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  1. #1
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    First Stage Race has odd GC scoring and a few other questions

    I am planning on competing in the Tour de Millersburg Category 4: https://www.bikereg.com/Net/19301 . I noticed that the GC is calculated based purely on placement rather than time and I was wondering first of all if anybody has had experience in this type of stage race (because I'm pretty sure that's not the norm) and if so, what kind of strategies work best. Second, I have 4 weeks with no races in my range, so what kind of riding should I be doing? I do most of my training alone. Let me know if you need any more information to give advice. Thanks.

  2. #2
    **** that mattm's Avatar
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    Don't worry about the scoring, just go out and race as hard as you can.
    pro-meter: lol

    blog

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    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    Win all the stages.

    Points stage races are lame. A break gets up the road and everybody shrugs. Winning by 1 second is the same as by 40 minutes.

    As for training, do some hard back to back days so you get a feel for how you're going to recover.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
    Win all the stages.

    Points stage races are lame. A break gets up the road and everybody shrugs. Winning by 1 second is the same as by 40 minutes.

    As for training, do some hard back to back days so you get a feel for how you're going to recover.
    Sounds Easy Enough.

    Yeah, that's what it seemed like.

    Good Call, i wasn't thinking about that.

  5. #5
    shut up and ride
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    Quote Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
    Points stage races are lame.
    points stage races are awesome.
    a lazy sprinter like me can lose the tt by 3 minutes and still win the gc by winning the crit and the rr.

  6. #6
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zzzwillzzz View Post
    points stage races are awesome.
    a lazy sprinter like me can lose the tt by 3 minutes and still win the gc by winning the crit and the rr.
    There's plenty of opportunities for wheel suckers out there. Stage races are a rare bird and should be more than that, not set up for one trick ponies. They should reward aggression, not penalize it. It's already a non-climbing course so why make it completely stupid?

    I did one of these cowardfests in Louisiana...they even gave half points to the TT because "we don't want no tri people winning this". The TT was 3.5 km. Right up the tri guy alley . It came down to a guy literally doing a track stand in the crit...complete stop to try to make me lead him out. It's carp.

    L-A-M-E

    B-U-L-L-S-H-I-T
    Last edited by Racer Ex; 07-07-13 at 08:11 PM.

  7. #7
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post

    B-U-L-L-S-H-I-T
    Snuck that right by.

  8. #8
    The Slow One Alaska Mike's Avatar
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    I'm not a fan of omniums either. I've lost them to people who have finished dead-last in the hill climb stage, only to do well in the crit, road race, and TT. Tactics are sometimes out the window, even with bonus points for finishes and intermediate sprints. I'd rather ride for time/time bonuses than points- which can be skewed heavily by the number of racers in a category.

  9. #9
    Senior Member grolby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaska Mike View Post
    I'm not a fan of omniums either. I've lost them to people who have finished dead-last in the hill climb stage, only to do well in the crit, road race, and TT. Tactics are sometimes out the window, even with bonus points for finishes and intermediate sprints. I'd rather ride for time/time bonuses than points- which can be skewed heavily by the number of racers in a category.
    To be clear, a stage race scored on points is not an omnium, the difference is that a rider might choose to skip one or more of the events in an omnium and still be placed in the overall competition. In a stage race, every stage must be completed.

    I don't have strong opinions on whether points-based stage races are good or bad, and they've been pretty common in the past for local stage races that didn't have the capability of reliably tracking times for individual riders on every stage. But it's worth pointing out two things about them. First, they result in a very different competition than does a timed GC. To understand how different, you need look no further than the Green jersey competition in the Tour de France, which sees a very different list of contenders than the timed GC. The Yellow jersey in the Tour was at one time in the history of the race structured like the Green jersey, based on points, rather than time, and so rewarded a different kind of rider and different kind of tactics. RX really hates this system, clearly, but it has survived in prestigious competitions like the Green jersey, though modern professional stage race GC competitions are all scored on time.

