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Vuelta a España - Discussion
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Posted on 14-04-2021 12:13
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aidanvn13
Bikex wrote:
It was inevitable but what else can I say than that PCM18 is just a joke of a game.
I paid 1.6 million for this pathetic excuse of a stage racer. At least the rest of the team is delivering currently so that helps a little.


Do feel sorry for you. Not the strongest startlist and no reason for Reis to not take advantage of it.
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SotD
ember wrote:
Must say I disagree with SotD on the fight for red. I agree that the first TT was a bad one by Lecuisinier placing wise, and thus also time wise seeing the time he lost to Tenorio, as he really should have placed better in that TT, which also would have seen him loose less. The fact that we're now in the third week is also in big favour of Lecuisinier. I'd say he's the favourite for red going into the TT, but as Vali points out, daily form will be key, whoever is favourite pre-stage Pfft


You could be right, but Lecuisinier have a bad habit of underperforming in TT's so I have to use my benchmark results as anticipation. Prior to the race I expected to lose aproximately 2'30-3'00" on the 65km TT. I think that was too high, but I definately doesn't feel confident that 1'15" on 40km is sufficient against one of the top TT'ers in the game.

alexkr00 wrote:
That's the way SotD is. Overly optimistic (always expecting the max out of his riders) but also overly pessimistic (disaster when something slightly doesn't go according to his plan) at the same time Pfft


It's quite fun actually. I like to use both extremes in this game, but am exactly the opposite IRL. I'm unsure whether it is a persona-thing I can't let go, or if it is something I have to "let out", as I don't do it normally Smile

Overly optimistic in terms of my riders I'm not particularly agreeing with you on, as I tend to use statistics to shape my expectations. Optimism just doesn't work for me. Everytime I feel optimistic before a stage I get dissapointed. Eg. Coquard at Qatar, Bongiorno/Nizzolo/Aidan at Giro and Koretzky at Amstel and whenever I'm not optimistic I get pleasantly surprised. Eg. Coquard at Milano San Remo, Lecuisinier/Coquard at Paris-Nice, Koretzky at Fleche Wallone (Just after the dissapointment in AGR).

So I guess the pessimism is to defend myself against dissapointments. In that regard I guess I play it the oppposite of cio, who is optimistic prior to almost every stage, but is then dissapointes to see similar riders as his own running away with all the glory Smile

Vali wrote:
@SotD:
Makes sense what you say but I still think chances are about 50|50 at this point. We'll see anyhow who is right in the next couple of stages. Smile


True. I'm probably just a bit cautious going into a stage that could make or break the season for us Smile
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Bikex
Great stage win by Smith! That really helps to make up for the incompetence of my leader here. Reis had another bad day, despite not being dropped early this time. However I'd say with Smith's two podium results lately and Jakobsen sprint results in the early stages the Vuelta won't be that disappointing in the end, at least scoring-wise.

valverde321 wrote:
Really hope Reis and Shikai get into the break on the last mountain stage, and take a 1-2, minutes ahead of the peloton. Its really frustrating that vastly inferior riders are overperforming so much here, and then those same teams seem to have 2-3 riders in the break everyday on top of that. If my teams GC hopes are as much of a failure as they seem why is my team not sending our full team into the break to try and get a win. Its like my entire team gave up.


I would support that! Grin
It's really hard to understand what exactly makes a good breakaway rider and why some teams do so much better in that regard than others. This year I seem to be rather lucky with breakaways, especially compared to last year where I didn't get a single breakaway victory. Not sure why. Anyways in the giro Reis went into the break on the last mountain stage. He was to weak to do anything but maybe it's a good indicator for Reis and Shikai still trying something. Smile

cio93 wrote:
A decent effort by Arndt to finally ride the way I hoped for, although of course there is not a single relevant stat that Smith is better in than Arndt...
Bikex really deserved that result though after the shortcomings of Reis lately. Smile


You're right, I was happy to see Smith in the break but didn't expect him to get such a dominant win at all. Also especially since he was in the break the day before and must've spent some energy there. Maybe his recovery stat helped here, which is better than Arndt's Pfft
But yes on paper there were a few riders that I would've expected to beat him from that break.

aidanvn13 wrote:
Bikex wrote:
It was inevitable but what else can I say than that PCM18 is just a joke of a game.
I paid 1.6 million for this pathetic excuse of a stage racer. At least the rest of the team is delivering currently so that helps a little.


