Racing with Northern Cycling


A scratch race is a race where equal ability riders race in a group and they do not compete against other groups. This kind of race is most often run as a criterium. This means racing around a circuit that is between approximately 1.0km and 2.5km for about 45 to 60min. This racing is usually punctuated by short bursts of speed as riders try to shake loose their competitors with breakaway attempts, but often finishes in a mass sprint.

Scratch races are also run occasionally on longer road circuits or on an out-and-back course over distances ranging from 35 to 50km.

Entries for scratch races are normally accepted up until 15 minutes before start time.


A handicap race is where riders are given different start times in a road race so that riders of differing ability have a similar chance of finishing the race at the same time. Most handicap races are run over a distance of 45 to 65km.

Handicap start times are determined by the club race handicapper. This job requires a lot of skill to work out a fair start time for each rider given the distances of races vary along with the degree of difficulty and weather conditions on the day. Handicap start times for individual riders may vary from race to race as the handicapper takes into consideration past performances and other feedback from races.

Race entries close on the Thursday night prior to the race so that the handicapper can work out the starting times for the riders entered in the handicap.


At least once a year we have individual time trial races. These are set over a distance of approximately 15km and ridden in an out and back or a circuit format.

CLUB CHAMPIONSHIPS (5 year age group category and “open” championships)

To qualify for age category club championships and open club championships you must have 5 rides to qualify. These are taken over a period of 12 months from the previous championships run.


In addition to the prizes and/or trophies for all individual races, the club runs an aggregate points’ scheme for scratch and handicap races with medals awarded at the end of the season for the aggregate winners and placegetters.  Personal aggregate points scores are available throughout the season from the race committee.