Ban Team Time Trials ?

When should Team Time Trials be permitted?

  • At 2.WT level only

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Reduced team time trials only†

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    48
  • Poll closed .
† By which I mean the idea used in one of the early season races, I can't remember which, whereby each team of six competes in the time trial as 2 teams of three: one competitive, one for the domestiques with no interest in their GC times.


*Team time trials serve primarily to give further advantage to those team leaders who already have a great advantage in GC by virtue of having a stronger team.
* They encourage the acquisition of more talent than is needed by the few richest teams.
*They greatly reduce the chance of some riders in GC by factors that are no fault of those riders (especially where teams are national selections with little depth).
*They discourage strong GC riders from remaining loyal to the perhaps lesser teams in which they came to prominence.
*Even apart from the inequality of teams' ability in the discipline, large time gaps based on misfortune or mechanicals are more likely than in mass start stages.
*Although it is a discipline that can be trained for and expertise and therefore advantage can be legitimately gained, the same could be said of any number of other novelties (tandems, motorbike pacing, dragging weights, unicycling...) .
* They lack spectacle, and have lower viewing figures (I suspect): they encourage a higher proportion of viewers hoping for a crash rather than appreciating the sport (possibly, I'm really not sure).


On the other hand:
*It has a strong history in the sport.
*The best, most invested-in, teams deserve their success.
*Every team gets at least some camera time.
*It is poetry in motion and a wonder to behold for those who appreciate it.
*It instils, and rewards, team spirit.
*It is a discipline that requires and rewards training, and therefore a test of team management and resources.

Discuss.
 
Last edited:
Reactions: jmdirt
They should only be held on stage one - Otherwise if you have a big crash in stage one which is common, especially in GT's, then a team is at a massive disadvantage.
Yeah, I sort of took it for granted that they would always be very early in a stage race. That stage 9 TTT of TdF 2015, with 13 riders already out (incl 3 of Orica) was certainly not a good idea.
 
Reactions: yaco
They do that in the Tour Alsace, but that might not be the race you're thinking of.
The Vuelta did that in 1991, with the teams divided into three teams of three, with it up to the team to decide who went in which team. It was only 8km to stop it impacting the GC too heavily. Mauri, Fuerte and Díaz won it for ONCE. They then had a 40km full TTT on day 2 (split stage) so the lead trio had over a minute's advantage over anybody not riding for ONCE. Luís María Díaz de Otazu crashed during stage 3, otherwise the GC remained led by the entire ONCE team until stage 8 when a 47km ITT broke the field apart.
 
Reactions: Samu Cuenca
I really like team time trials, I like to watch them much more than ITTs. There's beauty in them, and also you see such differences in how well the rider's work together, you see teams falling apart, front riders riding off into the sun while the others are desperately trying to get back, beautiful switches, more edgy switches, messed switches...

But of course I see the big problems for results. The problem doesn't seem to be ttts in stage races per se, but ttts in a world where some teams are so much richer than others. So it ruins the fun.
Hence I think they should only exist on their own, and, since people will not watch them much as a one day race, as a final, kind of celebratory, stage in a stage race, without influence on the overall, maybe instead they could make up a big part of the team competition.

Otherwise, you could have them at a race like Denmark or Pologne.
 
I really like team time trials, I like to watch them much more than ITTs. There's beauty in them, and also you see such differences in how well the rider's work together, you see teams falling apart, front riders riding off into the sun while the others are desperately trying to get back, beautiful switches, more edgy switches, messed switches...

But of course I see the big problems for results. The problem doesn't seem to be ttts in stage races per se, but ttts in a world where some teams are so much richer than others. So it ruins the fun.
Hence I think they should only exist on their own, and, since people will not watch them much as a one day race, as a final, kind of celebratory, stage in a stage race, without influence on the overall, maybe instead they could make up a big part of the team competition.

Otherwise, you could have them at a race like Denmark or Pologne.
Use the same rules as in the equestrian part of the modern pentathlon, so the bikes and equipment would be unknown to the riders.

