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DNF : What protocol at a MTB race?


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Last weekend I participated in the Riebeeck West (Malmesbury Rotary) MTB race which was a PPA event with time chips.  We all received boards as well at registration.  I was having a particularly difficult race and opted to withdraw after 34km of the 40km race, making my way down from the course on the slopes of the mountain to the tar road that linked up with the race venue. When I got to the finish line (right next to the tar road), I asked an official what I should do having declared my withdrawal and hence Did Not Finish (DNF). He said I should cross the timing mat ?for safety reasons?, which I reluctantly did under (justifiable) protestation from a finishing lady behind me. My board was also taken from me at this point, where I again declared my situation. Thankfully, (and I?m not sure how) my time did not show in the MTB results later on. I also declined the medal that was offered to me.  <?: prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

Had I not made my DNF situation known, I?m sure my time would have been recorded as a finisher (probably almost last anyhow!) and I could have collected my medal.

So, ?for safety reasons?, what responsibility does a rider have if one DNF in a MTB race;

-       with boards only?

-       with timing chips only?

-       with both boards and timing chips?

How would organizers know if I was or wasn?t lying injured in a ditch? Could a rider knowingly or unknowingly improve their race position?
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Once upon a time I organised a MTB race. This was shortly after the invention of the wheel, and long before PPA timed every event. We had people riding "sweep" to check that the course was free of broken participants after the end of the ride.




I guess crossing the mat makes the admin a lot easier. If every chip that started finished then the organisers can be certain that there aren't any people lying in ditches. (Other than those who choose to lie in ditches as a valid lifestyle choice.)




As for the ethics or otherwise of improving your position by cheating. I'm sure it happens but really, what's the point? Pretty much impossible to cheat your way to a win - the real winner would prolly know if there was anybody ahead of her, and who cares if you came 65th or 965th?





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I guess so, Bikemonster. But, unlike golf where handicaps allow all players with different ability to compete with each other, most MTB race entrants are particpants and not competitors. So yeah, what diff does it make coming 50th vs 220th (other than some pride/challenge amongst mates or a PB)? But all golfers hand in their scorecards and make it to the 19th hole. Not all MTB'ers make it to the finish line. Still leaves my question.    

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In every race I've been to there has been a vehicle that followed the last rider.

I'm sure they act as sweep vehicle or sweep vehicle communication.


Unfortunately cheating cannot be avoided with chips/number boards. You can be a complete idiot and sit in your car until the right amount of riders have crossed the line for your liking then jump on your bike and cruise over it for a great time without the sweat...


I'd like to believe that all riders are gentlemen/gentleladies and only collect medals/times etc if they finish.
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