2012 - Alpha Cross

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2012 Alpha Cross from Brian Moore on Vimeo.

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71 Comments

Is any cross race?

$43 for 40 minutes of racing is whacked. Next year, to hell with the Colo Cross Cup, it's the Boulder Racing series for me (thank you for keeping it reasonable, Lance & co). This $40+ for every race that scored the gold star seal of approval is crap.

Race costs

I don't disagree that $40 is high. Too much? I'm on the fence. But I get where you're coming from.

I'll stand up proudly as the promoter of AlphaCross and the one that decided on the $40 entry fee. I'll give you the reasons and you can decide with your money, if its worth it.

First, being south of Denver in November we expect a smaller turnout to a point. So to compound this we bid for a "Gold" designation and offer bigger prize purses to hopefully draw racers. Along with a Gold designation comes extra amenities that must be offered. A top quality venue, orange fencing for start/finish/pit, full course taping, timing, multiple food vendors (some of which want you to guarantee $$$),etc,etc. We go beyond that and bring in lots of industry vendors with giveaways, a huge heated hospitality tent etc. Those things cost money and provide a race value.

We also had equal payout for men and women open categories. Cash money 10 deep! 1st was worth $220 each! Boulder Racing pays out 3 deep/Total $125 (per race).

When you combine all that, the costs add up. Because we expected 400 racers (which we were shy of) the price had to be $40 to cover costs. If we could expect the 550 like BR got on Saturday, the price would be $30. If we would have gotten 550 yesterday, I'd gladly roll that excess into next years race and its prizes. Or even better into our junior cycling program and growing the sport. As we do now and always have with 100% of race proceeds.

If anyone ever came to one of our races and didn't leave thinking the production value warranted the extra $5 or $10, I'll gladly refund that difference.

Hopefully we'll see you guys next year!

A point of consideration.

A point of consideration. Why are so many races in BFE? Bickering about an extra 3 dollars is ridiculous considering the races in BFE require the bulk of your racers to spend an extra 40-50 dollars on gas to drive there plus the time driving.

point of view

Bear in mind that the location of BFE is relative to where you are. For the racers that live down south, Alpha, Parker, and Castle CX are all far more convenient than Boulder. On the other hand, there are guys that come in from Buena Vista or Wyoming for almost every race. Environmental issues aside, the amount of driving that is acceptable to reach a race is a personal decision that probably varies widely for all of us. Races should be held wherever someone wants to put one on and we can all decide whether to attend.

Personally, I like hitting different venues and seeing the field morph slightly for each race.

Having said that, I agree with you that complaining about $3 or even $10 seems a little petty given the amount of carbon I see rolling around at races these days!

I made the drive, paid the entry, and enjoyed the race.

Golf is getting so damn expensive

Wait, am I on the right forum?

Is there a forum for Front Range golfers (who own thousands of dollars in clubs and practice tools, have a weekly golf pro lesson, and pay for 2 rounds every weekend) to complain about one course costing $50 per round, when another costs $42?

I agree with Carl, some courses are too expensive or too far to travel for my taste, but to each his own. Choose the ones you choose and have fun!

See you all at Bandimere Sunday!

I enjoyed the course and plan

I enjoyed the course and plan on coming back to race again next year. And kudos to you for coming on here to state your case for why you had a $40 entry fee to the horde of anonymous cowards ;)

I get that you have to cover your costs, but I am curious as to why there wasn't a discount offered for pre-registered riders? BRAC cross-cup policy encourages a pre-registration discount and as a side-benefit, maybe more come out to race.

Something seems a bit broken when "gold" level designation is used to justify higher race fees, where from a racer perspective (I don't race SM/SW Open -- deeper payouts don't matter to me), it's hard to see much of a difference between some of the silver and gold events.

alphacross pre reg call up BS.

what's the deal with the whole call ups based on pre registration BS? they want you to pre reg... then it costs and extra $3 for a processing fee w usa cycling...????? I think its lame.. half the time us guys with wives and kids can't figure out if we "get to race" that day until the day of or the night before..

and if anyone says call ups don't matter at cross, ill trade you a front row start for the back row and see how you like it.

