April 21, 2011
For Immediate Release
Contact: Bill Barr, President, ACA Board of Directors 303-355-9914
American Cycling Association Position on USAC/UCI enforcement of UCI Rule 1.2.019
In the last two weeks the UCI (International Cycling Union) and USAC (United States Cycling Association) have decided to enforce UCI Rule 1.2.019, which affects the ability of UCI-licensed professional riders to participate in local races. The rule regards ‘Forbidden races’, and says:
1.2.019 No (professional) license holder may participate in an event that has not been included on a national, continental or world calendar or that has not been recognized by a national federation, a continental confederation or the UCI.
A national federation may grant special exceptions for races or particular events run in its own country.
This is not a new rule, and only recently has enforcement of this rule been made public to riders in the United States. Professional riders who break this rule are threatened with suspensions and monetary fines. The effect of this enforcement is two-fold:
1- American riders who hold UCI Pro Continental licenses may not compete in ACA (American Cycling Association), OBRA (Oregon Bicycle Racing Association), ABR (American Bicycle Racing), or CBR (California Bicycle Racing) events under threat of suspension and monetary fines. These professional racers are who live in these states cannot augment their training by participating in local racing, which is detrimental to their preparation and may impact their performance at the national and international level.
2- While the number of professional riders affected is relatively small, this decision on the part of USAC affects local racing communities by denying local riders in Colorado, Oregon, Illinois and California the benefit of racing alongside – and learning from -- world class athletes. As the level of competition drops at the local level, it becomes more difficult for America to produce international-level athletes.
The position of the American Cycling Association is as follows:
1- We find enforcement of UCI Rule 1.2.019 to be detrimental to the cycling careers of American professionals, who are now unable to prepare as effectively for national and international competition.
2- We find enforcement of UCI Rule 1.2.019 to be detrimental to the cycling communities in which these professionals reside, as removing professional riders from local races degrades the quality of local events.
3- We have appealed to USAC to exercise the Rule’s option to grant special exceptions to ACA, ABRA, CBR, and OBRA races in order to protect its professional riders and local cycling communities from the negative impacts of this UCI rule. This appeal has not been adequately addressed by USAC at this time, and the ACA continues to pursue options to remedy this situation.
4- We ask that affected professional riders, team managers, sponsors and fans contact USAC and ask that these professional athletes be allowed to race in local events in Colorado, Oregon, Illinois and California in order to best prepare for national and international competition, to improve the level of competition at the local level, and to provide the maximum commercial exposure for which their sponsors have so heavily invested.
5- We ask that ACA promoters not hide professional racers’ names or identity in either start lists or results, or in any way to allow racers to participate anonymously in our events. It is not in the best interest of the ACA, our promoters or our officials, to provide anonymous racing for any segment of the ACA membership.
The ACA is collaborating with these other independent organizations in seeking avenues that could allow UCI Continental professionals to once again race locally, as they have done for years. The ACA Board of Directors remains confident that we can work with USA Cycling to build upon the recent great successes of bicycle racing in the United States, as both USAC and the independent organizations share a common goal of encouraging and supporting racers, clubs, teams, promoters, sponsors and racing communities.
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. The mission of the ACA is to expand and develop the sport of amateur bicycle racing in the Rocky Mountain region while ensuring quality experiences for all involved. The ACA has more than 3,000 members and sanctions more than 100 events each year.