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