2014/2015 Cx Season Shaping Up

Each year, BRAC hosts two very important meetings that set the stage for the season: the Road and Cx Promoters meetings. Not only is the room packed with your seasoned (and newbie promoters), but the BRAC board is represented, as well as racing officials. It's even become more and more common for the interested racer to attend too. Before attending the 2013 Cx Promoter's meeting, I expected it to be a mix of a livestock auction and a scene from Brave Heart. IIt was quite civilized. I was slightly disappointed. I'll admit it. This year's sounded like it was equally calm and productive. Below we have information from BRAC as well as from several race promoters about the upcoming season.

BRAC:
At the Cyclo-cross Promoters' Meeting, many important issues were discussed. BRAC is assessing these concepts and soon will be working on implementing the ideas that work for all of us. Several items discussed were;

  • improving courses
  • call-Ups based on rankings rather than CUP points
  • race calendar negotiations
  • potential long and short cyclo-cross schedules*

*The last item apparently needs some further work. Unfortunately, the length of day in the cyclo-cross season is short and we have a lot of race groups that need to run. Fitting everyone into this day is tricky, not every group will have the course to themselves and someone will need to go first and someone last... but who?

As mentioned in prior emails, BRAC has an obligation and a commitment to all categories and race groups. I've created a tool to help create schedules, "The Schedulator". (Look for a downloadable version of this soon on BRAC's website).
-Aaron Bouplon (Executive Director)

I followed up with Clint Bickmore (BRAC President) for a little more:
"The battle for early-season races was very strong, as would be expected. There's a natural ebb and flow to the amount of races and promoters we get. We still have some late season dates available. We hope to have the season kick-off at a mtn town (details to come) to off-set the hideous 99 degree weekend last year. City permits are being finalized. We're also very excited to be offering the Women's Camp for the 2nd year and we'll also have a Men's Camp this year. These will both take place the weekend of Kick-it Cross. The plan remains the same as last year: the TT will be Sat. morning, camps in the afternoon, (happiness and merriment that night), and the first race of the season on Sunday.

As far as the schedule for the day, this will be hashed out at as we set the Cross Policy at the next board meeting on May 20th. This can always be mildly contentious as everyone has their preference. We really do want to make as many people involved happy as possible. The racers want the optimal spot of the day. Then they want the 2nd most optimal spot for their spouse. Then they want the 3rd most optimal spot for their kids--which is really the 1st most optimal spot (even though it conflicts with THEIR spot) and so on and so forth. Every year it's the same process. And it's not handled lightly. But it's a fact that there has to be a first and a last to the race day.
-Clint Bickmore

Promoters:
The hot topic from the Promoter's stand-point (from the meeting and for the upcoming season) was USAC rankings vs. Cup rankings. Many promoters hold the position that if we're going to be linked with USAC as an Local Association, why not use all the tools available? In other words, if we were to use USAC rankings, it would provide an easy path for people to travel to and from other states. The racers would be rewarded on ability rather than participation, which would also encourage upgrading. This subject was also tossed around (apparently for a WHILE) at the meeting. When the vote was taken, it sounded like 95% of the meeting attendees were in favor of this.

A few other highlights of the meeting:

  • Neal Henderson had a slide show of Cx worlds.
  • Pete Webber gave a presentation on course-building that was reported to have been immensely helpful.
  • Boulder Cup will be a full month earlier (Sept. 14th). "There's sure to be a post-Nationals hang-over this year. To address this, we’ve gotten behind the Cx Vegas/Interbike machine. Hopefully this will allow us to host more international racers and talent. We wanted the date and this year we got it. We’re back at C1 status, so it wasn't even an issue."-Chris Grealish
  • And finally, Castle Rock (if you haven't heard already) got States. As most believed they should. They crushed it last year.

We'll keep you posted on the Cross Policy, the upcoming calendar and all other things related to the 2014/2015 Colorado Cross Season.

News Item: 

18 Comments

Numbers Don't Lie

I did the math last year for the previous year and if I remember correctly, the racers per race were in a lot of cases close and and some more people raced cross. If this is the case, why would BRAC not put just as much or more focus on CX vs road?

"call-Ups based on rankings

"call-Ups based on rankings rather than CUP points"

-How does this promote upgrades? I think it would have no effect or actually keep people in lower categories. Why not just race-up a CAT, build your point profile then hop back down to your regular category and win races or even States? Last place in the SM35 could be better for your points than a top 50% in the 35+3.
-Wouldn't this diminish the Colorado Cross Cup for racers? Racers that care about getting cup points for call-ups, won't and therefore won't feel pressure to race these races.
-Why do I care about people coming to Colorado and getting a call-up? Screw them.
-Shouldn't participation be counted for something? It doesn't have to count for everything, but USAC points doesn't give any bonuses for participation. In the Cup system, though it put too much emphasis on participation, awarded racers for paying their dues and toeing the line multiple times over the season.
-The USAC points system heavily favors placing over peer quality. E.g. placing 5th out of 10 is better for you profile than 10th out of 30. In the latter scenario, you beat 15 more people, this should be better and its the opposite (in most cases).

