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PCM.daily » Pro Cycling Manager 2006-2012 » Pro Cycling Manager 2009
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PCM2009: Violation

I unexpectedly decided to play some career mode on ye olde PCM2009.
Ok - confession time: I decided I wanted to... "mess around" with career mode.

The result was that every cyclist will enter the career with 55 in all stats (with max. development speed). Then I deleted every tour in the game except the Tour de France and the Volta a Portugal for Continental Tour, so the calendar is filled with classics and no tours. Then I completely destroyed the scouting system. And finally, I quickly made a little team of Brazilians named after some famous footballers:

Copacabana Cycling

I decided to see if the career actually worked with all these changes, and it turns out that it does. I ended up playing the season (with some quick-sim) in one go, and I had way too much fun. So I thought - what the hell, let's share the experience on a thread.

Although I'm intending to continue beyond the first season, this might be just a 1-off post because either a) the save game implodes or b) it loses its novelty very fast. But if I do post more than once, then as you might imagine it's not going to be the world's most "serious" career mode Smile
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I should note that my intention is to keep Copacabana Cycling entirely Brazilian for the time being. Part of my editing ensured that there should be an acceptable share of young talent from Brazil.

We are a continental team but I was more interested in wild cards than continental races this season. Honestly, I'm just quite curious to see how the game world as a whole pans out.

Oh and sorry for the convoluted layout & photos - only decided to write about the whole experience once the season was nearly over.

As Copacabana (totally-not-Roubaix Lille Metropole) lined up at the Brazilian (totally-not-Australian) Championship, we ganged up on poor Murilo Fischer to take places 1-8. It was... wait for it... Ronal Dinho who did the honours of pulling away for victory and be awarded the flag of Brazil on his jersey for the season:
On that first day, Riv Aldo was the only man to be outperformed by Murilo Fischer, but little did we know that in this particular 55-rated cyclist we had an unpolished gem on our hands...

Romain Feillu won the first "proper" race at the GP Marseille. Tos Tao placed 5th, with Pe Le in 6th.

Then it was our time to shine again at Milan-San Remo. We made a picture-perfect attack on the final hill with Garrin Cha setting up Riv Aldo. On the final straight, Riv Aldo looked to outsprint the remaining breakaway riders and the chasing peloton...but he fell off his freaking bike...!
...thankfully Garrin Cha had just enough in the tank to take the win whilst Riv Aldo picked himself back up to take 3rd!

At the Tour of Flanders, Sergio Paulinho was victorious.

Contador placed 5th at Paris-Roubaix as Matt Goss won from the early breakaway. Ronal Do sprinted for 12th.

At Amstel Gold Race, Chris Froome was strongest, whilst Bert de Backer won at Fleche Wallone.

At Liege-Bastogne-Liege, Egoi Martinez defeated Bert de Backer and Stephane Bonsergent. Riv Aldo took 5th place.

1 Steven Cummings (Barloworld) upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/29/Jersey_yellow.svg/20px-Jersey_yellow.svg.png
2 HĂ©ctor Guerra (Liberty)
3 Morris Possoni (Columbia-High Road) upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/e1/Jersey_polkadot.svg/20px-Jersey_polkadot.svg.png upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/07/Jersey_white.svg/20px-Jersey_white.svg.png
4 Jonathan Hivert (Skil-Shimano) upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c5/Jersey_green.svg/20px-Jersey_green.svg.png
5 Marco Corti (Barloworld)
6 Maxime Bouet (Agritubel)
7 Benjamin Noval (Astana)
8 Riv Aldo (Copacabana)
9 Davide Malacarne (Quick Step)
10 Jesus Hernandez (Saxo Bank)

Steve Cummings (Barloworld) lost some time in the mountains to Hector Guerra (Liberty), but he took time in the TTT and ITT, and with the help of Marco Corti and Chris Froome, he held Guerra at bay to secure the yellow jersey.

