If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like actually participating in a handicap race, or how our club races go on the weekend then this 5-minute race recap taken from the bike of club member Andy Robb should give you a good idea.
Handicap racing is where all riders compete on the same course but start at different intervals with the fastest riders (with the biggest handicap) starting last. Ideally this means that everyone should come together by the end and finish roughly at the same time although this rarely happens!
The action shows Andy’s 17-minute group rolling turns in the 45km Long Swamp handicap race which took place on 29th July 2017.
Note how the group rotates clockwise on the way out due to the wind coming towards riders on their right shoulder, and then switches to anti-clockwise on the return leg as the wind is now coming over their left shoulder.
The camera group is working together well but is being chased by the faster groups behind.
1m:38s – the 4-strong “Block” group (that’s the bunch of second-fastest riders), is closing in
1m:45s – the 2-strong “Scratch” group (the last to start) is also making headway
2m:36s – Block are getting closer…
2m:40s – Scratch are getting closer…
3m:04s – The group ahead of the camera group (with a 12-min handicap) are already on their last lap
3m:30s – Starting the last lap, Scratch and Block now combined, down to 5 riders, gettting very close
4m:03s – Scratch and Block come past – fast. Get on or it’s race over!
4m:50s – The camera bike just holds on but then is dropped on the next hill, game over 🙁
5m:30s – The original leader is collected after being in the lead for over 2 laps
This was a pretty exciting race with the groups staying together in the main and in the end Scratch almost caught that 12-minute group, finishing just 9s down on the winner. The blustery conditions meant there was extra benefit staying in groups where riders are protected from the headwind.
Hopefully this shows there really isn’t anything too intimidating about our club racing. We have a very relaxed and sociable approach to racing and are always very happy to welcome new members at any time. If you’re interested in finding out more about racing with us then check out our FAQ page, drop us an email, or even better, come along to one of the up-coming races where we’d be glad to say hello and show you how it all works.