More to Pre-Reg

I couldn’t agree more. I get that pre-reg was probably necessary for the big Boulder Cup weekend with extra racer field size in order to get an accurate start list. Seriously, I am often working out family and kid logistics until the night before, or morning of, and sometimes it just doesn’t work out that I can race. I am a fairly dedicated CX racer but willfully flushing $25-$45 down the toilet in advance of the unknown is just idiotic.

Why is this all of a sudden an issue this year when call-ups more/less went fine in years past? How much more complicated could it have gotten from last year? I've put in my hard work and have earned the call-up, even if not front row, and there has to be a better solution to this BRAC, such that I am not prevented from utilizing that call-up if I cant pay in advance.

What you are promoting is unnecessary agro, elbow-throwing and unclean racing tactics from legit riders with call-ups forced to the back of the field trying to pole position back up to their respective place. I appreciate all you do to make CO racing quality but this is frustrating and really JV. Please come up with a solution.

Pre-Reg for call-up issue b/c jv promoter and/or officials

This whole pre-reg for a call-up policy is either because promoters are newbies and aren't organized enough to give an official a list of who is racing by their ranking or the officials get a little too stressed trying to get it organized (of course race day is going to be a little stressful).

Why not have a clipboard at reg with the current ranking for each category listed and as a person registers, they check off their name or the promoter does it. Simple. Then the official can just take the list to the start and read off the names with check marks. Done.

I love how the ACA enacts policy that lessen the racing experience b/c otherwise it would be 'too much' work for the official. Are you here for the racer or the official ?

I tried to do that in the

I tried to do that in the first 3 races with people checking their names off. It ended up with 10 minutes worth of people running up trying to find their name (35+ field to get a top 40 is running about 200 riders in Colorado right now). Even after 3 races we were running about 15% of people doing it prior to staging. I am not looking for less work, but getting the race going. Though several times I have not done callups for fields of less than 20 (2 rows) I had many people say they would have rather had callups and done one less lap.

The computer program that can generate them from registration does work great, but requires computers at registration and all the data to be entered correctly and then someone that knows how to run the program create the list. It is not a trivial thing as we saw at the Boulder Cup race. The Boulder Cup was the only race this year I did not spend an hour before the weekend getting different lists put together and ready for any situation, and I regret not doing that.

We went with the USAC rankings that used the same algorithm as the cross-results.com one did. Reasons because we had many vocal people that wanted the people that races nationally to get callups when they did race in Colorado, and because many people race different categories on different weeks and did not feel it was fair that their results in one category did not get reflected when doing others. For the master categories the list of riders that could race in that category is very long in this state.

I am not looking for less work, but I want to keep the race day moving, and to give everyone the most racing for their money. I would hope racing your bike is more fun than listen to me read off names or spend time figuring out who is here.

Appreciate the job you do for us Tim

Your out there for us week after week, so I appreciate the work you do for us every week. If that is what it takes to make your job easier, then I'll adapt, even if it means paying for a race or too I can not make. I agree it is only fair to include the races we all do, not just the BRAC. As always it is just learning the rules. I first started racing cross in the Chicago area in the late 80. Back then there was no call up, we sometimes had a front row of 20+ riders. The hole shot was a battle. We did the same course 10+ times a year. The amenities were a cold outhouse, and an occasional crockpot of hot cider. To Adam and the other promoters, thanks for your work. I remember where we used to be and am happy to see how far we have come.

Call-up Issues

Tim, thanks for answering in on the situation from your perspective as an official. I know you are extremely dedicated so your words are heard, however, is there not another way than to force those who cant pre-register to forfeit their call-up? Make registration cutoff an hour before start perhaps? Even that would be better than getting chopped off at the knees.

