Wiggle New Forest Sportive - thoughts/comments?

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deejay.
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Wiggle New Forest Sportive - thoughts/comments?

Postby deejay. » Sat Oct 05, 2013 22:33 pm

Hi all,

Rode the Wiggle New Forest Sportive today -standard distance. I certainly came away with some impressions, and I wondered what the good and the great on BikeRadar thought. For me the ride was:

Well organised - excellent logistics, marshalling and signage;
Too busy - I think the event has become too large for the roads/area;
Without a strong sense of camaraderie - I found that other riders, with a few exceptions, were not very friendly, which for me doesn't fit with road cycling;

I also found that many riders in mixed groups (I.e. groups with riders not known to them in advance of the event) showed a lack of understanding of even the basics of group riding etiquette (one particular example sticks out) such as pointing out hazards in the road to riders behind and doing a turn on the front, rather than sitting at the back and chatting with their mates whilst others rode their own legs off (really not happy about that at all - can you tell :? )

On the other hand, I might just be a moany old git! Either way I'm happy to be challenged and interested to hear your views.

Deej
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thistle (MBNW)
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Re: Wiggle New Forest Sportive - thoughts/comments?

Postby thistle (MBNW) » Sun Oct 06, 2013 07:21 am

deejay. wrote:Too busy - I think the event has become too large for the roads/area;
Without a strong sense of camaraderie - I found that other riders, with a few exceptions, were not very friendly, which for me doesn't fit with road cyclingj

I rode a big organised sportive once, it was exactly like that and it's put me off doing any others (why am I paying £50 to do this?).

I'm also a moany (but not yet old) git.

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BlueDynamo
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Re: Wiggle New Forest Sportive - thoughts/comments?

Postby BlueDynamo » Sun Oct 06, 2013 11:23 am

I rode the epic yesterday which was my first hundred and my second Wiggle Sportive in the space of 3 months.

I had no problems with the marshalling or feed stations - they were as good as ever.

The only problem, as mentioned by the OP, was other riders who rode in my wheel for a breather before sprinting off. I swear there was an older gentlemen who did this every 5 miles or so. I agree that on some of the busier roads there were too many riders but this probably accounted for 5-10% of the epic route.
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Barteos
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Re: Wiggle New Forest Sportive - thoughts/comments?

Postby Barteos » Sun Oct 06, 2013 14:06 pm

Sportives are open and inclusive social cycling events for many people who either don't know the "rules" or don't give a toss about them.
Folks just show up, ride a bike and have fun. It's not a club run or a race so please relax people and stop imposing the whole club etiquette thing on "normal" people.

Isn't wheel sucking a form of flattery anyway? :wink:

FleetPaul
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Re: Wiggle New Forest Sportive - thoughts/comments?

Postby FleetPaul » Sun Oct 06, 2013 15:10 pm

I was there too (standard route) and agree with most of these posts. Exemplary organisation as ever from Wiggle / UK Cycling Events. Website, signing on, signage, marshals and feed stations all spot on.

However I agree that some of the narrow New Forest lanes were over-crowded, and I can sympathise with certain locals feeling swamped by cyclists on such weekends. With such an inclusive event it's inevitable that not everyone will understand group cycling etiquette. While this could be frustrating at times of greater annoyance were the speed-freak club riders hell-bent on getting as fast a time as possible. It became apparent to me early on that this was not the sportive to target your highest average speed or worry about your Garmin stats or bloody Strava segments. With so many cyclists of mixed age and ability, not to mention all the wandering the horses, donkeys and cows it was a day to proceed with caution, respect the roads and hey, here's a thought - just enjoy the view. As a result this was by far my slowest sportive of six this year... but I was happy to take it easy and savour every mile knowing it'll be my last event until next spring.

Personally I had no issue with the occasional rider sucking my rear wheel as I wasn't exactly putting the hammer down, and as Barteos says it's a form of flattery if you're not trying break any records, which takes me back to my previous point.

One personal grumble. Team Sky kit and loads of it. The cycling equivalent of jumping on the Man Utd bandwagon and it looks silly on anyone who's slow, overweight or both.

But on a positive note the New Forest is a beautiful place. I'd only seen it by car before, either on the A31 or A35 which often seemed a bit bleak. Get on to the minor roads though and there are beautiful villages and stunning stretches of woodland to discover. And the road surfaces on the whole were pretty good. So I shall return... but not necessarily for the same event next year.

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EPO Delivery Man
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Re: Wiggle New Forest Sportive - thoughts/comments?

