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refusing to pay Galeforce -- still fuming about cx nats(8 posts)

refusing to pay Galeforce -- still fuming about cx natsJimena
Dec 19, 2002 12:56 PM
In one sense it is probably motivated by some feeling of remorse for not doing as well as I wanted to at cyclocross Nats, but on the other hand, a lot of us in the Masters women have a legitimate claim that we were not given an opportunity to properly contest the race, and I'm trying to think of the best way to express my disappointment. Do you think I can tell the credit card company I'm not paying Galeforce for the race?

In the early laps of the Masters women's race on Saturday-- lap 2 approx, one of the officials pulled tape across the course and barred us from proceeding. We had a staggard start, with the 30+ women starting about 1 minute ahead of us in 35-39, but I still don't think I had yet been lapped by anyone. I was probably 8th or 9th of 12, but had definitely not been lapped by the leader of my 35-39 year category. In any case, the women caught behind the tape began to protest loudly after I had been there for about 2 minutes. One of them was leading her race. I had first shrugged my shoulders, then I tried to say, "good race," to one of the women who had chased up to me, (she was not having any of it) then I sat down and cried and tried to clear the stuff out of my eyes that was burning like crazy and nearly blinding me. Suddenly, I looked over and the tape was down again, and everyone was going again, so I jumped back in, and no one stopped me, so I just kept racing. I had to wait to pass about 6 of the women who had dropped into a narrow descent ahead of me, many from the 40+ women. I got really charged up and felt better, and not until almost a full lap later--on the final lap--did the leader of my race lap me--pro mtb'er Shari Kain.

In Jon's B race, he flatted out of 9th place, then battled back up to 15th, but they had listed him as 21st because some of the pulled B racers jumped back into the race. They even have the 5th placed guy in as both 5th and pulled.

It's ridiculous that they can't keep track, it's so simple to write down the numbers of the people who come through the start-finish and record how many laps they do. I've scored races with 30 guys--some getting lapped two times. You'd think they could keep track of 12 women, even in the driving rain. I just wonder if I can refuse to pay for services not rendered, demand a refund, write a nasty letter, or whether any of these things will have any impact on what are clearly a poorly organized group that don't really care about the masters women.

Other problems included: My group was supposed to be called up according to how we did at last year's nationals, but I never got a call-up, though some women who did not race nationals last year did. In many of the groups, (some of the men too) they didn't even call the national champions up first. These people write down rules, but they don't follow them. I'm outraged. What would you do?

I know one thing: we will not race 3X each at Sea Otter this year, and we will write a letter explaining exactly why they are not getting our $200 in collective entry fees for the first time in about 7 years. I hold Galeforce responsible because they decide how many spotters to have on the course and where, and they decide not to make the call-ups according to regulation, and they are the ones that hire the stupid officials who know nothing about cyclocross and give them the wrong info about who is leading the races and decide to start us 1 minute apart but still combine our groups and pull everyone in every race. Jon got pulled in the last lap of the Sea Otter circuit race last year, and he was also not lapped. I have not had these kind of problems anywhere but at Galeforce races, and I have raced in the US and internationally for 4 years.
re: refusing to pay Galeforce -- still fuming about cx natssnwbdrhoon
Dec 19, 2002 1:17 PM
I say screw them. I wasn't there, but the amount of traffic listed here in the site definitely suggests that they seriously screwed up.
it's not Galeforce...it's the judgesadventurefind
Dec 19, 2002 1:47 PM
Galeforce is the marketing body that makes these races happen. That's that.

The judges are another thing. I was marshalling the 1st pit on Sat and the judge that was there with me did somewhat questionable things. He was the judge, I was Galeforce. I have no say in who gets pulled, only the judges.

On Sunday, I was marshalling the 2nd pit/bike wash area. When I saw the judge pulling my personal friends I went nutz. I see that Jake had finished early, but he wasn't even lapped. Not until 3 or 4 minutes later, the leaders passed by. Then more and more riders began to get pulled, questioning the judge's call. It was out of my league...and look at the judges, they think they know it all.

Unfair? yes. But don't blame this on Galeforce.

