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View Full Version : Five Minute Rule (from Open Events or Not)



TimW
21-01-2009, 05:53 PM
From a Commissaires point of view. In most races in Essex riders who are off the back of the main bunch, have the 5 minute rule applied by the Commissaire on the grounds of safety.

This would mean you would be asked to retire if you were on your own and you would be given a placing and the relevant points. If there are a small bunch of riders, they would be informed by the Commissaire or other official that they would be sprinting for places next time they crossed the finish line.

Therefore all riders who pull themselves out of a race are deemed not to have finished and those who are pulled out by the Commissaire or Chief Judge will have finished and be given places.

Hmm, the Five Minute Rule. There's a topic for debate.

Having fallen foul of it in the Lea Valley Road Race I'm not sure that it is always well interpreted.

If you are five minutes behind the bunch in a flattish 100km race there is no way that you are going to catch up or figure in the results. The five minute rule stinks but it is unlikely to affect the result or the way that you ride the race.

If the race is 140km and hilly, however, and there are small groups spread over five minutes with 25km to go, there is still an awful lot that can happen. The whole point of those extra 40km is the fine balance between staying strong and blowing up, and between working groups and non-working groups.

In the Lea Valley race I was in a small group that was working well. Despite this we were told that we'd be stopped the next time that we crossed the finish line because we were five minutes behind the leader. When we got to the line we were within 20 meters of the group ahead. We were still pulled out. They carried on even though they were going much slower (thereby increasing the spread of the race) and got better placings than us on the basis of their positions with over 20km still to go.

lombywill
21-01-2009, 08:04 PM
Well said Tim W. I believe you are correct and the five minute rule needs to be used proportionately in the long hilly races. I have heard numerous stories of breaks being many minutes up the road of the old style 100 mile first cat races, only to come back before the finish as people disintegrate and those who did the miles come to the fore. One particular story of the 82 divs is the one that springs to mind...

racyrich
21-01-2009, 08:39 PM
Well said Tim W. I believe you are correct and the five minute rule needs to be used proportionately in the long hilly races. I have heard numerous stories of breaks being many minutes up the road of the old style 100 mile first cat races, only to come back before the finish as people disintegrate and those who did the miles come to the fore. One particular story of the 82 divs is the one that springs to mind...

Quite right. I've come second in a 110 miler where we were 6 mins down on a 12 man break after 80 miles.

Nick E
21-01-2009, 10:01 PM
Going back a couple of seasons I was in the Andrews Trophy Road Race and we got pulled out about 2 laps before the end because we were 5 mins+ off the back of the leading group.
The avg speed at this point 25.6mph!!!
It's quite nice to be a dodgy 3rd cat in the company of full-on 1st cats at this moment. Bad for them i can only imagine but good for me!!!

I appreciate long hilly races can really stretch riders out but for some lads paying 30 to travel down to a race and 15 to enter couldn't they just keep going until they finished???

pottsie
22-01-2009, 03:08 PM
As a Chief Commissaire I do appreciate all the very hard work that you riders put into the race and that you have maped out your plan of action before and during the race, then with two laps to go the group you are in are told you will be pulled the next time you get to the finishing line.

So far in the coments I have not seen any mention of safety, which I can only say that there is none, or you are not thinking of it at that time. This being so, the Organiser has a Duty Of Care to all the riders and the public whether they like or not, for their race to be as safe as it possibly can be.

The race is on the public highway, with the rules and Code of Practice that go with the police permission to run our races on the road.

On many occasions, while being the Chief Commissaire I have acted as the lead car for the last group on the road which has saved them from being pulled out. This indicates there are not enough convoy vehicles to act as protection for the riders. We need more volunteers to help the organisers to run these races safely, providing the police don't say we have too many vehicles in the race.

As the 5 minute rule will always be there, do you not think your plan of action needs to be ajusted slightly.

Brian Potts

ChrisB
22-01-2009, 04:23 PM
Guys,

I've split this into its own thread because I think it's worth seperate discussion.

