All promoters need to read this........
Very simple to do.
Example: starting the masters race (35+/45+) you need to stage the 35+ first, then start the 45+ a minute back. This allows for fair racing in both categories. It cuts down on pile-ups in the first turn taking out someone who does not deserve it.
Results would be easy, Just deduct 1 minute from the last group started. Who cares about time, its where you finish that matters.
People would be racing against racers their own age.
First, the whole, "racing against racers their own age" thing. Ask the 43 or 44 year old in the the 35+ races, and they're going point out that they're closer in age to over half the 45+ field than the 35+. In the interest of fairness, we could break the race into smaller and smaller groups, but that would get pretty silly really fast.
As for keeping the groups separate, how long is that going to last? I suspect that before the end of the first lap, the fast guys off the front of the 45+ will blow right past those at the back of the 35+. Both fields are going to be pretty well mixed up before the second lap is done. All that one minute delay is going to accomplish is to slightly postpone the inevitable.
I'm not really arguing against it, but so far I really see no compelling argument for it.
Tim, you are correct about both points. My only gripe is that I would rather be starting the race against racers in my age group. If the promoter/series is separating by the age groups for points after the race, whats the big deal to separate at the line.
We all know that the start is one of the most important things in a race, so why not make it fair for all?
What if I had a good start & accidentally took out a 35+ points leader in the first turn?
What if I had a good start & got accidentally taken out by a 35+ rider?
See my point.
Promoters, its a simple fix that can alleviate a world of headaches for us racers. I agree on "call-ups", but make two groups.
As far as a spectators point of view, they would actually be seeing two starts of a race which is cool too!
I believe this is 100% dependent on field sizes. If there are 10 guys in each category separate starts aren't (in my opinion) necessary. That being said, I see your point about being taken out in the first turn by someone who you're (technically) not racing against. That would stink.
As for telling who is in each category, in the Ithaca GP I use drastically different number ranges for categories like the Elite Master Men 35+ and the Elite Men (who race at the same time with different pay outs and scoring). That way there is no confusion for racers nor for my scorers who track who crosses the finish line each time.
Good idea about the minute break up though...nice and easy for scoring.
I agree with Brian, it depends on field sizes. Here in Wisconsin, the Masters 30+ fields have been pretty small the past couple years, like 15 riders or less at most events. Most promoters have started Masters 30+ a minute behind Elite Men. As for Masters 40+ and 50+, promoters have sometimes combined them, sometimes separated them, and sometimes grouped them with others like Juniors or Women. After the first lap or so, the lead group in Masters 30+ is down to 3 or 4 guys, and by the last lap there are usually big gaps between the finishers. Not very exciting. I'd like to see Masters 30+ combined with Masters 40+ and maybe even Masters 50+ to make one big Masters field with one mass start. This will help our local Masters racers learn how to race in a big field--start fast, fight for position, etc.--which is absolutely essential for doing well at big events like Nats. Prizes could be given to the top 5 or 10 finishers in the combined Masters race regardless of age. This would make it easy to score for the officials. In Wisconsin, some of our fastest racers are 40+ and 50+, so the 30+ guys would not hog the prizes. Series points could be awarded separately for the different age groups. So if you finished 3rd overall but were the 1st 40+ guy, you would still get 1st place series points. To help the racers figure out who they are racing against, each age group could have different color numbers--e.g., blue for 30+, red for 40+, green for 50+. In the setting of small field sizes, I think this idea of one combined Masters "A" field would have several advantages, including more exciting racing for the racers and spectators, easier scoring for the officials, and perhaps a shorter race day because the promoter might be able to eliminate a slot from the schedule.