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 and 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: 


No need for a 4th option...

Doug, I respectfully disagree. A 35+ Cat 4 rider who is over 45 can race in one of 4 races - Cat 4, 35+ Cat 4, and 35+, and 45+. If riders were interested in "releiving the pressure" and racing in smaller groups they could opt for Cat 4, 35+, or 45+. I understand 35+ Cat 4's are the largest segment of the ACA and that they are driving the race day schedules, but I disagree that giving a fifth option is necessary or prudent.

Other options

Perhaps you are correct. I have been looking at some videos of other races around the country and it seems as if huge fields are the norm. Maybe we are just now beginning to experience what has been going on elsewhere for a long time. As for me however, it would be a huge jump to race 35+ or 45+ and feel I have a chance to be competitive. I have raced 4's at times because of schedule or whatever. Maybe we should do a survey through ACA and find out if having a big field is really a problem.

The real issue here I think is what I already described. That is, the unsafe condition created by having all the 35+4's (with a wide range of experience) warming up on course when the 35 open is racing. ACA seems to be taking steps to address that anyway.

I know I'd rather be having this discussion than trying to figure out how to get racers to show up! My hat is off to all who have been involved in promoting cross and making it what it is today.

45+ 4 category

My opinion would be to add a 45+ 4 category. As I see it. many of us who are over 45 and are just starting in CX have limited choices, SM 4, 35+ 4, or 45+ open. My hunch is many 45+ riders that are starting out are going to ride either 35+ 4 or 45+. I think a 45+ 4 cat would thin out the 35+ 4 cat as well as the ever growing 45+ cat, and then offer some of us old guys a chance to be competitive

Agreed. This is exactly the

Agreed. This is exactly the problem we have in CO right now, guys can do 3 races and it is not enough of a choice. If you are a 28 year old cat 3 there in ONLY 1 race you can do each and every day! The ACA created this problem and it just gets worse and worse. What is next 55 plus cat 4?

Right now a 45 year old cat 4 on the road could do 5 different races on the right day, 4's, 35 4's, 45 4's, 35 open and 45 open. I am not saying they would actually do that, but it just nuts the amount of masters cats we have added (and I race masters............).

Oh the humanity

It's a huge "problem" which will kill cyclocross in Colorado! Participation may drop from 400-500 to 398-498. As a 40+ category 4 I demand less options! Who knows which race I'll end up in...hey, WTF?, I can't race jrs? How dare those little brats get their own time. On a serious note, please chill out. What you're describing is essentially called a White man's problem, i.e. "my button down J Crew polo is frayed after one wash". Get it? Cyclocross is a blast and the smiles prove it. If 35+3 sucks the life out of the party, then sir/madam, kudos to you.

OR just relax...

Also it would be Ok for people to just take a deep breath and relax and realize that this is grass roots racing and results are secondary to fun & fitness. If you want all the trappings of a UCI event, by all means have at it. There are at least two "pro" level circuits that offer a truly closed course. In fact, there will be a couple of chances to ride a 100% closed course this weekend. We're quickly approaching the douche-infested world of triathlon where it is all about how much ass one can kick in his age group instead of racing hard but not getting too hung up on results/placing.


That's a Douche-infested response/approach. It's obviously not only about someone logically wanting to finish their race strong (dont know any racer who's in the top 10-15 of any competitive event, bike racing or whatever) who doesnt want to finish strong and in their rightful place they've earned that day. Larger than that, there are legitimate collision and safety issues here as well Bro.

CX has been strong in CO for over 10 years now, it aint grass-roots anymore. People should stay out, get out the way or work together to make it better for everyone. Game On!