It's just a month until the Milan - San Remo and the start of the Spring Classics, and Italy's early season opener will also mark the start of something else: road.cc Fantasy Cycling 2011, sponsored by Evans Cycles. That's right: a whole season of fantasy racing with some fantastic prizes up for grabs along the way. And it's free to enter!
Last year's success with the Fantasy Tour de France and Fantasy Vuelta games has made us determined to make this season better than ever. Our Fantasy Cycling game will run right from the Spring Classics to the World Championships, taking in the three grand tours and a host of other races along the way. And with Evans Cycles as sponsor, we've got some amazing prizes up for grabs over the season.
So how's it going to work this year? Well, you'll still be picking a team of nine riders to compete in each race, and you'll get points depending on how they perform. You'll be able to make unlimited changes to your team at various points during the season, and you'll have limited transfers within tours. With 89 scoring stages overall there's plenty to play for; here's a taster of the prizes on offer!
The Tour de France, Giro and Vuelta will be running as the big standalone competitions, with le Tour as the pinnacle. Each grand tour will have its own league tables. There'll be big – BIG – prizes on offer for the winners and runners-up schwag to play for too.
From the Milan - San Remo to the Liège - Bastogne - Liège, King of the Classics will be the first prize on offer. Get in there early and you'll be in with a great chance of walking away with the first spoils...
From the first race to the last, the player with the biggest score wins. It's a real commitment, this one, but it'll be worth it!
We don't want to penalise players who find the game after it has started, so there will be another season-long game, this time for the best average stage score. You'll need to score on a minimum number of stages to be eligible, but even if you're late to the party you could still be in with a shot of glory.
Our purists' league will have a strict no-transfer policy whilst a race is on; you will be able to make transfers between competitions though. You're doing it for the love though, right? You're not expecting a prize. What? Oh.
On top of all of this, there'll be spot prizes on offer for various stages throughout the season. So even if you're languishing at the bottom of your league you'll still be in with a shout of a prize...
Interested? Course you are. We're putting the finishing touches on the game engine code in the road.cc boiler room right now, and we're planning to launch the game a week today, on Friday 25 Feb. You'll need a road.cc user account to set up a team, and it's one team per account. That'll give you three weeks to get yourself sorted for Milan, and after that the only way is up. Good luck!
Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.