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July 23, 2010

King of the Mountain, Individual Time Trial and the Tour de Montour

We've discussed the polka-dotted KOM (King of the Mountain) jersey in this space recently - the KOM is the best mountain climber in the Tour de France, currently Anthony Charteau of team BBox Bouygues Telecom.

We've also discussed the Yellow Jersey (the maillot jaune) which is reserved for the race winner. Currently the yellow jersey is worn by Alberto Contador of the Astana team.

The final winner of the Tour de France will be determined by an Individual Time Trial (ITT). Whereas most Tour stages are contested by teams, with various roles and strategies within the teams, the Individual Time Trial is just the bicyclist against the clock - no drafting, no helping, just the individual and the unforgiving distance. The ITT is almost always held on a flat course, and so there are two types of specialists in the peleton - there are climbers and there are ITT specialists, and usually they are two distinct groups.

It is rare unheard of to mix the ITT with a climbing event.

On September 25, here in Pittsburgh, there will be a mountain individual time trial, combining both worlds. The 2010 Tour the Montour includes a new King of the Mountain event.

Those competing in the Tour the Montour KOM event will be timed individually up a 7/10ths of a mile long hill (Hassam Rd - closed to traffic, not part of the trail). At an average of an 8% grade, the man and woman with the fastest times will truly be the "King" and "Queen" of the Mountain and will receive a special bicycling jersey for their effort.

Here's a link to the registration form.


Anonymous said...

Climbing ITTs may be rare, but not unheard of. Surely you recall Lance Armstrong's climb up l'Alpe d'Huez in a 2004 ITT, during which he passed the 2nd place rider, Ivan Basso. Impressive in the extreme.

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