THE PENRITH CYCLING CLUB RACE PROGRAM
Penrith Cycling Club runs more than 30 races each year, all at the Sydney Regatta Centre. We’d race even more often but sometimes the Regatta Centre is unavailable due to rowing and major events. Some of our races are standalone and some form part of a series. Here’s an outline:
We have a Summer/Autumn series – from January to end of Daylight Saving, and a Spring/Summer Series – from the beginning of Daylight Saving in October to December. Strictly speaking these are kermesse races because our course is longer than the usual 3km crit circuit length. They run from 45 to 60+ minutes – and are from 4 to 8 laps, depending on grade and how much daylight we have. There are usually up to 5 x grades – A to E – racing concurrently. There are cash prizes for place-getters on the day, and for series winners.
Criterium races are held on Monday evenings, 6pm sign-on for 6.30pm start. Here’s a good guide for Crit racing. (with thanks to StKildaCC)
The Club has a Road Race series in the winter months – usually about 6 races in total. Distances are from 50-80kms, depending on grade and weather and availability of the circuit. Signon is usually 7.30am for an 8am start, but there are exceptions, so check the calendar. Usually there are 5 grades as for the crit series. There are cash prizes for place-getters on the day, and a final series prize at the end of the season.
Points races are also held in the winter months, mixed with the road series races. These are almost exactly like the road races, but with the added attraction of a priem every second lap. Points races are a great opportunity to develop sprint skills and strategies. There are cash prizes on the day, as well as a series pointscore.
Club Individual Time Trial
The club runs an Individual Time Trial each year – usually in July. This is an age-group and gendered event. As with most events, other clubs are welcome to participate.
The club runs one major handicap race each year – generally in August. Riders are graded by the race director “on-the-spot”.
Sydney Road Championships
Each year in June the Club hosts this event for CNSW. This is a “Open” race, with Open Race grading, and with entry via CNSW website, and the entries close a few days ahead of the race date. Prizemoney, grading and race rules etc are all per the CNSW event site.
Club Road Championships
One of the Winter season dates is always set aside for the Club Championships. This is an open scratch race, for Penrith Cycling Club members only. Generally A, B and some of the C grade riders will compete in this race. The placegetters in this race receive a trophy as well as cash prizes.
In parallel to this race (different bunch, same circuit) we usually run another scratch race for C/D graders and non-members. There are cash prizes for this event, but no series points are accrued.
GENERAL RACE INFORMATION
- Race fee is usually $15.
- Sign-on is usually 30 minutes ahead of race start. Sign-on and start times are noted on the race calendar
- You must be licenced – No Licence = No Race
- When you sign on you are sighting and signing a disclaimer. You can read this disclaimer here….go to page 8.
- Riders warming up on the race circuit must travel anti-clockwise, but races are generally run clockwise. This is for safety reasons.
- Races are generally started on the southern straight, BBQ area #2. Finishes are generally on the northern straight, at about the 1,500m mark.
- If you hear a whistle in a road or points race, it signifies a Priem. That means there’s sprint points up for grabs the next time around. (don’t believe that guy in C who tells you it’s a neutral lap)
- Races may be cancelled in dangerous weather conditions (electrical storms), or when the track is likely to be water-covered. Rain alone does not usually cause a cancellation. Cancellations are advised on Facebook, as soon as practical. The final decision on cancellations is the responsibility of the Race Director. In poor weather, or if there are very low rider numbers, the Race director may change the race format – typically from a Crit or Road Race to a Handicap.
- Rollout restriction apply to juniors at club races. The rules are in this document on page 12.
The Penrith Race rules are generally the CA/CNSW rules. You can read them here……pages 12 to 20 are the most relevant. Rules 33 and 34 are especially important. In any race a rider may be disqualified for crossing the centre line of the road at the western end of the course. (where the flagpoles are). This is to ensure rider safety – as vehicles may be on this section of the road. Here are some additional guidelines for a safe racing:
- Don’t Overlap Wheels
- The number one rule of safe riding is not to overlap the rear wheel of the rider in front of If you allow your front wheel to just pass and be close to the rear wheel of the bike in front of you, any sideways movement by that rider will knock your front wheel, and you will most likely come off, and probably cause a crash with the riders near you. The terms used are “clipping a wheel” when it happens and “overlapping a wheel” when you are doing it!
- Take a Turn
- When riding in a bunch you will all generally travel a lot faster if each rider takes a tum at the front. This is called “doing a tum” or “doing your tum”. When you are racing other riders will generally expect you to come to the front of the bunch and take a tum into the wind. Whilst it is not a ‘requirement’ most often the other riders will treat you with a degree of respect if you are seen to do your bit in taking a turn at the front.
- Sprint Safely
- There a couple of essential rules in sprinting, either at the finish or for a prime (a “priem” or “prime” is a sprint that takes place during the course of the race, it is usually indicated by the sounding of a whistle the lap before that sprint)
- When sprinting always hold a straight line, or at least don’t change your line
- Continue on past the finish line, because the riders behind you will still be coming at full speed – don’t put your brakes on or change Remember that the other riders should still be trying to beat you at this point whilst also trying to hold off the riders who are trying to beat them for a minor place.
- Don’t “sit up” in the It is very dangerous for you and the other riders to give up in the sprint, as the other riders will not be expecting you to slow down. For your own safety and that of the other riders it is seriously worth considering whether you really “have the legs” for the sprint before you get involved.
- Race With Your Grade
- Each rider is allocated to a grade at the time of them paying their race entry fee and being given a number. Riders must ride within that grade throughout the entire race. If you are “dropped” from the bunch during the course of the race, you can certainly continue to ride, but it’s important to keep to one side and not impede or obstruct another
- It is essential that no rider take an advantage from another grade during the course of a race. This means that if you are racing in a bunch that is overtaken by a group of riders from another grade, you can’t tack onto those riders and ride away with them. If another bunch comes up to your grade, you should move to one side and allow them to pass as quickly as possible. If the passing grade then decreases its speed and then you can’t overtake them without becoming integrated into that grade, you must as a bunch decrease your speed and leave a distance that doesn’t allow for any wind advantage for your grade/bunch.
POINTS AND PRIZES
Points and prize-money, and rider assistance programs, are all detailed in a document called “Club Racing Rules – Admin Guidelines”. There’s a link on the “Documents” page.
Grading for clubs races is managed by the Club’s Chief Commissaire (Jim Stokes) and grading is also addressed in the “Club Racing Rules – Admin Guidelines” on pages 4 & 5 – worth a read.
In addition all Club Riders are graded on an annual basis by our VP Racing (Jim Stokes) and this grading advised to CNSW for use in Open Race events. If you are intending to race opens, ask Jim how you’re graded, and how the system works, so you don’t get any surprises once start lists are released. The Grading system was changed in June ’15, and here’s how it works now.