Another week of racing done, and who would have though that Tommy Voeckler would be resplendent in yellow even after the pain of the Pyrenees? That's what we've got though, and he's a breath of fresh air, for sure. In the road.cc and Evans Cycles Fantasy Tour de France it's just as tight as it is out on the road; here's the current lie of the land.
Those of you with good memories – or still with a vested interest in the top of the table – might recall that Mal71 was top of the pile on the first rest day with their team Mighty Bulls. The Aussie outfit is still right up there in second place but the current number one couldn't be a lot farther away geographically speaking; currently wearing fantasy yellow is team Redbone, the squad of Long Island-based scorekeeper. They've amassed 1,456 points over the 15 completed stages which is a batting average of 97.1, impressive stuff!
This one's not over yet though, not by a long shot. The three teams occupying second to fourth are all within 50 points of the lead, and there's twelve teams less than a hundred points off the lead. A couple of inspired/lucky picks in the mountains and you could easily make that back; A lone break in the mountains can be worth a whole heap of score, and there's plenty of mountains between here and Paris.
Here's our top ten. Chances are that unless someone a bit lower down pulls out all the stops it'll be one of these teams walking off with a fancy pants Trek Madone 5.2 worth £2,800. Good luck for week 3...
1 Redbone scorekeeper 1456 2 Mighty Bulls Mal71 1424 3 Polski Grifter Club PolishDave 1416 4 eaju eaju 1406 5 Cambridge Flyers Alan Tullett 1402 6 Team Smout Smootus 1400 7 asstanner kevinP 1389 8 Chapshaw's Hardmen tomchapman 1380 9 elektricos elektra 1375 10 UKC King of the Spring Classics figus 1371
And where does that leave the rest of us? Well, it leaves us stroking our chins to work out how we can get one over on our mates or work colleagues in the final week. But there's still stuff to win too, in the form of spot prizes! These are more down to luck than good judgement, but even so, it could be you! We'll pick a winner from all the teams who have the selected rider in their roster. Congratulations to npd1972 and monxton, who won the last two spot prizes from week 2. And here's who we're selecting in week 3...
Stage 16, Saint Paul Trois Chateaux – Gap
Tuesday 19 July
'BREAK!', this stage seems to be screaming. A long scramble to the top of a big climb followed by a big descent to the finish? It's Pau to Lourdes all over again. First man over the top of the Cat 2 before the finish is the man to have.
Stage 17, Gap – Pinerolo
Wednesday 20 July
Chances are the first man over the Col de Montgenèvre will lead the race into Italy... a day for a bit of national pride maybe. He's the guy to have in your squad.
Stage 18, Pinerolo – Galibier Saint Chevalier
Thursday 21 July
It doesn't get much harder than this for the muscly sprinters: drag yourself over the Agnel and the Izoard and you've still got to winch your way up to the finish on the 2,645m Galibier. Some probably won't make the cutoff today, but the last man home within the time limit will be the one we draw from.
Stage 19, Modane Valfrejus – Alpe d’Huez
Friday 22 July
Short stage, BIG climbs, a shot at glory on the fabled hairpins. There'll be attacks on the Galibier to try and steal some time for a head start on Alpe d'Huez. You're in the draw if you've got the first rider to the top of the day's HC climb.
Stage 20, Grenoble – Grenoble (Individual Time Trial)
Saturday 23 July
The top 20 riders on the time trial will score, but you won't miss out if you've got #21 on the day: he's the man we'll draw from for the saturday schwag.
Stage 21, Creteil – Paris Champs-Elysees
Sunday 24 July
It's all japes and champagne before the riders get down to business for one last hurrah. History suggests a bunch sprint, but someone will have a go. We'll draw from all the teams that have the rider who's in front with two laps to go.
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.