ACA Board Recommendation on USAC situation

From the ACA Website

Board Recommendation on USAC situation

September 29, 2011

Based on feedback from our clubs, the ACA Board of Directors recommends that the ACA does not pursue reintegration with USAC at this time.

The ACA and USAC have very different ideas about how a local organization should function. The ACA believes that its members are best served by paid staff who are focused on continual improvement, and that this work is fundamental to the high quality of racing in Colorado. USAC's Local Association model relies on volunteers at the local level. USAC wants the ACA to join the national organization, but to date has not provided a solution to the approximately $100,000 annual income shortfall that this reintegration would cost the ACA. Our members, which include individuals, families, clubs, promoters, officials and mechanics, are our most important asset, and the ACA board believes that this financial shortfall would cripple the ACA's ability to function in the manner that our members deserve. The ACA continues to explore new sources of funding, but the Board cannot risk the organization's survival by making a decision without first securing the necessary financial security.

The ACA has more than 3,000 members, industry-leading insurance, reasonable license fees, a comprehensive Junior Development Program, professional staff, widespread support from the local cycling community, and a strong commitment to grow and improve competitive cycling in Colorado and southeast Wyoming. Under the current agreement model, the bulk of our membership would see higher membership fees with no direct benefit from rejoining USAC.

Results of Club Vote See more vote results

For the last decade, the ACA has had a strong commitment to the development of young and new bicycle racers, and one of the best Junior Development Programs in the country. The ACA spends approximately $40,000 per year on our juniors. We are very proud of our 350+ junior members, Junior Road and Cross Camps, Juniors Ride Free, Colorado Mini Classic, and 1st Bike Programs. We had 97 juniors at a local cross race, and more than 100 juniors will attend this year's Junior Cross Camp. The program works. We are very proud of the role we have played in the success of many American professional racers, and also of the number of young people who enjoy leading healthier lives through cycling. In addition to the juniors, the ACA works with our member clubs to host developmental clinics and mentoring opportunities for beginning adult racers.

In order to protect the interests of those Colorado racers and promoters who have ambitions beyond the state, the ACA has been working to:

1- create opportunities for ACA members to gain exposure to USAC's new call-up procedure for cross nationals.

2- create a dual-permitted model for select 2012 time trials, road races, criteriums, and hill climbs, so that UCI-registered professionals can once again compete in Colorado.

3- fully cooperate with USAC to help ACA members achieve category upgrades.

4- fully cooperate with promoters who have significant national ambitions for their events, such as the North Boulder Criterium, the Fort Collins Cycling Festival, the USGP in Fort Collins, the Boulder Cup, and the Colorado Cross Cup.

It should be noted that the ACA has never instituted a rule that prohibits specific racers from competing in our events. We welcome racers of all abilities, experience and nationalities to our races. It is our goal to offer the best racing opportunities for everyone.

Please click here to see the Results of the Club Survey

The response rate from the club survey was significant, as 62% of clubs responded. The primary issue, as identified by our clubs and discussed by the Board of Directors, is the change in funding that the ACA would experience as a Local Association of USAC. Until this issue is adequately addressed, the ACA Board of Directors recommends that we do not pursue reintegration with USAC at this time.

Please direct questions to:

Bill Barr, President, ACA Board of Directors 303-355-9914

Chris McGee, Executive Director, ACA 303-458-5538

News Item: 


What has changed?

I agree with Dean, it disappointing how few front range bike racers drive up to the mountains, or western slope, for good events. I was at all 3 days of Mitch's races this year and just bummed at the attendance. I am sorry Mitch and thank you for all you did (I loved the Glenwood crit course). Same thing at Dead Dog. I did the Aspen USAC races too this spring, cheap to enter, great course, and lots of cash, easy to double up. It is our own fault when races go away like this.

What happened? I am sure Dean remembers The Norwest Classic in Grand Junction back in the 1990's (which became the Elam Classic). It was a 2 day race in Junction, with a solid crit, and a pretty darn good 80 mile RR, with lots of climbing. Back then they had larger fields across the board, lots of cash, and they treated the riders very nicely. What has changed? Why did we go out there in the 1990's and we do not now? That is really something the ACA needs to figure out or the sport if going to be in more trouble than it already is in CO.


Norwest/Elam/Gateway Classic.

When it was the Norwest then Elam Classic. The format was Saturday after crit in GJ and then the Sunday Morning Unaweep Road Race starting in Whitewater. This format allowed Front Range Racers, which made up the bulk of the racers, to leave Saturday morning, stay one night in GJ and then be back home for dinner on Sunday. Attendance peaked in 2002 when the race moved from July to May and was the State Champs RR.
2003 - Race cancelled as Elam Construction cancelled sponsorship.

