The much-criticised RideLondon event guide is back under scrutiny today after entrants noticed their official ride time will seemingly be paused during breaks at feed stops. It raises questions about 'moving time' vs total time, and whether riders can claim to have completed the event in a time minus how long they have spent at feed stations.
Guardian political correspondent Peter Walker spotted that under the 'Take a break' section, participants are told: "The Welfare Stops at Felsted School and Chipping Ongar High Street are great places to take an extended break — especially as your official event time will pause automatically while you're at these stops.
"So you can enjoy the facilities at your leisure, knowing that your time will restart once you hit the road again."
Just seen this in the Ride London rider guide. What?? pic.twitter.com/34QOohL9NO
— Peter Walker (@peterwalker99) May 19, 2022
He suggested it would feel "slightly like posting a time on cheat mode", although "I suppose it's good in that it might encourage some people to take it a bit easy".
Others said the news was further proof of the event adopting a 'this is not a race' attitude, and follows on from this week's uproar and backpedalling over the 22mph safety car.
On Tuesday, London Marathon Events, the organiser of RideLondon, said information in the event guide stating there would be a safety car limiting pace to 22mph at the head of event was incorrect and had been an error.
The statement came after four days of vocal criticism from participants who said the limit would, in fact, increase the danger of the ride, and should have been communicated before riders, who have easily averaged faster speeds on previous editions, had signed up expecting to do the same on this year's flatter Essex route.
It remains to be seen if RideLondon says pausing rider timing at feed stops is an error too, but it has already caused discussion online, with some suggesting the change will be a positive, while others think it detracts from the timed aspect of the event.
Queueing for water when the clock is ticking might make some people skip the refill and that's not good on a hot day.
— Steve Cromwell (@steveocrom) May 19, 2022
Blimey. Surely there's a maximum time... I'd knock loads off my marathon time if I could have a stop like that!!!
— James Marsh (@JamesMarsh1974) May 19, 2022
One disappointed rider asked if the "people at RideLondon had ever ridden a bike?" Another said they "could run a really fast marathon in 100m sprints".
"A big move to 'this is not a race'. It's a shame nobody told anyone who entered that at the time," one rider added.
However, another entrant argued it is a positive change and will "hopefully cut out the mamils averaging 30 km/h treating feed stops like Supermarket Sweep".
What do you think? Is it a big deal? Should the decision have been communicated to participants sooner? Will it change the way you ride the event? Let us know in the comments...
Dan joined road.cc in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining road.cc, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.