This year's Fantasy Tour Game is underway. You can begin building your teams now! There will be over 25 opportunities to win prizes in this year's game. Be a professional team manager for the 2005 Tour de France. 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. Follow the races live and use your skill and knowledge to win prizes. Follow the races live and use your skill and knowledge to win prizes. For more info go to the fantasy site.
Manager 'Suts the Mut' from the UK, who came third in last year's Fantasy Tour game, shares some of his tactics for this year's game:
"Keep an eye on as much cycling news as possible in the run up to the Tour de France, be it websites, magazines or TV coverage. This will ensure you're up to date with who's hot and who's not. If you want to do well in the competition you'll have to find a 'dark horse' who will score well. Picking Armstrong, Ullrich and McEwen is sensible but commonplace. For me last year, my dark horses were Andreas Kloden, who had convincingly won his national championship, and Jose Azevedo. Both were acting as 'lieutenants' to their team leaders, and were economical purchases.
"Unfortunately in this year's competition many of the 'lieutenants' are a little more expensive, but are still worthy of consideration. The balance of the team should favour GC contenders, as they'll also score well on the Points and Mountains competitions. Indeed, given that stage points go all the way down to 15th position this year its not inconceivable that GC contenders trying to stay out of trouble in the sprints may pick up a few points here as well.
"Finally, my secret weapon last year was lots of time to consider my selections. At the time I was stuck in bed with a triple fracture to my left leg. I wouldn't recommend going that far, but don't leave it till the last minute!" - Darren.
Darren is from Solihull, West Midlands, UK.
These great prizes have been confirmed, with more still to come.
First Prize: a TREK Madone Discovery Team bike.
Stage by Stage Prizes : Specialized - 21x pairs of sunglasses
Bontrager - 2x pairs Bontrager Race X-Lite Aero wheels, 1x Race X Lite OS handlebars, 1x Race XXX Lite OS carbon stem, and 1x Race X Lite Pro saddle.
DMT - 3x pairs of Flash shoes
Speedplay - 4x pairs of CSC pedals
CTS - Signature coaching package
fi'zi:k - 5x Team issue Arione saddles
In conjunction with feedback and suggestions from players of the game over three years, we have developed a new points system for the Tour games. We've awarded more points to a greater number of riders and given back more emphasis to GC placings. Thanks to all of you who helped us develop the new points system. Have a look for yourself in the points section.
How to Play
You can begin creating your team/s now. You can play the first 8 stages for FREE! We will be adding additions to the startlist on a daily basis. The 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 Tour. You score points according to how well each of the riders place each day in the Tour. So try your team today and see if it's for you. It's a great way to follow the Tour. Create your teams now at fantasy.cyclingnews.com.
The Fantasy Cyclingnews Team