Interviewing Mark Young, the man in charge of timing the Youth Tour of Scotland
He called it a headache: accurately timing over 70 riders, passing every 5 km at 40 km/h. Talent Development Coach for British Cycling in Scotland and event organizer Mark Young found his medicine in using transponder based timing.
Every year the Youth Tour of Scotland attracts hundreds of young riders from the north. It is a special event that takes place on a course of closed public roads in the scenic county of Perthshire. “Last year was a great success, however everyone in the organizing team was stretched to the limit. One area in particular gave us major headaches. Getting results is pretty tough. Imagine having to track 70 riders passing every 5 kilometers at 40 km/h!”, Mark explains.
Technology has an answer
After the event, Mark’s head turned to solutions. He did some research on how to apply technology to help get accurate and timely results. “I had read and heard good things about using transponders, but had to wade my way through the different systems on the market. It had to meet my requirements. The system had to be accurate, handle multiple passings and if possible the software would have to calculate results in an instant.”
The Youth Tour of Scotland rolled around again. Mark: “But this time I had arranged to bring the MYLAPS ProChip system to the party. I deliberately used MYLAPS’ ProChip system, since I knew I could rely on it to do what I needed without worrying about missing chips, skewed data, interference and many other problems that appear to blight transponder technology.”
On protocol and on the fly
He continues: “Don’t get me wrong here, there are definitely challenges that come with this advanced technology, but with some testing beforehand, a strict protocol for set up and registration, on the fly adjustments, a good working relationship with the race officials, and a problem solving attitude, the transponder system worked amazingly well!”
Results within minutes
Mark explains that instead of hours of post race sorting, race officials were able to get the riders their positions within minutes. “Many people were impressed by our combined efforts getting the results out accurately and timely. The system is user-friendly, easy to set up, run and edit and getting results is a piece of cake.”
Behind the scenes
Check out this awesome “Behind the Scenes” video from stage 6 of the Tour.
Photos and the video are courtesy of bicycles.org.uk. Be sure to check their website for more information on the tour.