Strewth! It turned out to be a fun-packed Tour Down Under, with Simon Gerrans of Green Edge taking the win before the Aussie outfit had a pop at Team Sky in response to Sean Yates' comments about their fitness. Alejandro Valverde made another step towards rehabilitation with a stage win and Andre Greipel signalled his season intent with three.
In Fantasy Cycling land it was a close-fought affair, with some big scores along the way. road.cc contributor and Morvelo-Kinesis rider Liam Glen was responsible for two of them, picking up two stage wins on his way to 30th overall. He wasn't consistent enough to take the overall crown though. The win goes to Makel Pro Cycling Team (user aaus), whose 138 points on the final stage in Adelaide were enough to jump from third to first and take the title by just four points, with a total of 831. The Rouleurs (user faqibg) rolled in second on 827 points with Team Saints (user jmall) just five points back in third. Purist winner was alexlnumber1 who has form in the Fantasy game, being an overall competition winner back in 2010.
Those three win some cracking goodies from prize sponsors Upgrade Bikes. First prize is a set of Reynold solitude wheels worth £424.99, with second place getting a Lezyne Messenger Caddy worth £84.99 and third winning a Lezyne Pressure Carbon Drive V3 mini pump worth £64.99. The purist prize is a Lezyne new Steel Travel Floor Drive pump worth £44.99
On top of that, all the stage winners get a Lezyne new Tech Floor Drive floor pump in shiny gold, worth £44.99. Liam can't win two, so stage 5's stage prize goes to second-placed Winton Wheelers. Here are all the stage winners:
1: natalia (by number of scoring riders from marlynn)
2: Liam Glen
5: Liam Glen (prize goes to Winton)
Thanks for everyone for taking part in the first competition of the season; considering that we hadn't finished building the game when the Tour Down Under started it all went pretty smoothly once everyone had learned to CLICK THE BIG GREEN BUTTON. There's still a few things to add but we're really happy with the new game engine, and thanks for all the suggestions and feedback. Keep them coming.
Onwards, then. It was meant to be Paris-Nice next, but since enough of you have opined that you simply can't last the month of February without some Fantasy action, we've added two more competitions: the Tour of Qatar (5-10 Feb) and the Tour of Oman (14-19 Feb). Start lists will be posted as soon as we have them. You never know, there'll probably even be prizes. We'll keep you posted.
Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.