Please help: racing rules

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by calliday, Jun 6, 2010.

  1. calliday

    calliday New Member

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    Hello,

    I’m posting here hoping for some advice on road racing rules. We’ve just held an important 1 day race in the Chilean under 18 cup, the last race of the season, and after a serious race incident at the finish line we do not know how to award the placings. We state that the race is held under the UCI rules, but we can’t find anything in there to answer this, and we really need to announce a judgment as soon as possible (the race was held on Friday).
    In short, a group of three riders broke from the peloton and were sprinting for the finish, but they all fell. We now have a total of five riders claiming first place. I’ll call them Rider A to Rider E:

    Rider A was leading in the last meters, but followed very closely by Rider B, who was moving to advance ahead of him. Rider C was about 10 seconds behind, maybe less, and the rest of the riders followed about 80 seconds later. We had set up the course with a curve just 50m before the finish, the idea was to give exciting views for spectators as cyclists would be leaning around the curve at speed. Rider A was just ahead, on the inside, and fell. Everybody (spectators, riders, and judges) agrees that this was an unforeseeable accident and not his fault. As he spun out, Rider B was totally unable to avoid him, and also crashed. Rider C, already committed to the curve, found his path blocked by Riders A and B and their bicycles, and crashed. All three front runners fell. All sustained minor injuries, and C lay unmoving, perhaps unconscious, for a few seconds – he says he was just shocked and needed to rest for a short while. The bicycle of Rider B was seriously damaged by the crash, the front wheel collapsing and the front fork breaking completely.
    Immediately following the crash, Riders A and B picked themselves up, gathered their bicycles (A pushed his, which was damaged: B carried his, it was totally broken as mentioned), and began to walk toward the finish. It seemed to spectators and race officials that they planned to cross the finish line at the same moment as each other by mutual accord.
    At this point, Rider C stood up, and saw Riders A and B walking toward the finish line. Although hurt from the accident and wearing cycling shoes, he immediately started to run for the finish. Rider A did not notice this, but Rider B did, and he also started to run for the finish, carrying the parts of his broken bicycle.
    Rider C crossed the finish line first, followed by Rider B, and they began arguing just past the finish line, still on the track. Rider A continued to approach the finish line on foot, and got back onto his bicycle a few meters before it, hoping to cross mounted on his bicycle although the chain was broken, one of the brakes was broken, the tires were flat, etc.
    At this point the front runners of the main group approached the finish line. The first of them, Rider D, saw Rider A mounting his damaged bicycle and riders B and C arguing (race officials had already removed the bicycle of Rider C from the track) so slowed down to a rolling stop, apparently to allow Rider A to finish before him and perhaps to avoid any risk of collision with the arguing riders. Meanwhile, the rider following him, Rider E, maintained full speed and finished the race before him, although after Rider A.
    Thus, before the accident the spacing would have been: Rider A (space of less than a second) Rider B (space of about ten seconds) Rider C (space of about 80 seconds) Rider D (space of about 8 or 10 seconds) Rider E. However, the order in which they crossed the finish line was: Rider C (on foot, having abandoned his bicycle), Rider B (carrying the remains of his broken bicycle), Rider A (wheeling on his damaged bicycle) Rider E (at full speed) Rider D (who had waited for Rider A to finish), and then the rest of the field. Now, each of the riders claims that he won the race:
    Rider C was the first across the finish line
    Rider B was the first across the finish line with a bicycle
    Rider A was the first across the finish line riding a bicycle
    Rider E was the first across the finish line riding a bicycle in acceptable UCI condition
    Rider D feels that he should not be penalized for adopting a safe and gentlemanly tactic where Rider E did not.
    Additionally, certain riders have called for the banning or suspension of other riders: of Rider A for causing the crash (although we are sure this was not his fault), of Riders B and C for arguing on the finish line, of Rider C for abandoning his bicycle on the track, and of Rider E for unsafe conduct.
    This was the final race of the season for the youth competition (it is now beginning Winter here), and many of the young cyclists in Chile now are very talented and dedicated, so we need to make a judgment that is fair and does not damage their view of cycling as a sport. Running the race again would be very very difficult to arrange, and we think this totally unacceptable, as the fastest cyclists from the race on Friday are still maybe hurt from the crash, and anyway everyone put all their energy into the last race, and everyone had to get time off school etc. So please, we would be very grateful if anyone could provide opinions on how to solve this problem. We have had many debates over it, and we do not think the UCI will make a judgment as it was only a youth contest.

    I can maybe state, without saying who is who, that the top rankings for the season (which can be very important, maybe even get sponsorship and scholarships) can be affected by the outcome of this race.

    Many thanks
    Álvaro Calliday Fuentes,
    Chilean Cycling Federation
     
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  2. serra

    serra New Member

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    Well I don't know much of anything about the rules, I just know you're not supposed to kick each others bikes. If it was up to me, I would "pretend" the finish line was right where the riders fell, and assign everyone a time and place based on that new finish line. It wouldn't be fair to do it by who crossed the real line first, the accident was totally unforeseeable, obviously the riders 80 seconds ahead are the superior riders. That compounded with the good intentions of the riders who recognized that fact, would make it pretty sketchy to use the official finish line as the basis for place and time.
     
  3. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    I'd have to dig through the UCI rules to find the exact reference but rider B would definitely win under USA Cycling rules and I'm all but certain the following rule has origins in the UCI:

     
  4. calliday

    calliday New Member

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    Ah, good answers. On the one hand, yes, we as the race organisers are the ultimate arbitor of what is allowed and the winner is whoever we say it is, so maybe we can just call the order as A-B-C-D-E. I don't know how it affects the ethics of the situation.

    On the other hand that citation from the official rules is great, as it does address this kind of situation. However, there are also rules on what consists of a bicycle, so neither Rider B nor Rider A was "accompanied by" a bicycle that at that time would have been permissible as a racing bicycle under the UCI homologation rules. B, who you rightly point out could be said to have won by that rule, was carrying a smashed front wheel attached to parts of a front fork in one hand, and the remains of what had once been a bicycle in the other, with a brake cable joining them.

    Has anyone here ever been in charge of a higher level race? Maybe there are standard contingency plans. We've thought of a lot that we could have done at the time, but things happened so fast, and the officials on hand were mainly concerned with safety -- ensuring everyone was OK, clearing the course of debris, etc. In any case it's a real shame that our most successful season in years should end like this, as the result is never going to be as clear as a proper race.
     
  5. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    B - first rider to cross the line with a bike.

    This accident was totally foreseeable -- cuased by putting a corner deep in the sprint 50m from the finish. My personal feeling is that the prize money for the top-3 spots should be divided amongst A, B, and C and that they should get free entries into next year's race for doing the best they could with such a poor course setup and sustaining injuries and bike damage in the process.
     
  6. serra

    serra New Member

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    That's a good idea, it didn't even register how dumb a course set up that was. A turn that sharp at 50 m left? That is just silly.
     
  7. Emp

    Emp New Member

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    A real dilemma question :D:D
     
  8. CalicoCat

    CalicoCat Member

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    My understanding of USAC rules is that a broken bike still counts as a bike as long as it has a frame and 2 wheels. So running across the line with those parts is all a crashed rider needs to do to get an official finish.

    However, I agree with those above who said that the coarse was unsafe and that A-B-C should be awarded top finishes. This is really at the discretion of the officials, and is probably the most "fair" thing to do.
     
  9. jacks2028

    jacks2028 New Member

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    This accident was totally foreseeable caused by putting a corner deep in the sprint. My personal thinking said that the prize money divided in to three part and gave him place in to the next year race.
     
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