I know you truly are concerned about putting on a quality event for all the racers but I've been racing CX in CO for 10 years and why is this all of a sudden an insurmountable problem that cant be handled in any other way? I, like many working Dads dont know if best laid plans will allow for racing from week to week, let alone until the night before. This new policy honestly curtails my desire to even show up because any hard earned position from prior results potentially doesnt count for anything. We're not doing it for the prizes/medals, but the call-up is earned and free and a lot of us are out there week after week trying to improve our position, that is the external motivator and reward.

Yeah, there's racing for the pure love of racing but I dont know of anyone in the top 20 in any category who isnt concerned about whether they get their call up or not. Will it make me quit, probably not. will it halve my races and squelch my enthusiasm? Most likely. Please continue to explore other solutions/ideas on behalf of the racers.

Pre-Reg for Call-up

Seriously, I couldn’t agree more with the new call-up protocol. I get that pre-reg was probably necessary for the big Boulder Cup weekend with extra racer field size in order to get an accurate start list. But like the last person said, I am often working out family and kid logistics until the night before, or morning of, and sometimes it just doesn’t work out that I can race. I am dedicated to CX racing but willfully flushing $25-$45 down the toilet in advance of the unknown is just idiotic.

Why is that all of a sudden an issue this year when it seemed to go fine in years past? How much more complicated could it have gotten from last year? I have earned a call-up and there has to be a better solution to this BRAC such that I am not prevented from using that call-up if I cant pay in advance. I appreciate all you do to make CO racing quality but this is frustrating and really JV.

Pre Reg BS?

As the AlphaCross promoter, I should state that the callup procedure now instated at all races is that of BRAC, not the promoter. That was statement was sent out to all BRAC members not too long ago.

As for the extra $3, if you or anyone else has an issue with that, you should take it up with USA Cycling. It's their fee not ours. And if the extra $3 bucks is going to break the bank, let me (or any other promoter worth a damn)know and I'll gladly give you your $3 back instead of putting it back into jr cycling and growing the sport.

No one will tell you callups dont make a difference, but its not the end all. I've won races, BCR competitions, and competed at Nats. Some with callups, some with out. The end result is usually the same. On a quality course with proper passing opportunities you can easily ride through a group of 50 racers. I competed with a racer that started back row of 140+ racers and finished 2nd!

you guys put on a great

you guys put on a great racebut just because BRAc decided to do it doesn't mean its a good idea..... but the whole idea that there is too much info to go through.. is ridiculous... if only there was some sort of handheld device that could connect us with information....oh there is...... I just looked up the standings on my phone it took about 30 seconds.. to go to the aca site then colorado cross cup racer competition-racer standings-select category.. voila there's your call up list..

I agree that there should be

I agree that there should be a way to get the listings the morning of the race, however, you're referencing cross cup points, not USAC rankings, which is what callups are supposed to be based on this year. From what I've seen, USAC doesn't expose an easy way to provide a USAC license # and get the racer's points. If they would provide that, this is a trivial solution to implement.

I don't really care what callups are based on or if they're limited to pre-reg only or not, as long as the policy is clear and consistent so that we all know what the deal is and what to expect when we're waiting to be staged.

The Internet is Nifty

Aah, only thing is...call-ups are not nor should they ever be generated based on ACA Colo. Cross Cup standings. Do you think Allen Krughoff gets his call-up in Kentucky or Iowa based on the Local Association's "points race"?

So, what you're saying is

So, what you're saying is that all this call up fiasco is driven by the use of a point system that takes into account USAC points instead of just CO points? Aside from a few racers in the elite category, do we see enough racers from out of state coming to race in CO that we need a point-based call up system that's geared to fairness for them instead of being simple and easily workable for us??

each system has drawbacks

The USAC system uses an algorithm that weights races based on quality of the field, and captures riders not only in different states/regions, but different categories. You can get 10th in a high quality field and score better than you would getting 4th in a race that had a poor quality field. Riders can not only be ranked in different regions, but different categories. For example a strong Cat 3 or masters racer can test the waters in the open field, and will probably have a good enough point rating to not be the last call-up, thus providing a disincentive to sandbag.

