Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Is USA cycling losing their relevance?

Interesting article on junior cyclocross participation over at cyclocross magazine. No surprise that Oregon has the best participation at the junior level. The article states how it was accomplished: a dedicated junior race in a good time slot, and reduced registration fees for junior riders. Made possible by OBRA, an independent (non USAC) sanctioned body. Ask any junior rider or their parent what USAC has done for them lately. Todays juniors are the future of the sport.

Another recent article at cyclocross magazine describes how USAC took over Colorado's independent cycling body and is now taking aim at OBRA.

Its a shame because the two largest cyclocross series by participation in the country and probably the world are independently sanctioned: the Cross Crusade (OBRA) and the MFG series here in Washington. I doubt it is coincidence. These guys are trying their best to introduce young riders to the sport, and it seems USAC is really only trying to stifle it. Or forcibly take over once the grass roots folks have grown it to the point that USAC senses there is some money to be made.

I just saw some results for the single speed cyclocross race at Nationals in Wisconsin. I had to laugh, because USAC pretended that single speed cyclocross didn't exist until a million people started showing up for ironic "single speed world championship" races. The womens field at Nats was 15 deep. That is maybe 10 percent of the privatteer "world championship" race.

I just renewed my USAC license for 2012. The USA cycling officials really do a great job at local races around the northwest and I don't mean to disparage that. I just wish USAC would throw a little bit more of our money towards junior development.

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