Time trials are the most underappreciated aspect of pro bicycle racing. Full stop.
Now, before you go firing off snarky tweets about what could possibly be more underappreciated in cycling, think to yourself: when is the last time you were seriously excited for a TT stage? Like, really excited? Excited enough to wake up early/stay up late (depending on your region of the world)/otherwise prioritize your day around following the stage’s events? Excited like you’d be for a mountain queen stage, or the finish on the Champs-Élysées? I rest my case. I get it, though. Airing a time trial on TV, announcing it, and making it seem truly thrilling (or at the very least, interesting enough to keep viewers from changing the channel) is hard – at least the way that time trials are currently broadcast.
However you might feel about time trials, as a fan of the sport you should remember: a time trial stage is almost everything in cycling, all at once, all day. All stage, somewhere, a rider is warming up, a mechanic is mechanic-ing, a rider is breathing final deep breaths before setting off, a rider is pushing tempo just to complete the stage, and somewhere on course, a rider is dying the proverbial 1000 deaths trying to actually beat the clock. All day, from the first across the line to the last, one rider is winning and another rider is losing.
So let’s take a moment to appreciate the time trial.