Race came back in 2004 or 2005 as the Gateway Classic. Format was now Saturday morning road race starting in Gateway, which is about an hour from GJ, and then a Crit in Fruita the next day. So now riders had to take off work early Friday, stay in GJ or Gateway for two nights and drive an extra 5 hours getting around to races. Numbers where around 200 the first year and then went down from there as the race switched to USAC to be a more "Regional" event, problem is that there is now major race population within 4 hours of Gateway.
Results from 2007 -

Now we have 5 "travel" weekends from Memorial to Labor Day Weekends. Iron Horse, Glenwood Springs, Dead Dog, Salida and Steamboat.

As a board member of

As a board member of Steamboat Velo, the organizing body for the Steamboat Springs Stage Race, I'm on the fence as to what my opinion should be with regards to ACA vs.USAC. We want to expand our event toward a national level event but USAC Pro's can't attend ACA events. We want to produce a well financed Cross event but ACA has the schedule locked up on the front range. We love the suport of the ACA officials and staff but need the ACA to expand their focus to beyond the Front Range. It's not the Front Range Cycling Association, but I feel ACA's focus isn't statewide, it's front range. I belive many things need to be worked out between ACA and USAC that could bring about a positive relationship between these two bodies that in turn could return colorado to a top spot in the US road scene, but like the dem. vs rep fight that is currently happening in washington, both sides need to activily want to compromise and work together for the betterment of our sport. Without both parties willing to compromise and make changes this problem will just work against road racing in colorado. I urge ACA and USAC to keep working on a better relationship.

Ps. These are my opinions and although I am a board member of SbVelo this opinion is mine and not that of our club.

The Steamboat Stage Race

The Steamboat Stage Race should be promoted and conducted in fashion indicative to the target community. If you would like PROs attending and or seeking consideration for the NRC than sanction the event through USCF. Great PRO 1/2 events or NRC events need at least a couple years of strong attendance to build a following. Once it is established you would have solid regional event.

I have raced in California with a CBR and USCF licenses. Promoters used the licensing body most advantageous to the event conducted. I found both licensing bodies to be very good, however USCF events did attract more competition. A similar situation with our current ACA/USCF situation

You have a great event and if you added a flat road stage you would have something for everyone. Steamboat is already a solid race ( sorry I missed it this year). It sounds like you should just set it up with the USCF, apply for NRC status, and promote the race well. The Town of Steamboat is very welcoming and enjoys the added tourism. If people will travel to Bend, OR than I am sure folks will travel to Colorado.

I like your analogy of the ACA and USCF as political parties, however it is up to the people, not the government to precipitate change.

Racing À la carte

Maybe for the non-Elite Cats, everything below 1-2s, give a one day race option.
Look at Frisco Cross this weekend. Day one 400+, Day two 146.

Racing À la carte...
A reference to a menu of items priced and ordered separately, in contrast to a table d'hôte, at which a menu with limited or no choice is served at a fixed price.

Table d'hôte doesn't seem to be working anymore.

Thanks all

Thanks all for your comments and civil contributions to this ongoing conversation.

From what I can tell, we are thinking and saying very similar things.

Most clubs have said that we can proceed with negotiations to return to USAC, but do not want to see a change in our local structure - most importantly our responsive customer service and our support of junior cycling.

So it boils down to a question of money.

It is the ACA's position that our organization could not function solely on the work of volunteers. It is also our position to remain financially stable, and to this end we have reserve funds for capital replacement (we have over $100,000 in fixed assets), our junior programs, and our monthly operational costs.

The main message from the surveys is that we need to continue talking with USAC, and this we are doing. We talk with OBRA, USAC, the USOC, FIAC, NICA - if it's related to cycling and has a cool acronym - we're talking. The ACA is not isolated and does not want to be. So that we can avoid the difficulties that have been experienced by those ACA members and promoters who have national ambitions, we are exploring many different options for 2012 and beyond.

Thanks all for riding, racing and being part of the Colorado cycling community.

ACA Townhall

For what its worth, the NCCE invited the ACA board to Fort Collins for a town hall last month and we had a great conversation about the governance decisions that we Colorado racers face. We had 5 (FIVE) ACA board members in attendance at Backcountry Provisions Fort Collins, and had impressive turnout including representation from 4 voting ACA teams (Rio, Echelon, Peloton and Velo-One), a couple of promoters, and CSU Rams Cycling.

I extended the same invitation to Steve Johnson/USAC several weeks ago and havent received any response.

I'm not entirely surprised, as Northern Colorado is small potatoes for USAC, who have a full plate, but i think it is emblematic of ACA's commitment and level of attention to Colorado versus USAC's.

I'm increasingly convinced the the appropriate question to ask regarding integration is not "If" but rather "How and When?", and i really hope that we reach an arrangement that preserves the local attention and support we receive from the ACA while allowing us to better integrate into the national community.

Steve: if you read this, the town hall offer still stands, we'd love to hear from you.

-Chris J Johnson