March 3 rd 2023 - 16:00

The climbers speak (VI/VI)

Perpetually driven by the dual desire to offer courses conducive to powerful moves and maintain the suspense for as long as possible, stage race organisers sometimes innovate the methods used in time trial events. This year, Paris-Nice is experimenting with a unique style of team time trial, with the times achieved by each rider counting for the day's classification. An individual time trial run by teams is, in short, a curious idea. But cycling has a long history of unusual attempts at time trials. Here is an overview of some of the most fanciful initiatives, some of which have gone down in the annals of history.  

Short time trials have little impact on the general classification. But prologues in cities have the advantage of creating a spectacle and have become a popular opening event in stage races. There have also been extreme examples of the concept, with courses measuring 1 kilometre, for example, where maximum explosiveness is required. But, the highest average speeds are not necessarily recorded on "ultra-prologues".

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