Preliminary Louisville 2012 Cyclocross Masters Worlds Eligibility and Qualifications Released
As reported in JD Bilodeau’s 2011 USA Cycling Cyclocross Promoter Summit report Part 2 earlier this morning, qualifications and eligibility details are being discussed and finalized for the 2012 UCI Cyclocross Masters World Championships.
Preliminary details reveal no real surprises, in that UCI rules on requiring international licenses to participate in the Masters World Championships will still apply, and that the suspected large field sizes will need to be addressed through qualifying races.
Joan Hanscom, co-promoter of the 2012 and 2013 UCI Masters Worlds as well as the 2013 UCI Cyclocross World Championships, reiterated to Cyclocross Magazine this morning that the preliminary details we reported were not final and were awaiting UCI blessing, saying that until then, “I can’t tell you if they are right or wrong.” She stressed that the requirements for participants to carry a UCI license come straight from the UCI, as “licensing is licensing…the UCI decides that” – but that the requirements to secure the international license are quite involved and take time and proper planning from participants. Hanscom emphasized that for many first-time Masters Worlds attendees, it will be news that they are “being asked to buy a $150 license, do a wet signature and submit proof of nationality.” (A wet signature is typically in person, by hand, with a pen.)
Details on securing an international license can be found on the USA Cycling website. It’s important to note that an International license will be required for 2012, not this year.
As to the qualification and heat race procedures, Hanscom described her team’s approach, saying, “We wanted what is a fair and most equatable approach, not just for the US athletes, but for people coming from around the world.” She said the proposal received “a thorough, thorough review by a big chain full of people,” but is still waiting confirmation by USA Cycling and the UCI. If approved, racers can be assured they will race one full-length race, and in the case of larger categories, an additional three-lap qualifier.
Cyclocross Magazine’s efforts to confirm these details with USA Cycling and the UCI have been unsuccessful, but preliminary details were also published this morning on the Louisville 2013 website highlighting the likely requirements for the Masters Worlds event:
All racers will be required to hold an International Racing License. USA Cycling recommends beginning the application process as soon as the 2012 licenses will be available for purchase on December 1, 2011. The international license includes domestic licenses for both road and mountain, too, so riders will not need to purchase separate domestic licenses for the season.
The application process requires more steps, including a “wet” signature on the international license athlete release form and proof of nationality. These two items are not needed for a domestic license, so riders will need to make sure the signed waivers and proof of citizenship are submitted and processed by USA Cycling well in advance of the event. If these are not received and processed, the rider will be ʻpendedʼ in the system and will not be allowed to compete.
What are the additional steps?
- Once the international license has been purchased online at www.usacycling.org, riders will be prompted to download, sign, and submit the athlete signature page. This may be submitted to USAC via fax, email(scan), or postal mail.
- Provide a copy of your birth certificate or valid passport for proof of citizenship. If a rider is just renewing their international license, they do not need to provide a proof of citizenship if itʼs already on-file with USA Cycling.
It’s also important to note that any member of a team registered with the UCI during any part of the season is not eligible for the Masters World Championships, keeping road pros from competing in the age-group championships.
Regarding the heats and qualifications, here are the latest details as published this morning:
The UCI Masters World Championships have a UCI-mandated field limit of 80 riders. For fields with greater than 80 registrants: the UCI Cyclocross Commission has determined that short heats should be installed, with a limit of 60-70 riders per heat with a maximum of 8 heats, and a ʻrepechageʼ. Start order for the World Championship final will be according the results of the heats.
Start Order / Call-Ups / Finals Qualification:
- Call ups for all qualifying races will be random draw.
- For fields greater than 75 riders a 3-lap heat race will be run. The number of heats will be determined by the total number of riders registered. In the heats, riders will be called up by random order in the same method as mentioned above. The finals will be raced with 80 riders with 5 coming from the Repechage. The Repechage is open to all racers who did not qualify for the Finals coming out of their qualifying heat.
- For the World Championship Final, riders will be called up by their order of finish in their heats (all first riders of the different heats, all second riders of the different heats and so forth).
- A second final – or Consolation Final – will be raced to determine finishing places 81-onward. The Random Draw will be conducted on-site at registration. The rider who draws Number One will be called up first and so on. Riders will draw their own numbers.
After the excitement of the announcement that Louisville landed both the Masters and Elite, Junior and U23 Cyclocross World Championships, we know many of you have been anxious to learn about the possible qualification and eligibility procedures, and it appears final details aren’t far away. Stay tuned for additional reports on this topic, as well as the official press releases from USA Cycling and the Louisville 2012 Cyclocross Masters World Championships team.
