Britain’s Sean Yates was well known for his tireless, and selfless, team time-trialing during his long Tour de France career. Yates, now manager of Britain’s Linda McCartney Foods Cycling Team, gives BBC Sport Online a few pointers for Tuesday’s 70-kilometre team time-trial. For me the team time-trial is about tactics and motivation. It is not just about the team with the best riders. All the teams with serious yellow jersey contenders should be well prepared, but the internal politics of a team also plays a part.
Practice makes perfect
US Postal, for example, is well drilled and packed with good riders, but it is also 100% behind Lance Armstrong, the team leader.
Telekom, which is packed with talent, is another that will go well for their leader Jan Ullrich.
Marco Pantani, however, may have difficulties.
Mercatone do not have many riders suited to this kind of racing, and there are rumours Pantani is not popular within his team.
If that is the case, it is unlikely his team-mates are going to kill themselves for his yellow yersey challenge.
Of the other teams Maipei should go well, and the ONCE boys will be working hard for Laurent Jalabert and Abraham Olano.
Rabobank always time-trial well, and Alex Zulle’s Banesto will not be far off the pace.
In fact, I will not be surprised if the top three teams finish within 30 seconds of each other, which is pretty incredible when you consider it is over 70 kilometres.
Team time-trials are all about riding on the limit, and that hurts.
The team that wins will be the one that wants it most, and does the little things right.
That means staying as close together as possible – right on the wheel of the guy in front – and staying down on your handlebars for the most aerodynamic position.
July 3, 2000
Source : news.bbc.co.uk