Last year I did something very new to me: I ran through all the stages of Le Tour de France in the Pro Cycling Manager 2011 simulation from developer Cyanide and publisher Focus Home Interactive just as the real-world cycling competition was taking place.
I tried to run the simulation, with me controlling my favorite team, at around the time when the race was actually on and to replicate the strategies and the temperament of the riders involved that I was able to manage.
The entire process was a blast, even if I was forced to deal with limits like no replaying to get better results and at least one nasty database issue that required some save game editing to get around.
I plan to do the same this year and, when the Tour starts tomorrow, I will be running my first stage as well, the short prologue that tends to launch each edition of the prestigious race.
I will use a real name database and corrections for the starts of some riders (both of them created by the community, with the site I tend to visit most being PCMDaily) in order to bring the game closer to the real world.
Le Tour de France
is the biggest cycling race in the world, which means 21 stages, 2 rest days, one overall winner, awards for points, mountain, young rider and team competitions and a wide variety of challenges for the competitors to go through, from supremely fast finishes on flat roads to summits where snow can make an appearance and almost 100 km of time trials.
My original plan was to use my favorite team, Radioshack Nissan Trek, for the game but the recent injury of star rider Andy Sleck has made this choice lose a lot of its appeal.
My plan B is to create a Custom Team (they tend to be somewhat weaker than top-ranked real-world teams) and try to take the Yellow Jersey with the rider I designate as my leader.