The last few days the crashing issues in A4 racing have been a hot topic around the office.
We have received calls, emails and other messages across all social media platforms to call out for change in A4 racing so we don’t loose the newcomers entering our sport.
Asides from anything they are the biggest demographic in a Sunday race so it makes sense that resources are used to sort out the apparent issue.
From all reports the racing simply doesn’t appear safe.
Following the race on Sunday I was told about ‘mad risks’ been taken and rules being broken – both written and unwritten.
Riding with Anthony at the Wicklow 200 and having ridden with a lot of newcomers to the sport over the last year we spoke about the biggest divide between most A4 and A1 riders.
It’s not physical ability its skills craft and simply how to manoeuvre a bike.
We see some really crazy shit out there on training rides from guys that race every weekend.
It’s not their fault – there needs to be a better system in place where competency levels are met.
As it stands if you have an unbelievable level of physical ability you can start cycling at A4 level and ride the Rás within a year regardless of how bad your bike handling skills are.
I don’t care if you’re Peter Sagan’s love child you can’t have developed that ability over a year working through A4 – A2.
The crashing in A4 races have simply gotten out of hand and here are some possible solutions to make the racing a safer place:
1. Mandatory period of club racing prior to commencing open racing.
2. Restricted numbers in A4 Races – currently the biggest bunch by a long way pushing the likelihood of something going wrong up a notch or ten.
3. A1 Riders required to “coach” as an active participant in one A4 race per season (riders need to learn from someone with experience)
4. Harder courses.
5. Approved courses for A4’s (wide, safe roads) (It is a learning category after all)
6. Commitment to having a minimum number of marshals and adequate race support.
(Should be submitted as part of safety assessment prior to event getting approval)
7. Longer Races
8. Must pass a bike-handling course prior to being granted an A4 license.
They are all simple enough solutions but will take planning resources and effort to tackle.
Let us know your thoughts –
I think we’re all in accordance that something needs to change to make turning up on a Sunday less of a risk for guys getting up for work the following morning.