I recently dug out my Pro Cycling Manager 2006 CD to have some good old (lazy) cycling fun again. It took me some steps to actually reach the fun part though. Problem one was my lack of CD drive on my laptop, but luckily that was easily solved by simply making an iso from the disc and then mounting it with something like WinCDEmu.

Problem two was more of a hassle. PCM 2006 uses a disc protection called “Starforce” which only allows you to play when the CD is inserted. While at first I feared this might become a problem because of my iso mounting, it turned out Starforce was simply too old to work on Windows 7. So there I was with my legitimately bought game and I could not play it due to silly disc protection being outdated. How wonderful. Updating Starforce was also not an option since then it would not be compatible with the game any more.

Some preliminary googling did not turn up anything, but in the end I did stumble upon this wonderful forum post. The rest of my post will be mostly rehashing what is mentioned there for the purpose of having it backed up for me.

First off, let us fix things so the game at least starts. For this we use the silver edition of the game, which Cyanide released some time after the original. The silver edition includes the patch and removes the Starforce protection. Supposedly it also introduces a language selection issue, but I only use English and did not encounter anything out of the ordinary. Simply copy the files included in the zip file into your game folder (something like C:\Program Files\Cyanide\Pro Cycling Manager 2006\). Two links are provided, they link to the same file so you can decide which you want to use. If neither work, let me know, I should have it backed up.

With that fixed, you should be able to start the game and get to the important playing part. However, you may encounter graphical issues on stages with water. They manifest in the form of black or white panels. The provided solution is to remove all water from all stages. Once again, a zip file is provided for your convenience. It contains updated tracks with as only change from the original: the water is removed. So get the zip file and use it to replace original files in the CM_Stages folder which can be found inside the game folder (see earlier). Again, two mirrors are available.

For any custom tracks, you will have to edit your race’s .xml file manually and replace sea="1" by sea="0". Furthermore, also remove the data inside the <rivers> tags.

With all that done, you should be good to go! Happy cycling!