News and Notes from the 2011 USAC Cyclocross Promoters’ Summit – Part II: Masters Worlds, Non-UCI NRC Races and Event Report Cards

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The Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs hosted the USAC Cyclocross Promoter Summit. by sagruffin305 on Flickr

The Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs hosted the USAC Cyclocross Promoter Summit. by sagruffin305 on Flickr

This past weekend UCI cyclocross promoters gathered in Colorado Springs for the USA Cycling Cyclocross Promoter Summit. Similar to last year’s event, the event touched on many subjects that impact cyclocrossers, both amateur and professional. Cyclocross Magazine is bringing you a multi-part series of reports from this summit starting today.

This is Part 2 from promoter JD Bilodeau, as he recaps the discussions on potential qualification and eligibility requirements for Masters Worlds in Louisville 2012, the new non-UCI NRC race category, and the controversial UCI event “report cards.” Part 1 was focused on USA Cycling’s growth data; women, U23 and Junior racing; and changes in how UCI cyclocross standings are calculated. [Update: see Preliminary Louisville 2012 Masters Cyclocross World Championships eligibility and qualification details released.]

by JD Bilodeau

At the USAC Cyclocross Promoter Summit, Bruce Fina and Joan Hanscom presented preliminary 2012 Masters Worlds details to the assembled promoters. Based in Louisville, the event will serve as a lead-in to the 2013 World Championships. The basic eligibility requirements, as mandated by the UCI, were presented. Of note to perspective attendees is that all competitors will be required to hold an international Masters license even though the race is held on US soil [Ed. note, this UCI requirement to have a valid international license is not different than previous Cyclocross Masters Worlds – but travel should be at a significant discount when compared to the previous Mol, Belgium, location, helping offset the 2012 USA Cycling $150 international license requirement.] They reiterated the requirement that no participant can have UCI points, and they may not have represented the US in a World Cup or Elite World Championships during the previous season.

Because of the large field sizes expected in Louisville, the races may need to utilize a full-length qualifying race structure, but it was stressed that all riders who register to race in Louisville will get to race at least one full-length race on the course and all will be given an official World Championship result and placing. The championship races will have 80-rider field limits, with three-lap qualifying heats having approximately 60-70 riders each. Riders not qualifying for the big final (the jersey race) will still get another opportunity to race a small final for places 80-150. Also, hotel rooms for the Masters World Championships are available to be booked now, and rooms for the Elite World Championships will be available for booking shortly. [Ed. note, Cyclocross Magazine contacted Masters Worlds co-promoter Joan Hanscom to confirm these details. Hanscom commented, "[The information] you have is, up to this point, what is being discussed.” She emphasized, “Until I have [the UCI's] blessing, I don’t consider it final.” However, preliminary details on qualifications and eligibility were also posted on the Louisville Worlds’ website. Also see our separate post on preliminary Masters Worlds requirements and qualifications.]

One of the hottest issues amongst the race promoters was addressed by Kelli Lusk and Shawn Farrell of USAC – namely the reports generated by the UCI officials that are ultimately used to rate the events and are used to award future UCI status. The UCI continues to demand that these reports be confidential – especially from the promoters themselves. That leaves promoters with no feedback that could be used to improve the races or correct deficiencies. Indeed, there is not even a way to correct or dispute inaccuracies in the official UCI reports. To help alleviate the catch-22 this presents to race promoters, USA Cycling is developing its own reports, which will be made available to promoters so they can see how their races are being graded. This will hopefully provide helpful information and allow race promoters to improve the quality of their events from year to year.

After lunch, Bruce and Joan returned to present a “best practices” lecture. As promoters of the successful USGP franchise, they shared with the assembled promoters the strategy they use in selecting host cities and gave advice on the physical construction of top-level courses. For those who have seen USGP courses, the bullet point that it takes a full four days to build one will come as no surprise, even if it shocked some folks in the room.

With the more formal presentations out of the way, the discussion turned to the date selection process and the new non-UCI National Calendar race designations. Because USA Cycling and the UCI feel that there are too many UCI races currently on the calendar, they are starting a process of narrowing the calendar. Some new UCI inscription requests were denied by either USAC or the UCI and others were downgraded to the new non-UCI National Calendar. Beginning with the upcoming season there will be a new tier of races below UCI-sanctioned events. There will now be two National Calendar rankings, one for all the UCI events, and one for the non-UCI NRC events. Non-UCI NRC races will have to adhere to a set to national standards with a minimum prize list and course and event guidelines similar to those for UCI events.

It was stressed that the awarding of both UCI sanction and non-UCI NRC status would be based on the quality of the event, and that regional considerations would not be a major factor in the awarding of dates and sanctions. For the awarding of UCI dates, the US has been allowed to use a regional map in deciding C1/C2 date awards. For 2011 and beyond there can only be one C1 event per region per date. Outside of the US this is one C1 per country. C2 date conflicts are allowed in a region but strongly discouraged.

Stay tuned for Part 3 of this series of reports from the 2011 USA Cycling Cyclocross Promoter Summit. Also see Part 1 of the USA Cycling Cyclocross Promoter Summit here. Have an opinion on the topics above? Open discussion is welcome here, drop a comment below.

 

 

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2 comments
Brian Lawney
Brian Lawney

"For those who have seen USGP courses, the bullet point that it takes a full four days to build one will come as no surprise, even if it shocked some folks in the room."

Maybe it shocked those who were at the Mercer Cup for the last few years. How did those courses possibly take 4 days to build (vendor booths, etc. aside)? At least in 2008, the courses were terribly unimaginative (boring, unchallenging). Granted you can't do much with the available terrain, but then why pick that venue? When day 1 had most fields (including UCI) running 75% of the laps due to the conditions, they didn't do anything for the second day to address this...they just cut out half the course. With the level of organization and supposed professionalism, I expected more from the USGP.

bruce fina
bruce fina

Thanks for the observation. Sorry to disappoint you Brian. Even having a course in the remnants of a hurricane proved challenging. And then we were pushed to an even flatter piece of ground which resulted in a move to Fort Collins Colorado. I think you would find the course plenty difficult. I am not sure if you take into account how hard course changes are overnight. We try our best but when weather beats us up we are pretty hard pressed rebuild overnight. About the running, that is cyclocross. I have also been to Super Prestige races where 50% of the course is a mud bog. Other years the same course is a frozen crit. And I assure you, their budget to change the course is a different scale than ours.

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