The Dark Art of handicapping (no – nothing to do with riding with flat tyres, saddlebags or a leg length discrepancy) is the responsibility of Bert Nancarrow. Possessed with Jedi-like mind powers Bert deciphers our progress throughout the season and adjusts each rider’s handicap according to a ‘scratch’ target. Broadly speaking, if every rider rode according to the form from their previous best race, each would finish with an identical handicap time – it’s a bit like golf but you don’t have to waste so much time looking for your balls (unless doing a winter TT). And no, I don’t understand it either. Anyway, for the first time ever I will attempt to represent the riders’ progress throughout the 2011 season in a graphic format (and that doesn’t mean that the HRC website becomes ‘Adult Only’). The graph is below – make of it what you will. As the season progresses, all but the ‘scratch’ rider should see their handicap line slope further downwards. Unless, that is they (a) don’t ride, (b) stop training, (c) puncture at every known opportunity or (d) bribe Bert handsomely. However, if the scratch rider improves more than the other riders, handicaps will also increase as the margin has got bigger. The bottom line is that the only way to win the handicap points prize is to get proportionately faster than everyone else over the season (although you could deliberately go the wrong way in the first race, get an artificially high handicap and then spend the rest of the season cruising whilst creaming the points – no names mentioned of course). Enjoy!!

If you’re really interested the complete data set is below:

Rider
Date Ryan Adams Adam Boodle Mick Churcher Keith Drew Sean Elliott Gary Ferrett Dee Ferrett Emily Iredale Barney Jafkins Brian Hall Hefin Jones Andy Langdown Chris Lillywhite Chris McGuire Matthew Pratt Den Tapping Alun Tribe David Tribe Paul Whitehead Hamish Walker
05/04/2011 9.24 4.02 5.29 4.14 3.21 0 6.07 7.04 3.05 5.13 0 1.5 4.11 2.07 3.51 3.08 2.12 4.35
12/04/2011 8.41 4.09 5.29 4.09 2.59 0 6.07 3.02 3.05 5.13 0.25 1.5 4.11 3.41 2.07 3.51 3.08 2.19 4.29
03/05/2011 9.55 4.09 5.29 4.04 3.31 0 8.41 6.07 3.02 3.05 5.13 0 1.5 4.21 3.41 1.39 3.51 3.08 2.29 4.39
17/05/2011 8.21 3.28 4.48 4.04 3.25 0 8.01 6.07 3.16 2.24 4.32 0 0.45 4.35 3.25 1.39 3.11 2.27 2.14 3.58
31/05/2011 8.51 3.28 4.48 2.41 3.25 0 8.51 6.07 1.21 2.24 4.32 0 0.45 2.15 1.44 0.51 1.02 2.27 1.49 2.52
07/06/2011 7.02 3.28 4.48 2.51 3.25 0 8.51 6.07 0.56 2.24 4.32 0 0.45 3.01 1.41 0.44 1.02 2.27 1.45 2.47
12/06/2011 7.02 3.28 4.48 2.51 3.25 0 8.51 6.07 0.56 2.24 4.32 0 0.45 3.01 1.41 0.44 1.02 2.27 1.45 2.27
02/08/2011 8.13 3.28 4.48 2.51 3.25 0 8.51 6.07 0.56 2.24 4.32 0 0.45 3.09 1.51 1.01 1.02 2.27 1.45 2.47
09/08/2011 8.13 3.28 4.48 2.51 3.25 0 8.51 6.07 0.56 2.24 4.32 0 0.45 3.09 1.21 1.01 2.42 2.27 2.41 2.52
16/08/2011 10.04 3.28 4.48 4.48 3.04 0.17 8.51 6.07 1.59 2.24 4.32 0 0.45 3.15 1.16 1.05 2.42 2.27 2.07 2.52