How the fantasy Tour de France works

June 28, 2019

Draft a team of real-life cyclists racing in the Tour de France and then sit back and watch them go. The better each rider does in the real-life race, the more points he scores for your team. Those points are then calculated and updated shortly after the finish of each stage.

How the leagues work

Your team is in a league with a limited number of other teams. You can join any open league you wish, you can join private leagues if you have the password, you can create your own league, and you can join as many leagues as you want (although you can only have one team in any given league).

Once you’ve joined a league, you can go to the Edit Draft Order link on the My Team page to customize the order in which the draft selects riders for your team. For example, if you want to stack your team with sprinters, you could move Peter Sagan, Dylan Groenewegen, and Nacer Bouhanni to the top of your list. (Note: This is optional. If you choose not to sort your own draft order, the system will just use the default draft order, sorted by perceived value.)

The draft, which will be run once your league has recruited the correct number of teams for the race, will randomly sort the teams and then loop through them, assigning to each roster the top available pick from each team’s draft order. So if you have Nairo Quintana as your first choice, but you’re third in line at the draft and somebody above you also has chosen Quintana for their first pick, they’ll get Quintana, and the system will move to your next choice, and so on until each team has a full roster.

You can’t enter the race until the draft has been run and your team has been filled up. And the draft will not run until your league contains the specified number of teams. Each team can start working on its draft order before the league is full, but it’s important that you solidify your leagues early.

Once league is full, the owner of that league can then signal that it’s ready to draft and it will be processed the next time I run the draft. As the race begins in earnest, I’ll be doing that more frequently – including for filled-up leagues that haven’t indicated they’re ready for it… (Note: Any leagues that haven’t attracted enough teams by the beginning of the sixth stage will be deleted.)

Managing your team

Once your draft has run and you have a full roster, you can click the Manage Roster button on your team’s page to add and drop riders as you wish, all the way to Paris. (Just remember that the Manager Roster screen will only show riders not already owned by another team in your league.)

Also, on each stage I’ll be recording not just the points for the top finishers but also the points awarded by the Tour for the sprint classification, the best-climber classification, and the most combative rider. So if, for example, you don’t end up with any riders on your roster who will be competing for overall victory but you did get, say, Peter Sagan and Elia Viviani, you might think about acquiring more fast guys and just trying to compete for honors in the sprint competition.