    Second, how the points are awarded in various stages can result in very different kinds of competition even between different races scored on points. Again, you only need to look at how the Green jersey competition in the Tour has changed since the adoption of a new points system from 2010, or to compare the Tour's Green jersey to the points competitions in the other two Grand Tours. The rule changes at the Tour changed the GJ into much more of a straightforward sprinters' competition, whereas in the Giro you often see GC riders who are high in the overall in serious contention for the points competition there. Similarly, in a local competition, the way the organizers choose to award points (how deeply the points are awarded, if/how much they weight different types of stages, if there are intermediate awards, etc) will effect which tactics are best employed to do well. So you should think about that when planning your race.

    EDIT: By the way, I don't see your complaint that you've lost omniums to riders who were last in the hill climb but otherwise placed higher than you in other events as a problem with the format at all. Strong riders who are nonetheless too heavy to climb well are just as deserving to have contests available that favor their strengths as are traditional whippet GC types. The problem would be if either omniums or stage races scored on time went away. I happen to like the fact that we have both types of competitions.
    Last edited by grolby; 07-08-13 at 03:17 PM.

  10. #10
    The Slow One Alaska Mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grolby View Post
    To be clear, a stage race scored on points is not an omnium, the difference is that a rider might choose to skip one or more of the events in an omnium and still be placed in the overall competition. In a stage race, every stage must be completed.
    Yep, probably a little loose with my use of the term. All of our points races are omniums, so I use them interchangeably. Probablay should stop that.
    Quote Originally Posted by grolby View Post
    EDIT: By the way, I don't see your complaint that you've lost omniums to riders who were last in the hill climb but otherwise placed higher than you in other events as a problem with the format at all. Strong riders who are nonetheless too heavy to climb well are just as deserving to have contests available that favor their strengths as are traditional whippet GC types. The problem would be if either omniums or stage races scored on time went away. I happen to like the fact that we have both types of competitions.
    Perhaps it's because I see a well-balanced stage race as a test of an all-around rider. A heavier-but-stronger rider certainly should be able to excel at TTs or crits, but a stage race? This isn't Kindergarden, and not everyone gets a medal. At 5'11"/175lbs, I'm one of the larger riders in my pack and far from a whippet, and I have yet to win a hillclimb. I'm usually in the middle of the pack there. I do well in TTs, crits, and road races. Obviously you play to your strengths. However, to finish several minutes down on a short hillclimb stage and still take the overall? Somehow that seems wrong to me. YMMV.

  11. #11
    Senior Member grolby's Avatar
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    You can design a stage race scored on time to be favorable to different kinds of riders, too. It has nothing to do with what constitutes an all-round rider, which opinions will necessarily have a degree of arbitrariness to them. Just look at the pro races - on the one hand, the Tour of Belgium, with a flat course that favors sprinters. Versus the Tour of the Basque Country, which favors climbers.

    What strikes me about the race you're describing is that a hillclimb stage (a format I don't find very compelling myself, so there you go) seems fairly pointless given the design of the rest of the race. A points-scores race can definitely be designed to favor good climbers and time triallers; the organizers failed at doing that, but that doesn't mean a points system can't be designed to do it.

  12. #12
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grolby View Post
    and they've been pretty common in the past for local stage races that didn't have the capability of reliably tracking times for individual riders on every stage.
    Clocks not common around the 'holler? Timing is no more onerous than figuring out the placings in a bunch sprint where 90 riders might cross the line over a 3-5s period.

    Quote Originally Posted by grolby View Post
    To understand how different, you need look no further than the Green jersey competition in the Tour de France, which sees a very different list of contenders than the timed GC.
    The jersey competitions within a stage race are not a stage race. They are competitions designed to create aggressive racing. The TDF white jersey is decided on time BTW.

    Quote Originally Posted by grolby View Post
    Strong riders who are nonetheless too heavy to climb well are just as deserving to have contests available that favor their strengths as are traditional whippet GC types..
    Which you note above is provided for in numerous stage races which let the terrain dictate the winner.

    The points stage race format lets people mail home an effort in one stage yet still contend for the overall. Soft pedaling a hill climb while other people are actually racing (given that "racing" is what we are doing) seems to be the antithesis of racing.

