Fantasy Cycling is back for 2013

More races, some gameplay changes and more features for your premium money...

by Dave Atkinson   January 7, 2013  

Fantasy Cycling 2012 logo

Fantasy Cycling. It's back with… more races, a new Style Premium competition, prizes for all, better stats, achievement badges, new functionality and lots more. Did you miss it? Of course you did.

We've been hard at work behind the scenes to make the game even better, but essentially you're doing the same thing: using your Directeur Sportif skills to pick a team of nine riders to compete in competitions through the season. You get points depending on how well they do, and your aim is to beat the thousands of other virtual team managers to land yourself on top of the pile. Or, if not that, at least beat your mates in your private league.

It's great fun and very addictive, and it's also a great way to improve your knowledge of how a bike race works. To set up your team you need to register on the main site and then head over to Fantasy Cycling where you'll be able get started. If you played in 2012, you should already be set up, and you'll find your archived results from last year on your dashboard, as well as a palmarès section listing your best results to date.

More races

We've kept all the races from last year and added a few more. This year there's 26 races, 14 of which are open to everyone; that's five more than last year. We've made the Tour of Britain an open competition this year rather than a premium one, so everyone over here can have a go at the home-turf race.

Pick any nine riders…

This year you really can pick any nine riders, at least within your budget of 150 game credits. We've done away with the split between star riders and domestiques, so you can have however many stars you like. There's still a limit of two riders from any one team.

The way rider values are calculated is different too. Last year we bashed our heads together and set the values and rider types based on our knowledge and gut feeling. This year it's an automated proces: we're generating the rider values based on how they've done in the game in the 12 months leading up to a competition.

What does this mean? Well, rider values will change throughout the year: if Simon Gerrans romps off with the Tour Down Under trophy again this year you can expect him to be considerably dearer for the next race he's in. It means that the most successful riders from last year will be expensive, of course, but that doesn't mean there won't be bargains to be had. There's some very high profile riders who barely scored a point in 2012 due to injury or illness, and they'll be going cheap...

Premium is different this year

We've done a lot of work on the premium game over the closed season. For 2013 it's less about prizes – anyone can win the prizes that will be on offer this year – and more about a fuller game experience. Going premium costs the same as last year – £10 for the season – but you get more benefits. Let's look at the new features.

Achievement badges

This year there's 12 achievement badges to unlock. They range from the really big stuff – a top ten in a competition, for example – to smaller things such as picking the last man home on a stage. Will you be able to get all 12 in 2013? here's a list of the badges:

badge Tour Top Ten
Top ten finish in one of the game competitions
badge Stage Podium
Podium placing on any game stage
badge High roller
Top ten placing at any time in a competition
badge High stage score
A score of 180 or over on any stage
badge Full house
All nine riders scoring on any one stage
badge Podium
Picking the first three riders on any stage
badge King of the Mountains
Picking the winner on a summit finish
badge Sprinter
Picking the winner on a flat stage
badge Lanterne Rouge
Picking the last man home on any stage
badge Points award: 2k
A season score of 2,000 or over
badge Points award: 5k
A season score of 5,000 or over
badge Points award: 10k
A season score of 10,000 or over

Better rider stats

We've got a year's worth of data in the game and we've used it to bring you better stats on all the riders in the game. You can see the current ranking (and 12-month rolling points total) of everyone in the current competition by hitting the Rankings tab in the menu. If you're a premium user, clicking on a rider's name will bring up lots more useful stats, such as their scoring breakdown across different types of stages and how they've performed in the last 12 stages they've contested.

As well as seeing a rider's scoring breakdown in their stats, as a premium player you can also order riders by their total score on a certain type of stage, which is a big help if you're looking for a couple of domestiques who might shine in the hills...

Play two teams from one account

Some people like to chop and change their teams throughout a tour, whereas others like to take a purist approach: pick nine and stick with them through the competition. Both are great fun and with the premium game you can now do both from one account. You get your standard team plus an extra purist team for every competition. You won't be able to make changes to your second team after a competition starts, so there's no danger of missing out on a purist ranking!

Bank as many transfers as you like

For the standard game the rollover transfer system remains the same: you can save up to two transfers for the next stage, but if you don't use them then you lose them. Premium players can bank as many transfers as they like, and they won't expire after a day. So you can save up a couple of days' worth ahead of the big time trial.

More to come, too!

There's a few extra premium benefits we're still working on, but don't worry - we'll announce them when they arrive.

Tour Down Under starts on 22 January!

Not long to go until the first race of the year: the Tour Down Under is our season opener. Get yourself registered and start thinking about your team!

26 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

Great stuff!! Can't wait to get started Smile

The difference between me and lance Armstrong is that I still have a chance of winning the Tour de France Smile

Doaky's picture

posted by Doaky [60 posts]
7th January 2013 - 14:40


Signed up to Premium already Big Grin

Been along time coming!

