British Cycling has today launched a new awareness campaign to promote responsible racing on Britain's roads.
Racesmart has been designed to educate riders about the minimum levels of etiquette and the techniques they need to employ when racing on the roads. Video content and social media engagement will be used to promote the campaign directly to riders from the moment they enter a race through to rolling across the finish line.
The campaign targets all riders competing in domestic road races and will include advice about racing etiquette, techniques, riding skills and protecting the future of the sport.
Jonny Clay, British Cycling’s director of cycle sport and membership, said: “We've got a great tradition of racing in this country and there's a growing appetite for events on our roads as the sport’s profile continues to grow.
“We’re working to build a better future for the sport and by racing responsibly riders can play their part. Through Racesmart we’re taking positive steps to raise awareness among riders and at the same time promote a culture of collective responsibility where riders look out for each other, respect their environment and so reduce the risk of incidents. It should be part of every road racer’s mindset.
Linked to the campaign there is a series of short Racesmart ‘how to’ videos, created in collaboration with Global Cycling Network (GCN), with the first release - fronted by former professionals Dan Lloyd and Matthew Stephens - made available today, with more to follow in the coming weeks.
The videos have been developed and created with input and support from domestic elite teams and professional riders who have lent their support to the Racesmart campaign.
Olympic champion and Team Sky professional Geraint Thomas is one supporter.
He said: "Racing on British roads was a really important part of my early career and riders can help shape its future by using their heads and learning how to race safely and responsibly on open roads.
“To win you need to be strong but you also need to be smart.”
Olympic silver-medallist and Boels Dolmans Cycling Team professional, Lizzie Armitstead said: “I think this campaign can really help raise awareness of the key skills and etiquette needed to race effectively.
“So much of road racing is about being aware of your competitors and while you obviously focus on your own race, you have a responsibility to respect everyone around you. No one likes to crash and by racing smart crashes can be prevented.
“I think Racesmart can benefit all riders, experienced or not, and I urge everyone to share and spread the word. It is a positive step that all bike riders should get on board with.”
Rapha Condor JLT Team Manager John Herety, said: “None of us were born knowing how to race and every time you ride your bike, you learn something new. The advice and tips in Racesmart are a great head start to help get everyone up to speed, there really is something in Racesmart for every rider, no matter what level they are racing at. Whether it’s about riding etiquette, skills and tactics or just making sure we look out for each other on the road, this can only be a good thing."