The 2017 Tour de France kicks off tomorrow – finally. The race brings enough excitement as it is, but a sure boost for any sport is Fantasy.
The Norwegian TV channel TV 2 Sporten has it’s own Tourmanager game, where you select 12 riders (and a manager) to collect fantasy points for you. If you’re used to playing fantasy football, it’s a bit different, but the basics are the same. Remember to read the rules before putting your team together.
ValueWins has it’s own Tourmanager league this year, and it’s free to join. The 1st prize is the Pro Cycling Manager 17 game, the 2nd prize is 2 months ValueWins subscription, and the 3rd prize is 1 month. You can find the league here: https://fntsy.link/74431fcb/ValueWins.com.
The Tourmanager budget is really strict this year, so it’s hard to find a perfect team. You will have to use all 25 changes wisely to compete in the top. However, there is a few riders you can’t afford not to own.
Peter Sagan, sprinter
It’s not even a question. If you want to win the ValueWins league, you pretty much have to own Sagan at one point. Maybe not for the entire race, but the explosive Slovakian is probably the only sprinter that can collect points for you on every single stage.
Sagan is not only a great sprinter, but he’s a durable climber as well. He’ll sit in the peloton way longer than any other in the sprint category, hunting the intermediate sprint points and stage wins.
There are several stages this year that seems like a perfect fit for Sagan. Stage 3 has an uphill sprint, where Sagan usually is solid. Stage four has a challenging finish, perfect for the 27-year-old. Stage 8 is very interesting, because Sagan could potentially be able to hang on up the final climb. If so, he will most definitely be the best sprinter in the field. Stage 14 is another with some climbs before the finish, and the same can be said for both stage 15 and 16. And he can win any of the flat sprints on a good day as well. The must-have of all must-haves: Peter Sagan.
Alejandro Valverde, captain
The Spaniard is a good option for you from the get-go. He’s a fairly good time trialist, and will try to push hard to get a top ten finish on Stage 1. The uphill sprint on Stage 3 might not be steep enough for Valverde to get an edge over Sagan, Michael Matthews, Greg Van Avermaet & co, but he could decide to go for it. He’s also definitely a potential winner of Stage 5 and 8, and maybe also 9. That’s five possible wins within the first nine days, so I would say Valverde is a must-own.
Valverde has been in a league of his own in the spring classics. He has a lot of stage wins, and he won back-to-back classics with the La Fleche Wallone and Liege-baston-Liege. He’s hungry to get a Tour de France stage win again. The last time he was victorious was in 2013 into Peyragudes, which also is where this years Stage 12 ends.
Thibaut Pinot, captain
It isn’t that important to own him in the first week, but getting into week 2 & 3, Thibaut Pinot is a guy you need to have on your team.
The French isn’t aiming for the yellow jersey this year (at least that’s what FDJ are saying), but instead he’ll be going after those stage wins and the polkadot jersey. That’s music in the ears of Tourmanager team owners. When you have a guy as talented as Pinot, and he’ll be fighting for his chances on every stage… Boy, that can be a fantasy point party. Stage 5, 9, 12, 13 & 18 is all great for him.
Michael Albasini, helper
In previous years, you had to thing hard and long about which Orica sprinter you wanted on your team. Michael Matthews? Simon Gerrans? Michael Albasini? It was pretty hopeless, cause if you picked one of them, one of the other two would do better. However, Matthews is riding for Sunweb now, and Gerrans was left out of Orica’s Tour squad. That means Albasini is the only real sprinting option for Orica-Scott!
He’s pretty old (36 years old), but it seems he still have som juice in his tank. He has several top 5 finishes this year, including Fleche Wallone and Amstel Gold Race. He’s a potential winner for Stage 3, and there are several sprints through-out the Tour that fits the old Swiss. In addition, “helpers” get way more points than sprinters and captains, so you don’t want to miss out on Albasini’s top 10 finishes.
Oliver Naesen, tempo
The tempo category is always a mess, but there is one clear option this year: Oliver Naesen. I wouldn’t recommend owning him on the first stage, as there are way better options on the actual time trial stages, but he’ll be a good rider for your team later on.
I don’t really agree on the category for Naesen, as he’s a pretty terrible time trialist. But, there’s a lot of other things Naesen is good at. He can sprint. He recently won the National Championship in Belgium, and on Stage 2 of the Paris-Nice he finished 7th, ahead of good sprinters like Alexander Kristoff and André Greipel. AG2R didn’t bring Sondre Holst Enger (or any other clear-cut sprinter) to France, so I think Naesen will get his chances.
But that’s not the best part. The 26-year-old can climb too. In Criterium du Dauphine Naesen stayed in the peloton over a HC category climb, and finished 8th. This is your guy in the tempo category.
That’s the five riders I definitely recommend you have on your Tourmanager team. They will score you points, and maybe get you that PCM17 game? Remember to join the ValueWins league to win: https://fntsy.link/74431fcb/ValueWins.com.
Note: I’ve heard that some of you are struggling to get the link to work. Try it on your mobile browser as well, as it should work there.
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