Handicapping and grading

Recently on our Facebook page the issue of ‘Handicapping’ was raised and how decisions around this are made.
Handicapping refers to the gaps between groups that are racing in the same race with a view to all groups coming together towards the end, therefore giving everyone a chance of winning. The members of the handicap committee (with Paul Morgan as the Chief Handicapper) calculate the gaps between the grades depending on the riders present in the group. The Handicap committee also meet before feature races to allot groups and calculate gaps. The committee believes that this has been working well with most handicap races resulting in close finishes. This is not an exact science however and those doing the times do the best they can – there will be occasions when a group will not work well or another group will work exceptionally well skewing the result but overall, for the last three years, the results have been within what we would expect. This is evidenced by the spread of winnings across grades. We have years of worth of average speeds etc so there is some logic behind it.
What grade you race is a different issue and this, I feel, is what the majority of comments relate to. What grade you ride is the decision of the committee (with input from the handicapping committee) and where the committee choose to place a rider in is a fluid thing and there is not a set criteria because we are:
• trying to balance the racing groups,
• trying to place people in the grade that best suits their ability that we see
• trying to give people consistency to allow them to develop
• trying to balance the size of the groups
• being conscious of the impost on the volunteers when changes are made

These competing needs means making judgement calls and I can say that the committee discuss the groups and the various riders continuously. We look at:
• How many races they have won or placed in
• The type of winning
o Ie an obvious breakaway versus winning a tight sprint
o How many were in the group
• Current grade in CT races
• Performance in non-NVCC races
• Whether they have been away from racing
• Recovering from illness or injury
• Wanting to stretch themselves by racing in a harder grade
• What others perceive about their racing ability
We also discuss different ways to approach the allocation of grades, for instance reviewing Strava or identifying members within a grade that may move up or down depending on the size of groups on a given race day, but they have proved problematic for one reason or another.
I know that there are people that feel that someone else is the wrong grade (or even that they themselves are in the wrong grade) but unless we get something formal we are not going to operate on rumour. The committee is also not going to make a decision because a particular member feels it is a good idea as they may not be aware of consequences of moving riders.
Often these conversations are around putting someone up a grade but to do this we need to be conscious of how taking riders out of a group is going to affect that group ie moving me from C grade to B grade will take 1/5 of the riders that has been turning up to C grade over the past 5 weeks – and yes I am probably ready to go up but, as best as we can, we need to look at the connotations.
When I put my name forward to be president of the club, and I have articulated this as often as I could, I wanted to build on a culture of friendship while still recognising it is a ‘racing club.’ Most riders I speak with almost see winning as secondary to having an exciting race where you have competed in a safe atmosphere with your ‘mates’.
Finally and most importantly this club is made up of a lot of great people but is run by a relatively small number of volunteers who give their time to provide the racing opportunities you enjoy. We only have conversations around how to improve the racing and keep the club going and we do the best we can. We are open to suggestions but that does not mean we will adopt every suggestion as there may well be reasons to take a different path and as elected representatives we must look at the club as a whole.
We have also decided to formalise what was already happening – there will be a standard agenda item at our regular meetings to discuss rider movement.
If you do have considered suggestions we are happy to hear from you. Arrange a time to discuss it with us or put it in a letter to the club.

Yours sincerely
Luke Moore

Read More

Cormiston Legal Symonds Plains Results

About 65 riders took to the Symonds Plains Racetrack for the 2017 Cormiston Legal Criterium. On a beautiful autumn day the race the good sized groups took advantage of smooth roads, no traffic and access to the whole road and enjoyed competitive racing in a wonderful environment. The results are:
A Grade 1st Greig Watson, 2nd Shaun Probert and equal 3rd Jason Rigg and Michael Dalton (Northern version) Prime Aaron Dunn
B Grade 1 St Dane Leedham, 2nd Matthew Bernal 3rd Marty Neu PrimePeter Booth
C Grade 1 st Mick Mic Lockyer 2nd Geoff Rollins 3rd Grant Astell (also Prime)
D Grade 1 st Gary Baker 2nd Brendan Spurr 3rd Michael Archer Prime Brendan Spurr
E Grade 1st Justin Clements 2nd Peter Dadson 3rd Tony Bagshaw Prime Peter Pete McCarron
G Grade 1st Anne Wadley-Robertson 2nd Andrew Hodson 3rd Brian FinnPrime Andrew Hodson

