 55.000€ 85.000+ € 30.000
Leandro Marcos€ 50.000€ 50.000€ 0
Yasmani Martinez€ 95.000€ 60.000- € 35.000
Laureano Rosas€ 50.000€ 50.000€ 0
Bjorn Selander€ 70.000€ 50.000- € 20.000
Rigoberto Úran€ 600.000€ 500.000- € 100.000
Maxime Vantomme€ 150.000€ 0OUT
Ruben Zepuntke€ 190.000€ 150.000- € 40.000

We are glad our leaders agreed to take a wage cut. Uran goes down from 600k to 500k, and Claeys nearly halves his salary to 250k. Both are getting older and the money will be invested in youth. Our talents Hodeg and Major wanted a wage increase which they got, after some tough negotiating. The other riders have either stayed at the same value or got their wage slightly increased or decreased.

The four riders which will leave the team are Edwin Avila, Fulgencio Bru, Damion Drapac and Maxime Vantomme. Bru and Vantomme were not offered a new contract for performance reasons, the Cuban not scoring any points and the Belgian scoring not enough points. Avila did not agree to his previous salary and thinks he can get more elsewhere. Drapac did get a new offer with a slightly increased wage but decided is was better to part ways. We want to thank all riders for their service and wish them best of luck for the remainder of their career.

All in all we have a lot of cap space remaining to sign new leaders and talents. None of the riders in the squad at the moment are explictly transfer listed though a tempting offer will always be considered. We have our eyes on a few contenders to fill the missing spots, which will mainly be focussed on the sprinting department.

Manager of Minions
It's a testament to the team that even with some errant moves last year, the team was still safely in midtable Smile

Uran and Claeys declining is not ideal so the freed up cap space will need to be used more wisely this year I think.


"I am a cyclist, I may not be the best, but that is what I strive to be. I may never get there, but I will never quit trying." - Tadej Pogačar
Some big savings on Claeys and Uran. Shame to see Drapac leave after some good years with the team
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@redordead - Uran will still be decent rider, maybe not challenging for wins but with the extra few RD and some good planning he will probably still be our biggest scorer. Claeys is a bit trickier obviously, but a good few good signings are necessary for both short- and long term.
@the_hoyle - Thanks! Both accepted my first offer so I could've even saved more. And Drapac's demand was simply not worth renewing him, might pick him up for cheap in the FA.

Manager of Minions

Our transfer season started off slowly with no deals signed in the first few days. We did try, but riders either ended up elsewhere or are still in negotiations. Nevertheless, we can now present our first two signings, both on a transfer from another team, and coincidentally both from the Czech Republic. We should have a lot of new fans from that country.

Vojtech Hacecky


Vojtech Hacecky is a 33 year old time trialist who previously rode for Fablok. However, he was captured by an African human trafficking organization resulting in a departure from that team. Since we are good guys, we went into a rescue mission and managed to extract him from his captors. He was very pleased with this and decided to sign with us for 55.000 bananas in salary.

Daniel Vesely


We spent 900.000 bananas on Daniel Vesely, a large sum which certainly made some Minions hungry but we believe he is worth it. The 28-year old national champion on a wage of 160.000 bananas joins from Aegon, where he was used as Groenewegen's lead-out. We believe he is competent enough to go for his own chances in the sprints at PCT level, and gives us some nice results in an area we notoriously sucked at last season.


However, during our rescue attempt of Hacecky, the traffickers managed to capture Metkel Kiflay instead. It turns out they were not human traffickers but wanted to start an African cycling team on their own called Project: Africa. Hacecky was used as leverage to sign Kiflay and unfortunately we had to let him go. There is nothing we can do about it now except wishing him the best of luck at his new employer!

Manager of Minions
That's a lot of bananas. Next time, try paying the Czech riders in beer, seems to be their weak spot Smile It does break my heart to read the Minions are hungry though, will send some Ecuadorian and Colombian Chiquita bananas to support them soon.
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Nemolito wrote:
will send some Ecuadorian and Colombian C******a bananas to support them soon.

