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Old 06-29-04, 02:42 PM   #1
don d.
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This year the Team Time Trial will have a rather unique timing format that is designed to level the playing field somewhat between the stronger and weaker teams. Normally, each team is given the actual time of their 5th man across the line. This year, each team will be assigned a nominal time according to the placing of their team in relation to the winning team unless their time is faster than the nominal time gap that has been established. In that case, they will be awarded their actual time.

So, as the Tour regulations show, the following times will be assigned to each team according to their overall placing:

1st Team: Actual time of 5th man across the line
2nd Team: +20 seconds
3rd Team: +30 seconds
4th Team: +40 seconds

...and so on in 10 second increments according to placing.

So the 10th place team will be awarded the time of the winning team plus 1'40" even if they finish 5 minutes down.

For a complete explanation of this go to : www.letour.fr/2004/docs/reglement_us.pdf

Last edited by don d.; 06-29-04 at 02:56 PM.
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Old 06-29-04, 02:49 PM   #2
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Wow, that's really stupid. I can't comment with any amount of expertise as i'm not (yet) racing but that means a teams overall time wont reflect their overall skill. I don't see how that's helpful.
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Old 06-29-04, 02:53 PM   #3
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I like it, I think. Bike racing is a individual and team sport but it seemed that the TTT made it too much of a team sport.

I think.
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Old 06-29-04, 03:03 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laggard
I like it, I think. Bike racing is a individual and team sport but it seemed that the TTT made it too much of a team sport.

I think.

Well, I agree that it could be helpful to people who put in an individual effort greater than what their team can match. But somehow it just seems unjust that the product of the team effort will be somehow diminished or tainted.
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Old 06-29-04, 03:05 PM   #5
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What is really scary is this;

Quote:
If this gap is less than that given in the table below, then the actual time recorded by the timekeepers will be taken.
If the gap is more than that given in the table below, then the rider will receive the time of the winning team plus the additional number of seconds indicated in the table below according to the place of their team.
So if a team demolishes the field and wins by 2 minutes, it doesn't matter. 2nd place is still only 20 seconds behind.

I didn't really agree with the original 2:30 rule, but I could see the point behind it. 2:30 seconds is a lot of time to make up against the leaders, but still possible. But with these new rules it really makes a mockery of the TTT.

Let's look at least years results;
1 US Postal presented by Berry Floor 1.18.27 (52.77 km/h)
2 O.N.C.E.-Eroski 0.30
3 Team Bianchi 0.43
4 iBanesto.com 1.05
5 Quick.Step-Davitamon 1.23
6 Team Telekom 1.30
7 Vini Caldirola-SO.DI 1.32
8 Crédit Agricole
9 AG2r Prévoyance 1.38
10 Team CSC 1.45
11 Gerolsteiner 1.49
12 Fassa Bortolo 1.53
13 Alessio 2.05
14 Cofidis, Le Crédit par Téléphone 2.06
15 Brioches La Boulangère 2.30
16 Rabobank 2.41
17 Team Saeco 3.02
18 Euskaltel-Euskadi 3.22
19 FDJeux.com 3.29
20 Jean Delatour 3.37
21 Kelme-Costa Blanca 3.49
22 Lotto-Domo 4.53

These new rules would have affected every single team last year.

Andrew
Wonder when we'll start putting gap limits on climbing and ITT stages
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Old 06-29-04, 03:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laggard
I like it, I think. Bike racing is a individual and team sport but it seemed that the TTT made it too much of a team sport.

I think.
Going by that statement... I think it would make a lot more sense to either get rid of the TTT, or shorten the TTT.

Why make it 65km if they want 10 second gaps? Stupid.

It is good to see the time gaps lowered... I think the TTT just becomes far too important without it... but I would much rather just see a shorter distance.
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Old 06-29-04, 03:11 PM   #7
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Stupid, Stupid Rule!!!!!
Maybe they should do the same thing for the ITT's, UTT's and stages that end on a climb.

