Fantasy Tour de France 2015: hints, tips and predictions

Who to pick, who to ditch and how to ensure you're in with a chance of winning the big prizes

Time is ticking down until the start of the 102nd Tour de France, so now’s the time to get registered and finalise your Fantasy Tour de France teams.

We’ve teamed up with Science in Sport to offer some great prizes with this year’s competition, including a signed Trek Factory Racing jersey and a year’s supply of SiS gels.

So how can you propel your team to the top of the rankings and prove your cycling knowledge?

RoadCyclingUK Fantasy Tour de France 2015 is live – the deadline for entries is Saturday July 4 at 10am

Which nine riders should you pick, and which bonus team and bonus stage are going to see you raking in the points?

Head to to get your team sorted – and please, please don’t forget to select all 11 components and hit save!

Unsure of who to select? Read on for some of our top hints and tips.

The basics

You’ve got to be in it to win it, as they say, and with the race for the yellow jersey set to be intense from the moment the stage one time trial starts in Utrecht on Saturday (July 4), every point is going to count.

So first thing’s first, get yourself registered and pick nine riders, a bonus team and bonus stage and hit save to ensure you are scoring points from the off – the deadline is 10am on Saturday (July 4).

To pick your team, you can either leave it in the hands of the Gods and select a ‘lucky dip’ or you can choose it yourself, with a €65 million budget.

You score points when your riders finish in the top 20 on the stage, if they ‘assist’ a team-mate’s win or if they claim the lead in one of the classifications.

Your bonus team will score points for having riders in the top five on a stage, while your bonus stage will see you double your points for the day.

The stages are split into two categories, with the tougher ‘category 1’ stages worth 50 per cent more points.

Remember, you don’t need to put all your eggs in one basket either – unlike the likes of Sir Dave Brailsford and Oleg Tinkov, you can make up to eight transfers a week.

Play the long game

Which brings us straight on to our first point – Nairo Quintana is not going to win the stage one time trial, so don’t pick him yet.

He will come into his own in the mountains, but you will have the chance to sub him in long before then.

Peter Sagan has recaptured his best form in recent months, both time trialling and sprinting well (pic: Sirotti)

Instead look for riders in the time trial who can make a difference for you throughout the first week – Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) is among the favourites, having pulled on the yellow jersey after numerous opening time trials in the past and will also be a contender on the cobbled stage four.

Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo), meanwhile, has found some time trial form of late, winning a stage of the Tour of California against the clock and also bagging the Slovakian national title, and is likely to be a contender for stages early on too.

Michal Kwiatkowski (Etixx-QuickStep) is another good option, with time trial pedigree and a likely contender on stage three, which finishes atop the Mur de Huy.

Etixx-QuickStep are also masters of the crosswinds, which are set to play a part on stage two – there could be assist points up for grabs if Mark Cavendish wins.

If you were picking riders solely for the time trial, British champion Alex Dowsett (Movistar) and Italian counterpart and team-mate Adriano Malori would be obvious choices.

They are at the Tour to support Alejandro Valverde and Nairo Quintana though, and while the former may win stage three (and so allow them to score assist points) you will have to be prepared to sub them out early if you pick them at the start.

Another rider who could excel in the time trial and then clock assist points is Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin), with team-mate John Degenkolb a multiple Grand Tour stage winner thanks to recent Vuelta a Espana successes.


You have eight transfers to use every seven stages, so make full use of them – there is nothing stopping you picking strong riders for the stage one time trial, then swapping them out for sprinters on stage two, and rouleurs on stages three and four.

Nairo Quintana can climb, but he won’t score you points early on – use your transfers wisely (pic: Sirotti)

The key, though, is to use your eight wisely – you don’t want to be picking someone like Kwiatkowski for stage one, dropping him for stage two and then picking him again on stage three – that’s two transfers wasted when you could have just left him in with the chance of claiming a jersey or bagging some assist points on the one day in between.

Similarly, you want to keep transfers in hand when there are big changes in terrain – the final weekend is played out in the Alps and will see the GC men going wheel-to-wheel.

