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

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NVCC 2017 Winter KOM/QOM Series

2017 KOM/QOM Series results
KOM/QOM series grade winners:

A grade: Micheal Wilson
B grade: Paul Morgan
C grade: Doug Blackaby
D grade: John Frankling
E grade: Coen de Gier
F grade: Barbara Walton
G grade: Sarah Coates

Overall club KOM champion: Paul Morgan

Second overall: Coen de Gier

Third overall : Geoff Rollins
Click to download final KOM/QOM points.

The Northern Vets have decided to hold the 2017 King/Queen of the mountain series over three weeks (four GMS races) this winter i.e. Bishopsbourne 23rd July, Selbourne Hall 30th July, Beauty Point 6th August with the final race the hilltop finish at Rosevale 13th August.

The rules will be slightly different this year with a competition within each grade (A-G) with a simultaneous overall competition.

There will be a number of intermediate KOMs as per the table below. For each of these, the winner will receive 5 competition points and second place 3 points. As before, these will be honesty placings, as we are unlikely to have a judges in situ. Place-getters will be required to report to the desk at the end of the race.

There will be two hilltop finishes i.e. Selbourne Hall and Rosevale. Again, first and second over the line will receive KOM competition points. The number of points on these hilltop finishes will reflect the number of riders in your grade that day. Second place will receive three points less than the winner. So, for example, if D grade start with 7 riders, the winner will get 7 KOM points and second place will get 4. If C grade start with 12 riders, first place will get 12 points and second place 9. These extra points give greater kudos to the hilltop finishes and reward victories against larger numbers of riders in the overall competition. So encourage your fellow riders to turn up to these races to get more points!

Strava kudos overrated?? Want some REAL kudos?? The points winner from EACH GRADE will win one of the limited edition jerseys below and will be able to wear this at NVCC races until the next KOM competion in 2018. So get yourself out there!

Jersey design

The KOMs will be located as follows:

Race KOM 1 KOM 2 KOM 3
Bishopsbourne Top of the cutting on way out Top of Blackwood Creek Road on return
Selbourne Hall Finish (extra points on offer)
Beauty Point Top of climb West Tamar Highway (lap 1) Top of climb West Tamar Highway (lap 2) Top of climb West Tamar Highway (lap 3)
Rosevale Roseburn Rd Finish (extra points on offer)


Extra notes:

If you are scheduled to be on duty and therefore unable to race, you will automatically be allocated 3 KOM competition points when you turn up for duty.

If one race is cancelled due to inclement weather, the results will be based on the remaining three races.

If two or more races are cancelled, the points will be frozen after Rosevale and the competition completed later in the year.

The rider within each grade with the highest points will receive a cash prize.

The club rider with highest points overall will win the club KOM trophy and additional cash prize. Second and third overall will also receive and additional cash prize.

If a rider moves grades during the competition, his/her points will apply to the grade in which he/she started for the purposes of the KOM competition.

In the event of a points tie, relevant prizes/trophies will be shared.


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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.

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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



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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.



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2017 Fingal 50

The Northern Vets Fingal 50 classic was run in near perfect conditions as part of the annual Fingal Festival,  with just on 57 starters. The flat, fast course saw the scratch bunch average 43kph. However, it was a day for the mid markers, the C and D groups combining at 35 km. Strong work from Dale Hainsworth and the two Kerry’s; Newman and Leonard helped keep this group away. Alex Robinson went early and strongly in the sprint, holding off Ty Farrow and Phil Stevenson for a great win.
Top 10 finishers:
1) Alex Robinson
2) Ty Farrow
3) Phil Stevenson
4) Geoff Rollins
5) Gary Baker
6) Nick Lawrence
7) James Proverbs
8) Nick Wilson
9) Dean Mason
10)John Frankling
Fastest time: Steven Brown
Thanks to all the volunteers who helped put on a great race

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Scott Smith takes 1st and Fastest in 18th Annual Somercotes’ Longford to Campbell Town


