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Move levels playing field between nations north and south of equator

If the time and distance involved in travelling to World Cup races weren’t enough to contend with, from 2015 the world’s track cyclists will have to endure another adaptation when they cross the equator: changing racing direction.

Every velodrome in the world currently runs races anti-clockwise. But the UCI Technical Committee today announced that from the beginning of 2015, velodromes in the Southern hemisphere will run races in a clockwise direction.

It’s all to do with Coriolis forces, and evening the playing field between southern and northern hemisphere velodromes, according to the UCI.

The Coriolis force is why cyclones rotate anti-clockwise on the northern hemisphere and clockwise on the southern hemisphere. An extremely careful statistical analysis of race times in the northern and southern hemisphere velodromes has revealed that the Coriolis effect is responsible for a small disadvantage in record attempts in the southern hemosphere.

“It’s surprising how very small things affect track racing times,” said Dr Allan Smithee of the University of Sydney, who analysed race times in a paper published in the Journal of Esoteric Sports Technology.

“We’ve known for a while that small changes in humidity affect track times,” he added, “so it’s not too startling that the Coriolis force slows down racers south of the equator. After all, it’s strong enough to affect which way water flows down the plug.”

What is surprising, though, is how quickly the UCI has acted on this discovery. “It’s not like the UCI to let scientific facts and sense get in the way of centuries of tradition,” commented Dr Smithee, himself a Cat 2 racer. “But it’s great to see them taking this simple step to level the playing field.”

Australia’s track team stands to be one of the biggest beneficiaries of the change. Gennie Sheer, spokesperson for Cycling Australia said, “As our track team is called the Cyclones, it makes perfect sense that they will now go in the right direction on their home tracks.”

Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

28 comments

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phy2sll [34 posts] 2 years ago
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Very witty.

 21

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Grizzerly [298 posts] 2 years ago
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Like it, like it!!  24

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mooleur [537 posts] 2 years ago
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Ahahahahaaaaaa aces  24

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Wookie [234 posts] 2 years ago
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shit you got me  24

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rich22222 [164 posts] 2 years ago
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Why not just make them ride backwards, surely that's easier?

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usedtobefaster [172 posts] 2 years ago
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Damn it got caught there !! Very funny.

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caaad10 [184 posts] 2 years ago
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Got me too  3

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therevokid [948 posts] 2 years ago
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I was soooo close to being caught ...  1

nice one chaps  41

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SevenHills [205 posts] 2 years ago
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got caught until i read the comments and remembered what day it was. Very good!  21

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Joselito [160 posts] 2 years ago
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Bonus points for Allan Smithee usage.

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giff77 [1251 posts] 2 years ago
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 24 Pure class.

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DavidC [140 posts] 2 years ago
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Well it's about time.

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dafyddp [361 posts] 2 years ago
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nice!! got me too until I read the comments.

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notfastenough [3679 posts] 2 years ago
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Good job you allowed comments from those quicker than I, you had me.

Off-topic, I'd never heard of the Coriolis effect until I played some first-person-shooter game on the playstation. There's a sniper level where you have to aim off the target, ostensibly to compensate for the Coriolis effect. Weird.

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6654henry [56 posts] 2 years ago
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Veeerrrryyy good.  36

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batch2103 [6 posts] 2 years ago
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You well and truly had me there - great job!

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mrchrispy [452 posts] 2 years ago
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science, cycling and the UCI all in one.
hat sir, hat.

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AndrewRH [56 posts] 2 years ago
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How ridiculous! Let me explain, the Coriolis force is so....

oh wait. {checks calendar}

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jollygoodvelo [1419 posts] 2 years ago
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Excellent. Well played Road.

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usedtobefaster [172 posts] 2 years ago
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In case anyone's interested, in the Independent every April's fool for the last few years BMW have always had a joke ad which are usually quite well done, and the best cycling one I've seen was a few years ago in the comic (CW) with Tom Boonens cobbled rollers for the classics preparation.

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harman_mogul [225 posts] 2 years ago
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You got me going in circles there!

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stevelo [7 posts] 2 years ago
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Congratulations on a real scoop for road.cc. Australia's Cycling Tips have completely missed this story. In their own back yard too. Instead they are giving us this:

http://cyclingtips.com.au/2014/04/rocacorba-daily-193/

Unbelievable.

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John Stevenson [251 posts] 2 years ago
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Thank you all, thankyewverymuch  1

Props to the guys at CyclingTips - lot of work there, and very funny stuff.

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themartincox [499 posts] 2 years ago
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TOO Obvious! everyone know's that Australia doesn't have any universities!

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Team Rux [21 posts] 2 years ago
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Good one road.cc - had me going,
Call me gullible but this one too: http://www.wheelsuckers.co.uk/profiles/blogs/germans-to-launch-autonomou...

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Team Rux [21 posts] 2 years ago
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Good one road.cc - had me going,
Call me gullible but this one too: http://www.wheelsuckers.co.uk/profiles/blogs/germans-to-launch-autonomou...

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trevisotart [18 posts] 2 years ago
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Cycling forum with a sense of humour , how refreshing  41

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parksey [343 posts] 2 years ago
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notfastenough wrote:

Off-topic, I'd never heard of the Coriolis effect until I played some first-person-shooter game on the playstation. There's a sniper level where you have to aim off the target, ostensibly to compensate for the Coriolis effect. Weird.

Ahh, that sounds like One Shot, One Kill in the first Modern Warfare game. Bloody hard if I remember rightly, particularly on Veteran difficulty!