Thanks goes to Sam Pratt for sponsoring the race (good to see him back racing), to Gary Woodfall and Mark Wilkie for help on the line and the ladies on the desk. Also thanks to colin Collin Burns for his support and organisation.

Read More

Upcoming Events

Here is the roster for the next few weeks – I have posted it as there is some great racing coming up. You will see that we are not racing on the 26 March in support of the Western Tiers Challenge and I encourage everyone to go for a ride that day and support the charity. Our first Symonds Crit is then on the 2nd April and the race at Bishopsbourne will be sponsored by Team Daltini. A little break for easter and the second Feature Race of the year, Quamby Classic.

Sun 19 Mar Longford 10am 38kmJohn Brock, Cr
aig Brooks, Clinton Brown
Sun 26 Mar New Horizons Western Tiers Cycle Challenge 2017
Sun 2 April Symmons Plains
Sun 9 April Bishopsbourne
Gary Cummings, Nic Daley, Suze Stacpoole
Sun 16 April Easter
Sun 23 April Morgan Timbers Quamby Classic


The Criterium at Symonds Plains is sponsored by Cormiston Legal and we are grateful for Sam Pratt’s continued support of this great day.  Click on the link below to see the flyer for the day.  Also the Aromas van will be on site – so bring your hard earned money – or bring your race legs and win some.   Don’t forget we open the Crits up to non-club members Masters 2 and older as long as they have a race licence – so is a great opportunity to come along and experience racing with this great club.

summer crit_flyer-2017



Read More

The NVCC Committee for 2017

Hi members,

For those who were unable to make the annual general meeting for 2017 I would like to inform you as to the committee members for 2017.  Make up of the committee is

  • Luke Moore – President
  • Ricky Allen – Vice President
  • Helen Finn – Secretary
  • Phil Stevenson – Treasure
  • Pat Coe – committee
  • James Proverbs – committee

I would like to thank Lynne Woodfall and Darren Cook for their commitment to the club, your work on the committee and your support for me.  I am pleased to say that Lynne will continue working on the desk on race day.

James Proverbs has agreed to take over the production of the race rosters and so you can direct your enquiries that way but I ask that you be patient as he learns the role.

2016 saw excellent numbers throughout the year and 2017 seems to be continuing the trend with excellent numbers at the normal races and a superb field at Fingal.



Read More

Possible changes to the planning of the Duty Roster

To all members:

At the last committee meeting there was a discussion around the race duty roster and particularly, whether or not members could pay a set fee ie $50.00 to opt out of doing duty for a year. This is apparently used by some cycling clubs on the mainland and is worthy of consideration. There would need to be rules around it should it be implemented as it could cause unnecessary problems. Some of the things that would need to be considered are:

  1. Should we cap the number of people who could opt out?
  2. How do we decide who opts out should we receive a high number of people wanting to ?

I would recommend, if we go down this path, that we cap it at around 20 as this would raise $1000 for the club and still leave sufficient numbers to perform duty. I also believe that approval should be at the committee’s discretion and preference will be given to encouraging people to join the club, those that are unable to race often throughout the year due to work or family commitments and other hardship reasons.

We are also considering trying to be more inclusive with the duty roster by getting more feedback from members about when they can or cannot do duty and trying, as much as possible, to accommodate these requests.

Please do not respond on the Facebook site but please leave your thoughts on the relevant post on the website. Please keep your comments polite and constructive.

Luke Moore

Read More