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Digital Subscriptions > Bicycling Australia > Nov/Dec 2015 > A Standard Handicap

A Standard Handicap

CYCLING NSW INTRODUCED A UNIQUE NEW STATE WIDE HANDICAPPING SYSTEM IN 2015. KAREN FORMAN TAKES A LOOK AT THE NEW SYSTEM AND THE GREAT INSTITUTION THAT IS THE HANDICAP RACE.
© JARROD PARTRIDGE

Updating the Institution

AUSTRALIA IS WELL known in the international cycling world for its traditional road handicap races – events where riders are graded into groups of similar ability and set off anywhere between a few seconds and a lot of minutes apart with the hope that all will come together for one big mass sprint on the finish line. It’s a simple formula a little similar to the other great Australian institution – the track wheel race.

The slowest group called “Limit” starts first, and the fastest riders, or “scratch” group, start last. In between groups start at various intervals depending on their ability. First rider across the line is the winner. Fastest rider on the day wins the highly sought after Fastest Time award. Often, one rider wins both titles.

Stating the obvious, handicap races allow riders of both sexes, all ages and all abilities to race together – with every rider having the chance to win. But that doesn’t mean they are just a race for beginners or clubbies. Just as on the track, handicaps have and continue to attract some of the greatest names in cycling. In fact, many bike riders have made handicap events their specialty.

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Bicycling Australia is packed with interesting and useful information that will enhance your cycling experience. Our expert writers specialise in providing detailed information on training, positioning, health and nutrition, designed to help you ride better. There’s also unbiased, critical analysis of new products—from parts, and accessories, to clothing and nutrition, to full bike reviews—all with detailed photography to help you buy better. You'll also find Where to Ride suggestions in every issue, for destinations both in Australia and overseas. Download your copy now!
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