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Recreational Cyclocross and Gravelbiking This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

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Old 02-19-13, 09:22 PM   #1
JeffOYB
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Add an Elite "spur" to make US courses harder?

I've been reading various mags and a few CX books lately -- getting my new jones filled while it's snowing -- and I keep running into mention of a difference b/w Euro racing and the US, and it's that we have a bunch of Classes each race day and one course to fit them all, incl old farts and young kids and so the courses end up too easy and unexciting for the Elites. The Euro courses are scary and intense because they only run a few elite events each day, no beginners, etc.

I would think we could solve this -- if it really is an issue -- by adding a short, intense "spur" off of the main course that the Elites would use, and it could have some groovy feature that they would especially appreciate.

Is this ever done? Does it help? Maybe it's just 100 yards more work and there's already too much work.

Just an idea...

I just started last fall and did a couple local events and had a blast and look forward to laying out my own homestyle course or two for practice fun ... and to doing more events next season!

(PLUS...I WENT TO WATCH THE WORLD'S! YAY! WHAT FUN!)
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Old 02-20-13, 09:17 AM   #2
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It would be a cool idea but can't see it happening.

You could even let non-elites ride it, make it a shorter distance than the normal route, but tougher. Racers could choose their poison.
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Old 02-20-13, 09:56 AM   #3
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Around here it's not unusual for the course to change throughout the day. As often as not the course gets easier as the lower cats demonstrate that a certain section is unrideable or dangerous. Once in a while a new feature will be added, but for the most part the course designers seem to assume that less experienced riders will dismount and hoof it over any feature they can't handle.

Whether the resulting courses are easier than European courses I can't say. I'm quite certain that making the sport more inviting to beginners at the cost of having elites whine about it is an excellent trade-off.
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Old 02-20-13, 10:07 AM   #4
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Adding that extra quarter of an hour onto the elite mens race makes a big difference
if your stamina is already at a frayed end in the shorter 45 minute events.

By then a lot of the field is not in the same Lap, as the leaders, on their way to the Podium.

the community fun races are cheaper to set up than the sanctioned USCF/UCI stuff,
because of the national organization requirements.

Reading the Cycling press, the ambitious american racers got the money together
to go spend those Race months in Europe.

(baseball has sand lot games first, you just went to the world series..)

apparently not the last race of the season, over there, since Wellens beat Nys,
in his new rainbow jersey.

Last edited by fietsbob; 02-20-13 at 04:56 PM.
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Old 02-20-13, 04:39 PM   #5
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I don't see the incentive for a promoter. A big part of the draw to amateur racers is the chance to race the same course as the pros.

In Belgium, the spectators pay the bills. In the US, the amateur racers pay the bills.
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Old 02-21-13, 01:41 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flargle View Post
I don't see the incentive for a promoter. A big part of the draw to amateur racers is the chance to race the same course as the pros.

In Belgium, the spectators pay the bills. In the US, the amateur racers pay the bills.
This.

In practice what this means for course features is the pros ride the stuff we run. That's not really a bad thing in my book.

It's really just about money and publicity and who else is racing. Look at Cross Vegas. Is that a world class cross course? No, and it really can't be. But it's an event at the industry's largest north american trade show so sponsor obligations, riders looking for new sponsorship, etc... come into play.
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Old 02-21-13, 01:48 PM   #7
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Also, the competition is what makes races hard.

As a mediocre amateur cross racer a "fun" course is great, but part of being a pro is doing the races on your program. Some of them are going to have lame courses compared to others.
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