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Racing rules: Can racers in a combined race work for each other?

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Racing rules: Can racers in a combined race work for each other?

Old 02-28-11, 10:14 AM
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Racing rules: Can racers in a combined race work for each other?

The 50+ and womens 1/2/3 often get combined. Can I lead out my female teammate for the sprint? Ride her away from the pack for a solo breakaway? Is this against the rules, just impolite, or good teamwork?
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Old 02-28-11, 10:54 AM
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Are you male or female? Either way the rules are the same. Under USA cycling rules, women may enter and race with men but men cannot enter women's races. This happens often with Pro and Cat 1 women. They enter P/1/2 elite men's races for the competition and to improve. Promoters can mix categories. If you line up together and start together, then you may work together. The combined fields are scored separately. If you are saying that the 50+ men are combined with the Cat 1/2/3 women, I find that odd and have not seen races promoted or sanctioned that way. However, if it is done by the race promoter, then listen to the instructions at the start. The moto refs enforce the rules during the race.

In USA cycling sanctioned races, different groups starting at different times are not allowed to work together. If you are in a Cat 5 race and go OTB and a P/1/2 peloton goes by, you cannot hop on the back and get back into the Cat 5 peloton.

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Old 03-01-11, 10:40 AM
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As it happens male. A female friend of mine complained that when she attacked the womens field, the 50+ men worked to pull her back. I thought since I can enter that race too, if the fields were similarly combined, I could work to help her win her race. But not obviously if there is some rule or etiquette against it. It sounds like there's no rule, would it be thought unfair by the other riders? At some level who cares, but it's good to know what people think.
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Old 03-01-11, 11:06 AM
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I've been in combined Master 45+ and 35+ races and there was no restriction or instructions regarding keeping the races seperate. Even in our State Master's Road Race Championship last year the 55+ race was combined with the 50+ race. We did have different colored numbers that allowed for keeping tabs of who is racing whom.

Yea,... that brings up some bad memories, 3 miles to go, I'm the only green number left in the lead pack of 10, someone throws their bike back going OTS on a roller, me and 3 others meet the pavement.......

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Old 03-01-11, 11:09 AM
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Different races can't interact, ie if you're racing 5s and a pro catches you, no drafting allowed, but if you're in a combined field (ie. same mass start) its all good. Some races will color code the background on your numbers, so, if you're in the orange field, you can only draft orange, so ignore that green numbered guy who just got shot out the back of the 1/2/3 peloton
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Old 03-01-11, 01:43 PM
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IMO, promoters mixing men and women together is wrong. I would complain or not race. I would not mind if a woman entered our 55+ Cat 1,2,3,4 race. Generally, we have fields of 50 riders in the 55+. Contrast that to the women's 45 + 1,2,3 which may have 5 racers. Generally, what happens is the Masters women 35 + and 45+ are combined and scored separately and can work together. Combining fields is about how the race promoter slots in categories on the course, number of motor refs and the course.

Racing has many strategies. If the men and women racers agree to and register for the combined field then I think a great strategy is for men and women to cut deals to work together. If it pisses off competitors too bad.
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