But none of them will win on the Champs-Elysees on stage 21, so keep some transfers spare to get the sprinters in.

Bonus stage

You have to pick a bonus stage in order to start scoring points, and it doesn’t cost you anything out of your budget so it’s basically a free choice.

Category 1 stages, where we expect the race to be won or lost, are worth more than the Category 2 stages straight away, so it’s always worth choosing one of them.

You double the points you earn on a bonus stage so choose wisely, and remember once the game starts you can’t change your mind.

Also consider how the race is likely to be played out – we are all looking forward to Alpe d’Huez but if the GC battle is already over then it could be a breakaway who swallow up most of the points.

Then again, you know the climbers will excel on one of the Tour’s most famous climbs so perhaps it is still a good bet.

You don’t have to pick a category 2 stage either, though it’s a risky strategy. Stage 21 on the Champs-Elysees, for example, is almost certain to end in a bunch sprint.

If you have played your transfers wisely, you could sit back and watch as your sprinters fill out the top positions on the stage and you rake in the points – it’s the safer bet though, so you’ll get less points than if you correctly backed your riders to win on the cobbles or the mountains.

Bonus team

When your bonus team has riders finish in the top in the top five of a stage, they score points (10-8-6-4-2, according to position).

So the key, if you want to save your transfers for chopping and changing riders rather than the team, is to find one with good strength in depth.

Etixx-QuickStep have a lot of strength in depth (pic: Tim de Waele/Etixx – Quick-Step)

Chris Froome and Team Sky will want to win in the mountains, but they’re not going to be competing for bunch sprints, for example.

Etixx-QuickStep, on the other hand, have Tony Martin for the time trial, Mark Cavendish for the sprints, world champion Michal Kwiatkowski for the undulating stages, Zdenek Stybar for the cobbles and Rigoberto Uran for the mountains.

They are one of the most expensive teams, as a result, but they could be worth the investment.

On the other hand, with only a maximum of ten points available on each stage, whereas your riders can score up to 90 (120 if they claim the race lead too), perhaps it’s better to save your money.

Orica-GreenEDGE have already announced they are bidding for stage wins, not classifications, so at €5.5m they are better low-cost option.

Form guide

Still undecided, but don’t want to pick a lucky dip? We’ll be publishing regular hints and tips through the Tour and here are our first ones.

Who to pick

Every stage counts so look to score points straight away. Fabian Cancellara was second in the Tour de Suisse prologue to Tom Dumoulin and has plenty of previous when it comes to short time trials at the Tour.

Tony Martin will always be dangerous in the time trial, too, and starts as another massive favourite but remember our tip about playing the long game.

Cancellara has a point to prove on the cobbles too, after missing the spring Classics campaign with injury, and he’s likely to ride aggressively on the flat stage two as well, such is his nature.

Top pick: Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) – €7.0m

Who to ditch

It goes without saying to ensure you haven’t accidentally picked a rider who has since been dropped – Patrick Gretsch was in Ag2r-La Mondiale’s original line-up but has been axed on the eve of the Tour as a result of his poor form.

You also don’t want a mountain goat this early on – Nairo Quintana (Movistar) is a big favourite overall, but he won’t win a short, flat time trial or a bunch sprint or, probably, on the cobbles either. Save him to sub in later on.

Try not to spend too much on domestiques either – your budget is better spent on riders likely to win stages so Roman Kreuziger (Tinkoff-Saxo), at €8.5 million, could bring you little reward for your money if he spends the Tour burying himself for Alberto Contador.

They are our hints and tips anyway, don’t forget to sign up and save your team (and bonus stage and bonus team) by 10am on Saturday July 4 at Good luck!

Newsletter Terms & Conditions

Please enter your email so we can keep you updated with news, features and the latest offers. If you are not interested you can unsubscribe at any time. We will never sell your data and you'll only get messages from us and our partners whose products and services we think you'll enjoy.

Read our full Privacy Policy as well as Terms & Conditions.