Pro Cycling Manager 2020 is a highly complex cycling simulation perfect for cycling fans who enjoy the team aspect of the sport.
Pro Cycling Manager is developed by Cyanide, a studio otherwise known for its Warhammer video game adaptations. Pro Cycling Manager 2020 is a comprehensive management simulation in which players manage a cycling team. That means a lot of game time is spent looking a spreadsheets, making decisions about their team of choice as a whole, and slowly developing riders and the team into a cycling dynasty.
In terms of handling individual races and stages, Pro Cycling Manager 2020 places a lot of importance on endurance and stamina. Just like the real world, you need to manage rider’s efforts. Burn too many matches early on and you’ll bonk, burn them too late and you won’t catch up. The player can control whether their riders maintain position in the peloton or breakaway at the right, or wrong, moment.
The actual racing is the most visually exciting part of Pro Cycling Manager 2020. You can load up an 3D simulation of the race and watch as your plan unfold. Included are the 21 stages of the Tour de France. If you just want to manage your team from afar, you can simply simulate the results of a race and move on.
The game’s career mode is a bulk of the game and something I found quite enjoyable. A race is a race, maintaining a healthy team and keeping an eye on everything going on behind the scenes is where the rubber really meets the road. In Pro Cycling Manager 2020, you can create a strong youth program to cultivate new riders. You can scout and develop fresh talent and push the riders you have to reach their potential by sending them to training camps. It’s very comprehensive and from a fan standpoint an interesting look into how cycling works off the road.
Managing a cycling team isn’t just about riding and racing, though, a successful manager has to manage the business. In the game, you’ll manage research and development to stay ahead of the competition, manage finances and equipment suppliers and most importantly manage sponsors.
Sponsor management is perhaps the game’s hardest challenge, based on real-world happenings right now I’d say that’s an accurate representation. Perform on the road and the sponsors will be happy. But manage your riders well, because sponsors might want performance in specific races or even for you to hire a popular rider or a rider from a specific country. There are a lot of balls to keep in the air.
Pro Cycling Manager 2020 isn’t for everyone. It’s a cycling management simulator and an engaging experience if you like that kind of thing. For cycling enthusiasts who enjoy the minutia of the sport, it’s an enjoyable experience well worth the cost of entry.
Pro Cycling Manager 2020 releases July 4 for PC. Gear & Grit was provided with a copy for the purposes of this review.