To Mountain Bike Event Promoters, From BRAC

A Message From the BRAC Executive Director
Aaron (Boups) Bouplon
Tue, 2014-04-15

Mountain Bike Event Promoters-

Thank you for being part of a sport that I love. I’m writing to you in the spirit of co-operation and commitment to cycling. I’ve recently been named the Executive Director of the Bicycle Racing Association of Colorado. I am also a bike racer. I race cyclo-cross, road, and mountain bikes, and I’ve always wondered why mountain bike races were not included within BRAC’s support and promotion umbrella. Most mountain bike races that I’ve done were on my radar through word of mouth. Sand Creek Sports has a great calendar in place and I commend Andy for his hard work. However, the reach of BRAC’s calendar is much greater because BRAC is a non-profit 501(c)3 and has a mission to “Promote bicycle racing in Colorado and Southeastern Wyoming”. Remember that BRAC is not out to grab a piece of your pie, we would like to expand the size of that pie and get more people racing their bicycles regardless of the cycling discipline...

...Thank you for your time and consideration, please contact me at or phone 303-458-5538 to discuss being listed on our calendar of events or to discuss working together to improve cycling in our state.

Photo: courtesy of

That's just a short snippet. For the entire letter, please visit BRAC's website.

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RME was open last year, too..

RME was open last year, too... they just have age categories plus a pro class, they didn't divide it out by ability/fitness level. If you somehow think going to USAC categories is going to eliminate competing against "pro triathletes," think again. I've done an SW4 time trial with an Olympian triathlete, SW4 cross races with someone who held a MTB pro license (which transfers into a Cat 1 cross license...), and been in Cat 3 mountain bike races with a pro who just bought a one day license. USAC does nothing really to level the playing field, or prevent sandbagging, or whatever you want to call it. And besides, with all the field limit rules on upgrade points, I foresee a lot of people sitting in Cat 3 and 2 in mountain biking and never being forced into an upgrade because the field sizes will not be big enough.


Having our CO cycling community join BRAC would be fantastic. It would allow racers who wish to compete Nationally to be part of the USAC ranking system. With a couple of exceptions, racers currently need to travel out of state to accumulate points which is expensive, time consuming and takes our race dollars elsewhere.

Colorado racers turned out in force and kicked butt last January at Cyclocross Nationals, hosted at Valmont Bike Park, thanks to the many local races we all enjoy that are sanctioned by BRAC. Had we not been a part of that system few of us would have had the opportunity to race the National Championships hosted in our own backyard.

Please consider the larger picture and the greater community when formulating your thoughts on this issue. A BRAC license is a nominal fee to pay to allow Colorado MTB racers to compete at a National level.

Give me a break. 2011 saw the

Give me a break. 2011 saw the same level of Colorado dominance at nationals when the ACA was running the show. Yes we had more podiums in boulder but that no different than team USA getting more medals when the Olympics are in the USA. Stop drinking the kool aid, with or without brac the racing would be just as good and I guarantee they'd find a way to drive people out of mountain biking. I race the best MTb races because they're the best, not because some official says it's a silver level event and I can collect meaningless points. The only argument of, poor me wanting to go to nationals and chip in for the greater good of us elites is pathetic.

I race a ton, starting with

I race a ton, starting with road in the spring, switching to mountain biking as my primary discipline as that season starts, and then to cross in the fall/winter. I had a good laugh when I saw BRAC posting this.

The people who take USAC mountain biking seriously take it seriously without BRAC. I didn't need BRAC to get me to Nationals last year, nor will I need them this year. I love the mountain bike racing that is offered in Colorado and Wyoming, and nearly all the events down to local series are run better and smoother and cheaper than most of the BRAC road and cross races I do. I make the sacrifices I need to for national qualification (which they dropped anyway for Cat 2 and 3 racers, so no excuses for people there, you don't need call up points, and CO hosts two national qualifiers for the Cat 1 folk, which is way more than a lot of other states have!) and to travel to where ever nationals is hosted for that year. I live in Wyoming, so driving several hours for racing is the norm for me, and I love traveling, so a 5 hour drive to Fruita for a USAC race is cake for me, so I have a hard time have empathy for someone from the Denver area that doesn't want to drive longer than an hour or so. For my 2-3 USAC races I do what I need to do so I can do the whole Nationals thing once a year, and otherwise enjoy a kick ass mountain bike race calendar for the rest of the summer.

And the proof is already there that mountain bike racing is doing just fine without the BRAC/USAC presence... the field sizes in the non-santioned races are always way bigger than the USAC races. I really questioned driving to Rumble at 18 Road this year, and I am kicking myself for just not sticking closer to home and doing Ridgeline Rampage...

I feel the same way as this

I feel the same way as this poster. RME, Winter Park, etc., are doing great and I'm not sure what value BRAC/USAC could add to these events. Probably none. I understand where Boups is coming from, it would be cool to have more mountain bike races. Maybe do a BRAC short track series. I've promoted a few races and I actually see the value BRAC brings, I do NOT see what USAC brings. His request would have made sense before the merger but now its going to fall flat.

Safety pins, numbers, and

Safety pins, numbers, and getting everyone to look at one calendar over another. Yup, ton of value, why didn't I sanction my mountain bike event years ago. At least USAC has the lame heroes and role models argument. Oh wait, Colorado developed Phinney, Sumerhill, Zirbel, TJ, and Duggan pre integration, my bad.

All the mountain bike race

All the mountain bike race scene needs is a meeting to work out a schedule without conflicts. We have RME overlapping two other events, 18Rd, and Firebird40. Promoters are doing a great job on the ground, and getting the word out, but don't spilt up the racers on weekend, and leave other weekend open.

Sorry USAC, you choose to drop the ball, and someone else has run with it, and I see no need to give it back. If promoters want to align with USAC, that's their choice, but I don't know what you can offer them to draw them back into paying for your services when they are doing a great job without you.

Boups is doing his job and I

Boups is doing his job and I don't fault him for that.
I say screw USAC however and I hope they never get involved with the mtb scene here.
Winterpark, Firecracker, RME, Stinger, Growler, etc. are doing great jobs. I have never heard or seen an issue at any of those races. I can't say the same for USAC/BRAC races where I and my friends have been screwed on call-ups, and have heard of USAC & UCI officials being a total pain the a$$ and throwing their weight around.
Just the fact that there isn't the looming cloud of USAC/UCI hanging over the head of MTB racing makes me feel better that there won't be some foolish rule enforced out of the blue with no notice and screw the whole thing up.

No one faults Boups for doing

No one faults Boups for doing his job, they fault the job and the organization that he's doing it for. Big difference. We need an ED who stands up to USAC and fights the hard issues to make racing better for ALL amateur racers, not just elites and juniors. That might mean less BRAC involvement and a good ED would recognize that and be willing to shrink their gov't involvement. Like another poster said early, keep BRAC out of mountain biking and watch the scene CONTINUE to flourish.