Superclassico Fantasy Sixes, or simply the Superclassico for the regular, is the marathon of Velogames. A competition where resilience to be invested down until the last race. A true marathon where gaps can be reduced at any point during the season.
Across the 41 races this season taking you up to the Veneto classics in October, being close to the bests in your league makes you a potential danger at any point. While being the leader comes with its load of pressure and temptation/ ability of going for some extreme choices in some races, it is never too late to still make up for the deficit.
The Italian race will again mark the start of the Velogames superclassico Fanatsy sixes with nerves running high among riders and the form of many riders to be revealed. Time to prove yourself or recover from the warm up championship. Being the first round of 41 upcoming ones, it is the perfect opportunity to make some delirious choices which could pay out.
Yet many as I, will stick to doing what we know best: Getting all the nailed down potential top-10 finishers to fit in 100 points. And if this is not possible, there is an outrageous amount of points to earn from 4 points riders who get into breakaways. Picking one of the right breakaway rider is never an easy task though.
Strade Bianche 2022
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The top 4 finishers could all be fitted in a team. 8 credits Narvaez finished 6th and brought in 246 points. Simone Petilli (6 points) finished 9th and earned a juicy 204 points and took the final spot in the best possible team.
Strade Bianche 2023
This is a race that goes beyond description. Spectacular, it never fails to disappoint. The fact that Julian Alaphilippe, Wout Van Aert, Mathieu Van Der Poel and Tadej Pogacar are the past 4 winners says it all. Strade Bianche is the race of champions.
Absent due to illness that disturbed his preparation, Wout Van Aert will be sorely missed. Initially planned to be at the start, defending winner changed his schedule at the last minute to instead focus on his Tour de France preparation at Paris-Nice.
Mathieu Van der Poel is here and appears to be the favourite. He possibly has the best team he ever had in a race to support him. Gianni Vermeersch, Samuel Gaze and more importantly Michael Gogl are riders who could challenge for a decent results themselves. Yet, they will be more useful in setting the pace once the off- road sectors have been reached and wean down the peloton. The only point of worry for MVDP is that back injury that he keeps complaining of.
Julian Alaphilippe is angry and is going to hit hard this season. Put under pressure by his manager; Patrick Lefevere, the double world champion is already smelling form at the start of this season. He is the outright leader of his team and poses the greatest challenge to Van der Poel.
Strade Bianche crowns champions and Thomas Pidcock is destined to be one. The terrain and climbs of Strade Bianche suits him really well. He is one of the few who could respond to a mega watt attack from Van Der Poel in the final climbs yet some doubts arise when it comes to his team.
Last week, at Omloop, Pidcock found himself isolated early. Having a much stronger team is not good news either. Ineos Grenadiers could easily switch their hope on to another rider should he be in the right place. Magnus Sheffield is already considered among the best in the peloton while Jhonatan Narvaez is serious contender for the podium himself.
Pello Bilbao, Tim Wellens, Lorenzo Rota, Andrea Vendrame and Mauri Vansevenant are riders who usually do well at Strade Bianche and are in sublime early season form.
Finally, Quinn Simmons. The American rider has been long known to be a fan of off- road terrain and his abilities cohere. Last year he finished seventh and this season he revealed that he is not planning to hit form as early as in 2021 and 2022, with his focus on stage wins in the Tour De France. Yet, his training numbers pre-season are impressive.
