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February 22 nd 2023 - 15:00

A stageggering blunder (I/VI)

 In their dogged efforts to create the right conditions for thrilling battles and stretch out the suspense, the organisers of stage races have never shied away from tinkering with the parameters of time trials. This year, Paris–Nice is experimenting with a peculiar team time trial format in which each rider will be credited with his actual time in the stage. An individual time trial raced as a team is certainly a left-field idea, but the history of cycling is rife with exotic concepts for the race against the clock. This series reviews these attempts to push the envelope, some of which went down in history.

While individual time trials did not make their first appearance in the Tour de France until 1934, the "staggered starts" of the 1927 and 1928 can be seen as the forerunners of team time trials.

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