Fantasy Cycling: Clasica San Sebastian Preview
The Tour may be over, but our season long Fantasy Cycling game isn't
The Tour de France may be over, but there's still a lot of racing left in the 2011 season, both on the road and in our Fantasy Cycling competition, brought to you in association with Evans Cycles. Indeed, tomorrow sees the next event, the Clasica San Sebastian, raced in the hills surrounding the Basque city.
It's a difficult race to pigenohole, not falling within a group of races, as the Flanders or Ardennes cobbles do, nor is it a build-up to a Grand Tour, as some of the week-long stage races are. Instead it's a one-off race that often produces some thrilling battles, animated of course by some of the most passionate fans out there.
The selection that tends to produce the group from which the eventual winner will come is often made on the Category 1 climb of the Jaizkibel, crested 77.8 kilometres from the finish and again 40 kilometres later.
Some of the big names from the Tour de France will be competing, including both Schleck brothers, second and third to Cadel Evans in this year's race, but you may need to have a think about how much the last three weeks' racing has taken out of them.
Rabobank, meanwhile, boasts two former winners in the shape of defending champion Luis Leon Sanchez and the 2009 winner Carlos Barredo, and as those names suggest, Spanish riders tend to go well here. Euskaltel, unsurprisingly, have a strong team out, and Samuel Sanchez, mountains classification winner at the Tour, will be looking to make his mark here.
You'll find a full list of past winners on Wikipedia, and if you click on the years from 2005 onwards, you'll get a list of top ten finishers which may help you make your selection.