Do feel sorry for you. Not the strongest startlist and no reason for Reis to not take advantage of it.


Thanks.
There seems to be a reason for it, though. Else it wouldn't happen again and again. I'm wondering whether I maybe should've trained his acc in the offseason to 65. Denifl had 65, which can still be considered low, and something like that never happened to him. Otherwise his stats are fine and I do not know what else could cause this.


The upcoming TT should definitely be more to Reis' liking so maybe he can gain some places back against the riders that are currently 3-4 minutes ahead of him.
Even Smith is in front of him now. Two riders in the top 20 is definitely more than I expected Grin
 
redordead
Bikex wrote:
There seems to be a reason for it, though. Else it wouldn't happen again and again. I'm wondering whether I maybe should've trained his acc in the offseason to 65. Denifl had 65, which can still be considered low, and something like that never happened to him. Otherwise his stats are fine and I do not know what else could cause this.


Maybe the combo of lower hill and acc hurts him even more.

If I knew what makes a good rider, I might actually have a chance of being okay at this game Pfft



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Bikex
redordead wrote:
Bikex wrote:
There seems to be a reason for it, though. Else it wouldn't happen again and again. I'm wondering whether I maybe should've trained his acc in the offseason to 65. Denifl had 65, which can still be considered low, and something like that never happened to him. Otherwise his stats are fine and I do not know what else could cause this.


Maybe the combo of lower hill and acc hurts him even more.

If I knew what makes a good rider, I might actually have a chance of being okay at this game Pfft


Wouldn’t we all Pfft
Maybe you’re right and it’s the combination of those two stats but 73 is actually not that uncommon as a hi stat for climbers and even in acceleration he isn’t that far behind some others. I wouldn’t even mind him being in trouble sometimes due to those two stats as in some scenarios it can be logical but by now he was already dropped so often when the peloton was still rather large. Except for Spilak in that one weird Giro stage I don’t remember another climbing favourite being dropped so early in stages and Reis is basically dropped early in about half of the mountain stages he is in. I’m really having trouble to understand why that is.
 
SotD
Just noticed a thing, when scrolling back in time. I couldn't quite understand why Bongiorno was performing that bad, when he on paper should be around 10-15th in this race. I could understand that he would finish 20th or so due to being a helper for Lecuisinier - but there seems to be a pattern, that no matter how strong your domestiques are - if you have a GT winner, they won't score any points.

This could be valuable "intel" for everyone when planning ahead for next season - and not just for me:

Tour de France 2019:
24Louis VervaekeGazelle+ 44'42
28Denys KarnulinGazelle+ 49'11
29Ian BibbyGazelle+ 50'16


Vuelta a España 2019:
25Fredrik Strand GaltaAker - MOT+ 26'44
34Sindre Skjostad LunkeAker - MOT+ 46'55


Giro d'Italia 2019:
30John-Lee AugustynIsostar - LimeBike+ 46'59
36Kilian FrankinyIsostar - LimeBike+ 1h03'55
42Ruben GuerreiroIsostar - LimeBike+ 1h13'33


Giro d'Italia 2020:
44Takeaki AmezawaAker - MOT+ 44'15
57Dayer QuintanaAker - MOT+ 56'41


Vuelta a España 2020 (So far):
31Francesco BongiornoFestina - OAKA+ 32'01
69William BartaFestina - OAKA+ 56'53


It doesn't seem to matter much, whether your key helpers are 75-77MO riders or 79-81MO riders. I know that this will change my planning for next season - but just wanted to share it with others who might also benefit from it.
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Croatia14
Well these are the riders that have to do set the pace for the leaders all the time and are naturally exhausted. Your leader benefits from those. Luckily PCM18 got more realistic in that sense that such riders loose more time.
 
SotD
Croatia14 wrote:
Well these are the riders that have to do set the pace for the leaders all the time and are naturally exhausted. Your leader benefits from those. Luckily PCM18 got more realistic in that sense that such riders loose more time.


True, but higher quality is usually also awarded with better results. I mean, riders like Galta and Bongiorno should obviously place better than Vervaeke, Augustyn and Frankiny (unmaxed). So I'm not overly confident that 25-30th places are that realistic...

