Race Bible Guidelines

When it comes to racing, nothing ruins the experience like a bad race bible. Sure there are days where the weather gets dreary and sometimes the course could be better. There are times too where dealings with locals or the law enforcement don’t go as planned. Yet one thing affects more aspects of a team and others associated with the race than rain or an angry spectator, the race bible.This manual of sorts is called a bible because it is supposed to hold all the information necessary to survive the racing days ahead, things like geographic data as well as times and rules. Without this the riders might not know where or when to start the event, the soigneurs may not make it to the feed zone before the riders and the winning rider might be disqualified or suspended for not making it to drug testing. Yet, even with its importance, some promoters omit important facts and thus cause frustration, anger and some times loss of key participants. Thus, this is our attempt to assist the race promoter with the creation of their race bible.

So, what should a race bible include? Let’s break it down to two main areas, the preface and the stages. The preface includes all the important race information. The stage section should include the following segments for each stage: stage start, stage course, stage finish, stage follow up.

* Support your sponsors by including all the event sponsors. Not a requirement, just a nice way to keep them happy.
* a contact list for those in charge of various portions of the race. Include event staff, technical staff, officials, etc.
* prize lists with break downs per prize. Include general classification, team, mountain, sprint, stage and any other prizes.
* any pertinent rules for the event beyond the normal race organization’s. This is the ideal location to remind riders of the use of helmets.
* descriptions of all categories and who is qualified for each category
* list all pre race meetings including dates, time and location
* a stage list including the days, stage numbers, types of events and general description of courses (such as from where to where). Make sure to include any special stage information such as any climbs over 15% grade, anything that would require the teams to acquire special equipment.
* Caravan information including a chart showing caravan order. List how many teams are included and how they qualify to be in the caravan. Make sure your diagram includes riders, officials, medical staff, media, neutral support and team vehicles. You should list any race specific caravan rules here and reminders of how the caravan works, such as driving on the right and passing on the left. Include notes on areas with tight roads and where the caravan will be held back on descents.

Stage start
* Date and stage start time along with stage distance
* Location of start line, team parking, rider sign in, caravan lineup and where riders can warm up
* Rider reporting times such as sign in and race line up
* All scoring information for points including the location (distance) and how deep they are awarded
* course starting specifics like number of starting laps and when the caravan is allowed to follow
* location (distance) of feed zones and feed limitations by time and distance
* directions from the race hotels to the start line and travel time between those two destinations.

Stage course
* include a route map with close ups of the start and finish areas including any starting laps. This should include direction arrows and locations of feed zones and point lines.
* course profiling showing elevations, distance, feed zones and point locations. Bonus points to those who include percent grade on major climbs.
* point to point course description with mileage listed between each leg and cumulative distance. Be sure to include street names and any turning directions including any name changes. Also included should be train tracks or other course dangers and feed zones.
* separate maps for feedzone staff with directions to the first feed from the start, to the next feed and then from the last feed to the finish line. Be sure to include time gaps between each location based on legal driving speeds.
* driving directions for non-caravan and non-feed vehicles to get from the start to the finish before the racers arrive and without affecting the racers on the course. Should include parking directions at the finish.

Stage Finish
* location of the finish line, caravan pull off, team parking and medical control
* estimated time of finish based on a variety of average speeds (average should change daily based on course profile)
* map of the finish line including finishing circuits
* list any caravan finish line rules such as caravan deviation

Stage Follow Up
* press conference stat’s like the time, location and directions
* a schedule of that nights meetings
* team and staff meal schedule
* location of the race hotels with directions from that day’s finish line and estimated travel time. Be sure to include a list of which teams and staff are staying at each hotel as well as a phone number for the hotel.
* directions to the mechanics’ area, he bike storage room, the media room and the race headquarters.
* Notes on parking or space limitations at the hotel and whether there is a laundry facility on site.
* Bonus Points for those promoters who include a close-up map of the area showing all the race hotels, gas stations, hospitals and the location of laundromats.
* reminders of next stage if multiple stages on one day.

Okay, we realize this guideline might not be for every event, especially since this is laid out for stage races. For one day events, take what you can from the lists above as the more information you provide, the happier the teams, racers and other staff will be. Plus, be sure to have this done a few weeks in advance of the event. Doing so will allow the teams to properly prepare for the event, especially if they have to organize additional vehicles for transfers, hotel rooms for the additional staff and acquire any special equipment.


Owner of Promechanics.com and long time professional race mechanic.