ACA and the New Colorado Cross Cup

Recently 303Cycling caught up with Jon Tarkington, Exective Director of the ACA, and asked him a few questions about the upcoming cyclocross season and the changes to Best Cyclocross Racer (BCR) and Best Cyclocross Team (BCT). Colorado Cross Cup Rules

[303Cycling] Why the changes to BCR / BCT and the name change to Colorado Cross Cup?
[Jon Tarkington] The ACA board has been looking for ways to encourage quality race promotion for some time. The season-long point competitions are a great way to achieve this by having promoters apply for a designation and get approval from the ACA. However, it's difficult to get the point across that the designation is worth it when it's the same look and feel of previous years' programs. So this year they decided it was time to rebrand the cyclocross points competition as the Colorado Cross Cup, focus on quality event promotion and attempt to move the season into January. Also, while acronyms are great, they are confusing to those outside of the sport and somewhat difficult to market to potential sponsors.

[303Cycling] I saw that with the new Colorado Cross Cup that no races in September will be part of the series. How will call ups be handled for the races in September?
[Jon Tarkington] Promoters can use whatever method they wish for call-ups during the pre-season. I'm sure many will use the previous year's BCR standings, some may use order of registration or perhaps the previous day's or weekend's race results. I'm guessing some may just go old-school and put a line on the course and let everyone line up behind it at will.

[303Cycling] Do you know which races will be Cross Cup races?
[Jon Tarkington] That schedule will be posted after promoters are notified of their application status. It should be available later this week or early next week.

[303Cycling] I really like the idea of a few races in January. How many races are planned for January and will they be part of the Cross Cup?
[Jon Tarkington] The Board would like to see at least 2 Cross Cup races in January, perhaps up to four if promoters are willing to have events that month. One of the goals of the Cross Cup is to drive participation into January ahead of the 2011-12 cross season when Nationals will likely be in January, hopefully here in Boulder and Master Worlds in Louisville, Kentucky.

[303Cycling] I see in the ACA calendar that the cyclocross state championships is scheduled for two days. What's the thinking behind this?
[Jon Tarkington] The Promoter asked for both days in an effort to spread out the racing when the daylight is short. If all goes as planned there will be time to pre-ride the course between races without interfering with racers on the course. With many racers eligible to ride more than one event this could give riders a chance to race one championship race on Saturday and a different one on Sunday.

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18 Comments

Some good ideas here and I

Some good ideas here and I am stoked that folks seem to put a lot of time into thinking how to make CO CX even better. One thing though and it’s not a problem for me (Boulder resident here), but most of the races after 10.1 are in the north Front Range region. I'm hoping that at least some of the races in the hinterlands i.e. Bailey, Castle Rock, Frisco, etc. get picked for the “Cup”. I kind of like getting out of the ‘bubble’.

Two days for states is brilliant in my opinion, well done.

Nice logo!

Settle down

Relax a little bit there guy. Promotor's had to apply for the Cup, and then be chosen based on meeting certain criteria over their events' history. I think you are assuming that everyone applied and none of the "southern" racers were chosen. I don't know this, but I wouldn't fly off the handle making this assumption.

As far as "less meaningful" races goes, you're missing the point - to try and encourage races to be more PRO and raise the level of the events. What's the incentive to have a sweet event if anyone can put on a "Cup" race? Plus, I don't think it should be an attendance contest - wheren't there about 19 BCR races last year? I think this is a great effort.

Jon and the Board

I second the thought on Jon's work and the board's execution of the road season and new website-well done! As for cross, i trust their judgement to bring about positive changes tot he sport since an increase in interest and participation in recent years. And yes, as was previously stated, cross is not always as serious as the summer road season but a venue to connect with friends, play in the mud and drink some beer!
Keep up the great work and thanks!

January Cyclocross Races

The number of racers in January will be very interesting. For most people January is rest time. I think its a good idea for racers who want to compete at Nationals but for the majority of people they are cooked at this time of the year.

The other thing I find interesting from this article is that it kinda assumes Nationals will be in Boulder not this year but next. I have heard rumors Boulder did not get the nod. Anyone know about this?

January

Though USAC has not released the dates and location of Nationals for 2011 and 12 it's highly unlikely they will be in CO. The true purpose is to pull some demand for CX out of September and push it into the winter when CX is more appropriate. Additionally, Masters worlds will be in Kentucky on January 15th of 2012 while Elite worlds will be there in late January 2013. While this does not affect a large number of CO riders, having races through January starting in 2011 will help them prepare.

We're anticipating January racing to be similar to cross in CO from 10 years ago: One race per weekend, smaller fields and serious stratification of fitness levels. We're guessing there will be many people who have checked out from focused training and racing. Hopefully, they continue to participate for relaxed fun in the snow/mud and to keep the winter pounds in check.

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