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Explain the cut off time(2 posts)

Explain the cut off timeBruno S
Jul 5, 2001 3:59 PM
How much time do the last riders have to get to the finish line before they are out of the race? If there is a breakaway is the time established from the time the leader finishes or the main field? Is there really a car with a red lantern? What does it mean when someone at the back shouts piano?
re: Explain the cut off timemr_spin
Jul 5, 2001 4:57 PM
Time cuts differ from race to race. Some are 5%, some are 15%. The timecut is measured from the winning time. Flat stages are usually pretty low, typically 5%. So in a four hour race, a 5% cut would be 12 minutes, so don't linger! Mountain stages can get up to 15%, which for a 7 hour mountain stage would be 63 minutes. Cuts are flexible. If a significant portion of the peloton misses the cut, the cut is usually ignored. Sometimes the race organization ignores the cut if a rider got hurt. And sometimes, they just feel sorry for a rider who is working their butt off to make the cut and can't. That happened in one of the last two tours with an Australian rider, I forget the name. Eventually, they did enforce the cut, and he was out.

Cabooses (or is the plural still caboose?) used to have red lights, and since trains didn't have electricity for the first 50 years or so, I'm sure they used lanterns.

When someone shouts piano it could mean two things. 1) they want the group to slow down (piano is essentially Italian for slow, calm, peaceful), or 2) someone dropped an actual piano, which is falling out of the sky and heading directly for the peloton, just like a Road Runner cartoon. #2 is pretty rare.