The old "cross cup points" for call-up was not geared to fairness. It turned into an attendance contest, and forced riders focused on call-ups to choose races based on points rather than quality or convenience. I think the choice is actually one of fairness and less convenient over less fair and more convenient. As someone who drives 3 hours through the mountains for each race, it is really hard to pre-register not knowing what the drive/weather will be like or what my family plans will be for the weekend. So, I'm not a fan of forced pre-registration. That being said, I'm even less of a fan of attendance based points systems. For example, people who raced in Frisco AND Buena Vista scored a lot of points in the cup, when most people can't really make 2 races on the same weekend in the mountains work.

Finally, I think races like Alpha are learning the new lesson for this year. Cross-cup races and points only matter to about 3 people per category at this point in the season since call-ups are no longer tied to cup points. Previous years with cup points based call-ups, that "status" guaranteed a certain amount of attendance, and we are seeing now that is no longer the case. Riders are now free to choose the races that best suit their personal situation based on drive time, quality of event, and any other factors that the rider may place high value on.

What I'm Sayin' Is...

This is the 21st century, the year 2013. Colorado is a developmental hotbox and amateur competitive cycling operates within a national framework.
The grassroots identity still exists within all Local Associations of USAC but the consistency of a system of across the board checks and balances is what maintains a level of true quality sporting fairness and equity.

What a load of carp... If

What a load of carp...

If using a national point system is causing all this hassle, and using a simpler state-based point system won't lead to similar hassles, it's downright stupid to insist on the national point system. Stupid.

Until such time as our races have significant out-of-state participation, there is nothing the national point system provides that a state-wide system can't provide as well.

That Pile Of Carp

you have to step through on your way to the start grid was left there by the promoters who have not invested the time and physical resources necessary to provide officials with the tools needed to cull the data from USAC. Onsite registration must occur utilizing laptops and not handwritten triplicate carbon copies from the 1970's. Athletes, also must bear the responsibility of registering on-site no later than one hour prior to their start time.
Without these two measures in place it is pre-reg or no call-up. Otherwise, I predict next year call-ups will go 20 deep max. After that it's a free for all.

Call ups are for sissies!!!

I vote that all courses have a start line at least 30 meters wide and at least a 100 meter stretch before the first point on the course less than 9 meters wide. All races will have a LeMans-style start with at least a 30 meter dash to the bikes.

All you haters...

Okay, we get it, some folks hate all things AlphaCross.

To their credit, they put a lot of effort into Jr. cycling and are dedicating 100% of the proceeds to support Jrs. So it's a few extra dollars to register. It's not like they're spending it on hookers.

Show up, don't show up. But please, shut up.

I don't

I don't hate Alpha Cross. Did it once before, enjoyed it. I hate that every race which received a 'gold' designation this year upped their price to $40 (+ fees).

ACA CX States Schedule , SM 35+ discussion

Rather have a discussion here then start any bashing. In regards to the ACA recommended 2 day schedule for CX States, as a SM 35+ racer I have concerns about the SM 35+ Cat 3s starting 30 seconds behind us. Inevitably we will lap the SM 35+ Cat3s, we do so on a consistent basis this year and believe we even did so at States last year (?). There are a few other other categories that have their own course, SW 35+ and Singlespeed which have consistently less racers than SM 35+.

What do you think, should SM 35+ have its own race? Since the usual one-day schedule is broken up into two days, you would think they could find a solution, ie. have SM 35+ cat 3s race with SS or even with Cat 3s.

What we need here is a solution. Take a look at the ACA schedule (page down to pg 11) - http://tinyurl.com/cb5s4po and what should the minor change be?

I believe we are hands down the 2nd fastest group on race day and think we should should be afforded the respect of having our own course or at least be combined with a category of our same ability (SM 35+ is all cat 1 & 2). Maybe lapping another category is acceptable at a State Championships and I'm alone in my thinking.

ps - The current response has been "we have an 8min lap no lapping will occur". CX is not about 8-9min laps and if its wet, there will be lapping.

