2006 USCF Cross Categories - Choose Carefully
"We added separate categories for cyclocross, which will range 1-4"I asked Casey Kerrigan for an explanation and he replied:
"Yes there will be Cross categories for next year. No I don't know how the initial categories will be assigned. Basically as far as I'm concerned anyone can be any category they want to be. The only conditions I'll have for changing cross categories is that if you upgrade you need to stay in your new category for the rest of the season. You will not be able to upgrade for a race or two and then down grade again. Likewise if you downgrade you have to stay in your new lower category for the rest of the season. You can't downgrade for a race or two and then expect to upgrade again. This is so people can't up or down grade for a special target race and then switch back again."So...I think this is good. Having CX categories on our license validates our sport - finally CX is worthy of appearing on our license. The fact that it is still self-categorized (at least as far as we know right now) means we still have the flexibility of racing the category we feel we are worthy of. The fact that we can't hop from category to category on a whim anymore is good and should make things a little saner - preventing "A" level riders showing up in "B" fields at some races (I think we just dodged a bullet - Dave Carr has been comtemplating a rant on that exact subject).
Playing devil's advocate as usual, in my mind there are a couple of issues to resolve:
- One more category: Cat 1-4 means there is one more category to contend with. I do think 3 categories was better than 4 because it opens the door for even more category mixing and we end up racing different levels of people on different weeks unless a standard is followed - this is something I guess roadies are used to anyhow. I wonder how this will pan out on race day...I can't imagine there would be any more races so there will have to be more combining (i.e. 1/2 or 3/4). Does "A" become 1/2 or does "B" become 2/3 or does "C" become "3/4"? At some point we'll have to stop thinking of ourselves as A, B, or C. I dunno...am I thinking too hard about this? Personally, I really don't care because I should still be a Cat 1 if I ever sit on a bike again.
- UCI races: I know one reason "A" level riders turn up in "B" fields for big races is because these riders didn't spring for a UCI license (extra $75 I think) and are therefore not allowed in the Elite field. Given that you can't jump categories it would make sense to me that all Cat. 1 riders should be forced to spring for a UCI license or there would be no category for them to race in for a big race. This may make some people unhappy since I know some folks like doing the A races but aren't interested in racing with the Elites. There would be a ripple effect from this that I'm not prepared to comtemplate at the moment...
- Identity Crisis: How do current riders decide what their category is? I.E. if you're a B racer do you choose 2 or 3 (and so on)? Comments from any officials/promoters would be appreciated on your take on how races will be categorized.
I'll appeal to Casey to respond directly to this blog posting's comments with any of his own comments. Feel free to share your thoughts as well.