Postby EPO Delivery Man » Sun Oct 06, 2013 18:03 pm

I did the event yesterday and thought it was really well organised, marshalled and sign-posted. I did the 41 mile short route but had the family in tow for Peppa Pig World so was a compromise, but still a good event.

Agree with some of the posts, a lot of riders would hug your wheel then zoom past only to blow up 50 yards in front of you and then you would re-take them. Personally ive never seen the point of this, by all means overtake if youre faster, but dont then slow down. I ride to my pace which yesterday was just over 16mph, and it was enough to pace most Wiggo wheel sucker wannabees out over the entire course. And i have always taken the view that if im behind a rider getting his tow for a bit then its only fair i pass him and pay the debt back, but thats just me.

Its not a course to smash your best times as its not on closed roads, there are tons of wildlife like horses, donkeys, ponies and cows on the road that you have to slow down for, some of the roads are very narrow in the forest too. But overall the course is excellent. My only bugbear were the number of cattlegrids along the route, one of which 9 miles from the end gave me a huge rear blowout just when i was on for a Gold time! And ended up with Silver, but never mind.

Also agree with other riders attitudes, i went past quite a few riders, looking miserable as sin, i guess all trying to smash a time etc etc but it doesnt take much to say hi. I made a couple of comments like ' is it time for cake yet?!' Just to lighten the mood but not everyone replies, some laugh and thats the whole point, we are all suffering together.

One annoying thing on chip timing was the start, on a very gravely road which took a couple of minutes to navigate and then join the main road, if you are on for a specific time then little things can make the difference of three or four minutes added on before you even get up to pace. But thats just a small point.

Will be back next year, lovely area to ride in.

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Fat Cat
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Re: Wiggle New Forest Sportive - thoughts/comments?

Postby Fat Cat » Sun Oct 06, 2013 18:54 pm

Rode the Epic yesterday and like others have said cant fault the organisation, and a great part of the world to cycle around.

Think you have to accept that at an event like this there are lots of people with differing experience levels, so sometimes you have to be a bit understanding if the person in front doesn't point out obstacles in the road, or call out clear at junctions.

With regard to wheel sucking have to admit to being guilty for the last 7 miles or so, as I was totally sh@gged having not drunk enough earlier.

deejay.
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Re: Wiggle New Forest Sportive - thoughts/comments?

Postby deejay. » Sun Oct 06, 2013 19:20 pm

Fat Cat wrote:Rode the Epic yesterday and like others have said cant fault the organisation, and a great part of the world to cycle around.

Think you have to accept that at an event like this there are lots of people with differing experience levels, so sometimes you have to be a bit understanding if the person in front doesn't point out obstacles in the road, or call out clear at junctions.

With regard to wheel sucking have to admit to being guilty for the last 7 miles or so, as I was totally sh@gged having not drunk enough earlier.


So, I'm only a bit of a moaner! Got no problem with people taking a tow when they're breathing out of both ends and just trying to finish - more of a moan when said wheel suckers are having a nice cosy chat at the back rather than putting a turn in. Got my revenge, sort of, as one of them in particular could ride the flats well but climbed worse than my dad, and he's not a cyclist!

On another note, apologies to anyone I blew past and then overtook me - I was between two other riders yo-yo-ing as I tried (and failed) to keep a group of three together. If I hadn't bothered i'd have been on for a sub-four hour time :P

And I'm with you on team kit to a point: I don't wear any either, though I did once consider purchasing an ironic polkadot jersey (it would need to be red with white spots!). The way I see it though is Froome and Wiggins have got loads more people out on their bikes, so that's good. And even though I moaned about it yesterday, I am glad these events are very popular - they're just not for me personally. Anyway, if these new riders are all Sky fanboys and wannabes, then why not?

Some of the riding I saw yesterday though makes me think that the cycling proficiency test should've mandatory, regardless of age... :shock:
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FleetPaul
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Re: Wiggle New Forest Sportive - thoughts/comments?

Postby FleetPaul » Sun Oct 06, 2013 20:30 pm

EPO Delivery Man wrote:if you are on for a specific time then little things can make the difference of three or four minutes added on before you even get up to pace.


Then don't be (on for a specific time). It's a sportive on open roads and there are too many things outside of your control. At the risk of stating the obvious that includes road junctions, traffic lights, punctures or other mechnical failures, other road users and uniquely yesterday horses, donkeys and cows. Admittedly the organisers don't help by posting cut-offs for silver and gold times and I wish they wouldn't. Credit to Evans and their Ride-It sportives for not doing this because of the added risk it can create. And the pointlessness of it.

