Tour Xtra

Time Trials in the Tour de France

The Individual Time Trial (ITT)

In an ITT, the riders don’t start together but one after one. The fastest rider wins the stage.

The first ITT in the history of the Tour de France, was the 22nd stage of the 1934 Tour de France, around Nantes, won by Frenchman Antonin Magne, who also won the Tour that year. The longest ITT was won by Belgian Raymond Impanis in 1947: 139 km.

The first rider to exceed an average speed of 50 km per hour, was Dutchman Gerrie Knetemann, in 1977. His average speed was 50.058 km/h. The fastest ITT so far was set by Christopher Boardman. In the prologue of the 1994 Tour, he reached an average of 55.152 km/h. In the lists below, I have seperated prologues from the longer ITT’s. A combined list would show almost only prologue wins.

1 Christopher Boardman (GBr)

2 Christopher Boardman (GBr)

3 Fabian Cancellara (Sui)

55.152 km/h

54.193 km/h

53.660 km/h

1994

1998

2007

7.2 km

5.6 km

7.9 km

1 David Millar (GBr)

2 Lance Armstrong (USA)

3 Jan Ullrich (Ger)

54.359 km/h

53.986 km/h

53.642 km/h

2003/stage 19

2000/stage 19

2000/stage 19

49.0 km

58.5 km

58.5 km

The Team Time Trial (TTT)

In a TTT, the riders start team by team. When a team crosses the finish line, the time of the fifth rider counts as the team time; the team with the fastest time wins the stage. Actual times will be taken per rider for the general individual classification.

 

In 2004 and 2005, the organisers used a system, in which the actual time of the winning team counted for that team, with the team setting the second time losing a maximum of 0’20”, adding 0’10” per team until the 15th team losing a maximum of 2’30”, the 16th team 2’35” until a maximum of 3’00” for the 21st and last team.

Before 2004, a rider or a team losing more than 7 minutes, would only lose those 7 minutes for the General Classification (this used to be 5 mins in the years up to and including 1995). Another rule that has been used in the past, amongst others, was based on a special time bonus system, in which teams lost 0’30”, 1’00”, 1’30” and so on to the winners.

The first TTT’s were scheduled in the mid-1930s, but from 1954 they have been organised in the way we still know it. In the early period of TTT’ing (1935-1937), the riders did start in teams, but the actual times per rider counted for the General Classification. Also, the stage winner was not a team, but one of the riders. Most confusing factor was the place of the individual riders, who were seemingly at a random base added to teams, in order to fill them up. Thanks to Tom James for some of the historical info.

All TTT winners 1954-2011

 

1954 – Switzerland

1955 – the Netherlands

1957 – France

1962 – Faema (Bel)

1963 – Pelforth (Fra)

1964 – Kas (Esp)

1965 – Ford (Fra)

1966 – TeleVizier (Ned)

1967 – Belgium

1968 – Belgium

1969 – Faema (Bel)

1970 – Faema (Bel)

1971 – Molteni (Bel)

1972 – Molteni (Bel)

1973 – Watney (Bel)

1974 – Molteni (Bel)

1976 – Raleigh (Ned)

1977 – Fiat (Bel)

1978 – Raleigh (Ned)

1979 – Raleigh (Ned) & Raleigh (Ned) *

1980 – Raleigh (Ned) & Raleigh (Ned) *

1981 – Raleigh (Ned) & Raleigh (Ned) *

1982 – Raleigh (Ned)

1983 – Coφp-Mercier (Fra)

 

 

1984 – Renault (Fra)

1985 – La Vie Claire (Fra)

1986 – Systθme ‘U’ (Fra)

1987 – Carrera (Ita)

1988 – Panasonic (Ned)

1989 – Super ‘U’ (Fra)

1990 – Panasonic (Ned)

1991 – Ariostea (Ita)

1992 – Panasonic (Ned)

1993 – GB-MG (Ita)

1994 – GB-MG (Ita)

1995 – Gewiss (Ita)

2000 – ONCE (Esp)

2001 – Crιdit Agricole (Fra)

2002 – ONCE (Esp)

2003 – US Postal Service (USA)

2004 – US Postal Service (USA)

2005 – Discovery Channel (USA)

2009 – Astana (Kaz)

2011 – Garmin (USA)

2012 –

 

 

* = two TTT’s in 1979, 1980 and 1981

1 Discovery Channel (USA)

2 Garmin (USA)

3 Gewiss (Ita)

57.324 km/h

55.645 km/h

54.943 km/h

2005

2011

1995

67.5 km

23.0 km

67.0 km

Fastest TTT’s

1 David Zabriskie (USA)

2 Greg Lemond (USA)

54.676 km/h

54.545 km/h

2005/stage 1

1989/stage 21

19.0 km

24.5 km

Fastest prologues (less than 8 km)

Fastest ITT’s 8-30 km (not often scheduled)

Fastest ITT’s 30+ km