Sunday, March 20, 2011

Countdown to Qualifications

Before we are officially allowed to compete in the big race on April 15th, RideOn (and every other team) must qualify to participate. Qualifications, the first of four spring series events prior to the race, are just under a week away. T-minus 6 days! Next Saturday, March 26th, is the big day!

We have Monday through Thursday of this week to perfect our exchanges, chisel down our lap times and mentally prepare for total domination. The past month and a half on the track and the countless hours of training will all culminate next weekend.

Along with ultra-intense training this upcoming week, we will also be doing our fair share of carbo loading. You should all join us in the fun on Friday, March 25th at the DeVault Alumni Center for our RideOn Pasta Dinner. The whole team will be there signing autographs, so get excited!!

Here is an outline of the official rules for Quals. (More detailed information can be found in the 2011 Little 500 Team Manual.)

Qualifications will take place at Bill Armstrong Stadium. The attempt will consist of four consecutive laps, with each designated rider riding one lap. Team qualification times will be determined by a drawing supervised by the Little 500 Cycling Committee.

Upon being instructed to take the track, the number one rider will complete one warm-up lap, and upon crossing the starting line the official timing will begin. After one lap, rider one will exchange the bicycle with rider two. This exchange must take place within 16 feet of either side of the starting line (a total of 32 feet). White lines will mark the exchange zone.

In making the exchange, rider two must be in complete control of the bicycle before the rear wheel crosses the second line indicating the end of the exchange zone. In order for the judges to determine that rider two is in control of the bicycle, it will be necessary for rider two to have sole possession of the bicycle within the exchange zone.

Rider two may not touch the bicycle until the front wheel crosses the first line of the exchange zone. Rider one may not touch the bicycle after the rear wheel of the bicycle has crossed the second line of the exchange zone. Either infraction shall result in a foul.

In the case of a full bike exchange (2 bikes involved), the receiving rider can place his/her bike against the first line of the exchange zone. The rider must stay stationary until a "tag" is executed by the incoming rider. The incoming rider, including bike, must be stopped by the second line of the exchange zone. Failure to do so will result in a foul.

The same exchange shall take place between rider two and rider three, and rider three and rider four. When rider four crosses the finish line, the checkered flag will be waved and the team's qualifying time will be final unless the attempt has been canceled.

The thirty-three teams and their order of starting position will be determined by the official time of the qualification attempts. Ties will be decided by the first team to record that time in the fewest attempts. In the event that a qualified team is disqualified or withdrawals, its position will be considered vacant and qualifiers in lower positions shall be moved up accordingly.

Hopefully that paints a pretty clear picture of what to expect on Saturday. Tomorrow night we have a meeting to find out our assigned qualifications time, so stay tuned for that information. We'd love to have your support while we attempt to qualify!


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