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Fat Cat
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Re: Wiggle New Forest Sportive - thoughts/comments?

Postby Fat Cat » Sun Oct 06, 2013 21:10 pm

Just to be clear, it p1sses me off as much as the next person when people don't show any consideration, i guess that makes me a moany old git too! The OPs point regarding the increased popularity of cycling being a good thing, but one that leads to these issues is well made.

One other thing that annoys is riders riding 2 abreast having a chat on narrow lanes which can make it difficult to get past them.

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nunowoolmez
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Re: Wiggle New Forest Sportive - thoughts/comments?

Postby nunowoolmez » Mon Oct 07, 2013 07:17 am

EPO Delivery Man wrote:I did the event yesterday and thought it was really well organised, marshalled and sign-posted. I did the 41 mile short route but had the family in tow for Peppa Pig World so was a compromise, but still a good event.

Agree with some of the posts, a lot of riders would hug your wheel then zoom past only to blow up 50 yards in front of you and then you would re-take them. Personally ive never seen the point of this, by all means overtake if youre faster, but dont then slow down. I ride to my pace which yesterday was just over 16mph, and it was enough to pace most Wiggo wheel sucker wannabees out over the entire course. And i have always taken the view that if im behind a rider getting his tow for a bit then its only fair i pass him and pay the debt back, but thats just me.

Its not a course to smash your best times as its not on closed roads, there are tons of wildlife like horses, donkeys, ponies and cows on the road that you have to slow down for, some of the roads are very narrow in the forest too. But overall the course is excellent. My only bugbear were the number of cattlegrids along the route, one of which 9 miles from the end gave me a huge rear blowout just when i was on for a Gold time! And ended up with Silver, but never mind.



Also agree with other riders attitudes, i went past quite a few riders, looking miserable as sin, i guess all trying to smash a time etc etc but it doesnt take much to say hi. I made a couple of comments like ' is it time for cake yet?!' Just to lighten the mood but not everyone replies, some laugh and thats the whole point, we are all suffering together.

One annoying thing on chip timing was the start, on a very gravely road which took a couple of minutes to navigate and then join the main road, if you are on for a specific time then little things can make the difference of three or four minutes added on before you even get up to pace. But thats just a small point.

Will be back next year, lovely area to ride in.


I didn't know there was a Peppa Pig World!! Wow. My neice will go crazy for that place, she loves Peppa Pig! Hmm, I myst conjure some sort of plan...

Anyway, the OP has pretty much described sportives in general, & as others have pointed out it they attract a broad spectrum of riders of all abilities, ages, shapes & sizes. They are what they are & as others say, they are nit races or club runs. I get wheel sucked on every sportive I ever enter & although it used to annoy me, it really doesn't now. I look at it as a positive now.

New Forest is a nice place to ride tho, very attractive & with the winds & lumps it is tougher than most other 'flat' areas. I will only do the Wiggle 'Long One' next year though, I really dislike the poor attitude & un friendliness & of the main organisers so will avoid them in future. The 'Long One' epic is a great course though & is a great ride to build into Marmotte training, providing the date works out ok.

OP, next year you could try out the Wight Wiggle. Its a nice circuit of New Forest, ferry to Isle of Wight before a circuit of that, ferry back & then another circuit of tge Forest. You could always take the family & tempt them with the promise of...Peppa Pig Land!!!

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Mr Goo
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Re: Wiggle New Forest Sportive - thoughts/comments?

Postby Mr Goo » Mon Oct 07, 2013 12:04 pm

nunowoolmez wrote:
EPO Delivery Man wrote:I did the event yesterday and thought it was really well organised, marshalled and sign-posted. I did the 41 mile short route but had the family in tow for Peppa Pig World so was a compromise, but still a good event.

Agree with some of the posts, a lot of riders would hug your wheel then zoom past only to blow up 50 yards in front of you and then you would re-take them. Personally ive never seen the point of this, by all means overtake if youre faster, but dont then slow down. I ride to my pace which yesterday was just over 16mph, and it was enough to pace most Wiggo wheel sucker wannabees out over the entire course. And i have always taken the view that if im behind a rider getting his tow for a bit then its only fair i pass him and pay the debt back, but thats just me.

