Improved Start Arrangements for ToC 2018 Gran Fondo

On the eve of the 4th  Tour of Cambridgeshire, we look back and we see how much we have grown as well as improved the event year on year. Not all of improvements we’ve made could have been possible without rider input.

Following the 2017 edition of ToC many riders gave us constructive feedback about how we can improve the racing experience , including our 19-34 Women’s Winner Charlotte Colclough and Don Parry winner of the 65-69 Men’s race (You can see Charlotte’s Winner Interview HERE). Within these age classifications, we had occasions at last year’s event, where large groups of riders in the 21+mph Sport group caught the riders dropped from various highly competitive RACE pelotons including several female age groups and some of the older men. This gave the dropped riders an unfair advantage to catch up and ultimately distorted the podium and qualification results.

To illustrate the issue , the winner of the 19-34 Female age group averaged 22mph, whereas the front of the 21+mph group averaged 27mph. Not all of the riders within the 21+mph pen will be averaging 27mph, but enough to distort outcomes. The phasing of the starts along with the infrastructure around each Race Pen, including a commissaire and moto team dedicated to each we will go a long way towards eliminating this dynamic.

The Race Director, Rowland Summerlin, and the Event Director, Jessica Lockhart, took the decision to review these start times following the 2017 feedback to ensure we have the best racing environment and rider experience, from both a safety and fairness point of view, for all at the Tour of Cambridgeshire 2018.

Other feedback included that rider’s just wanted to enjoy the closed-road experience rather than qualification, so we added the Mellow Vélo Ride, which is a non-timed Sportive.

As well as this, standing in the start pens for 60 minutes was too long for some riders, especially as some like to queue to get in to the pen a further 60-90 minutes before opening! We wanted to change this and will now be opening the start gates only 30 to 40mins ahead of the start.

With all of this in mind, below is the timetable for all start times on Sunday 3rd June, including the Race, Sportive, Mellow Vélo, Tour Classic and Medio Fondo:

Pen Pen Opening Time Start Time
19-34 Men 11:30 12:00
35-39 Men 11:30 12:03
40-44 Men 11:30 12:06
45-49 Men 11:30 12:09
50-54 Men 11:30 12:12
55-59 Men 11:30 12:15
Sportive 21+mph 11:45 12:20
60-64 Men 12:00 12:30
65+ Men 12:00 12:33
19-44 Women 12:00 12:36
45-59 Women 12:00 12:39
60+ Women 12:00 12:41
Sportive 18-20mph 12:15 12:46
Sportive 16-18mph 12:15 12:51
Sportive 14-16mph 12:15 12:56
Sportive 13-14mph 12:15 12:59
Tour Classic 12:30 13:02
Mellow Vélo & Medio Fondo 12:30 13:05

We’re all ears when it comes to feedback, so if you have anything at all, good or bad, please email us at or come and see us at Event Solutions during the course of the event.