Encyclopedia of Sport: Every sport from around the world

Cycling Time Trial

A cycling time trial is a bicycle race in which cyclists race against the clock. The rider with the fastest time is declared the winner. There are road and track-based time trial races. Time trials are usually raced individually, though there are some team time trials (TTT).

Time trials are seem as the ultimate test for riders, as winning depends only on each rider's strength and endurance, and not on any help provided by teammates. Competitors are not permitted to draft behind each other. Cyclists start at equal intervals, usually one or two minutes apart.

There is equipment specific to time trialling. Cyclists ride on special aerodynamic bicycles, with the clothing, helmets and handlebars unsually designed to be as aerodynamic as possible. The rider's position is also critical for reducing aerodynamic drag.

cycling time trial road cycling time trial

Individual time trials are often used as stages in stage races such as the Tour de France. There is an individual time trial event at the UCI Road World Championships, and the individual time trial is also an Olympic road cycling event.

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