Its not a course to smash your best times as its not on closed roads, there are tons of wildlife like horses, donkeys, ponies and cows on the road that you have to slow down for, some of the roads are very narrow in the forest too. But overall the course is excellent. My only bugbear were the number of cattlegrids along the route, one of which 9 miles from the end gave me a huge rear blowout just when i was on for a Gold time! And ended up with Silver, but never mind.



Also agree with other riders attitudes, i went past quite a few riders, looking miserable as sin, i guess all trying to smash a time etc etc but it doesnt take much to say hi. I made a couple of comments like ' is it time for cake yet?!' Just to lighten the mood but not everyone replies, some laugh and thats the whole point, we are all suffering together.

One annoying thing on chip timing was the start, on a very gravely road which took a couple of minutes to navigate and then join the main road, if you are on for a specific time then little things can make the difference of three or four minutes added on before you even get up to pace. But thats just a small point.

Will be back next year, lovely area to ride in.


I didn't know there was a Peppa Pig World!! Wow. My neice will go crazy for that place, she loves Peppa Pig! Hmm, I myst conjure some sort of plan...

Anyway, the OP has pretty much described sportives in general, & as others have pointed out it they attract a broad spectrum of riders of all abilities, ages, shapes & sizes. They are what they are & as others say, they are nit races or club runs. I get wheel sucked on every sportive I ever enter & although it used to annoy me, it really doesn't now. I look at it as a positive now.

New Forest is a nice place to ride tho, very attractive & with the winds & lumps it is tougher than most other 'flat' areas. I will only do the Wiggle 'Long One' next year though, I really dislike the poor attitude & un friendliness & of the main organisers so will avoid them in future. The 'Long One' epic is a great course though & is a great ride to build into Marmotte training, providing the date works out ok.

OP, next year you could try out the Wight Wiggle. Its a nice circuit of New Forest, ferry to Isle of Wight before a circuit of that, ferry back & then another circuit of tge Forest. You could always take the family & tempt them with the promise of...Peppa Pig Land!!!


Instead of paying an inordinate amount to Wiggle for the pleasure of cycling around the IoW. Why not do the Randonee in May. You just have to pay for your ferry crossing.

On another note. Some comments have been made about the proliferation of Sky kit. I have no problem with Team kits. But my god the group of Windy Milla riders I saw heading towards the Rising Sun yesterday afternoon nearly blinded me. Should be a health warning with that get up.
Now that really is an eye catching kit.

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Slowbike
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Re: Wiggle New Forest Sportive - thoughts/comments?

Postby Slowbike » Mon Oct 07, 2013 12:56 pm

deejay. wrote:Well organised - excellent logistics, marshalling and signage;
It was - and with a dry ride we were able to take advantage of the after event socialising.
deejay. wrote:Too busy - I think the event has become too large for the roads/area;
Yes and no ... we found we were getting bursts of riders coming through for the first half - but it was distinctly quieter for the second half (also I was by myself then so going at a faster pace!)
deejay. wrote:Without a strong sense of camaraderie - I found that other riders, with a few exceptions, were not very friendly, which for me doesn't fit with road cycling;
There were the wannabes coming through which is a bit off putting - it's not a race, but I can understand wanting to beat a time for the distance- I do that myself - but a "Hi" doesn't take much effort ... On the second half I did find a few ppl to ride with - but most had just lost their legs so I was jumping from group to group trying to find a few riders to pace with. Last few miles I ended up towing a few ppl in - didn't bother me in the slightest although it was nice to get the "thanks" from the last rider who managed to just beat his target time.
There was one guy who I did do a turn with - we never spoke - but that's fine - we both benefited from each other.
As for etiquette - pointing hazards - there were that many that most of the time I just rode a smooth path between them, pointing out the odd one or two significant ones if I could - but one handed at speed in close proximity - I'd rather stay upright thanks!

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Dorset Boy
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Re: Wiggle New Forest Sportive - thoughts/comments?

Postby Dorset Boy » Mon Oct 07, 2013 13:31 pm

I did the Epic on Saturday. As I ride a lot on my own I don't have a problem with people sitting in my wheel if they want to, though it's nice if they do take a turn now and again so long as they can keep the pace right.

As far as saying hi to people as you pass, there were 3,000 riders so you can't possibly say hi to everyone you pass, or who passes you. It's not the same as just being out on a normal ride (where I'm lucky to encounter 10 riders!).

Only encountered 2 moron drivers and they were within 300m of each other. One a black BMW 1 series in a great hurry who was revving away before flying too fast past about 50 riders, and shortly after a young prat coming the other way giving every rider the 'tosser' sign - he'll have had a very sore wrist by the end! :lol:

My only criticism was insufficient food outlets at the finish - the hog roast had a massive queue and then ran out, meaning the food queue in the tent was massive too - gave up on that in the end.

