Stage Race advice
Advice For Stage Races
As we approach the first stage races of the 2015 Road Racing season, some will be competing in a stage race for the first time while others may not have the appreciation of the immense workload stage race organisers take on to make their event as professional as possible. Below are 10 points that can be of use to stage race competitors and also one day race competitors that will help avoid any hassle or penalties and enable them to concentrate on the race itself:
- Be on time for event registration and sign on for each of the stages. Riders who are late for sign on disrupt the flow of the event organisation and wastes time searching for riders. There is no requirement to sign on for a Time Trial. Report to the start line 5 minutes prior to your start to avoid the race organisation chasing late riders if they decide to do so.
- Team managers – Be on time for the team managers meeting. A check is made at the start of the meeting to ensure everybody is present for the briefing. If you miss the check by the Chief Commissaire, you will be starting the stage race at the rear of the cavalcade and putting your riders at a disadvantage.
- Easter weekend stage races are normally over 4 stages. With races sizes being upwards of 200 riders, that’s up to 800 riders that the results crew need to place in the correct order by reviewing various footage throughout the weekend, and that doesn’t include KOH’s and Primes during the stages. The amount of delay and frustration that a results crew can endure because of riders not displaying their numbers correctly due to Gilets and extra garments covering their numbers is unfair as they try to complete a job and end up having to resort to process of elimination in trying to identify riders with covered numbers.
- If a rider has a problem in a peloton, raise the hand to indicate you have an issue. The Commissaire travelling behind will call up your team car/neutral service. Only when the car is in position should you drop out of the bunch of riders to go to the car. This prevents you wasting energy cycling outside of the slipstream of the peloton. Help the Commissaire out by indicating the nature of the issue. If it’s feeding, raise a bottle. If its clothing, hold up the clothing. If it’s a puncture, indicate whether it is a front or rear as it could save you vital seconds standing at the side of the road. All service takes place on the Left hand side of the road for safety reasons and also behind the Commissaires car unless otherwise directed by the Commssaire.
- Stage Race organisers will have toilet facilities for the riders and officials to use. There should be no reason why they cannot be used so bear this in mind with your planning before the stage start and during the stage so as not to upset the passing public.
- The same will apply towards the discarding of litter. If it can be taken out of your pocket there is no reason why it cannot be put back in the pocket again or shoved up the jersey to deal with later by handing into the team car. The image of cycling relies on an improvement in the behaviour in this area.
- Respect and give way to other road users whilst warming up around the start area. This is critical to the image of the event in the organisers local area and cycling in general.
Allow the motorcycle marshals to pass by. If you see that they are struggling to pass the peloton, rally your fellow cyclists to ensure everybody gives them the gap they need to get by and move ahead to their next junction to assist with your own safety. Failure to do this will only result in problems for you further down the road.
- Pay attention and study the race manuals and the instructions being given to Team Managers at the managers meeting. The manuals should be available for download in the days prior to the stage race start. Time Limits may apply to your stage race. This is not so much to make the race harder for the rider but for logistical reasons of attempting to maintain levels of marshal cover and distribute the stage results within a reasonable time following the stage. If you are dropped from the peloton, the onus is on the rider to keep racing until the end to ensure they finish with the time limit.
- If your stage race has a Time Trial, only one back number is required compared to two required for road races. While you must wear your team jersey that is identical to your teammates, with the Commissaires permission for a Time Trial only, a plain skinsuit may be worn bearing the manufacturer’s logo only in an area of 25cm2 on each leg and the upper chest. No National Team skinsuits are permitted unless competing on the National Team in that event.
- For prize presentations, you are at a stage race that generally carries more media coverage than One Day Races. Do your club/team a good turn by wearing your club/team clothing to the prize presentations. It looks far more professional for you, your club/team and the event promoting your club or sponsor rather than wearing a standard tracksuit.
If riders do not adhere to any of the above throughout the course of the stage race, they may face penalties as outlined in Cycling Irelands Scale of Penalties which can include Warning, Relegation, Time Penalty, Fine or Disqualification.
The Race Organisations, their staff and the Panel of Commissaires are all volunteers who are there to ensure you have a safe, enjoyable and competitive weekends racing. To ensure the smooth running of the event, please heed their instructions and don’t be afraid to offer a thank you afterwards. It can go a long way.
College of Commissaires