By the way, if you're in the NorCal area and want to show some cross muscle at the http://www.toastedhead.com/race.html race, you'll be treated like you should, like a true rider to the sport.
It's GaleforceJimena
Dec 19, 2002 2:51 PM
Galeforce is the event organizer. They decide, together with USA Cycling, I assume, whether to hold the race under USCF or UCI rules, and they decide how to organize the panel of "judges," which are really Commissaires or officials. These people in turn are in charge of overseeing the race and making sure it is run according to the rules, yes, but it is the responsibility of the event organizers to inform the racers of the rules, and then make sure to adhere to run the race according to the stated rules. What did you see that was "questionable," and whom did you inform? What were you told was your role as a marshall? At some point, someone informed the "judge" (official, really) that he was out of line and he changed his mind about who to pull in our race. HE should have never been put in that role by Galeforce if he didn't know what he was doing, which he clearly didn't.

I've noticed that officials in the US -- at least the ones I've had to deal with here in our District 20 know squat about cyclocross, especially about women's 'cross racing. I think there has only been women competing at worlds for 2 years, so this is a new sport for women, and we need to have both a local and a national level of competition to shoot for during the season -- it makes it a lot more fun when people play by the rules. If some people get dicked by the officials and organizers during the race, it's not really a race.
Galeforce, judges and racersB123
Dec 19, 2002 3:23 PM
The organizers lumped all the women into a couple categories, as usual in road and cross, to save time. Maybe you should try convincing the officials and organizers that you want more women's categories. That way fewer people get lapped and hence less pulling. One way you might go about this is to find out how many women would show for each cat if the races ran separately, say B's, 30+, 35+ and 40+. I'd say a group of 20 riders deserves its own race.

With all the riders on the course at once nobody knows what is going on. If you pull people riders in the back and mistaken riders...people get pissed. If you leave everyone in then the leaders get mad for riding through lapped traffic and, of course, the ever present misplacing.

I also found it strange and frightening the abuse the officials got. Things like "F#$K You", "let her race or I'll kick your a##", "you suck" etc.. One small group tried to start a fight with the pit official. It is just a race right? These are just older amateur racers who race their bikes for fun right?

The judges were overzealous in pulling, but I'm sure everyone has learned some lessons about hosting cross nationals.
Galeforce, judges and racersatpjunkie
Dec 19, 2002 5:05 PM
IMHO at a NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP they should have their collective shit together. Both Sponsor and Fed.
A) People travel great distances (this is America not Belgium) at great personal or sponsored expense to race and spectate.
B) Regardless of Age if it's categorized as a National Championship, respect has to be given to each division or not raced at all. the 55 and over are racing for a striped jersey just like the U-23's etc... organize the race to honor all participants
C) if you can't handle the number of riders either set 2 courses or have more staggered starts and better officiating

it's obvious by all the posts people were wrongly pulled and not allowed (in some cases) of finishing a race they had a chance of top tenning.

as far as official abuse...methinks they got off easy by verbal abuse. If I'd flown out from say Maine to watch my wife compete in an age group nationals, paid for 2 flights, hotel, food, bike transport, car rental etc... and watched her get pulled from a top 5 age group placing someone would have lost some teeth and I'd be sitting in the coolie.

IMHO big apologies are owed and those who are at fault better figure it out
psatpjunkie
Dec 19, 2002 5:11 PM
for those Californians who were complaining about the States being in held in San Diego, Celopacific has put ona great series, (they did the States as part of their series), it was a fantastic course, well officiated and a most enjoyable time to both race and spectate. sounds like it was much better done than the Nat's. granted a much smaller event.
The thing that breaks my heart is a medical emergency (family) kept me here in S.D. and I missed the Nats. By the response I doubt they'll be back in Cal for quite some time.
Galeforce, judges and racers -- Blame USCFralembik
Dec 20, 2002 4:36 PM
As a cat. 1 official, I am often embarassed at the conduct and competence of many of my fellow officials. I don't claim to be the best official out there, but I do have a combined 20+ years of officiating AND racing (hovering betw. Cat II and III) experience. Thus, I know what it is to sacrifice and then get screwed by some fat, hairy-legged official who doesn't understand or empathize because he's on a power trip. The problem is that the USCF has stopped implementing whatever oversight it used to implement over officials. We haven't had a technical director in a couple of years, so there's no one to set the standards for officiating or to scruitinze appointments to the national championships. Plus, political promotions are still way too rife. Bitch to the new USAC CEO. He seems to care and to be competent. But, since he has so much on his plate cleaning up after the Lisa Voight years, the priority of improving officiating may not be too high for him.