Thanks, Brian

45+ will also; Change in 2013 to 40+ 1,2; 3; 4.

It's more likely that the lead 45+ 1-2-3s will lap the 45+ 4s in their race. There isn't enough time in a day to give all separate course time.
For 2013 change up the Masters to a 40+ 1-2, 40+ 3, 40+ 4 from 35+ 1-2, 35+ 3, 35+ 4, 45+ 1-2-3, 45+ 4. Then they all can have a separate race.

Combings groups always causes

Combings groups always causes conflicts. In the 45+ races we start lapping the 45+4s in the 2nd lap. Bottom line it ends up playing a role in the placement of the front riders. I use lap riders to make gaps on the people behind me. And last week on the last lap a lapped rider caused me a chance to battle for the top step on the podium. I don't have a solution for the problem but State held over two day shouldn't have this problem.

Agree

As a 35+3, I agree with Brian. 35+3 is getting huge, some days it's the second biggest race. Sometimes the start gap is 2 minutes, given the size of 35+3s and if the course is short or muddy, lapping is inevitable. This is bad for both groups. 35+ have to deal with lapped riders which isn't optimal and takes away their race experience, 1/3 of 35+3 get pulled and don't get a full race and their money's worth. Looking below, yesterday had 88 finishers combined, probably another 5 didn't finish.

Because any good argument needs data, here's some from yesterday.

SM 3 37 37
SM 4 50 50
SM 35+_463 63
SM 55+ 37 37
SW Open 25 25
SW 35+ 21 21
SW 4 31 31
Single Speed 26 26
SM 45+_4 43 43
SM Open 42 42
SM 35+_3 50 50
SM 35+ 38 38
SM 45+ 29 29
TOTALS 555 555

These numbers don't exactly make a case for 35+ having their own race, but do suggest substituting another category for 35+3.

My suggestion is going back to the old upgrade criteria (and pay attention) to get more folks up into 35+, that category should have 40+ racers. Give 35+ their own time slot. Combine 35+3 with the 3s, give SS their own slot and run it A/B/women. This probably causes other headaches but it could work.

Masters Categories

The real question is why we have 35+3 and 45+4. The normal senior field sizes are relatively small right now and separate master fields aren't completely justified.

It seems smart to make the switch to 40+, 40+3 and 40+4 as another poster suggested (eliminating 35+, 35+3, 35+4, 45+, 45+4) -- each of those new fields could have the course exclusively without sharing, and the fast 35-39 guys could be racing SM Open.

the whole 35+3 35+4 thing is

the whole 35+3 35+4 thing is an anachronism and I heartily wish it would just die already (I'm a 44yo Cat 3, in case it matters).

Switch to 40+ Masters, and do like every other large region in the nation (SoCal, etc.). Run Masters A/B/C, done and done. Split fields strictly on merit rather than age which as we all know is pretty much meaningless. There are teenaged boys and their fortysomething dads who are both able to race competitively in senior fields, why not do that instead?

for anyone complaining about racing with "the young guys" let me tell you, the 35+ 4 is a travesty. They are the sketchiest most dangerous field out there. I guess there's no Cat 5 in 'cross so they seem to have assimilated that function. I've seen more pileups in that field this year than in all of the other fields put together.

This is a breath of fresh

This is a breath of fresh air, I totally agree on killing the endless age categories and doing Masters A/B/C. The top 45+ guys have no problem racing with the top 35+ guys, and a 35+_3 is probably going to race just fine with the 45s. I don't know when the whole 1-2-3 for every freakin age group started, but it is overkill and going down a ugly road where everyone complains becayse they might get lapped... omg imagine the horror of getting lapped or lapping someone!

35+4 Barcam

Here's my barcam from yesterday. I'm glad some people have been enjoying them.

https://vimeo.com/53851668

As usual, it's got the full first lap + highlights, although given my recent habit of starting fast and fading late, I probably should begin referring to them as lowlights. I'll need to switch to a seat cam to catch the passes.

