Fantasy Tour de France – Le Finale

Edit: Now 20 stages down, 1 to go.

The finish is Stage 21 into Paris on Sunday evening; it will be late into Monday morning Australian time.

Planning your team and strategy every day and making trades before the evening deadline is demanding.  But that is the life of a fantasy Directeur Sportif.  I like the immediate feedback you get from putting your team out there every night.  When you have a bad stage, you don’t have any time to get annoyed because you have to adjust your team and plan for the next night immediately.

GRENOBLE/RISOUL

Remaining Stages

With 2 more stages in the Pyrenees to go, we all should have teams focusing on climbers right now.  In fact 40% of the KOM points available for the whole race are up for grabs in these 2 monster stages.

The remaining stages are –

  • Wed, Stage 17 – Only 124km but with 3 Cat 1 climbs and finishing with a HC summit!  I’m calling it the widow-maker.
  • Thurs, Stage 18 – A bit longer at 145km with 2 legendary HC climbs – the Tourmelet and then a summit finish on the Hautocam.
  • Fri, Stage 19 – A flat stage for the sprinters at 208km (if there are any sprinters left after 3 massive climbing days in the Pyrenees).
  • Sat, Stage 20 – A 54km individual time trial.  The course is undulating but there are no categorised climbs.
  • Sun, Stage 21 – The flat procession into Paris of 137km, which turns into a criterium at the end for sprinters as riders lap the Champs-Elysees.

Team and trade strategy will be very important, particularly over the last 3 stages.  The biggest issue is the Time Trial.  Take it from me sprinters are the worst time triallers, and even worse when they have had 3 days in the mountains and are saving themselves for the prestige final stage into Paris.

So ideally we want to max the mountain stages with climbers and GC riders for stages 17 and 18, then trade in sprinters for stage 19, then swap the sprinters for time triallers for stage 20, and then swap the triallers out and sprinters back in for stage 21.  Only one problem with this strategy … You aint got enough trades for that !!!

TDF Sunflowers line cropThe road.cc game

The situation isn’t so bad in the road.cc game with 2 trades per day.  If there are no crashes in the mountains we should be able to save a few trades from stages 17 and 18 and the use them in the final 3 stages.

It would have been a bit easier if Froome and Contador were still in the race as they are both excellent time triallers.  But ‘if onlys’ will not win us this bike race.

I expect many coaches will go down the high risk path of buying extra trades to get a little bit of extra advantage.  But beyond a couple of obvious candidates (e.g. Tony Martin) picking time triallers in good enough shape to finish top 10 will be tricky I think.

The SBS game

The final set of stages will be a lot harder in the SBS game because of limited trades.  Coaches received 8 trades before Stage 15, and these are to last until the end of the race.  I expect many coaches will have already used a few of these trades to get sprinters for stage 15 and then climbers for stages 16 to 18.

The SBS game has another couple of ‘features’ that don’t help the situation.

  • The climb and time trial stages are rated higher than the sprint stages so there are more points on offer for those, than in the sprint stages.
  • Many coaches have nominated one of the last stages as their bonus stages; stages 17,18, 20 and 21 are all among the most popular choices as bonus stage.

Ideally SBS game coaches should be saving some trades and aiming to use them to maximise their scores on the higher scoring stages and in their bonus stages.  But it isn’t that easy when you only have 8 to start with.

I’m happy my bonus stage has gone already.  Many SBS game coaches are going to find the last 4 stages ‘devilish’ to get though ….  Their teams may go ‘hunger flat’ when they have used up all their trades.

Didi the Devil crop

Standings after Stage 17

Road.cc  In the road.cc game the DTTalk ProCycling League is going pretty well.  We have 5 coaches in the top 200.  Tiltraise is best placed at number 14.  I am fluctuating around the 100 mark but hoping to string a few good stages together to bring it home.

SBS Game  I am also just outside the top 100 in the SBS game.  However, I am not sure I will be able to hold this position as so many coaches still have their bonus double score stage to come.  I might get lucky as they might not have enough trades to exploit their bonus.

Ultimate Cycling Challenge  Happily for me I hold a slight lead of about 170 points with the last 5 stages to go.  Although that is nowhere near enough to start celebrating yet.   The current podium positions are:

  • Nix – 1,896
  • teeerevor – 1,720
  • jsteber17 – 1,633

Final scores and podium positions after Stage 21

  • Nix – 2,682
  • jsteber17 – 2,450
  • teeerevor – 2,380.

So that’s a win for me.  Yay!!!   I don’t win many things, so I am very happy to take this one, even though I didn’t do as much riding as I hoped.

Chateau crop

 

The SBS Game

I am interested to hear what others think of the SBS game.  Please post comments below.

This is the first time I have played it.  I think they have added too many extra things that as a group don’t add anything to game play – e.g. bonus stage, team scoring, different stage scoring and different scoring for jersey taking versus keeping.  If the game requires players to manage their team every day as it is, the game mechanics themselves should be as simple as possible.  It is more than enough challenge just to work out how each stage will play out every day.

