The Velogames Fantasy Cycling game is now in full swing for this year's tour, and along with Mikey from the Velocast forum, who's also been doing so, I've been crunching the numbers to see what data we can get out of the results so far.

One of the outcomes of my little bits of calculation is the "best value" team - this is the team composed of riders who have scored the most points for the least credit cost. It's probably worth saying at this point that the game rules state that each team must cost 100 credits or less (every rider has a credit value assigned prior to the race) and include two "All Rounders", two "Climbers", three "Domestiques", a "Sprinter" and a "Wildcard". The wildcard rider can be chosen from any of the other categories.

As of stage 8, the best value team looked like this;

All Rounders:

Evans (cost 18, Score 330)

Schleck (A) (cost 22, Score 392)

Climbers:

Garate (cost 8, score 110)

Lloyd (M) (cost 6, Score 81)

Sprinter:

Petacchi (cost 12, score 492)

Domestiques:

Thomas (cost 2, score 384)

Turgot (cost 2, score 216)

Chavanel (cost 6, score 595)

Wildcard:

Roelandts (cost 2, score 165)

(78 credits in all, by my reckoning, for a score of 2765)

At this point in the game, the value team would have taken first place by 39 points, for an expenditure of 22 fewer credits than the maximum allowed.

All Rounders:

Score: 490 Cost: 22 Rider: Andy SCHLECK

Score: 333 Cost: 18 Rider: Cadel EVANS

Score: 210 Cost: 14 Rider: Samuel SÁNCHEZ

Score: 110 Cost: 8 Rider: Juan Manuel GARATE

Domestiques:

Score: 595 Cost: 6 Rider: Sylvain CHAVANEL

Score: 384 Cost: 2 Rider: Geraint THOMAS

Score: 216 Cost: 2 Rider: Sebastien TURGOT

Score: 501 Cost: 12 Rider: Alessandro PETACCHI

Wildcard:

Score: 165 Cost: 2 Rider: Jürgen ROELANDTS

Score: 3004 Cost: 86

By stage 9, this "highest value" team would have led the competition by 128 points, albeit for higher expenditure of 14 credits less than the maximum allowed.

And as of Stage 10;

All Rounders:

Score: 531 Cost: 22 Rider: Andy SCHLECK

Score: 336 Cost: 18 Rider: Cadel EVANS

Climbers:

Score: 235 Cost: 14 Rider: Samuel SÁNCHEZ

Score: 163 Cost: 6 Rider: Vasil KIRYIENKA

Domestiques:

Score: 384 Cost: 2 Rider: Geraint THOMAS

Score: 220 Cost: 2 Rider: Maxime BOUET

Score: 217 Cost: 2 Rider: Sebastien TURGOT

Wildcard:

Score: 596 Cost: 6 Rider: Sylvain CHAVANEL

Score: 541 Cost: 12 Rider: Alessandro PETACCHI

A Total Score of 3223 for 84 credits. By stage 10, the highest value team would have a lead of 207, for an expenditure of 16 fewer credits than the maximum allowed.

One of the things that's been interesting to me is to see the consitency and otherwise of the "high value" team. You can probably tell that the gradient increased in stage 9 by the way the "Climbers" category has changed, although Geraint Thomas' excellent performance in the early part of the race, and relatively low credit value has ensured his place so far.

One other interesting question is that of the highest scoring team possible. It's taken me a while to get my head around that particular problem, but as of Stage 10, I had a working methodology to use. The team I came up with was as follows;

Score: 531 Cost: 22 Rider: Andy SCHLECK

Score: 336 Cost: 18 Rider: Cadel EVANS

Climbers:

Score: 163 Cost: 6 Rider: Vasil KIRYIENKA

Score: 81 Cost: 6 Rider: Matthew LLOYD

Domestiques:

Score: 596 Cost: 6 Rider: Sylvain CHAVANEL

Score: 520 Cost: 10 Rider: Fabian CANCELLARA

Score: 384 Cost: 2 Rider: Geraint THOMAS

Sprinter:

Score: 642 Cost: 18 Rider: Thor HUSHOVD

Wildcard:

Score: 541 Cost: 12 Rider: Alessandro PETACCHI

Netting a total score of 3794 for the maximum allowed 100 credits.

As you can see, there's some overlap between the value team and high score team, although I wonder if that will begin to change as the contenders for the overall, and the climbers begin to assert themselves - it's also hard to see Geraint Thomas scoring highly again (given his position in the GC) although if he snags a high placing on a stage his credit value should see his place secure in the value team.

Looking at the selection more generally, choosing the "right" domestiques seems to be a key part of the process, given their contribution to the score overall. In the high score team, they account for nearly 40% of the score for 18% of the total cost, and on the value team their score contribution is 26% for 8% of the total cost.

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