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So I had my first race today, the Charm City Cross in Baltimore. It was awesome, I had a great time and a good ride for my first effort. I entered a few weeks ago but even then the Cat 4 was already filled so I entered the 35+ 3/4 masters. The field was nearly 100 deep and my number was 75 so as you can imagine myself and a gaggle of others started way in the back. Long story short is I finished 79th but I had the circle of death around my race number as did about 25 others. I figured this means I got lapped, which is no big deal for my cherry popping, but I am still a bit confused as to how the whole placing and finishing equation works out. After extensive searching and even scouring the "Cyclocross" book, I still can't find a basic explanation. Does anyone have a simple way of explaining it?

Brain

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"placing and finishing equation"

See, the first guy across the line gets a number 1 next to his name. The second guy gets a number 2. The third guy...
Errrright -b +/_ sq^2

More specifically then, the two laps to determine how many laps are left and getting lapped out. I also might mount a wicked graphing calculator on my bars.
Good job just getting out there. Realize that good starts are super important, so getting up at the front and establishing yourself in the first few laps is crucial. I wish I raced today.
placing is pretty straightforward...

the winner gets 1st place. everyone on the lead lap gets whatever place they finished in.
if you got lapped some time during the race, your are now 1 lap down from the leaders (obviously). so, for all lapped riders, you get placed behind the last guy on the lead lap in whatever order you finish in.

so even if you finished 2nd right behind the winner (the winner just nips you at the line), and there are 75 people on the lead lap (folks who didn't get lapped by the leader), you get 76th place.

make sense?

oh...and good job racin'!
Right, all makes sense. I read a while ago that lapped riders got dropped from the race. That I guess is what prompted my confusion. Not knowing, even if I finished all required laps, if I was lapped does it still count or is it a DNF. Maybe I should have asked that in the first place.

Thanks
I don't get it. Is it still not just the order you cross the line on your final lap? Does the lapped rider's race end one lap early?
This is from the USAC rulebook CX section:

5G. Finish
5G1. Any rider lapped before the last lap shall leave the race
(unless stated differently prior to the race); if the lapping
takes place after the midpoint of the race the rider shall be
given a place. Lapped riders who are permitted to remain in
the race will all finish on the same lap as the leader and will
be placed according to the number of laps they are down and
then their position at the finish.
5G2. In championship events a rider who is lapped during the
final lap of the race shall be stopped at the beginning of the
10 1
finish line area and shall be classified in accordance with their
placing without crossing the finish line.

Clear as mud? So I guess I did an extra lap then...;)
Actually, you did 1 less lap.

Let's say your race was 6 laps.
When you went through the finish, the lap cards said 2 to go. So you are starting your 5th lap.
When the leader came through the finish (right behind you) he already saw the 2 to go and now gets the bell lap for the 6th and final lap.
Since he passes you somewhere along that final lap, he crosses the finish line in front of you and wins the race completing 6 total laps.
Since his race is done, you are done once you cross the finish line even though that was your 5th lap.

I just used 6 laps as an example. Typically, cross races are time based and the laps are determined after the first few laps are run. Then the director of the race determines how many more laps can fit in the given time duration for the race. Some races are time + 1 lap. It all depends.
I think it was one extra lap since the race was over, I just went around once more for extra credit. The results came out today and it counted at least.
This is done so the races can run in a timely manner. If all the racers, finished the all laps the later race would run well into the night. When you hear the officials ring the bell( not the crowd) that is the final lap. This allows for all the racers to race the entire race. Otherwise, the officials would pull lapped riders. This happens in most crits.
Everyone finishes on the same lap. Despite what the rulebook says, lapped racers are almost never pulled in non-elite events.
In my very limited experience, if you're not with the first guys through the first time, the scoring is essentially random.

Last year at this race I had a major mechanical and got lapped by the leaders at the very end. Of course, they awarded me 8th place.

This year, I'm reasonably certain that I finished somewhere in the top 60 of the C men, but didn't even rate a DNF. No disrespect to the refs, but they have no clue about finishing order after the first bunch that they can recognize. It's a guessing game.

The course is littered with bodies, women, juniors, old guys, whatever in the non-elite events. Essentially, your finishing position shouldn't matter to you because it will never be right without going to some sort of electronic timing chip and software that would automatically define what lap you're on.

Having said that, I plan to keep on racing as much as I can stand. Nobody's searching middle of the pack Cat 4s for sponsorship anyway. First, 50th, or DFL, it's just fun.

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