The SBS website seems very buggy and or confusing.  Stats change depending on whether a rider is in your team or not.  I don’t know anyone who has got their leagues to work and accept new people.  After an initial flurry of talk about it on twitter as the Tour started everyone seems to have lost interest in it.  Also I’m sure I should have a Points King Trophy for Sagan – not that I care, but it is a sign of the bugs in the site.

The SBS site also lists the top 20 teams and how much cash and trades they have on hand.  Disclosing this type of information is very unusual in fantasy sports, and usually considered unethical (if you are interested in fair gameplay).

I sent a help request and just got an automated answer on another topic.  So the website isn’t supported very well if people have issues.

It looks to me like a branding and marketing exercise for SBS and Tour Downunder.  But once they have you going to the site, they aren’t very interested in providing a good game experience.

 

If you have any questions or comments post below or hit me up on @NixTrader.  Follow me to keep up with the latest fantasy cycling info.

………………………………………….. Treasure Chest ………………………………………………

This article will be open till the end of the race.  So you can continue to post comments below.

To reward those who keep coming back and checking to the end I will continue to add statistics and rider analysis tables to assist you with your crucial last trades.  Make sure you bookmark or favourite the link to this article and keep checking back.  There will be fantasy gold in this treasure chest.

Best Individual Time Triallers

First up, a ranking of the best time triallers who started in the Tour.

Time Trial standings

The data table is from the excellent ProCyclingStats.com site.  The points listed are from PCS own ranking system based on ITT performance in the last 365 days.

Did you pick the right team in SBS Game?

SBS Team standings S19

The table above shows the team points standings in the SBS game, and also which teams have the best point return per $million invested.  The teams with the best return are in blue, the teams with the worst return are in red.  I expect quite a few players will have chosen Team Sky and Orica GreenEdge who are among the teams with the worst return.

Should you trade your team out and get a better performing team?  No way.  Trades are too scarce to waste here, you will get more points using trades to bring in better riders for appropriate stages.

Road.cc Game – Who are the best fantasy climbers?

The table below lists the fantasy points for all the best performing riders in the 8 high mountain stages, including summit finishes.  The columns on the right are as follows:

  • Pts/Cost – ratio of fantasy point to cost of rider.  Best returns are highlighted in blue, worst returns are highlighted in red.
  • Times Top 10 points – is the number of times that rider’s fantasy score was among the top 10 in a high mountain stage.
  • Times Pts>Cst – is the number of times that rider scored more fantasy points than their actual cost number in a high mountain stage.
  • Times in Best Poss – is the number of times that rider would be included in the best possible team of 9 (under salary cap) in any stage (i.e. not just mountain stages).

RoadCC Best Mountain

RoadCC Best Mountain 2

The names of best performing fantasy riders overall on mountain stages are highlighted in blue in the left column.  Some of the most expensive options (Valverde, Kwiatkowski, Rodriguez, Roche, Porte) were disappointing.  But several lower value options (Pinot, Peraud, De Marchi) performed well.

SBS Game – Who were the best on High Mountain Stages?

The table below shows a similar table for riders in the SBS game – i.e. the best performing riders in the 8 high mountain stages, including summit finishes.  The columns on the right are as follows:

  • Pts/$m – ratio of fantasy point to cost of rider.  Best returns are highlighted in blue, worst returns are highlighted in red.
  • Times Top 10 points – is the number of times that rider’s fantasy score was among the top 10 in a high mountain stage.

SBS Best Mountain stages

The names of best performing fantasy riders overall on mountain stages are highlighted in blue in the left column.  This list has a few different names as the best riders, partly because of different pricing, but mostly because the SBS game is focused on finishing position, and not on what occurs during the race.  So regular breakaway riders like Voeckler and DeMarchi aren’t rewarded much in the SBS game.  Conversely wheel suckers who can stay till the end like Schleck, Mollema and Valverde score better in the SBS game.

Majka’s price was very different in the 2 games, being among the most expensive climbers in the road.cc game, but in the cheapest category in the SBS game.  The games also priced Bardet and Pinot in different orders.

Road.cc game – who are the best fantasy riders for flat stages?

The table below lists the fantasy points for all the best performing riders in the 9 flat and medium mountain stages.  The columns on the right are as described above for mountain stages in the road.cc game.

RoadCC Best Flat 1

RoadCC Best Flat 2

The names of best performing fantasy riders overall on flat stages are highlighted in blue in the left column.  Despite his high cost and not winning a stage, Sagan was the best fantasy performer on these stages.  Kittel started well, but Sagan, Kristoff, Coquard and Renshaw were the best performers over the whole race.  Coquard, Renshaw and Navardauskas were the best of the cheaper riders.  Haussler was doing well for a cheap rider until he withdrew from the race.