Buddy B
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Old 06-29-04, 03:32 PM   #8
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My understanding was that the Tour organizers were never huge fans of the TTT and that they include it mostly because fans seem to love it.

This may be there way of including it without making it a true deciding factor in the race.
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Old 06-29-04, 05:08 PM   #9
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So I guess this really means that no team will expend any real effort because there is virtually no benefit from doing so....just a rest day, I guess.
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Old 06-29-04, 06:35 PM   #10
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While I think this is a ridiculous approach to this, I disagree that it will lead to a rest day. For those strong contenders for the GC 10 to 20 seconds can be a big difference as to who is wearing yellow after the first mountain stage and can change the overall complexion of the race (who is defending, who is attacking, etc.) I think that people gunning for the GC will be putting in just as intense of an effort. Teams who are just there for sprints or stage wins might choose to take it easier, but then pride might be an issue too, it's hard to say.
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Old 06-29-04, 08:41 PM   #11
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I agree with Laggard. I think the TTT was a bit rough on the weaker teams. I don't see why they couldn't just make it a shorter distance though rather than institute these weird new rules, but I am glad they did something to make the race more of an individual effort.

Last edited by gruven; 06-30-04 at 09:21 AM.
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Old 06-29-04, 11:21 PM   #12
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I think it's a dumb rule. One team demolishes another only to gain 10'.
I agree with brent, shorten the race if you want closer gaps and give them what they've earned on the road.
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Old 06-30-04, 12:39 AM   #13
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We'll have a new record, all-time slowest TTT ever. There won't be any incentives to ride. So I believe the new record for the TTT will be like 3 days? Enough for them to rest well and start the rest of the tour with a brand new body.

As well, I agree with the shortening of the course.
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Old 06-30-04, 03:59 AM   #14
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Why would they not ride hard? Just 'cos you can't put 2 minutes on a team doesn't mean you don't want to put 10s on them. And if, say, Phonak pushed really hard and won (by however much), but their arch rivals for the GC Rabobank didn't bother and finished tenth (losing them 1.40), Phonak could totally justify their effort. Every team will be hoping every other team will do a Rabobank and not push as hard as they might have (two random names I picked out of my head, nothing personal).

But what they really should do if they want an accurate team time trial is have an individual TT, and take the top 3 or 5 riders in each team and give the whole team an aggregate time based on those riders. Every team has at least a couple of good TTers, and that way the rest of the team wouldn't be slowing them down.
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Old 06-30-04, 05:16 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brent_dube
Going by that statement... I think it would make a lot more sense to either get rid of the TTT, or shorten the TTT.

Why make it 65km if they want 10 second gaps? Stupid.

It is good to see the time gaps lowered... I think the TTT just becomes far too important without it... but I would much rather just see a shorter distance.
Yep...they added it back a few years ago and people really liked it. It's a great event to watch, the team rotating pulls smoothly making huge speed...I love watching it. To manipulate the results is assinine. You either race or don't. Instead of forcing the teams to get better, they screw around with how they score the event. So typical in this day of "everyone gets a trophy so they can feel good about themselves, even if they are losers".
I think what will happen is that teams like Postal and T-Mobile will take it easy and not expend effort that can be used later in the race. The GC teams will probably all stay close to each other.
IMO, it will not even be worth watching. If they felt it was too much of an influence on the event results, just drop it. Doing it this way just makes the organizers look stupid.

Last edited by roadwarrior; 06-30-04 at 05:22 AM.
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Old 06-30-04, 05:20 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonny B
Why would they not ride hard? Just 'cos you can't put 2 minutes on a team doesn't mean you don't want to put 10s on them. And if, say, Phonak pushed really hard and won (by however much), but their arch rivals for the GC Rabobank didn't bother and finished tenth (losing them 1.40), Phonak could totally justify their effort. Every team will be hoping every other team will do a Rabobank and not push as hard as they might have (two random names I picked out of my head, nothing personal).

