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  1. #1
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    Team Time Trial???

    Hello there!

    Hoping someone can explain to me how the team time trial works from the overall perspective of the race.

    I'm pretty new to watching the tour (and loving it) but haven't seen a team time trial in action yet.

    I understand that the team's time is taken from the 5th rider over the line?
    Is this time then applied to all the riders in the team?

    I guess I'm also interested in how this affects say, Cadel Evans. I'm Australian so I have to (well kind of) go for him.
    If his team is not strong at time trialing (which by looking at the results of stage 1 is the case), is it possible he could lose minutes to Contador and Astana in the TTT?

    I don't know what the time differences have been in the past but is it possible that he'll lose that much time, or does drafting as a team keep the time gaps closer?

    It's a stage I'm really looking forward to but really want to get my head around what it will mean to the race as a whole. Also interested in people's opinions on whether Cadel's teammates can keep him close enough, in the TTT, to compete this year.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    It should be an interesting one, that's for sure. The 5th rider time is applied to all the riders ahead of him and with him in the group. If the last rider is several minutes behind, then he gets whatever time he clocked in at.

    It is possible for Cadel (or anyone) to lose several minutes, as whatever time you get will be the time given to you (as much as that makes sense, it's somewhat new).

    Astana should put in a great TTT, and Cadel will lose some time. It's a very technical course from what I've heard though, so it isn't simply about powering through flat straightaways.

    It should be a very interesting stage. My personal hope is that Fabien can keep Yellow. I'd love to see Wiggins get Yellow, but I don't think that will happen.

  3. #3
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    Here are the results from Stage 1 of the Giro D'Italia this year which was a TTT...but shorter than the TDF's TTT:

    1. Columbia 21min 50sec
    2. Garmin-Slipstream @ 6sec
    3. Astana @ 13sec
    4. LPR @ 22sec
    5. ISD @ 27sec
    6. Katusha @ 35sec
    7. Rabobank @ 38sec
    8. Liquigas @ 40sec
    9. Lampre @ 42sec
    10. Milram @ 49sec
    11. Cervelo s.t.
    12. Barloworld @ 54sec
    13. Saxo @ 55sec
    14. Caisse d'Epargne @ 58sec
    15. Bouygues Telecom @ 1min 1sec
    16. Serramenti PVC-Diquigiovanni @ 1min 14sec
    17. Quick Step @ 1min 14sec
    18. Xacobeo @ 1min 19sec
    19. Acqua & Sapone @ 1min 21sec
    20. Silence-Lotto @ 1min 22sec
    21. Ag2R @ 1min 35sec
    22. Fuji-Servetto @ 1min 37sec

    So as you can see, some big time gaps can be made depending on the strength of a riders team. Basically each member of the team gets the time and if a team falls behind another team...their team leader loses that amount of time.

    With a longer TTT in the Tour time gaps could be significant...but not necessarily decide the tour...but will definitely make it more interesting. If Cadel loses a lot of time in the TTT his tour could be over since he has a very hard time attacking in the mountains.
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  4. #4
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    Team standings after stage 1...

    IMHO the team standings after Stage 1 are a good indicator of relative strength in the TTT. The team standing are the cumulative times of the top three riders from each team from each stage. Granted the TTT is five guys that "count" and a much longer distance, but I do think that Stage 1 provides a valid benchmark.

    By this benchmark, Cadel's team seems to lack the horsepower to do well in the TTT. Cadel will loose time. IMHO oppinion, probibly minutes to Contador and Armstrong.

