We were thinking over the winter…..
As you know the A4/novice league was instigated to give a place for all newcomers to experience road racing in a safe but still challenging environment alongside more seasoned cyclists but avoiding the fastest riders in the county. It was intended to be more enjoyable, less competitive (slightly) series than some of the other leagues. Over the years the league served as a great starting point for many riders who have begun in Davidstown but gone on to race the Wexford, SERC, Slipstream leagues and some who have developed into A3 and above.
With the A4 group becoming both stronger and more numerous it has become a more difficult starting point for touring cyclists wanting to dip their toes in racing and was putting off riders from competing. We were also concerned at the safety aspect of the large group on the back road in Davidstown especially when the faster moving A4s caught the touring group.
Slight change of format
With that in mind we are going to run a slightly different format this year. We want to give the tourers, the novices and the newcomers a race of their own which will be a lap or two shorter than the A4 race and should avoid the group being overtaken by the A4s. We think this will encourage more first timers to take part as the group will be smaller and safer.
The A4 race will still have two groups on the road as we intend having all the A4s starting together but all A4s over 50 will be given a handicap in the front group. We have quite a few vets over 50 taking part (and more every year!) and we think a short handicap for this small but experienced group will give the A4s something worthwhile to chase.
So the order of groups on the road for the two races will be;
Race 1 5 laps 1st Group – Vets over 50 with an A4 or Club licence
2nd Group – All A4 licences
Race 2 3/4 laps All club licence holders, touring, novice riders starting together.
If we get our timing right we hope to get the novice race finished just ahead of the A4 race. If a vet over 50 wins he will get ‘promoted’ back to the A4 group for the following race. If any A4 rider gets upgraded to A3 after beginning the 5 race series he can still finish out the series if he wishes.
As always the format will be reviewed as we go on depending on results, numbers riding and rider feedback and will be tweaked if necessary. But we think this will be an interesting format with the Vets getting a head start on the young bucks and the novices getting their own set up. Nothing ventured, nothing gained!
(As the novice grouping will actually be such this year we would encourage our own members and members of the Wexford clubs who want to try out racing to support the races by taking part. All the clubs have lots on new members who have never raced before and novices will not get a better place to start racing and the more taking part the more benefit everyone will get)
What do I need to do to take part?
Firstly you MUST have a 2015 Cycling Ireland LIMITED COMPETITION Licence or an A4 racing licence. If you have an introductory or leisure licence you must upgrade to a Club competition licence. You just pay the difference between the licence you paid for and the club licence fee. Link : http://www.cyclingireland.ie/page/membership/types-of-membership
Secondly you MUST register with Cycling Wexford and select 2 nights to marshal at a Wexford event. This costs €15 but includes free entry to the CountyChampionships. Link : http://www.leaguerace.me/
Finally you need to do this by next Monday when we will print off the start sheets for signing on. If you are not on the Wexford Cycling registration list you will not be able to race. (Exception being riders from outside the county, MarbleCity for example, who may attend the odd race but don’t need to register)
Sign on will be from 6.20pm and first race will need to start at 7pm sharp to ensure we have enough light. Bring a €5 sign on – (no cheques, credit cards or €50 notes please!)
We intend holding underage if there is demand for it but not on the first night. We want to get our timings sorted after night one and see where we can fit underage into the schedule. With laps completed in a little over 10 minutes we have only a small window to slot in the 3 adult groups and an underage race on the course into the schedule.
(Last years results etc http://www.slaneycyclingclub.com/?p=6040 )