2014 National Capital Tour Time Cut Protest – Angus Bell, Phoenix Cycling Collective DS

By Angus Bell – Phoenix Cycling Collective We have lost two riders to a time cut. I raised a protest regarding the time cut as I did not believe the commissaires understood the spirit of the rule, let alone know the actual rule, and I was very disappointed for the guys who were cut. I firmly believe that the National Capital Tour and Cycling Australia have made a terrible mistake and certainly need to improve the governance of the NRS. While some of the top riders certainly won’t agree with me, the NRS is a development series, not UCI race series. For interests sake this is the protest I lodged, which was not upheld. “While I actually agree with the need to have time cuts and to have them enforced as situations requires, the application of the time cut, in this event and at this time, is not in the spirit of the law. The idea of a time cut is to ensure that riders do not waste time or save themselves physically for other stages, which could in an event like the National Capital Tour could cause issues. This enforcement of the time cut in the NRS was previously only paid lip service to. It was only at the 2014 Battle of the Border, where Budget Forklift sprinters deliberately rode easy that the time cut was enforced. In that case cut riders were subsequently allowed back into the race on protest. The current situation is similar to what happened up at Battle on the Border where they extended the time cut and eventually got rid of it. Approximately 70 riders were allowed back in. Due to the nature of events it was a hotly debated subject. That the time cut should be enforced from then on was the cry, and it seems they are finally being adhered too. However, I do not think time cuts should apply, or at least be so harshly applied, in this situation. Let?s look at the NRS now. It is a National Competition, not even at a UCI level. In this race we have three registered UCI Continental teams. We have former and current national champions in TT, former World Tour riders, commonwealth and world champions on the track. Then we have the other riders. If you were to remove the top four riders from the time and start at Tim Roe?s (himself a former World Tour rider) time in 5th place at 55 seconds down, most of the time cut riders would be still in the event. Also note these super times by the top five riders were on road bikes, not TT bikes. Just about the same times were posted as last year when TT bikes were used. Also changing the time cut from 15 % to 20% is not a change in the ruling, it is the rule. The time cut is also at the Chief Commissaries discretion. This is the regulation that was emailed to all team managers (3.98.19). Looking at the times of the cut riders this discretion could, and should, be applied now. Allow those riders to race. It is also interesting to note that the Tour de France has a 25% time cut for time trial events. Even each stage event has a different time cut percentage based on the speed of the winner. While this is not the Tour de France, it is still governed by UCI rules. Allow these riders that have travelled and paid a lot of their own money to be here to race. It is not going to change the face of the race. The NRS is still developing, it is not a World Tour race, it is not even a UCI Pro Continental level race, or a UCI Continental level race. Unfortunately there is a lack of UCI level races for these teams and the top half of the NRS to race in. We are going to see this disparity while there is lack of real Oceania level races for the top teams to race in. However in saying that, having these teams racing in the NRS has raised the level of racing in the competition such that we are now having riders go directly into the World Tour. Where do these riders come from? Certainly not from being time cut. Please reconsider enforcing this ruling and allow the time cut riders more scope.” Do you agree/disagree? Head over to our Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/phoenixcyclingcollective, or tweet @phoenixcycle with your thoughts.

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