Each year, BRAC hosts two very important meetings that set the stage for the season: the Road and Cx Promoters meetings. Not only is the room packed with your seasoned (and newbie promoters), but the BRAC board is represented, as well as racing officials. It's even become more and more common for the interested racer to attend too. Before attending the 2013 Cx Promoter's meeting, I expected it to be a mix of a livestock auction and a scene from Brave Heart. IIt was quite civilized. I was slightly disappointed. I'll admit it. This year's sounded like it was equally calm and productive. Below we have information from BRAC as well as from several race promoters about the upcoming season.
At the Cyclo-cross Promoters' Meeting, many important issues were discussed. BRAC is assessing these concepts and soon will be working on implementing the ideas that work for all of us. Several items discussed were;
- improving courses
- call-Ups based on rankings rather than CUP points
- race calendar negotiations
- potential long and short cyclo-cross schedules*
*The last item apparently needs some further work. Unfortunately, the length of day in the cyclo-cross season is short and we have a lot of race groups that need to run. Fitting everyone into this day is tricky, not every group will have the course to themselves and someone will need to go first and someone last... but who?
As mentioned in prior emails, BRAC has an obligation and a commitment to all categories and race groups. I've created a tool to help create schedules, "The Schedulator". (Look for a downloadable version of this soon on BRAC's website).
-Aaron Bouplon (Executive Director)
I followed up with Clint Bickmore (BRAC President) for a little more:
"The battle for early-season races was very strong, as would be expected. There's a natural ebb and flow to the amount of races and promoters we get. We still have some late season dates available. We hope to have the season kick-off at a mtn town (details to come) to off-set the hideous 99 degree weekend last year. City permits are being finalized. We're also very excited to be offering the Women's Camp for the 2nd year and we'll also have a Men's Camp this year. These will both take place the weekend of Kick-it Cross. The plan remains the same as last year: the TT will be Sat. morning, camps in the afternoon, (happiness and merriment that night), and the first race of the season on Sunday.
As far as the schedule for the day, this will be hashed out at as we set the Cross Policy at the next board meeting on May 20th. This can always be mildly contentious as everyone has their preference. We really do want to make as many people involved happy as possible. The racers want the optimal spot of the day. Then they want the 2nd most optimal spot for their spouse. Then they want the 3rd most optimal spot for their kids--which is really the 1st most optimal spot (even though it conflicts with THEIR spot) and so on and so forth. Every year it's the same process. And it's not handled lightly. But it's a fact that there has to be a first and a last to the race day.
The hot topic from the Promoter's stand-point (from the meeting and for the upcoming season) was USAC rankings vs. Cup rankings. Many promoters hold the position that if we're going to be linked with USAC as an Local Association, why not use all the tools available? In other words, if we were to use USAC rankings, it would provide an easy path for people to travel to and from other states. The racers would be rewarded on ability rather than participation, which would also encourage upgrading. This subject was also tossed around (apparently for a WHILE) at the meeting. When the vote was taken, it sounded like 95% of the meeting attendees were in favor of this.
A few other highlights of the meeting:
- Neal Henderson had a slide show of Cx worlds.
- Pete Webber gave a presentation on course-building that was reported to have been immensely helpful.
- Boulder Cup will be a full month earlier (Sept. 14th). "There's sure to be a post-Nationals hang-over this year. To address this, we’ve gotten behind the Cx Vegas/Interbike machine. Hopefully this will allow us to host more international racers and talent. We wanted the date and this year we got it. We’re back at C1 status, so it wasn't even an issue."-Chris Grealish
- And finally, Castle Rock (if you haven't heard already) got States. As most believed they should. They crushed it last year.
We'll keep you posted on the Cross Policy, the upcoming calendar and all other things related to the 2014/2015 Colorado Cross Season.