Fantasy Cycling: Tour de France week 1 roundup
Who's been making the running in road.cc's fantasy game?
Well it's had its ups and its downs and it's deposited us here: what a first week of the Tour de France we've had. Voeckler in yellow, and few would deny that he's been top value for it. Hushovd riding like every stage is a sprint stage and Gilbert riding a three-week tour like it's a one-day classic. Wiggins out. Vino out. Brajkovic, VDB, Zabriskie, Horner, Boonen... huge names now crossed off the roster. It's been mental.
And in our Fantasy Tour de France, brought to you in association with Evans Cycles, it's been cut and thrust all the way, with a different overall leader almost every stage. It's so tight at the top that it's anyone's game still: with only 33 points separating the top ten it only takes a couple of transfers gone bad to slip you down the pile, and an inspired substitution can have you flying up the league.
So who's made it to the rest day top of the (at time of writing) 5,264 teams on board? It's Aussie Mal71, whose Mighty Bulls team have netted an enviable 863 points from the first 9 stages. Those of you with access to a calculator can quickly work out, like we just did, that that's 95.9 points per stage, and probably like us you'll be looking at your paltry totals from week one and wondering just how that's done. Here's how.
Well, it seems you don't have to get off to an amazing start. Lucky old Mal71 had Vincent Jerome in right from the off for those ten lanterne rouge points but only managed a pretty average 54 overall on the first day.
Things looked up from there though with some good transfers, peaking at a 121-point haul on stage 4 with contributions from Gilbert, Galimzyanov, Hushovd and Evans. Peaking that is until today, when big points from Voeckler, Gilbert and Evans made for a 124-point total to take over the lead.
What certainly does help is knowing the game: The Mighty Bulls have been picking up points all the way from Milan - San Remo and they're 56th overall. In fact, eight out of the ten top teams have been playing since at least the start of the Giro back in May. So that's something to remember for next year, when the Fantasy league will probably be kicking off even earlier with the Tour Down Under... more practice for the big tours!
Where are our leaders from? Well, unlike the Giro which was dominated by the road.cc Spanish contingent, currently six out of the top ten teams are home grown, with the US, France, Poland and of course Australia also represented.
In the regional league it's Europe making the running still, with UK hopes still on the shoulders of Northern Ireland who are holding fast in second place. It's the North East in last place now, so come on Northumbria and Tyne and Wear: a few good weeks and you might send London to the foot of the table, eh. Our beloved South West isn't faring too well either, we're trying as hard as we can.
In the purists' league it's been a good call to have Vincent Jerome in. And Hushovd, and Evans. And Voeckler, at least for today. Team Grumpy old sod Rog has all of those riders, and that's the reason they're top of the purist pile with 690 points, enough to be 174th equal in the main game without making a single transfer. That's pretty impressive.
Giro winner jau is still topping the overall standings, and the consistency league; he's bubbling under in 42nd place in the Tour.
Well done to everyone in the top ten – Mal71, scorekeeper, yland, PolishDave, Saints1885, tomchapman, Alan Tullett, Kent_1, Smootus and figus – and make sure you enjoy your day off, everyone! There's four transfers to use and the racing starts again on Tuesday. Bonne chance!