Pit crews will be keeping busy this week. ©Brian Nelson

Pit crews need credentials this year at Masters Worlds © Brian Nelson

2013 Masters World Cyclocross Championships racers are required to register their pit crew to be able to work in the pits and help with bike exchanges. Today, some pit crew members found that the cost of volunteering for a buddy was at least $50. Mechanics who went to register with their riders today for Masters Worlds expecting to easily collect a pit pass were surprised by officials requiring  anyone in the pit to hold UCI or USA Cycling licenses, per requirements of the UCI.

However, the enforcement of this requirement – which was not enforced at last year’s World event – was not disclosed to the racers or pit crew prior to the event, nor was the rule expressed in the technical document for the event, which reads as follows:

Pit Requirements:

Pit Passes- Two mechanics per rider will be issued a pass with rider numbers at packet pick up/registration. The name of the mechanic must be registered at that time and only that person will be allowed in the pit. No other personnel shall be allowed in the pit zone.

There is no indication within that text of pit crews being required to have a license. Language on USA Cycling’s Support Application, in contrast, suggests that support crew should be prepared to provide a license at the discretion of the commissairs:

If you are going to be a team manager, coach, mechanic, soigneur, director sportif, etc for a UCI race, you will need a UCI Support Personnel license. Whether or not you will ever be asked for one is up to the commissairs and UCI personnel at the race. You may never be asked for the license. If you do not have the UCI support personnel license, the UCI commissair/official may not allow you in the caravan. USA Cycling cannot be expected to issue a license on short notice. Please submit the paperwork at least 4 weeks prior to the event.

If you are not involved in a UCI event in a team manager or team coach role, you would NOT need a UCI personnel license. This is not a UCI racing license. All UCI licenses expire on December 31 of the year of issuance.

There is, however, a note early on in the tech guide that states as a blanket clause that the race is run with, “UCI Regulations – Please see the UCI website for full regulations. www.uci.ch.”

And this was sent last night, “Communique’ #1: Informational Bulletin” sent on Monday, January 28th.
Mechanics: Mechanics must hold a valid license of a UCI-affiliated federation.

While for some pit mechanics, this wasn’t a huge burden, since they race as well as wrench and will eventually need the racing license this year, for non-racers (or racing mechanics from a region like Oregon where races are OBRA-sanctioned), the fee can be burdensome, especially when caught unaware.

We spoke with a UCI official who explained a bit about the policy. By UCI rules, a UCI World Championship event requires that pit personnel have a mechanic license from the UCI. In this case, they lessened the rules a bit and allowed pit personnel to have a license from “their federation,” meaning a USA Cycling license for US racers. The rules, she stated, are in place in order to have some form of accountability in the case of altercations in the pit.

Don’t miss our LIVE STREAMING VIDEO of the 2013 Cyclocross World Championships. And for all the latest news, results, photos and videos from the 2013 Cyclocross World Championships and Masters World Championships in Louisville, KY, keep checking our 2013 Cyclocross World Championships page.