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Old 08-16-13, 06:01 AM   #1
JeffOYB
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Why not add an elite "spur" for A's?

I've read a couple times about a particular challenge of CX in the American style. Our way is that the spectators are the racers. And we have all sorts of skill levels racing. So the question is: How to make a course that encourages the C's/5's while also challenging the A's/Elites?

Obviously, the answer is that you can't. Zero chance. Not possible.

So we get either the A's or the C's grumbling.

To me the answer is clear. (And I might have suggested it before but my memory is bad so let's hear the easy answer again, if there is one.)

...In a place on the course that the spectators can easily see and get to, add a short (100-200 yd?) section of more challenging terrain/features and have the A's detour onto it for their race.

Why isn't this done or mentioned?

I suggested it last nite at our local course event. Our course goes halfway up the only big hill. I wondered, Why not lay it out to the top? It would give a more satisfying feeling to any rider, and more offcamber switchbacks going down are only more fun. The answer was that it might discourage the C's/5's. Now, this hilltop is the most scenic and easily seen feature around. Central to a wide open area. If a spur was added to give more climbing and more descending challenges then the A's could easily be given that extra challenge/reward/thrill. Everyone could watch the Masters at work. More wow factor. It would only involve a bit of extra mowing/taping. There are already trails to the top.

C and B races are already shorter than the A's so their "doing less" isn't a discouragement.

The idea didn't even get a response so something major must be wrong with the concept, like of an extra spur in general. But I don't see it.

I mean, just for training and more fun and satisfaction I may well do my own extending of the climb and add more switchbacks in. I personally want to go to the top each time.

I'm new but as I'm getting better I certainly like the idea of more challenge -- not only just riding the same trail faster.

Thanks for the thoughts. JP
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Old 08-17-13, 07:10 AM   #2
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Ha... I just looked at my old posts and saw that I indeed did ask about this last Feb. ... I agree with the various points made. I suppose every course might be different, or there are several approaches, anyway. Our local course is easy and fast. (So it isn't a case where "C's like the chance to ride the same challenging course as the A's.") The A's will just go a lot faster. An extra spur of difficult terrain for them would just challenge them more and in another dimension than just going faster. In CX the terrain is supposed to matter and to be a challenge. Nobody is forced to run on our course -- we'll soon have barriers to force run-ups, though. Oh well, it just seems like there might be an easy fix to the whining from A's about the courses being too easy and designed for the C's.
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Old 08-17-13, 03:29 PM   #3
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seems the extra :15 out on the course separates the contestants front to back even more.
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Old 08-29-13, 08:46 AM   #4
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They actually do this for some of the P/Cat1 MTB races. Add in a rock garden or whatnot. I think it's a good idea for CX as well.
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Old 09-12-13, 09:13 AM   #5
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I don't like the idea. How are C's supposed to learn if they don't get to do the hard stuff? Plus you can have a dead flat grass course and the A's will make it as hard as they want so it's not about the course really.
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Old 09-12-13, 01:19 PM   #6
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I hear ya. It's all relative, etc. Anything can be hard if ya just go faster.

But were you at Louisville or did you see any video? Or maybe video from a Euro pro race? Really, it kinda seems like C's or even B's basically couldn't ride that Louisville course. But it's what A's want. So there IS a difference.

(I would've LOVED to TRY to do a lap on that course! ...For the Masters racing they totally lamed it up by shunting them over to a golf course. So World's Masters never got to ride the "real" course. I suppose they wanted to keep it good, so there's that. I bet other races there use more of the World's course which has to be more fun than that Master's Worlds course was. Of course the "relative" factor came in when that flat lame course turned into a wretchedly muddy hard slow barely-riding flat lame course...and worse, thanks to organizer lack of equipment readiness -- no washers or heaters for washers. ...So I heard.)

Basically, there seems to be a thrust to an easy course to recruit newbs but we've seen some noise from A's who want more challenge. Sure, they can just go faster but why do they then even remark? Basically, a tough course for C's is a dirt-crit for an A. Might be hard but isn't so much fun. A tough spur would make it more fun for them but would frustrate the C's.

Anyway, at our local race I like the idea of taking the course to the top of the big main scenic hill and the orgs say that it would discourage the 5's so they're only going halfway. A spur would make everyone happy, wouldn't it? (At least the orgs.) Heck, I'm new and not very fast but, darn, I wanna go to the top of that hill! I'd enter the A's to do that hill even if I came in last, which I probably would. (At a local race last weekend the first B woulda been nearly the last A -- amazing how fast the A's are!) Actually, it'll be a USAC event and I'd have to race my Cat (5) but whatever...
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Old 09-12-13, 03:54 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by JeffOYB View Post
I hear ya. It's all relative, etc. Anything can be hard if ya just go faster.

But were you at Louisville or did you see any video? Or maybe video from a Euro pro race? Really, it kinda seems like C's or even B's basically couldn't ride that Louisville course. But it's what A's want. So there IS a difference.

(I would've LOVED to TRY to do a lap on that course! ...For the Masters racing they totally lamed it up by shunting them over to a golf course. So World's Masters never got to ride the "real" course. I suppose they wanted to keep it good, so there's that. I bet other races there use more of the World's course which has to be more fun than that Master's Worlds course was. Of course the "relative" factor came in when that flat lame course turned into a wretchedly muddy hard slow barely-riding flat lame course...and worse, thanks to organizer lack of equipment readiness -- no washers or heaters for washers. ...So I heard.)

Basically, there seems to be a thrust to an easy course to recruit newbs but we've seen some noise from A's who want more challenge. Sure, they can just go faster but why do they then even remark? Basically, a tough course for C's is a dirt-crit for an A. Might be hard but isn't so much fun. A tough spur would make it more fun for them but would frustrate the C's.

Anyway, at our local race I like the idea of taking the course to the top of the big main scenic hill and the orgs say that it would discourage the 5's so they're only going halfway. A spur would make everyone happy, wouldn't it? (At least the orgs.) Heck, I'm new and not very fast but, darn, I wanna go to the top of that hill! I'd enter the A's to do that hill even if I came in last, which I probably would. (At a local race last weekend the first B woulda been nearly the last A -- amazing how fast the A's are!) Actually, it'll be a USAC event and I'd have to race my Cat (5) but whatever...
I think the opposite may more often make sense. Sometimes out here when there's a particularly technical bit of a sort someone could get hurt on, they close it off during the juniors races. I suppose you could do the same thing during the 5s, although if I was a 5 I'd be kind of annoyed. Generally, I think your instinct to send everyone to the top of the hill is the right one. We've had plenty of steep little hills over the years that were ridden by the 1/2/35+ open fields, but run ups for almost every one else. So what? Different elements factor differently in different fields; doesn't mean all fields can't race them.

As for the elite World's course, I don't know what you're talking about. It looked like a fun course, but just a course that any field could race on, except for maybe having younger juniors skip one short cambered steep downhill / turn combo.
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