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Should be a great event! I'm looking forward to seeing it first hand and know that Joan, Bruce and their crews will do their best to create fun and exciting opportunity for those that are rainbow worthy.
Train hard everyone.
I'm a Masters 45+ hack who's never seen a local podium much less been ranked or have any business seriously thinking about getting the rainbow jersey. But, since I have the means does that REALLY entitle me to enter a world championship just so I can brag around the office that "I'm going for the world title this weekend!"? This isn't a Gran Fondo fund raising disease awareness ride and my need for ego gratification and a souvenir T-shirt doesn't outweigh the needs of those truly talented athletes to get a fair shot at a championship. I volunteered many years ago for the World Masters Games here in Portland, OR and many of the running and cycling events were complete clusterf***s due to open entries. Last thing a championship race should have is a bunch of Cat 4/5 posers clogging up the fields or crashing out someone who invested many, many hours and dollars (euros, yen, etc.) for a shot at glory.
Why couldn't we use the USGP's and NACT series as a ranking system or qualifying races. Both series seem to have east, midwest & West coast races. Most of the top masters guys in the country will at least race one of the series when they come to their region.
A race of this scale and importance to the riders has to recognize the podium finishers from there respective National Championships. It isn't as if there are so many countries represented with National Champion's at the race that every National Champion couldn't at the very least start front row of their heat. I would assume this same system for the calling up the top five riders from each country's Nationals and then go to lottery draw system at some point after that.
It currently is not "fair enough" as start position can make or break a race and our comments do have an effect on the UCI since they now have no reasonable protocol for seeding masters now. The sport is growing and the American masters are exploding in numbers and getting more and more serious about it, investing lots of time and money to achieve at a high level. The UCI will at some point recognize what is going on here in the states and come up to speed on a fair ranking or seeding system. The current system they had in Mol the past few years is simply ridiculous. How would Stybar, Albert and Nys feel if they got to Worlds and were told, "you drew back row boys, fair enough!" Why should it be any different for us? We deserve a fair seeding system that is based upon performance and not luck. I agree with Normon, we should have some credit for how we finish at Nationals and carry that to Worlds. It's not pissing and moaning, it's called expressing an opinion to be treated fairly.
We can piss and moan, but the bottom line is that the UCI isn't gonna read this comments page and decide to change anything. It's fair enough and what really matters is that they execute it exactly as they say they're going to. I just hope the field sizes of the heats are small enough to overcome any bad luck in the random draw. It also seems like this will spread out the schedule a couple days. I assume we can expect to race qualifying heats on Saturday and finals on Sunday? Does that seem about right Bruce?
3 Laps is NOT enough in a HEAT to come up from a 10th row Random Call Up into qualifying for the final.....That is a LONG way to go. Qualifying should have been based on your performance in your country's National Championship.
The way I see it ones only random draw is for your qualifier. Final is seeded by finish in qualifying heats. Looks to me like one would get a minimum of 2 races, your qualifier and either the main event or the consolation race. You might also participate in the "repechage" for the last 5 spots in the Final. Seems less random than a TT or draw only. My $0.02 worth
It should be made clear for US participants that the International license includes your USA Cycling Road and/or Mt Bike License and is not in addition to the US license.
So how is a TT is better than a 3 lap qualifier for seeding for finals? Qualifying heats seem just as fair. And a last chance qualifier for those that have a mechanical or crash. How many chances does the Boulder Posse need?
I agree with Boulder posse, one should earn their starting position, not "luck" into it. TT is still not the best idea as cross races are not 6 minutes long and it's like seeding the olympic 10,000 meter run by having them do 100 meter dashes. Not to mention the danger of going too fast on a course for one lap and risking crashing or injury. And finally, USAC had Nats tt on a separate unprepared dangerous course that had NO bearing on the real Nat course. Crossresults.com ranks all riders in all categories with amazing accuracy, just use that, simple done and saves hassle to all officials and racers. Ok, they don't rank Euros, but not many will come over here for our race so it really doesn't matter. If they do, give them the same position Americans tend to get over there or their Masters Worlds...back row Euro!
Considering how much money it will cost to attend and it all comes down to random drawings. Probably not worth attending. Why not a TT, it worked at Nats ? Far more 'fair and most equitable'.
We're talking about the World Championships, not Nationals. How is a rider from Belgium or Italy gonna score points at the USGPs? Are Master's riders seriously to be expected to travel the country all season to gain points for the callups? Why not just give them to the highest bidder? An on site qualifying system is the most practical. If they decide to honor the podium finishers from the previous year's world championships, that would be the only acceptable thing, internationally, to base anything on. The US is the only country that has the category system, so that doesn't work internationally either.
