Cycle Tour

Cycle Tour: It's about time

2012-02-16 14:46
Timing chip (Slingshot Media)
Cape Town - Chip timing revolutionised the Cycle Tour, allowing bigger fields, more accurate timing and fool-proof cheat-checking. Tim Brink tortured the dos and don’ts of chip timing out of Racetec’s Marlon Jacobs.

How does the system work?
Our chip is a Tiris transponder, each of which is uniquely coded. When it crosses the mat, it is charged and releases a signal. Timing mats on the ground are used to read this signal, and from this calculate a time for each athlete.

Are there any things I should definitely not do with my chip?
Smash it with a hammer or microwave it for five minutes on max power...
Lace it into your shoes. Position it horizontally when using it. Or attach it directly to metal (like your fork, without the bracket).

Is my chip waterproof?
We use the chips to time swimming races.

I keep hearing that my chip must be on my right leg and not the left. Is this true?
Unless one of your legs is metallic (see above) – the left leg/right leg thing is from the days when everyone had temporary chips and it was easier to collect them all from the same side.

Does the fork bracket work on all bikes?
It works on 95% of bikes, provided the chip is mounted correctly (hanging vertically down from the wheel axle). On a few mountain bike forks, the mount doesn’t fit and will need to be attached to the rear dropout instead.

When does my time actually start?
Time always counts from when Paul de Groot says ‘Whoopla!’. So everyone starting in a batch gets the same start time. The mats are there just to confirm in which group you started.

How can I check my chip is mine, and that it works?
Go to and type in your chip number on the results page, or scan it at the Lifecycle Expo.

How can my millions of fans track my progress?
We’ll be doing live streaming from three spots on the route as well as the finish. This data will be directly linked to the info tent and to the broadcaster for live TV. That should keep your fans happy, but it also helps us in managing extreme weather conditions (and in case the event has to be stopped), managing cut-off points, assisting in the allocation and deployment of sweep vehicles and predicting the closing time of the refreshment stations and monitoring them to avoid shortages.


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