I went to the meeting to

I went to the meeting to represent the unanimous sentiment of racers from our club. Here's what 99% of the riders and promoters in the room strongly pushed for. Yes, there was one promoter from Alpha who would make points for both sides and of course BRAC officials want to use cup points, but it's about the riders. Below are responses to your concerns in CAPS.

How does this promote upgrades? I think it would have no effect or actually keep people in lower categories. Why not just race-up a CAT, build your point profile then hop back down to your regular category and win races or even States? Last place in the SM35 could be better for your points than a top 50% in the 35+3. YOU ALWAYS HAVE SAND BAGGERS, BUT USING CROSS CUP POINTS KEEPS PEOPLE ONLY RACING THEIR CAT TO GET MORE POINTS IN ONE CATEGORY. CUP POINT CALL UPS PROVIDES NO INCENTIVE TO UPGRADE AND START ALL OVER AGAIN. CROSS CUP CALL UPS DOES NOT ALLOW PEOPLE TO MOVE AROUND AND RACE DIFFERENT CATEGORIES DURING THE DAY BASED ON THEIR WORK AND FAMILY SCHEDULES. I KNOW A HANDFUL OF RACERS WHO WOULD TAKE A WEEKEND OFF BECAUSE THEY HAD TO TAKE THE KIDS TO A SOCCER GAME IN THE MORNING, WHEN THEY WANTED TO RACE ANOTHER CATEGORY IN THE AFTERNOON.
Wouldn't this diminish the Colorado Cross Cup for racers? Racers that care about getting cup points for call-ups, won't and therefore won't feel pressure to race these races. THE GENERAL ATTITUDE IN THE ROOM WAS LESS AND LESS PEOPLE ACTUALLY CARE ABOUT CROSS CUP, AND FOR THOSE WHO DO THE POINTS ARE NOT GOING AWAY. YOU'RE SAYING PEOPLE WILL STOP RACING BECAUSE THEIR'S NO MADE UP POINTS??? GIVE ME A BREAK, PEOPLE RACE MORE THAN ANYTHING BECAUSE THEY LOVE RACING.
-Why do I care about people coming to Colorado and getting a call-up? Screw them. THAT'S THE ATTITUDE THAT IS NOT WELCOME IN OUR CROSS SCENE. WE SHOULD ENCOURAGE PEOPLE TO DRIVE IN FROM UTAH, KANSAS, AND NEW MEXICO TO RACE SOME OF THE BEST RACES, NOT PROVIDE ANOTHER BARRIER TO ENTRY. WHY NOT JUST GO BACK TO ACA DAYS THEN? WHAT'S THE POINT OF PAYING MORE FOR A USAC LICENSE IF YOU WANT TO BE SO EXCLUSIVE?
-Shouldn't participation be counted for something? It doesn't have to count for everything, but USAC points doesn't give any bonuses for participation. In the Cup system, though it put too much emphasis on participation, awarded racers for paying their dues and toeing the line multiple times over the season. DOES EVERYONE NEED A FINISHER RIBBON TOO? WOL PROMOTER MADE A POINT OF "DO WE WANT A SYSTEM BASED ON REWARDING PARTICIPATION OR PERFORMANCE" THEN WENT ON TO SAY THAT IT'S VERY UNLIKELY THAT SOMEONE RANKED TOP 3 IN CROSS CUP WOULDN'T GET A TOP 8 USAC RANKING AND STILL BE FRONT ROW CALL-UP.
-The USAC points system heavily favors placing over peer quality. E.g. placing 5th out of 10 is better for you profile than 10th out of 30. In the latter scenario, you beat 15 more people, this should be better and its the opposite (in most cases). THE SYSTEM IS A LOT MORE DETAILED THAN THAT, I SUGGEST YOU DO YOUR HOMEWORK. AND HOW IS THAT DIFFERENT THAN CROSS CUP WHERE 5TH GETS MORE POINTS THAN 10TH?

Joe (if that's your real name

Joe (if that's your real name),

What difference does it make who posted the response to your screed? Judge the points on their merits. Saying you won't seriously consider them without a name is a childish response.

Roscoe P. Coltrane (not my real name, but it's as meaningful as "Joe")

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