Originally Posted by seypat
And the 9th rider could be like the back of a hook and ladder fire truck. He could swing out and help steer in the corners!
Seriously, with the exception of the added equipment cost, how about 4 tandems and a single?
The problem is a tandem needs to be designed for a pair of riders, at least at the serious racing level. And riders need to practice as a team on a tandem. That creates some huge problems if a riders has gone down, or fro that matter if a tandem goes down in the TTT.
How about reversing the numbers? A team is allowed to have one tandem. Allowed, not required. So a team can cover well by having 2 tandem setups, they would have to get very unlucky not to have a tandem ready to start. Allowed would also mean if the tandem goes down or otherwise has a mechanical the riders on it could go back to their single bikes.
Heck if they want to make it 'interesting' they could make the rule that if a tandem is used it must be from the start and once abandoned the tandem cannot be reused. And then make the front part of the course technical. Decision time.