ACA - Colorado Cyclocross Changes for 2010 and 2011

We just got this news release from the ACA about changes for this year and issues that will be addressed in 2011.

This fall has seen unprecedented growth in cyclocross here in Colorado. It is fantastic to see so many racer entering the sport and see many riders moving up through the ranks. This growth has also caused some issues as well. Brian Graves of Frites en Mayo and the ROL Neutral Mechanics program summed it up best this past weekend by stating, “Sadly, we are victims of our own success” As a result of this growth and it’s corresponding issues, ACA will be looking at some major changes to the structure of the cyclocross race weekend for 2011. The current primary goals for the 2011 season will be:

1. Subdivide the SM35+ Cat 4 in some fashion (frequently 100+ racers)
2. Separate the SM 45+ from SW Open
3. Allow for clear, distinct course inspection times

Additionally, starting this weekend, the officials at ACA races will be instituting some changes based on feedback from riders, officials and promoters. These changes are interpretations based on current rules and policies that can be found in the ACA Rulebook and Policy Manual and have been reviewed by the ACA Technical Committee.

First, in order to address the issue of warm ups and course previews:

"Based on rules 3.7.1.2 and 3.7.1.3- At the discretion of the Chief Referee, racers are permitted to preview the course at the following times:

1. When the leader finishes his/her race racers may preview by following the last rider on course until 5 min before the next scheduled race start.
2. After the final rider starts his/her race racer may preview following that last rider for 1-2 laps (see below)

This means riders previewing may only do so behind the last rider and in front of the race leader. The course will be closed to non-racers after 2 laps have been completed OR EARLIER BASED ON CHIEF REFEREE’S DISCRETION. If a rider is unsure about the course status they should check with officials at either the start or finish before entering the course. Racers who violate these procedures (including passing the last rider or previewing within sight of the race leader) will:

1. Be kindly asked to remove themselves from the course by an official or course marshal.
2. If a rider fails to exit the course after being asked to do so he/she will be sanctioned based on rule 14.3 which include disqualification and/or suspension"

Mechanics of enforcement: Riders will be allowed on course at the finish line after the lead rider finishes. Previewing riders will be held at the starting area beginning 5 min before the next race start. They will be released from the start 30-seconds to 1 min after the last racer exits the grid. After the first 2 laps of a race the course is closed (or earlier based on CR discretion). Anyone caught previewing will be subject to CR discipline.

Second, to better accommodate and score large groups or groups that have multiple categories racing at the same time:

Chief Referees have been advised to delay race starts if the first race of the day has lap times under 6 minutes. This delay will be in place until the promoting group(s) lengthens the course to be longer than 6 minutes. For Cross Cup races this time is suggested to be raised to 6.5 minutes per lap.

The ACA Board of Directors, Technical Committee and staff appreciate everyone’s understanding and patience as these items are implemented in the coming weeks.

Best of luck to all those racing and spectating this cyclocross season,

Jon Tarkington
ACA Executive Director

News Item: 

55 Comments

Masters B

Since you asked. 35+3 staged and off at 30 seconds after the SM3s. Single speed could be moved to a number of times. Not my idea but I like it. SS is growing, competitive lets put them in a respectable time slot. Where in my comment did I talk about size of fields? Since you brought it up, I'll bite. How does it NOT reduce field size when someone gets 10 points they're upgraded and the following week a new guy moves up the pecking order, he gets 10 points, poof, gone. And so on and so forth.

I hate to bring up Cross Crusade for the umpteenth time, but they are able to include Masters ABC in a shorter day (latitude).

Here are their catz:
Women A
Women B
Beginner Men
Beginner Women
Category A
Category B
Category C
Masters Women 35+ A
Masters Women 35+ B
Masters Women 45+
Masters 35+ A
Masters 35+ B
Masters 35+ C
Masters 50+
Masters 60+
Clydesdale
Junior Men
Junior Women
Singlespeed
Unicycle

"Don't just say" that you don't agree with something, without saying why. :o

How many of those cross

How many of those cross crusade categories get their own course time? it all goes back to kris's question. If you're in the fourth group on the course and the leaders of the first group are yelling "track" before you finish your first lap, is it racing? Do we want racing to be competitive or do we want downplay fair competition in order to encourage participation?

