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Time Trailing

AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,692
edited November 2012 in Pro race
I have a quick question in regards to Time Trials. This discipline is named "the race of truth", for being man and bike against time, no helping hands, no team mates, no drafting etc but when Wiggin's won the Tour this year (a tour with a high distance of TT miles) many critics seemed to lessen the victory by saying it had too many TT miles. See Contador et al or any of the Twitter taliban as they have been affectionately called.

My question is, if TT is so pure and such a hard discipline then isn't Wiggin's victory more impressive or certainly any less impressive than someone who won on the mountains?

I just wonder as so much seems to be taken away from Wiggins for this fact, yet many people are in no doubt that TT is the hardest discipline?
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  • ddraverddraver Posts: 21,115
    You make a very fair point Sjm. I think the main reason is that TTing is so Booooooorrrrrrrriiiiiiinnnnnnnnnnggggggg! Then the mountain stages, which everyone thinks are so much better, are shut down because the TTers are trying to prevent lots of changes in pace. That this has happened since the dawn of bunch racing is, of course, quietly forgotten.

    However, the truthful answer is that cycling fans are totally irrational and hold fundamentally wrong beliefs based on a vision of cycling being an epic gladatorial sport raced by demi gods. The reality is of course somewhat different. For all the fawning over the Vuelta's 10 Summit finishes, 9 of them were won by someone nipping off the front in the last 200m by the guy that always wins on hills in the last 200m.

    The few things you can trust cycling fans to be are irrational, reactionary, and to always go with the pack and the pack bleats Mountains Good, TT's bad. Going with the pack is what cycling is based on after all...unless your a TTer ;)
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • TT'ing ROCKS

    as one of the small band of defenders on here of the beauty and purity of the TT, I feel I have to pop up and wave the banner every now and again :)
  • If you take a reductionist approach why not have the tt's on the track where conditions can be balanced between riders?

    the problem you have is in assuming tt'ing is the race of truth.

    the race of truth to me is how you adapt to a 5 hour mountain stage after having just done 4 back to back rolling stages

    The 'truth' is how you deal with fatigue, psychological pressure, physiological assault, strategies of the opposition and the incessant buzz of it all . In that light the tt'ing is a mere specialism amongst a host of others
  • ocdupalaisocdupalais Posts: 3,785
    Completely agree with what's been said (except the "Booooooorrrrrrrriiiiiiinnnnnnnnnnggggggg!" bit)- and by your query, sjmclean (how did Indurain win his Tours? Yet he's regarded as Spain's greatest rider ever and a king. Maybe it's because we're still having difficulty believing that an Englishman's won the Tour and that somehow there's scope for detracting some of the value from it?).

    Without thinking too much, if you were asked 'what was the most brilliant GT stage this year?', would most people not say Bertie's win on stage 17 of Vuelta?
    And if you were asked which was the most impressive/brilliant win in the classics, would Boonen's P-R not feature highly?

    Both efforts were essentially time trials.

    The "attacking" was essentially over and done miles before the finish line.

    When people dismiss TT's as dull/boring etc they should remember that they don't amount to much in terms of overall time in a GT yet usually have a massive impact on the GC.
    Why is that? Because it's the purest expression, over a given course, of how fast a human being can propel that strange machine that we're all mad about...
  • ddraverddraver Posts: 21,115
    I grudgingly accept that they need to be a part of GT's...but that does nt mean I watch any more of them than the final result

    TTT's now have no place in a GT, and if possible are even duller!
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • ddraver wrote:
    I grudgingly accept that they need to be a part of GT's...but that does nt mean I watch any more of them than the final result

    TTT's now have no place in a GT, and if possible are even duller!


    OK, I'll defo agree re TTTs...although when they go wrong they can be fairly amusing (eg Taylor Phinney going all CX during the Giro TTT)
  • ocdupalaisocdupalais Posts: 3,785
    ddraver wrote:
    I grudgingly accept that they need to be a part of GT's...but that does nt mean I watch any more of them than the final result

    Cadence, style, position, technical choices, shouting DS's having heart attacks... don't any of those things interest you?
  • phreakphreak Posts: 2,178
    Don't time trials favour the big guys that can push high power, whilst the mountains favour those with better power to weight?

