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Confusion at the Humber Sprint - let's DNF the good bikes!

I completed my 2nd ever sprint triathlon yesterday, the Humber sprint in Hull.
My first was the same race last year that really got me hooked on the sport. I love this event, there are usually 100-200 participants and I enjoyed last year so much I immediately sent an email the the organisers thanking them for a great day last year.

It has been a long winter of hard training to get ready for a full season this year and I was really looking forward to an early race.

Then we hit a snag......

At 6:40 in the morning after registration I was taking my bike down to transition in the cold only to be immediately stopped my the chief marshall for the race to tell me that my bike wasn't race legal and that he would have to disqualify my before I'd started. He told me that he would allow me to compete but I wouldn't get a race time! I was told that my bike had aero bars that were illegal due to new BTF rules. I was shocked because I have a 2010 Specialized Transition Comp which has had no modifications. Specifically I was told that all bikes with forward facing gear shifters were illegal and any bike with aero bars that didn't meet in a loop at the end were also illegal!
The marshall had a well prepared speech on this and there was no negotiation. I agreed to compete while disqualified as I was using this race as practice for my 'A' race later in the hear (UKIM 70.3).
While in transition I watched this guy DNF every racer with a decent tri bike.

Of around 200 people taking part he must have spoken to 40-50 of them telling them they had illegal bikes, as you cam imagine there was a dark mood as everyone was racking their bikes and preparing for the race briefing.

At the briefing we were then told that there was 'confusion' over the current BTF rules and that for now everyone would be allowed to race and all the DNF's were removed.

I'd love to know the opinions of other racers on the day and anyone that can shed some light on the rules they were trying to enforce. I'm no expert on the rules but I can't imagine that over the winter the BTF have changed it's position (I did this race last year - with the same marshall and had no problems). This rule would also render the bike designs of most of the leading brands illegal (Specialized, Cervelo, cannondale etc.).

Overall we had a great race day, the weather was good and just as last year everyone was helpful and organization was good, it's just such a shame that someone in this position can be so misinformed (or were they?)



  • bathtubbathtub Posts: 280
    The chief marshall has got this wrong.

    The rules that he is referring to, quoted below, only apply to Draft Legal Races not Age Group racing

    iv) Straight forward clip-on handlebars must be bridged with
    a solid material, and must not carry forward-facing
    brake levers.
    v) No forward-facing bar or gear shifters are allowed on the
    end of the clip-on handlebars. The only exception will be a
    grip shifter.
  • risris Posts: 1,002
    he wasn't pulling a late april fools was he?
  • shadowone1shadowone1 Posts: 1,408
    I think there is a bigger issue here.

    This is race marshall who with all intents and purposes should be very much aware of the rules.

    If he/ she gets it wrong then it effectively ruins the race for you and lets face races are not cheap, so we should be expecting them to get the rules bang on.
  • nivaghnivagh Posts: 595
    I had a chat with him about it later on, at about 09.30, by which time he was saying that the rules were ambiguous and he would check with the BTF and let everybody race.
    I can't see the sense in a rule banning bar end shifters, except in races where you're allowing and expecting drafting and where bar end shifters might cause injury in the event of a pile up. The same reasong I think applies to low spoke count wheels in road racing and pointy helmets.
    Either way, he should have been clearer on the rules and it cause me some concern as well.

    As for the race, well mixed fortunes for me. Not a bad season opener I suppose - finished in 01.07.28, really should have ridden the course beforehand but it's too far from home to be a sensible trip out and so I was really cautious on those downhills, particularly since my arm warmers come down onto my palms and were slipping on my bars. Also need to do a lot more bricks as my legs didn't remember what I wanted them to do. Otherwise, a pretty well run event, decent quality t shirt, some SiS stuff in the goodie bag, would have been nicer if it was warmer. One overlooked benefit of an aero helmet is it keeps your head warm on a cold race day!
  • robshaw99robshaw99 Posts: 15
    The guys at the Humber sprint have just issued an apology..


    As people thought the race referee got the rules mixed up and was trying to enforce rules for a draft legal race. Not good.

    That said, still really enjoyed the day.
  • md6md6 Posts: 969
    Now if only they would DQ everyone who is faster than me I might stand a chance of winning something...a slim chance admittedly but still a chance
  • jonEjonE Posts: 1,113
    md6 wrote:
    Now if only they would DQ everyone who is faster than me I might stand a chance of winning something...a slim chance admittedly but still a chance
    You have to think laterally.
    Get one of your mates qualified as a race referee and then get them to DQ everyone else.What could be more simpler?
  • diddsdidds Posts: 655
    Hmmm... I am intrigued by the concept that there were in effect instant DQs on what would be safety grounds... but then the chief marshall allowed people with allegedly illegal bikes to race anyway (they just couldn't "win" or get an official time). That wold have left him/the orgainsers/etc open to all sorts of trouble had the reason for the alleged unsafe items then actually occurred.

    Seciondly... what happens to/for anyone who after being told they had an immediate DNF/DQ instead of racing "unofically" as offered just wenbt home... they would have missed the "ooops... everyone gets to race as normal NOW" message. Do they get their money back and (possibly) compensation for what was in effect then a wasted journey?

    Very very poor all around.

  • GHarvGHarv Posts: 456
    Dick heads...
  • gunforhiregunforhire Posts: 457
    GHarv wrote:
    Dick heads...
    Nicely put!
  • Jack HughesJack Hughes Posts: 1,262
    Unbelievable. I was catching up on posts and just assumed this was an April fool. Checked the original date and saw that the posting was on the 5th and the event on the second.

    It's completely inexcusable. The race referee should give up that role, until he's recieved a whole load of training. If you find you've dq'd 40 odd people before the event has started then you should be asking yourself some questions.

    The role of the referee should be to ENABLE competitors to have a safe and fair race. Not go off on some crazed power trip
  • jamewahjamewah Posts: 113
    I was at the morning Briefing, Karl from 3xtri mentioned the confusion regarding the aero / clip on bars but said they will send an enquiry to the BTF but will allow everyone to participate.
    I racked my bike at about 08.30, (planet X stealths fitted) marshall didn't bat an eyelid, after the race I was speaking to a mate who mentioned this and he said the guy was 'a right tool' & obviously had no idea on the rules / regulations.
    I think the guy got so much stick at the time he started to withdraw his restriction realising that 50 odd triathletes can't be wrong and he may need to re read the rule book.
    what a Numpty.
    Was a good day though nether the less
  • jacjac Posts: 452
    The ref is the only one who needs to be disqualified. Staggering.
    Great you enjoyed it...but this guy needs to be axed from future events. :roll:
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