Earlier this month USA Cycling released and promoted a survey to racers and interested parties in attempts to decide whether or not Cyclocross Nationals should be moved back to December. The numbers have spoken that aye, December is ideal, and we anticipate to hear a formal decision from USA Cycling soon.
Our unscientific and perhaps leadingly-worded surveys showed a slight interest in the shift to January as of 2009, but by this past December, almost half of all voters wanted the whole event moved back to December, with only 30% wanting it to stay in January, another 18% wanting amateurs to move to December and 7% not caring. Redoing the math, that’s 65% wanting at least the amateur portion in December.
How do you feel about January National Championships, now that we're entering the sixth year?
Peter Webber, Masters Rep on the USA Cycling Cyclocross Advisory Board, opened up the floor again with a Facebook post this Monday, and as expected, the comments came rushing in:
Two thirds of the votes on our survey is one thing, but amidst the active discussion on his Facebook page, Webber posted statistics from the formal USA Cycling survey:
Summarizing the above table, a few things jump out to us:
- 76.8% of respondents in total prefer a December Nationals.
- That’s a lot of Pro/Elites respondents (262 Pro/Elites racing Hartford? There were around 90 Elite Women and Men racing Hartford in total, or 180 including U23)
- There might be some respondents in more than one category, as the totals column add up to 3,444, not 3,236.
Hosting Nationals in December has its perks. It may eliminate the two to three-week long gap in many race schedules, allow racers to spend more quality time with their families during the holiday season, and drive more attendance to races by compacting the schedule.
We conducted our own (ongoing unscientific poll) and the answers are pretty evenly distributed:
On the flip side, arguments for a January Nationals are lower airfare prices, a more convenient schedule for athletes attending Worlds or professionals attending the Euro circuit, a longer selling season for cross-specific companies or dealers, and a perceived greater chance of gnarly weather and course conditions.
We eagerly await this decision from USA Cycling—be sure to check back for more info as this story develops!