Armchair enthusiast and World Cup fanatic TIM WILD takes time to reassess his Fantasy League team and to ring the changes in time for round 3 in Fort William this weekend.

A lot has happened since Loic Bruni won that exciting race in Cairns at round 2 of the World Cup, and tragically, we’ve lost one of the good guys.

I’m old enough to have been following racing in the Jason McCoy era and I know that it is important for racing to continue, as this is the best way for his fellow racers to pay tribute to one of their own. So while there is a big hole in the DH scene it is right to turn back to the racetrack and fantasy teams and figure out how to show our respects.

I swapped Stevie Smith into my fantasy team for round 2 and like many of you I had to decide how to show my respects rather than unceremoniously dropping him from the team. I decided eventually that I’d donate money to the Stevie Smith Legacy Foundation based on the performance of his replacement; that way I can keep the game going while paying my respects and supporting a great cause.

juggernaut world cup fort william val di sole-24
juggernaut world cup fort william val di sole-24

RIP Stevie, gone from the team, but there in spirit and not forgotten.

After the initial disappointment of qualifying at the first round my team, Ron Swanson’s Bacon, has climbed to the heady heights of the top 500. Sitting 461/8136 I’m pretty chuffed despite Aaron Gwin missing out on the top 3 at round 2.

wildfantasies-4
wildfantasies-4

Here is how the rest of my team fared last time and how I’m going to use my transfers, along with the odd bit of sage advice:

Rachel Atherton deserves nothing less than 10/10 after a weekend where she bagged maximum points. Rachel has 30 more UCI points at this stage in the season than the £550k-valued combo of Gee Atherton and Josh Bryceland. With the best points return in the game and a ‘home’ race coming up you need to get her into your team.

WC_Cairns_2016_14_7853_Atherton
WC_Cairns_2016_14_7853_Atherton

Aaron Gwin gets a 7/10 for Cairns. Finishing nearly 3 seconds down on Bruni must have hurt. Props to Bruni, you’ve got to love a new kid schooling the old guard and showing he wasn’t a one hit wonder. It’s a shame he is injured, and the news he has broken his collar bone will have sent many a fantasy team manager into a flat spin just as it was looking like this season would be a great duel between the American and Frenchman.

Aaron has to be the number one choice for Bruni’s replacement in many teams, but there are riders out there that can beat him if you don’t want to put your eggs in the Gwin basket. Troy Brosnan won at Fort William in 2014, Greg Minnaar won there last year while Danny Hart, Gee Atherton and Josh Bryceland will all be looking to impress the home crowd and get on the podium at the end of the series.

Aaron is still the rider for me but for now he is playing second fiddle to Rachel as team leader and doesn’t get to hold the TV remote in the evenings anymore. I assume that is how real team mangers motivate their riders?

With a lot of team and bike changes for 2016 it was one of the busiest off–seasons in a long time for many riders… and Aaron Gwin especially. A whole new set–up with YT for the 2015 World Cup Champion.
WC_Lourdes_2016_82A1470

Johannes Fischbach was bought in for Cairns at £75k. I don’t know about you but I found it tricky to choose lower cost riders for Cairns as a lot of the guys I had on my shortlist didn’t make the trip.

As a powerful rider putting in some reasonable times in timed training I took a punt and he did OK, getting 93 points for the team and earning a 7/10 for the weekend (he gets an extra point for his party-pose picture on the fantasy site). My hand is forced though and I need to save some money. Chin up Johannes, and best of luck in the future.

WC_Cairns_2016_14_6686_Hart
WC_Cairns_2016_14_6686_Hart

Danny Hart, sitting fourth overall, is the rider I’m choosing to replace Stevie Smith. I’ve regretted not picking him after every round as he has scored more points than the rider I’ve chosen at his price. Danny won the recent BDS at FW and I’m hoping he’ll do Stevie proud with a cracking run and a few whips. I’ll base my donation to the foundation on Danny’s result.

Danny, welcome to the team… if you are ever going to win a World Cup race make it this one, yeah? There are some team rules you need to know about: highest point scorer of the weekend rides shotgun in the team bus on the way home and chooses the music. Aaron gets first dibs on the hotel rooms. Rachel (as mentioned) controls the TV remote.

Emyr Davies
Emyr Davies

Emyr Davies didn’t travel to Australia and with my two transfers going to bigger hitters I was a man light. I was expecting that though; I always saw him as a ‘bonus’ rider hoping he’d pop up every now and then and get some points. You need some luck at the £25k mark and the young Brit should do well enough in Scotland to repay my faith in him. Emyr – make it count!

Rider 5. I don’t know who this’ll be yet but I have £25k to spend. It’s likely to be a Brit that did well at the BDS but I’ll need to check start lists and make the decision late in the week.

That’s the team: go get ‘em!

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

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.

Before you say anything I do realise I may be taking the fantasy team manager role too seriously…

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