Strade Bianche 2023 Velogames guide
|Mathieu Van Der Poel||32||After a timid debut post lockdown in 2020, where he finished 15th, MVDP’s win in Strade Bianche 2021 was impressive in terms of power. Last year, he did not start as he was still recovering from a back injury, the same injury that he still complains of and could be the only thing separating him from winning. His form is good as he beat Van Aert at the cyclo cross world championship and always race to win.|
|Julian Alaphilippe||28||1st, 24th, 2nd, 58th. This is the standings of the Frenchman at the Strade Bianche, a race that suits him well. In 2021, he was humbled on the final slope by a powerful attack by the MVDP. Last year, he was a victim of a spectacular crash that ruled him out of contention. Bar any bad luck, this is going to be the start of a great season for someone who has a lot to prove to his manager.|
|Matej Mohorič||26||The Slovenian is maturing and is looking more dangerous and confident in classics race. Interestingly though, his best performance was an 11th place in 2017. His current form is excellent though as witnessed by his 3rd place at KBK.|
|Thomas Pidcock||24||Strade Bianche is a race that is won by champions. While his talent is not to be doubted, the British would want to prove himself by winning it, and he is capable of doing it. At 24 points, he might prove to be a risk though as he does hold all the cards for his team.|
|Tiesj Benoot||22||After finally winning a race again at KBK, the Belgian is also the best option for Team Jumbo Visma Wout Van Aert’s withdrawal. Past winner in 2018.|
|Valentin Madouas||20||The Frenchman confirmed all his potential shown in classics and stage races at the start of this season. Although his past performances at Strade Bianche as summarised as a 20th place in 2017 and 21st in 2021, a top 10 this year is the least we could expect|
|Sergio Higuita||20||10th is his first participation last year. Not at his peak yet this early season but he can comfortably challenge for a top 10|
|Aleksandr Vlasov||20||First participation at the race.|
|Tim Wellens||18||The man of the season start is back at it again. His form is excellent and he has won already. 3rd back all the way back to 2017. His last participation resulted in 10th, 13th and 8th. He is team UAE’s best chance at succeeding Pogacar.|
|Alberto Bettiol||18||4th in 2020,23rd in 2021 and a return to his a near form seen at Tour Down Under. Picking the Italian is nothing but a bad choice.|
|Pello Bilbao||18||He finished 10th and 5th in the last 2 years. His form is good as confirmed in Australia and UAE. Watch out!|
|Michał Kwiatkowski||16||We have not seen him winning for a while, but you can never really rule him out.|
|Lorenzo Rota||16||This man never ceases to impress. Always considered as a dark horse, he is always in the mix for a win and this time on home soil should not be an exception.|
|Andrea Vendrame||16||Top 25 in his last 3 participation, he has 4 top 10 finishes already this season. His second place behind teammate Nans Peters on Wednesday in horrible weather was impressive but is that enough to enter the top 10 at Strade Bianche?|
|Toms Skujiņš||14||9th in 2019, 16th last year. The Latvian is certainly going to challenge for a top 10 in one of his few off domestique duties days.|
|Mauri Vansevenant||14||A very attractive option at 14 points given his good form at the start of this season in Oman. First participation at Strade Bianche.|
|Magnus Sheffield||14||Long gone is the time he was priced at 4. Yet, at 14, the American is still a bargain.|
|Rui Costa||14||It would be ridiculous to complete overlook him. While he does not have a lot of past results to look back on having spent 6 loyal years at Team UAE Emirates, he has been the transfer of the season so far.|
|Quinn Simmons||12||This rider and this race are made for each other. After winning his first pro race in San Juan, the confidence will be high and he could have challenged for top 5 was it not he would have admitted himself that he is planning to hit his top form around the Tour de France.|
|Brandon McNulty||12||A big fan favorite. He has not been tested as a leader yet at Strade Bianche and the form shown at UAE tour is the best we can expect from him yet.|
|Attila Valter||12||4th at his first participation last year. He piloted Jonas Vingegaard in impressive manner in first race of the season. The sky is the limit.|
|Zdeněk Štybar||12||Past winner of the race in 2015…|
|Andreas Kron||12||He has been riding, climbing and sprinting with the very best at Jaen Paraiso Interior and Andalucia. Both races which also include their fair share of off roads.|
|Sébastien Reichenbach||10||14th last year.|
|Ide Schelling||8||While the final results and Velogames do not always go down well for him. His resilience and courage always bring him to the fore-front of the race.|
|Simone Petilli||8||9th last year and this is not just pure luck to be in the right group as the race weans down on off road. He will be doing well again.|
|Georg Zimmermann||8||Definitely one of the best 8 point riders available for the classics. He has taken a new level since last year and will definitely be in the front group late into the race at Strade Bianche.|
|Clément Venturini||8||17th in 2021 for the Cyclo-cross rider.|
|Oscar Onley||8||At 8 points, he might impress at Strade Bianche but his time and worth will more likely come in races like la Fleche Wallone.|
|Michael Gogl||8||If there is one race that the Austrian should be picked; it is Strade Bianche. 9th in 2020, 6th in 2021, an early crash ruined his chances last year.|
|Samuele Battistella||8||While his only past participation in Strade Bianche resulted in an abandon, the young Italian has been in some many breakaways and won so many one day races that he will know how to turn situations into his favour.|
|Filippo Zana||8||38th in 2021, 19th in 2022. New team this year for the Italian champion.|
|Maxim Van Gils||8||Very impressive at the Tour of Oman.|
|Filippo Conca||6||One of the most likely to go into a breakaway.|
|Romain Grégoire||6||There was been a lot of talk about the young Frenchman before many of us have seem him live. At 20, he already has 2 top 6 finishes out 3 one day classics this season!|
|Simon Pellaud||6||A solid call for a breakaway points.|
|Lennard Kämna||6||Tempting at 6, but he is untested yet on this types of roads.|
|Nans Peters||6||Won Trofeo Laigueglia after an impressive 30km solo ride.|