The Vuelta did that in 1991, with the teams divided into three teams of three, with it up to the team to decide who went in which team. It was only 8km to stop it impacting the GC too heavily. Mauri, Fuerte and Díaz won it for ONCE. They then had a 40km full TTT on day 2 (split stage) so the lead trio had over a minute's advantage over anybody not riding for ONCE. Luís María Díaz de Otazu crashed during stage 3, otherwise the GC remained led by the entire ONCE team until stage 8 when a 47km ITT broke the field apart.
Well Mauri certainly enjoyed every single TT km that year.
 
Oct 5, 2020
1
1
515
Keep them but only use them on stage 1 of a race. Also, instead of taking the time over the line, maybe adopt a ranking system - winner is awarded 0 seconds, second place is +1 second, third is + 2 seconds, ..... team 20 is + 19 seconds. Riders who are dropped by their team would have their time adjusted accordingly.

Hopefully, this would avoid the big time time gaps which sometimes distort the GC. The gaps between the legitimate GC contenders would likely be minimal.
 
Reactions: jmdirt
I would like to see a new format where the time is taken individually (at the very least for GC), so it doesn't matter if a team ends up with two, four or seven riders together at the end.

I think it was like that in Tour Méditerranéen in 2004.
 
Last edited:
Reactions: tobydawq
I don't like them in stage races, but having a proper one in a gt every blue moon is acceptable, even if it's one of those things that only helps the big teams.
I'm all for having them as half stages in gts (the uci should allow them once again). A mid length ttt followed by a short stage that is nothing but hills/medium mountains could create chaos and decent gaps.
 
* They encourage the acquisition of more talent than is needed by the few richest teams.
No, they don't. The richest teams will always try to use their riches for an advantage and acquire as much talent as possible. TTTs don't change anything in that regard.

If anything, a lot of TTT would encourage rich teams to sign more of an all-rounder type of riders for domestique duties at the cost of pure climbers, which would mean the smaller teams would have a greater chance of acquiring some climbing talents and be more visible during the mountain stages.

But that would only happen if there's really a lot more TTT-ing than in recent years. For such an insignificant amount nobody will modify their hiring strategies.

*Even apart from the inequality of teams' ability in the discipline, large time gaps based on misfortune or mechanicals are more likely than in mass start stages.
Are you sure of that? I can't recall a TTT which saw more than 2 or 3 riders DNF whereas some mass start stages have been total carnages over years. Also barring DNF, the most you can lose during a TTT is a few minutes while a crash or badly timed mechanical during a mass start stage could easily cost you 10-20 minutes.

* They lack spectacle, and have lower viewing figures (I suspect): they encourage a higher proportion of viewers hoping for a crash rather than appreciating the sport (possibly, I'm really not sure).
Why write such things if you're not sure? I will always rather watch a TTT over a sprint stage or ITT and I absolutely don't hope for crashes. I don't think a casual fan would have enough understanding to assume there would be more crashes in TTTs and among hardcore fans I haven't seen any cheering for crashes either. That really doesn't seem like a well-thought opinion.

I also think that the negative impact of TTTs for chances of riders from smaller teams is overstated. It can be a problem in a week long races with unbalanced routes- yes (which is the only type of TTT I would be against in general), but in a GT I don't think it just makes that much of a difference, assuming it's a typical recent 20km TTT rather than a 60km TTT.

Two of the benefits I haven't seen mentioned in the OP:
  • They're rare and they're something else so I think they're more interesting for variety than the monotony of another sprint stage for example
  • It increases the return for sponsors because no other stage will get their names being mentioned so often- smarl use of TTTs could see more sponsors willing to invest in cycling
 
It's not this simplistic but the options really seem to be : 1) Go back to the original format of lone riders sorting out themselves, or 2) accept that in a team sport the teams with the most money will likely do best and TTTs don't really have much of an effect on that.

I don't think TTTs have that much of an effect on team selection if I'm honest. The richer teams just do better by virtue of having better riders all dedicated to a single leader/couple of leaders who are both good riders. Smaller teams try and get wins elsewhere and sacrifice some leader support for possible stage glory.
 
I would like to see a new format where the time is taken individually (at the very least for GC), so it doesn't matter if a team ends up with two, four or seven riders together at the end.

I think it was like that in Tour Méditerranéen in 2004.
That might be an ok experiment, but really the whole point of the TTT is that they have to finish as a team.

I was looking back through past results on PCS the other day, and it’s amazing the amount of TTT that used to be in pro races. Paris-Nice in the 80s could have a 27 MILE ttt.