I'm sorry but I don't buy

I'm sorry but I don't buy this argument. The single speeders pass the 3s all the time. I was using CC as an example, not a rule. Second, do you know for a fact that CCs structure is considered non-competitive by it's participants? What I proposed (I'm not the first one) only adds one category and adjusts the schedule very slightly. You mentioned "fourth group", who suggested this?

looking at other CX series

Now is a good time to examine some larger cyclocross scenes and see how they deal with scheduling categories and course previews.

In New England's Verge Series, because the races are UCI races, the course is open for inspection only during two periods during the day. This means that some categories have to show up a bit earlier than they'd like to, but there's no question about who should be on the course when: http://catamountoutdoor.com/?page_id=740

Portland's Cross Crusade series also has two preview periods during the race day, although it's not completely clear whether the course is closed during the rest of the day: http://crosscrusade.com/flyers/2010/october_3.html

In New England, the Elite Women have their own race (again, because most big races are UCI). In Portland, the Category A Women race with the Category A Men and the Masters A 35+.

Portland has 8 masters categories (3 of which are women's) and New England has 5 (1 of which is women's).

The first race in Portland's Cross Crusade drew nearly 1,800 racers (http://bikeportland.org/2010/10/04/1762-racers-including-kids-at-cross-c...). The first Verge New England race drew 356 starters. For comparison, the first Cross Cup race drew 247 starters.

Obviously, there are regional differences (e.g. scoring capabilities, governing bodies, and frequency of UCI races), but it's worth looking to these other larger series to see how they are handling their schedules.

Has anyone out there raced in either Portland or New England recently? If so, how did these schedules work out for you?

1800 "racers"????

Can someone explain to me how 1800 people "race" in a give day? I feel like I'm in a parade if there are over 60-70 racers in my race. I can't imagine what the 35+ 4's is like with 125. I think most UCI races cap at 80 because it's supposedly unethical to allow more and still call it a race.

What do people think? Are you racing if there are more than 100 people in front of you and you have no hope of ever moving up? Do the cross crusade "racers" stay in the race when they get lapped? Do the get scored??? Is it really racing???

Looks like last weekend had 465 on saturday and 536 on Sunday

Cross Crusade

I was in Portland a few years ago and went to watch a Cross Crusade race. There were tons of people. The atmosphere was very different than an ACA race. It seems the majority of people "racing" are there to have fun. The majority of fields have more than 100 people racing. Even the singlespeed field has around 100 people racing.

How many racers turns a race into a tour?

How many racers does it take to turn a race into a tour? Does a field with the size of 150+ a race for everyone in there? Would capping fields at say 50-70 be "better" I guess "better" has a big "depends" I personally just love racing even if the podium is not in my sights.... I guess that means I'm a race "tour rider" so racing with 150 riders is fine with me but might not be for everyone.

Point is when comparing to Cross Crusade we need to remember the culture around those races "may" be different than ours... but what is our culture is a question of itself.

ACA changes

As a race director and racer in the 35+4's I have thought about this a lot. My ideas may seem a bit biased because they would be a direct benefit to me, but...here goes. I would acvocate creating a 45+ cat 4 division in order to relieve pressure on the 35+4's. This category could start one minute behind the SM4's.

In order to sort riders out a little more, callups should go a minimum of 30 deep if not more, especially in 35+ 4's. Its not perfect but at least there would be a better chance of the more competitive racers being torwards the front of the group. This way the newer racers, and guys out just for some fun and fitness wouldn't be getting run over by someone from behind. However, bribing judges at call up with Belgian Waffles is allowed.

I see no way around limiting the time for warming up on the course. As it stands right now you have a very fast group (35+), which is also pretty full, on course with a group warming up behind them which could range in ability from should be up-graded all the way to "never tried it before, looks like fun". Scary. Time for a couple hot laps between races should be enough.

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