Commissaire's Corner

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. 

Intermingling Grades

Most of us have been there.  Ideally it is because you launched such a vicious attack that you caught the next grade.  But more than likely it is because you got pumped out the back and the next grade has caught up to you.  At this point in a race (especially if you are out the back), it is very tempting to just hop onto the wheels of the passing riders.  It is a long day yet and you aren’t in a chipper mood.  “Surely just hopping on the back of a different grade doesn’t matter; I am already out of contention for the race.”  Well…

Mechanical Assistance

Many of us reacted angrily in 2015 when Richie Porte was penalised for receiving a wheel from a mate on another team during the Giro.  Whilst the Combine doesn’t deal with the complexity of teams and convoys, we run into mechanical issues at most races.  We recommend that racers be self-sufficient.  It’s best not to rely on support when we are racing on largely empty roads.  Further to this I would strongly recommend having a well maintained bike with good tyres (not cut to shreds) - this shows respect to the race and that you have come prepared to win.  However sometimes stuff happens. 

Crit Recognised Mishap

Your friendly blogger recently had the pleasure of officiating at the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic (Bay Crits) in the good company of some highly experienced Commissaires.  Although the Northern Combine doesn’t run many crits and officiating a national event with world level riders is much more technical than our racing, I thought it might be worth sharing given it’s crit season.   

You have probably heard during a Comm briefing before a race about taking a lap out if you have a mechanical.  So what constitutes a recognised mechanical and what should you do if this happens?  

Time Trials

Ah, time trials.  It’s a whole different barrel of monkeys than road races.  I will offer 2 general rules that will apply throughout though:

  1. It’s your job to know the rules.
  2. If a Comm tells you to do something, it’s because they know the rules and want you to succeed.  Just do what they tell you. 

There is little sense in debating during TT’s - managing a TT can make the friendliest Comm grumpy.  Best to ask them after the event if you don’t understand something. 

Race logistics