One of the topics that reguarly comes up in discussion on race day is the handicapping – how it works, why people get put in certain groups and how an individuals handicap can change over time. The following information hopefully sheds a little light on a process that blends both art and science and ensures that each weekend our racing is as fair and consistent as we can make it.
- A rider’s handicap is based on that rider’s repeated best capability in club racing over 30km. With our historical results database now covering 3+ years we have good information to work with. Note that a rider’s best performance will vary on different courses and it is the time differentials between groups that is considered when setting handicaps and not the actual 30km time. (Times on Long Swamp and Boorolong tend to be slower that on Dangarsleigh).
- It should be noted that “best capability” takes into account the fact that most riders ride in a group in club racing and their “best capability” is based on the benefit they receive in riding in a group. It is not based on an individual time trial capability. However, riders at the “Go” end of club racing do tend to ride solo and do not receive the benefit of riding in a group. That rider’s handicap allows for that and so is not disadvantaged. In effect, handicaps reflect what routinely happens in a club race – a mixture of solo and group riding.
- A rider who has not competed for some time for whatever reason may ask to ride with a slower group than their normal group and that will be permitted provided that the rider agrees to sit on the back of the group and does not interfere with the normal dynamics and capability of that group.
- Minor tweaking of handicaps may be made on the day by the handicapper depending on who has turned up and the consequent numbers in each group. I think most riders are aware of how hard it is for a solo rider to make up time on a group ahead.