But what they really should do if they want an accurate team time trial is have an individual TT, and take the top 3 or 5 riders in each team and give the whole team an aggregate time based on those riders. Every team has at least a couple of good TTers, and that way the rest of the team wouldn't be slowing them down.
Because the riders who really can win the thing can put 10 seconds on someone in a mountain stage in a snap. To a GC rider, 10 seconds is nothing.
Why expend effort here to not receive the full impact? No way I'd do that. It's not worth it. Save it for later.
The teams with true GC riders will watch each other and make sure they stay close to each other.
It would be hilarious if a team like Euskatel won the stage. That would make the organizers really look foolish for maniuplating the results. Which is all this is.
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Old 06-30-04, 05:23 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gruven
I agree with Laggard. I think the TTT was a bit rough on the weaker teams.
Then work to get stronger.
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Old 06-30-04, 06:31 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roadwarrior
Because the riders who really can win the thing can put 10 seconds on someone in a mountain stage in a snap. To a GC rider, 10 seconds is nothing.
If that is true then when Vini and Ullrich were both less than 20 seconds down on Lance, why didn't they close the gap? And to look back a little in the history books, tell Greg LeMond that 10 seconds is nothing. If he were in this environment and didn't take the time trial seriously, just one position down in the placings of the TTT would have cost him the famed 8 second tour victory.
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Old 06-30-04, 06:59 AM   #19
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What I don't get here is why do this in the TTT? Looking over the past results 2000-2003 the TTT has never produced huge gains like a good day in the mountains or a good ITT, at least in the top 10 and even somewhat over the field (worst finish is about 6 minutes behind), and considering that this stage is usually the 4th/5th stage where riders will already be 10-20 minutes behind the GC, that extra time is hardly notable.

Compare that to the ITT where you can have 13+ minutes seperate first and last and often times have 2+ minutes seperate 1-4 (sometimes 1-3).

Or a mountain stage where you often have 40+ minutes seperating first and last.

I bet it came from what happened last year, when Euskaltel had 2 GC class riders out in front but couldn't get their TTT together and finished 3+ minutes down in the pack (18th out of 22).

Andrew
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Old 06-30-04, 09:03 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ajay213
What I don't get here is why do this in the TTT? Looking over the past results 2000-2003 the TTT has never produced huge gains like a good day in the mountains or a good ITT,
Pantani lost 3 minutes to Armstrong in the TTT in 2000.
To get back 3 minutes is asking a lot.
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Old 06-30-04, 09:20 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gruven
I don't see why they couldn't just make it shorter a shorter distance though rather than institute these weird new rules
Great point.
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Old 06-30-04, 10:28 AM   #22
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So, let's see how these rules would have affected last year's Tour.

Postal Wins
Bianchi loses 30 seconds (instead of 43)
Telekom loses 1:00 (instead of 1:30)
Euskaltel loses 3:00 (instead of 3:22)

What would have happened down the road?

GC After stage 8 Alpe D'Huez (real results in parenthesis)
1. Lance Armstrong
3. Alexandre Vinokourov +0:47 (+1:17)
4. Iban Mayo +0:48 (+1:10)
8. Jan Ullrich +1:57 (+2:10)
* Vino would've been ahead of Mayo in GC

GC After stage 8 Bourg d'Oisans - Gap
1. Alexandre Vinokourov
2. Lance Armstrong +0:09 (-0:21)
3. Iban Mayo +0:40 to Armstrong (+1:02 to Armstrong)
6. Jan Ullrich +1:57 to Armstrong (+2:10 to Armstrong)
* Vino takes the lead!

GC After stage 12 - ITT
1. Lance Armstrong
2. Jan Ullrich +0:21 (+0:34)
2. Alexandre Vinokourov +0:21 (+0:51)
* Vino and Ullrich tied

GC after stage 13 Toulouse - Plateau de Bonascre
1. Lance Armstrong
2. Jan Ullrich +0:02 (+0:15)
3. Alexandre Vinorourov +0:31 (+1:01)
* Getting nervous, Lance?

