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Amateur Racing in other Countries

  • 27-06-2021 6:44am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 2,414 ✭✭✭ harringtonp


    It's something I've always wondered about, particularly at lower levels.

    Do any other European countries have the equivalent of A4 / A3 racing on open roads ? Particularly in the pandemic format where you could just rock up on the day without any sign on ?

    I know the UK does but its been pre entry and limited to 50 per race for quite some time.

    How does it work in the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Spain and Italy for example ?

    Anyone know ?


Comments

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 22,096 Mod ✭✭✭✭ CramCycle


    I have seen it in the US and Belgium, seems to be a decent enough scene in the US, very similar to what we have here, and the one race I seen in Belgium had a decent number of riders in what appeared to be a possibly a club league race but was easily equivalent to a A4 to A1 handicap by Irish standards.


  • Registered Users Posts: 286 ✭✭ Morris Garren


    The UK is broadly similar to here, albeit much more diverse and regionalised; much greater emphasis on Time Trials also, given the difficulties in arranging open road races in a more industrialised environment.
    Belgium, especially Flanders, is interesting, mostly because categories don't exist the way they do here; instead there is much greater competition for pro or semi-pro contracts, hence the kermesse circuit is full of emerging talent, international riders on the way up, or local heroes making a few quid week by week. If for example you landed the typical Mondello Park riders into a kermesse, probably only the A1s or the top junior talent would survive in the bunch.

    Ireland, as usual, has an element of 'sure it will be grand' when it comes to organising stuff. Covid has actually tightened things up a bit in fairness. I have had far too many crazy moments with crazy car, tractor and lorry drivers driving full speed towards a twitchy open-race peleton over the years. My favourite was meeting up with an agricultural fair in the middle of a village down West one year- nobody told the farmers that those feckin cyclists were coming!

    Other countries close roads or at least move more fluidly from place to place than in Ireland.
    That's my experience anyway


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 13,438 Mod ✭✭✭✭ ednwireland


    Other countries close roads or at least move more fluidly from place to place than in Ireland.
    That's my experience anyway

    i suspect you get more buy in from local communities in belgium, try getting a road closure for a club race (or even an open race) here and see how you get on.

    all you normally get is complaints if you run a race and close roads off here


  • Registered Users Posts: 286 ✭✭ Morris Garren


    i suspect you get more buy in from local communities in belgium, try getting a road closure for a club race (or even an open race) here and see how you get on.

    all you normally get is complaints if you run a race and close roads off here

    Yes, this is true. There isn't the same culture or indeed the resources to close roads for racing unfortunately


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,414 ✭✭✭ harringtonp


    I've heard it rumoured that in some parts of Spain anyone, even tourists can just rock up and join in. Nothing concrete on this, just hearsay.

    Likewise I've heard that in the Netherlands there is no lower level racing on open roads, its all Mondello type stuff


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  • Registered Users Posts: 8,323 ✭✭✭ Macy0161


    Likewise I've heard that in the Netherlands there is no lower level racing on open roads, its all Mondello type stuff
    I don't know about the open roads, but one of the womens stage races had at least one stage in a bike park earlier in the year. Pretty different from a motor racing circuit - was a reclaimed dump I think and had a koppenberg-esque cobbled climb!


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 22,096 Mod ✭✭✭✭ CramCycle


    i suspect you get more buy in from local communities in belgium, try getting a road closure for a club race (or even an open race) here and see how you get on.

    all you normally get is complaints if you run a race and close roads off here
    Also the cost of closed roads here make it financially unviable, it also invites more eyes and more likely to be cancelled. Our current form of non closed roads with a half assed rolling closure is actually as good as we could hope for and all we can hope for.
    Macy0161 wrote: »
    I don't know about the open roads, but one of the womens stage races had at least one stage in a bike park earlier in the year. Pretty different from a motor racing circuit - was a reclaimed dump I think and had a koppenberg-esque cobbled climb!
    I remember it, looked class, would love something like that here.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 13,438 Mod ✭✭✭✭ ednwireland


    CramCycle wrote: »
    Also the cost of closed roads here make it financially unviable, it also invites more eyes and more likely to be cancelled. Our current form of non closed roads with a half assed rolling closure is actually as good as we could hope for and all we can hope for.

    I remember it, looked class, would love something like that here.

    we closed a road through a town for a circuit race , not the whole circuit just a section. i think the adverts in the local papers cost us the most.


    the CIE bus still came through

    you may or may not get the guards (although once you have the closure they are supposed to come out unless called to an emergency)


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,194 ✭✭✭✭ Enfilade


    Macy0161 wrote: »
    I don't know about the open roads, but one of the womens stage races had at least one stage in a bike park earlier in the year. Pretty different from a motor racing circuit - was a reclaimed dump I think and had a koppenberg-esque cobbled climb!

    Yeah, it was used in both the Healthy Ageing Tour for the Women and for the Dutch nationals a couple of weeks ago. They actually had a stage at that tour on the Assen circuit too, and it was fairly exciting form what I remember of it. I think with the covid restrictions it was the only way they could run the Healthy Ageing tour back in may, but there was a case to be made to have some of those elements included in future ones.

    Here's the Vam Berg
    https://www.komoot.com/highlight/489580

    🚴‍♂️



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,014 ✭✭✭ Galego


    I've heard it rumoured that in some parts of Spain anyone, even tourists can just rock up and join in. Nothing concrete on this, just hearsay.

    I've never heard of that. Where I am from, Northwest, you need to have a license to race and there are not cats like here. There are u23, elites, m30, m40, etc.
    Terrane is pretty hilly so you need to be pretty fit to stay in touch with the front group. Also, they are done in closed roads.
    I assume it is pretty similar in the rest of the country from what I know.

    You may have heard that about sportives perhaps? Sportives in Spain are actually pretty competitive with prices and timing people.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,414 ✭✭✭ harringtonp


    It may have been sportives alright. I took it with a pinch of salt but given how chilled Spain is in some ways it wouldn't have completely surprised me either.


  • Registered Users Posts: 31 n1ey


    It's something I've always wondered about, particularly at lower levels.

    Do any other European countries have the equivalent of A4 / A3 racing on open roads ? Particularly in the pandemic format where you could just rock up on the day without any sign on ?

    I know the UK does but its been pre entry and limited to 50 per race for quite some time.

    How does it work in the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Spain and Italy for example ?

    Anyone know ?

    We allow you to race with an international licence. However, there aren't many races being run throughout America on a regular and recurring basis.

    Within New England I am involved with the running of one weekly road race (in Boston metro). It is held through August on Tuesday evenings. It is the only race on a course entirely closed to motor traffic. You can go for 800 miles before you find a "road" race similar to this. Other formats such as criteriums do have a closed track in places. Yet, we have not heard whether the state of Rhode Island will allow their racing to resume. So their criterium track sits idle every week, now.

    Check out Bikereg.com. Most of the races are actually listed there and electronic registration is possible. In regards to the licence you need to have a licence that is approved through the UCI/USAC process.

    Bill


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