All these points are valid and important, handing over to the same guy every time is a must and if that isn’t possible then substitutes must be placed in the same running order as the missing runner, that way the handover can be practised with the same receiver. It seems to me they have no mark laid out for when to take off, that is a must and if it is hard to see the mark then the incomming runner must give some sort of vocal signal when he hits the mark. The most important thing though is the angle of the receivers hand, in the video above they have their palms face down but the thumb is inwards closer to the body, this is wrong, it forces the incomming runner to run almost behind the receiver and can cause bumping, it also forces the receiver to make adjustments to the baton after receiving it. I cannot stress enough, the best way is to have the palm down and the thumb facing outwards away from the body, when the baton is grasped and the arm brought forward the baton is in the correct position in the hand ready for the next handover, no adjustment is needed, it also allows the incomming runner to stay away and run on his side of the track, it also gives the incomming runner a secure and failsafe ‘V’ location in which to place the baton. This one simple change to the technique can make a whole world of difference to the baton exchange.
In 2004, Armstrong finished first, 6 minutes 19 seconds ahead of German Andreas Klöden . Ullrich was fourth, a further 2 minutes 31 seconds behind. Armstrong won a personal-best five individual stages, plus the team time trial. He became the first biker since Gino Bartali in 1948 to win three consecutive mountain stages; 15, 16, and 17. The individual time trial on stage 16 up Alpe d'Huez was won in style by Armstrong as he passed Ivan Basso on the way despite having set out two minutes after the Italian. He won sprint finishes from Basso in stages 13 and 15 and made up a significant gap in the last 250 m to nip Klöden at the line in stage 17. He won the final individual time trial, stage 19, to complete his personal record of stage wins.