bbc.co.uk
Home
TV
Radio
Talk
Where I Live
A-Z Index
BBC Sport Academy
GAMES CHAT PHOTOS QUIZ WIN
BBC Sport You are in: Other Sport: Cycling  

Homepage
Other Sport
Badminton
Boxing
Cycling
Gaelic Sports
Gymnastics
Judo
Olympic Sports
Paralympics
Rowing
Skateboarding
Snooker
Winter Sport



Latest Sports News
CBBC
Academy Parent

Get the newsletter
Race against the clock
Around the Academy:

Lance Armstrong leads his US Postal team in the team time trial
The US Posties stick together in the TTT

There are two kinds of time trials in the Tour de France: the individual time trial and the team time trial.

In both time trials the riders ride special time trial bikes and wear streamlined helmets which reduces wind resistance and helps them go faster.

In the individual time trial each rider races on their own against the clock over a long or short course.

The rider who covers the allocated distance in the quickest time wins the stage.

The start order in time trials is the reverse of the result sheet - except for the prologue time trial where the order is established by the race organisers.

Tyler Hamilton in action at the 2004 Tour
Tyler Hamilton is a time trial specialist

The riders set off from an elevated starting ramp which enables them to get a flying start.

The riders set off at two minute intervals - this is called a staggered start.

In the team-time trial (TTT) each nine-man team races together over a course.

The TTT must be held before the sixth day of the race and the course is run between two linked towns over a distance of 50-60km.

The TTT is held before the sixth day to avoid upsetting the balance of teams as they lose riders who retire from the race.

This would leave the team leader with no team to help him.

The time for the stage is taken from the fifth rider of the team to cross the line.

Lance Armstrong flies down a hill in the individual time trial
Lance gives it some welly

There is no point in the team leader going ahead on his own or with another strong rider because his time will always be the same as the fifth man to finish.

The best teams do particularly well in the TTT and share the pace-making, finishing together.

Only riders who fall or have mechanical trouble are left behind.

Some lesser teams may only finish with five riders!

These poor stragglers are left to struggle on and try to finish within the day's time limit.


Back to top



Introduction
Domestiques
Flat stages
Time trials
Mountain stages

Did you know?
In French, the time trial is called the contre la montre and given the nickname 'the race of truth.'

Did you know?
The prologue is a short time trial run on the opening day, the day before the first long-distance stage.



FROM THE BBC >>
:: BBC Sport's Tour coverage

INTERNET LINKS >>
:: Tour de France

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



^^ Back to top
© BBC Contact us | Help | About us Disclaimer
Football  |  Cricket  |  Tennis  |  Golf  |  Rugby Union  |  Rugby League  |  Athletics  |  Basketball  |  Swimming
Other Sport  |  In the Gym  |  Healthy Eating  |  Treatment Room  |  Your Blueprint  |  Learning Centre