Two of the horse-stations on the route are penalty Urtuus, manned by one of our sterling referees. Here riders will serve the penalties they may have accumulated and effectively 'settle up' their balance.
If riders incur penalties after the final 'penalty urtuu', then they will have to serve the penalty at the urtuu where it was incurred.
This means the leader away from the penalty urtuu is the overall leader. This also means that at certain points in the race, the leader in the field may not be in first place on the leaderboard. For example, if the rider in the lead is carrying 4 hours of penalties but is only 1 hour ahead.
But, why not serve the penalty as soon as it is incurred along the route?
Having all riders wait out their time penalties at these designated urtuus allows the back-up team to provide better coverage to the field. We are endlessly calculating when urtuus will be ready to shut down and when the vet teams can be moved. That's all scuppered if riders are suddenly staying put several hours longer than expected and tying up a whole team to sign them off.