How do Time Trials work in the IVCA?

In IVCA time trials riders race individually against the clock over a set distance, starting at one minute intervals.
Our time trials allow everyone to be competitive. Each time trial categorises all competitors’ results in three different ways:
• Actual time (i.e. fastest to slowest)
• Handicap time (essentially a comparison against your personal best)
• Age Standard (a comparison against a benchmark time for the distance based on your age)

Different riders therefore can do well in different categories in each event.
Points are awarded in each of the result categories, with 10 points for each category winner, down to 3 points for 8th place. All other participants are awarded 2 points. These points count towards the IVCA’s season-long time trial Leagues.

Who can ride an IVCA TT?

Anyone who takes out Time Trial/Track or Road Racing membership of the IVCA can ride IVCA time trials.
IVCA membership is contingent on the member also holding Cycling Ireland membership with at least a Limited Competition licence.

How do you sign-on for a TT and how is the start order decided?

All IVCA members receive an e-mail in the days preceding a time trial event and are invited to complete a Google Form if they are interested in riding the event.
The Time Trial Secretary will determine the start order, based on the rider’s known (or projected) ability. The start list will be posted on a WhatsApp group a day or two before the event. The fastest riders are generally last to start.
After the event, riders’ finishing times are posted as soon as possible on the WhatsApp group. Full results for the different categories (i.e. Fastest, Handicap Time and Age Standard) are posted on the IVCA website shortly thereafter.

What distances are the TTs?

The standard TT distances for IVCA time trials are 10 miles, 25 miles and 50 miles (a much smaller number of ‘50’s are held each year).
In addition, the yearly calendar may include a Circuit TT, which is held over a non-standard distance (e.g. 12 miles) typically using a course more usually used for road races, a 2-up TT, and a Hill Climb.

How many TTs does the IVCA run each year?

The number of events can vary slightly year-on-year. However, there is usually a minimum of 12 events. The time trials are incorporated into the IVCA race calendar which is published in March each year.

What courses are used?

The Time Trialling section of the IVCA website includes a page with details of most of the courses used for TTs, with directions to the start/finish area. You can click this link for the TT courses page
Slight changes may be made to some courses from time to time to ensure the best possible safety of riders and marshals. Any such changes will be communicated well in advance through e-mail or text messages.

Are there special rules for IVCA TTs?

The rules of time trialling are included in the Time Trialling section of the IVCA website. Click this link for guidelines page
A key principle of time trialling is that you cannot draft behind other riders. If a faster rider passes you, you must drop back until that rider is 25 metres ahead of you. You are permitted to re-catch and overtake that rider, but you must not ride in their slipstream prior to passing.

Do you have to have a time trial bike to ride a TT?

No, you do not have to use a special bike to ride time trials. The IVCA welcomes riders who participate using a road bike and a separate category is included in the results for those using road bikes.

What are Age Standards and how do they work?

Age Standards are benchmark times that riders can aspire to achieve, based on their age. The Age Standards recognise that generally speaking, our speed eventually decreases as we get older.
For example, a male rider who is 40 years of age would be expected to ride a 10 mile TT in a time of 26:06 or faster, whereas a rider who is 60 years of age would be expected to ride it in a time of 27:51 or faster.
Age Standards for the 10, 25 and 50 mile distances are included below in the FAQs. There are separate Age Standards for male and female riders.
After each individual time trial, every rider’s finishing time is compared to his/her Age Standard. The rider who performs best relative to their Age Standard wins that particular result category.
The IVCA’s 10, 25 and 50 mile Championships are based on performance against Age Standard.

What is a Handicap Time?

A Handicap Time is your own personal benchmark time for each TT distance. The Handicap Time is essentially based on your previous fastest ride over the distance.
This system is a way of equalising competition between all participants as far as possible, from the slowest to the fastest, as each rider is competing against his or her own personal benchmark.
In IVCA time trials, each rider’s finish time is compared against their Handicap Time and the rider who performs the best relative to their Handicap Time wins that particular result category.
Many of the trophies awarded in IVCA time trial events are based on performance against a rider’s Handicap Time.

How do you set a Handicap Time?

If you haven’t previously ridden a time trial, you can set your Handicap Time by riding:
– one race in the case of a 50 mile time trial; and
– two races over the relevant distance in the case of 10 and 25 mile time trials; the faster of the two times for each distance becomes your Handicap Time for that event.
The qualifying rides to set a Handicap Time for the 10 and 25 mile distances can be ridden over one or two racing seasons.
If you subsequently improve your Handicap Time for a particular distance, the improved time becomes your new Handicap.
If you ride a time trial over a particular distance during the year but don’t improve your Handicap Time, your time will be adjusted for the following season (based on the Age Standard table) and will be a little more generous.
Just like the Age Standards, this system seeks to ensure that everyone can remain competitive in various categories in IVCA time trials.

What is FAR and BAR?

The FAR and BAR competitions apply to riders who complete at least one 10 mile TT, one 25 mile TT and one 50 mile TT in a season.
The Fastest All Rounder (FAR) competition is calculated on a rider’s combined best times in a 10, 25 and 50 mile time trial during the year. The rider with the lowest aggregate time for the three distances is the Fastest All Rounder.
A Best All Rounder (BAR) competition is a similar competition, but calculated on a rider’s combined best performances against their Age Standard in a 10, 25 and 50 mile time trial during the year. The rider with the best aggregate performance against his/her Age Standard for the three distances is the Best All Rounder.

IVCA Time Trial Age Standards