I think some of the disagreement here is that some of us are speaking about SS racing in general, others are focused on the CTR only.
yep, good point. it seems everyone invested here would like to see the discussion produce more than just CTR rules refinements.
I think in light of what I observed at this years CTR, If I were Stefan I would change the following for next year:
2. No cell phones. Eliminates grey areas and interpretations and Spot stalking.
the cell phone rule is one that almost needs it's own thread, more development and more consideration for the state of SS in years to come. TAs, TM and inside support (IS) are human nature-based and not likely to change much. the phone question is about technology and how/if we will let it play a role in "gitinerdun". Mark, re. spot-stalking, not sure if you are speaking of fans and/or TAs stalking racers or racers stalking other racers but they are different birds in terms of how we deal with them, IMO.
...and asking for water from a day rider is not trail magic.
regarding water, i would like to see water resupply be a separate point of discussion here as well. i realize how it's management plays a critical role in success in the KTR, but i personally think it's sacrosanct enough to generally not be limited to commercial resupply only. comments?
This year a lot of hikers/cyclists/people in towns had knowledge of the "race". It was quite simply shocking to me. I was treated like I had reality-show quasi-celebrity status. For being last place in what i thought to be an obscure group ITT race.
The Spot/Leaderboard phenomena is too much of a influence to not change these rules IMO. People just want to be involved now with the CTR and TD. I had complete non-cyclists tell me they were tracking racers in the CTR.
this is part of progress. anyone with knowledge of the races is already banned from affecting them in any way. if we allow TM, this is true of TAs as well. if they are expecting you, take nothing form them. simple. perhaps TM ought be banned in towns for this reason.
Is partnering up a bad thing? If it is, why go through all the organizational issues to set up a group start?
as i understand it, its not to be chummy. it's specifically to compete against the course under equal circumstances, be that climatology, specific weather, hours for commercial services, trail angel opps., whatever. MC made it pretty clear b/f the `04 divide it wasn't really in the name of camaraderie. we couldn't even get him to drink a beer with us.
It is also my understanding Stamstad had a film crew he met up with daily on his ride...
he called them off after 3-4days cuz they were affecting his ride. he saw tire tracks, and other clues to their presence that impacted his navigation. i don't think he accepted anything from them. TD organizers had similar hemming/hawing on this issue with the `08 TD doc. crew. it's very hard not to be present without a trace. for ex: certainly racers at the front of a group-start leave tire tracks that assist those at the back of the pack with navigation. i suppose in the age of GPS the aid tire tracks is less of a boon. hard to say. something to consider.
Great debate for sure...Consider the case of 3 riders. 2 are riding together and stop trailside and share a twix. The 3rd, riding solo, comes alongside the other 2 right as the sharing takes place. It's legit according to the gentleman's agreement but that 3rd rider does not know if this was the first time, or if there was more than 500 calories shared. So that 3rd rider is left wondering if he is riding amongst racers with no regard for the rules. Intent is one thing, appearances count also.
now THAT is hairsplitting split hairs!
It's very easy to imagine scenarios where for various reasons some riders would have the opportunity to benefit from a trail angel and others would not. What happens if the trail angel is only able to be available for some of the riders?
if the angel truly knows nothing of the event, is on their own hike, chalk it up to the vagaries of serendipitous opportunity.
A trail angel can unlevel the playing field really fast.
legitimate random trail angels over the arc of an entire race represent equal *enough* opportunity for all racers. ride too fast and you miss some TAs, ride too slow and you miss some too. randomness (vagaries) of timing should take care of that, yes?
As for being race changing - the very act of lining up with others is far, far more impact than anything else we are talking about in this thread.
i'm sorry, can you clarify impact on what/which faction? on that group-start edition's results, or impact on the the ITTer in comparison to the group-starters?
I don't totally agree. Getting a tube when you flatted and ran out of spares and patches seems pretty race changing to me. Certainly more than chasing another racer. I totally admit that chasing provides motivation and inspiration but one leads you to reach your potential, the other saves you from a very long walk. Or is there another angle you're looking at it from?
isn't the question whether or not group-starts provide so much impetus to racers as to disadvantage the ITTer?
Sure, a tube could make a big difference in the short term. But how about having carrots in TD? Was it motivating to know ML was not far in front of you all along? Do you think it motivated him to keep trucking knowing you and Kurt were not far back? How much would that add up to over 2+ weeks?
i thought we accept this as a potential advantage? there is also the meltdown factor in chasing or running from others "too hard"
While it's true that "alls you can do is alls you can do", it's also true that many riders are not capable of reaching their limits while riding solo. I have the benefit of 8 years of coaching cyclists with power meters. Power meters tell a great story, there are no secrets in the power file. There are 2 types of riders when it comes to power: those that post their personal bests in races (by a lot), and those for whom it doesn't really matter. There are more in the first group than the second group.
and these differences are fine, accepted. for this reason, some are better off choosing ITT over group start. "all we're trying to do" is level the respective advantages, right?
I contend that having other racers to chase and be chased by has far more impact on results than anything else we've been discussing, and this opinion is rooted in hard data.
having racers to chase impacts the intra-race classification or one's placing within the long term historical GC? if you're chasing a leader and you catch him, drop him, wouldn't you also be inclined to ratchet back to a lesser tempo (be content) knowing you had the lead and didn't want to jeopardize it by blowing up. in 05 and 06 divide race i can attest to be negatively impacted by knowing i had a sizeable lead on other group-starters.
It's inconsistent. If we're gonna ride together then just do it. A bunch of rules for how riders are allowed to interact I simply find hypocritical.
not if all's you want out of it is to compete under equal climatology, weather, circumstances.