Crossing Lanes - Part 1

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.

Crossing lanes part 1

One of the most critical issues we deal with nearly every race is riders crossing traffic lanes.  We disqualify too many people and get regular questions about this.  Crossing lanes is important to Comms for a few reasons:

·         It can impact the Combine’s ability to get permits

·         We have better things to do after a race than answering police questions

·         Comms don’t want to appear in court or coroner’s inquest about dead riders

·         We like races to be about cycling, not about people getting hurt

·         It’s tactically unnecessary

 Officially, crossing lanes is bad.  Don’t do it 

Practically, crossing lanes is bad.  Don’t do it.

Even though that is pretty clear, I will elaborate on a few specific points.  This topic is covered in the Technical Regulations under Section 1, 3.8.02:

Competitors and officials must observe the local traffic laws and regulations.

And 3.8.08:

A rider who rides or acts in a manner considered dangerous to other competitors or the public will be penalised.

The penalty for crossing lanes can include a warning, DQ, fine and/or suspension.  This will depend on the circumstances.  Personally, with less than 40 riders per grade there is almost never a real need (racing or safety wise) for a rider to cross.  Regardless of peloton size, you can count on riders taking up the entire space allotted.  Even the pros with multiple lanes of closed roads still struggle to get through pelotons.  Getting around somebody within the lane is a reality of racing – race in a better position if you don’t like it.

There will be a part 2 to this posting after the 3 Day Tour to address specific questions which have come up before.  Things like, 'what about when it's a non-solid line?' or 'what if there is a crash?' and especially ‘what about during a sprint?’  However those answers are pretty much the same as what is above.    

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.