    If that's the case then the mountains would seem fairer as they offer both the short and tall guys a chance.
  • phreak wrote:
    Don't time trials favour the big guys that can push high power, whilst the mountains favour those with better power to weight?

    If that's the case then the mountains would seem fairer as they offer both the short and tall guys a chance.


    Conversely you could say that the mountains naturally favour the smaller mountain goats
  • Is it not about balance? 100km or so of TTing isn't so much if you had a couple more summit finishes, there were not that many in this year's race. Not sure it would have meant that Wiggins would have lost, but it would probably mean that fans view of the race would have been different.
  • FJSFJS Posts: 4,820
    sjmclean wrote:
    I have a quick question in regards to Time Trials. This discipline is named "the race of truth", for being man and bike against time, no helping hands, no team mates, no drafting etc but when Wiggin's won the Tour this year (a tour with a high distance of TT miles) many critics seemed to lessen the victory by saying it had too many TT miles. See Contador et al or any of the Twitter taliban as they have been affectionately called.
    Who are those critics? I don't see that happening at all. I do see people saying that the Tour de France was boring, and criticising this year's route, but lessen his victory? I think you'd have to look pretty hard, internationally, to find someone saying Wiggins didn't deserve this year's win. Some might say he had had more difficulty with another route, but that's not the same as 'lessen his victory'.

    Apart from this, TTing is certainly the purest measure of individual physical ability on the road, but that's not the only component of being a good cyclists - it takes all tactics out of it for one thing.
  • mike6mike6 Posts: 1,199
    Surely its all about balance?
    A mix of TT miles and mountain finishes. I like to see the Grand Tours won by all rounders. This years Vuelta was designed to be won by a Spanish climber, end of story.
    Wiggins Tour victory was not purely due to the TTs. He was in the mix on all the summit finishes, If not he would not have won.
    Lets face it, he, or the Tour route, gets flack because and Englishman won it and the English are not supposed to be good at that sort of thing.
  • TMRTMR Posts: 3,986
    TT is boring as ****.

    TTT is super exciting and beautiful to watch. We need less (or none) of the former and more of the latter.
  • Nik CubeNik Cube Posts: 311
    Time trialling is the race of truth !!

    It's is great to view the drama of it all is awesome I for one was behind wiggins all the way and put a bet on him back in January allez wiggo !!

    :D
    Fcn 5
    Cube attempt 2010
  • mrolimroli Posts: 3,622
    ddraver wrote:
    TTT's now have no place in a GT, and if possible are even duller!
    You are joking right.

    Just off the top of my head - Phinney's shocker (extenuating circs) in the Giro this year. Sky in the Vuelta last year all getting lost. 2009 TDF one in Montpellier where everyone crashed and that's just in the last 3 years.

    More team time trials, not less. Maybe some downhill ones. And some CX ones. And ones over the full length of a stage :D
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 52,622 Lives Here
    People like routes that challenge riders, not compliment them. They want a route that a real all rounder wins.

    Some people felt that for the number of TT kms there weren't enough proper MTFs for climbers to make time up in TTers in 2012.

    That's all. Can't hold it against Wiggins. It complimented him.

    Doesn't matter too much in this instance though. Wiggins was probably the best with easily the best team which included the probably his nearest rival. In terms of legs anyway.
  • RichN95.RichN95. Posts: 24,276
    The problem with Team Time Trials is that they tend to give the richer, stronger teams a further advantage.

    (Of course there are exceptions - mostly notably Garmin)
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • ddraverddraver Posts: 21,115
    What rich says...it's an unfair skew on the whole GC competition.