    Team Standings after Stage 1 (from velonews.com):
    1. Astana in 59:46
    2. Team Saxo Bank in 1:00:17
    3. Garmin - Slipstream in 1:00:30 at 00:44
    4. Liquigas in 1:01:11 at 01:25
    5. Team Columbia - Htc in 1:01:32 at 01:46
    6. Euskaltel - Euskadi in 1:01:49 at 02:03
    7. Silence - Lotto in 1:01:59 at 02:13
    8. Francaise Des Jeux in 1:02:26 at 02:40
    9. Quick Step in 1:02:31 at 02:45
    10. Ag2r-La Mondiale in 1:02:41 at 02:55
    11. Cervelo Test Team in 1:02:42 at 02:56
    12. Lampre - N.g.c in 1:02:43 at 02:57
    12. Bbox Bouygues Telecom in 1:02:43 at 02:57
    14. Rabobank in 1:02:50 at 03:04
    14. Team Milram in 1:02:50 at 03:04
    16. Team Katusha in 1:02:56 at 03:10
    16. Agritubel in 1:02:56 at 03:10
    18. Cofidis Le Credit En Ligne in 1:03:00 at 03:14
    19. Caisse D’epargne in 1:03:11 at 03:25
    20. Skil-Shimano in 1:04:31 at 04:45
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  5. #5
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    That's probably not a valid way to count. Stuart O'Grady for example lost lost 2 minutes in the TT, but he can go way faster than that when something is at stake. (and the team has been saving him on stage 2)
    Similarly, Sebastian Lang lost 2 minutes. That does not seem like a time he will put out if it counts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stogaguy
    IMHO the team standings after Stage 1 are a good indicator of relative strength in the TTT. The team standing are the cumulative times of the top three riders from each team from each stage. Granted the TTT is five guys that "count" and a much longer distance, but I do think that Stage 1 provides a valid benchmark.

    By this benchmark, Cadel's team seems to lack the horsepower to do well in the TTT. Cadel will loose time. IMHO oppinion, probibly minutes to Contador and Armstrong.

    Team Standings after Stage 1 (from velonews.com):
    1. Astana in 59:46
    2. Team Saxo Bank in 1:00:17
    3. Garmin - Slipstream in 1:00:30 at 00:44
    4. Liquigas in 1:01:11 at 01:25
    5. Team Columbia - Htc in 1:01:32 at 01:46
    6. Euskaltel - Euskadi in 1:01:49 at 02:03
    7. Silence - Lotto in 1:01:59 at 02:13
    8. Francaise Des Jeux in 1:02:26 at 02:40
    9. Quick Step in 1:02:31 at 02:45
    10. Ag2r-La Mondiale in 1:02:41 at 02:55
    11. Cervelo Test Team in 1:02:42 at 02:56
    12. Lampre - N.g.c in 1:02:43 at 02:57
    12. Bbox Bouygues Telecom in 1:02:43 at 02:57
    14. Rabobank in 1:02:50 at 03:04
    14. Team Milram in 1:02:50 at 03:04
    16. Team Katusha in 1:02:56 at 03:10
    16. Agritubel in 1:02:56 at 03:10
    18. Cofidis Le Credit En Ligne in 1:03:00 at 03:14
    19. Caisse D’epargne in 1:03:11 at 03:25
    20. Skil-Shimano in 1:04:31 at 04:45
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by den bakker
    That's probably not a valid way to count. Stuart O'Grady for example lost lost 2 minutes in the TT, but he can go way faster than that when something is at stake. (and the team has been saving him on stage 2)
    Similarly, Sebastian Lang lost 2 minutes. That does not seem like a time he will put out if it counts.
    I'd agree...Going fast in a TTT requires practice and teams working together and not all teams practice this much. Garmin generally is the odds on favorite to win the TTT because they have a lot of TT guys on their team and they practice it...even though they were 3rd in the team standings after day 1.

    Some teams will do better than they did day one, others worse...It should be interesting. Also, stronger TT guys can take longer pulls to help the team out while the weaker TT guys just pull off the front when they get there. A lot goes into doing well in the TTT and watching the best teams do it well is a thing of beauty
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  7. #7
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    If the overall standings don't change in stage 3 then I predict Astana will make more than 40 seconds on everyone during the TTT putting Conti in yellow with kloden levi and armstrong rounding out the top 4.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by f1oored
    If the overall standings don't change in stage 3 then I predict Astana will make more than 40 seconds on everyone during the TTT putting Conti in yellow with kloden levi and armstrong rounding out the top 4.
    I was thinking about this earlier, and thought the same, that Astana could have 4 out the top 5 positions after the TTT. They are going to be tough to beat as long as they stay together.
    Cavendish looks unbeatable with that lead out train. Must be nice to have Big George, Michael Rogers, and Co. to lead you out.
    I think Armstrong is planning to peak near the end of the tour and the battle on Ventoux should be awesome!

