2nd FABIO'S FANTASY VUELTA
Details and Statistics
Detalles y Estadísticas (sólo en Inglés)
A Glance at the winner: The overall winner of the 2nd Fabio's Fantasy Vuelta", namely Terence Sexton finally gave the USA something to cheer for, after all 3 previous games in the current season were taken by European players (Denmark's David Holm in the Spring Classics contest, Irishman John Graham in the Giro, and UK's Mike Barker at "Le Fantasy Tour"). Seems the most appropriate fantasy competition for American contenders is the Tour of Spain, as Sexton follows 2001 winner, Californian Jonathan Podmore.
Terence Sexton is a veteran of Fabio's Fantasy Games, at least for the 2002 season. He made his debut in March, in the Spring Classic-related competition (where he finished 21st overall, and hit the podium by ranking third in the final race, AGR) and since then has never missed any of the four contests organized by the Daily Peloton so far this year.
He didn't get into spotlight in either Fabio's Fantasy Giro (no stage win, no stage podium, and a 61st place overall as final result) and Tour (same lack of good stage results and a 119th final place, right in the middle of the pack).
But finally his time came in the second "Fantasy Vuelta", when he wasn't exactly off to a flying start (223rd out of 267 participants after the opening stage, and mainly outside the first 200 places in the first week of competition), but a fifth placing in Stage 8 marked the beginning of his climb to the top of the podium, a climb strictly following the steps of his team's top-scorer Aitor Gonzáléz Jiménez, a climb featured by two stage wins (15 and 21), two more podium placings (second in Stage 10, third in Stage 19) and a sensational last week (as "Team Avarice" was ranked only 48th overall with two-thirds of the contest gone and seven stages two to go, and got into the Top 10 for the first time only after Stage 16), and reaching his height in the FANTASTIC last stage, when he demolished opposition (took Sunday's leg by a 31-point margin over runner-up Herman van Iterson !!!) and stormed to the top of the GC even without passing through any of the other podium places in the Overall Ranking.
Perhaps the best possible way to win a game, in what has been most uncertain and hardly-fought competition out of the seven so far organized by the "Daily Peloton".
Also the other two partcipants finishing on the podium deserve some words: Spain's (Basque Country's) Saioa Arrizabalaga Juaristi came close to become the first female winner of any Fabio's Fantasy Game. The "Ilbera" team had a great performance, stayed at the top of the GC for some days, but in the end couldn't match Sexton's powerful team, also paying for Sevilla's misfortunes and Heras' lack of team support (paired to his not excellent time-trialling skills), but especially the great condition of Aitor González, a Basque (although living in Southern Spain) that paradoxically helped an American to edge out another Basque !!! In any case, despite missing any stage and the overall victory, Saioa Arrizabalaga Juaristi finished in a more excellent second place overall.
As for the third-place getter, Kerry Whitman from the USA is another "veteran" of the DP's Fantasy Games. "Whitass Racers" took part in all GTs of the current season, getting a stage victory (sixth leg of the "Fantasy Giro"), and this great Overall Result in the virtual Tour of Spain (although not capturing any Tour of Spain stage, and hitting a stage podium only once, as third-place getter). California's Whitman started in the 2001 Fantasy Vuelta, obviously with not so good results as in this year's edition.
But the 2nd "Fabio's Fantasy Vuelta" was also featured by other protagonists worthy of a mention, whose names you may find in the following STATISTICS:
Most Stage victories: Andrea Grandi, Jim Robson, Terence Sexton and Martin Kessler, all of them with 2 stage victories.
Follow with one stage win: Andy Bamber, Kris Withington, Giovanni Tassara, Jeffrey A. Cross, Matthias Jünemann (after so many podium placings the German finally got a stage win !), Tommie Brock, Remo Kaasenbrood, Herman van Iterson (who also equalled Jünemann's TdF record of three second placings), Scott Owens, Paul Anderson, Scott Bray, Ernesto Ramirez, Dan Steinbach.
Most Stage victories - Per Country:
* USA - 9 victories
* UK - 3 victories
* Italy - 3 victories
* Germany - 3 victories
* Holland - 2 victories
* New Zealand - 1 victory
Highest Stage Score: Terence Sexton - 109 Points (Stage 21)
Narrowest Winning Margin: 0 points (Stage 1; Stage 3; Stage 4. The Tie-breaking rules were necessary to decide all three stage winners)-
Highest Winning Margin: 31 points (Stage 21)
Most Podium Places: 6 - Andrea Grandi (2 times as stage winner, 2 as runner-up, 2 as third-place getter)
Most Stages as Overall Leader: 8 - Johnny Nazario (the Puertorican, certainly one of the game's "main stars", eventually ranked fifth overall).
