Who will be a good BEAT rider?

David Vlieghe

At the BEAT’s last Club Meetup about the professional team, I ended up in the group led by Piotr Havik. Our goal was to describe the ideal BEAT rider. In short it came down to: a clean, assertive, young and talented rider with a pleasant personality and who preferably also wins some races.

Of course, everyone who follows cycling can name twenty top-level cyclists. Peter Sagan, Nairo Quintana, Marcel Kittel, Greg Van Avermaet, Mark Cavendish… On paper this would be the best team ever, but of course it wouldn’t be feasible. Even if our money was spent on the salary of Peter Sagan, we’d still be a few million short to pay him.

Despite his name being dropped at least 27 times by everyone at the brainstorm session, signing the World Champion isn’t one of our most realistic options.

It seemed like a nice challenge to me to come up with a more ‘realistic’ team. I did that following these rules:

  1. BEAT wants to be part of the peloton from next season onwards. This means (according to ProCyclingStats) we can only sign riders who don’t already have a contract for 2018.
  2. Seeing this a pro-continental team, I didn’t select any riders from the World Tour.
  3. I applied BEAT’s vision. That means twenty riders, with half focusing on classics and sprints, the other half going for climbing races and tours.
  4. I focused on young talent. BEAT wants to have a professional team that improves young riders.
  5. Having the “BEAT factor”. Someone like Nacer Bouhanni seems to comply with all the rules. He doesn’t have a contract for 2018 (yet) and he rides for the pro-continental team Cofidis. However, his hot-tempered character and unsporting behaviour absolutely don’t comply to the ideal of BEAT.

Using my experience from playing Pro Cycling Manager, I started the selection. I struggled through the depths of Pro Cycling Stats looking at the results of junior and forth-level races. Finally, I brought all this information down to a selection of twenty riders. Riders that have shown certain athletic achievements and also have the personality to be part of BEAT Cycling Club.

If I have to name a few people: Jesper Asselman and Jan-Willem van Schip are guys I think have the BEAT factor completely. Very good riders with room for improvement, who create a positive vibe in the race with their assertive riding style. They are sympathetic during interviews and, most of all, they seem to enjoy their sport a lot. I’m happy to have received positive feedback from the board of BEAT. I’m curious how this list will develop in the coming weeks and month towards the director of a professional team.

Do you want to help build the BEAT Cycling Club? Join us now.