    On the other hand you could make the point that it forces people who would rather not bang handlebars in a sprint for 32nd place to bang handlebars for 32nd place. I'm not sure that this is of great benefit to anyone.
    Last edited by Racer Ex; 07-09-13 at 10:35 AM.

  13. #13
    gmt Grumpy McTrumpy's Avatar
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    That is the biggest reason I dislike omniums. You have to race for placings in the crit. Dangerous.

  14. #14
    Senior Member grolby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
    Clocks not common around the 'holler?



    The jersey competitions within a stage race are not a stage race. They are competitions designed to create aggressive racing. The TDF white jersey is decided on time BTW.



    Which you note above is provided for in numerous stage races which let the terrain dictate the winner.

    The points stage race format lets people mail home an effort in one stage yet still contend for the overall. Soft pedaling a hill climb while other people are actually racing (given that "racing" is what we are doing) seems to be the antithesis of racing.

    On the other hand you could make the point that it forces people who would rather not bang handlebars in a sprint for 32nd place to bang handlebars for 32nd place. I'm not sure that this is of great benefit to anyone.
    A couple of relatively major New England stage races (one being GMSR, the other was maybe Blue Hill or Working Man or something?) were decided on points until pretty recently IIRC. It's civilized up in them parts.

    Anyway, I'm really not trying to make a strong argument for the merits of the points system, only pointing out that there's a long history of stage races being scored on points, and for all that the practice has receded at the professional level, races that used such a system included the Tour de France itself. That's not an argument for it being a good system, just pointing out that it is as much part and parcel of the stage race tradition as a timed GC.

    As far as the merits go, I could play devil's advocate and point out that, while a points system seems to allow not racing a hillclimb or otherwise "mailing in" a stage and still contending for the overall, so too does a timed GC allow for sitting in the pack in a crit or even a flattish RR and mailing in that stage and still contending for the overall. Just in a different style of race. In either case, the person mailing it in is taking a risk that a rider who actually races those stages will also do well enough in the others to put them over the top - there's no reason a strong climber who races well in the hillclimb can't place well enough in a crit to beat the guy who rested on the hill.

    Don't get me wrong, you're the stage race guy and I totally respect where you're coming from. Just saying there's a reason points stage races have existed in the past, and that time can reward a different kind of slack racing as well.

  15. #15
    gmt Grumpy McTrumpy's Avatar
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    GMSR is time based and has been for as long as I can recall. That includes race reports given to me by one of the perennial Masters participants, riding before the time when I was in it.

    Edit: you are right. they changed it in 2008. Glenn's race report, however, mentioning the idea of not losing time in the crit, must have been either a different race or one more recent.
    Last edited by Grumpy McTrumpy; 07-09-13 at 10:48 AM.

  16. #16
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grolby View Post

    As far as the merits go, I could play devil's advocate and point out that, while a points system seems to allow not racing a hillclimb or otherwise "mailing in" a stage and still contending for the overall, so too does a timed GC allow for sitting in the pack in a crit or even a flattish RR and mailing in that stage and still contending for the overall.
    Not really. First you have to finish with the pack. Second is that if you're sitting high on GC, you'll be getting the carp attacked out of you. And letting something go up the road and get a minute (or even 1s) on you might mean no more podium. On the other hand you could let a lot of stuff go if you have enough points in the bag. It becomes a math problem more than a racing problem.

    I've seen more than one GC leader get knocked off in a 40m crit. Especially if there are time bonuses.

    Quote Originally Posted by grolby View Post
    Don't get me wrong, you're the stage race guy and I totally respect where you're coming from.
    As well you should. I'm fabulous and if I was in a third world backwater would be a demigod and President for Life. My image would grace every public works and there would be a giant bronze statue of me in the middle of every roundabout. And anyone that suggested a points based stage race would find themselves in a dank cellar missing their fingernails.

    What's funny here is the first podium I got was in a points based stage race. Sucked horribly in the road race. Won the TT. Got 3rd in the crit. That's what hooked me on bike racing.

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    i've done tour of millersburg before. it's a fun event that is unique for a number of reasons. first of all, the TT is the first stage, then the crit is the second stage (on the same day), followed by the road race on sunday.

