2014/2015 Cx Season Shaping Up

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.

BRAC:
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.
-Clint Bickmore

Promoters:
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.

News Item: 

18 Comments

Points

I'm not sure either way but I can tell you that I raced a few more times than I normally would have because I wanted to get some cup points to ensure I had a good call up. I also know a few people who raced very sparingly so they could stay in their category until states and try to win. These were cat 4's. I don't really care because I should just be better and upgrade myself.

Point is I raced more this year due to the way call ups were done using cross cup points.

What we have here is a

What we have here is a conundrum. If you use Cup points, get upgraded near the end of the season guarantees you a bad start at States. If you use USAC points, a guy who won a lot as a 4 could take his points into the 3s and get a better call up than a 3 who battled hard all season in the tougher category and who had lower finishes against the tougher/deeper competition.

Which is the better of two bad choices?

Not true. USAC rankings are

Not true. USAC rankings are set up to be equally rated across all categories. You all need to learn how the system works before commenting. That rider who won and upgraded in the 4s will now have a call up that ranks him in the 3s around athletes his own ability. Yes he jumped ahead of some 3s battling it out but that's the accuracy of the system. Most top 4s are better than the lower 3s.

No I mean people didn't race

No I mean people didn't race much late season because they didn't want to get upgraded before states.

In my instance I raced more because I was in the top 16 or so but never high enough to get upgrade points and I wanted to make sure I kept a front row call up.

The other comments are completely correct regarding the USAC ratings. It will calculate who you race against and their point totals. When you get upgraded to the 3's you don't just start completely over. From what I've seen most guys at least in cx that get upgraded to the 3's are immediately in the top 2/3 or 1/2 of the field at least if not faster and they don't get back row call ups to start.

States and mandatory upgrades

States and mandatory upgrades are another thing that needs to be addressed. The system now promotes sandbagging later in the season. Racers having a good season get the mandatory upgrade a week or two before states resulting in a back row start for states. Pretty lame. I saw it happen to a few racers last year. In fact I know one was upgraded less than a week before states and had to start at the very back at states in his new category. BRAC should suspend the mandatory upgrade policy the last month or at least the last couple of weeks of CX season. Forcing an upgrade a couple of weeks prior to CX states is just silly. Congratulations on the upgrade, now start at the back for the state championship race.

Pages