Nick E
22-01-2009, 06:15 PM
So far in the coments I have not seen any mention of safety, which I can only say that there is none, or you are not thinking of it at that time. This being so, the Organiser has a Duty Of Care to all the riders and the public whether they like or not, for their race to be as safe as it possibly can be.
As the 5 minute rule will always be there, do you not think your plan of action needs to be ajusted slightly. Brian Potts
I couldn't agree more Brian. As a race organiser i know the implications of not protecting the (whole) race.
Some rider's strategies are to hold on as long as possible in these top races and then "get some training in" once they get shelled off the back. If this cannot be allowed entries by the lower category riders could reduce - a worry for organisers at this level. Some have had to be cancelled due to low entries in the past.
Could there a contingency plan for these riders? Maybe, take ther number off and carry on as if it was training??
Open for discussion at least?

Tony Asplin
22-01-2009, 06:52 PM
Brian and Joan are one hundred per cent correct on race convoy protection.

The majority of promoting clubs just use the minimum requirement of having only two lead cars, two commissaires cars and one first aiders vehicle.

As a past organiser of the Jock Wadley which may attain a higher grade of rider than most ERRL events we have and still do run 3 Lead Cars, 3 Commissaires Cars, Two Service Vehicles and One First Aider Vehicle. Even with this volume of race protection we still pull riders out because we cannot afford or get any more vehicles in the convoy.

The race can break up so much that some riders are even lapped

Taking the Race Number Off those riders who are over 5 minutes down will not help the matter as when you come to a race controlled junction the Accredited Marshals will stop the traffic for them and treat them as racing riders because they cannot see if you have a number on or not from the front.

The only way is to get to the finish line, take your number off the ride the opposite way around the course giving way to the race and all other vehicles if you require the training.

pottsie
23-01-2009, 12:47 PM
Tony also forgot to say that he had, as I still have 2 National Escort Group Motorcycle Marshals which are there to look after a small group of riders within the 30 seconds that a convoy vehicle can't do. There are many other very important duities that these marshals do during the race, which makes this race even safer and I find a great help.

Brian Potts

lombywill
23-01-2009, 03:37 PM
As a race organiser I appreciate the safety of all concerned is paramount. However, as a rider I think that having a defined time limit is rather ambiguous and takes few variables into account. For particularly tough circuits on tough days this would need to be a bit more flexible. If the race is over one of the longer courses why shouldn't a group be able to remain over 5 minutes behind the race if there is adequate protection and there is no danger of being lapped. It also sounds very bizarre to here a group being pulled out when the group in front is in sight. I'm sure this doesn't go down well.

David Mclean
23-01-2009, 04:54 PM
I have a few questions for whoever can answer them (probably Brian!):

Who made the 5 minute rule? Is it a Police rule, BC rule or ERRL rule? And what is the exact reasoning behind it safety-wise? How many more cars would you need to extend the time to 10 minutes (say)?

The easy solution it seems is to have more following cars, which can be hard as you need to find more volunteers and the insurance for the convoy increases. Do you need to have commissaires and first aiders in the cars or can your average (driving + BC) licence holder be allowed in the convoy? You could save a little petrol by having the extra cars jump in behind the groups for the last couple of laps only when they're needed.

skipper
23-01-2009, 06:09 PM
so If Its 5 minutes behind the main group as i think this is the wording used most for this.
Lets say 8 riders gain 3 minutes on a chase group of 4 with 2 minutes on the main group of 20,
with another group of 10 at 2 minutes behind them, at another 1 minutes down 6 riders
and 10 more another 1 minute behind them plus stragglers,
20 miles to go on a hilly 83 mile race
where do you apply the 5 minute rule?

Nick E
23-01-2009, 07:14 PM
Open for discussion at least?
I'll say it again - I can understand why there is a rule.
I think the general query is why this rule HAS to be exactly 5 mins. There are many dynamics of a peleton in a road race that would stretch these rules. In the end, the commissaire must make that decision when he/she feels the race convoy is unsafe.

How about a "Broom Wagon". Could that be a solution?

spike
24-01-2009, 08:00 AM
As a race organiser I appreciate the safety of all concerned is paramount. However, as a rider I think that having a defined time limit is rather ambiguous and takes few variables into account. For particularly tough circuits on tough days this would need to be a bit more flexible. If the race is over one of the longer courses why shouldn't a group be able to remain over 5 minutes behind the race if there is adequate protection and there is no danger of being lapped. It also sounds very bizarre to here a group being pulled out when the group in front is in sight. I'm sure this doesn't go down well.


