Naked Team Racing Rules and Strategy
NAKED Team racing was developed to grasp the best of cycling, reduce the overhead and regulation while increasing enjoyment and simultaneously offering a style of racing that allows for and rewards strategic race planning. In essence NAKED Team racing is derived from ultra-endurance cycling, randonneuring and Grand Tour or Olympic Team Racing.
1) In Naked Team racing no support crews are permitted therefore outlawing support vehicles and escort crews. The riders and the riders alone are responsible for their SAFETY, bike maintenance, clothing, nutritional needs, sleep requirements and personal hygiene along with navigation, race pace and strategy*.
2) NAKED Team racing is NOT relay style! Like the Tour or Grand Tour racing each rider of a team must ride the entire distance as they progress along the course. Failure to do so will result in disqualification of the individual rider.
3) Members of the same team MAY draft off each other but not off other teams or “tourists”.
4) NAKED Teams will be timed by their fastest rider’s completion time but 50% of a team’s riders are required to cross the finish line for a team to officially finish a race
5) Individual official recognition will denote whether an individual rider completed the race or where they dropped out but well still be recognized as part of the team’s effort and result.
6) NAKED Team members are not required to ride with their teammates.
NAKED Team racers may opt to employ a wide variety of racing strategies designed to best utilize their team’s strengths and assets. The following are just a few examples of what people may devise.
To be most effective the compilation of its members should consider the following requirements of NAKED Team Racing.
Due to the long distances involved that travel through remote areas and the inability to have more than one bicycle per rider all riders should be aware of basic bicycle maintenance and repair and the each team should have a skilled mechanic on their team.
To win a NAKED Team race consideration could be given to individual strengths or styles of each rider’s abilities. Some ‘mule’ work is involved and certain team members may be designated to carry the bulk of the load or share in the responsibilities.
A NAKED Team may designate a captain or frontrunner who will be kept as fresh as possible to enable his or her best efforts and capabilities are available in a “sprint” (a sprint might be the last 100 or so kilometers) to the finish line.
All riders should know basic first aid with a specialist being beneficial.
For the purpose of this introduction we will discuss a four member team but the strategy transfers to teams of any size.
In a Naked race a team may split up into two groups with one team (pair A) sprinting ahead approximately 4-6 hours of their counterparts or Pair B. Then they could rest while Pair B now rested rides at maximum speed to catch up to Pair A who then takes over and races along the course while Pair B now rests before continuing onward. Timing of such rotations must be honed to maximize time spent moving forward on the course as there are no scheduled rests and the clock runs 24/7
If a NAKED Team has a designated captain or ‘finisher’ this rider should rarely if ever take on the responsibilities of a mule.
Communications between NAKED Team riders maybe as basic as the front riders leaving signs along the race course or through cell phones but at least one team member must be responsible for communicating with race officials to report their progress at least once a day and twice a day in shorter events.
NAKED Team racing adds more levels of adventure, strategy and difficulty to an ultra-endurance event. It also embracing the spirit of randonneuring yet engages and promotes a team effort while reducing or eliminating our carbon footprints and invoking an old-school spirit of adventure.
* Please note that riders may outsource food sources by eating at vendors or purchasing supplies along the way and may also engage any assistance they may find available for bike maintenance and temporary shelter. No team may use fossil fuels to support their race effort other than use in transportation to and from the start/finish line at the start and conclusion of the race.