GC after stage 14 Saint-Girons - Loudenvielle
1. Alexandre Vinokourov
2. Lance Armstrong +0:08 (-0:18)
3. Jan Ullrich +0:02 to Armstrong (+0:15 to Armstrong)
* Vino takes the lead again!

GC after stage 15 Bagnères-de-Bigorre - Luz-Ardiden
1. Lance Armstrong
2. Jan Ullrich +0:54 (+1:07)
3. Alexandre Vinokourov +2:15 (+2:45)
* Jan has less than a minute gap going into the last ITT

This definitely would've made for an exciting race. The fact that Vino would've taken the lead after stage 8 and especially after stage 14 could have had a major effect on the way that the race unfolded.
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Old 06-30-04, 10:29 AM   #23
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Just out of curiosity, I calculated the time differences if the TTT rules were in place last year. As you can see, all but one of the time differences would have been less than a minute. Jan would have picked up 13 seconds on Lance, for example.

Code:
Place		 Team		 Old Time	 New Time	   Difference
1	 US Postal presented by Berry Floor 1.18.27 (52.77 km/h)
2	 O.N.C.E.-Eroski		 0:00:30	 0:00:20	 0:00:10	Gained
3	 Team Bianchi		 0:00:43	 0:00:30	 0:00:13	Gained
4	 iBanesto.com		 0:01:05	 0:00:40	 0:00:25	Gained
5	 Quick.Step-Davitamon	 0:01:23	 0:00:50	 0:00:33	Gained
6	 Team Telekom		 0:01:30	 0:01:00	 0:00:30	Gained
7	 Vini Caldirola-SO.DI	 0:01:32	 0:01:10	 0:00:22	Gained
8	 Crédit Agricole 		 0:01:34	 0:01:20	 0:00:14	Gained
9	 AG2r Prévoyance		 0:01:38	 0:01:30	 0:00:08	Gained
10	 Team CSC	 		 0:01:45	 0:01:40	 0:00:05	Gained
11	 Gerolsteiner		 0:01:49	 0:01:50	 0:00:01	Lost
12	 Fassa Bortolo		 0:01:53	 0:02:00	 0:00:07	Lost
13	 Alessio	 	 	 0:02:05	 0:02:10	 0:00:05	Lost
14	 Cofidis	 	   	 0:02:06	 0:02:20	 0:00:14	Lost
15	 Brioches La Boulangère	 0:02:30	 0:02:30	 0:00:00	Same
16	 Rabobank	 		 0:02:41	 0:02:35	 0:00:06	Gained
17	 Team Saeco		 0:03:02	 0:02:40	 0:00:22	Gained
18	 Euskaltel-Euskadi		 0:03:22	 0:02:45	 0:00:37	Gained
19	 FDJeux.com		 0:03:29	 0:02:50	 0:00:39	Gained
20	 Jean Delatour		 0:03:37	 0:02:55	 0:00:42	Gained
21	 Kelme-Costa Blanca	 0:03:49	 0:03:00	 0:00:49	Gained
22	 Lotto-Domo		 0:04:53	 0:03:05	 0:01:48	Gained

Personally, I don’t see what the big deal is Everyone knows what the rules are, they just happen to be different than last year. Big deal! The difference in the race will be minimal IMHO.

-murray
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Old 06-30-04, 10:33 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Murrays
Personally, I don’t see what the big deal is Everyone knows what the rules are, they just happen to be different than last year. Big deal! The difference in the race will be minimal IMHO.
Looks like we hit "submit" at the same time. I think that there would have been some major differences in the tactics due to the fact that Vino would've taken the lead after stages 8 and 14. And, Jan would've closed the gap to Lance to 2 seconds after stage 13 (well within a stage sprint bonus.)
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Old 06-30-04, 10:55 AM   #25
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Thanks to rygreen and Murrays for some very well thought out posts.
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