The Tour of British Columbia is an ultra-endurance cycling race but within its ‘ultra-structure’ riders may opt to follow a stage-to-stage style of racing. Riders who are interested in doing so must clearly keep in mind that there are two key elements involved that do differ from traditional stage-racing. The first is flexibility – if a racer decided to rest before the end of a stage they have that option available to them and secondly the official timing clock never stops running, each racer and their crew decide how long they rest at the end of each stage before beginning the next.
To illustrate this point Ultraletic Sports created a preliminary series of stages for the Tour of British Columbia. Each daily stage is close to the actual average pace a competitor is required to maintain to complete the course at an Elite, Competitor or Official Finisher pace and the stages are designed for all divisions of racing. If a solo rider wanted to become an Official Finisher, then he or she could follow the 15 day/stage plan, alternately to become an Elite Finisher a soloist would need to follow the 10 day/stage plan. The difference is about 170 kilometers a day.
Ultraletic Sports has created stages that complete the course in 8, 10, 12 or 15 stages. (Although we think it will be a long time before a soloist will do it 8 days certainly there are many teams that can.) We tried to develop these preliminary stages to coincide with the availability of services and supplies that racers may require but due to the remote nature of the Tour of British Columbia, particularly in northern BC this is not always possible. Some stages start and finish at a campground so services will be available but supplies, including gasoline, most likely will not be.
During the summer of 2013 we will be traveling the course and producing a finalized version of our “suggested stages”. We will partner with all suppliers of hotel and motel rooms, RV Parks and campgrounds to help racers make reservations that are flexible enough to adjust to changing race conditions.
The chart on the left indicates our preliminary suggested stages but we stress they are only a ‘first draft’ and will become more defined in the next few months. At present, each stage is close to the average daily distance required to meet the time cut-off indicated. When stages are shortened or extended as a result of the availability of locations to rest, subsequent stages have been adjusted to compensate for the loss or gain of distance.
There are advantages to following the stages. For team entries part of the crew and some of the riders can advance up the course to the stage end and rest and take care of everything else that requires their attention. Then when the racers on course catch up, they are rested and ready to carry on while the arriving riders can now rest before catching up to their team.
For a solo competitor the stages might be useful in goal setting and for establishing more defined alternating resting the support crew.
The Tour of British Columbia is an ultra-endurance cycling race but riders can opt to ride it like a stage race if they desire and only if they desire. Those who do will still be timed according to ultra-endurance cycling rules and there are no separate race divisions or categories for those riders who follow stages
Above all; the rules of ultra-racing still apply to all competitors and the clock keeps running. Any questions? Please email email@example.com