In early June 2012, Tom Danielson, Georgia Gould and Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski were among thousands of competitors at Vail’s Teva Mountain Games, a multi-sport event that includes bike racing, kayaking, rock climbing and trail running.
All three cyclists made the most of their trip to the Colorado high country, winning their respective races and collecting the accompanying $3,000 first-place prize checks.
A few days later, fellow pro cyclist Danny Pate penned what appeared to be a semi-sarcastic tweet, asking: “Hey @tomdanielson does @usacycling or @UCI_cycling know you raced the Teva Games this year, I don’t think it’s a UCI race?”
Fifteen days later, in what appears to have been a response at least in part prompted by Pate’s tweet, USA Cycling technical director Shawn Farrell sent an email to Horgan-Kobelski, Gould and several other pro-level mountain bikers who had competed in Vail. (Danielson was not part of this group, but presumably received a separate email.) VeloNews obtained a copy of the correspondence, which read in part:
“Dear Pro Mountain Bikers: It has come to our attention that you participated in the 2012 Teva Games in a MTB discipline. This event is not sanctioned by USA Cycling. As such, a professional rider on a UCI team may not participate in it, according to UCI rule 1.2.019. The penalty for not following that rule is a fine of 50-100 Swiss francs and a one-month suspension. As this is the first documented and reported case of this in your collective instances, we will not be proceeding with any suspensions, and are choosing the low end of the fine spectrum. Therefore, please consider this your notice that you were fined. I shall leave it up to you and your teams to decide who wants to pay.”
Whatever the motivations were, the ACA rejoined USAC in 2012 under its old name, the Bicycle Racing Association of Colorado, overseeing a successful, albeit more expensive, calendar of amateur bike racing in Colorado. In 2011, the cost of an ACA license, good for road, mountain, and cyclocross, was $45. In 2012, a USAC road license ($60), plus a mountain bike add-on ($30), and membership in BRAC ($25) totaled $115.
While not mandatory, the BRAC membership was necessary if a rider wanted to avoid a $5-per-race surcharge required of non-members racing BRAC races (which include nearly all the popular Colorado cyclocross races).