Here’s the latest updates from YCCA, ahead of the third round of the 2013-14 Yorkshire Points Series.
Feedback on the new chip timing continues to be very positive. No system is perfect, so if you have any queries regarding results, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org or message us direct on our facebook page.
One small issue that comes up in the timing concerns close finishes. The chip system involves the use of two detector mats on the finish line. This ensures that in 99% of cases one mat or other will pick up your timing chip as you pedal by. However, having two mats means that separating close finishes is not a strength of the chip system. We’ve had a couple of instances of riders beaten in close finishes actually recording a quicker time than the rider who has beaten them – presumably because they were registered by the first mat and their rival by the second mat.
To counter this, we videoed the finish line activity of the last lap of the races at round2 of the series so we had a visual reference to sort out close finishes. We’ll be looking to continue this system in future.
Starts & Gridding
We’ve been looking to improve the way we organise starts during our races this season. This began with the separating of the Vet-40 and Vet-50/Women starts, which was successfully trialled at round 2.
The next step is to introduce a 20 rider wide front row to the grid. This is to encourage a situation where we don’t have 80 riders strung out across the first row, which can lead to difficulties at the first corner, and can also be confusing – where should I be to get the best angle into the first corner, etc?
We’re initially going to look to riders to self-police this 20 rider wide front row. Please allow the better riders to move onto the front row and be realistic about where you should line-up. Base your position on your likely finishing position, not your ability to get to the first corner (and then hold everyone up!) We’ll review this as the season goes on. In reality, this new rule will only really influence the Vet-40 start, where field sizes of 80 plus are likely. So, if you’re finishing in the top 25 in races, a front row place is reasonable. Top 50 and a second row place is OK, top 75, third row, etc. There is always a commissaire on hand to help if you think there’s an issue.
Chip timing has obviously given us the chance to get results out a lot quicker. We’ll be looking at posting the day’s results on a board after every race. We’ll also include series standings.
The final versions of the Vet-50/Women’s results will be published separately from the Vet-40 results. Because of the staggered start time, some Vet-40 riders have been able to ride an extra lap, whilst Vet-50/Women competitors who are actually ahead on the clock (based on the actual start time of their race) have missed out, the winner having crossed the finish line. This has led to some Vet-40 riders being ranked above Vet-50/Women riders, based on the number of laps they have ridden, despite actually being slower up to the point that they actually started their last lap.
It all sounds a bit confusing, but the bottom line is that we will publish the Vet-50/Women’s result separately. The beauty of chip timing is that riders in all categories can compare their performances, irrespective of whether they were in the same race or not.
Podiums & Prizes
Following a request from riders, we’re going to make the podium presentations immediately after the finish of races. This will enable us to celebrate our winners in front of their fellow riders, hopefully creating more atmosphere and a proper recognition of some great performances.
Prize money will be handed out separately and a call will be made by the race commentator when it is available.
Speaking of race commentators, Fred Rothwell has been shouldering a lot of the burden of this role, but with a range of other tasks to perform, plus a burning desire to resume racing himself, we’re looking for volunteer commentators to pick up some of these duties. There’s no upper or lower age limit – just keep it clean and call the race as you see it. You’ll be supplied with a microphone and a start list to help you identify the riders and Clare Crabtree is usually on hand with her encyclopaedic knowledge of who is who, to help you out. Drop by and chat with Fred if you’re interested. Why not try it with a mate, sharing the duties for a race?
Just a quick reminder to hand in your chips and numbers at the end of all races – indeed, please don’t leave the finish area until you have done so. We had intended to allow pre-registered riders to keep their arm numbers all season. However, chip timing means that arm numbers are not as important as in the past and there’s no real need to hang on to them. So, keep it simple and hand both in to our helpers who will be waiting to remove them from you at the end of every race.