So you want to throw a National-level race, be it one-day road, stage or cyclocross race? Thank you for all the hard work, we all appreciate it. Here are a few things to remember in your plan, from the media side of the event.
Start lists and results – a pet peeve of ours. Simply said both are essential and unfortunately, both are often difficult or impossible to get. Start lists are needed before the race starts to keep track of who’s who in the race, who’s in the break, who’s attacking and of course, they are of the utmost importance for live updates. The same start lists, with bib numbers, are needed by photographers to identify riders. The need for results should be self-explanatory. Results should be distributed as soon as they are available – via email using the info given as part of the request for media credentials. Send them to all the registered media, not just a select few. If the event is a stage race, or a series of any sort, please have printed copies of the GC and/or overall points available at the start of each stage/race.
Speaking of media credentials. It’s a great idea to check and limit credentials especially for security reasons. If you do require credentials, then please enforce them but also instruct the marshalls and volunteers that the credentials do allow access to the course.
On that note, let’s talk photographers. When you fence off the finish, think about where the photographers will be positioned and how they will access the course.Positioning and safety is key at the finish line, especially for a sprint finish, so instruct the photographers to not sit down on the road, they need to be able to move very quickly. Not sure where the photographer pit should be located? Ask us, we all want to take a good photo but also we want to make sure that everyone is safe.
And then, the podiums. Share the schedule with us, repeat it and repeat it again and then stick to it as much as possible. Will podium(s) be happening during racing? If so, how will photographers be able to work and take the photos without endangering the racers. In many road races, the women’s podium happens during the men’s race with no spots for media to safely work, meaning darting in and out on the road. And please think of providing a media/photog only spot in front of the podium because often we get there after fans have already congregated in front, and make it very difficult to shoot the podium ceremony.
Media car(s). Please let us know in advance if cars or shuttles for the media are available during the road race. Where they will be located, where they will stop and how to reserve a spot – are all questions that will be asked over and over again.
Parking. If your race is in a location where parking is difficult or far away, please think of adding a media parking area where the staff and/or teams are located. We are often at a venue for multiple hours, if not the full day, and often need to return to the car to get food, water, and gear.
We want to cover your race as best as possible, and these make it easier for us to focus on the bike racing instead of expanding energy on other things. For our part, we pledge to use the complete name of the race, including sponsors, in reports and interviews.