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Race numbers and superstition.(20 posts)

Race numbers and superstition.Kristin
Aug 28, 2003 2:17 PM
Did anyone notice that Monihan's race number was #1 and he won the crit. Is there any folklore or superstion around race numbers??? And is there any rhyme or reason to how they are assigned?
he won last yearyeah right
Aug 28, 2003 2:26 PM
past winner's team get's #1. There are some traditions, at least in the euro peleton. In the TDF (and possibly other races) the team defacto captain wears the __4 jersey. I'm sure there are others, but it seems like sometimes the better riders on a team get the lower numbers, but I believe the team assigns them.
If I remember right, he didn't win the race...TFerguson
Aug 28, 2003 4:45 PM
but he did win the US Championship.

BZZZT...still your turn...merckx56
Aug 28, 2003 6:36 PM
he won the USPRO crit champs last year too! You're confusing the crit in Illinois with the USPRO in Philly.
I think I get a pass to the next round…TFerguson
Aug 29, 2003 12:55 PM
In Chicagoland we nearly cried when Monahan beat the K-Town Motor by inches last year for the USPRO Criterium Championship in Downers. Vogels (Aus) won the race.

Here's how the Tour de France works...russw19
Aug 28, 2003 5:50 PM
Correction regarding how the Tour de France's numbers are assigned.

The team of last year's winner gets the lot of numbers 1-9. There is no number 10, nor multiples of it. So the next set is 11-19, 21-29, 31-39... and so on.
The team's captain gets the number 1 in the series (1, 11, 21, 31, and so on.) The rest of the numbers are assigned in alphabetical order going lowest to highest. For example, when he raced Frankie Andreau got the number 2, after Lance had number 1. Christian Vandevelde (sp?) would most likely get number 9.

This year looked wierd being Lance had the No.1 jersey, Roberto Heras had the number 2 jersey, Manuel Betran had the number 3... but Roberto Heras has more than one last name (I don't know what his full official name is, I am sure someone could look it up) but that is why he came in order before Beltran.

The next set of numbers goes to the team who's rider finished second in the race. This year it was Once. Beloki was no. 11, the rest went alphabetical. Some teams don't designate a team leader... they just get the numbers in alphabetical order. Examples from this year would be FDJeux and Fassa Bortolo. They just named the riders who would race.

Hope that helps... and the entire list of riders and their numbers for this year can be seen here:

Here's how the Tour de France works...asgelle
Aug 28, 2003 7:08 PM
Almost. The team numbers are assigned as you say, but the team is free to assign numbers to the riders as they see fit. Usually, but not always, -1 to the leader and the rest alphabetically, but there are exceptions. Sometimes the chief leutenant or co-leader, e.g., Heras, will get -2 and some team leaders don't like to wear the -1 and take their number in alphabetical order.
Aug 29, 2003 6:12 AM
to be precise, the team of the highest returning finisher gets numbers 1-9, the second highest returning finisher gets 11-19, etc.

Rumsas was third last year with Lampre, but they didn't ride the Tour, so the next highest returning finisher was Botero in 4th place. He was with Kelme, but is now with Telekom. Therefore, Telekom got 21-29.

Pantani won in 1998, but didn't ride in 1999. Neither did second place finisher Jan Ullrich. So 1998 third place finisher Bobby Julich wore number 1 in the 1999 Tour.

Heras gets number 2 because he is a protected rider, the co-leader if you will. The rest of the numbers on USPS went alphabetically.
Thanks for the correction! nm.russw19
Aug 29, 2003 8:16 AM
So what happens if last years winner doesn't returnKristin
Aug 29, 2003 5:40 AM
If for some reason last years winner doesn't come back to the next season's race? Who gets #1 then? How do they assign numbers to the rookies.
Aug 29, 2003 6:14 AM
mohair_chair 8/29/03 7:12am
re: Race numbers and superstition.AFrizzledFry
Aug 28, 2003 3:01 PM
i've won a crit wearing 666. i've also got 2nd, 3rd, and 5th wearing it. its all BS. wear any number you want. don't mindf*ck yourself before you get to the line.
re: Race numbers and superstition.Emu_Lane
Aug 28, 2003 4:35 PM
You're right the number doesn't matter but the fact that you've gotten 666 4 times would have me worried.
re: Race numbers and superstition.AFrizzledFry
Aug 28, 2003 4:47 PM
lol. no, it was a crit series. you keep the same number. those were cat 5 races- the win was a month ago. i've since upgraded to cat 4 and now have a different number. but thanks for your concern :)
re: Race numbers and superstition.CritLover
Aug 28, 2003 3:54 PM
For amateurs, there seems to be unwritten rules about getting a good race number, at least amongst many riders I know. A number has to sound good (hard to say exactly what qualifies), have some meaning to you, or be a good rounded number. Last week I had the last two digits of the year I was born and was pretty stoked (got 4th place too!).
I raced once with the number "513" ...Gregory Taylor
Aug 28, 2003 6:18 PM
I crashed. I even wrote a story about it.

But, in the end, I didn't crash because of the number. It was because I was in a Cat V race and the *&#! idiot that couldn't hold his line...
I love your ride reports. Hey! Lets talk about blocking.Kristin
Aug 29, 2003 5:37 AM
I posted about blocking once before and was told stoutly by others that it is, "Not Legal." (Spoken in my imatation dad voice.) But I see it happen at races all the time. So what gives? Is it like speeding on the highway? You're not suposed to do it, but everyone does. As long as you keep it within reason you probably won't get into trouble.
Block-heads...Gregory Taylor
Aug 29, 2003 6:03 AM
With the caveats that I'm not the "Voice of Experience" here with hundreds of races under my belt, and Cat V races aren't really known to be models of strategic nicety, it looks to me like the deal is this -- intentionally obstructing a rider is bogus. Not working to chase a group that is off of the front is okay and the smart thing to do. Having your whole team get to the front of the pack and then sit up and not chase group that is off of the front is annoying, does not promote group harmony, and is done all of the time. Slowing down TOO much while doing this can get your butt kicked.
No. 51ms
Aug 29, 2003 5:56 AM
I was listening to an old race tape the other day while I was on the trainer (I think it was the 1996 Fleche Wallone) and heard Phil Liggett say that No. 51 was a lucky race number. He claimed that it had been the winning number more times than any other in the Tour de France. Now that Lance has worn No. 1 for four victories (i.e., his last four) and Indurain would have worn No. 1 for his last four victories, I wonder whether the luck of No. 51 still holds. It surely didn't help Gilberto Simoni too much this year -- although I guess a stage win is better than nothing.
I never even know my number. Maybe that's my problem....TFerguson
Aug 29, 2003 1:02 PM
And I thought it was just because I was fat and slow.