I think all races should be flat then they dont split up quite so much!lol

needmorespeed
24-01-2009, 09:08 AM
Originally Posted by pottsie
From a Commissaires point of view. In most races in Essex riders who are off the back of the main bunch, have the 5 minute rule applied by the Commissaire on the grounds of safety.

If this is the rule, why is it often used to pull out groups, or even the bunch when they are 5 mins. behind the break.

Why doesn't the division/region insist on organisers of elite, hilly or long races having at least 3 or 4 lead cars if thats what is needed to leave more groups in the race.

While every ones safety is paramount, we must not forget that the whole point of the exercise is to have a race on the road, not to have a bit of the race going round and to get the rest off the road asap.

One of the main reasons why the lower cats. don't even enter elite races will be because of the 5 min. rule, and knowing they will probably get pulled out.
Riding elite races should be encouraged as it teaches people how to race properly and will make the lower cats faster and stronger.

Roz
24-01-2009, 03:18 PM
N.M.S. Fair comment Tony but you know how difficult it is to get helpers - 3 or 4 lead cars !!!

lombywill
24-01-2009, 05:02 PM
Spike, wasn't the Wadley mentioned as a race that fell foul of the 5 minute rule!? How are you by the way?

We had 3 lead cars last year and are a club stretched to the limit when promoting our race. We shall have three again this year. I see no reason why the much bigger clubs cannot accomodate such manpower (or horsepower).

Tony Asplin
24-01-2009, 10:30 PM
The 5 Minute Rule was insitigated in the 1990's by a recommendation by Essex Police to BCF Essex Division for which I was the Road Race Secretary of from 1984 to 2000 when the Division became Eastern Division.

The first major problem occurred in the Grand Prix of Essex, I cannot remember the date, On the finishing Circuit in Halstead Town Centre the race was blasted to pieces and as the town centre was controlled by Police there was only a 5 minute gap from the back of the race to the front of the race thus standing traffic from Sudbury, Colchester and Hedingham(three different directions) was held up for twenty minutes.

This was then moved onto the Finishing Circuit of the Romford to Harlow and The Jock Wadley as so many riders were scattered all over the county, in little groups with no protection of a lead car, a commissaire or a motorbike marshal. It was deemed that these riders were not racing but just aiming to finish the race.

Remember the word is racing.

This is different in tours such as the IRISH RAS

Just think of it if you are in the main bunch or even the back groups allow a break to gain five minutes then you are not racing you are just getting in the miles.

Go to Belgium or Holland and ride in a local domestic race then there is a cut off time from the front of the race.

I can remember Matthew Illingworth back in the 1990's riding a race it was either Belgium or Holland who I thought was very close to the front group was sprinting in a group of 6 that being pulled out one lap before the finish and he ended up as 32nd from a field of 150. He finished 5th in a group that new when the finish flag was raised then the riders sprinted for their placing.

This what you get now in the Eastern Division

spike
25-01-2009, 08:24 AM
Spike, wasn't the Wadley mentioned as a race that fell foul of the 5 minute rule!? How are you by the way?

We had 3 lead cars last year and are a club stretched to the limit when promoting our race. We shall have three again this year. I see no reason why the much bigger clubs cannot accomodate such manpower (or horsepower).

Sorry I should have said flat and short 50 miles max that will keep it togther! lol

I am on the mend thanks its 5 weeks post OP seeing the DR on Wednesday still hurts and the movement is not great but I hope with time I will get full use of my shoulder. I am hopeing to start riding Feb but only if there is no Ice dont fancy falling on my shoulder!

Best

Lee

David Mclean
26-01-2009, 02:59 PM
Thanks Tony, its really good to have knowledgable people on the forum.

The difference between Belgian and UK racing is that you only do a road race once a week in the UK, If you miss the winning break in Belgium you just pull out and try again in the next race tomorrow. Unless you're still in the money, in which case you roll round until you're told to finish and then race for a placing during your 'laatste ronde'. The other difference is that UK racing is all about catering for the rider's enjoyment (for want of a better word), in Belgium its about entertaining the punters whilst they slowly get pissed. It builds the tension watching all the dropped groups finishing early before you get to watch the win through increasingly beerlike goggles. In the UK theres no one watching at the finish anyway, and if they were they probably wouldn't be drunk or betting on the winner anyway (I mean wheres the fun in that?).

Until we extend or change the 5 minute rule the less prestigious Elite ERRL races are always going to struggle to get decent sized fields. There are many 2nd and 3rd cat riders that really want to race until the finish even if its just for a top 30 placing for the training. When I was a 2nd I always found I rode much better in the local chipper a week later having had my legs ripped off in the elite race a week earlier, I don't think we should be denying this opportunity to riders if they're within 5 minutes of the bunch (not the leaders) with 20 miles to go. Perhaps they could be warned (as riders are in France) that they're going to be passed by the last car and that they have to behave as a regular law abiding cyclists on a public road.

lombywill
26-01-2009, 05:36 PM
Thanks Tony, its really good to have knowledgable people on the forum.

The difference between Belgian and UK racing is that you only do a road race once a week in the UK, If you miss the winning break in Belgium you just pull out and try again in the next race tomorrow. Unless you're still in the money, in which case you roll round until you're told to finish and then race for a placing during your 'laatste ronde'. The other difference is that UK racing is all about catering for the rider's enjoyment (for want of a better word), in Belgium its about entertaining the punters whilst they slowly get pissed. It builds the tension watching all the dropped groups finishing early before you get to watch the win through increasingly beerlike goggles. In the UK theres no one watching at the finish anyway, and if they were they probably wouldn't be drunk or betting on the winner anyway (I mean wheres the fun in that?).



Until we extend or change the 5 minute rule the less prestigious Elite ERRL races are always going to struggle to get decent sized fields. There are many 2nd and 3rd cat riders that really want to race until the finish even if its just for a top 30 placing for the training. When I was a 2nd I always found I rode much better in the local chipper a week later having had my legs ripped off in the elite race a week earlier, I don't think we should be denying this opportunity to riders if they're within 5 minutes of the bunch (not the leaders) with 20 miles to go. Perhaps they could be warned (as riders are in France) that they're going to be passed by the last car and that they have to behave as a regular law abiding cyclists on a public road.


This is also what they do in rolling road block races like the nationals. I think this is how it should be.

I was the last to finish in the ERRL champs this year and I must have been way more than 5 minutes behind after cramping and doing the last lap on my own. I had no protection but still got placed, maybe because the photo finish for the women's race was still there! I don't see why anyone needs to be pulled out really. If the bunch is 5 minutes behind and it is sizeable then they are still in the race aren't they!? After all we do do train in large groups and seem to be able to observe the laws of the road when we are training.

Nick E
26-01-2009, 09:08 PM
Until we extend or change the 5 minute rule the less prestigious Elite ERRL races are always going to struggle to get decent sized fields. There are many 2nd and 3rd cat riders that really want to race until the finish even if its just for a top 30 placing for the training. When I was a 2nd I always found I rode much better in the local chipper a week later having had my legs ripped off in the elite race a week earlier, I don't think we should be denying this opportunity to riders if they're within 5 minutes of the bunch (not the leaders) with 20 miles to go. Perhaps they could be warned (as riders are in France) that they're going to be passed by the last car and that they have to behave as a regular law abiding cyclists on a public road.
Safety - From the Organiser (and a good amount of entries).
Common Sense - From the rider
Sorted!

big hairy tracky
27-01-2009, 05:07 PM
The thing we HAVE to remember now is the ever increasing popularity of motorists to drive their cars on a sunday whether they need to or not.
Its a fact, if the police get too many complaints from joe public they will permit only the major or important races,not just here in Eastern but in the other "traffic busy" divisions.
On some quiet rural circuit where there are not going to be that many drivers around, then the rule MAY be relaxed at the commissaire's discretion.
But remember this the commissaire is not just there to lay down the rules, he has a duty to ensure yours, and the convoys safety.
As regards extra lead cars, not only have you to find bodies who will do the job for you, they dont run on thin air and they will have to be costed into the race budget,....do you want to pay more for your sunday race?

Quite simply if you dont want the 5 minute rule to apply to you........train a bit harder !

Nick E
27-01-2009, 08:52 PM
Quite simply if you dont want the 5 minute rule to apply to you........train a bit harder !
Or.....as most will opt for.....not enter the race in the first place, making Nat A/B races even more rare as clubs can't afford to run them without an adequate number of entries.
Or did i mention that earlier in this thread???