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It is fantastic to see so many racers entering the sport and see many riders moving up through the ranks. This growth has also caused some issues as well. Brian Graves of Frites en Mayo and the ROL Neutral Mechanics program summed it up best this past weekend by stating, “Sadly, we are victims of our own success” As a result of this growth and it’s corresponding issues, ACA will be looking at some major changes to the structure of the cyclocross race weekend for 2011. The current primary goals for the 2011 season will be: 1. Subdivide the SM35+ Cat 4 in some fashion (frequently 100+ racers) 2. Separate the SM 45+ from SW Open 3. Allow for clear, distinct course inspection times Additionally, starting this weekend, the officials at ACA races will be instituting some changes based on feedback from riders, officials and promoters. These changes are interpretations based on current rules and policies that can be found in the ACA Rulebook and Policy Manual and have been reviewed by the ACA Technical Committee.
First, in order to address the issue of warm ups and course previews:
"Based on rules 220.127.116.11 and 18.104.22.168- At the discretion of the Chief Referee, racers are permitted to preview the course at the following times: 1. When the leader finishes his/her race racers may preview by following the last rider on course until 5 min before the next scheduled race start. 2. After the final rider starts his/her race racer may preview following that last rider for 1-2 laps (see below) This means riders previewing may only do so behind the last rider and in front of the race leader. The course will be closed to non-racers after 2 laps have been completed OR EARLIER BASED ON CHIEF REFEREE’S DISCRETION. If a rider is unsure about the course status they should check with officials at either the start or finish before entering the course. Racers who violate these procedures (including passing the last rider or previewing within sight of the race leader) will: 1. Be kindly asked to remove themselves from the course by an official or course marshal. 2. If a rider fails to exit the course after being asked to do so he/she will be sanctioned based on rule 14.3 which include disqualification and/or suspension" Mechanics of enforcement: Riders will be allowed on course at the finish line after the lead rider finishes. Previewing riders will be held at the starting area beginning 5 min before the next race start. They will be released from the start 30-seconds to 1 min after the last racer exits the grid. After the first 2 laps of a race the course is closed (or earlier based on CR discretion). Anyone caught previewing will be subject to CR discipline.
Second, to better accommodate and score large groups or groups that have multiple categories racing at the same time:
Chief Referees have been advised to delay race starts if the first race of the day has lap times under 6 minutes. This delay will be in place until the promoting group(s) lengthens the course to be longer than 6 minutes. For Cross Cup races this time is suggested to be raised to 6.5 minutes per lap.
The ACA Board of Directors, Technical Committee and staff appreciate everyone’s understanding and patience as these items are implemented in the coming weeks. Best of luck to all those racing and spectating this cyclocross season, Jon Tarkington ACA Executive Director