On 25th September the Northern Vets held their most prestigious feature race of the year, the 62km Somercotes Longford to Campbelltown handicap. This was an occasion for the seven strong scratch bunch to show their class. They worked equally and efficiently to make light of the cross winds and catch the front markers with 18km to go. At this point about 30 riders had massed at the front. Ben Mather launched a searing solo attack on the climb about 10km from the finish. Only the strongest could mount any sort of a chase. It took a mighty effort from a group of about six riders to reel in Mather with 2km to go. The leaders must have been exhausted by this point and it was Scott Smith who showed why he is the club number one rider, taking out the win for his third feature race victory of the year. Dave Bingley was second and Richard Carroll third. The club also ran the 40km Campbell Town dash for the lower grades. Club favourite, Bob Mason had a great ride to take out the victory.

Overall results:                                                               Dash Results

1)        Scott Smith                                                          1)         Bob Mason
2)        Dave Bingley                                                       2)         Raelene Dowling
3)        Richard Carroll                                                   3)         Kevin Morgan
4)         Steven Brown
5)         Andrew Flanagan
6)        Ben Mather
7)        Mike Walsh
8)        Dane Leedham
9)         Shaun Probert
10)       Adrian Adams

KOM:   Ben Mather


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John Frankling takes out Quamby in a Photo finish from Michelle Dabner

On Sunday 17th April, Over 70 riders attended the start line for the 68 km Morgan Timbers Feature Race. Scratch were given a huge task and although Scott Smith rode well to take out the fastest time, they we unable to make up the gap. The final results were:

1st John Frankling
2nd Michelle Dabner
3rd Coen deGier
4th Robert Wrigley
5th Helen Woodfall
This was John’s first feature race win since 1969 and it was great to see him on top of the podium. It was also great that the winner’s envelopes, trophy and sash were able to be presented by Kevin Morgan.
Thanks to all riders and everyone who helped on the day. It was a great success.

John Frankling

There was also some great racing in the shorter, 1 lap, Quamby Dash event too. Tony Savage, Holly and Johannes set off 12 minutes back and worked well as a trio to start reeling in the rest of the field along Westwood Road and Bridgenorth Road. Kevin Morgan joined us for the last part of the race, and once they had conquered the hill, they smashed themselves silly for the finish. Kevin showed his experience by taking out the bunch sprint for 2nd, however Andy Hodson was not to be caught taking out the Dash.

1st Andy Hodson
2nd Kevin Morgan
3rd  Tony Savage

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Scott Smith Wins Fingal Valley Festival – Fingal 50

Today saw absolutely beautiful race conditions for the running of the 2016 Fingal 50. The race saw each group keep their riders working well in true handicap style racing. But it was the back markers who caught each group in turn before a three way sprint finish. The race was won by Scott Smith (our number one club rider) who also took out fastest time. David Bingley was second from Ian Leighton third. It was another great turnout with about 50 riders on the start line. Thanks goes to the Fingal Festival for sponsoring the race, to volunteers who drove that long way so we would have the luxury of riding and to the riders who rode hard but safely. Finally thanks to the commissaires for keeping an eye on us. If you haven’t done this race before you must give it a go. It was great standing around after the race relaxing in the sunshine. Must also say great work from the Chief handicapper to see the groups come together just before the end of the race.Scott Smith winning Fingal 50

Scott Smith unleashing the power and timing to take out his 2nd Feature race in last 12 months …

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Thank you to all the people who made 2015 another highly successful year for our club. Keith Dolting was a founding member of the club and on Sunday he was talking about how  the club started off with a few racers thinking it would be good to get together and have a race on a Sunday.  He said at that stage they would never have imagined it would become what it is today.

