Ever had a bad Judge Decision

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by talljames, Dec 12, 2006.

  1. talljames

    talljames New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2006
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    Had my 3rd race (ever) last weekend. I struggled to keep up with the leaders in E grade but on the last stretch I powered by to come 3rd. There were only 4 of us in the final dash (slow dash) and the 4th place getter was well behind. I went to claim my place and the judge had marked me as 4th. You can imagine my dissappointment. I had come 2nd on two previous races.

    Do bad decisions ever happen in racing at the higher levels? Has anyone else had a bad decision?

    :)
     
    Tags:


  2. carpediemracing

    carpediemracing New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2005
    Messages:
    249
    Likes Received:
    0
    I hate to say this but this is a part of bike racing when there is no finish line camera. And even sometimes when there is one.

    Years ago, two weeks in a row I fought hard to place. In the first, I did a late jump on an uphill finish and sprinted along the curb. A friendly rival was on the other curb. We got 3rd and 4th (not sure which one got which) but we were not picked in the top 10. Apparently no one noticed either of us on the curbs. It was a season target for me and I was pretty disappointed. The next week, I sprinted in the middle of the field to avoid the same problem. This time I got obscured by a bigger racer and was not picked for 6th. However, another racer wanted to make sure he beat me at the line and the judges acknowledged I must have been there if this other racer "pipped me" at the line.

    My most disappointing "wrong call" was a crit where my team was absolutely committed to setting me up for the sprint. I had two main rivals, Tom and Brian. Unfortunately, my leadout man blew up with about 1 km to go. I was left dangling at the front. I stayed at the front and maintained a decent pace (25-28 mph) with Tom and Brian just behind me. It seemed that everyone wanted to wait for the last two corners. I went flying through the second-last turn with Tom and Brian on my sides. The last turn was a single lane wide (vs 3 lanes for the road) and was wet from a flash rain during the race. I just knew that if I slowed, there would be an incident which would isolate the front 10 or so - and I knew I had a good chance if that happened. So I coasted down to 20 mph or so, and sure enough, riders got all tangled up a few rows back. I jumped out of the turn, allowed Brian and Tom to try and get around before jumping again, did another pause-jump, then jumped for real. I beat them to the line and they, being friends, congratulated me on a very tactical last lap.

    Then I was told I got third in the sprint. There were three finish lines painted on the ground from different years. I sprinted for one, but the last one was the official one. I was devastated. My teammates had chased things all day for me, I rode an exceptional last lap, and yet I didn't get it. Tom and Brian both felt I had beaten them, and Brian even offered to exchange prize money.

    On the other side of the equation, I've dropped out of three races that I can remember where I placed quite highly - a first, a second, and a sixth or so. The first was at a race series and when I found out a few days later, I called the promoter to let them know there was a mistake. They said the official results are final after the protest period expired. Due to that "win", I was second overall in the series. No camera. Incidentally, the Tom from the story above was the winner of the series.

    The second place was this year at a "camera" race. I punctured in a circuit race, stopped, changed my wheel, and, trying not to be too obvious, got caught and dropped by three different groups on the road while getting in some miles. I learned a few weeks later I was "second". A good friend of mine was really second but he told me not to worry about it. However, I think my "second" took him away from second overall in the race series.

    The sixth or so was in a big road race (which I entered to help my teammates till the first climb). I chased the big early attack, caught him, and then grimly hung on until the big hill and promptly came off. This was about 40 miles to the finish. I rode to the car and drove home. Later I received a mug and a check in the mail for sixth. I wrote a nice thank you and sent the letter, the mug, and the check back. I believe this was a camera race.

    Anyway, it's karma. You get some, you lose some.

    cdr
     
  3. talljames

    talljames New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2006
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    Wow! now I know it happens. You would think that they would have it all sorted out when there are no cameras, ie extra judges on either side. Even if a judge had one of those handy cams. After all, the competitors put all the effort into training, expensive equipment(cycle, clothes, etc.)

    I feel much better now. Thanks!
     
  4. Eastway82

    Eastway82 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    345
    Likes Received:
    0
    Bad decisions happen, but try putting yourself in the judges' position (or better still, try it yourself one day...). As the bunch sprint flashes by at 50+kph it's very, very, very hard to get everyone's number (especially those who habitually fold them smaller or pin them in the wrong place...), and final placings tend to be the result of an urgent meeting to compare results from several judges and come to a concensus, rather than a cool scientific process. It's a thankless task. And no, I'm not a judge, but both my parents were for years, and I've seen it from their side enough times to know to how difficult it is. Worst is schoolboy/Junior racing, when irate parents want to know how come little Johnny's in the results as 40th when he says he was 39th...

    I agree about the handycams though - th world is awash with the damn things, and one on either side of the road on high mountings would provide an instant check of the 'official' result.
     
  5. Bobby Lex

    Bobby Lex New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2004
    Messages:
    121
    Likes Received:
    0
    I believe USAC rules provide for a 30-minute protest period after every race. I've seen race results changed a few times due to protests filed within that 30-minute window.

    Bob
     
  6. carpediemracing

    carpediemracing New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2005
    Messages:
    249
    Likes Received:
    0
    Bobby Lex is essentially correct, there is a 15 min protest period right after the winner crosses the line to protest dirty riding etc. Then there is another 15 min protest period after the results are posted.

    The "personal camcorders" are great - I've personally helped pick finishes by hand - sometimes you get a lot, sometimes you just look up and think "oh cr*p". Camcorders save images which are virtually impossible to protest. If you're filming the end of the race, if you can convert the tape to some internet compatible format, I'm sure the promoter would link to a post of your tape. Racers love to look at videos of themselves racing. I know because I'm guilty of that too.

    As a promoter, I've had racers come up to me and swear up and down they were 7th or something like that. I invite them to view the tape with me (actually recorded onto a TiVo unit). I'll count the racers as they cross the line -

    "There's the winner... second.. third.. <blah blah blah> and I think that's you, so that would be 18th."
    "oh. Um. Thanks."
    Nothing like seeing the tape to determine what's what.

    At the other end of the spectrum, I've showed up to stake a claim on a top 10 place after the finish. The guys around me look at me like I'm from Mars since they think there's no way I could have made it. Then we watch the tape and bingo, there I am.

    I'm not a pro so for me a finish place is about a sense of accomplishment. It's nice when the results are ready quickly and correctly. It's frustrating when places get all screwed up. But in the realm of things, it's not a big deal. Once I climb back into my car, I'm not a racer anymore, just another guy driving down the road. It's good to keep things in perspective.

    cdr
     
Loading...
Loading...