Tour de Fantasy
Ian Melvin invites readers to join our Tour de France fantasy game.
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First it was months. Gosh, July seemed a long time away. Then weeks. But the Giro?s on TV so that?s ok. Weeks became days and suddenly it?s upon us: The centennial edition of le Tour de France. The three most celebrated weeks of the year in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /?>
It seems to me that which-ever magazine or internet site you read, there?s always some rider telling you who?s hot and who?s not. And then there?s the pundits telling me who their top tips and favorite?s for the race are ? what do they know! But I figure...well if you can?t beat them, join them!
Now, I refuse to pay hideous amounts on a phone call to play any TdF fantasy league game so I don?t know what budgets are this year but I hasten to add that my line up will probably cost double that of US Postal!
Lance Armstrong (US Postal) ? it doesn?t matter what you say about Armstrong, but this guy is the best in the business when it comes down to the Tour. Nobody else prepares as meticulously or is as single minded in their quest for glory as the big Texan. A fifth successive victory beckons unless he suffers a crash or illness.
Dave Millar (Cofidis) ? after starting the season brightly Millar suffered a nasty crash in
Ivan Basso (Fasso Bortolo) ? winner of last year?s White Jersey, this young Italian can climb and time trial with the best on his day. Similarly to Millar, the podium will be out of reach this year but he?ll be up there and certainly one to mark out as a future winner of the Grand Boucle.
Iban Mayo (Euskaltel-Euskadi) ? second place behind Armstrong in the recent
Roberto Heras (US Postal) ? Armstrong?s lieutenant at Postal and the rider who will take over team leadership if anything happens to the American. Team insiders say he is back