It's not a question that we get very often, but we thought we would let you know the reasons why we do this, and why we introduced the ride with system.
It all started in 2018 when we had a competitor who had to leave one of our events as an abusive former partner attended. The only way they were able to find out was through the start list (we think they had a google alert set up on the competitors name).
In 2019 a similar incident happened, this time person signed up and sent a request to ride (at a sportive) with another person at the same address (giving name and DOB). We sorted this out and it wasn't found to be a problem until the morning of the event. We were able to keep the people involved apart but it was a close call.
We had to review the process due to GDPR and we were in the process of deciding what to do when COVID hit.
When we re-opened we had to make sure that all of the entrants had completed their COVID screening and competitor responsibility statements before attending. The easiest way to do was to withhold the race number and start time until this was completed. It also gives us a much better idea as to whether people are going to attend or not.
To find out how many other people have entered your event and category, you can visit https://my.challenging.events
The start with system was introduced to allow us to group people together but only if both parties have agreed to it avoiding the issue we saw at the 2019 sportive. We hope we have made it as simple!