Go Dad Go!

A self-important blog about riding bikes, raising kids and the all-too-rare nexus of these two pursuits.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Not-Final Tour Update

Indulge me for this interlude, prior to my sending out a final update.

You’ll remember that awhile back I mentioned that I was playing another Tour fantasy game, and that I was doing well. At that point I was in fifth place or so, thinking I had an outside shot at winning the €800 prize.

After that, my primary sprinter, Cavendish, lost the Green Jersey and I faded to around 12th spot. Not out of the running, I kept up with my daily activations, every night picking nine of my sixteen riders whom I thought would do well the next day. I bounced between 8th and 12th for ten days or so.

Heading into the crucial final stages my team rose in the standings – to fifth after Stage 18. Activating riders was typically simple: take the sprinters and some outsiders for the flat stages, and the climbers and Yellow Jersey contenders for the hilly ones. But Stage 19 posed a dilemma: It was hilly, but included no predictably selective climbs, and offered a slightly uphill finish. I grappled with this one, staring at my screen, trying to discern from the profile whether Cavendish would be able to get over the final climb with the main group, and whether he’d be able to compete with Hushovd and others in the final, ascending sprint. I chose some outsiders whom I thought would have a shot at winning in a breakaway, and decided to leave Cavendish out.

You’ll remember that Cavendish won this stage. I missed out on fifteen points.

My team, with Contador, Nibali, Pellizotti and Nibali did quite well in the Mt. Ventoux stage, and despite my lackluster Stage 19 performance, I was sitting in fifth going into the final stage, and before the bonus points were counted for the various jerseys. Fifth place, but over forty points out of the lead, and not thinking I had a shot at winning.

This morning I went online and looked at the standings and saw that I’d climbed to third. I looked at the leader’s points, and then subtracted mine. The difference? Fourteen points – one less than I’d have won by activating Cavendish.

So I ended up in third place! But the prize for second and third place? As they say: a set of steak knives.

Also known as: nothing.

I write all this because it’s actually pretty funny – I’m fortunate to be able to view this with a lot of regret, but also with a light heart – but also because I’m hoping to incur massive amounts of sympathy prior to releasing the final standings for our game. I’m going to conduct an audit of those standings, because I want to be absolutely certain of their accuracy, and then will send them out sometime in the next few days.




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