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Could A Ref's Call Decide the SuperFinals?

 

The combination of the short track in Exchange Square, Broadgate and the increased pressure of the SuperFinal competition, could see more races being decided by the Ref.

 

StreetVelodrome's three man referee team is led by Nick Jeggo (centre). Nick has been the senior race official since the start of 2014.

 

During each race its Nick who calls the two riders to their respective start lines, checks they are positioned correctly and then starts the race.

 

He needs to concentrate hard as the two riders battle it out at high speed to be the quickest over the three lap distance. Nick needs to observe any 'Catches', where the quicker rider manages to enter the banking before the slower rider has exited the same turn. He also has to make the decision if either of his assistant referees spot a 'Track Limits' infringement.

 

Exceeding the track limits, which are shown by the white line marked around the upper section of the banking, can cause an instant disqualification. The rule was introduced after the crash of Quella rider Dave Johnson at Round 2 of the ASDA StreetVelodrome Series. 

 

Up until the introduction of the Track Limits rule, BMX riders were cashing in on an advantage of being able to ride the vertical barrier at the very top of the banking. This allowed them to maintain their straight line speeds around the corners.

 

Though it was dramatic to watch, the dangers were there to see when Dave crashed heavily. So for the sake of rider safety and to level the playing field between the BMX riders and the road / track riders the Track Limits rule was introduced from Round 3 of the Series. Anyone riding over that white line is instantly disqualified from the event. The line has since become known as the 'Johnson' Line after the 2014 champion Dave Johnson.

 

Minor infringements (above right) are viewed differently. Front wheels venturing over the Johnson Line due to misjudging the exit speed on the corners actually slows the riders down and doesn't offer any advantage. But consistently going over the white line will be judged as dangerous riding and could result in a disqualification.

 

In a race both competitors are watched carefully by the assistant referees. If they see a track limits infringement they raise their yellow flag to alert Nick, the race commentators and the crowds. But the decision to disqualify rests with the man in the middle Nick.

 

Could Nick end up having to make a decision which could settle any of the 2015 titles up for grabs in Broadgate, City of London? Quite possibly. 

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