British Cycling, who experimented with two-day National Trophy events last year, have rolled out the new event timetable for National Trophy races in the 2019-20 season.
The new timetable that covers our event plus the other 5 events in the series shows a full two days of racing and course practice, can be viewed here.
Reacting to growing rider numbers it is easy to see why the weekend format is the only sustainable option (with all the official UCI category races on the Sunday).
As organisers, it’s a mixed blessing, but a recent meeting of National Trophy organisers broadly welcomed the changes. It’s of course full of pros and cons for riders and their families too, with some people now forced to decide whether to stay the whole weekend or sacrifice a race (those families with Youth riders plus Senior / Jun Women for example, or Veterans and their Junior family members, both of whom are now spread over two days).
It’s a tough one, but on balance we see it as the only way forward. With our event so early in the season, we have plenty of daylight either end of the day, and hope that the campers/caravan area will enjoy a good atmosphere with more people staying for the craic on Friday and Saturday evenings.
The other issue is course setup and take-down. It’s not just a load of tape and a bunch of stakes these days, so there’s an extra day needed before now – based on what would have been a Sunday-only event.
Marshalling too becomes more complex, with effectively twice the number of helpers required for events over two full days.
However, the up-side to that is that all the time and effort invested in the course, event and its infrastructure gets more value for money with two full days racing.