03 July 2011

Le Tour De France 2011: Stage 2

One of the more unique events in sport... the cycling Team Time Trial.

No matter what you think, cycling is a team sport. Sure one man wins at the end of the day, but he gets there on the strength of his team. Ultimately, if a top contender is on a team that can't help him in the mountains, he won't win. (Google Cadel Evans)

Today was the truest representation of that, at least visually, with the Team Time Trial. The way it works is the entire team goes out together, all geared up for aerodynamics with the swoop helmets and the pie plate rear wheel. They hit the course, pacing each other, trying to keep one tight line so that no one man has to do too much work, and in doing so they can kick up the speed (Discovery topped 50mph one year). The team is timed at the finish by the 5th guy who crosses the line, so if you lose a few on the road to the pace, that's okay, but you lose the ability to swap out people at the front of the train taking a turn and ultimately saving power for the end.

Garmin/Cervelo finally captured a stage at Le Tour by building their team for this stage specifically. It worked, and now Thor Hushovt is in yellow tonight. The strong man of the sprint should be able to keep his jersey until they get into the high mountains at the end of the week, considering he will at least be involved in the contention for the sprints.

No comment on the commentary today, my DVR recorded the Disney Chanel by mistake this morning so I couldn't see Liam's second day in the box. Talk to you kids tomorrow, have a safe 4th in the US.

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