SBS Game – who are the best riders on flat stages

The table below shows a similar table for riders in the SBS game – i.e. the best performing riders in the 9 flatter stages.  The columns on the right are as described for the SBS Mountain stage table above.

SBS Best Flat stages

The names of best performing fantasy riders overall on mountain stages are highlighted in blue in the left column.  The best performing riders are Sagan and Kristoff, with Kittel also doing well in the first few stages.  Several cheaper riders have also done well for their owners – e.g. Coquard, Navardauskas, S.Dumoulin and Renshaw.

.

TALLARD/NIMES

17 Comments

  • Nice write up Nix.

    Moved up to 7th after last nights stage 58 pts off the lead. Is doable but gunna be tough. Hopefully those above are a little skinny on trades.

    • Yes I saw that, well done. I finally got a score over 200 and went up to 90th. I agree it’s tough as everyone in top 200 has a good climbing team with mostly the same riders.

      I think the final 3 stages will shake standings up a bit as there will be a lot more variation in teams and a bit of luck involved in the race outcomes.

  • You’re smashing it Tiltraise. Well done. What do you get if you win?

    Everyday is like a “Friday Scramble”. Not much time to think which trades you’ll do.

    Agree with the SBS comp.
    It’s my first time with them aswell and I’m unfamiliar with the scoring system.
    I still can’t work out how many points my riders score overnight after each stage. Can this be done?

  • Well! Trading in the Road.cc game for Stage 19 was a bit tougher than I expected.

    I had forgotten that Sprinters would be much more expensive than the Climbers. Also we had had been advantaged by withdrawal of Froome and Contador so that we could afford a lot of cheap competitive climbers.

    I had to make extra trades just to free up some money. Although I have got myself into the 60s overall, I am not confident in my team for tonight’s stage.

    In the SBS game I am back into the 200s. I’m scoring well but got smashed by others with their bonus stages (which reminds my how much I hate that game feature).

  • Stage 19 was big for me moving up to 4th overall 22 pts off the leader :)

    However with only 6 trades left (4 tonight + 2 tomorrow or 3/3) I wonder if I should spend pts on penalty trades for the last stage perhaps going with 4/4?

    What do u guys think?

  • Haha … you’re 4th, why are you asking us for advice?

    I lost 2 sprinters in the crash, so last night wasn’t great for me. Although I did trade in Navardauskas as he is the only sprinter who can do a decent time trial, so I thought that would save me a trade later.
    I did move up one spot overall though.

    As to whether you should burn trades on the last stage, I think it depends on who you are bringing in and taking out. If you are already doing 2 or 3 trades then they are your best rider choices. The 3rd or 4th guys are your 3rd or 4th best options to be in the finish, and they come with 10pt penalty. So they should be someone extra you really want, not just a trade because you can. Or if you can’t choose between 2, you can get both.

    But my feeling is not to die wondering. Fourth doesn’t get you a prize. You probably need to take a risk to move up.

  • Thx for the reply Nix

    I maybe 4th but that doesnt mean I shouldnt seek a 2nd opinion and I do respect your knowledge.

    I traded in Nava for the same reason.

    TT is hard to predict outside of Tony Marin thus its probably better to go with less trades tonight and keep my options open for what is a more predictable stage tomorrow.

  • OMG trading out Nava cost me the win :(

    • What ?… who did you trade in instead of him?

      I kept him as I thought his performance in TT was so pathetic he was recovering and saving himself for the Champs.

      I chose Demare + Renshaw ahead of Kittel + Feillu or Coquard + Renshaw hoping the first pair would do better, but turned out to be worst choice. But getting Sagan back for Stage 19 was probably what hurt me the most. It tied up too much cash and limited my options from then on. But he hadn’t let me down on any of the flat stages before so I went back to him. Unfortunately he had become so focussed on getting a stage win he stopped chasing intermediate points as well as not getting into stage finishes.

      I did bring in Ji Cheng (6.1 credits) to make up the cash difference in last stage as I thought he was good bet to get 5 points for Kittel’s win and 10 points for last to finish – so that was my best trade of the last round, haha!

      Strangely I did much better in last stage in the SBS game with limited trades where I had 1st,2,3,7,9 & 13th. The prices combinations stacked up more favourably for me there.

      • As to why I suddenly decided to back in Demare even though he didn’t make the cut for my best performed sprinters table in the treasure chest above … who knows. That’s what comes from reading other people’s previews I suppose!

  • Results for DTTalk Ultimate Cycling Challenge. Final scores and podium positions after Stage 21 (also pasted in the article above).

    Nix – 2,682
    jsteber17 – 2,450
    teeerevor – 2,380.

    So that’s a win for me. Yay!!! I don’t win many things, so I am very happy to take this one, even though I didn’t do as much riding as I hoped.

    • I ate a 10 pt penalty to move Nava out for Coquard who I thought might nip some intermediate pts as well as his finishing position. Finished 14 pts behind the leader :(