Written by Kelly Chang
USA Cycling recently made significant changes to the eligibility requirements for the Cyclocross National Championships in Austin, Texas from January 7 to 11, 2015. “Eligibility, Rules, and Call-ups,” dated September 10, 2014 and located at https://www.usacycling.org/2015/cyclo-cross-nationals, details these changes.
The Changes in a Nutshell
There are two sets of changes:
- Elite race qualification: Both men and women riders must qualify for the elite national championship races. Riders qualify if (a) they are in the top 90 of the Pro CX series rankings as of December 12, 2014, OR (b) they have at least one UCI point. Previously, riders qualified based on their racing category.
- Elite or Masters: Riders must now choose between elite and masters races. Previously, riders could do either or both the elite and masters races.
All other rules and regulations, including those for call-ups, remain the same.
The Changes in Layman’s Terms
Bottom line, elite race: To qualify for the elite national championship race, riders will, more or less, have to attend the 44 points-awarding Pro CX series events (https://www.usacycling.org/procx). Moreover, they will have to place well in those events. The Pro CX series races award points to the top 20. All of the Pro CX series races are also UCI races in which points are awarded to the top 15 places for C1 races and the top 10 places for C2 races. Aside from attending Pro CX series races, the only other qualification option would be to score at least one UCI point in a UCI race outside the US.
Bottom line, elite/masters: Riders can no longer do both a masters race and the elite race. However, unlike the eligibility requirements for Masters Worlds, scoring UCI points does not disqualify a rider from participating in a Masters national championship race.
The How and Why
Micah Rice, Vice President of National Events at USA Cycling, explains that the Cyclo-cross Sports Advisory Committee recommended these changes, and that the final changes were approved by Committee members and USA Cycling staff. The reasons underscored safety and providing a “true elite” event. Rice states, “The sport committee members decided that there were too many riders in the elite fields to have a safe event that was fair to the top riders. The elite riders asked to have a true elite field instead of a lot of riders who just were able to get a start based on their category. This new plan will make for a cleaner, more elite field and also add value to being able to qualify for the elite National Championship.”
The current members of the Cyclo-cross Sport Advisory Committee are:
Commissaire — Dorothy Abbott
At-large — Stuart Thorne
UCI Race Director — Brook Watts
Coach — Mark Fasczewski
Local Association Representative — Tom Mains
Eligible Athlete (M) — Tim Johnson
Eligible Athlete (F) — Katie Compton
Masters Athlete — Pete Webber
Industry — Matt Shriver