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the explanation guys.

    Certainly looking forward watch it.

    I'm hoping Cadel won't lose too much time, but if he does I guess it'll force him to have to pull something out in one of the mountain stages.

    I'm not holding out hope of him winning this year, but I do love to see him fight hard with the big boys up those mountains. Certainly a determined fella, if not a little strange in interviews and in person.

    How much to you think his comments (the whinging sounding ones) about weak teammates etc, are just mind games?
    I don't believe for a second he's that kind of character. (i.e. one of bag out teammates) I think it must just be an attempt to have his main challengers forget about him more. Or am I just being a hopeful Australian in thinking he's not that much of a douche?

  10. #10
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    The pros know pretty much who has what horsepower on their teams and the opposing ones - Cadel may be bagging his teamates a bit - but that they do not have a strong supporting cast is fairly common knowledge.

    The TTT could really hurt Sastre more than most GC guys - just like the Giro, it may be hard for him to make up much time in mountains if he gets too far behind.

    All these variable - this is going to be a good one.

  11. #11
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    Let's also not forget that the TTT is dependent on your weakest teammates more so than on your stronger guys for some teams.

    No point having Fabian hammer away all the time if everybody is gonna drop off. That's what I'm saying.

    In the case of Astana, they may go for a drop or minimal drop strategy. Who knows. But if they go for shedding guys, it'll be Lance, Alberto, Levi, Andreas and possibly Yaroslav as the final 5 guys. Makes sense too anyway. I see Gregory Rast as the possible 5th guy or if it's minimal drop, then the 6th guy. Of course, this is just what I think but damn, that does look like a great 5 to finish anyway.

    Quickly get Paulinho, Zubeldia and Muravyev to drop off after their turns. Then get Rast to do his short turn and of course, have the big 4 guys take massive pulls. Of course, Armstrong COULD get dropped but rest assured he'll not.

    I see Garmin and possibly Columbia rivaling them. Astana has spent a fair amount of time on the TTT course too form Lance's Twitter it seems so they are definitely seeing this as a key stage to get some separation from the other GC guys as well as the Team GC too I guess.

    I think Carlos Sastre has the most to lose here for him. His team doesn't look like it could be that close. Evans too actually.

    People say Evans can't attack but he has tried at the Dauphiné. Of course, he'll also launch a verbal attack as well
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by bramt
    Hello there!

    It's a stage I'm really looking forward to but really want to get my head around what it will mean to the race as a whole. Also interested in people's opinions on whether Cadel's teammates can keep him close enough, in the TTT, to compete this year.

    Thanks!
    One word: No.

    Many more words: No, but Cadel will try. And when he loses the Tour (probably), he'll complain publicly about having a bad team once again.
    Quote Originally Posted by tconrady
    If I can get some more tomorrow.... I thought it'd grow on me but I'm not feelin' it....wait..
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by BuenosAires
    I was thinking about this earlier, and thought the same, that Astana could have 4 out the top 5 positions after the TTT. They are going to be tough to beat as long as they stay together.
    Cavendish looks unbeatable with that lead out train. Must be nice to have Big George, Michael Rogers, and Co. to lead you out.
    I think Armstrong is planning to peak near the end of the tour and the battle on Ventoux should be awesome!
    Possible. But there is Garmin with Wiggins there as well so......It'll be interesting for sure.

    Cavendish's main guy is Mark Renshaw. That guy is a machine!
    Quote Originally Posted by tconrady
    If I can get some more tomorrow.... I thought it'd grow on me but I'm not feelin' it....wait..
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by f1oored
    [B]When[/B the overall standings don't change in stage 3 then I predict Astana will make more than 40 seconds on everyone during the TTT putting Conti in yellow with kloden levi and armstrong rounding out the top 4.
    There, fixed it for you.