Unfortunately, the NACT series along with VERGE were canceled / banned: http://www.cxmagazine.com/future-united-states-el... There still are three series though - the USGP, the Cross After Dark, and the New England Professional series.
Seems simple. If every country had nationals in the same format as the US it would be easy. But they don't. It is pretty easy to see the results from Canada and the UK online. Try to figure it out. I also know that the 5 best 45+ rider in the UK for example, is simply no where near as fast as the 10 placed US 45+ rider. Really, a qualifier heat will result in a much fairer outcome.
Mr, Fair is fair, (thats a funny name, you should man up and use your own). You're obviously misinformed if you think the UCI cares about the opinions of gray haired American men with money to spend on cyclocross. I've been to the last 2 UCI Master's worlds in Belgium, and have seen 1st hand their nonchaulance and lack of interest in Master's racing. It's just a paycheck for them on that day. It's fair to say I understand about the importance of start position, but I'd rather have a chance to race for it than have ANY political process take place. In 2010 I was on the last row in Mol, I finished 3rd. In 2011 I had a better idea of how their system worked and was on the front row, and even won the hole shot, I finished 3rd. Comparing Nys, Stybar and Albert to masters, is ridiculous. They're dealing with all pro's and if they had to start at the back they'd be fine, but trying to go through twice as many amateurs in less time is apples and oranges.
The plan is for field limits for Qualifiers to fall between 50 and 60. And we are trying to make this as fair as possible within the framework we have to work with. I think Qualifiers on Saturday and Final on Sunday will be impossible due to there being only 8 hours of light in a day and so many categories to run. I would estimate 1 day in between. Some if this is going to be based on Registration of course, which we cannot really predict.
Also, just to be clear, I have looked into every way I can think of to rank riders internationally, and I can find no reasonable method. I have talked to other federations and riders from other countries. For example, take the top 5 in each countries Nat Championship. Ok well how would one feel to be behind the 5th place guy from the Swedish 45+ race. Not to bag on Sweden but highly likely that he is not going to be very fast. I heard this as a reasonable concern from a UK masters rider that has some US experience. That rider said that after the Top 1,2 or 3 in many categories they would simply be in the way. Thus better to sort it out by qualifying. I know it seems imperfect, but we are doing everything we can to make it the best we can.
Norm, there will be no 10th row in a Qualifying Heat.
Isn't the qualifying race only if there is more than 80 or is it 75 participants? And what If there is less than 80 or 75, then they run the race and you are seeded luck of the draw?? It is confusing.....already! Perhaps we should get some rocket scientists on this one....
Fairly simple and verifiable solution (like it matters at this point):
Reigning World Champs and podium finishers from Mol 2011
Reigning national champions
2-3 riders per country (non-USA) vetted/selected by their national federation
Top 8 finishers at US Natz in Madison
Top 8 finishers at Canadian Natz
Anyone with UCI points from 2011/ 2012 season (if not in above groups)
Any open spots will then be filled by the aforementioned qualifier race. A "B" final will be available to non-qualifiers and for "first come, first served" registrants until those 80 spots are filled.
Dear Lazy Spinner
It does matter.
Simple but not so simple.
1.) Reigning World Champs and podium finishers. - The riders change category and still want call ups.
2.)Reigning National Champs - Most countries do not have all of the categories and thus guys show up claiming to be National Champ but there is no verifiable source. The rider says he was the first 40+ rider in a 35-44 race and thus if there was such a National champion he would be it.
3.) 2-3 Riders per country vetted by feds - great idea but most Federations are not interested in getting involved at this level.
4.)Top 8 US and Top 8 Canadian - We would need to take top 8 from every country. And as I stated most countries do not have the same categories as the US. Even Canada has 10 year categories and not 5 year categories.
5.) Anyone with UCI points is automatically ineligible. This is to prevent pros over the age of 30 from entering what is supposed to be an Amateur race.
I appreciate that you are putting a lot of thought into this. I really do. But do not think that I have not asked all of these questions as well. We have been pushing the UCI and the different federations to find the fairest way. And what it comes back to is basically try to have the fairest racing possible to insure that the best rider wins. We all know that some favorites will have good days and some bad days. Some will crash and some will have mechanicals. That is bike racing. Hopefully we have fair and safe races and we also have a good time. I know it is serious and many are racing to win and others are racing to do their best. I hope everyone wants to come and enjoy this event in the process.