    But how is 8 guys riding alone at once better than 1 guy riding alone? And no OCU, to be honest, I can foucus on those once or twice but for the 4/5 hours it takes to run through a whole TT? Nah....
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • mrolimroli Posts: 3,622
    Some people felt that for the number of TT kms there weren't enough proper MTFs for climbers to make time up in TTers in 2012
    Although - by the same measure, it is also worth noting that Nibali was Wiggins' closest non-team rival and on the 3MTF, he finished 5 seconds down, same time and 18 seconds down.
    Given that Nibali is one of the best riders downhill in the peloton, not having MTF could be seen as potentially suiting him!
  • ThomThomThomThom Posts: 3,574
    edited November 2012
    TT is boring as ****.

    TTT is super exciting and beautiful to watch. We need less (or none) of the former and more of the latter.

    TTT is beautiful. Check.
    TTT is the absolute hardest discplin in the entire sport. Check
    TTT is giving a huge advantage to riders over others that really shouldn't be getting any benefits from racing against the clock. TTT Should be used in moderation. Check.

    Watching The Shlecks gaining second after second to TT-weak climbers - like themselves - by doing f'uck all behind Fabian and 6 other teammates is just sad.
  • ddraverddraver Posts: 21,115
    mroli wrote:
    ddraver wrote:
    TTT's now have no place in a GT, and if possible are even duller!
    You are joking right.

    Just off the top of my head - Phinney's shocker (extenuating circs) in the Giro this year. Sky in the Vuelta last year all getting lost. 2009 TDF one in Montpellier where everyone crashed and that's just in the last 3 years.

    More team time trials, not less. Maybe some downhill ones. And some CX ones. And ones over the full length of a stage :D

    Well all of which we can see on a standard road stage, but with a lot of more interesting stuff happening too...

    I think we ll never agree, but always, it will be to me that TT's = necessary borefest, TTT's = unecessary, GC competition screwing borefest
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • ddraverddraver Posts: 21,115
    Yeah, you have to go back 22 years to find an example that shows otherwise! :p

    That's a pretty low hit rate eh?
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • Paul 8v wrote:

    Problem is, if you watched that back in '89, all other TTs seem rather dull.
  • Paul 8vPaul 8v Posts: 5,458
    edited November 2012
    I actually really like the TT stages, sorts the men from the boys ;-)

    OK how about:
    http://www.youtube.com/results?search_q ... yxD7MtxzYQ

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OjJ60Kx2j8I

    Also enjoyed the Olympic time trial and the last time trial in this years tour quite a lot but that may have had to do with the winner.

    I think it's the fact that every rider is finishing at different times and there's the anticipation of seeing if they beat the previous time, even better when they catch another rider like Tony Martin at the worlds this year.
  • ddraver wrote:
    Yeah, you have to go back 22 years to find an example that shows otherwise! :p

    That's a pretty low hit rate eh?


    I know you're on a downer after the night out with the Dutch hockey girls, but stop being grumpy :wink:

    Come on, there have been some fine TT moments.

    Tho personally I still think this is a real highlight

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIW1MAvyPD4
  • Paul 8vPaul 8v Posts: 5,458
    I know you're on a downer after the night out with the Dutch hockey girls, but stop being grumpy :wink:

    Eh? :mrgreen:
  • Paul 8vPaul 8v Posts: 5,458
    ddraver wrote:
    Yeah, you have to go back 22 years to find an example that shows otherwise! :p

    That's a pretty low hit rate eh?


    I know you're on a downer after the night out with the Dutch hockey girls, but stop being grumpy :wink:

    Come on, there have been some fine TT moments.

    Tho personally I still think this is a real highlight

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIW1MAvyPD4

    Just nearly spat my tea all over my computer there!
  • greasedscotsmangreasedscotsman Posts: 7,224
    edited November 2012
    Tho personally I still think this is a real highlight

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIW1MAvyPD4

    But that's a road stage?
  • Paul 8vPaul 8v Posts: 5,458
    Tho personally I still think this is a real highlight

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIW1MAvyPD4

    But that's a road stage?

    That is bloody funny though
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