    Let's not forget Fabian's team isn't measly and well, Garmin has Bradley Wiggins who could be in the top 4 as well.
    Quote Originally Posted by tconrady
    If I can get some more tomorrow.... I thought it'd grow on me but I'm not feelin' it....wait..
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  15. #15
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    i'd say the top 3 picks for me are columbia,saxobank and garmin...

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by j3fri
    i'd say the top 3 picks for me are columbia,saxobank and garmin...
    I'd swap one of those teams (maybe Saxo) for Astana just because of their sheer strength of their top men in the TTs and the fact that they have been training on the course a few times too.
    Quote Originally Posted by tconrady
    If I can get some more tomorrow.... I thought it'd grow on me but I'm not feelin' it....wait..
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  17. #17
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    hey bramt! glad you are getting into the tour. pro bike racing is hard to understand. heck, after a decade of following it closely im still behind the curve. but that is one reason it is so much fun to follow and speculate about.

    the Team Time Trial is one of my favorite events. be prepared to see some crazyfast equipment. it is one thing to see the bike and clothing during an Individual Time Trial, but with an entire team chugging away it is quite something different. it looks like a giant engine pistoning away. and watching the riders rotate through is pretty cool. you can really see how cycling is a team sport (albeit a different "team" aspect during the TTT).

    there are two main strategies:
    1) keep everyone together as long as possible. this allows everyone to work at the same rate and rotate through quicker, keeping them fresh and moving along. however, this can possibly slow the entire team down. many team adopt this tactic if they dont have someone competeing in the GC. it is also good for shorter TTTs.

    2) shed all but 5 riders. this method has the weaker TT riders burning hard and fast at the start, taking longer pulls than the TT specialists. as they get snookered, they peel away one by one, leaving the strong TT guys fresher for the end. this can put some serious time into other teams, and if you have a GC contender (or 4), separate you from the pack. however, you may judge effort/course wrong and blow up too soon. there have been cases of temas even dropping the 5th rider, only having to wait for that person to cross the line before the clock stops.

    some teams became so good at this, le Tour officials made it so the most you could lose was 5 minutes. i think last time around they even scaled it down to 3 minutes. i am not sure if they are capping the time loss this time around.

    expect to see Garmin, Columbia, and Astana gunning. Garmin (somewhat infamously at the Giro) train for this event, and they will be looking to beat at least Columbia, if not take it all. Columbia (at least Cavendish) wants to show up Garmin and Astana, but may be keeping their legs fresh for more sprint finishes. Astana will want to bury the competition and bring 3-4 guys up in the GC competition while putting Contador in yellow. in the past (LA's 7 wins), discovery/postal would snatch yellow during this stage and be content to let it slip away in the mountain stage. it is a gamble to let the yellow go, but it is usually more trouble trying to protect it for nearly three weeks.

    as far as your compatriot Evans, he reminds me of an out-spoken Levi. levi is/was great at week-long stage races, but never really had a solid team backing him during his prime Grand Tours. Levi wouldn't talk about it much, but Evans mentions it here and there. There is also some thought that Lotto let Rocket Robbie go because Evans wanted the team to be dedicated to GC and not waste any effort on sprints. Both riders felt they werent getting support where they needed it, and Lotto decided to stick with Evans. With the recent Lotto rider getting pulled for failed tests, it doesnt look good for Lotto this year. In any discipline.

    (and take what i have said with a grain of salt. i have only been following pro cycling for about 10 years, so this could all be bunk).
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  18. #18
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    There are several really good teams for the TTT- should be pretty epic.

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  19. #19
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    I was bummed they only had 1 team trial, didn't they have one other in previous years? I'd rather see the team trial later in the race where it becomes more significant. Individual trails are boring, but the team is like watching a high speed train, a perfect example of poety and teamwork in motion. I loved watching Lance when he was with Discovery, and the "Blue Train"
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by rugger
    I was bummed they only had 1 team trial, didn't they have one other in previous years? I'd rather see the team trial later in the race where it becomes more significant. Individual trails are boring, but the team is like watching a high speed train, a perfect example of poety and teamwork in motion. I loved watching Lance when he was with Discovery, and the "Blue Train"
    They had no TTT since 2005 and before that I can never remember more than one in any Tour.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fredke
    They had no TTT since 2005 and before that I can never remember more than one in any Tour.
    What he said.