NEVER EVER mention that company again

(See the story in the opening post, specifically the fourth spoiler Wink)
Manager of Minions

France is a beautiful country with a rich history in cycling. We've had a few French riders in the squad, as mandated by some previous French sponsors, but not in the past few years. This year we will have a Frenchman in our squad, though technically he is not ours.

Clement Champoussin


Clement Champoussin is touted as future Grand Tour or Ardennes winner. He was a coveted talent on the free agent market and, while we certainly had interest, could not match the €250.000 offer ProTour team eBuddy made for his services. However, the 22-year old would be better off starting at a lower level, hence the decision to loan him out to our team. We paid exactly nothing, so he will not earn any bananas legally. Off the books, he will receive some obviously, we are not monsters.


We were close to signing a second Frenchman, legendary time trialist and former World Champion Jerome Coppel for 450.000 bananas. We had prepared a surprise party, decorated the HQ, send the details of a French jersey to our tailors and hid behind the furniture waiting for him to arrive and sign the contract. However, forty minutes before his arrival we received a phone call he had taken a wrong plane to cold and rainy Yorkshire, and wanted to sign for the local team there. We tried to get him back to the warm weather of Qatar, but Yorkshire had bigger pockets. An Indonesian team is now also in the market for him at a wage much higher than we can afford. So close, so sad.

Manager of Minions
Marcovdw wrote:
Nemolito wrote:
will send some Ecuadorian and Colombian C******a bananas to support them soon.

NEVER EVER mention that company again

(See the story in the opening post, specifically the fourth spoiler Wink)

We send our sincere bananapologies.
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/lph.png Los Pollos Hermanos pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/lph.png - where something good is always cooking
Marcovdw wrote:

We were close to signing a second Frenchman, legendary time trialist and former World Champion Jerome Coppel for 450.000 bananas. We had prepared a surprise party, decorated the HQ, send the details of a French jersey to our tailors and hid behind the furniture waiting for him to arrive and sign the contract. However, forty minutes before his arrival we received a phone call he had taken a wrong plane to cold and rainy Yorkshire, and wanted to sign for the local team there. We tried to get him back to the warm weather of Qatar, but Yorkshire had bigger pockets. An Indonesian team is now also in the market for him at a wage much higher than we can afford. So close, so sad.

I feel your pain - transfers have been a bit brutal this year.
Manager of Suntory [ICL]
Manager of Kraftwerk Man Machine [Man Game]
@Nemolito - Bananapologies accepted Banana
@DaveTwoBob - I've been overbid in the final hour before but this one felt extra sour as there isn't much better out there than him.

Manager of Minions

Admittedly, we went on a bit of a tantrum after missing out on Coppel, but no time trialist out there on the market could ever replace him, now. However, there are certain riders labeled as talents, who could grow to become the new Coppels. We signed two of them for the price we could have signed Coppel, and present them now.

Mikkel Bjerg


Mikkel Bjerg is a only 22 years old but seen as the biggest time trial talent in Denmark. As many teams went after him we had to dig deep into our wallet, and pay him a wage of 200.000 bananas. Will he be worth it? We will only know in a few years when he is at full strength. In a forum game on an obscure cycling site, he finished third in a Giro stage, and they use realistic stats!

Szymon Rekita


Szymon Rekita is probably already known to the majority of the audience, riding for Netia for the past few years. With that team disbanding he was one of the hottest properties on the free agent market, but we got his signature for 250.000 bananas, making him joint-second-most expensive rider on the team. His peek will be much sooner, in a year or two, where we know we have one of the best time trialists in the world.

Manager of Minions
Still mad at you for snatching Rekita, I have to reckon you've done a terrific job securing those two. Congrats!
Manager of pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/duo.png Duolingo pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/duo.png
I don't want to be that guy, but I think your team could use another expensive extra young time trialist Frown
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/lph.png Los Pollos Hermanos pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/lph.png - where something good is always cooking
Some interesting signings for sure, with Vesely standing out among them. NIce rebuild for the future too.
@Gustavovskiy - Thanks and sorry, time trialists have been crazy this year.
@Nemolito - Yeah I think I'm lacking in the expensive young time trialists category
@AbhishekLFC - Thanks, it is not what I had in mind at first but in the end things worked out well.

Manager of Minions
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