Tour de France grid start: Gimmick or game-changer?

Last week it emerged that on stage 17 of the Tour de France – already a novel one with three major climbs packed into 65 kilometres – the riders would be setting off in an unprecedented grid structure.

Borrowing from Formula 1, the riders will be staged according to their position on general classification. Riders will be put into different groups along a 70 metre-wide stretch of road.

With the innovation causing quite a stir, Cyclingnews spoke to some of the directeurs sportifs at the Critérium du Dauphiné to get the view from those who’ll be calling the tactics on the day.


Servais Knaven (Team Sky)

I don’t think the yellow jersey will attack from the gun.

It will be nice on television to see everyone line up in different positions. It’s an interesting thing, but let’s see how it works in practice, and if the top 20 go from the gun or they go easy for the start like the other guys. The guys who start in the back probably won’t be the guys who are going to work uphill anyway. It’s nice to add some changes into the conservative cycling world.

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