Bike Forums

Bike Forums (
-   Professional Cycling For the Fans (
-   -   Bos proposes 'sprint lanes' (

burnthesheep 12-03-20 09:06 AM

Bos proposes 'sprint lanes'
With the recent high profile sprint incidents, there are proposals for track racing Keirin style "lanes". Then, some rules around the lanes/boxes.

From what I read, I think it makes sense.

I don't see amateur racing being able to implement it like the pros could, but it desperately could use it also.

What are opinions here? I have limited and overly negative experiences of sprint finishes in newbie racing. Maybe some more seasoned views.

Iride01 12-03-20 10:16 AM

I like the concept. Not sure I quite understand it. Some of it seems to be backwards from what I'd expect in the usage of them.

I did like this,

Bos also would require that organizers select a straight section of road for the last 300 meters of any race
but I'm not sure how many issues recently were in a section that wasn't straight.

gsa103 12-04-20 03:18 PM

I think it's a good idea, as is having a 300m straight. Corners into a sprint finish are just bad news, mainly for the following bunch. It's just a lot of risk for the peloton.

Sprint lanes seem like an interesting concept, because it would have a clean line, but once you get into it, you're committed until someone completely overtakes you. Kind of like the F1 rule about allowing one blocking move, but not two.
It also keeps the outside lanes cleaner, which is where the biggest risks are.

The only problem is that it may result in some bad crashes. Imagine three riders in a line, 3rd rider ducks into the lane, then the second rider also ducks into the lane, sweeping the front wheel.

headwind15 12-04-20 05:43 PM

Velodromes/ cycling tracks have a designated sprint line, maybe it's time for something that for road finishes?

vane171 12-11-20 01:29 PM

Well, it would just shift the melee three hundred meters back, instead of the last hundred or fifty meters.

For example, cross country ski races have such lanes quite naturally but the dirty work happens in the strategic selection which lane you will go into. You cross the finish space to block others and do dirty work before you enter the lanes. You aim to select not the lane that would take you fastest to the finish but the lane that your opponent breathing on your back is trying to aim for or would be trying to. That's where the race is won or lost. Of course, in skiing you don't get broken bones or anything life threatening, but the 'mechanics' of it are the same.

In ski racing, you are (mostly) pressed by the snow conditions to use one of those premade deep tracks in the finishing space which means you don't see somebody finishing right next to side barriers. I don't know much about race track, my cross country skiing example I think provides closer example to what it would be like in bike racing. I think those lanes would make those last meters more dull. After all, drafting is a win or lose difference in bike racing.

Maybe on this logic and safety mind set, drafting should be completely forbidden all during a race because it is the chief accident causing or at minimum contributing factor in majority of accidents. No peloton tight bunch, make everybody keep some minimum distance from the rider in front of them...

And the suggestion to make the finishing space barriers two meters high, I can only laugh, the guy is mad or even f mad. Last time in discussing those barriers, I suggested to make them interlocking or at least interconnect them with some ties, and cover them with continuous strip of heavy duty plastic sheet on which advertising banners can be directly printed or affixed. No sticking out barrier feet should be a matter of course. Those feet are relic of time when barriers were used to separate demonstrators from onlookers, for example, and in such use, they were fine.

slcbob 12-12-20 04:16 AM

Well I've never been in a proper bunch sprint in my life, so be sure to pay close attention what I think. :eek::50:

It seems to me that some of what he's saying has huge merit. Some of it tilts the playing field to riders with his characteristics, perhaps too far. Almost like the frustrated runner and swimmer who was pretty good on the bike proposing a triathlon.

Straight last 300m (for races expected to end in a bunch sprint - exceptions for mountain and mixed stages) and barrier reform sound good. A painted middle guide line (or several? !!) is good; useful for riders and referees to reference, reasonable for organizers of top races to implement.

Where I lose the thread is in having to choose your lane and stay there for 300m. I'm just too accustomed to not seeing the winner peek out until 100 or 50 or 20m to go. I'm not fully tracking all the trackology but it sounds like all his rules and lines and only passing to one side creates a 300m drag race at the end of a fight to get to the 300m-to-go mark. I'm open to hearing how I don't really understand that, but with my current understanding, I think that goes too far.

It seems fine to relegate (or worse?) someone sprinting for themself who drifts aimlessly (or purposefully!) across a bunch of those lines. But there's got to be a way for a lead-out rider to escape from the head of the race without getting him or herself DQ'd and making it too easy for the other teams to box in the person being lead out.

Wildwood 12-12-20 09:39 AM

I agree with making sprints safer.

Changes are needed.

This proposal has merit.


bbbean 12-12-20 10:18 AM

Laughable idea. Would never work.

aclinjury 12-16-20 05:34 PM

well, don't really need anymore rules.

How about start relegating or even disqualifying guys who don't hold their lines in the last 150m from the finishline? Enforcing this one single rule alone consistently will decrease 95% of the crashes. Guys would be allowed ONE single move, but after that they must hold their lines to the finish (similar to Formula1 block-pass rule, you're allowed to make 1 move while passing, that's it, no weaving back and forth).

Now the other issue is the the leadouts. You just never know how or where these leadouts will peel out. In come really bad instances, the leadout will peel out and sweep across almost an entire road. There must be a consistent rule for leadouts to pull out safely and expected. I suggest that leadouts
1) must peel out 150m from the finishline at the latest (you'd need to mark the road so they know the 150m mark)
2) leadout can only peel to the right and only 1 meter to the right. This prevents them sweeping unpredictably across the road.

Also, a 300m straightaway to the finish will greatly facilitate the execution of the above rules. Cycling sprinting is the only highspeed finishing sports where
1) there is no clear sprinting lane (or refs will not enforce it when somebody crosses the line)
2) no defined rules for overtaking (allowing guys to dodge and draft at will, sometimes recklessly)
3) no straightaway to the finish

if refs start punishing guys, they WILL have an effect of raising safety.

semroc 12-19-20 12:31 PM

What's Alaphilippes sprint lane going to look like? A special zigzag one for him? Lol.

unterhausen 12-24-20 11:16 AM

maybe they should have rules for promotors that forbid things sticking out into the road and narrowing the road before the line. A majority of sprint issues seem to be related to the non-child proof barriers and narrowing road.

Oh yeah, and no speed bumps in the last 5 meters. Don't know who thought that was a defensible idea.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:13 PM.

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.