I was thinking about the same thing today when I was out practicing. Every race I've done does the two lap timing thing. I think it's a tragedy and it's making everyone soft. 30 minutes should be 30 +1. LETS BRING +1 BACK!! These races aren't long enough as it is!
Yes, actually things have changed in Belgium. If you follow the Super prestige or GVA races they go almost spot on 60 minutes to the leaders, unless it is very muddy. They do not generally go 60 min + 1 anymore. Example, the first 2 Belgian pro mens races this year went 57:45 min. and 60:03 min. If they were going +1 lap most pro races would run 65-68 minutes. They're just not going that amount of time unless the course is really slow.
It's just a function of more racers and thus more cats to squeeze into a day. For a 45+1 lap, half the field is going to take over an hour to finish. Not feasible if you need to start a race every hour. The only races that are 60 mins are the elites at the end of the day.
Plus, most people are relieved when their race mercifully ends.
but back then, esp where i was racing courses were shorter so you had more laps to play with and adding a 4-5 minute lap after 45 minutes wasn't a big deal, adding one lap to a 6-8 minute lap time is a big deal, esp for those at the back of the pack riding a bit slower.
often the officials under judge the race time - or err on the side of shorter rather than longer, and choosing to have Bold/Hines/Boivin race for 41-42 minutes or 47-48 isn't an easy one, but when you consider the field is spread out (just looking at the 35s) over 5-6 minutes, well it simplifies the choice.
I'm glad I got a chance to race like that. I remember the count down (or up) race clock at the start finish. And knowing how much more time you had before the final lap was pretty cool. Esp when they don't show you lap numbers until 3 to go, or even tougher mentally showing you 8 or 12 to go.