VTTA, Veterans Time Trials Association, records are based on ‘Standards‘. So what are they?
The Standards are effectively a handicapping system which takes into account a rider’s age so even the oldest riders, some in their 80s and even 90s, can compete against “younger” veterans who are in their 40s and 50s. The handicapping system also allows men and women to compete against each other. They also cover riders on different machines – bikes, tandems and tricycles. The Standards system thus provides fair competition for all ages and both men and women.
The system works by setting a standard time for the distance, age and sex of the rider. For example:
- The standard time for a 40 year old man riding 10 miles is 25 minutes 50 seconds
- For a 70 year old man the standard for 10 miles is 29 minutes and 2 seconds
- For a 40 year old woman it is 28 minutes and 2 seconds
- And for a 70 year old woman, 31 minutes 24 seconds
Many riders go faster than their standard time and the amount by which you beat your standard time is referred to as your plus. So if a 40 year old man completes 10 miles in 25 minutes exactly they will have beaten the standard by 50 seconds. This is referred to as a plus of 50 seconds. If a 70 year old man rides the same event in 28 minutes exactly, he will have beaten standard by 1 minute and 2 seconds. In this case the older rider has the greater plus and will have beaten the 40 year old on standard, despite going slower in real terms.
Thus your ‘plus’ is calculated by subtracting your standard time from your actual time (or distance in the case of 12 and 24 hour events)
(Riders do go slower than the standard and this will produce a minus time. There’s no shame in getting a minus – it’s quite common.)