The Tour has done the TTT well in recent years (the 2015 stage 9 experiment apart); the 30-ish km distance has been about right, the gaps created have been significant without being overwhelming (most gc leaders lose more time on a MTF).

And as I have pointed out here before, strong TTT teams have not necessarily been strong GC teams, or teams packed with strong TT engines. We’ve seen ttt wins by Garmin, BMC, Ariostea, Panasonic etc down the years; teams who were well drilled, had practiced on their TT bikes, had worked on their formations, rotations etc. The teams who act surprised on the morning of the race that there was a TTT in this Tour lose time.
 
I don't mind TTTs. Actually pretty exciting to watch. Ideally they should be held on stage 1 of a stage race and not be extremely long so we don't lose contenders for GC immediately, but still some gaps so that riders have to attack later on.

Most of all I want the WC TTT back. Those were always so close and exciting to watch.
 
Reactions: jmdirt
Aug 16, 2021
4
1
15
Use old TdF TTT format; Counted only for team classification with top 3 teams receive bonuses, but with little tweak that only first riders of top-3 team receive bonuses
 
Reactions: BlueRoads
Are you sure of that? I can't recall a TTT which saw more than 2 or 3 riders DNF whereas some mass start stages have been total carnages over years. Also barring DNF, the most you can lose during a TTT is a few minutes while a crash or badly timed mechanical during a mass start stage could easily cost you 10-20 minutes.
The major DNF/OTLs in Tour TTTs that I can remember are Roche’s missed start time in 1991, and Ted King a few years back when he started the TTT with a broken collarbone, had to ride it on a road bike because he couldn’t get into the aero position on the TT bike, averaged 28 mph for the stage, and was still eliminated by a handful of seconds.

Ariostea had a big pile up near the finish in 91, but still won the stage.
 
Reactions: jmdirt
No, they don't. The richest teams will always try to use their riches for an advantage and acquire as much talent as possible. TTTs don't change anything in that regard.

If anything, a lot of TTT would encourage rich teams to sign more of an all-rounder type of riders for domestique duties at the cost of pure climbers, which would mean the smaller teams would have a greater chance of acquiring some climbing talents and be more visible during the mountain stages.

But that would only happen if there's really a lot more TTT-ing than in recent years. For such an insignificant amount nobody will modify their hiring strategies.


Are you sure of that? I can't recall a TTT which saw more than 2 or 3 riders DNF whereas some mass start stages have been total carnages over years. Also barring DNF, the most you can lose during a TTT is a few minutes while a crash or badly timed mechanical during a mass start stage could easily cost you 10-20 minutes.


Why write such things if you're not sure? I will always rather watch a TTT over a sprint stage or ITT and I absolutely don't hope for crashes. I don't think a casual fan would have enough understanding to assume there would be more crashes in TTTs and among hardcore fans I haven't seen any cheering for crashes either. That really doesn't seem like a well-thought opinion.

I also think that the negative impact of TTTs for chances of riders from smaller teams is overstated. It can be a problem in a week long races with unbalanced routes- yes (which is the only type of TTT I would be against in general), but in a GT I don't think it just makes that much of a difference, assuming it's a typical recent 20km TTT rather than a 60km TTT.

Two of the benefits I haven't seen mentioned in the OP:
  • They're rare and they're something else so I think they're more interesting for variety than the monotony of another sprint stage for example
  • It increases the return for sponsors because no other stage will get their names being mentioned so often- smarl use of TTTs could see more sponsors willing to invest in cycling
I think you overestimate the amount to which I was invested in any of these: I was just trying to predict some of the arguments on both sides. As to breaking the monotony, I think I was addressing that in the "So why not tandems, unicycles or motorpacing" comment.

But if you like them, that's fine, just don't blame me for starting a discussion.
 
Reactions: SHAD0W93
I would say the whole point is that cooperation and team strength matter. Which it still would. If you're not finishing on Mont Faron, you are still likely to have most of the team together over the line.
If it’s likely, then why bother change the rule?
On the other hand, if you’ve got a 4th who is struggling, it affects strategy, rotation, etc.

I feel like a 30km flattish TTT isn’t quite long enough to separate riders like that anyway. Maybe we do need to go back to long TTTs?
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS