It’s been a week of time trial musings for me, culminating in this post.
I watched the revised Paris-Nice time trial with a keen eye. It was really enjoyable to see how the tactics evolved and rather than weaker teams being handicapped by having to get four riders from gun to tape, they could ride it like a team sprint on the track.
What it also did was stop a dominant TTT team from monopolising the GC top 10.
Think Jumbo in an event where Primoz Roglic, Wout Van Aert, Jonas Vingegaad and Christophe Laporte could have taken the top 4 places in a race with an early shared race against the watch.
This changes that emphasis and I think (despite the domination of Tadej Pogacar) it made the race more interesting.
Would David Gaudu have been so influential in the latter days of the race had he shipped a minute in the time trial? probably not.
So its a positive and a big tick from me.
At a slightly different level to the World Tour (although in my view not much!) my own club started their seasonal calendar with a come and try it road bike 10.
We do operate on a sporting course (one for the older folk there) so with only a couple of straights there is limited impact a top time trialling rig can provide. But a look at the spread of times over a season its still enough.
This event saw juniors, seniors and masters take part with a decent spread of times but a close finish and narrower time spread over the podium.
(Picture from Fenland Clarion cc social media)
For me it was the chance to get that restored Bianchi into competition and despite its age it performed brilliantly under the stress of a block headwind on the 2nd quarter of the event.
What was great though was that the legs decided the result. And whilst to be fair, the same people topped the leader board as would have done if tt bikes were allowed, there was a real purity to this and it felt more competitive.
(Could just be my perception of course)
I am looking forward to having another crack in a couple of weeks where hopefully the wind will have died down a bit and the road might be dryer.
So in answer to the question “Is there too much tinkering with time trials”?
So far in 2023, for me the answer is definitely not.
The changes have been enhancements.