Organiser ASO could defy cycling’s rules and risk having too few riders with a team time trial on stage nine, after the first week, of the 2015 Tour de France. According to reports, the route will include a 28-kilometre team time trial to Plumelec on stage nine.
ASO will announce the official 2015 route today (October 22) at 11:30 local time (10:30 BST) in Paris. It will confirm the 21 stages, from July 4 to 26; a team time trial is rumoured to be scheduled for the ninth day of racing.
UCI regulation could hinder ASO
Cycling’s governing body, the UCI, however, says in regulation 2.6.003 that “Team time trial stages shall take place during the first third of the race.” It means that for a Grand Tour the event must occur in the first seven days of the 21-day event.
Team time trials are usually in the first four days of Grand Tours to avoid the risk of teams lacking numbers due to abandons. The Giro d’Italia starts on day one with a team time trial to Sanremo in 2015.
The 2015 Tour starts in The Netherlands and runs through Belgium before reaching France’s north coast. The route could potentially create plenty of opportunities for cyclists to crash on technical roads that often feature cross-winds.
ASO may have a deal with the UCI so that it allows the team time trial to run in the second week. The race is due to travel from Vannes to Plumelec in the country’s northwest and take in the Côte de Cadoudal climb.
Vannes Mayor David Robo, according to Le Télégramme, said in public meeting, “Vannes will indeed be the start city of a team time trial, on Sunday 12 July 2015.”
The Tour de France last ran a team time trial two years ago, in 2013, in Nice. Orica-GreenEDGE set the fastest time with an average speed of 57.841kph.
This event appears regularly in stage races, but not in the Olympics. In the World Championships, it was a four-man amateur event over 100 kilometres from 1962 to 1994. It returned to the worlds in 2012, and Omega Pharma-Quick Step have won two of the three gold medals on offer to date. In the Olympics, it ran from 1912 until 1992.
Take a look at every stage of the route of the 2015 Tour de France
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