Step right up and pin on a number in one of Sydney’s most lucrative female only crit races. Whether you are a first time racer or a seasoned specialist, you all have the opportunity to race in a safe and fun environment at the Northern Sydney Rob Hodgson Memorial. Challenge yourself, challenge others and be part of the atmosphere – November 29.

The Rob Hodgson Memorial Race is one of the premier events on Sydney’s crit calendar and it is hosted on a safe and smooth course. This is the perfect opportunity to participate in some road racing and put all of that training into action. Beaumont Road has been playing host to criterium racing since the mid 1980s and is known by many as ‘Beauie Worlds’.

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What is a criterium? A ‘crit’ as they are generally known is a race on a short circuit that generally involves a set number of laps or in this instance a set time period. The riders race around completing as many or as few laps as the pace of the group determines. Once the time is up, a bell is run and there is one lap remaining and the winner of the race is the person that crosses the finish line at the end of that lap.

There are plenty of tactics to consider, some riders prefer a fast pace to the race and so they will ‘drive’ the pace at the front, others may want to wait for a sprint at the end, so they will just generally sit in the bunch and not participate in the pace setting and instead they are hoping for a free ride to the finish. Your tactics are determined by the riders around you and your own ability.

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For the Rob Hodgson race, the event will be handicapped. This means that riders are graded on the day depending on their ability. Riders are then put into groups dependant on ability and they will then work together to stay ahead of the faster chasing bunches. First time riders may be given up to a whole lap head start which could be up to 2 kilometres ahead of the experienced and strongest cyclists. The stronger riders will then have to work together to try and close down the gap in the allotted period while the other groups work to stay ahead. A tortoise and the hare type scenario.

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The Women’s Race will be 40 minutes plus 2 laps (we will run the women’s race as a handicap to even the field) Prize Pool of $800 across top 5 places. A prime prize will also be offered during the race, thanks to Park Bikes. A prime prize is a mid race sprint prize.

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Last year the ladies who started first, with the least amount of racing experience stayed ahead of the seasoned racers and they got to duke it out on the final lap for victory. Will that happen again this year?

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What is the course like? Essentially this is a flat course, so the complete opposite of our road races and even our own Friday night HART crit races which as a nasty little pinch in it. Most riders will be able to do the whole race in the ‘big’ chain ring. Not only is this course flat but it only has two real turning points at each end, which are done around witches hats. So the riders slow down twice each lap before getting back up to speed. So the course, isn’t very technical.

The course is raced on a dead end road and so there is limited traffic on course. There are traffic marshals at various points that will stop cars looking to come onto the road. The beauty of this course is that you are never far from the start/finish line, so if you are worried about not being able to keep up or perhaps are worried that you will be left behind, the finish and all the spectators will never be more than a little over one kilometre away, plus you will have the other riders in your group for company. So if you are having a bad day, then the pits are never far away.

Important Details

Various groups depending on skill and experience – check

Flat course – check

Non Technical – check

Safe – check

Entry to this event is via the online portal – http://shop.northernsydneycyclingclub.org.au/rob-hodgson-memorial-race-29th-november/

Entry is $20 with a gold racing licence. All clubs and riders are welcome.

Racing will begin at 8:15am, with riders able to sign on from 7:30am.

Race Location: Beaumont Road, Mt Ku-ring-gai

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Further information check out the Northern Sydney Cycling Club website – http://northernsydneycyclingclub.org.au/node/51800

Manly Warringah strongly encourage all ladies to enter and challenge themselves at this great event and we are proud to help support and promote the day.

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