The team time trial is an event both mythologized and overlooked in cycling. Often a staple of the first week of the grand tours, the TTT is the yardstick that measures overall team strength, efficiency, and panache. It’s also the event that highlights the simultaneous competition/cooperation inherently unique to bike racing. The difference is, unlike a day-long breakaway, where the hard-earned friendship of breakmates collaborating against the will of the peloton inevitably falls victim to the desire to win, in a TTT the collaboration goes all the way to the line. The victory (or loss) is shared, and there is little room for ego. And there are few sights in sport more beautiful than a well-drilled team sliding through the air at 65kph in a perfect single paceline. —Ed.
By: Philip Gale Apr 25
Now that the beloved spring classics are over and a long summer of stage races looms large in the near future, we thought it would be nice to reminisce with some images of our one-day heroes and the stage on which they perform. Stage races no doubt allow the cream to rise to the top and produce worthy winners; but single day races are more immediate, and more honest for the amoral tendency they have to allow a sense of fate bordering on spiritual to dictate events. Champions are made, yes; but accidents also happen, great riders fall, and flash-in-the-pan domestiques bound for a career of obscurity occasionally earn the one fleeting moment of glory, success, humility and relief that they have chased for their entire career.
To begin with, Paris-Roubaix. This race is art; Greek theater.