Wave starts made Tartu Rattaralli safer


This year's Hawaii Express 41st Tartu Rattaralli was held for the first time with wave starts. The medical report showed that starting in smaller groups significantly reduced the number of crashes and injuries.

41. Tartu Rattaralli start. Author: Adam Illingworth.

There were a total of 3598 participants including kids races and the main day of Tartu Rattaralli. 1375 little cyclists took part in the kids rides on Saturday. On Sunday, starts were given for: 27, 60 and 128 km distances. Cyclists went to the 27 km course for the first time and there were a total of 219 riders. On 60 km, there were 4 wave starts and a total of 896 riders. On the 128 km, cyclists had 5 wave starts and a total of 1108 riders. If we add together participants of all three distances, we get a total number of 2223.

Virtual Tartu Rattaralli for kids and grownups ends on June 5th, then the final numbers will be clear.


According to Tiit Piiskoppel, the head of Tartu Rattaralli Medical Service, the riders had less injuries this year. "There were some crashes, but only one person was taken to hospital from a group fall of elite riders. The other injuries were small: abrasions, minor wounds, headaches etc., for which first aid was given at the competition area," he said.


He adds that Rattaralli might be safer due to the new wave start solution and also because of less participants. "Wave start creates a situation where there are less people in the same place at the same time and therefore the race is safer," he says.


According to Indrek Kelk, the chief organizer of Tartu Rattaralli, it can be said today that start waves were the right decision for Tartu Rattaralli. "This kind of sports event should be as safe as possible. If the numbers of participants start to rise again, starting in smaller groups will significantly reduce the risk of crashes,” says Kelk.


The virtual races of Tartu Rattaralli will end on June 5. Children and adults can participate at their home course. Minimum distance for children is 400m and for adults: 27 km, 60 km, 128 km and Rattaralli combo.


The Tartu Marathon Klassik series continues with the 25th Tartu MTB Marathon on September 18.