This year the VTTA is piloting a new way of presenting results using what we are calling a ‘Vets’ Handicap’. This has been a topic in our Veteran magazine when it was initially given a working title of the ‘Rudyard’ system.

The idea is that the Vets’ Handicap system may be simpler to understand as it would allow performances to be put into context and compared more readily.  Under the traditional Standards system of presenting results, a rider's actual time is subtracted from the ‘standard time’ applicable to their age and gender to give their ‘plus on standard’. The standard time increases at each birthday to compensate for the reduction in performance due to ageing.  For example, a 50 year old man riding a 25 mile time trial has a standard time of 1:08:03. If he finishes with an actual time of 1:02:01 he would have a ‘plus on standard’ of 6:02.

Under the Vets’ Handicap system your Vets' Handicap Result will be your actual time minus your Vets' Handicap allowance.  In this system the 50 year old man has a Vets' Handicap of 2:03. If he finishes with an actual time of 1:02:01 he would have a Vets' Handicap Time of 59:58.

The Vets' Handicap allowance is actually determined from the same data as the Standards system. Under the Standards system a 40 year old man at 25 miles has a standard of 1:06:00 and a 50 year old man a standard of 1:08:03, a difference of 2:03. Under the Vets' Handicap system, the 40 year has an allowance of 00:00, and is said to be on 'scratch', and the 50 year old an allowance of 2:03. So the two systems will actually produce the same outcome in term of how riders are ranked in the results.

Vets' Handicap Tables are available in exactly the same format as the Standards Tables and can be downloaded here in pdf or Excel format

Effectively what the Age Handicap is doing is restating every rider’s actual time in terms of what they would have achieved (in principle) at age 40. It then enables a more meaningful comparison. In the above example the 50 year old can say that on Vets’ Age Handicap he achieved a Vets' Handicap Time of 59:58 which he can compare with others vets and indeed riders of any age. This is an achievement and comparison that is easier to grasp than saying he has a 'plus of 6:02'.