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: 

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The American Cycling Association is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit sporting organization that sanctions most road and cyclocross racing in Colorado and southeast Wyoming. We offer an array of programs to attract new members as well as to keep our current members informed and enjoying the sport of bicycle racing. Please consider joining our organization as a racing or non-racing member to support our grassroots mission of enhancing bicycle racing at a local level. Be a part of it...

It sounds like you have a

It sounds like you have a hang-up with those that check results and care about competing. Maybe it's you that needs to relax. CX is about hard work and reward, and with 5+ natz champs a year I think it's naive to think its just "grass roots" for everyone. All we are talking about here is safety.

My two cents. There are

My two cents. There are people in the 35+ 4’s who should move up, but I understand the attraction of being in a class where you are competitive at the front of the field week in and week out. I wish that were me, but it is not. The result of having career riders in this class is that it is not welcoming to true beginners, they are intimidated. The truth is the 35+ 4’s is not a beginners class, and that is probably okay. Based on the numbers, there should be a place for the middle aged, medium talented rider to go and duke it out for bragging rights. Because of training or natural ability that maybe all some of us are capable of. Currently it seems to me the 4’s is where a beginner should start regardless of age. As much as all of us would like to have a class that is organized to allow us the greatest chance to succeed, at the time of day we would prefer, that is unrealistic. The race promoters, clubs , and individuals who put on the races are the few, who bust their asses for the many( us, those who are racing). Each one of them is trying their best to meet the needs of everyone involved. The nice thing about cross, you are able to get out there and race someone each lap, be it for the lead or 50th place. That is not the same dynamic that exist in most other forms of bike racing. For most of us cycling is a hobby, a passion, or even a way of life, but not our profession. When racing your race, each of us should have a course free of interference from none racing riders, if that is not possible by having warm-ups during racing we should all respect the steps taken to make it so. Maybe preview periods are the way to go, and warm-ups have to happen off course. Maybe it will be different each race, based on the turn out and course. If need be you can always start at the back of the field and preview the course on the first lap. Either way, we should all respect the rules of the day, and relealize they are there for our benifit.

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