Fantasy Giro d’Italia 2014: the story so far

Who's hot and who's not as the peloton heads to Italy?

The rest day of the Giro d’Italia provides the perfect opportunity to take stock of your Fantasy Giro d’Italia and plan for the stages ahead.

With a new Fuji bike from Evans Cycles up for grabs, there is still plenty of time to take charge of the competition and start to reel in the lead of ‘saints’ – our current number one team.

Number one team 'saints' has racked up the Fantasy Giro d'Italia points but they have already used their bonus stage
Number one team ‘saints’ has racked up the Fantasy Giro d’Italia points but they have already used their bonus stage

For some, it may mean a complete overhaul while others can enjoy the spoils of victory and bask in their success to date.

Given Dan Martin (Garmin-Sharp) is currently the rider removed from most people’s teams in the game so far, following his race-ending crash in the opening stage team time trial, it would seem that it is not just the American team’s bosses who are despairing.

So who’s hot, who’s not and who should you be looking at bringing in?

Looking good

Astute directeur sportifs who packed their team full of sprinting talent could be looking very smug in the work place today, with a maximum of 686 points up for grabs.

While plenty of teams have already surpassed that figure, they have done so by using their bonus stage early on – great for the short term, but it makes them vulnerable with higher-scoring stages still to come.

With a budget of €65 million to select nine riders and a team to start racking up the points, you could have racked up maximum points and still have €16 million in change.

Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano) leads the way, thanks to his victories on stages two and three and holds the red jersey, having bagged 140 points so far.

But Kittel’s sprint rivals have also racked up the points, with the top tens for the two road stages so far having a familiar feel to them on both days.

And Kittel’s Giant-Shimano team are also leading the way, with his two stage wins giving them 20 points, from a possible 30.

Best combination

Marcel Kittel – Giant- Shimano – cost: €7.0m, points: 140
Nacer Bouhanni – FDJ.fr – cost €6.0m, points: 82
Ben Swift – Team Sky – cost €4.0m, points: 78
Michael Matthews – Orica-GreenEDGE – cost €5.5m, points: 78
Elia Viviani – Cannondale – cost €4.5m, points: 76
Giacomo Nizzolo – Trek Factory Racing – cost €3.0m, points: 64
Roberto Ferrari – Lampre-Merida – cost: €5.0m, points: 60
Davide Appollonio – Ag2r-La Mondiale – cost €5.5m, points: 60
Manuel Belletti – Androni-Giocattoli – cost €3.0m, points: 48
TEAM: Giant-Shimano – cost €5.5m, points: 20

Though not in the top nine points scorers, Maarten Tjallingii (Belkin) has also scored well having spent two days in the break to first win, and then retain, the King of the Mountains jersey.

He has scored 20 points and will add at least five more to that on stage four with no climbs en route.

Time for change?

As mentioned, it is little surprise to learn Dan Martin (Garmin-Sharp) is the most removed rider so far.

Nairo Quintana (Movistar) – picked by so many at the start – has also been removed by plenty of budding directors, given he has unsurprisingly failed to score a point so far.

Dan Martin, Giro d'Italia, stage one, 2014, Garmin-Sharp, crash, pic: Sirotti
Game over: Dan Martin’s race-ending crash has made him the most removed rider in the game so far (pic: Sirotti)

The same is true of all the main GC contenders – their time will come, but with the real mountain stages not featuring in week one they are not the riders for this part of the race.

Koldo Fernandez (Garmin-Sharp) was also affected by the crash which cost Dan Martin his place in the race, finishing the stage but discovering a fracture in hospital overnight.

Trusted domestiques Brent Bookwalter (BMC Racing) and Giampaolo Caruso (Katusha) have also suffered crashes but remain in the race – though with their leaders both chasing GC glory, they are unlikely to score many points.

Finally, of the big-name sprinters, Alessandro Petacchi (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) is yet to have competed for a sprint, protecting team leader Rigoberto Uran instead, but with the race now in Italy in more favourable conditions, his chance could yet come.

How is your Fantasy Giro team faring so far? Let us know in the forum.

Transfers for stage four close at 10am on Tuesday morning (May 13), so head to fantasycycling.roadcyclinguk.com before then, and don’t forget to hit ‘save’ when you’re done.

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