Feature Highlight – Generating and developing riders

Hello Managers,

With the upcoming release (tomorrow!) of Pro Cycling Manager 2022, we would like to talk one last time about how riders are generated and developed. This year, our objective was to implement your feedback and adapt the game to modern cycling as much as possible. To do this, we have completely revamped the system for rating and generating new riders.

A comprehensive redesign

In previous entries in the Pro Cycling Manager series, you will have noticed that riders develop in a rather standard manner: sprinters generally developed within their area of expertise, rouleurs did the same, and it was almost impossible to see all-rounders develop. But for a few years now, the trend in modern cycling has been towards riders who have more than one string to their bow. To modernize the series, we felt it was important to completely revise the system for generating attributes and potential.

A more transparent system

To start with, we changed the rating system. Riders are now rated out of 6 stars (with half stars possible). This is easier to understand than a rating between 50 and 85, which was too granular for evaluating a rider’s overall ability.

As for potential, it used to have a rating from 1 to 8 but will now also be a rating based on a 6-star scale. Overall potential gives an idea about the maximum rating the rider can achieve, and riders are also given a rating in each sub-category (stage races, sprints, etc.) to give more detailed insight into their potential. For example, David Gaudu has 5 stars in stage races and a 6-star potential. The maximum possible rating is shown in blue stars at the end of each rating line in each category (screenshot below). It becomes more important to have a diverse team of riders and to develop them in every possible discipline!

A new way of generating riders

For many years, the way riders are generated has been one of the strengths of the PCM series. For the 2022 version, we have improved the system to bring it up to date and to extend the possibilities. To do this, many more riders are now generated each year. We have gone from a few hundred to over 3,000 in total. This is a significant increase and reflects cycling’s worldwide expansion.

Basically, over the last few years, riders from around the world have begun appearing in the international peloton. To keep the game in line with this diversification, there are now 3,000 new riders from 129 different countries, compared with 50 countries in previous years. You therefore have a lot more choice than before. It’s up to you to make the right choices in order to lead your team to the top.

Increased rider versatility

While there are still cycling phenomena such as Wout van Aert, Mathieu van Der Poel, Tadej Pogacar and many more, we have included much more diverse rider profiles than in the past decade. Cyclists are no longer confined to a single role (climber, sprinter, etc.). Today, riders need to be able to do everything it takes to win a stage or race. We kept this in mind when thinking about the strengths of the generated riders.

Rider progress has also been redesigned to ensure development is more balanced, with fewer “jumps” between certain attributes (sometimes there might be too big a difference between a climber’s mountain and hill ratings, for example).

Among the 3,000 riders generated each year, some profiles are balanced, interesting and capable of competing in every type of race. In addition, along with the traditional riders that have been included in PCM for several years, sometimes a few gems will appear and really stand out. The strength and combativity of these riders will always impress you, and they are crying out to be recruited. In mountains, flats and time trials, riders of this new type can shine.

Dynamic potential

Finally, bear in mind that not every young rider with a bright future will fulfill their potential. We have now linked potential to the scouting system: the staff may note that some young riders (under 23) that had a 5- or 6-star potential as juniors may end up being less promising that once thought, or even vice versa!

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