Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Crit Racers PSA - Free Lap Rule Scenarios

From your favorite Ducati riding motor ref...

I've worked a few pits the past couple of seasons and even I get a stumper. That's not good, but what i have noticed is that it's the same questions all the time even on the ones I do know. The following info is direct from the May 2010 USA Cycling Officials Newsletter and I thought (with permission from USA Cycling) I would share it with you all.

Free lap or No Free Lap?

1. Rider drops a chain.

[1A13] No free lap. Failure of an essential component? Only if it’s come off due to a bent chain ring, missing teeth on the cogs, or caused by some other failure of an essential component (broken derailleur, for example) then it is a recognized mishap. Furthermore, can you imagine what would happen if a dropped chain were a mishap? Is there a rider anywhere who could not throw his chain off any time he wants?

2. Rider gets a flat tire.

[1A13] Free lap, unless it’s a flat due to inadequate gluing or some sort of fraud. If you suspect fraud, you should ask the mechanics in the pit to pump up the tire. If it holds air, then the rider who took a free lap should be put down a lap.

3. Rider hits a pothole that causes his saddle to tilt towards the ground.

[1A13] No Free lap. Adjustment or insufficient tightening of a component does not get the rider a free lap.

4. Same as 3 but you note the seatpost bolt is broken.

[1A13] Free Lap. A seatpost bolt is an essential piece of equipment.

5. Rider breaks the cleat on his shoe.

[1A13] Free lap. A cleat is an essential piece of equipment

6. Rider crashes and breaks his frame. He runs to the pit for a new bike without carrying the broken bike with him.

[1A13] [3D5(a)(b)][1Q9] No free lap. A frame is an “essential component.” But the question is further complicated by coming to the pit without a bike. Bicycle inspection and repairs must be made in an official repair pit. The pit official is responsible to make the determination. No bike, no ability to inspect, no free lap. Furthermore, a rider may make no progress unaccompanied by his bicycle. This includes getting to the pit. Again, no bicycle = no free lap.

7. Rider enters the pit with a trashed bike and gets a new one from the neutral support company. After taking the free lap he gets back in without incident. Five laps later, the rider comes back into the pit saying he wants a free lap so that he can switch back to his normal bike that was fixed by the mechanics.

[1A13] No Free Lap. For the second entrance to the pit, there was no mishap. The mishap rule does not recognize the rider’s preference to ride a particular bike compared to another.

Keep the rubber side down and stay out of the pits if you can!