It's been an exciting Paris-Nice, and one to remember for Brad Wiggins. He kept a charging Lieuwe Westra at bay on the final stomp up the Col d'Èze to take the overall win, the first British rider since Tom Simpson to take the title. But what about the Fantasy Cycling Paris-Nice? Let's look back over stages 4-8 and see who's risen to the top in our online game, to walk away with a Maillot Noir...
On stage 4 it was Gianni Meersman of Lotto-Belisol that took top place on the podium ahead of Grega Bole and an ever-present Westra. Team TJ Hooker had two of the top three and backed that up with solid GC points from the likes of Wiggns and Valverde to net a grand total of 166 points and a £50 Evans Cycles voucher for best score of the day.
Stage 5 was a summit finish up the Montée Laurent Jalabert and a chance for the GC contenders to crack the whip. In the end it was Westra whose attack proved decisive, distancing Valverde and Wiggins for a stunning victory. Frederik Veuchelen had previously been on the rampage picking up KOM points, so having the big guns and Veuchelen was a recipe for success. Team SingersFc87 followed the recipe to the letter, picking up a huge 224-point haul, equal third best overall in the game so far.
Stage 6 featured a breakway by Luis Leon Sanchez and the ever-popular Jens Voigt, the German getting edged out on the line by the better sprint of Sanchez. Behind them the sprint for third was taken by Heinrich Haussler. A difficult day for a big score, so no surprise that the winning team, Slade Inmates, had Voigt, Sanchez and Haussler for a 1-2-3 and a total of 138 points.
Stage 7 was Tomas de Gendt's day. He racked up a massive lead with Rein Taarmarae before dropping the Estonian on the final Cat 1 climb of the day and rolling into Nice all alone, nine whole minutes ahead of the peloton led by John Degenkolb. De Gendt's solo effort netted him a massive 65 points on the day, team SmallAdventures backed up de Gendt with a smattering of top ten finishers and GC scorers for a grand total of 162 and top score of the day.
The final stage was another day for the big guns. It was Wiggins who won out, closely followed by Westra with the rest of the field, led by Jean-Christophe Peraud, half a minute down. A day for big scores and 203 was the best from team Welsh cakes, with Wiggins and Westra backed up by a raft of other top-ten finishers.
So to the overall. The Paris-Nice was close, with the top position changing every day. Team Raven Wolf had the lead on stage 4, only to lose it to team Velosophy for stage 5. The Racing Rats took over for stage 6, and team RawTalent hit the front with one stage to go. But they couldn't stay out in front, pipped at the post by The Racing Rats who came back to take the overall title with 995 points. So it's a Maillot Noir to our winner crj24 and Zipvit goodies to our two runners up, pedalpowerDC and Pedro Pedallo.
In the purists, Pro Team Isabella hit the front on stage 7 and managed to keep the lead on the final stage, closing out with an impressive 790 points from a team of Wiggins, Haussler, Valverde, de Gendt, Porte, Gretsch, Westra, Marcyz and Burghardt. We'll find a suitably purist kind of a prize for them.
That's it for the race to the sun, then. Thanks for playing! They're coming thick and fast at the moment; next up it's the Spring Classics with Milan San Remo on Saturday. The seven Spring Classics races are running as a single competition but in reality they're split into three sections. The MSR stands on its own, after which there's the three races on the cobbles: Gent-Wevelgem, the Tour of Flanders and the Paris Roubaix. After that the action moves to the Ardennes for the Amstel Gold, the Flèche Wallone and the Liège-Bastogne-Liége.
To reflect that you'll get unlimited transfers before the start of Milan-San Remo, Gent-Wevelgem and the Amstel Gold race. You can make four changes to your team in between the other races. The provisional startlist for Milan-San Remo should be up in the next day or two, so time to get picking. Good luck!
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.