10 Tips to Make You Awesome at Fantasy Cycling
The winner of the Giro road.cc Pelotonitis Podcast league, Neil Godfrey (@NeilSG83), was a rock star- he stayed in 1st place pretty much the whole race! As a fantasy newbie, I was spent a lot of the game in the learning curve. We were anxious for some #pro tips and Neil generously obliged us!
In Neil’s own words, here are 10 tips to make you awesome at fantasy cycling:
“1) 1st stage – Pay extra attention to stage 1 in a race; it is an opportunity to score a lot of points because the highest finishers in the 1st stage will also fill the top positions in the General Classification and points competition.
2) Stage profiles – Look closely at the final 20/30kms where a successful attack might be launched. Also, look at the gradient of the final kilometre. Try to match the profiles with your knowledge of similar finishes. Profiles can usually be found on a race’s official website.
3) Plan ahead – When picking a team don’t just look at the next stage. For example, picking a team full of sprinters for a flat stage is no good if the stage after it is a time trial or a summit finish, especially in a game with only 2 transfers available per stage.
4) Previous results – Looking at the results of a race from past years can be very useful for the classics where the route changes little from year to year. Riders suited to the course repeatedly finish in the top 10.
5) Form – Pick riders that have recently performed well. A good example recently is Carlos Betancur who did well in the Ardennes classic and then went on to get very good results in the Giro. Don’t pick a rider just because he is a “star” if you are unsure about his form.
6) Breakaways – Having a rider from your team in a breakaway during mountain stages is important as they can score by gaining KOM points. In some races it’s hard to know who will get into a break. Pick a rider that looks like they are trying to win the KOM jersey as they will get into as many breaks as possible and fight for the points available.
7) Don’t play safe – In the Road.cc game points can be scored by riders doing well in the various jersey competitions, however the big points are scored at stage finishes and in mountain breakaways. Don’t keep an expensive rider in your team just because he holds one of the jerseys. It will leave you with fewer credits to pick possible stage winners.
8) Look for bargains – Road.cc base a rider’s value on the last 12 months’ results. Riders returning from long term illness or injury (or a doping suspension) will have lower values. Picking these riders is a small risk, but can bring rewards if they rediscover old form. Neo-pros are also usually valued lower. You can easily find the talented ones with a bit of research.
9) Research – For more obsessive players the internet is a fantastic resource for finding out past results; possible race tactics and race predictions by experts. Also, watch lots of races to build up your knowledge of riders and their strengths and weaknesses.
10) Lead-out riders – If on a sprint stage you can’t afford all the sprinters you want try choosing a lead-out rider for one of the top sprinters. These riders won’t win, but often finish in the top 20, so pick up a some points & they also score points if their team mate wins.
Some extra tips would be to use the game to enjoy watching cycling more and to learn more about it. Taking part in a fantasy game has meant I have learnt about riders I didn’t know before and have followed races and tactics more closely. It’s also great for people like me who don’t have many favourite riders or teams as it gives me a new set of riders to look out for and cheer for every stage.”
Thanks, Neil! Hopefully these tips will bring me great success and I can continue to beat Jeff ;0)