AntBanter: The woes of fantasy league

The Tour is now roughly halfway through with plenty of sprints and Pyrenean climbs already under our belts, so I thought it was a good time to take stock of our VeloGames fantasy league – and my own miserable performance!

VeloVoices League stats

We have 709 Directeurs Sportif in the league and we have amassed over 970,000 points. The current leader is Dan Jones, who has 3,257 points in the bag and James Dunlop is second with 3,230 points – the only two who are over the 3,000 mark.

Peter Sagan (Cannondale)

Forget Froome, SuperSagan is top dog in the VeloGames league so far this Tour

Peter Sagan is the top dog with 839 points. There are a cluster of riders who have just one or no points. Pointedly, 70% of the points are sitting with the top 25% of the peloton. That’s how easy it is to pick a dud.

So I decided to look at the whole VeloVoices team to see where I fit in and, hmmm, I’m fourth. Kitty is the only one of us in the top half of the league at 299th, with a healthy (and steadily increasing) lead over the guys. Sheree is second in the group at 371st, Panache is 438th, I’m 487th, Jack 586th and Tim trails at 649th. [Thanks for reminding me of that(!) – Ed.]

So where have I gone wrong?

My team:

Alberto Contador (Saxo-Tinkoff)

Alberto Contador had better start delivering to save my pride (I’m sure that’s important to him)!

  • Alberto Contador (191 pts): Slow and steady so far, my first gamble in terms of strategy was to go for Bert instead of Chris Froome. At the halfway point, it doesn’t look like a great move, but I haven’t given up yet!
  • Alejandro Valverde (208 pts): I can’t complain about the Movistar man, he’s picked up decent points for his price, has been active, and I hope to see more from him when we hit the Alps.
Mark Cavendish (OPQS)

Oh Cav – have I cursed you as I cursed Kittel in last year’s Tour?

  • Mark Cavendish (412 pts): Oh Cav! I feel so guilty! My head said Sagan, my heart said Cav, and a feeling in my bones said Marcel Kittel. D’oh! I signed Kittel in last year’s Tour and he got sick. I signed Cav this year and see the pattern? He’s picked up good points so far, but he’s one of the lowest scoring sprinters, and with Sagan sitting on 839 points, well … On the positive side, 52% of us made the same mistake!
  • Dan Martin (244 pts): This is where I will claim to know what I was doing. An outside bet for a high GC placing and a cert for a stage win (easy for me to say that now), he had to go in. It was between him, Tejay, and Ryder, and it looks like this was a punt that fell right for me.
  • David Millar (182 pts): Lance Armstrong dubbed him ‘Saint David’, obviously being facetious, but his fine sprint (who’da thunk it!) and feverish flirtation with the maillot jaune made him my saviour for the first few days of the race.
  • Andrey Amador (25 pts): A Movistar foot soldier, he’s been active, not least on stage nine, but is one of the lowest scoring riders out there. I suspect that I may have made a mistake here. With there being plenty of other Movistarlets off the leash, it’s hard to see anything much coming of this punt. That’s a shame because he’s doing a cracking job for his team and I do love the guy!
Thomas Voeckler yellow jersey 2 Panache

Tommy The Tongue has no points? J’accuse! Something’s got to be wrong here!

  • Thibaut Pinot (0 pts) & Thomas Voeckler (0 pts) – I suspect foul play here. These guys have been so visible on the front of the race that there must be some points against their names. I can’t deny that these guys are in the team more for their panache than for any serious point scoring.
  • Daniel Moreno (106 pts): A strong climber, he hasn’t had too much chance to shine so far, and although there should be more to come when we get to the Alps, if I’d added a second sprinter (Eddy Higgs Boson Haagen-Dazs), instead of Moreno, I’d be 484 points better off!

Who do I wish I’d signed? Sagan is the obvious one, but do you know what, when you look for value for money Michal Kwiatkowski is the best rider out there so far, and yet only 3% of us have him in our teams. Equally, 97% of us passed up the chance to sign Simon Gerrans who’s racked up a tidy 359 points so far, and all for a meagre six credits! Another good choice who went begging was Bauke Mollema, who has picked up 249 points so far and is sure to carry on picking up points all the way to Paris.

Is there any redemption to come? I have faith in my guys to deliver and the Alps will help me out but I need Contador to hit form, Amador off the leash, and Pinot and Voeckler to start getting bonus points for panache. Or a miracle. Well, I do have ‘Saint’ David in my team …

But enough about me, let me know how your teams are doing. Who’s been your best gamble, your biggest mistake? Who do you expect to hit form in the second half of the race? Now’s your chance to get your excuses on the table!

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