A 53,5 kilometer time trial stage means that a solid GC rider can put one or even two minutes into a rival who has been focusing on mountain preparation and has neglected his wind tunnel and posture training.
This is the stage that will determine who is the rider who leads the General Classification and wears the Yellow Jersey into Paris and also who takes over the Young Rider and the Team categories.
The stage is long and flat, with some sections where wind can easily become a concern.
This being the last time trial of a Grand Tour, the victory could go either to an all-rounder, probably the one who also wins Le Tour
, or a Time Trial specialist who saved energy until now, finishing with the grupetto in the high mountain stages.
If I had Cacellara (I know, I should stop whining) this stage could have been mine but, as the situation stands, I can only give it a shot with Fuglsang.
I decided to do something different for the last time trial because my lack of actual changes will make playing the stage somewhat of a chore.
So I did what many other gamers do for those stages that lack real consequences or tend to be uninviting: I pressed the Quick Simulation button and just watched the game engine generate the results.
Predictably, Tony Martin, a time trial specialist, took the win and, despite coming home more than 3 minutes down on the winner, the older Schleck managed to keep his seventh place, with Maxime Montfort my best-placed rider on the stage.
Pro Cycling Manager 2012 also offers a Detailed Simulation options, but it has never produced accurate results and gamers tend to avoid it.
Because I decided to simulate this stage I have no video of this final blemish on my Tour de France reputation.