Stage 2 of the Tour this year was a team trial. it’s a peculiar discipline that surfaces every couple of years; all 9 riders take to the start ramp and roll out together. their time is recorded on the 5th rider across the line. the emphasis is to stay in formation, keep a clean pace line and avoid overdoing it so less strong riders don’t get shelled out the back, otherwise the length of turn is longer and fatigue builds up more quickly.
garmin cervelo won the 23km race with an average speed of 34.75 mph, this would equal a very short 17 in a ten mile time trial. the comp record is 17.57. it goes to show the benefits of riding together, and the difficulties of riding on your own. it’s also a spectacular discipline; when a team is riding well it seems impossibly perfect, when a team is not riding well it’s like watching a bag of spanners being thrown down the stairs. (i exaggerate slightly)
surprisingly, there are sometimes crashes in this event, more often than not it’s a touch of wheels that does the job.greipel came off yesterday, and zabriskie famously crashed whilst in yellow a few years back.
here’s some footage of discovery channel putting in the fastest ever TTT stage: