What to DO if you're NEW
The Wellington Cycling Club aims for professionally run and safe races, with a grading system that ensures riders compete at a level that is both challenging for their fitness and suitable for their level of experience.
Every rider must have a current Cycling Australia or UCI competitive licence.
To Join the Wellington Cycling Club for12 months CLICK HERE
To Join the Wellington Cycling Club for 6 months CLICK HERE
Prospective new members can contact club Treasurer Gary Lucas or Secretary Allan Rankin for your licence application. 3 Race Permits &Day licences can be pruchased on race day. Riders will be expected to produce their Cycling Australia licence, club receipt or e-mail confirmation of on-line renewals at the entry table each time they race.
The club currently charges $10 per entry for club races and combines with other clubs. The club pays prize money to the winners and placegetters at the presentation of each individual race.
The club Handicapper is Grant Smith assisted by Mike Renehan. Whilst they may consider information from others the handicapper has the final say on which grade you will ride in.
The safety of riders, officials and members of the public is paramount at all times. On some road circuits, extensive traffic control measures are employed to minimize conflict with other road users, but all riders must be aware that these races are conducted on public roads and be prepared to yield to motorists or pedestrians at any time.
All directions from course marshals and race officials must be immediately followed without question.
All participants are expected to be familiar with WCC's Rules for Racing and the Cycling Australia Code of Conduct. We expect all competitors to show respect and courtesy towards all other riders, officials and volunteers.
Riders are to maintain a straight course where possible and keep to the left side of the circuit unless overtaking a slower bunch.
Riders may not deviate from their line unless their back wheel is well clear of the front wheel of riders following behind or to either side - i.e. you must not cut another rider off when overtaking or attacking.
Riders should not attempt to improve their position in corners, in particular by diving up the inside of the bunch. Riders are expected to follow the line set by the bunch through corners whenever it is safe to do so.
Riders must not strike the road surface with their pedals while cornering.
Riders who leave the racing circuit proper, which include ‘ripple strips' may not improve their position within the bunch.
Both hands are to be kept on the handlebars, unless a rider is taking a drink. Unfortunately, this also means that victory salutes are banned.
Any rider involved in a fall must report to the Duty Officer to have the details of their accident recorded, regardless of whether they require first aid treatment.
Riders must not gain assistance from riders from any other grade on the circuit at the same time.
Lapped riders must withdraw from the circuit at ‘3 to go' in Criteriums or when directed by officials.
Helmets must be worn at all times you are riding your bike - this includes warming up and cooling down on either roads, car parks and footpaths.
Where do I belong?
A Grade - average speeds generally around 40 km/h .
Suits - strong and very experienced riders. Excellent cornering and bunch riding skills are required. At least one win at B Grade level is a prerequisite for acceptance into a WCC A Grade crit field.
B Grade - average speeds are generally around 35 km/h.
Suits - strong and experienced riders. B Grade riders have generally accumulated a number of top four places in C grade competition and should have very good bunch riding skills and understanding of race tactics and etiquette.
C Grade - average speed around 32 km/h
Suits - Entry level riders start here, fields often comprise a mix of experienced racers, newer riders from a triathlon or MTB background or riders returning from injury or lay off. Most new riders find the going easier than expected though racing tactics offer a whole new dimension!
If you are a novice at racing and have entered C grade for your first race please let the club know so experienced riders can assist you in understanding the different race rules and etiquette. There are different challenges in each type of racing ie gradings, handicaps for scratch racing, teams racing and criteriums. The club is keen to encourage new riders to this growing sport.
Note: this information is by no means exhaustive, and may be amended from time to time. If you any questions regarding the conduct of WCC races, racing rules or etiquette, please do not hesitate speak with any of our marshals or race officials.
How to start racing
Many riders come to watch a race before they actually compete, so hopefully this will help you.
Come to the venue well hydrated, well fueled (refer to the A.I.S. web site for more information on eating/drinking times before races). Your bike should be road/race worthy with a pump, tyre repair kit and bungs in the bar ends. Come to the 'signing-in' table to meet the Race day organizer and tell him/her that it is your "first time". The chances are that you'll be a bit nervous, but we'll look after you.
Have an idea of the kilometers that you have done over the last month or so and the average training speeds you have achieved, as this will help the handicapper decide which grade to put you in. Don't be tempted to exaggerate as this may be to your disadvantage. You will be placed in what we consider your appropriate grade. You will be allocated a race number.
Ask for help if you so wish, we have people willing to be mentors and pass on the experience that they have and every grade has people who will help you.
Put your helmet, gloves, shoes and glasses on, get on your bike and go out for a warm-up.
Get your heart rate up, so that the lungs have been opened.
Have a full bidon / water bottle for the race (750 mls /hr is a rough guide). On a hot day have two bottles - one for the warm-up and one for the race. Ditch the warm-up one prior to the race proper.
Race length is often decided by organizers just before the race. Careful consideration is given to the weather conditions (too hot or too cold races may be shortened) and the strength of the field.
Be on the starting line before the start and listen to the pre-race briefing, the briefing will let you know about the course for the race and in particular any safety issues.
During the race - what to do.
It is preferable to ride near the front rather than the back in the bunch. You may find it more difficult at the back because of the surges and attacks, especially on the hills. If struggling on the hills move to the front at the bottom of the hill and drift back through the bunch as you climb - and do it each lap. Watch out for the 'drop kick effect' when a rider stands up and his bike 'comes back' towards you. To avoid this don't follow too close, or overlap, the wheel in front.
Do a Google Search on bunch etiquette and echelons and remember we have a lot of riders in every grade who are willing to help newcomers.
Stay loose in your body, relaxed arms, and eyes always to the front (if you turn your head you turn your arms). Stay on the drops when riding into a headwind. Do a short turn if you find yourself at the front - you will gain the respect of your fellow riders if you 'do a turn'.
Sharp Corners and pedal position
The inside pedal should be up when cornering. It's amazing how many crashes occur because of this simple mistake and pedals hitting the ground. When cornering lean first with your head, then gently follow with your shoulders and torso if necessary.(whilst keeping you bike relatively upright)
The Bell Lap
Position, position, position. Good luck but maintain your 'real estate' - riders do try and take it all the time. In the sprint hold your line once the sprint has started. Plain and simple - do not cut the last corner or ride underneath another rider.
The club usually holds the presentation as soon as possible after the races.
Start your recovery as soon as you finish. Drink, drink, drink and refuel. That bidon should be empty if you've been out for the hour or more. If you wake up in the middle of the night with a dry mouth and cracked lips, well you didn't drink enough. Some riders even weigh themselves before and after races to check how hydrated they are.