Are you ready? The time has come! From today you can register for this year's Fantasy Cycling competition, sponsored by Evans Cycles. It's a long and winding road to the World Championships, with three Grand Tours along the way, but when we finally arrive at the far end of the season we'll have doled out some impressive prizes and we'll be able to crown our overall season winner!
So what's new? Well, if you played the Fantasy Tour de France or Fantasy Vuelta games last year you'll recognise the format, as it's essentially unchanged. You get to pick nine riders to do battle on the road, and they'll score points depending on how well they do. This time there's a whole season to get through though, and along the way there'll be separate competitions, each with their own prizes. Here's a quick rundown of the competitions you'll be in with a chance of winning...
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...
We're still nailing down exactly what the prizes will be, but don't worry: when we have it tied down we'll be shouting about them on here. And they'll be worth shouting about, believe us...
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.