The layout looks very slick!! Applause

'Don't look back. Something might be gaining on you'

livestrongnick's picture

posted by livestrongnick [2012 posts]
7th January 2013 - 15:19


going premium asap!
Big Grin

keith roberts's picture

posted by keith roberts [203 posts]
7th January 2013 - 15:24

jimmythecuckoo's picture

posted by jimmythecuckoo [1323 posts]
7th January 2013 - 15:44


Is it wrong that I'm more excited about this than I was about Xmas? Nerd

posted by chris75018 [101 posts]
7th January 2013 - 16:03


REALLY pleased about the 'two-teams-from-one-account' thing; this was the one change I definitely wanted to see. Also the badges are great - I'll be devastated if I don't get at least one Lanterne Rouge per grand tour!

Seriously guys, great work - and a really good job done on differentiating the premium game. I will definitely be signing up for premium this time around.

Ghedebrav's picture

posted by Ghedebrav [1125 posts]
7th January 2013 - 16:18


Fan Dabby Dosey


posted by seanieh66 [195 posts]
7th January 2013 - 16:31


YES Big Grin

Sir Velo

Raleigh's picture

posted by Raleigh [1734 posts]
7th January 2013 - 18:27


I've literally been hidden away, awaiting this day for months. My girlfriend is slightly less enthusiastic about the news.

Don't buy upgrades. Ride up grades. (Merckx)

obutterwick's picture

posted by obutterwick [538 posts]
7th January 2013 - 18:39


Lokking forward to a great season - fantastic work from all the team... Smile

Pity we can't get more of the races on TV...!

Cycling Blog:
Twitter: @amanonabike

nemysys's picture

posted by nemysys [44 posts]
7th January 2013 - 19:46


Yay! can't wait for start of TDU. Like the new graphs etc. If only we could have stage profiles too......

posted by Rvizzle [99 posts]
7th January 2013 - 19:47


Well that was positive ready all the comments, seems the majority are happy Big Grin thank feck for that Nerd

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [9189 posts]
7th January 2013 - 19:58


Is there any way you can search for riders by nationality??

The difference between me and lance Armstrong is that I still have a chance of winning the Tour de France Smile

Doaky's picture

posted by Doaky [60 posts]
7th January 2013 - 20:23


Doaky wrote:
Is there any way you can search for riders by nationality??

yup. just type the 3-letter IOC code for the country into the search box.

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7680 posts]
7th January 2013 - 20:24


Before I go premium, are there any loopholes I should know about?

Mrdowen's picture

posted by Mrdowen [46 posts]
7th January 2013 - 20:40


Wowzers. Words can't describe how excited I am about all these improvements to the game! Cool

posted by TheBigMong [218 posts]
7th January 2013 - 20:47


OK - signed up for premium and got a mate to do so as well!

Ghedebrav's picture

posted by Ghedebrav [1125 posts]
7th January 2013 - 22:42


Dave Atkinson wrote:
Did you miss it? Of course you did.

You don't know how much! Smile Thanks! Great looking pages! Smile

Vive Le Fantasy Cycling Game!

posted by enrique [2031 posts]
8th January 2013 - 13:48


Cheers Dave

The difference between me and lance Armstrong is that I still have a chance of winning the Tour de France Smile

Doaky's picture

posted by Doaky [60 posts]
8th January 2013 - 20:14


Nice one chaps Nerd

I'm always in two minds
Then I go and pick the wrong one Sad

posted by fluffchucker [284 posts]
9th January 2013 - 19:17



493rd in GC Fantasy TdF 2014

Sanderville's picture

posted by Sanderville [254 posts]
9th January 2013 - 19:25


Are there socks for the first 50 sign up again?! Please Wink

posted by veseunr [283 posts]
10th January 2013 - 9:31


Oh no, this is a disaster!

You've clearly made it much better, so I'm going to have spend even more time on this than I was before!

Great work though, looks fantastic. Can't wait for it all to start.

posted by sir_velo [16 posts]
10th January 2013 - 10:50


I'm not that clued up on Road Racing. Always had an eye on the Tour de France throughout the years. But thats about as far as my knowledge for Road Racing goes. Will I get it is what I'm trying to say? Can I pick a team by the size of there thighs? Thats what I normally look out for!

posted by Abbie [55 posts]
12th January 2013 - 18:02


Go for it Abbie. Sounds like as good a strategy as any. Except for the mountains, where you want to pick the skinny ones.

Noli porcum linguere

captain_slog's picture

posted by captain_slog [293 posts]
12th January 2013 - 21:39


Having netted minus five in the last fantasy league I took part in (but that was footie which I'm pretty ignorant about) the only way is up!

posted by matttheaudit [59 posts]
18th January 2013 - 20:32