Water cooler fantasy league hits pro cycling

We gather on Sundays to pull for "our" pro football teams. Not the Packers, nor the Rams, but "our" teams. The ones we've picked, preseason, to be on our fantasy league team. We've got them in college basketball.

And now we can select riders who'll ride for "us" on our own Tour de France Division I cycling teams.

Patrice Lemieux, North American distributor for Kuota Bicycles, has created his own fantasy league platform at ProBikePool.

The site is expertly done, and has obviously been months in its design. I registered, and was offered the possibility to pay my $21 registration fee by either credit card or PayPal. The payout to the winners is as follows:

1. $20,000
2. $10,000
3. $5,000
4. $2,500
5. $1,250

Prizes will also be given to the Top 3 of each stage classification:

1. $100
2. $50
3. $25

I selected my team from a roster of all 190 or so Tour starters. My team consists of 12 riders, and I choose every day which 9 of them I'll want to score (obviously I'm not going to choose a little Colombian during the flat stages, and I'll leave my big sprinter off the scoring roster during the mountain stages).

Scoring is done on a daily basis, based on how your chosen 9 riders scored on the day. If your rider wins, you get 15 points.

The best riders are handicapped, so, if you choose Robbie McEwen on your team, he comes with a 15 point handicap. So, if he wins a stage, all you've done is eat up the handicap. He's got to win something else on another day in order to score points for your team.

It's not as if the Tour de France is not exciting enough, but those of us who're in the pool will have a little more crowing to do, or crow to eat, at the end of every one of the Tours 21 stages.