Posts Tagged ‘fantasy cycling’

Critérium du Dauphiné 2019

Thursday, June 20th, 2019 | Distractions

The Critérium du Dauphiné is considered the main warm-up event for the Tour de France. This was a write-off from start to finish for Team Chris.

I misread the stages. It looked like there were lots of mountains and not much for the sprinters. So, I didn’t even take a sprinter. Turns out this was not correct. The hilly days were not hilly enough to drop the sprinters and there were only a handful of mountain days, all of which were mopped up by the breakaway.

Froom suffered a horrendous crash, for which he is still in hospital. Kruijswijk also dropped out due to illness. That left Fuglsang, Pinot and Quintana. They managed the overall win, 5th and 9th between them that did a lot to boost my points, but the gap was way too big. Froome being out meant that Woet Poels would then race for himself, which helped the other teams.

Congratulations to Bogdan, who takes his first win in the de Mezzanine

Women’s Tour of Britain 2019

Wednesday, June 19th, 2019 | Distractions

The Women’s Tour of Britain is a 6-day stage race. It doesn’t receive the same level of coverage as the men’s events: you can’t watch it live on TV, for example, but it’s growing rapidly. Superstar Marianne Vos lead out my fantasy team.

It was all going so well. D’Hoore took the early sprint stages and Vos and Deignan were mopping up the GC points. After the first couple of stages, Team Chris had an 800 point lead, that at the time seemed unassailable.

Alas, it was not to be. Vos crashed, and despite Deignan taking the overall win, Team Chris was eventually relegated to last place.

Giro d’Italia 2019

Thursday, June 13th, 2019 | Distractions

For cycling fans, May marks the arrival of the first two grand tours of the season: the Tour de Yorkshire and the Giro d’Italia.

It was a polarised race this year. The first week and a half had no hills in it. The route was made up of flat sprinter stage after sprinter stage. Then it went uphill and almost never stopped going uphill. It also had three time trials.

John thought his race was over when Dumoulin had to abandon early on. However, an amazing ride by Masnada kept him competitive for the entire race. Bogdan took the early lead scoring big points with Viviani. Viviani never won any stages, but as the only sprinter any of us had brought, some high-placed finishes did the job. Like many of the sprinters, though, Viviani then went home as soon as the race went uphill.

Team Chris was not without its troubles, either. López continued to have bad luck, including getting knocked off his bike by a spectator. The UCI concluded that the punch he threw at the guy was a “human reaction” and cleared him of any wrongdoing.

Mostly, it was plain-sailing though, as Carapaz spun to victory, becoming the first Ecuadorian to win a grand tour. It was so important in Equador that the government paid for the final stage to be moved from paid satellite TV onto a free-to-air channel.

Tour of California 2019

Tuesday, May 28th, 2019 | Distractions

The Tour of California was always going to be a difficult race on Velo Games. Bogdan had discovered our secret tactic, “always take Sagan”, so it was up to the team to perform in other ways.

That started well with Tejay Van Garderen taking the race lead in the early stages. But he crashed on stage four and ended up 54 seconds down. It seems like it was all over. But hours after the race had finished, the officials announced that as Van Garderen had made it back to the bunch before being held up by another crash, he would be awarded the same time as the main peloton.

This made no sense. He was off the back because of his own mistake and the crash he got caught behind was outside of the 3km cut-off, which is where the rule comes into effect. But there is no appeal process so the stupid decision stood.

After all of that, it didn’t matter too much: the next day was in the high mountains and Van Garderen cracked again. Worse still, Uran, who I also had because I thought he would be EF Education First’s other GC contender, then went back to help Van Garderen, clearing the way for others to win the stage.

Luckily for me, the eventual winner, Tadej Pogačar, wasn’t in anyone else’s team either, and the highest placed rider on the day was one of mine: George Bennett. EF Education First held onto the team classification, giving a juicy bonus to three of my riders.

Tour de Romandie 2019

Saturday, May 25th, 2019 | Distractions

The Tour de Romandie is a 6-day stage race that takes place in Switzerland. I went with Zakarin, Roglič and Thomas for my fantasy team. John had also taken Roglič so it was a two-up spring for the win.

Despite a good performance by Gaudu for Team Ventolin, the couple of minor points picked up by Viviani and some of the Jumbo-Visma assists just edged it for Team Chris.

Velo Games Spring Classics

Thursday, May 23rd, 2019 | Distractions

This year’s Velo Games fantasy cycling allowed unlimited team changes between the Spring Classics races. This made for quite a commitment: optimising our teams between each race.

Luckily, John and I have a simple tactic: take Sagan and then work out what to do with the handle of points left over. This proved to be a good tactic even though Sagan had a disappointing start to the season. Coming fourth is still worth a lot of points.

Alaphilippe was the dominant ride of the spring. This was often bad news for Bogdan who took up to three Deceuninck–Quick-Step riders and someone didn’t pick the DQS winner. It was not a tactic without merit, though: Štybar and Gilbert both took a victory.

As we entered the final race, Liège–Bastogne–Liège, it was neck-and-neck between Team Chris and We Didn’t Inhale. Luckily for me, we both had a pretty terrible race with only one serious point-scorer between the two squads: Fuglsang for me.