It's about this time in the road.cc and Evans Cycles Fantasy Tour de France that you'll probably be looking at your team – like we are – and wondering where it all went wrong. Maybe you picked Voeckler but binned him for Sunday's stage. Maybe you didn't think Thor and Phillipe had the legs for the lumpy stuff. Maybe you thought Contador would show up. Whatever, but you're not going to win now. And neither are we.
Cheer up though! It's our pleasure and privilege to announce the spot prizes for week two of the Tour de France. These are prizes you can win even if you're 5,132nd in the overall standings because they're not about how many points you've got, but more about some less meaningful aspect of the race. That way everyone gets a shot at a prize!
And what will the prizes be? They'll be, erm, stuff. Part of them will certainly be road.cc socks, as we've got plenty of them right now. Evans will be chipping in with some goody bags of team-related schwag too. Whatever it is, it'll be a pleasant surprise and better than nothing, which is what everyone else will be getting that day. Like we said: cheer up!
Here's what's on offer and how:
Stage 10 Aurillac > Carmaux (Tues)
Let's face it: there'll be a break. There always is. Someone in that break will be first over the Cat 3 Cote du Villfrance de Rouergue at 99.5km. If you have that rider, you're in the hat for the prize.
Stage 11 Blaye-les-Mines > Lavaur (Weds)
Looks like a sprint finish in the offing, which means three sprinters on the podium most likely. But what about that poor fourth placed chap? We'll do a draw from every team that has the fourth-placed rider on the stage.
Stage 12 Cugnaux > Luz-Ardiden (Thurs)
Two HCs and a Cat 1 to get over? That means some loyal domestiques and chunky sprinters are in for a sufferfest. Who's going to be in the worst shape? We'll draw from the teams who have the last-placed rider on the day. Not the Lanterne Rouge, you understand: the last chap home on the stage.
Stage 13 Pau > Lourdes (Fri)
Ah the Aubisque. Dave's done it on a MTB he hired from the Tourist information in Bedous for €10, how hard can it be? Hard, it turns out. Chances are the first rider over will beat Dave's puny average, as will all the others. If you have that leading rider, you're in the hat for the prize.
Stage 14 Saint-Gaudens > Plateau de Beille (Sat)
Ouch. This one looks tough. Still, some silly bugger will go off like a yoghurt in the sun to try and make a name for themselves. Probably they'll attack on the first climb, the Cat 2 Portet d'Aspet. First jersey over the top on that one is the lucky rider to have.
Stage 15 Limoux > Montpellier (Sun)
Blessed relief: a flat stage. The sprinters will be pleased. As will their lead-out guys, who never get the credit they deserve. Well they will today: we'll draw a spot prize from all the teams who have the second rider over the line from the winner's team.
So there we go: six stages, and six chances to win, all of which require you to be lucky enough to have the correct rider and then lucky enough to win the draw. But hey, someone's got to win: it could be you!
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.