I also realy felt for whoever it was that had a puncture and a broken chain before they even go onto the road! Still, should have had their bike serviced better!

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Re: Wiggle New Forest Sportive - thoughts/comments?

Postby mattbabs » Mon Oct 07, 2013 14:45 pm

I think if lots of new people are getting involved in cycling it will take some time for them to get used to the etiquette. I've only been riding seriously for a couple of years and usually ride on my own. The first time I did a sportive I didn't know about hand signals other than turning left or right but you soon pick it up. I bet a lot of people don't even realise how much easier it is at the back of the group (unless they watched Chris Boardman and Ned Boulting demonstrating aerodynamics at the Tour de France). If someone finds themselves at the back of a group of "proper" cyclists and realises they are going faster than normal they probably aren't going to think about going even faster to sit at the front of the group. The first time it happened to me I could only just keep up. I wasn't sure whether to drop back or just sit there. In the end I carried on when they stopped at a feed station, bad idea for me.
You do see some people who make things hard for themselves. I recently did the 100km Big Leeds Bike Ride, I saw one woman riding a hybrid that clearly was her commuting bike. She had a set of pannier bags and a big heavy D-lock fastened to her frame! She didn't stop either, I passed her three times after feed stops. She probably would have flown round on a road bike.

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Dorset Boy
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Re: Wiggle New Forest Sportive - thoughts/comments?

Postby Dorset Boy » Mon Oct 07, 2013 19:13 pm


Slowbike
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Re: Wiggle New Forest Sportive - thoughts/comments?

Postby Slowbike » Mon Oct 07, 2013 21:49 pm

Nope! I did see locals out clapping and cheering us on ....

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EPO Delivery Man
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Re: Wiggle New Forest Sportive - thoughts/comments?

Postby EPO Delivery Man » Tue Oct 08, 2013 11:40 am

FleetPaul wrote:
EPO Delivery Man wrote:if you are on for a specific time then little things can make the difference of three or four minutes added on before you even get up to pace.


Then don't be (on for a specific time). It's a sportive on open roads and there are too many things outside of your control. At the risk of stating the obvious that includes road junctions, traffic lights, punctures or other mechnical failures, other road users and uniquely yesterday horses, donkeys and cows. Admittedly the organisers don't help by posting cut-offs for silver and gold times and I wish they wouldn't. Credit to Evans and their Ride-It sportives for not doing this because of the added risk it can create. And the pointlessness of it.



I didn't say i was on for a specific time, read my post properly. I said 'if you are on for a specific time..' :roll:

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EPO Delivery Man
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Re: Wiggle New Forest Sportive - thoughts/comments?

Postby EPO Delivery Man » Tue Oct 08, 2013 11:49 am

Dorset Boy wrote:Anybody notice this who did the rides over the weekend?
http://www.bikeradar.com/road/news/article/new-forest-sportive-hit-by-saboteurs-for-second-time-38616/


I didnt notice anything on the saturday, everything was working fine. But i did notice on the sunday, going to Peppa Pig World :-), that some of the signs leading into Lyndhurst had been torn in half and thrown about.

Most of the time in villages dotted about, all i saw were locals waiving at the riders. Thing is, the locals shouldnt knock it as it brings in thousands of riders all looking for local hotels, B&Bs, restaurants, pubs etc and brings money into the area. As i said, i did the saturday ride, stayed friday night and saturday night in a local cottage, took the family to locals pubs for meals out, visited Lyndhurst and spent money in the area.

I've read the local horse owners/riders are getting a bit shirty but maybe someone ought to tell them that they dont own the roads either. We all have to compromise and its not like theres a sportive in the New Forest every weekend, but im guessing they ride their horses every week, so they cant have it both ways.
Last edited by EPO Delivery Man on Tue Oct 08, 2013 11:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

markhewitt1978
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Re: Wiggle New Forest Sportive - thoughts/comments?

Postby markhewitt1978 » Tue Oct 08, 2013 11:52 am

What does it matter if another rider stays behind you? If you don't like, drop them, or drop back yourself. It's not a club run where all riders are expected to do their turn, it's a sportive, everyone is doing it for their own reasons. If I catch up the back of a group I might want to stay there because I'm grateful for the rest or want to be paced around the course, it's an individual ride so there should be no expectation that riders will 'do their turn'.


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