Friday, July 30, 2010

ITU Bike Course Improvements


Yesterday after one of Paulos "leg growing" rides, Austin and I had a good talk about ITU WCS Cycling and the courses. We came to a few conclusions and possible recommendations that might help improve this section of the sport for fans, tv and the general viewing public:

CONCLUSIONS:

- Current WCS courses are not challenging enough to seperate the men from the goats with exception to Madrid.

- Bike Handling skills not showcased

- Bike segments are becoming too predictable (lead group out of water tries to hold off chase mob to no avail by 2nd or 3rd lap).

- The growing packs (50-60 riders) in combination with frustrated riders are increasing the chances of crashes and dangerous behaviour.

- Courses not challenging enough to put fatigue even into weaker cyclist legs for run

RECOMMENDATIONS:

- Hilly Courses

- Hilly courses may not be readily available in most large cities such as seoul, london etc. so in exchange courses need to be made MUCH MORE technical.

- By MUCH MORE we mean MUCH MUCH MORE. ie. make the loop 2k or less, so 20x2k loop with chicanes, 180's, 90's, cobbles, you name it. Essentially make it a criterium course, which WILL seperate the groups and eliminate a lot of the other associated issues.

- No segment of course may have a straight away greater than 250m in length

- Some might say 2k is too short for the lap-out rule.....you should not be racing WCS if the thought of being lapped even crosses your mind.


RESULT:

- More dynamic and engaging cycle portion of race

- Run times more accurately reflecting bike strength in athlete

- Athletes will be forced to become better bike handlers, resulting in fewer accidents/injuries.

- Perhaps the most entertaining endurance event on the planet



What do you think?

4 comments:

Andrew Hall said...

I can just see Ryan Cochrane beating everyone by 3 minutes out of the water and lapping the entire field out before the next guy gets into transition.

A-Russ said...

Would never happen, but you raise a good point. One that would make the best athletes have to improve their swimming that much more to remain world class.

Anonymous said...

After watching the Tour de France for a couple weeks, I was amazed at the bike fitness/skills those riders have when compared to a large number of ITU athletes.

Many good points listed here Andrew. Anyone planning on making the 2012 team can just focus on a huge run base now because 'ain't nobody' making a break on that bike course.

Cheers.

Steven said...

Most criteriums end in a sprint finish and are not as selective as you would like. Maybe something like cyclocross in the middle would split things up.
Proper bike handling takes time, most bike racers take just over two seasons to get the hang of it.