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Old 02-22-19, 02:48 PM
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Spoonrobot 
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
One option would be to add say a 1/2 mile 5% climb/descent into the middle of the course, and force riders to choose gearing for the entire course.
That either turfs the course as the rest of the loop has to be a mild descent down and around back to the base of the climb. Or it makes it significantly more dangerous with a steep descent and/or corner somewhere that needs to be negotiated. The red hook courses have been very well designed and I think this is masked by the fact that there are so many crashes. The crashes are much more an effect of the open registration and inherent difficulty of fixed gear criterium racing than the course design, IMO. I've known several racers who went to a Red Hook race and to a one the actual race was their first fixed criterium. Using qualifying heats guarantees a fast group of racers but there is no accounting for skills. It's the same issue seen in lower classification USAC criteriums, just magnified. It's also kinda assumed that if you've raced on the track then you can just drop into a fast fixed criterium and be fine. That's naive, I've only done one fixed criterium because it was obvious the skill level required was vastly higher than I would be able to develop before becoming injured or injuring someone else.

Descending in a pack of fixed gear riders without brakes is an intensely frightening experience, if you haven't done it before you won't understand. A big descent would certainly exceed the skill level of even more racers than the current course designs.
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