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Wild Fantasies: Fantasy team review

Ron Swanson's Bacon

At around twenty to two on Saturday 9th April I howled into the abyss of Twitter. I was following the qualifying from Lourdes intently and realized that my team had phoned it in. #bollocks

Words: Tim Wild Photos: Seb Schieck

I had pored over results and prices for ages when it came to selecting my team and I was convinced I had it nailed.

Aaron Gwin, Rachel Atherton, Remi Thirion, Emyr Davies and Emanuel Pombo, collectively known as ‘Ron Swanson’s Bacon’, were going to win me the big prize. But at the first time they got on track they didn’t produce the results I expected and I was a bit pissed off.

When it came to the race I was a bit happier; the niggling doubts I had about new teams and bikes after qualifying were put aside and the chainsaw and ‘look at the time’ sign got some hearty and spirited use in my front room. I had the winners in both men’s and women’s categories and at 1615/7802 overall I don’t need to do that much surgery to my team in the run up to Cairns.

Still, in the interests of good management everyone is getting a bit of a review. I have two transfers and I’m going to use them wisely.

Aaron stays after an 8.5/10 performance. I know Bruni is in fashion at the moment, but Lourdes showed that the fastest rider isn’t always the best racer. Aaron’s experience showed and he crossed the line to win after, by his standards, a pretty poor qualifying performance (he has never done particularly well in the wet or mud).

We wont know what was going on in Loic’s head but Sam Hill in 2008 was the last reigning World Champ to win a World Cup race. That said, if I’d picked Loic I wouldn’t be swapping him out just yet.

Rachel stays after a 9/10 performance. It’s a no brainer. Don’t get hurt though Rachel.

Remi Thirion gets a 5/10 for the weekend’s results, but a 9/10 for spirit as he gave it a go when his wrist must have been hurting like hell. If you could track the changes I made when it came to selecting my number-two male racer you’d have seen an obsessive lunatic switch between Remi and Danny Hart as he tried to decide which racer to go with.

Remi was 25k cheaper and was on fire last season until he was injured, whereas Danny was ever reliable. I figured Remi was better value and I fancied him as a wildcard for the win at Lourdes. He sprained his wrist in practice, didn’t put a qualifying run in and came 44th on Sunday.

 

I worry about the wrist and Danny did well enough to make me regret my decision to chose Remi, but Stevie Smith killed it at round one and jumps ahead of Danny to become Remi’s replacement. At 200k the former World Cup series winner is a bargain. Stevie… welcome to Ron Swansons Bacon. Remi, this isn’t personal, hand in your badge and your gun on your way out.

Emanuel Pombo at 50k gets a solid 6/10. He qualified and came 47th getting some decent points. However, he was at an enduro race this weekend so I’m not sure if he is making the trip to Australia. You need to update your Instagram with some travelling pictures Emanuel!

I need to be prepared for each scenario, so if he isn’t racing this weekend I’m going to go with a 75k racer, probably a young Australian in the hope that he has a once in a lifetime run at home. I don’t know whom yet, I’ll decide on Friday (Ed’s note: due to the time difference it will be too late by then Tim!). If Pombo does go, Emyr (3/10 – didn’t qualify) will be replaced with a 50k Aussie.

What do you need to do to get your teams in to shape? Got any hot tips? Let us know in the comments.

It’s not too late to join the Dirt Fantasy League here. There are still spot prizes available at every round and we’ve set up a league for everyone who missed the first round here. The spot prize for Cairns is a signed Trek Factory Racing DH jersey.

A note for racers: Don’t take any of this personally, it’s dog-eat-dog in the world of fantasy sports, I love you all really.

If I’ve talked you up and you do badly I haven’t cursed you, but if you think I have please complain to the Editor!

P.S. can you all update all your social media accounts frequently and let us know where you are at all times and confirm that you are fit and healthy? 7802 team mangers (and counting) will appreciate it!

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