This year's Fantasy Vuelta a España game is under way, and you can begin building your teams now! Be a professional team manager, there will be some great opportunities to win prizes in this year's game. Based on the live racing action, you will take up the challenge of using your knowledge and tactical skill as a race team manager to compete with managers from around the world. For more info go to fantasy.cyclingnews.com.
Last year's Vuelta winners, Brett and Stephan, who won the Orbea ORCA frameset painted in Euskaltel-Euskadi team colours share some of their tactics below:
"We had only eight of our original 15 riders left at the end, our six remaining GC picks performed very well - earning good stage points and placing overall 1st, 2nd, 4th, 6th, 9th, and 13th. Our aces in the hole were Santiago Perez and Carlos Sastre.
"We decided on four riders as "must haves," and built around this core group. At the beginning of the race, our four "must haves" were Dennis Menchov, Aitor Gonzalez, Roberto Heras, and Alejandro Valverde. Heras has owned the Vuelta this decade, and Valverde is currently perhaps the most talented rider in cycling next to Armstrong. Menchov was looking exceptional early, and as a previous winner of the Vuelta who seemed on form in the second half of the year, Gonzalez looked good too.
"We filled out the remaining five GC spots by carefully considering a rider's current form, past performances, and UCI point cost. Given our expensive selection of core GC riders (Valverde, Heras, and Menchov) plus the fact that we wanted at least one expensive sprinter on the team (which turned out to be Petacchi), we really had to be cautious with the remaining GC point cost (which put the likes of Mancebo and Nozal in the too expensive category).
"In each grand tour fantasy game, it seems each of us makes one great pick that the other is thankful for. For the Vuelta, Brett lobbied hard for Carlos Sastre, and Stephan was very high on a youngster named Santiago Perez. These two riders became the key to our team's success.
"The whole race was about as exciting as can be, especially the final week. Santi Perez really broke out as a grand tour contender during the final week. The secret is out! What a great race to end a great season, and we can't wait for the 2005 season to arrive."
Join for free
You can begin creating your team/s now. You can play the first five stages for FREE! We will be making additions to the start list on a daily basis. The fantasy tour games are easy to play, all you need to do to manage your own team is select 15 riders from the live start list then select 9 of these riders to race each day throughout the Vuelta. You score points according to how well each of the riders place each day in the Vuelta. So try your team today and see if it's for you. It's a great way to follow the Vuelta. Create your teams now at fantasy.cyclingnews.com.
The Fantasy Cyclingnews Team