Road bike racing is a diverse discipline that encompasses many types of events including road races, time trials (both individual and team), criteriums and stage-races.
Road Race: A road race is a mass start event generally held on a secondary highway and can either be a out and back course, lapped race, or a larger loop. Races are typically between 50-120km in length depending upon your category of racing.
Time-trial: A time-trial is an individual race against the clock where riders are sent out on course at 1 minute intervals and the lowest time is declared the winner. The distance can be anywhere from 8-40km in length. A team time-trial is where teams of 2-4 riders are sent out instead of individuals and the team’s time is based upon the time of either the last or second last rider of the team.Provincial Time Trials are set at 15 km and 40 km. Specialized aero dynamic equipment as per UCI rules – bicycle, helmet, clothing
Criterium: A criterium is a circuit race designed to be an exciting spectator sport. The course is usually a loop of less than a kilometer so that fans get to see the racers repeatedly during the race. The distance is usually based on time rather than distance and can last between 30-70 minutes depending on the race and category.
Hill Climb: Individual race against the clock for a fixed distance up a hill
Stage-Race: A stage-race is a multi-day competition that can have 2-4 different races (or the proper term is stages) with the winner being declared as the person with the lowest combined time from all the stages. A stage race will often include a combination of road race, time-trial, criterium and hill climb.
The Saskatchewan Cycling Association sanctions road racing in the province and provides support to race organizers, sets the provincial calendar, administers the points series and provides awards for provincial championships and the Sask Cup
Road Racing Clubs Go to the Clubs website for more information
Rock’N’Road Cycling Club, Prince Albert – road/mountain bike racing
Regina Cycle Club
Moose Jaw Pavers Cycling Club – road/mountain racing
Western Cycle Development Team
The following is a collected body of information and links to assist and answer any questions that athletes, parents, clubs or organizers might have about road racing in Saskatchewan.
Preparing for a Race – great tips for your first or fortieth race.
Provincial Races – check out the provincial race calendar.
Saskatchewan Cup Points Series – information on the points series. For 2013 the Provincial Road Race, 15 K ITT and Criterium will be included in the point series.
Athlete Development – information on coaching, training, and competitive opportunities for developing and high-performance athletes.
Race Organizer’s Guide – how to put on a race. A great guide for athletes as well to educate them on what goes into planning a race for them to enjoy.
Interclub points series – information on the points series.
Road Racing Categories
Road racing categories are designed to place riders in groupings of similar fitness and racing ability regardless of age. The list below includes a description the category, and typical road race distance.
Cat 2/3: The highest level of racing in Saskatchewan and you should be in excellent shape and have suitable riding skills to race in this category. Typical race distances are 90-120km in length.
Cat 4: The largest category of road racing in Saskatchewan that covers a wide range of ages and ability levels. Typical race distances are between 70-90km in length.
Cat 5: An excellent category for most riders to start in if they are just learning to road race or if you aren’t training too much and are out to enjoy light competition. Typical race distances are 50-70km in length.
Cat 6: Only offered in Saskatchewan, not a UCI recognized category. A category for novice riders, who are not ready for longer distances. The distances will be fixed at a maximum of:
– 30 k for a Road Race
-15K for a Individual Time Trial
– 20 min + 2 laps for a Criterium.
Since adding a Category 6 is not mandatory for race organizers, riders are encouraged to contact the race organizer to find out if a Category 6 is being offered.
New for 2010: Category 6 Road Category will now be redefined to two groups:
1. Open: ages 15 and older
2. Youth Series: ages 14 and younger
Both categories will be part of the Sask Cup Road Point Series but not mandatory for race organizers to include at their races.
Women: The women’s category encompasses a wide range of fitness and skill levels and is sometimes split into two groups, one that races with the Cat 4 men and one that races with Cat 5. For larger events the women race in their own category. Typical race distances are 50-90km in length.
This is my first race, which category should I choose?
The best place to start road racing, especially if you have little experience riding in a pack of riders is Cat 5. You will quickly find out whether you are in the right category or not and can move to the next category (Cat 4) if appropriate. Cat 4 is a good starting place for riders in good shape who have experience riding in a pack. Often times speaking with a road racer you know will give you a better idea of what category you should enter as they would be able to evaluate your fitness are skills.
Upgrading and downgrading your racing license or Temporary upgrades
If you believe that you should be upgraded or downgraded in your racing category, you must provide a letter to the High Performance Committee outlining your request.
For an upgrade, your request should include race results from your previous season, race results from the current season, recommendation letter from your coach, previous experience in a related sport, and or results from a high level of ability in another cycling discipline.
For a downgrade, your request should include race results from the current or past season or a description of the circumstances which would place you at a lower ability category.
Generally a Road Level 1 or 2, a Cyclo-cross Level 1 or 2 and a Mountain Bike Elite license are not issued without substantial evidence that a rider can race at that ability level. If you don’t have substantial evidence that you are racing at a higher ability and you are attending an out of province race and competing in any of the high ability categories mentioned previously, you can request an upgrade letter to attach to your current license. This letter will be specific to a race and will have an expire date. Your request should list the event name and location, date of the event and current results that would support the temporary upgrade.
All requests must be received at least one month prior to the event for which you would like to compete in your new upgraded/downgraded category.
Send your request to the SCA office at: 2205 Victoria Ave, Regina, Sask S4P 0S4 or e-mail at email@example.com
Criterium Points Race Explained
With a points criterium, points are awarded every “X” number of laps (this number & the total number of laps for each race will be announced at the start of each race & will depend on the time for a hot lap. Posted race times are approximate only). Therefore, racers sprint for points a number of times during the race AND at the end of the race.
Points are awarded as 5 for 1st across the line, 3 for 2nd & 1 for 3rd. double points are awarded for the final sprint for the finish. The winner is determined using the following priority criteria: 1st # laps completed 2nd # points won 3rd # sprints won 4th finish order Therefore, if someone laps the field, he/she would have completed the most # laps & would be placed above someone who won the most points but completed 1 less lap.
All racers who complete the same # of laps would be placed according to the # of points won. # sprints won will be used if there is a tie. racers who do not win any points will be ranked according to their finish order in the race. If 1 or more racers lap the main pack, everyone in the new main pack is eligible for points again
A couple things to note: the free lap rule will apply for a recognized crash or flat but a racer cannot contest the next sprint after they take a free lap.
Lapped riders will be pulled at the commissaires discretion. If they are not pulled, they may work with others in the pack but they may not drop back to help another rider gain a lap on the pack.
Lastly, everyone finishes on the same lap!
Typical Schedule of Events at a Road Bike Event
The schedule for all road races is not the same. Carefully read the information on the website or in the Prairie Pedaler to make sure that you arrive on time. Many road races do not require pre-registration (usually the smaller ones) and you can simply show up at the sign-in time and pay for your race. If you have pre-registered for a race, you must still sign-on on the day of the race. Licensed racers must show their license on race day. A waiver of liability form and registration form must be completed and handed in at sign-on.
One day licenses are available at the race for $20.00 and is good for one event for unlicensed riders. A maximum of one one day license can be purchased in one year.