Parker Mainstreet Criterium UPDATE – New Cat 5 Crown

Parker Mainstreet Criterium Logo - white background_1Parker Mainstreet Criterium – Sunday June 19th and the new Cat 5 Crown by 303 Media

A few weeks back we ran a story about the cancelled Parker weekend and the resurrected Parker Mainstreet Criterium by Without Limits. We’ll, it’s race week, so we’re catching up with Without Limits Race Director – Lance Panigutti to talk about all the latest and greatest with this event.

303 Cycling: We heard that the local association BRAC took some heat for the cancellation of the former Parker event, is this true?

Lance Panigutti – Without Limits Productions: Any heat the local association took was unwarranted and misguided. It should be restated that a local association’s primary directive is to support race directors, so they in turn can support the racer. The BRAC staff was very responsive when it came time for rubber stamping our permit for the necessary insurance, so they deserve some credit for their speed in this situation. I’m sure any “heat” was due to former organizing director Doug Gordon and his affiliation with the local association as president.

cat5303: Parker Mainstreet Criterium is this weekend, what can we expect?

Lance Panigutti: It’s turning into an action packed day for the races and their families. We’d love to see a ton of family support on this father’s day as there’s so much to do post-race with a farmer’s market a block away, not to mention the restaurants of downtown Parker just blocks from the finish line. As we stated before we’re looking to turn this into a much larger weekend event and having great racer support this first season will go a long way towards that goal!

303: The senior state criterium championships did not offer a cat 5 championship race. We hear you’re offering a Cat 5 Crown at Parker to make it up to this disenfranchised group.

Lance Panigutti: For years we’ve always been disappointed and baffled why in every other sport (ie. mountain biking, triathlon, running etc.) the beginner categories are embraced, but in road cycling the cat 5 men area treated like second class citizens from the governing bodies, officials, and even the attitude from other racers. Every single one of us, even the professionals, started out at one point as either a cat 5 or junior. We didn’t know all the ins and outs of this sport, but had people there to encourage and excite us. The cat 5 is a licensed category just like cat 4 women or cat 3 men and deserves a state championships. It’s time the local associations challenge the governing body to rid themselves of archaic “blue laws” that prevent cat5 men from receiving real awards, having primes, and racing in a championship event. Only the cat5 men may be aware, but we’ve been giving the cat5 men the same awards as other categories for years now and they’re grateful for it. Yes, we broke the rule, albeit a misguided rule. I could keep going but I know we have a series of articles coming out about the “death of road racing” and “role local association’s play in the future” where we’ll discuss tearing down the walls for new blood in the sport.

303: We’ve also read that Without Limits is paying for all Cat 5 one day licenses at the Parker Mainstreet Criterium, is this true?

Lance Panigutti: You heard right, Without Limits will be paying the $10 for all one day cat 5 licenses this Sunday. It’s our way to encourage new men to come out and give racing a criterium a try on a beginner-friendly course. Racing doesn’t have to be expensive or confusing, so show up, just pay the entry fee, and we’ll take care of the rest. If you sign up online we’ll be refunding your $10 one day fee at number pick-up.

303: How are you looking on volunteer support?

Lance Panigutti: We’ve had a pretty good response from a local triathlon club – Altitude Multisport and local Parker residents – but could definitely use a few more for the afternoon shifts. To volunteer please e-mail me and you’ll earn a free entry for that race or any future Without Limits event.

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