In the Copacabana camp we won a couple of stages with Riv Aldo and were looking to challenge for 4th place overall, but we lost a surprising amount of time in the ITT, then on stage 20 Riv Aldo crashed and was pretty banged up right before we tackled Ventoux. He was the 87th rider to crest Ventoux, but it was still enough for 8th overall.

On the Champs Elysees we safeguarded Riv Aldo in the peloton and allowed Ronal Do to lead out Dun Ga...
...for a splendid 1-2!

The neopro trainees were shining as Heine Slatenach (Saxo Bank) took the first stage as the last surviving member of a breakaway, whilst Charly Colley (Ouch) finished 9th overall. In fact, Colley's points tally in the late season actually edged Ouch-Maxxis ahead of Skil-Shimano in the promotion battle.

For Copacabana, we placed Riv Aldo in 7th overall despite another crash on the queen stage.

The winner of the race was the man who had won the Clasica San Sebastian in the prior week - Lars Bak (Saxo) - who in doing so consigned Hector Guerra to 2nd place in both of the season's tours:
1 Lars Ytting Bak (Saxo)
2 HĂ©ctor Guerra (Liberty)
3 Sergio Paulinho (Astana)
4 Rory Sutherland (Ouch-Maxxis)
5 Marco Corti (Barloworld)

UFOs spotted in the Amazon grounded all flights from Brazil on WC week (Read: DB Errors). What a shame; I was looking forward to testing Riv Aldo against the top opposition.

1) Sterling Magnell (Rock Racing, signed for Garmin)
2) Paolo Longo Borghini (Barloworld)
3) Bastian Burgel (Thuringer)

Of course, it was only fitting for such a bizzare season that the strangest sight
of them all would be saved for the end of the season...

...As the fans waited eagerly at the finish line, a man with a Swedish flag embroidered accross his chest flew around the final corner, frantically looking over his shoulder at the onrushing peloton...
...was it Kessiakoff, Lovkvist, Larsson?

No - it was, naturally, Robbie Hunter claiming the rainbow jersey wearing his temporarily adopted flag!
1) Robert Hunter (Barloworld)
2) Alexander Efimkin (AG2R)
3) Hector Guerra (Liberty)
4) Lars Bak (Saxo)
5) Sergio Paulinho (Astana)

At Il Lombardia, Riv Aldo was finally on the better end of the crashes, as he managed to escape a vital crash that took out the new rainbow jersey amongst others. But in the end, he couldn't quite match Alexander Efimkim (Bouygues):
Behind, Matt Loyd (Lotto) took 3rd.

At the Japan Cup, it was a similar, yet succesful, story as Garrin Cha secured 3rd...
...behind Yann Huguet and Simon Gesche.

Classique de Plouay: Jonathan Hivert (Skil-Shimano)
Vattenfall Cyclassics: Sergio Paulinho (Astana)

CQ Ranking
Steve Cummings & Barloworld

Caisse d'Epargne


Transfers In
Gerard Van Gele
Zeljko Tresor
Annuziato Amador
Herrmann Costantino
All fairly inspectacular Brazilian neopros

Transfers Out
Ronal Do -> BMC
Ca Fu -> Free Agent

Stats at 01.01.2010 - Copabana

Stats at 01.01.2010 - World

Whilst the likes of Lars Bak have shot up as much as 20 ratings in one season in climbing, there was very little progression on the sprinter/cobble side of things. GC riders will continue to dominate classics and perhaps even sprints for the time being. If I feel like I want to change that, then I will simply edit it. For now, it stays, and we observe the anarchy! Angry

Season 2 Objectives
- Get a proper team jersey!
- Actually attend Continental races!
- Violate database further!
This sounds amazing. Grin

Did you change the potentials and stat limits as well, or just leave it as it is there?

"What done is, is one." - Benji Naesen
I left potentials & limits at default, and chose the random potentials option when starting the career.
Great idea, I'm also fan of PCM 09 and I'll follow this story! Grin
Everyone starting at 55... I think I heard something similar before Grin

Good luck with the story but it seems like the speed of progression of some riders was a bit too much.
Haha yes, there was definitely some inspiration there, mpardo :lol: The progression really caught me off guard... each month someone different was the "best" cyclist in the world.