Most Stages as a Classification Leader: 16 - Jim Robson (At the top of the Points Ranking from Stage 5 thru 20, lost it to Andrea Grandi in the very final day !)
Most Stages as "Red Lantern": 13 - Anita van Crey (undoubtedly another protagonist of the Fantasy Vuelta: she got the bottom of the GC after Stage 9 and stayed there until the end !)
Rider Abandons - The Luckiest Player: In a Vuelta so tarnished by rider abandons, if I'm not mistaken only one player, Todd Shew, had the "JOY" of finishing with his line-up intact.
Rider Abandons - The UNLuckiest Player(s): In such a Vuelta, seems that 6 players, namely:
Phil Coldrey Lo
... managed to set a new record: 7 members of their Virtual Teams pulled out of competition, and they finished with just 2 riders in the roster.
* A complete, detailed stage-by-stage list of daily Winners and Leaders in all Rankings of the competition is available by clicking here
The Invincible Team: In other words, the BEST POSSIBLE Virtual Team, with a roster made up of those Riders and Trade teams that got most points in each Category. It was as follows:
"A" Riders : Roberto Heras (321 points) - Erik Zabel (282)
"B" Riders : Aitor González Jiménez (329) - Alessandro Petacchi (175)
"C" Riders : Angelo Furlan (110) - Félix Garcia Casas (103) - Gerrit Glomser (69)
"D" Riders : Pablo Lastras (77) - Daniele Bennati (18)
"A" Trade Team : Kelme-Costa Blanca (186)
"B" Trade Team : Alessio (20)
Tot. 1690 Points
Evan without adding any further (and easy to get with such a roster) Bonus, this Hypothetical "wünderteam" could easily edge out the actual winner by about 450 points; but I have to admit the performances of some of the above riders were unpredictable enough before, such that guessing all of those names was no easy task at all.
The People's Team: Here's another squad, this time based upon the most popular choices - for each category of course - among the 267 Fantasy Vuelta players:
"A" Riders : Roberto Heras (321 points) - Mario Cipollini (105)
"B" Riders : Oscar Freire (19) - David Millar (33)
"C" Riders : David Plaza (33) - Jeremy Hunt (0) - Santiago Blanco (32)
"D" Riders : Michael Barry (0) - Stčphane Berges (0)
"A" Trade Team : ONCE-Eroski (91)
"B" Trade Team : Cofidis (17)
Tot. 651 Points - plus any eventual, although hard to get with such a roster, Bonus Points (just an average performance for this hypothetical "People's Team", that would probably finish around the 95th-100th place overall).
The GT PLAYER OF THE YEAR: After the end of all "Fantasy Grand Tours" for the 2002 season, it's time to find out who has been the most consistent and regular player among the ones taking part in all three contests organized by the "Daily Peloton". No less than seventy-seven contenders participated into all three GTs (a record number - can you see as many riders doing the "triple" ?), and after adding up the scores got by each of them in each of the games, we got the final results of this particular competition, that are as follows:
