One of the most dreaded words in the world of professional cycling is “transitional stage” and, unfortunately, the organizers of Le Tour, called the Amaury Sport Organization, were unable to avoid using one in this year’s competition.
Stage 12 starts off in a very promising fashion, with two Category 1 climbs in the first 80 km, but after that, the level of excitement drops down precipitously, with a long, winding descent and a finish that’s a bit uphill.
In the real Tour this could mean that a group of climbers will try to quickly get away and then try to rack up mountain points and then keep the peloton away, or we could see a determined chase from the sprint teams, designed to make it a finish for Mark Cavendish or his competition.
In the simulated space of Pro Cycling Manager 2012, I expect to see something similar, and my plans involve keeping everyone out of harm’s way and maybe an opportunistic attack or two.
A group of eight riders jumped away early and I was unwilling to chase after them.
Because no dangerous contender was included, the other teams also pretty much sat up and allowed it to gain time and take the first two climbs of the day unopposed.
The chase started after the long descent and a combination of Katusha and BMC brought the break under control.
My secondary sprinter and leadout man, Robert Wagner of Germany, abandoned in the earlier mountain stage, which means that I was unable to contest the finish in any way, and the slight uphill nature allowed Thomas Voeckler of Europcar to take a stage, something that French teams always need to do in Le Tour.
My prediction for today’s actual stage victory is Tommy Voeckler from a breakaway.
Stage 12 had an exciting ending, which you can watch below: