03 July 2011

Word of the Day at the TDF: contre la montre

contre la montre - against the watch
contre la montre individuel - Individual Time Trial 
contre la montre par équipe - Team Time Trial
Just saying these words feels good. Watching a TTT feels even better. In 2011 there was a Team Time Trial in both the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France! Tour de France, Stage 2, Team TT, Sunday 3 July, Les Essarts > Les Essarts, 23 km, see the route. At the 2011 Giro d' Italia, HTC-Highroad won the Team Time Trial. The 2010 Tour de France did not feature a TTT.
About the Team Time Trial 
  • The route is 23km long
  • The profile of Stage 2 TTT is flat. Strava reports the altitude gain is only 57m over the course.
  • Each team will start 7 minutes apart.
  • The first ever Team Time Trial was in 1935.
  • In 1978 the teams suffered through 153km long Team Time Trial.
  • The fastest recorded TTT, was by Team Discovery in 2005, over 67,5 km, in 57.324 km/h.
  • The official time for the team is recorded on the 5th rider in the team to cross the finish line. The teams will begins with 9 riders. They will likely drop a few out on the course because only the strongest 5 need to be together at the Finish line. 
  • The leader's jersey will be given to the rider who finishes first of the winning team. That is why there is a bit of jockeying for position in the last meters to the finish line.  
  • What about the points distribution for the Green Jersey in the TTT? Time Trial points for the Sprinters Classification are awarded as first place takes 20, then 17, 15, 13, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1.
  • The race begins and ends in the same city Les Essarts.
  • Les Essarts is a twin city with the English town of Bicester, near Oxford, and Neunkirchen-Seelscheid, near Cologne, in Germany. 
  • The Vendée region is one of the most popular regions for tourism in France. The Forbes family estate is in Les Essarts. The Vendee region was the birthplace of Eleanor of Aquitaine (1122-1204) and was part of her kingdom. Eleanor's son, Richard I of England (the Lionheart) based himself here, so did the Hundred Years' War (1337-1453).
Image from Mavic.com