Montpelier is the city where this stage ends and the urban setting is a good hint about the fact that we are taking a break from climbing in order to allow the sprinters one more chance at a win and make the most from the Pyrenees to the Alps, where another raft of climb heavy stages await the riders.
In real-life cycling, after a few punishing treks through the mountains, the sprinters and, more crucially, their teams are pretty tired and the stages that are intended for sprint finishes might be good occasions for breaks to shine or might give a lone attack the chance to go in the last ten kilometers and hold on to a slim advantage in his quest for glory.
Because I am not playing a full season but only Le Tour de France in the Stage Race mode of Pro Cycling Manager 2011
, the impact of fitness on the outcome of the races is significantly limited.
For example, all my riders currently have fitness levels over 85, which is pretty good considering that two thirds of the race are done, and the results of the current stage will probably favor sprinters heavily.
I chose to do this stage using the Detailed Simulation options of Pro Cycling Manager 2010, one which shares a lot of ideas with the free online cycling game that Cyanide maintains.
The player is allowed to set a number of strategies and options for his team and each of his riders and then he is taken to a simulation interface that does not show the 3D race but just the events that happen and the positions of the cyclists.
The mode was introduced in PCM 2010 and has been widely known to deliver some pretty absurd results and this seems to hold true in this year's installment.
So, despite being the final lead out rider, Haussler from Garmin-Cervelo managed to take the sprint and the stage and nothing important happened in the general classification.