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Rules question: safety stoppage

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Rules question: safety stoppage

Old 09-18-23, 01:50 PM
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Rules question: safety stoppage

My son was riding in a high school mountain bike race. A number of racers were stopped for four minutes due to the need to remove an injured rider. That's very unfortunate for that rider of course and stoppages happen in races sometimes. Ordinarily, a restart from that spot (once the course is clear) is how that's generally handled.

There's a twist though, this was a two-wave race. So, while A wave riders got stopped, B wave riders did not. As a result, a number of B wave riders ended up with better times than the stopped riders from A wave. Review of the first lap times makes clear that - all-things-being-equal - this would not have happened.

Race officials decided to do nothing and let the results stand. Some racers got penalized four minutes, other got a free leap-frog. The official rules are pretty sparse and vague, and did not contemplate this type of incident, so it was not helpful. The officials had the ability to use their judgement and make it more equitable, but chose not to do so.

This cost my son about a 12% worse standings in the statewide rankings (about a dozen spots) - if they had used the duplicate-first-lap method to rectify it.

My questions are:
  • What possible remedies were available? One is to freeze the race as a duplicate of the first lap, for example (essentially voiding the second lap). Another is to deduct time from the second lap equal to the gap in the first lap between the last unstopped and first stopped riders (this method assumes the stopped riders maintain their gaps). Neither of these are perfect, but both seem more fair than doing nothing.
  • Are there other published rule sets that have a section to deal with this type incident, where the stoppage only affects one wave of riders?
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