## Monday, March 21, 2011

### 2011 USA Cycling Rulebook

Here's the link for the 2011 Rulebook.  Please read it.  Knowing the rules will work to your advantage.  Trust me.  http://www.usacycling.org/forms/USAC_rulebook.pdf   Here is a rule you should know, especially if you race Criteriums that relates to the Free Lap Rule, Rule 3D5 (d): A rider granted a free lap must re-enter the race before the final 8km of the race.

So, lets say your Crit is advertised as 60 min. long instead of laps (like the Collegiate races).  After a few laps of the race, the officials will average the time per lap.  That's why you'll see the lap counter at 00 for the first few laps of your race- the officials are computing the number of laps remaining.  If your average time per lap is 3 min. long you will most likely be doing 20 laps +/- 1 lap.  If the Crit loop is 1.1 miles long, that means you'll be racing a total of 22 miles.  22 miles x 5280 ft./mile= 116,160 ft  Divide that by 3.28 ft/meter= 35,414 meters  Divide this number by 8000 meters (8km) and you get 4.4 laps.  That will be the cut-off for a free lap.  I believe the officials will round that off to either 4 or 5 laps.

If your average time per lap for the first few laps is 2.5 min (for the same race) that's 24 laps instead of 20 laps you'll be racing.  24 laps times 1.1 miles per lap = 26.4 miles.  That translates to 5.3 laps.  Therefore, your cutoff for a free lap will be either 5 or 6 laps.  Oh, and that's 5 or 6 laps left in the race that the "leaders" see.  So, if you're 1/2 mile behind the leaders and you flat out and see 5 or 6 on the lap counter (which is clearly displayed just past the finish line) then there are no more free laps.  Hope this makes sense.  If not, email me: mullerrj@comcast.net  So, in general, for a 60 min. race with a 1.1 mile loop and an average speed of 2.5 to 3 min. per lap you're looking at anywhere from 4-6 laps remaining until you no longer get a free lap for a mishap.  BTW, "mishap" is defined as a mechanical or crash.  See your rulebook for definitions.

If you race mostly USAC Crits the races are advertised by laps. i.e. Cat 1/2/3 race is 27 laps long regardless of how long it takes to complete a lap.  For that, you just multiply the number of laps times the distance per lap.  If it's a 1 mile lap, that's 27 miles...or 5.4 laps until no more Free Lap is granted.