Without Limits, Shaking Up Cyclocross and Here’s Why

Dear Cyclocross Community, (from Without Limits and Lance Panigutti)

You’ve seen the changes and the excitement is building; but now it’s time to take a deeper look into the “why and how” behind every move.  When our team sat down after our final cyclocross race last December and reviewed all of your survey results, a full reimagination of “cyclocross” began.  We first crafted a platform of goals for this “reboot”: amplifying the racing energy, creating a more inter-category experience, crafting a schedule that encourages increased mentorship, racing development, and a timeline that encourages watching your friend’s race.  We know there’s pros and cons to any alterations and change is often uncomfortable, but the prospect of the “unknown” can also be liberating and enlivens us, so we hope your approach this season stays open minded, positive, and welcoming. (HERE is a link to the full Without Limits cyclocross schedule)

(If you’re not a Men 40+ Cat 3, 4, or 5, skip to the next section)

Creation of the Men’s 50+ Category 3: Over the years, our community has seen its own “generation X” bubble move through the ranks.  It started 15 years ago with the 35+ Cat 4 field, then the 40+4’s, and now that generation is 50+.  Racing at its core is fun, and it’s zero fun to jump from the 50+4 field to the extremely competitive 50+ open field, so creating a 50+3 category – aligned with the 40+ category 3 was a better grouping.

Changing Men 40+ Category 4 and Men 50+ Category 5 fields to Men 40+ Cat 4-5 and Men 50+ Cat4-5: We truly believe racing should be affordable and any category should allow for one-day licenses.  We also want you to race and mentor your peers which wasn’t possible when 40+ year old beginner races were forced to race at 8:00am with super-fast category 4 racers.  Those days are over!  Invite your buddies to join the action on a 1-day license and welcome them into the sport with the proper tips and tricks that made you fall in love with cyclocross.

New Color-Coded Number Design: Over the years our “colored numbers” only had a bottom band of color which was hard to see while racing.  Now the entire number is tinted a certain color so you can easily identify the competition.

The new “color rush” start is designed to amplify the start-line adrenaline, align racers of the same ability and speed, and reduce lapping.
1) You will receive a newly designed and very bright color number based on your category. This will identify who’s in your specific category.
2) We will call up all athletes in your wave into the start grid based on USA Cycling Rankings. Then one whistle blast will send off the entire wave!
3) Results and awards will all be based on your unique category. For fun, we will also produce a results list based off the entire wave.

–          The fastest racers in each category will no longer be riding through the slower racers of the group that started one minute in front of them

–          This will also eliminate a higher percentage of lapped riders.

–          You’re now racing with an entire wave of racers, not just your category, which means you’re a larger, yet friendly, competitive group.  If you have younger racers in your wave, or new athletes to cyclocross, take the time to welcome and mentor them into the sport.  This isn’t just about racing in our small category bubble from prior years, but the larger wave as a collective group.

–          Yes, some old school racers will state that “x” racer from my category might be starting in row 2, where in 2021 he lined up next to me in row 1.  Cyclocross at its pure form is about so much more than the start, it’s about racing a larger group of racers of similar ability for the pure joy of competition and racing.  That pure form happens with the “color rush” start, but wasn’t possible with a handful of segmented categories of 5-15+ racers starting every minute.

Our sport has gone through some roller coaster changes but we truly believe that cyclocross remains the most dynamic and exciting discipline in cycling.  It’s truly the Formula 1 of two wheels, the Mario Kart for big kids, and together we’re going to reignite growth at every level.  

For more information on trying cyclocross please visit www.withoutlimits.co

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