The real-world race again takes a break in order to allow the cyclists who are still in it the time to recuperate and also prepare themselves for the climbs of the last week, which traditionally will force them towards the upper limits of their potential for effort.
I already talked about what real-world cyclists tend to do during rest days and about how Pro Cycling Manager 2012
fails to simulate all this stuff, mostly because it is somewhat peripheral to the entire sport.
One aspect that is very important in both real and in virtual cycling is when and how riders drop out of the race, because missing an important teammate can crucially affect the way the rest of the tour plays out and what the rest of the team can and cannot do.
The fact that Andy Schleck, the main General Classification threat of Radioshack Nissan Trek, was sidelined with a back injury earlier during the season means that his team shifted goals for Le Tour, going from riding for the Yellow Jersey to targeting individual stage wins, the Young Rider jersey (which is white) and maybe the Mountain Classification, as long as one of the free riders feels good.
I also left Andy Schleck out of the squad, in order to create a more accurate simulation, but I also had the misfortune of losing another one of my star riders, Fabian Cancellara, during the first full stage of Le Tour.
This forced me to alter my plans even more, with more work needed from the rolleurs in my team (those riders who tend to spend the entire day at the front of the peloton, setting pace or chasing down breakaways).
I also meant that I had no chance of taking the time trials, which means more pressure to perform in the mountains, which subtly affects the way I give orders and prepare attacks.