I was thinking today while I was out grocery shopping that finish lines are kind of bullshit (well sometimes) because if you’re in a race like this:
Or even worse, this:
…then being in the back must put you at a terrible disadvantage and being in the front must give you a huge advantage. So I thought if you start a race five car/bike lengths behind someone else but they get to the finish line one car/bike length ahead of you, haven’t you, the “loser”, still outperformed them?
So I googled this apparent injustice and found out that fortunately people apparently have thought of this, and they get around it by having everyone race against a clock in a time trial before the race (qualifying run) which determines their position at the starting line. This, while it gives the fastest riders an advantage, also probably helps to unclog the whole mess and give people the room to actually pass people sooner.
So apparently finish lines aren’t bullshit. And I thought you should know : P