1. Keld Haagensen - Denmark - 2674 Points
2. David Holm - Denmark - 2396 Points
3. Terence Sexton - U.S.A - 2317 Points
4. Remo Kaasenbrood - Holland - 2299 Points
5. Walt Armstrong - U.S.A. - 2269 Points
6. Patrick Sharp - U.S.A. - 2248 Points
7. Matthias Jünemann - Germany - 2229 Points
8. Charles Henry - U.S.A. - 2180 Points
9. Kerry Whitman - U.S.A. - 2161 Points
10. Mike McCray - U.S.A. - 2083 Points
11. Friedrich - Germany - 2055 Points
12. Michael McQuillen - U.S.A. - 2043 Points
13. Martin Kessler - Germany - 2020 Points
14. Ehud Tal - Israel - 2003 Points
15. Bruce Mayer - U.S.A. - 1996 Points
16. Francesco Grandi - Italy - 1976 Points
17. Paul Rentz - U.S.A. - 1974 Points
18. Peter Budd - Australia - 1931 Points
19. Doris Herman - U.S.A. - 1930 Points
20. Josu - Euskadi (Basque C.) - 1924 Points
21. Pedro Martins - Portugal - 1923 Points
22. Alonso Tejeda - U.S.A. - 1922 Points
22. Brannon Amtower - U.S.A. - 1922 Points
24. EzioT. - Italy - 1913 Points
25. Marc Bechtold - U.S.A. - 1908 Points
26. Todd Duso - U.S.A. - 1903 Points
27. Jeff Sloop - U.S.A. - 1902 Points
28. Jan Dijkstra - Holland - 1837 Points
29. Janna Trevisanut - U.S.A. - 1829 Points (better than Vaughn !)
30. Sean Dingeldein - U.S.A. - 1801 Points
31. Peter Lind - Denmark - 1772 Points
32. Arjan van den Broek - Holland - 1764 Points
33. Joe Coughlin - U.S.A - 1763 Points
34. Karen Sholtz - U.S.A. - 1750 Points
35. Francis De Cort - UK - 1735 Points
36. Manuel Samaniego - U.S.A. - 1727 Points
37. Mark Allebach - U.S.A. - 1714 Points
38. Rod Palomino - U.S.A. - 1698 Points
39. Leonard Trolio - U.S.A. - 1693 Points
40. Bill Craig - U.S.A. - 1686 Points
40. Vaughn Trevisanut - U.S.A. - 1686 Points
42. Philip Coldrey Lo - Canada - 1669 Points
43. Burkni Helgason - Iceland - 1661 Points
44. Todd Shew - U.S.A- 1655 Points
45. Buds Fuller - New Zealand - 1644 Points
46. Scot Jahn - U.S.A. - 1634 Points
47. Hans Tveitereid - Norway - 1619 Points
48. Doug Van Orsow - U.S.A. - 1603 Points
49. Tony Lippert - U.S.A. - 1590 Points
50. Mike Pease - U.S.A. - 1588 Points
51. John Roguski - U.S.A. - 1586 Points
52. M. Edlin - velowhiz - 1575 Points
53. Peter Woodrow - U.S.A. - 1569 Points
54. Raymond Tiangco - Philippines - 1565 Points
55. Chuck Hudak - U.S.A. - 1523 Points
56. Mars Abantao - Philippines - 1517 Points
57. Merlin Morris - U.S.A - 1496 Points
58. Craig Fredrickson - U.S.A - 1487 Points
59. Nick Bull - UK - 1481 Points
60. Jan Pankuweit - Germany - 1473 Points
61. Christopher S. Hurt - U.S.A. - 1462 Points
62. Andre Umali - Philippines - 1452 Points
62. Brian Purtell - U.S.A. - 1452 Points
64. Francine Latil - U.S.A. - 1428 Points
65. Roy Drinkwater - 1419 Points
66. Justin Scott - UK - 1411 Points
67. Sam Bills - UK - 1400 Points
67. Sharon Sharp - U.S.A. - 1400 Points
69. Tim Maros - U.S.A. - 1399 Points
70. Craig Cheeseman - U.S.A. - 1386 Points
71. Gil Wilson - U.S.A. - 1381 Points
72. Ross Klobucher - USA - 1314 Points
73. Moritz Mehlem - Germany - 1307 Points
74. Martin Tetreault - U.S.A. - 1306 Points
75. Matt Guse - Canada - 1148 Points
76. Ralf Heeg - Germany - 1141 Points
77. Rick Beuttel - U.S.A. - 1069 Points
So the "Fantasy Grand Tour Player" for the 2002 season is Denmark's Keld Haagensen (twice on the final podium in both Giro - second overall - and TdF - third overall). The Scandinavian beat a compatriot, David Holm, while Terence Sexton's triumphal end of the Fantasy Vuelta avoided an all-European Top 3, as the best American contender eventually moved ahead of Holland's Remo Kaasenbrood. The presence of a few ties after more than 60 days of competition was quite a surprise instead.
Besides this classification, we'll probably have a "Fantasy Player of the Year" award for the top-scorer among all competitors taking part in each of FIVE Fabio's Fantasy Games of the year: Fantasy Spring, Giro, Tour, Vuelta and the ...
NEXT GAME - FANTASY WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: Yes, folks, the 2002 "Fantasy Season" is not over !!! A new contest is coming soon, in occasion of the Road Cycling World Championships to kick off in Belgium next week. The Game will be very similar to last year's: in other words, more original, and complicated, than all the previous games you have played so far in the current season. Five different races will be involved, such that participants will have to choose their (different) picks for all of them. And it won't be played on an individual basis, but by "virtual tandems": each contender is paired (according to a draw's result) to another, and the combined score of the two is the pair's score in each of the 5 competitions. All details and rules should hopefully be online by the next week-end anyway.
Thanks to the participants in the 2nd "Fabio's Fantasy Vuelta"; hope you enjoyed it and spent three good weeks with the "Daily Peloton" (sure the winner, who as a prize for his victory will get a copy of the video "The Tour Baby", realised by Scott Coady while following the 2000 Tour de France, did). Also thanks to the ones (many indeed) who spent kind words for the game.
See you next time,
(PS - All complete results of the "2nd Fabio's Fantasy Vuelta" are available by clicking on the link below)