Fantasy Cycling S2 – Meet the Italians

Stage 2 Review

Diego Ulissi wins stage 2

Diego Ulissi wins stage 2

What did we learn from Stage 2?  

  • Predictions of small group finishes by that guy who writes about cycling for DTTalk should be treated with scepticism.
  • Will Clarke, a.k.a. Pacman, is proving a nuisance gobbling lots of in-race points before the peloton gets there – 50 fantasy points in 2 races is impressive for someone priced at 9.1 credits.  While I expected Drapac and UniSA to have bolters every day, I expected it would be different guys.  If it is always ‘Pacman’ then we should buy him.
  • With the big climbs early in the race, and a leisurely pace in the peloton, most riders had plenty of time to get back in touch even if they were dropped on the climb.  However, the uphill finish still made it hard for specialist sprinters.
  • Meet Diego Ulissi – 79 fantasy points in 2 races.  24 years old, twice world junior road race champion, with good recent form in Italy (3 wins), and the only designated climber at the TDU.  At 16.1 credits, he was always a pretty good buy for the first 3 stages.
  • Meet Francesco Gavazzi – 51 fantasy points in 2 stages.  28 years old. This one is a bit of a surprise to me as he seemed to be pretty quiet in 2013.  But if you got him at 16.9 credits you would be happy.

While Gavazzi slipped under my radar, I did notice this group selfie when the Italian Astana team went to the beach as soon as they arrived.  These beach tackle positions require manual intervention so this photo is obviously intended to amuse their mates back home.  I think Gavazzi is on the right.

Astana team - beach fishing tackle?

Astana team – beach fishing tackle?

Stage 3 – Adelaide Hills (Norwood to Campbelltown)

This stage rolls through the undulating Adelaide Hills but without any major climbs until the end.  This stage is all about the last 10km and Corkscrew Hill.

Corkscrew Hill

Corkscrew Hill

With average gradient 9% this will split up the peloton and give an opportunity for the strongest climbers.  Then the last 6kms to Campbelltown are all steep downhill at 5%.  Some riders are better at steep descents than others, usually the riders who started off riding mountain bikes.  Ex MTBer Cadel Evans looks a standout for this.  I’m also looking forward to young Slovenian Mohoric lighting it up (watch for a lime green madman).

Trade Talk 

Stage 3 advice:

  • Dump pure sprinters if you still have any,
  • Evans and Gerrans are must haves,
  • Dump other OGE riders they are all going to ride for Gerrans,
  • Consider Pacman – Will Clarke if you think he will go again,
  • I’m planning to dump Bakelants for Ulissi,
  • Those who are in contention for GC will pull out all stops as they only have stages 3 and 5 to make any ground. There are 65 riders still within 21 seconds of Gerrans.  So this stage might be quite lively.
  • If you already have a very strong all rounder climbing team, then consider holding over one or both trades to load up on extra sprinters for next stage which is expected to be a bunch sprint.

Good luck.  If you have any questions of comments please post below or contact me by twitter on @NixTrader.  Also post your trades and your views on how the stage will play out.  It would be good to see what trades people are making.


  • Out: D.Lapthorne, J.J Lobato
    In: D.Ulissi, W.Clarke

    Interested to see how Mohoric goes as well. I think climbers will do well on this stage Nix.

  • I wouldnt say Gavazzi had a quiet 2013 especially when considering the scoring system.

    3 top 10s @ Tour of Romandie
    2 top 10s @ Critérium du Dauphiné
    3 top 10s @ Tour de France

    Those are all top shelf races against the very best riders and all were achieved in medium mountain stages.

    Talking trades I suggest people make a plan to be able to get both Kittel + Greipel into their teams for stages 4 + 6. Whether that means holding over trades or building a bank.

  • Caled Ewan had a fall yesterday in last lap. Explains why he was up with leaders but then finished 123rd and with same time as leader (although others finishing before him had time gaps). I thought his time may have been an error but the fall explains it – a fall within last x kms gets same time as leader.

    Interesting that he was up with the leaders in this stage, and said he fancied his chances with uphill finish. His uphill chops are obviously pretty good. But still no fantasy points. Expect he will start today but whether he is too sore to perform well is unknown. At 3 credits trading him doesn’t get you many options anyway.

    Lampre’s Rafael Valls Ferri may be more seriously injured if anyone has him.

  • Only 1 trade for me today Rojas > Gesink

    Will add 3 sprinters tomorrow.

    Shame about Ewan was hoping to keep him right through but I guess most have him anyway hence the popular star. Hopefully he starts.

  • Great ride from Cadel Evans – and it has probably won him GC. All he has to do if follow Gerrans up Willunga Hill and into any intermediate sprints.

    If Gerrrans and Ulissi alternate attacks, forcing Evans to keep chasing them down, one of them might get lucky, but otherwise gameover for GC.

    But still plenty of fantasy points to win –

    My guns: Evans, Gerrans, Ulissi,
    Meh: Porte, Thomas, Gesink (Sky in general have been pretty disappointed in TDU),
    Disappointing: Schleck

    Caleb Ewan looked exhausted when he came over Corkscrew. He came over with all the other sprinters towards back, but they had slackened off and were doing it pretty easy. Caleb looked to be suffering a fair bit – so expect crash may have taken its toll.

    I’ll post another article tonight with preview for stage 4 – return of the panzers.

    How did everyone else go? Post your kudos, vents here.

  • Guns: Evans, Gerrans, Ulissi
    Disappointing: Schleck, Pacman (Will Clarke)

  • Cadel Evans what an absolute gun.

    Heroes: Evans, Ulissi, Gerro, Sutherland

    Zeros: Gavazzi, Felline

    Was planning on trading Evans out for 4 in for 5 out for 6 but I guess now will need a rethink. Not sure I can get both Greipel + Kittel by keeping Cadel but how can I trade him out after such a performance? Hmmm…have to crunch some numbers.

  • Banked transfer not showing up as yet :S

    Hopefully they fix this soon.

    Up to 91st overall :)