This game is excellent if you understand the subtleties of cycle racing. If you don't, then I'd concur with the other reviews that it's not for you. However, if you're a cycling afficionado, this game has everything you could ever wish for. It faithfully replicates all the intricacies of tour racing, presenting you as the team captain with a plethora of decisions on every stage.
Each stage of the tour is broken up into several sections, within which you can choose which member of your team you want to race as - you can even switch team-members mid-section if (for instance) an intermediate sprint is followed by a key climb. Like any touring stage, only the first and last sections are truly exciting, as you decide how to handle the opening breakaways or set yourself up for the final push to the line. However, what really makes this game in my opinion is the detailed strategy it requires you to employ during the middle sections of the race, just like a real tour manager. Do you set up a relay train to try and reel in that dangerous breakaway? Do you disrupt other teams' relays to let your own breakaway escape? Which domestique do you use to protect your key cyclists and when? When do you attack? When do you insert a super-domestique into an attack to use as a springboard for later? How are your team-members holding up, and how can you manage their energy consumption? Do you go for intermediate sprints or mountain points, or do you hang back and conserve your energy? Can you set up a sprint train at the end of the race - and if you can't, can you manoeuvre your sprinter into a position to win without the aid of a sprint train? These are just some of the never-ending decisions you have to make as the peloton snakes through the countryside (and yes, the graphics of the countryside and spectators are dull and very repetitive, but that's not what this game's about).
If none of the above means anything, then this game is not for you. If, however, you are fascinated by the delicate nuances of cycle racing, this will help you to understand the intricacies of the sport even more.
As other reviewers have noted, Cofidis were clearly unable to gain permission to use the names of all of the teams and their members - 'Radiocash' and 'COM' are the most obvious. However, they have cleverly given players the ability to edit the names of every team and rider, so it is a simple matter to go into the editor and change 'Radiocash' to 'Radioshack' and give the Schleck brothers their proper names (for instance). This also means that you can give a rider your own name and have the vicarious pleasure of seeing yourself riding in the tour. So far, I've taken possession of Peter Sagan and shepherded him to Best Young Rider and the Green Jersey, and I'm currently in the process of trying to win the tour as Andy Schleck.
One final bonus for me is that you can map the controls of the PS3 version to a Big Ben Cyberbike, so that in order to maintain the energy level of your chosen rider, you have to pedal on the exercise bike. This makes exercise biking fun and adds to the whole feel of the game.
So, a great game if you're into the strategies of cycle touring. It will bore you rigid if you're not.