Jumbo-Visma had 4 riders in the top 20 Tour de France 2020.
Jumbo-Visma had 3 riders in the top 20 Vuelta a España 2020.
Both Ineos and Sunweb had 2 riders in the top 20 Giro d'Italia 2020.
Ineos had 2 riders in the top 20 Tour de France 2019.
Movistar had 2 riders in the top 20 Giro d'Italia 2019.
Movistar hard 3 riders in the top 20 Vuelta a España 2019 (Jumbo just 1 though).

I'm absolutely OK with the fact that domestiques doesn't get a GC like had they been present as leaders - and that is absolutely realistic yes. But riders that normally would finish 5-12th shouldn't fall to 25th or less every time imo.

Anyway, it wasn't meant as a discussion about how the game works/doesn't work, just a heads up to people planning their GT leader. It might be every bit as useful to have Lunke or Kozhatayev (Mavrikakis next season for me) as their Lieutenaints as it is to have Galta, Bongiorno or Roglic (in your case). I'm not sure everyone is aware of that. I certainly wasn't. So for me it's much more interesting to have a broad field of 76-77MO riders to support Lecuisinier than to have Bongiorno f.e.

It seems to be working every bit as good.
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knockout
Based upon the reports I'd say that Bongiorno is doing quite a solid job preparing the stages for Lecuisinier. It felt like every time Lecuisinier attacked and got some gaps over his rivals, it was preceded by mentions that Bongiorno took over pacemaking in the pack and the peleton thinning out quickly as a consequence of that. Lecuisinier might not be in a position where he can potentially win the race without Bongiorno so i'd say taking him as support is absolutely worth it even if he doesnt score anything himself.
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SotD
knockout wrote:
Based upon the reports I'd say that Bongiorno is doing quite a solid job preparing the stages for Lecuisinier. It felt like every time Lecuisinier attacked and got some gaps over his rivals, it was preceded by mentions that Bongiorno took over pacemaking in the pack and the peleton thinning out quickly as a consequence of that. Lecuisinier might not be in a position where he can potentially win the race without Bongiorno so i'd say taking him as support is absolutely worth it even if he doesnt score anything himself.


I agree. It seems like he is doing a lot of pacing - but whether or not that have an effect in terms of the distance Lecuisinier is creating to his rivals I'm not sure. Bongiorno have effectively distances lesser riders in a very realistic manor, and kept the stagewin in play on a couple of stages. So for that he seems to be doing a very strong effort.

But I am yet to see that it makes an actual difference in terms of winning the race. The pre-race favorite have won the 4 editions we have played with PCM 18. Taaramäe ahead of Kritskiy, Pluchkin and Tenorio in Vuelta last season. Madrazo ahead of Dombrowski, Morton, Lecuisinier and Phinney in Tour last season. Spilak ahead of Herklotz, Gesink and Schleck in Giro last season. And finally Taaramae this Giro.

Puma had stronger domestiques than Isostar when Spilak won the Giro, so if the domestique strength played a significant role I would have expected Herklotz to be the benefitting part. Taaramae easily had the strongest domestique in last seasons Vuelta, but Pluchkin had significantly stronger domestiques than Kritskiy yet the russian was 2nd with Pluchkin 3rd (despite Pluchkin also being the better of the two). The Tour saw Madrazo as the favorite, but the podium contestants had pretty much the same amount of helpers. Lecuisinier managed to beat Phinney in the end despite the american having better helpers.

I'm unsure if it actually makes a difference, but you are obviously less vulnerable with a solid core of strong riders, than if you rely on 2-3 riders with 75-76MO.

I'll be experimenting on this next season though if we stay with the current version Smile
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Bikex
Interesting observation @SotD
Luckily I don't have a GT leader (anymore) so I'm not affected by that.
That we have to discuss whether it would be better to send worse riders to races tells a lot about the state of the game with PCM18 Smile
 
cio93
Usually you trade a good GC result for your lieutenant for better stage results from your leader thanks to his relaying work, but with this season being such a breakaway galore, it's indeed doubtful whether the net effect of having that setup is still positive.
Obviously, talking final GC, your leader only really benefits from a strong climber being at his side if he's actually protected by him, it makes zero difference for his energy management whether the rider leading the peloton is in his team or not as the game can't set up an attack the same way Ineos and others do IRL.

