Here we are, in Tignes, for the first rest day of the 2021 Tour de France, and what a race it has been so far. Check out my Week 1 round up if you haven’t already here, but this edition of the Tour de France has been outstanding. From a fantasy stand point it has been nearly impossible to predict and although I started well, my riders seem to have fallen off the pace a little bit.
Beginning with a masterful first race, choosing Alaphilippe as my leader on the road, winning the stage and taking the yellow jersey gave my team a massive 526 points, for just one rider. Having a mixture of riders chasing yellow and riders chasing Green is important, as was shown when Wout Van Aert and Michael Matthews managed to secure points in the time trials and the sprints, keeping those tallies ticking over.
Then came the mountain stages, and the wheels fell off my entire team. My sprinters became passengers, my climbers were domestiques and the riders seemed to begin winning regularly from breakaways, just not my riders. All in all the race, because it is so unique this year, has been a fantasy nightmare. Coming into the next week my team will remain the same due to there being no abandons from my team, (see the full list here) however if you are looking to make changes, then I have some ideas for you.
Follow your heart
I would usually actively advise against this, telling you to pick people who have had form over last season and into this one. With that being said this addition is changing how we approach the Tour. This one is aimed at myself and specifically at the Sprinters. I would have previously told you to pick racers like Caleb Ewan (Crashed stage 3) or Arnaud Demare (OTL stage 9) however both are out of the race due to differing factors. If you take a sprinter into next week, I would go for either Mark Cavendish, Sonny Colbrelli or Michael Matthews.
Favourite for a reason
Now picking the favourite, especially in fantasy sports, is a recipe for disaster. With racing stars such as Primoz Roglic and Geraint Thomas falling to the wayside following painful crashes, the former pulling out of the race following stage 9. This edition however, if you picked Tadej Pogacar who comes in as pre race favourite and defending champion, you will be a fairly happy owner with your choice. Impossible amounts of energy have seen him all but win the Tour with only one week in the books and it seems he is now racing like a stage hunter. He is the most dangerous man in cycling right now.
Focus on riders without focus
The Tour de France is a wonderful race, and teams usually come with a focus, whether that is sprints, GC, stage wins or breakaways, each team enters the race looking for something. Now a week ago I would have told you to include some breakaway riders in your team, maybe focus heavily on the team without a GC competitor. This is because stage wins bring about points. The slight change to this now though is to chase riders who have lost their on road GC leader. This is because they will now be set free to go after stage wins. On flat stages, the breakaways will remain constant, however now that some teams are free to chase victories, the mountain domestiques who now do not have a job will go stage hunting. Sepp Kuss is my favourite here, an excellent climber without a leader to protect.
There we have it, the wild and wicked world of fantasy pro cycling, it is always filled with surprises. Something else that is filled with surprises is Undrafted the Network so get yourself over there and dive into more excellent sports content.
*Abandon list courtesy of cyclingweekly.com*