It's Grand Tour time! The early season tours and the Spring Classics are out of the way, now it's time to get your fantasy teeth into a full three weeks of play. Starting in Denmark (natch) with a time trial around Herning, this year's Giro stays up north for a couple of stages before an early rest day and transfer back down to the motherland for a team time trial in Verona, and from there the race builds towards the penultimate Queen stage, over the feared Mortirolo to finish atop the spectacular Stelvio pass. And even then it's not over; a time trial in Milan on the final day could mean last minute changes in the GC.
If you haven't already noticed, this year you can play Fantasy Cycling as a premium user. That gets you entry into a bunch of extra races, including the Tour of Britain and the Tour de Suisse, and also means you're in with a chance of snagging one of our top prizes. For the Giro the premium winner will be walking away with the bike pictured above, a Jamis Xenith Comp from the chaps at Evans Cycles. The Xenith has picked up awards in the past, and the 2012 model is based on a full Carbon frame and fork package with Shimano 105 running gear. All in all it looks like a top package for the £1,499 asking price. Second prize is pair of Suplest Supzero Streetracing Road Shoes worth £249.99, and third place bags you a Louis Garneau Quartz helmet worth £99.99.
To be in with a chance of winning these prizes, you need to be registered as a premium user by the end of the first rest day. So that's 11:59 on Tuesday night. You'll still be able to go premium after that - after all, there's two more Grand Tours and bunch of premium-only races to play - but you won't be eligible for the big Giro prizes. A season's premium subscription normally costs £10, but right now there's £3 off. So that's 53 extra stages and the chance to win some big prizes for a measly 13p a stage!
Of course, it's not all about the big win. There's prizes every day in the Giro, and they can be won by anyone, premium or not. There's a whole bunch of Lezyne goodies for stage winners, thanks to our friends at Upgrade Bikes. On top of that, there'll be random spot prizes of road.cc socks on some of the stages, so look out for them!
The first stage transfer window closes at 1.30pm UK time tomorrow, so if you haven't already get over to fantasy.road.cc and pick your team. 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.