Fantasy Cycling: Paris-Nice stages 1-3
Our roundup of the Fantasy Cycling movers and shakers over the first three days of the race to the sun
We're three stages in to the Paris-Nice now, and with an individual time trial, sprint stage and (sort of) summit finish out of the way things are shaping up nicely for Team Sky in the GC, with Bradley Wiggins heading the field after a fine TT and some strong work on stage two.
Over in Fantasy Cycling it's been an unpredictable few days, and that's been reflected in the scoring which hasn't been as high so far as it was in the two Arabian tours, the Tour of Qatar and Tour of Oman. Individual time trials are fiendishly difficult to predict, especially when the rain plays a part, but team RawTalent came good. They didn't pick Gustav Larsson, the overall victor, but did score the next four – Wiggins, Leipheimer, Van Garderen and De Gendt – for an overall score of 170, the best of the day. That, of course, meant pedalpowerDC was top of the Paris Nice leaderboard on day one. And the purist's leaderboard.
Skip forward to day two and some fine riding from Wiggo and wingman Geraint Thomas helped to split the pack; in the end Tom Boonen was triumphant on the stage ahead of Jose Joaquin Rojas and John Degenkolb. Team Carry on up the Colombier had Boonen and Degenkolb, along with Wiggo, Monfort and Phinney and that was enough to top the stage table with 156 points, ahead of team run2-Bianchi. In the overall standings a solid two days of scoring from team 62 SPLITTIE FUND (who have plenty of form from the start of the year) put them in top spot, whilst in the purists' league it was team The Racing Rats making the running with 252 points.
Day three was the day Alejandro Valverde went for the win to claw back some time on the overall. He just edged out a charging Simon Gerrans for the win. So having those two was the backbone for a big score, and Team Fagundo complemented the one-two with good points from Wiggo, Tejay van Garderen and Gianni Meersman for a table-topping 145. Team Velosophy managed 101, and that was enough to jump four places to first overall, although it's tight at the top; just 18 points separate the first five teams so it's anyone's game still. Well, not anyones. But you know what I mean. Team snowplc are top of the purist class, with 320 points from three stages.
Five more stages to go, including another summit finish (a steep one this time) and a mountain time trial. Good luck!