Understanding Results/Skewed Stats/Vanishing Riders
OK...I preface by saying that 2013 was my "rookie" year of road/crit racing. I have been riding...well, off/on seriously all my life, but...rather seriously for the last 5-6 years, the last few of which I found myself usually gravitating towards group/training rides with local folks who raced, so racing seemed like a natural next step to challenge myself. Anyway, despite being firmly committed to "having fun" being the #1 goal, I've found myself sort of baffled looking at race results after some of the races I did this year. Basically this is what I experienced in a few cases: Fields of 35-50 riders at the start where the printed/USAC results show results for riders up to numbers up to something like 26 (or, a similar deal w/ 2 or 3 sets of #s in mixed fields...ie, Cat3/Cat4 & Juniors of some sort)....so, I've started thinking, "what happened to the other riders?" Is it common for racers' finishes beyond a point to not be tracked? Do some racers simply drop out (I realize some do involuntarily...but the DNFs haven't always seemed to add up to what I saw at the start..I think) if they see they're not going to finish in a place they want? If so, is there some tactical advantage to doing so? I'm talking here about Cat5 & Cat4 races so this isn't seasoned racers or folks who are getting paid to ride their bike here. Maybe this is all a problem of perception on my part, but I figured I'd put it out here in the (sort of) form of a question in hopes some of the more experienced racers can enlighten me. For myself, I can not imagine giving up on doing the best finish I can muster no matter what, even if it's dead last because I crashed or had a mechanical problem.