    It's usually just one or none at all. I'm just happy there is one again.

    I'm sure a certain Mr. Armstrong also was perhaps the reason
    Quote Originally Posted by tconrady
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by uzziefly
    I'd swap one of those teams (maybe Saxo) for Astana just because of their sheer strength of their top men in the TTs and the fact that they have been training on the course a few times too.
    LA seems pretty uneven this year. My guess is that he puts so much focus on the TTT that he overthinks it and can't get his rhythm on and either loses contact or crashes at a corner.

    My picks are Garmin 1, Astana 2 (but with LA OTB), and Columbia 3.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by weltyed
    there are two main strategies:
    1) keep everyone together as long as possible. this allows everyone to work at the same rate and rotate through quicker, keeping them fresh and moving along. however, this can possibly slow the entire team down. many team adopt this tactic if they dont have someone competeing in the GC. it is also good for shorter TTTs.

    Postal finished with all riders too IIRC right?

    Quote Originally Posted by weltyed
    2) shed all but 5 riders......

    some teams became so good at this, le Tour officials made it so the most you could lose was 5 minutes. i think last time around they even scaled it down to 3 minutes. i am not sure if they are capping the time loss this time around.
    No cap this time around. But I don't think they'll lose more than 5min either this time.

    Quote Originally Posted by weltyed
    Astana will want to bury the competition and bring 3-4 guys up in the GC competition while putting Contador in yellow. in the past (LA's 7 wins), discovery/postal would snatch yellow during this stage and be content to let it slip away in the mountain stage. it is a gamble to let the yellow go, but it is usually more trouble trying to protect it for nearly three weeks.
    Not really a gamble letting go of yellow, especially if it's to someone who definitely won't be a threat at all actually. Most of the time that is.

    Quote Originally Posted by weltyed
    as far as your compatriot Evans, he reminds me of an out-spoken Levi. levi is/was great at week-long stage races, but never really had a solid team backing him during his prime Grand Tours. Levi wouldn't talk about it much, but Evans mentions it here and there. There is also some thought that Lotto let Rocket Robbie go because Evans wanted the team to be dedicated to GC and not waste any effort on sprints. Both riders felt they werent getting support where they needed it, and Lotto decided to stick with Evans. With the recent Lotto rider getting pulled for failed tests, it doesnt look good for Lotto this year. In any discipline.

    (and take what i have said with a grain of salt. i have only been following pro cycling for about 10 years, so this could all be bunk).

    Well, Evans is more than out-spoken I would say though.
    Quote Originally Posted by tconrady
    If I can get some more tomorrow.... I thought it'd grow on me but I'm not feelin' it....wait..
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fredke
    LA seems pretty uneven this year. My guess is that he puts so much focus on the TTT that he overthinks it and can't get his rhythm on and either loses contact or crashes at a corner.

    My picks are Garmin 1, Astana 2 (but with LA OTB), and Columbia 3.
    I think exactly the opposite actually.

    IMO- he knows his power numbers aren't as high as before so he's lost weight now to keep the power to weight ratio up there or close to before. He's been training in the mountains a lot so this indicates to me that he's working a lot more for the climbing stages.

    His TT - that's where he'll lose time but with the TTT, he also knows he won't have to rely on being great at the TTs this time around too.

    Back to the mountains again.

    No way Lance would get dropped for sure. They'll make sure he's in the 5 that finish if they are gonna shed riders.

    That's what I think though.
    Quote Originally Posted by tconrady
    If I can get some more tomorrow.... I thought it'd grow on me but I'm not feelin' it....wait..
    Allez United!

    Glory, Glory Man United, and the Reds go marching on!

  25. #25
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    I think it's an interesting re-addition to the tour. Weren't the elimination of the TTT, and the time gap limits, supposedly Astana/Discovery/Postal penalties, to keep Lance from blowing everyone away with the best team? Astana may not win the TTT overall, (that looks to be Highroad and Slipstream) but they should be the highest placed team for GC contenders.

    Can't wait till tomorrow! What's the weather supposed to be like over there?

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