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Mid Atlantic Series and Categories(17 posts)

Mid Atlantic Series and CategoriesDE Cyclo-Cross Rider
Oct 21, 2001 4:00 PM
I am sure I will receive a lot of flack for this posting, but I need to get this message out somehow and maybe some of you will listen to my message and consider it to be of value.

I am a beginning cross racer who has had some mid-pack finishes in the C race. I have hopes for improvement and I have made an assessment of my weaknesses and am implementing plans to improve in those areas.

My whole problem with cyclocross is the number of riders who are riding one or even two classes down. I just finished the UCI Monkey Cross race and in my category (C), there was two expert level mountain bike racers and one Sport MTB racer who recently finished third in a season-long Mountain Bike Race Series. In the B category, there were several riders who finished top ten in Expert in the same series and several of these same riders races in the A category last year.

Now I may be wrong, but I would think that if you are one of the top expert racers in the region, you should race in the A category, especially if you raced A last year and finished well. I understand that this race was a special race and A level riders had to hold UCI licences, but these same riders continue to ride down a category at all of the regional races, not just today.

It is frustrating when the talented riders move down a class. I have aspirations to race the B races this year, but when the A's move down to B and the less talented, but still fast B's move to C, it makes the C class tough enough.

How could this be fixed? Race Organizers could actually look at riders licences and make riders ride in the correct class. They have suggestions posted, but they are not enforced.

So I am asking that all of those racing down consider their other cycling experience and ride in the appropriate class. Being un-motivated is not a reason to race down, being in poor shape at this time of year is not a valid reason, having little cross racing experience, but tons of racing experience is not a valid reason, and you should consider what you are doing to those of us with less experience.

I know many of you will say, Well, you just need to get faster!. And that is a good point, but there is no reason a top-ranked regional expert should be racing in B or C and the same goes for those Cat 3's and 4's. If people keep moving down a class, there is no place for beginning riders with little experience.

Well, thanks for listening. If anyone is smug and has any sarcastic remarks to make to my email, Oh well - - my feeling won't be hurt. But if you are racing down and you happen to win a race, do us all a favor and upgrade at the next race. If you are a top rider racing down a class, I hope you feel good about trouncing us less experienced races.

I have to go - - - my soapbox just fell over in the mud.
re: Mid Atlantic Series and CategoriesEricM
Oct 22, 2001 5:09 AM
The reason you see A's racing in the B cat. at monkeyhill is because you need a UCI license to race at the elite level for that event. Since a UCI license is over 100 dollars and may only be used a few times a year most racers don't have one. I'd say this is one of the only races you'll see this at percentage it happens at monkeyhill.

How was the race in the elite level. I'd planned to race but got a twisted ankle at beacons and so I skipped to rest up.

re: Mid Atlantic Series and CategoriesWayne
Oct 22, 2001 6:04 AM
An exception has to be made for Monkey Hill, would you fork out a big chunk of money for a few races (if not 1 for most local "A" riders) and a good butt kicking by the pros? As for checking rider's licenses, I think most of the MAC races are not USCF races, and NORBA doesn't apply to cross races anyway (pretty sure of this), so technically you don't need a license. Races that are USCF sanctioned are done just like road races and you have to have a license and race in your category. So D20 Championships will be this way, the NJ state Championships this Saturday, etc. Really the solution for the problem would be a licensing system for the MAC series, and I don't think anyone is going to go through the hassle of setting this up and/or the organizers may not want to go this route. So if you rely on self seeding your always going to have people racing both above and below their abilities. I believe the MAC tries to discourage sandbagging by have no cash for B (although I think it's ultimately up to the promoter) and C, and not very deep merchandize prize lists. Also team points are weak for B's and non-existent for C's, so teams with Team Competition aspirations would encourage riders to move up. I believe the only true safeguard against sandbagging in MAC races, is that the previous years B overall winner, has to do A the next year. I might extend this to top 3 or 5 but still who's going to check this at every race? It's a question of the juice being worth the squeeze, it's just far easier to let sandbagging occur than to try to do something about it.
governing bodyclimbo
Oct 22, 2001 6:52 AM
I think you're right about the top 3 or 5 should race A's the next year, if it could be enforced.... There is talk about setting up CX as it's own regulating body, there would be a licensing system etc. just like road racing. Then we'd have it all sorted out. I think most guys said they would be prepared to pay for this extra license just to get CX on it's own terms.

Did you race B's yesterday? Didn't see you but you may have been hard to see amongst the 79 strong field. How'd you go?
governing bodyWayne
Oct 22, 2001 7:11 AM
A different governing body would be cool, I'd fork out a few bucks. What would be the governing bodies function? Probably not that hard to run.
1) Give out licenses.
2) Assign races a ranking (much like UCI) based on Prize money and number of racers.
3) Keep track of results and points (not really hard with everything on the internet or connected via email now)
4) Provide "national" ranking for races sanctioned by the organization.
5) Force upgrades based on points to prevent sandbagging and promote fair competition.
Could give a test run via the MAC series one year and then see if other areas would be interested in being involved.

