Redhill Cycling Club seeks to encourage and support cyclists of all ages who wish to begin or continue racing by providing information, training, and a community of like minds.
The club is affiliated to British Cycling and the Surrey Cycle Racing League.
Getting into Racing
For most beginners this means:
- Train hard!
- Get a British Cycling licence
- Go on two SCRL accreditation sessions
- Find and enter a race
- Race safely and enjoy
The majority of competitive road races in the UK fall under British Cycling (BC) regulations. The BC website https://www.britishcycling.org.uk/road has a good deal of helpful information about road racing, and a searchable calendar which lists all events. For older riders, although BC has Masters categories, another option is the League of Veteran Racing Cyclists (LVRC) – more on this below.
If you have never raced before, then under BC rules you will start as a Category 4 rider. You earn points for placing in the top ten at an event. Once you have earned enough points, you are promoted to the next category (for example 12 points takes you from Category 4 to Category 3). The points reset each season, and there are rules which determine which category you can hang on to for the next season. One of these is that once you gain Category 3, you never go back to Category 4. There are slightly different rules for Juniors. All these rules are set out in the BC Technical regulations which are on their website.
If you are starting out, your best option as a Category 4 racer is to enter Category 4 only races, so you are only competing against riders in the same category. Pretty much every Category 4 race is held on a closed circuit (track), whereas others may be on either a closed or open road circuit.
All BC governed races require you to have a British Cycling Racing Licence. Many require a full (season long) licence, although some races will allow you to race on a day licence.
If you enter a Surrey Cycle Racing League (SCRL) race as a Category 4 rider, you must show that you have completed two race preparation training days. You can find more info on the SCRL site. These sessions do get booked up especially in the spring, so plan ahead. Although this seems onerous, if you haven't raced before these sessions are excellent preparation. They also mean the SCRL races are likely to be safer as everyone has been through it. We thoroughly recommend these sessions even if you are racing in non-SCRL races. You get a discounted entry fee if you are an SCRL member, but this is optional – you can pay the higher fee on the day.
The nearest circuits for aspiring Redhill Category 4 racers are Dunsfold and Cyclopark. SCRL holds Cat4 only races on Friday evenings at Dunsfold during the lighter part of the summer. This is a safe flat circuit with no sharp corners, although quite exposed. It tends to favour bigger riders who can cruise with less energy and then turn on the power in the inevitable bunch sprint. Cyclopark by contrast is a much tighter circuit with some undulations, and so favours the lighter rider who is less worn out by the constant accelerations at corners and hills.
Further afield Category 4 options this year (2017) include Sunday mornings fortnightly at newly reopened Preston Park in Brighton; Hillingdon (a.k.a. Spillingdon!) near Heathrow on Saturday afternoons; Redbridge circuit up past Ilford also Saturday afternoons; and a few races at Lee Valley VeloPark next to the Olympic velodrome.
The best resource for finding races is the British Cycling website. You can search the racing calendar with filters by location and rider category to narrow it down.
Older Riders – although you can certainly remain competitive to a ripe age, and there are BC organised veterans races, the LVRC (unaffiliated to BC) is specifically targeted at riders who are 40 or upwards. Riders race in age categories. You can race in an “older” category that you would by default to get used to things, but won't get league credits unless you race in the age appropriate band. The races are all on open road circuits, and rotate over a fairly wide area. More information here http://www.lvrc.org.uk/
If you have not already, we recommend highly the SCRL race preparation sessions (required in any case for new Cat4 riders racing in SCRL races). More information here http://www.surreyleague.co.uk/race-preparation-training/
Although the club ‘G’ rides are primarily intended as social rides, G6 tends to keep a good pace which is good for endurance training and valuable group riding practice.
Club members have in prior years organised Tuesday evening “Chaingang” sessions on a local road loop, which are great training sessions. We will communicate these by email and wattsapp.
Contact and Support
If you are interested in racing and have questions, please contact the club race secretary by email firstname.lastname@example.org
We hope to have sufficient interest in racing to coordinate members racing at events together to provide logistical and motivational support.
If you are interested in road racing, either as a racer or as someone who can help support others, please email and we will add you to the circulation list.
In order to enter an event, you will need to identify the details on say the British Cycling calendar or Surrey League Calendar and then send in an advance entry via the appropriate entry form.
Failing that some races may be identified as EOL - which means that entries can be accepted "on the line" where you just turn up, pay your entry and race - all of these will be subject to maximum numbers (so it is usually worth getting there in good time to avoid disappointment).
If you require any further information click here or contact the club Road Racing Secretary on the email address above.
At Redhill CC we have a forum to discuss race tactics so that those wanting to win can state their objectives, and those seeking to keep racing form but not necessarily seeking a win can assist.
As with any sport, there is risks and cycle racing is no exception. Riders may loose concentration and hit another rider; a rider behind may assume a gap in front may stay open and seek to pass, mechanical failure could happen, rider muscle cramps; all of which can result in an accident. You should ensure that your bike is well maintained, checking brakes, gears, tyre threads etc before the event, and warming up before the race.
Races and Points
There are three types of races where you can earn points:
- Open or closed road for one or multiple categories
- Open road handicap race (i.e. lower categorised riders are set off first)
- Circuit races can be for single categories or handicaps (such as Cyclopark, Dunsfold, Goodwood or Hillingdon)
Each race is categorised by the type of participant entering and the race challenge (such as length or accent). Full details are on page 6 of British Cycling rules for road, track and rolling racing (see the link below).
To move from 4th cat to 3rd cat, you need to obtain 10 points in the same year. Once the 3rd category is obtained you never drop back to 4th cat. This is a great position to be in as there is many more races, and more races in the spring open to holders of 3rd category licences and above. To move from 3rd to 2nd category, 40 points are required (40 points if having obtained the 3rd cat the same year). To retain a 2nd category licence the following year a 25 points are required. Moving from 2nd to 1st cat requires a further 200 points and to retain it the following year 100 points is required. Finally to achieve Elite category 300 points are required and the same number the following year to maintain that status. For details of the rules, click the link here: