Race Numbers

This is an opportunity to share some of the processes and decisions Comms encounter during events.  Hopefully by doing this we can promote good, safe racing, and maybe even open transparency about races.  You are welcome to ask questions (maybe we will even address it in a future posting), but don’t expect to get a ruling here about something that happened.  One of the main tasks a Comm does if a situation arises is to gather information from multiple sources, not just a single perspective. 

Overall Commissaires are responsible for the running of events one hour before and one hour after a race.  Our main duty (first and foremost) is to create a safe environment by managing risks, and then there is officiating the race itself.


Race numbers – how am I meant to wear a race number? 

Officially, race numbers must be clearly visible at all times during the race.  That means it’s not under your vest or folded up.  There are a whole host of reasons why this is required.  For example, a race numbers lets the sag wagon know who is still out on course or if grades are mixing.  It is important and covered in the Technical Regulations under Section 1, rule 3.3.  Race numbers are the difference between you and that joker sprinting into Mordialloc.  Wear it proudly, you are for real. 

My best advice is to wear your number like a winner.  When you win, you want everybody to see you – the Comms, your friends and especially the line judges.  Imagine what is the easiest way for those people to see your number as you cross the line first, then work back from there.  Line judges are almost always on the left hand side of the road and you are almost always in the drops when you cross the line to win.  Wear your number so that it is visible from that position. 

The line judges are often viewing a pack of 30 riders crossing the line within 2 seconds.  If you want to win, you want them to see you, and your number clearly.  In some Northern Combine handicaps, we pay down to 20th place.  Do you know what it is like to judge the top 20 places in a bunch sprint?  Last year we had multiple slow motion cameras and still couldn’t find “the guy in the unmarked black jersey” in the car park later whose number wasn’t visible.  He hadn’t prepared to win.

I haven't perfected the art of pinning numbers on a jersey to make it as aero and visible as possible.  It certainly seems easier to do when somebody is wearing the jersey already.  But let’s say like a Commissaire you are at a race without any friends nearby, so you need to pin it yourself.  My suggestion is to start at the bottom left corner of your jersey on the seam, then work counter clockwise from there. 

I hope that helps.  You can This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. about this or Comms’ topics you’d like to hear about.