I was par for the course on Sunday, 27th, I've been finishing in the 10-15 range or there abouts so far this year, so with the bigger field I finished about where I would have expected. Really enjoyed both courses this weekend. I thought your race course was improved over last year.
governing bodyclimbo
Oct 22, 2001 8:55 AM
exactly all of that, plus the body would have more control with Worlds team selections etc., funding, juniors etc. etc. Hopefully it will happen and we all get behind it as CX racers !! It's all conjecture right now but maybe someone will really ramp up the cause for next year.

Thanks for coming out, much better this year, I think it needs a longer climb in there somewhere but it is south NJ so the sand and the stairs make up for it.
governing bodyWayne
Oct 22, 2001 9:52 AM
Well, I think USA cycling gets to pick riders for the world's regardless, since they are the governing body recognized by the UCI. Whether you need their permission to go and compete if you qualify I don't know. But apparently they're not planning on giving any money this year for the Worlds team (at least that's what people were saying at Monkey Hill). I think last year they funded a few people, but not everybody who was qualified and willing to go.
Are you doing the NJ Champ. on Saturday? I was thinking of doing this race since I can't race on Sunday because of a wedding.
governing bodyclimbo
Oct 22, 2001 11:34 AM
i'm doing nothing this weekend, then all MAC races the rest of the year incl. the NJ State Champ. (Nov 24) and Nationals in Baltimore (Dec 15).
NJ State Championships?Wayne
Oct 22, 2001 11:51 AM
Hey, I have a flyer in front of me advertising the "NJ District Cyclo-Cross Championships", this Saturday Oct. 27th at Duke Island State Park. Is this different than the state championships? Nov. 24th is the regional cup in Hamilton N.J., which is also a MAC race.
NJ State Championships?climbo
Oct 22, 2001 12:32 PM
shit, I don't really know. I've not heard of that race, who's running it? It must be. I think the regional cup is for the whole East Coast. The flyer for that refers to it as the "East Coast Cyclo-Cross Championships". State Champs race is for NJ only then, where is Duke Island State Park?
NJ State Championships?Wayne
Oct 23, 2001 10:49 AM
Here is the link:
I would have never have heard of it if a team mate didn't find out about it. They're not doing a very good job of advertising!
Sanbaggers Are Loserscxking
Oct 22, 2001 9:18 AM
'cross is hard to classify. I know lots of Cat 1-2 roadies who will kick my ass in any type of road race yet I savagely abuse them in any 'cross race. I agree with you that sandbaggers are the most pathetic cycling life form. They are probably the same people who beat up 3rd graders for milk money when they were in Jr High. My advice, continue to race, improve, and most important try not to let those clowns ruin your fun.
re: Mid Atlantic Series and Categoriesmanicmtbr
Oct 22, 2001 9:59 AM

I feel your pain, but that is just the way it is. I was in the C field at MH, but I do not remember seeing any top experts in there with us. It is like Wayne says below, some are racing above their category and some are racing below. Just keep your head up and look for your own personal improvements each week.

There are people who race below their ability in every form of racing and that is just the way it is. As long as you see improvements over time, you will be satisfied. If we raced for prizes only, most would be better off taking their entry fees and spending them at the bike shop instead.
re: Mid Atlantic Series and CategoriesWayne
Oct 22, 2001 10:12 AM
Couldn't agree more with James, you have to focus on your own performance and see if it's improving relative to those around you. If you're losing to some sandbagger and getting lapped every race by him early in the season but by the end of the season he's not lapping you, you've probably improved so keep on striving.
MH was a USCF event . . .swede16
Oct 24, 2001 9:41 AM
therefore a racer needed a USCF license in order to race in any level other than C. I imagine the 2 expert and 1 sport MTBers in your race only carry a NORBA license; and maybe not even that (a lot of the Mid Atlantic MTB racing is no longer affiliated with NORBA). So you get MTBers who want to race an event like Monkey Hill but don't want to pay an additional $45, for the USCF license, on top of the $20 entry fee; instead they pay $5 for the one day license on top of the $12 entry fee. I think the best solution for this situation would be to exclude non-USCF license holders from any of the prizes and note them with an asterisk on the results list. This way, these people can race for without dropping a ton of cash for one race while the "true" beginners won't feel cheated. I realize this does nothing to resolve those who carry a license yet refuse to go up a class.
MH was a USCF event . . .Wayne
Oct 25, 2001 5:14 AM
I thought of that this morning, even if your an expert mtn biker, you still have to start out with a Cat. 5 license on the road or at a one-day event, right? So some expert mtn bikers would be forced to do the C races at USCF cross races. Or am I missing something?
MH was a USCF event . . .mtbr007
Oct 25, 2001 2:58 PM
Cyclocross is, was, and should, always be self-seeding (The same as mountain-biking). Yes, it is a USCF event, although this weird thing with NORBA licenses being accepted at some races is weird. The reason road racing requires upgrades through officials is so some maniac that has no skills in a pack doesn't take everyone out. Cross is inherently different and more like mountain bike racing, in that regard.

For a state championship to actually enforce the cat in one's license is a joke. I know many pro/elite mtbr's that hardly race road and either are a 4 or 5, or do not even have a USCF license at all. Is it fair that they get to race against other 4/5s? Is it fair that CAT 1/2/3s that shiver when faced with dirt even crossing the road but now want to try cross have to race against Pro's? NO

Just my two shiny pennies...