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First winner of Fantasy Game - plenty time left to join

After Fabian Cancellara's dominating performance in the Prologue today, the Tour Fantasy game well and truly off to an interesting start. Manager "El Burro" with his team "Alabama Hot Pockets" from the USA wins the first of 21 'Daily Stage Prizes' - a pair of BBB's BSG-23 Winner Team Quickstep glasses

Want to give Fantasy cycling a go? You can still enter teams until Stage 4 begins on Wednesday 11th July. Unlike most Fantasy games, this gives you the chance to try out the game for free and experiment with different strategies without having to pay for mistakes. If you don't get time to create your teams before Saturday's start you can still take part with just as good a chance of winning as a manager who joined before the Prologue began. Just make sure you register and finalise your teams before Stage 4 begins. Remember the deadline is 10am (Paris local time - UTC+2 or GMT+2) on Wednesday 11th July.

Choosing your mountains and sprints riders

In what's set to be the most wide open Tour in decades picking your team of 15 riders couldn't be more challenging. If you are relatively new to the Tour it can be a daunting prospect choosing your 15 riders from Saturday's start list of over 200 riders. You need to choose your riders carefully for all 4 elements of the game. The new ranking system can tell you some of the answers you need to know based on last year's results. Here's some direct links to real life riders that scored well in the 2006 Le Tour Fantasy Game:

Top 2006 Mountains Riders

Top 2006 Sprinters

Top 2006 General Classification Riders

Top 2006 Stage Points Riders

Go to the page and click on the "How to find top climbers/mountains and sprinters/points riders..." link at the top of the page to reveal more. All you need to do now is bring this information up to date by reading the News here at Cyclingnews for this year's Le Tour!

Fantasy upgraded

We've added some great improvements to the game this year:

1. new ranking and results service, offering new depths of rider statistics on races over the last four years.

2. see your friends exact selections in the this year's game as it happens.

3. look up the winning managers team selections for last year to improve your selection this year.

4. follow the progress of the key fantasy managers whilst also tracking your friends' progress in the new "Watch Teams" tool.

5. build your own Mini-Leagues.

6. try out the Forum/Chat area, which provides new ways to communicate with your fellow players from around the world in real time as the races unfold.

7. new stage selection system to make sure you never miss a stage pick again.

Even if you don't win the Grand Prize of a Cervelo Soloist Carbon CSC team replica bicycle, the Fantasy Le Tour game is a great way to follow the Tour each day here at Cyclingnews. It's free to play the first three stages - try it out today. You don't need to be a cycling expert to win prizes. Registration has already begun.

Even better prizes!

Prize summary: From one Grand Prize and one First Runner-up to three each Second, Third, and Fourth Runner-up prize packages, there are eleven chances for you to win based on your overall performance in the 2007 Le Tour Fantasy Game. There are also 21 daily prizes for each stage's top performer. All prizes are as listed (substitution requests cannot be honoured). The roster of prizes so far is as follows:

Grand Prize from Cervelo Soloist Carbon CSC team replica bicycle worth $4750 USD. Equipped with Shimano Ultegra 10-speed, R-550 wheels, FSA cranks, bars & stem, Selle Italia Marco Ponza saddle, Cervelo aero carbon seatpost, and Vittoria Diamante Pro Lite tyres.

Daily Prize from BBB Parts - 21 pairs of BSG-23 Winner Quickstep World Champion glasses designed for Tom Boonen - one for each day of tour.

10x Runners-up Prizes

* Cycleops Powertap 2.4 Wireless * Set of Shimano Dura Ace WH-7801-SL Wheels - three sets on offer * Maxxis Courchevel road tyres - 10 sets on offer * Descente Classic Chevron design clothing - four sets on offer * PRO Carbon Bottle Cage - x10 on offer * Speedplay - Zero stainless steel pedals - 3 sets on offer * Giro Atmos Helmet - x3 Giro Atmos Helmet

More prizes will be announced in the coming days. To find out more visit the prizes page.

What is Fantasy Le Tour all about?

The online game allows you to assume the role of a professional team manager for the 2007 Le Tour and create your own dream team from any of the real life riders in this year's Tour. 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 other virtual managers from around the world. Follow the races live and use your skill and knowledge to win some great prizes.

Remember you can still enter teams until stage 4 begins. You can reedit and re-enter teams for stages 1-3 of the Le Tour 2007 competition up until stage 4 begins. Unlike most Fantasy games, this gives you the chance to try out the game for FREE and experiment with different strategies without having to pay for mistakes. If you join the Tour after the start date you can still take part with just as good a chance of winning as a manager who joined before stage 1. Try out a team today!

For more details register for free now. It's a great way to follow Le Tour 2007.

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