As you may have read in our previous article on the USA Cycling Board Elections, there are open positions on the cyclocross committee. At Cyclocross Magazine, we recognize the importance of these positions, and because of that, we want to encourage everyone to vote in the elections. Today, we’re presenting a candidate statement from Adam Rakunas. If you’re running for a position on the committee, email [email protected] with your position and we’d be happy to post it.

Adam Rakunas

Adam Rakunas is running: with his bike and in the USA Cycling elections. Photo courtesy of Adam Rakunas

Adam Rakunas is running: with his bike and in the USA Cycling elections. Photo courtesy of Adam Rakunas

I’m Adam Rakunas, and I’m running to be the At-Large member on the USA Cycling Cyclocross Sport Committee.

My platform is simple: ’cross is awesome, and USAC needs to do everything to maintain that awesomeness, even if it means doing as little as possible. I want to make sure that ’cross grows in a way that makes it easy for promoters to put on more races and fun for racers who like to get dirty. How do we do that?

1) Keep ’cross fast. And I’m not talking about just the speed of the course (which should, I think, be as red-line breathless as possible), but speeding things up before you hit the race site. If you pre-register online, all you should have to do at number pickup is show your photo ID, get your number and a bunch of safety pins. No more signing waivers, no more digging out a race license, nothing that will slow you down. I’ll make sure USAC works with online registrars so all of the license verification is done behind-the-scenes. The only paperwork you should have to fumble with on race day is your number.

2) Keep ’cross fair. If you’re a cat 4 cross racer, you should be going against people of the same ability. That means the OBRA class A who is visiting should be lining up with the cat 1s, not the 4s, but we know that won’t happen because of USAC’s refusal to reciprocate with independent race sanctioning organizations. This needs to change. If we want to field world-class cyclocross racers for Europe and (one day, I hope) the Olympics, we need to have as many people racing each other in as many races as possible, and that means recognizing that USAC has failed the member organizations of FIAC and must make things right. Reciprocity is the starting point to reconciliation.

3) Keep ’cross fun. That means we don’t stop with the heckling, the dollar bills in the beer cans and the loud awesomeness of cross. USAC should do nothing to interfere with all of this stuff, unless it’s to protect rider safety. And if you’re sucking wind at the back of the pack and some guy in a tutu and a Lone Ranger mask is offering you buck, there’s nothing unsafe going on. Hell, that’s motivation to finish what you started.

Making it fun also means making it easier for race promoters. USAC needs to begin serious outreach with local governments and parks departments to show these groups that how beneficial hosting a cyclocross race is to a community (and, thereby, speed up permitting). USAC also needs to figure out how best to alleviate expenses that keep race promoters from making a livable profit. The more profitable ’cross racing is, the more races there will be, the more people will race, and the better the chances of an American bringing the World Cup home.

For the past three years, I’ve been the race director at the Strawberry Fields Multisport Festival, a volunteer at the SoCalCross Prestige Series, and a category 4 cyclocross racer. I’ve experienced racing from all sides, and I have what it takes to keep ’cross growing. I want USAC to catch up to the 21st Century, and I want it to be the American Cyclocross Century. I would be proud to represent you on the Cyclocross Sport Committee. Thank you.