The volunteers and the people who come out week after week, not only make it possible for the club to continue, but they play a very  strong role in determining the culture of the club. It is the volunteers that are the first to greet the riders and set the tone for the day.  It is the same volunteers who by their presence, especially on those cold horrible days, that make it impossible for the riders not to be grateful for the opportunity to race. Being grateful for the chance to race suddenly makes winning and results less important, and as a result our club’s aim of providing safe and enjoyable racing comes to life. Every year we acknowledge a Club Person of the Year and with names like Keith Dolting, Charles Barker, Lynne Woodfall, Jay De Gier, Eileen Hillier, Amy Moore and Gary Woodfall I am sure this will give you a clear picture of what sort of contribution this award signifies.

The 2015 Club Persons of the Year Award was awarded to 2 couples:

Congratulations and Thank You – John and Eileen Hillier   & Gavin and Amy Moore.

Clubpersons of The Year

These couples are there almost  every week at 830am and are usually amongst the last to leave. They are there to set , help on the table, Amy always drives to assist Lynne and others on the finishing line whereas Eileen stays at the desk and monitors the numbers and keep an eye on all of our gear. Both John and Gavin are always keen to fill holes in the duty roster and assist with whatever is required. These guys keep our club going!!

In 2015, you would be aware that we felt we wanted to acknowledge the efforts of our older riders. Many of us who race, know the ups and downs of motivation, and know at times it is hard to keep riding. We can only hope that continue to ride as we get older. The older riders provide  motivation and are in many ways role models for the younger riders to aspire to, as they are simply inspirational. So when we decided we wanted to reward our most consistent rider and performer every year, we felt it was important to have a general classification and an over 60 Award, and for the first year we should begin with the Over 60 Award only.


The 2015 “Club Aggregate Award” for the most consistent rider,
in terms of attendance and performance:

Congratulations and so well deserved – Ric Easton

2015 Club Aggregate

Ric Easton, who not only had tremendous performances, rode an amazing 34 races out of 40, more than any other competitor …all whilst living in Sheffield. This is an unbelievable input into the culture of our club and strongly epitomizes a great deal of what this club is about.  As Scott Watson wrote, the humility Ric displayed upon receiving this award was wonderful and demonstrates even further how deserving a winner he is.



The 2015 Stand Out Rider Award was awarded to:

Paul Headlam

2015 Stand out Rider

Paul joined the club and had his first race just over a year ago.  In his first year Paul had the 3rd equal highest no. of races, won 5 GMS races, 1 Graded Handicap and a 2nd in our biggest feature race ….going from E grade to C grade (knocking on door of B Grade) along the way. A great attitude to riding and a pure gentleman of the club.

The Tas Mobile Caravan Service KOM was also a new initiative this year and it certainly livened up a few races in the first 20kms and provided many riders with a lesson on the importance of the Warm Up. It was hotly contested and popular amongst the riders. Thank you to Jen and Peter Booth for their generous sponsorship of the event. It wasn’t until late in the year that it became known that there was serious prize money and we have a feeling that it will be hotly contested from race 1 next year.

The 2015 Tas Mobile Caravan Service KOM Winners were:
1st Paul Morgan
2nd Paul Headlam
3rd Dave Bingley

2015 KOM winner Paul Morgan

Dave Bingley, Paul Morgan, Peter Booth, Jen Booth and Paul Headlam

Thank you to Gary Woodfall for his tireless work in collating the attendance and results of every rider for every race so as these awards are possible. Another  example of the fantastic contribution people make to the club, behind the scenes. Thanks to Jay for another great year of photos ……Lynne for all the work organising the Xmas Lunch …..and on the list goes.

Thank you to our fantastic President Luke Moore and his committee for the work they have done this year. It’s often hard work fronting up on those days where you are not 100% or have a million other things to do but this group gives up a lot of their own time to keep the show on the road.

Finally thanks to the riders and their families, for coming out, riding hard but keeping it in perspective. It’s certainly a great club that we are lucky to have, we must continue to respect it and value what we have.

Have a Great Xmas and New Year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

2015 Santa

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