I'm pleasantly surprised and happy to see that some people enjoyed reading my ramblings Grin

Ahead of season 2, I (quickly) made a jersey that represents the spirit of Copacabana Cycling:


At the national championship, we occupied places 1-7 ahead of BMC's new signing Ronal Do. I gave the honours to Ronal Dinho for the second year in a row:

And so Ronal Dinho will wear this... eh... colourful jersey:

This season, I'm going to focus on continental races and see if I can mount a promotion challenge. Riv Aldo will obviously lead the team for most races, culminating in the Volta a Portugal where the biggest points are on offer.

I'll also show my face at Milan-San-Remo, Liege-Bastogne-Liege, Tour de France and maybe aim for top 10s with the help of training camps. If I don't get wild cards, I'll just edit myself in - I want to spectate the GC battle anyway!

Hey, don't give me that look y'all - my game, my rules... my violations Pfft
Nice jersey Wink

I decided to tackle the early season at full effort, to get a lead in the continental ranking. It worked.

GP Marseille
Riv Aldo - 1st
GĂ©rard Van Gele - 2nd

GP della Costa Etruschi
Riv Aldo - 1st

Trofeo Laigueglia
Riv Aldo - 1st
GĂ©rard Van Gele - 3rd

Tour du Haut Var
Riv Aldo - 3rd
GĂ©rard Van Gele - 7th
Winner: Dmitri Champion (AG2R)

Milan - San Remo
By the time La Primavera rolled around, GĂ©rard Van Gele had developed higher than Riv Aldo in hills. We decided to support him.

Van Gele was no match for Mikael Cherel, who won ahead of Hilton Clarke:

But Van Gele had energy to attack the remaining peloton on the run in...
...and he held on for a very impressive 3rd place!

1) Mikael Cherel (FDJ)
2) Hilton Clarke (Fuji)
3) Gerard Van Gele (Copacabana)
4) Alexander Efimkin (AG2R)
5) Dmitri Champion (AG2R)

I'm not sure whether I'll be switching to Van Gele as leader for the hilly classics, but Riv Aldo is now 70 mountain, so he is still locked in as leader at Le Tour / Volta a Portugal.

The next update will cover races up to Liege-Bastogne-Liege. After that, our whole team will take a long break before we participate (but I think mostly spectate) at the Tour de France.
Cherel is great; even with bad stats Smile
Hehe Cherel has now got the best hill rating in the game with 74. Next is Efimkin on 70 but with far superior stamina. Cherel's development spurts came late in 2009 and ultimately he could only manage top 10s at the WC & San Sebastian.

I just realised Skil Shimano sneaked ahead of us in the continental rankings right before Milan - San Remo. Right now it's:

1) Skil-Shimano - 373
2) Copacabana - 372
3) Adria - 189
4) Serramenti - 177
5) Vacansoleil - 171

I think realistically the promotion spots will be contested between ourselves, Skil-Shimano (Hivert), Vacansoleil (Lagutin), Liberty (Guerra), and Agritubel (Bouet), so I'm labelling them as our rivals.

This update covers events between Milan-San Remo & Liege-Bastogne-Liege.

We did really well in the continental spring classics. Since these races are easy low hills and we planned our fitness for these races, they might be considered hollow victories. But that doesn't mean they weren't fun!

Riv Aldo won GP Llodio, took 2 podiums, and 2 top 10s.

GĂ©rard Van Gele (let's just rechristen him "GĂ©rard"... at least that sounds a bit Brazilian!) won the following races:
GP del Navarra
GP Ciremi
GP Van Drenthe
...and had 3 podiums and 2 top 10s.

You might think that amongst these results, we'd have found ourselves top of the continental ranking. But that's not true; Hivert has driven Skil-Shimano to the top, whilst we were resting during May:
1) Skil-Shimano - 1110
2) Copacabana - 963
3) Vacansoleil - 616
4) Adria - 445
5) Capinordic - 361
But, I have to say, it does look quite promising that we could be in the ProTour next season.

