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unusual race format(3 posts)

unusual race formatTravis
Apr 10, 2002 4:06 AM
I am racing in early June near Tokyo, and thought I would ask if anyone else has experience with what seems like an unsual format. There are two races: "champion" and "expert." Both take place on a closed 1.5km circuit that is apparantly for bike racing only. The first race is for catagories "s" (it sounds like this is the equivalent of U.S. Cat 1), "a" "b" and "c". The expert race is for catagories d, e, f, g and w (it sounds like d and e are something like cat 3, f is like cat 4, g is cat 5, etc and the w class are women). Both races have the same format. In the expert race I will be in, the total distance is 138km, or 92 laps. As best as I can tell from the way it was described to me in broken English, here is how it goes:

a field of no more than 45 "d" riders starts out and races for 20 laps (30km) and then they are joined by no more than 45 "e" riders, and they race together for another 20 laps, and then are joined by no more than 30 "f" riders, and ride 18 laps (or something like that), and then are joined by no more than 30 "g" riders and ride for some number of laps, and then are joined by the women and race til the end. The interesting twist is that on each lap the last person to cross the start/finish line is pulled from the race. So on each lap there is at least one less person racing, except for when new riders are added. A "d" rider who makes it all the way to the end would complete 92 laps/138 km (which I think is about 85 miles), but towards the end would be racing against rides of lesser ability, but who were much fresher. I think there will be something like 150+ riders total, so even after 91 are dropped, there could be as many as 50+ still racing at the end. I am going to race as an "e" and see how long I can should be tough since in order to finish I would have to ride 108km/72 laps, or about 67 miles. I may also change my mind once I see the course and drop down to "f." I was told that the circuit includes a short steep hill.

Has anyone ever heard of this kind of format? Any tips on how to approach it? Seems like the best way would be to hang back (but not too far) and try to conserve energy, and avoid at all cost being dropped by the main back. Not clear to me how they are going to keep track of the riders to determine who is last once the field gets stretched out, but the Japanese are usually pretty good about things like this...
Apr 10, 2002 5:10 AM
It's a combination miss-n-out and handicap. My track knowledge is pretty shaky but I've heard of and seen both, not necessarily in combo.

Watch out for the savvy trackies who sit at the back, then sprint through the field at the very last, right before the line. This is a common phenomenon in a miss-n-out, with the sprinters being termed "devils" (another nickname for this format is Devil take the Hindmost).

We did a handicap race in Cincinnati (circuit race on a closed 5 mile loop) one year at the urging of our local official, who liked doing different format stuff. We tried to figure out the optimum distance & time for each field to start. The goal was to get the strongest in each field to finish together, but of course the Cat 1/2 guys blew through everyone despite our best efforts to properly handicap them.
re: unusual race formatbrider
Apr 10, 2002 6:35 AM
Unusual, yes, by US standards. I've never done a handicap race (seems like shuffling around when new riders come in would bring the potential for crashes WAY up). I have done miss-n-outs. Actually did pretty well at them. Took a few of them by soloing off the front right at the start (most people are paying attention to what's happening BEHIND them, not in front). Not that I'd recommend that for a 138km race. Sounds interesting. I'd like to see the race report after it's all done.