2013 BSCC road season proudly brought to you by
BSCC is a year-round cycling club that provides safe and challenging events - road, track, criterium, and MTB - in the Ballarat region. Traditionally, the club's emphasis has been on road and track racing. Recently, especially since 2009, we are branching out to include a wider variety of events, not all of them races. Please click HERE for information about recreational road rides, and HERE for information about other regular group road rides. Track racing info is HERE, and info about MTB events - not all races - is HERE. The rest of this page is about road racing.
All riders, BSCC members or not, are always very welcome at all BSCC events. Generally speaking, the more riders there are in a race, the more interesting the race is, to watch and to do, so come one, come all! If you're in town, or passing through, and one of our races takes your fancy, please come along, whether or not you're a member of a cycling club. As we explain below, we cater for a wide range of abilities. For some of our races, we ask for entries a few days ahead, but even this rule will be waived if you ask nicely. The only firm requirement is that you hold the appropriate Cycling Australia license. This rule exists for all Cycling Australia-sanctioned events in Australia, and it's to make sure you have the appropriate insurance, in case of an accident to you or to another competitor or official. License options are explained HERE.
To see our current downloadable road racing fixture, please go to the on-line calendar, and you'll see the fixture at the top of the page. Our road racing season typically commences in March and ends in November, and includes graded scratch races and handicap races for senior and junior riders. (If you're new to cycling, you might not be familiar with some of the terminology here. The words in italics are defied at the bottom of this page.) Our seniors generally race over distances between 50 km and 65 km. Junior races are shorter: distances vary according to the circuit, conditions and entrant numbers and skill. Race locations include Glen Park, Dunnstown, Snake Valley and other localities within riding distance of Ballarat.
We aim to provide our participants with a variety of courses, including flat and fast circuits, out and back or loop courses, and the occassional hilly race. The definition of a hilly circuit in Ballarat is not the same as in Bright, or the Rockies, or many other places. But Ballarat road racing has been described by someone who knows as "the hard rider's paradise." You can always count on it being windy!
The club works with the Geelong and Colac Cycling Clubs to present the 'Tri Series', a race series across locations in each of the club areas. Recently these events have been held in the middle of the season. At these events, participants compete in a graded scratch race against riders from the other clubs, and although individual prizes are awarded, it is a club event so each club is allocated points towards the overall series prize.
The club holds an annual road race championship in Gordon in September-October. This race is the premier event for the year. It's our only race that is only open to BSCC members. Here's a report on the 2009 championship.
Our 'blue ribbon' events are The Collier, which is a prestigious handicap at Kingston over 85km, named for our club life member and patron, John Collier; The Brookman, a 60 km handicap, named for a former club member who tragically died while riding his bike on national service; club time trial championships on the famed Cuthberts Road circuit, and the Buninyong Hill Climb, which rewards our best climbers. Click on the links for reports on recent editions of these events.
The 2013 season has been divided into four series.
1. Pre- Season Racing Series: This includes only those races that have already been held this year. Winners are yet to be notified and prize money distributed.
2. Autumn Series (Program attached): A four race series (consecutive weeks) beginning on Saturday, 13h April at Kingston and finishing with the “Brookman Classic” on the 4th of May. All races will start at 9am on Saturday morning. There will be aggregate prize money for this series: 1st - $150 2nd - $100 3rd - $50.
3. Winter Series (For program see www.cyclingballarat.com.au or facebook): The winter series starts with Scratch Races at Burrumbeet on 18th of May and concludes with the Club Championships on the 20th July. There will be a mixture of scratch and handicap races with the 85 kilometre Collier Classic being the feature race of the series the week before the club championships. There will be aggregate prize money for this series: 1st - $150 2nd - $100 3rd - $50.
4. Spring Series: A series of criterium races will also be held in Spring. At this stage details have not been finalised. There will also be aggregate prize money for this series: 1st - $150 2nd - $100 3rd - $50.
Membership: Riders must have either full membership paid online through Cycling Australia (www.cycling.org.au) or may purchase a three week racing permit for $50 from Gove Cycles. The $50 fee will then be taken off a full membership purchased at a later date. This is a great option for those who wish to try racing for the first time.
For 2013 the following details apply:
Entries: To Don Stewart by 5pm Friday before each race.
Entry Fee: $10 on race day, prior to commencement of race.
Start times: All races are to be held on a Saturday morning with a 9am start time.
Prize Money: Awarded on an aggregate basis at the conclusion of each series. BSCC is a not-for-profit club, so most race fees are invested in the club's various programs, facilities and functions, to ensure our club is financially viable into the future. That's a long way of saying you won't get rich winning BSCC club races.
All road races are conducted with permission of Victoria Police, the relevant council and VicRoads, are managed in accordance with Event Management Plans prepared by the club, and underwritten by our insurers. The club works hard to ensure that our races are conducted in the safest possible manner to protect our riders.
Scratch races are what everyone else in the world outside Australia calls races! Everyone starts together, and first across the line wins. We have a wide range of abilities in the club - from elite riders who train 20 or more hours a week, have raced in Europe, race 60 or more days per year, and ride the National Race Series, to people who ride a few times a week and are doing their first race. Most of us are in between. To accommodate these abilities, we split our scratch races into grades - typically A, B, C and sometimes D in seniors - so that you're racing against people of similar ability. In a typical club race, we might have 40 senior entries, so three grades of 12-15 riders each. We usually have enough riders in each grade to make it a decent race, but not so many that riders unused to ProTour-sized fields (typically 200) will be spooked. Each grade starts separately. If the race is on a circuit, C grade might do fewer laps than A or B.
Handicap races are a uniquely Australian solution to the same problem.The entire field is divided into groups of roughly equal ability. For example our typical field of 40 might be split into eight groups of about 5 each. All the groups ride the same course, but the slowest group (so-called "limit") starts first, then a few minutes later the second-slowest ("second limit"), and so on, and the really fast ones - the so-called "scratch" group - start last. The groups are also sometimes referred to by the head-start they have on scratch. For example in a 50-km club handicap, the limit bunch might also be the 22-minute bunch, meaning that they start 22 minutes in front of the long-suffering scratch riders. The tactics in handicap races are very simple: each group works together as efficiently as possible, taking turns at the front, until they catch all the others, or are caught themselves. Then the tactical racing starts, with everyone theoretically reduced to the same level by the handicaps. Needless to say, it all depends on the handicapper reading the tea-leaves accurately regarding riders' relative form. The Melbourne to Ballarat is an example of a handicap race that has been running for a century.
2013 BSCC road season proudly brought to you by