That's where roster depth would usually come into play, with f.ex. a couple of 77mo riders setting a sufficient pace while a 79mo rider can protect the leader until he attacks.
But again, that would require the AI to play along, as you mentioned exactly that setup didn't help me much in the '19 Giro.


On the other hand, SotD's conclusion that some weaker mountain domestiques are enough for your leader's GT and your second best climber is better used on his own has a significant downside, as exactly those ~77 mo riders you would suggest to rather put alongside your leader are exactly the kind of rider that scores massive points this season as perfect breakaway material when they're riding for themselves in a GT...
(Prado, Novak, Rosch, Roman, Kennaugh etc.)
 
SotD
cio93 wrote:
Usually you trade a good GC result for your lieutenant for better stage results from your leader thanks to his relaying work, but with this season being such a breakaway galore, it's indeed doubtful whether the net effect of having that setup is still positive.
Obviously, talking final GC, your leader only really benefits from a strong climber being at his side if he's actually protected by him, it makes zero difference for his energy management whether the rider leading the peloton is in his team or not as the game can't set up an attack the same way Ineos and others do IRL.

That's where roster depth would usually come into play, with f.ex. a couple of 77mo riders setting a sufficient pace while a 79mo rider can protect the leader until he attacks.
But again, that would require the AI to play along, as you mentioned exactly that setup didn't help me much in the '19 Giro.


On the other hand, SotD's conclusion that some weaker mountain domestiques are enough for your leader's GT and your second best climber is better used on his own has a significant downside, as exactly those ~77 mo riders you would suggest to rather put alongside your leader are exactly the kind of rider that scores massive points this season as perfect breakaway material when they're riding for themselves in a GT...
(Prado, Novak, Rosch, Roman, Kennaugh etc.)


But those 77MO riders have A LOT of racedays, so isn't that a metaproblem? I mean, most of us (with GC leaders) would put in a number of those 76-77MO riders to supplement the 79-81 lieutenaint either way. Yet they could easily ride in the other GT's aswell. Riders like Vasyliv, Stüssi, Barta, Mavrikakis (next season) have 70+ racedays, so they could be fairly easily distributed with you leader aswell as riding 1-2 GT's (depending on whether or not they will always be with your leader) on their own.

The issue (and tbh I believe it has something to do with weak lineups in Giro+Vuelta) is that those 79-81MO riders perform horribly on their won in some instances, so they doesn't even work out that well being a leader. I would think though that the 79-81MO riders will come very much in handy in a normal season - this can be tested in the Tour de France I suspect.
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tsmoha
Solid result from Haig, yet easily defending his 5th place. Two Top-5 GTs would be nice, obviously. Yet the scoring will be supbar nevertheless..

Canty with a nice Top-10.
 
cio93
Prado again?? That has to be wind.
From experience, it often changes in a \__/ style throughout a TT.

Arndt on the attack now please. And congrats SotD! Smile
 
Mresuperstar
Ahhh, not quite good enough. Doubtful Tenorio can use his slight hill advantage to get those pesky seconds needed to turn this around over the next three stages. But stranger things have happened.
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Bikex
Phenomenal tt by Reis! Only a little shame that he was leading at the ultimate checkpoint but not taking it to the finish.
I'm sure wind played a big role here with Fraile and Prado starting close to each other and gaining so much time on the last sector. But still 3rd is better than I could've expected from Reis. He could sit very comfortably in 5th in GC now, which he unfortunately doesn't. Now it's about defending our two GC spots in the top 20 and I won't be unhappy about the race in overall.
Thanks for the great tt report, Nemolito!
 
valverde321
Wasn't expecting that. I guess Shikai still knows how to ride a bike after all.
 
knockout
Prado? Wow, congrats to Roman!


Strong ride by Lecuisinier too, he now sits in the driver's seat for red for sure!

Tvetcov gains a spot in GC as expected but faces tough opposition for a top ten spot with riders such as Goos, Schelling or Shikai right behind him. The two hilly rated stages might actually be fairly okay for him but i'm really scared about the last mountain stage. He can still drop fairly quickly since the entire top 15 is very close to him.
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Fabianski
Had hoped the GC would be a bit closer after that TT, now it looks pretty easy for Lecuisinier (with the leader jersey bonus), in what his manager already deemed a lost race Pfft

Congrats to Roman for a pretty unexpected stage win! I agree, even small differences in wind sometimes make a big difference, which might also be the reason why Coppel won the long Giro TT.
 
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