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Want to add an extra edge to watching the Tour de France this year ? try this twist on the prediction format. Get together with a handful of friends and, trust us, before the end of the first week this game will be dominating your Tour experience.

It also gets over the thorny problem of cheering for riders you?d ordinarily rather not see win, if you get what we?re saying.

In a nutshell, the players take turns to pick riders they think will perform well that day. At the end of the stage, add together the finishing positions of your three riders and the player with the lowest score wins. There are also bonus points for picking the winner of the stage.

The player with the lower cumulative score ? including the overall positions of their three overall picks ? is the Maillot Jaune.



Ideal for between two and six players

Suitable for players aged 3+

Step 1: Draw straws to decide which order players are going to pick in.

Step 2: Before the start of the Tour, take turns to pick your Overall Favourites, until each player has selected three riders. Once a rider has been picked, he can?t be selected by another player ? so you can?t all have Vinokourov. Once the Overall Favourites are picked, you?re stuck with them for the duration of the race.

Step 3: Each day, before the start of the stage, take turns to pick three riders you think will do well that day. Watch the race, root for your men, curse when you see one of your guys mucking about at the back.

Step 4: Add up the points. First place equals one point, 20th place equals 20 points, 100th place equals 100 points. You get the idea. If one of your men wins the stage, deduct 25 points from your total.

Step 5: The player with the lowest daily score from their three Stage Picks wins the stage and gets to select first the next day.

Step 6: Keep a running total of each player?s daily scores, and then add in the overall positions of the Overall Favourites. This will be the General Classification.


* In the event of a Stage Pick failing to finish the stage, the player will be awarded a score equal to last place on the stage plus one point. So, if there are 187 riders in the race but one of your riders abandons on the way, you score 188.

* If one of your Overall Favourites pulls out, his overall score will be one greater than last place overall. There will also be a 10-point penalty for each stage the rider fails to complete. Therefore, if he abandons on the penultimate stage, he incurs a 20-point penalty for failing to complete the last two stages.



Player One: Barry

Wiggins 1st

Cancellara 2nd

Menchov 11th

Total: 14pts (minus 25 bonus for choosing Wiggins) = -9pts

Player Two: Colin

Millar 3rd

Zabriskie 5th

Vinokourov 8th

Total: 16pts

So, on prologue day Barry is a convincing winner.

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Sports journalist Lionel Birnie has written professionally for Sunday Times, Procycling and of course Cycling Weekly. He is also an author, publisher, and co-founder of The Cycling Podcast. His first experience covering the Tour de France came in 1999, and he has presented The Cycling Podcast with Richard Moore and Daniel Friebe since 2013. He founded Peloton Publishing in 2010 and has ghostwritten and published the autobiography of Sean Kelly, as well as a number of other sports icons.