Meanwhile in the ProTour...

Tour of Flanders
We suffered heartbreak as Annunziato Amador crashed out with a fractured shin, denying him of what looked like a surprise 4/5th place (note: this guy has the highest flat in the database at 65, plus a whopping 68 stamina)
MSR winner, Mikael Cherel (FDJ), took his 2nd big win of the season at Flanders (forgot to snap a picture).

The breakaway stayed clear for the second year in a row. I'm thinking about retiring this race, or else I'll have to edit some cobbles specialists or something.
Anyway, Andrea Tonti (Fuji) narrowly outsprinted Aurelien Clerc (AG2R) for the win.

Amstel Gold Race
1) Lars Bak (Saxo)
2) William Bonnet (Bouygues)
3) Yaroslav Popovych (Astana)

Fleche Wallone
1) Lars Bak (Saxo)
2) Yaroslav Popovych (Astana)
3) Jonathan Bellis (Saxo)

Lars Bak was seeking the famous Ardennes triple, but there was a surprise result as William Bonnet (Bouygues) narrowly won against Thomas Vaitkus (Astana):
Just ahead of Bak, but just short of the podium, GĂ©rard managed a splendid 4th place:
Clearly, GĂ©rard is developing very nicely now (69 Mo & 65 Hi) after I wrote him off as "unspectacular" at the start of the season (I should note that I don't like looking at the growth potentials much, to increase the surprises).

Looking ahead: Tour de France
The next stop is the Tour de France, where we might be able to push Riv Aldo into the top 10, but I'm more interested in spectating the GC battle.

Last season's winner Steve Cummings has stagnated whilst others have continued developing. He doesn't even have a single CQ Ranking point so far! Runner-up Hector Guerra has not received a wild-card, and isn't as strong as before anyway.

So the favourites are a completely different bunch compared to last year:
Lars Bak (78 Mo, 62 TT) is the standout contender.
Rory Sutherland (76 Mo, 65 TT), and Sergio Paulinho (74 Mo, 67 TT) might be equipped to challenge Bak if they take their chances.
Robbie Hunter (73 Mo, 68 TT) has a small chance of replacing his rainbow jersey with a yellow one, whilst Sergey Lagutin (75 Mo, 61 TT) is something of a dark horse.
I've also got half an eye on Bak's team-mate at Saxo Bank, Evgeny Sokolov (75 Mo, 70 TT) who might find his loyalty tested.

With just hours before the prologue gets under way, there is no sign of pre-race home favourite Dmitri Champion, leading to media frenzy and speculation, with all sorts of conspiracy stories such as the claim that Champion was escorted out of his hotel in the middle of the night by police officers, and one "eyewitness" is entirely adamant that they spotted Champion partying hard in Mexico last night.

The route is the 2009 edition, again. Don't know why a variant didn't load up, since the Volta a Portugal loaded its variant fine. Just the expected hazards of database violation I guess Pfft

This was overall an enjoyable portion of the season for me. Although it's very nice to have a fast pace without getting bogged down in tours, I think for next season I am going to attempt to revamp the race calendar. Continental level is a bit dry with endless low-hills classics, and the ProTour needs an extra kick. And then there's obviously a dilemma with the cobble races when the top cobble rider is a free agent rated 60!
Very interesting to see how some stats shoot straight up (mountain, recovery) while others have hardly changed (sprint, acceleration, cobbles). It's fun to see how all of these Copacabana guys are going along and still will be for a while now, although it might get boring in a few years when 5 guys have 85 on both mountain and time-trial Grin
I'm not sure exactly why that has happened but it might be because when the riders were all rated 55, the game automatically assigned them as "stage racers" which then determined their stat limits.

Might sound bizarre, but I kind of like this weird scenario, and so last season I actually edited the youth generation algorithm so that mostly climbers & stage racers are generated, but I might edit again that in future years. Maybe a more appropriate title would be "PCM2009: Climbers' Paradise" Shock
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