Finish Area

course design

The finish area has similar considerations to the start; clearly marked, wide enough for a sprint finish, sealed off from spectators, and placed in a good location to highlight an area such as a historic site or monument. Parking should be well signed for spectators to get to the finish easily and so they know where parking is available and where it isn’t. According to the competitive rules for a road race, the finishing area should be at least eight meters wide and adequately protected so as to prevent spectators from entering the street. The last 200 meters should be free of turns and curves. Having a flat or an uphill finish is safer than a downhill finish where riders will be able to generate very fast speeds. For a cyclo-cross finish the stretch shall be a straight line with a minimum length of 100 meters and a minimum width of six meters for championships and four meters for other events. If you have a caravan you should have a diversion where caravan vehicles can pull off course prior to the finish.

The finish line should have one side dedicated to the technical aspects of the event which include the judges, announcer, timing or finish camera operator and possibly sound technician, and the other side should be open to spectators, but still separated from the race. Having an elevated stand or stage for the technical side allows them to have a good view of the race.

Barricades are a safety feature of both the start and finish that will close off the course from spectators. Extending the finish chute for finished riders to clear the course is not only a good risk management plan, but is a consideration for other riders finishing. The barricades can be used to display sponsor advertising, but be warned if there are strong winds barricades with banners can blow over. It is important to make sure the barricades are bound to the ground. Sand bags and rebar through the fence into the ground are good options.

The finish line should be black and placed in the middle of a 72 centimeter wide white strip for contrast. This is for both track and road events. For road events the black stripe should be approximately 4 to 6 centimeters wide.

Having photo finish is the best method to ensure results are accurate. If the judges aren’t able to tell by the naked eye which rider passed with the front edge of their tire first you’ll have the photo finish system to fall back on. This is especially important if there is prize money on the line. There are many different types of photo finish; the system you use at your event should be specifically designed to determine the finish order.

If you anticipate photographers at your event you should design safe areas for them at the finish. This can be delineated by white stripes easily identified, that they must stand or kneel behind. A marshal is required to manage the photographs if you expect a sizeable number of them. Under no circumstance should photographers be allowed to sit on the ground, they must be prepared to move quickly to safety.

Rules Concerning Finish Areas:

Road- 3A3, 3A4, 3A5, 3A7

Cyclo-cross- 4A7, 4A8

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