I do want to follow up on some of the comments below, including one I made the mistake of posting when I was freshly irritated from checking out the flyers for the rest of the season.

This is the second time I've raced Alpha Cross at this venue, and I like it. I enjoy racing on grass, and we don't get a lot of that in Colorado. As someone who doesn't live in Boulder County, I also try to make several races that aren't in "the bubble."

I also think $40 is too much for any 'cross race I can think of that isn't paying a UCI prize list. Numbers should have been up this year because of the "gold" designation. The fact that they are down instead suggests I'm not alone in thinking that. I would have skipped the race if I hadn't decided before the season to focus on the Cross Cup, and if it's $40 next year when I'm struggling in the 3s and not pursuing points, I will skip it.

I appreciate the comments of the promoter below. Through talking with a teammate over the past few weeks, I've gotten a better sense of just what a PITA it can be to put on a race, and I appreciate everyone who's making that effort. I will respectfully suggest a prize list is not the way to drive attendance at cross races. It's not like a crit where anyone can dream of glory; the great majority of riders you're hoping to attract have no real shot at the prizes (I include myself in that group), and it's not why they're picking races.

If the ACA is requiring things of any of its races (gold or not) that are driving up costs to this extent, they are on the wrong track. For numbers to be down at a gold race pretty much proves it; they should have the biggest numbers of the year. I don't think many of us really care about vendors. We want a good course that's well marked and relatively safe, efficient registration and results, and we want it to be kind of affordable to race a full season. Having an announcer is certainly a nice touch. Having to charge more because the ACA requires vendors, and the vendors require guarantees? If this is true, please, ACA, take a poll of your members and figure out if this is what they actually want. If I'm wrong and most do, so be it, but I'll be surprised.

Sorry for the long post, and my thanks to all the promoters for all their efforts.

One thing your videos (and

One thing your videos (and others' too) bring to the fore is that with the exception of the BIG (aka UCI) races, CO has squat for spectator interest for 'cross. Anything that ACA is mandating for Gold races geared to supporting the spectators is a wasted expense. Why in the world would you mandate multiple food vendors to feed 7 people?

True

And as much as I love 'cross, it's a bit unrealistic to expect people to turn out to watch a bunch of amateurs race around the local park. If there are a couple food trucks on hand it may convince some racers to hang around longer after their race watching later events, so I think it's a fine idea to try and recruit some vendors to show. That's very different than making a promoter pay to secure vendors, when there aren't going to be enough people buying to make it worth the vendors' time and trouble.

Tailgating!

Agreed that it is nice to have food trucks at the events, but mandating them is almost as crazy as making athletes purchase a timing chip for a system that is rarely used and doesn't deliver as promised(when is the last time we saw published lap times from a race that used the ACA chip system!?!). Plus, tailgating with your teammates is half the fun of a CX race anyway.

Course was great...

but I am not sure it was worthy of a Gold level designation and a $40 fee. Did the Gold level requirements end up driving the costs higher? because if that is the case ACA has the wrong idea. So there was extra fencing, a fancy 'gated' start grid, and a more Euro type(wide and passable everywhere)of course. I'm sure the fencing is more expensive than cones, stakes and tape, but when the course ends up being pretty much the same and the cost to the racer is 33% more I think you have to ask "was the cost worth it?" Just my opinion but I don't think so. Costs to stay in this sport are getting absurd. Especially just to end up pack fodder like yours truly. Race fees are important and it is getting out of hand. We need more races with reasonable entry fees - $25 to $30. I did not go to Boulder Cup for this very reason.

I completely agree. Between

I completely agree. Between having to buy two different licenses and no longer being able to register on race day, cross is not what it used to be. The officials and organizers have taken the fun out of it.

I completely agree. Between

I completely agree. Between having to buy two different licenses and no longer being able to register on race day, cross is not what it used to be. The officials and organizers have taken the fun out of it.

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