    The TT is very straightforward. Out and back. Typical local stage race TT. Boring.

    Crit is absolutely brutal. narrow residential "city" streets, a punishing hill, and nowhere to recover. probably 50 to 75% of every field gets pulled.

    The RR the past few years has been flat and very fast. I think we covered 72 miles in about 2.5 hours last year, and that was with a break up the road and the field shutting down for a spell. I believe the RR is different this year and has incorporated some of the hills comign off the susquehanna river.

    then there's the points system they use. i couldnt care less whether it's time based or points based, individually. i'm not a good TTer so i'm stage hunting regardless. i'd rather win a road race/crit than finish 3rd in each, win the TT and win the GC. throwing hands in the air at the finish line is way more rewarding to me. it would annoy me that there were several guys I know who made it to Cat 2 doing stage races, and they couldnt road race or crit to save their lives. they'd enter stage races, get a pk finish in the RR or crit, or lose a minute or so, then mack the TT and finish top 5 on GC to get a bunch of upgrade points. to me that was L-A-M-E B-U-L-L-S-H-I-T.

    our women's elite team is dominant locally. last year at millersburg, one of our elite women's team racers had a score of 3 (maybe it was 4, but I think it was 3). they could have done that race by time, points, whatever, she would have won.

  18. #18
    Senior Member grolby's Avatar
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    LOL, fair enough on both points, Ex.

    MDCatV, are you saying that it's run like golf scores, you get points equal to placing or something and lowest score wins? I doubt that will save them when the Racer Ex Regime comes to power, but it might be a bit more satisfying to some people.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by grolby View Post
    LOL, fair enough on both points, Ex.

    MDCatV, are you saying that it's run like golf scores, you get points equal to placing or something and lowest score wins? I doubt that will save them when the Racer Ex Regime comes to power, but it might be a bit more satisfying to some people.
    Yeah, that's exactly how it's run. Hey MDcatV, if you get pulled from the crit, do you lose GC contention or just get placed based on when you are pulled. My current plan is to go for GC placing because I'm a heavier guy and can't climb or sprint particularly well, but a pretty good time trialist.

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    ^i think you're placed on where you're pulled, so you can continue the next day (provided you're pulled by an official, if you quit you're out) but your GC aspirations are likely to be done. check the race bible when it comes out for details.

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    So how did you do when you did it and what was your strategy?

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    ^ i'm bottom 3rd TTer and on a team with top TTers, so any time i've done it i've been supporting team leader with GC aspirations. i never actually checked my results, but they were bottom 3rd of the P12 race, i'm sure.

    if i were flying solo, i'd do my best in the TT, and if I finished better than bottom 3rd, i'd go to hershey park and have some chocolates.

    crit, streets are really narrow, corners too, so staging is critical. if i found my way in the front, i'd go balls out from the *** and try to get up the road. if you stage in the back, try to work up fast as you can because keeping in mind half the field isnt finishing, gaps are going to form on lap 2 and people will start getting pulled on lap 3. if you are out of contention, put it in the small ring and soft pedal until the officials pull you. i've never finished this crit as i've not been in call up zone and havent been strong enough to move up before getting gapped off everywhere.

    road race, it's always been really fast, and you have to earn getting up the road. i'd try to earn that and risk getting pulled back. this year might be a little different dynamic in the RR as it's advertised some climbing has been put into what was always a pretty flat route.

  23. #23
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    FWIW I'm doing a points based stage race this weekend.

  24. #24
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
    FWIW I'm doing a points based stage race this weekend.
    Oh, the hypocrisy.

  25. #25
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
    Oh, the hypocrisy.
    I never said not to do them. Just that they were b-u-l-l-s-h-i-t.

    Local race in Reno. One of two USAC sactioned things up there and I thought I'd support it. We are looking at a high of 102 with a chance of rain and a 5/12 pollen rating at altitude. I could be doing the SoCal elite track champs (did I mention I'm the defending 4k pursuit guy?) at sea level in an filtered, air conditioned building on a perfect surface.

    I hope these f-a-r-g-e-r-s appreciate me.

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