July 07, 2004
Stage 4: 64.5 km TTT Cambrai-Arras
Last year's TTT was won by US Postal, the first win for the team in the discipline.
Each team is awarded the time of the 5th rider to cross the line. If a team drops a rider to improve the team's time, the straggling rider is awarded his actual time. This year, a rules change means there's a limit on time losses based on the team's placings. The maximum gap between 1st and 21st will be 3 minutes.
Most people give an edge to US Postal, CSC, T-Mobile, and Phonak. It will be interesting to see how the modified rules affect the standings. CSC director Bjarne Riis predicts his squad will win the stage.
It's highly unlikely Robbie McEwen's Lotto-Domo team will ride a strong enough TT to keep the yellow jersey, but the standings are still tight enough that a few riders have a shot. It looks like the best bets are CSC's Jens Voigt and Lance Armstrong, but if T-Mobile takes the stage, we could see Erik Zabel in the maillot jaune.
Update: cyclingnews.com reports weather conditions are predicted to worsen through the stage, with wind throughout and rain predicted from around 3 pm CEST.
Starting Stage 4, it's:
Red race numbers for the day belong to CSC's Jens Voigt, as the most agressive rider yesterday.
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» Team Timetrial Underway from Travis Swicegood's Tour De France 2004
The rules have been changed this year to make the team time trial more fair, I'm not sure who it's making it more fair for, but... The 1st place team sets the pace, then the 2nd place team either takes their true time or 1st + 20 seconds, whichever ... [Read More]
Tracked on Jul 7, 2004 9:07:33 AM