Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A word about Worlds

Sorry guys, this post hit the big time and they'd prefer the hits and comments to go there.


solobreak said...

I agree on almost all counts. Nats used to be in November. Promoters will have their work cut out for them putting on all-day events in the dark and cold of January. I'd rather be racing sans ice, but I don't think we stand a chance of winning this argument.

Why most crits have 100 rider limits yet cx races can have 200 is a mystery. No course can support that many. But Bend would have been a four minute lap for you guys without the ice. Not to mention much of it became a single-line track due to the conditions, making us lappers an even bigger problem. With five days of racing planned, allowing it to be turned to pack ice was irresponsible IMHO, but like you said, mention that and you are a whining pussy. They are patting themselves on the back for a great race because by Sunday the crowds were huge and and the course was mud. The masters are just there to pay the bills anyway.

But there is the irony. If they actually had qualifying, then the qualifying races would be a huge draw for all the promoters, and in total MORE revenue would be seen, not less. And then a smaller, more select field could be sent to nationals for a better race. Simple rules like granting exemptions to former champions, and automatic qualifying for last year's top 20 would handle the issue of top riders having a mechanical in a qualifying race. Maybe some day we'll see this level of organization. Thanks for lending your voice. If more top riders speak out then your concerns might be heard. But don't bet on it...

Il Bruce said...

Moto heats or hot lap qualifying?

Being an outsider I have been puzzled by the all comers welcome nationals.

ringcycles said...

I agree about qualifying. Rather than heats, I think M35-50 nationals should be cat 1-2 only. Allow upgrade points in masters races with more than 10 cat 1-2 racers so guys can upgrade w/out racing in the Cat 3 field. This year there were 80-100 cat 1&2 guys in each masters field below age 55. For participation options at nationals, Have a B race that is cat 3/4 only for M 35-44 and 45-54. Make top 5 is an automatic cat 2 upgrade. I truly hope that Lousiville restricts masters worlds to USAC cat 1&2 racers as well. 200 americans and 30 euros in each field would be a nightmare. It would give the whole US cyclocross community a black eye.

ringcycles said...

P.S. congrats for the great result in Mol. You and Kevin made the New England cyclocross community very proud.

Jonny Bold said...

It's a shame that year after year goes by with the same issues at Natz reoccuring. Simple discussions like this are a logical way to move forward and make improvements. Already in no time we have some very solid ideas here that would greatly improve the promotions of Natz, at least from a Master's point of view. The PROs don't really have the problem.

I don't think heats are the way to go. I'd hate to travel across the country to race Natz and have a problem in a heat race and never make it to the actual race. It would take MUCH longer to get all the races in and then call ups would be even more critical in the heats. It's an additional can of worms that seems to make the process more complex.

I think Solo is onto a good plan. Top 20 from natz are in. Then have about 6 or 8 qualifying events around the country (races that already exist could be designated as qualifiers, much like mountain biking or triathlon). Every region would have one, and the fields raced would remain the same, but results could be sorted by age later and those would be the qualifiers. Top 15 or 20 in each group, from each venue get in.

Then those people would be free to take a run at the online holeshot to register. ONLY here's how they should do that. Openly announce the opening of registration well in advance of doing it, and hold it at a reasonable time for everyone. NOT on the eve of a big UCI race at freaking midnight....duh! Have a different time and/or date for each field to register so the site doesn't crash. Instead of 2000 people trying to register at the same second, you'd have about 75 or 80. Then an hour later open another category. It could be spread out over a week and a half if necessary, whats the big deal?

Then when we get to Natz, USAC should go out of their way to make it clear that RIDERS IN DANGER OF BEING LAPPED WILL BE PULLED. Not after they get lapped. By then they may have already affected the outcome of the race....duh! once again. I saw lots and lots of officials doing seemingly nothing at Natz in Bend, maybe they were'nt "on duty" at certain times, but why not position them in the pits and other spots where they can simply create a "pull off" and keep radio contact with the others to the whereabouts of the leaders and get the course cleared, then you can have big fields if they're managed properly. Once lots of riders go all that way and race half the race only to be pulled, the problem will take care of itself.

We have a good problem in the USA. But it is a problem nonetheless. In Belgium there are 3 master's categories at natz. 30-39, 40-49, and 50+. Thats it. I raced in the 40-49 group and there were 42 racers including 3 Americans and 3 Canadians. So thats 36 athletes in a 10 year age group. Those same 2 age groups in the US (40-44 & 45-49) would have had 330 athlets in Bend 2009.

It's broke.....let's fix it. More importantly, lets get it right for Master's Worlds so we don't make asses of ourselves as a country. We've got way too much history of that in other areas!

gewilli said...

with smithers suggestion I was justified racing at Nationals this year! And future years. Most awesome.

But yes - something has to be done to fix it.

Jonny Bold said...

G-Willi, I hope you didn't take it personally. You certainly don't fit my description of the early lapped riders at Natz. You and your badass orange prison suit are a staple of New England 'cross. I was happy to have you be the first one to get a hold of me after winning Natz. Your SCREAMS were unmistakable during the race itself. Without people like you (passionate, knowledgable, colorful, cyclocross fanatics), 'cross wouldn't be what it is. Of course you're justified to race, always! Just watch out for those clueless officials strolling through the finish line chute.

gewilli said...

oh hell no - i'm not taking it personally, I passed so many people that I feel pretty good about not getting in the way providing I don't lose 2+ minutes on the first lap because of the fat and/or slow dudes who live on the west coast and who weren't in the middle of a UCI double weekend. Hell if i'd started next to ErikV i doubt i'd have been lapped.

Fucking hell - i'm just remembering your race. Kyle and I were jumping and hugging each other when we heard you won.

You winning that Jersey was THE best moment of the year. Bar none hands down. Worth the trip to be there just two watch that race.